weekly wrap up + the tent + party giveaway!

by Grace Bonney

Interactive art projects that bring communities together make me happier than any other type of art. So often people are taught that if you aren’t an artist, you can’t really participate in or be a member of the creative community. But projects like this amazing installation from Tali Buchler are great reminders that everyone can build something special with their own two hands. Inspired by traditional crafts, Tali and her friend, artist Noa Meir, decided to create an installation in Zichron Yaakov, Israel that would invite local children and adults to finger knit suspended tents. Every Wednesday for three months, children and their parents and grandparents gathered at a local community center to knit ropes made of left over lycra scraps from a local factory. The ropes were attached to rings made of watering pipes and then hung from trees in a public garden. The tents were hung close enough together that moving one would cause the others to move as well. This sort of movement encouraged children and adults alike passing by to stop, engage with the artwork and admire the knitting that went into it. Thanks to the installation, this public garden went from an underused space to a popular community spot where locals visit to admire their hard work and enjoy the results of an artistic group effort. I love this project (and the swirling results) so much I thought it would be a great way to end the week. You can read more about the story behind the project here and see additional images here. Thanks so much to Tali for sharing this.

Before we leave, I wanted to share a fun giveaway! Rather than waste or throw away the supplies we used for this week’s Back to School Party post, Max created an adorable party supply kit we decided to give to one lucky reader. Each kit contains: flash cards, star stickers, pencils, clips, a ruler, alphabet cards, our letter garland, confetti, stickers, a copy of the D*S newspaper and much more. It’s everything you need to throw your own mini back to school party at home. If you’re interested in winning please leave a comment below with either: a link to a photograph from your first day of school at any age OR a story about your favorite back to school memory. We’ll pick a winner on Sunday night (please leave your comments by 9pm EST on Sunday) and announce the winner on Monday! (Congrats to Lauren and her “turtle twins” comment for winning!) Thanks and have a wonderful weekend! xo, grace

Photograph above by Maxwell Tielman

More images of the Tent installation continue after the jump!

Below is a summary of this week’s highlights:


Suggested For You


  • My favorite memory is from first day of fifth grade. I kept trying to lose my little red schoolhouse lunchbox so I could get a cool new one. Sadly, I was the only one with THAT lunchbox, and it kept finding its way back to me.

    I know a wonderful family who would be so grateful for those amazing supplies.
    :) xo

  • each year before school started I was allowed to order 2 new outfits from L.L.Bean (thank you, sensible parents). this was a BIG deal since I had school uniforms and these were my ‘cool’ clothes for after-school and the like. i’ll never forget my fourth grade selection – a plum turtleneck with plum/forest green printed corduroys!

  • My first school memory was of having new rain boots with pink poodles on them! My feet were always larger than my sisters, so I never had hand me down shoes and it was fantastic! I wish I had a photo of them! :)

  • My favorite back to school memory is finally getting to use looseleaf paper instead of a composition book. Oh and upgrading from the childish jumper to the 6th grade skirt and vest combo.

  • My favorite part about back to school was getting to go pick out some new clothes and then carefully planning my outfit. And now it’s funny to look at pictures from the first day of school and see what I was wearing!

  • Back to school…oh the joys. I was a teacher for six wonderful years, every year on the first day I would still pick out the shoes and dress that would make me feel like I was magic. Now I homeschool my four children(mainly because we are traveling with there father and his job). The first night before “school started” I picked out my dress and set up the table as if it were my first day teaching new students. I just loved the theme parties,my oldest Jonas(13) is trying now to create a scholl party for his friends he does not see often. Great Job Design Sponge!

  • My favorite back to school memories always had to deal with Back-to-School Shopping. My older sister and I were always so thrilled when my mom and dad took us to Sanrio. I would always go crazy picking everything Pochacco, while my sister was a bigger Keroppi fan. I remember the night before our first day at school, my sister and I would lay out are supplies and then start packing up our backpack in anticipation of the next day.

    That supply kit reminded me of how excited I was to have things that made me want to learn.

  • My favorite back to school memory is probably my first day of school ever. At the time, I didn’t realize what I had coming to me and all I could think about was the awesome Minnie Mouse boot backpack my parents had just bought me. Always in style.

  • My favorite back-to-school memory is third grade…I was the only new kid in the class that year and on the first day was very apprehensive; Mrs. Widener confided in me that it was her first day teaching school and we could be buddies… I like to think I was her favorite that year and we remained buddies all through grade school.

  • What a wonderful way to get the kids and the adults together in something joyful that goes beyond the moment and teaches them a usable skill. I applaud the efforts and hope it will spread.

  • I remember first grade. I met my first boyfriend who was more shy than I was! That helped us both become close friends for the next 40+ years.

  • I remember 2nd grade clearly. I was assigned to an ancient teacher’s room and next door was a young teacher. I went into the young teacher’s room and took a seat and refused to move. For some odd reason they allowed me to say there the entire year. She was a fantastic teacher!

  • hmmn, favorite back to school memory…
    i had an awesome kindergarten teacher. i remember such wonderfully random things from that year; a kid filling the pencil holder with glue, the ‘new shoe’ song, saving pennies to restore the statue of liberty.

  • My favorite back to school memory is finding out my third grade teacher got married over the summer and her name changed from Miss Smart to Mrs. Wiseman. This cracked us all up to no end! She was a great teacher too.

  • What a super cool project! My favorite back to school memory is in grade school when we got to wear our regular clothes for a whole month before we had to start wearing uniforms! :-)

  • Favorite memory? Using found soda can tops as rings for short-lived schoolyard romances in elementary school.

  • My favorite memory (but probably a traumatic one for my sister) was my first day of 2nd grade, which was my my sister’s first day of kindergarten. We were being dropped off at school and Carrie cried and cried and refused to go to into the building. “I’ll stay home and you teach me, Mommy!” I saw my mom take a deep breath and say, “Honey, if you don’t go to school Mommy and Daddy will have to go to jail.” Carrie stopped crying, took a deep breath of her own and grabbed my hand. I walked her into school. It is still a vivid memory – 38 years later!

  • i remember my first day of school so clearly because that was the day i met my best friend
    i was doing colouring in at the same table as her and i dropped a pencil and when i reached under the table i noticed she had the same colour underpants on as me so of course, from then, we must be best friends! kids :)

  • Thanks for featuring this fantastic community exhibit. The colors, movement, and passion are all reflected in the tents and the people who created them.

    p.s. hated kindergarten; cried the entire year.

  • Before the start of 4th grade, all my friends and I decided we would color our hair blue for the first day of school. So I had my mom put my hair in a high bun a spray away with color in a can. Off I went to school with a neon blue top knot. When I got to school, my friends greeted me, sans color, informing me that they had changed their minds. Grrrrr.

  • My first day of school was amazing. My mother surprised me with a purple Punky Brewster lunch pail with a matching thermos. I can remember sitting in a desk for the very first time, jittery and ecstatic at the same time. My teacher spent most of the day trying to teach all of us how to say her name, “Now kids, repeat after me, Mrs. Can-Clean-Nee.” Suffice to say, I called her “Mrs. Cant-Clean” for the rest of the year.

  • I LOVE school! If I were to pick a favorite memory it would have to be EVERY first day of school. The excitement of wearing those new school shoes, the apprehension of meeting a new teacher, the urge to learn something new, something great! Every year I would get this incredible buzz of energy for learning that would only increase as the school year went by. Even as a college student, I was excited to meet my professors and anxious to cultivate new relationships as I voraciously gobbled up knowledge. I can only hope to pass this love of learning on to my twin girls!

  • All my back to school photos are back at my mom’s house, so I’ll leave you with a story. After kindergarten my mom moved herself and me from north Jersey to south Jersey. The beginning of first grade meant a whole new school for me — new environment, new schoolmates, new friends. My new elementary school held outdoor recess for about a half hour until the school day started, so after arriving on the bus I shyly started playing on the jungle gym — the monkey bars to be exact. I was so nervous and excited that I didn’t notice a giant bee hovering near me. I don’t know what I did, but I must have done something to provoke it — because it stung me! I had a big stinger sticking out of my left arm and I ran to the nurse’s office to have it mended. Out of all my first days of school, that is the one I will never forget!

  • Wow! Those tents are amazing! My favorite back to school memory happened in 4th grade when playing on the playground during lunch. I was doing hurricanes and swinging and hanging off the monkey bars when all of a sudden I fell and hit my head. I was still conscious but was in such a daze and had to get picked up by my grandma. Although it wasn’t so pleasant in that very moment, its always a memory that sticks out to me and I’ll never forget it! especially since it happened on the very first day of school and all the kids were so considerate and nice to me :)

  • My favorite back to school memory is a recent one: I had just purchased myself a backpack at the start of this semester–my first new backpack since middle school–and was feeling pretty guilty about how much (student loan) money I had spent. But when I checked the mail, I found a package full of biscotti that my nonna had made me, with a note that said I deserved a little treat for all my studying. The cookies (and the backpack) are definitely helping fuel my productivity.

  • On my first day of school I wore the most extravagantly floral pullover – and during recess playtime outside a bee found its way inside of the sweater and after only a few minutes of playing I had to be sent back inside the classroom for the teacher to ice my be stung nipple! HA!

  • one year i was late for the bus, which wasn’t uncommon. what was uncommon, however, was my vomiting orange juice all over my best friend’s big sister’s backpack as soon as i took my seat.

  • It’s strange to think that on the very first day of kindergarten I arrived home upset because we hadn’t spent any time in class doing math! Sadly this childhood love of math did not survive through my teenage years.

  • I have had 27 “first day” of school days. From three year old kindergarten to my career as a seventh and eighth grade school counselor and there is only one thing in common about every “first day”. I cry. Every year. Usually because I was nervous about a new school or I didn’t want my wonderful summer to end (which is still a valid reason, I think) or from stress overload trying to make sure there are no girls in the boys PE classes, but I cry EVERY “first day”. My mom still gets me an organizational “back to school” happy (this year it was a tape dispenser that looks like a high heel) to help ease the transition!

  • My favorite school memory was during a 4th grade field trip. We were learning about Missouri history that year and visited the Harry S Truman Library. As part of the experience, our bus driver took us past his home in Independence, Missouri. The bus slowed down and we all rushed to one side of the bus. Imagine our shock when former President Truman himself stepped out on the porch and waved to all of us!

  • Favorite back to school memory: Getting to school early so that my new “cool” friend could style my bangs in the bathroom (my mom wouldn’t let me use hairspray). This was in the fourth grade.

  • What a wonderful giveaway! My favorite memory is that my mom would always take me out to eat right after picking me up from my first day. I have been doing. The same with my daughter

  • I used to get a new pair of Mary Jane shoes for the year and snazzy Lisa Frank folders, she is probably the reason I became a graphic designer!

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