Japanese Zen Gardens are known for their calming effects and for centuries gardeners in Japan have cultivated, groomed and maintained Zen rock gardens and their dry landscape style called Karesansui (“withered landscape”).
Scientist analyzing one of the World most famous Zen gardens, the Zen rock garden of the Ryoanji Temple (Temple of the Peaceful Dragon) in Kyoto revealed that the calming effect is due to subliminal messages created by the arrangement of rocks and gravel. If they would have also asked the gardeners maintaining the beauty of that place, they would have learned that – as known to many practicing Zen – that maintaining or arranging such a garden has a calming effect of its own.
While you might not be able to feel the gravel passing through the teeth of your rake within one of these old gardens, you could create yourself a miniature version of a Zen rock garden and enjoy peace and quietness that way.
There are ready made miniature Zen garden sets available, but we put together a few links demonstrating how to create one yourself with parts you might already have lying around or can find outdoors when going for a walk. Below we have also included a list of videos and images of Zen gardens that might inspire your creativity further.
The guides and instructions are demonstrating two basic ways to create your garden. (1) from an old picture frame or (2) with a bowl, big ashtray or other container:
Click on the image below for the link (multimedia)
How to Make a Zen Garden on a Budget
Step-by-Step guide (wikiHow)
Step-by-Step guide (instructables)
Japanese rock garden at Wikipedia
How to make a Zen Garden Rake
Music and impressions for relaxing with your new Zen Garden:
Japanese Meditation music and impressions of Zen Gardens
More music and impressions of flowers and Zen Gardens
Impressions and sounds for Relaxation (first video of a series)
Ready made Zen garden sets:
Zen Garden (SA) (includes additional information on creating miniature Zen gardens)
- Weekend activity: Do something with that old printer
- Weekend activity: Create some paper toys
- Weekend Activity: Browse the National Archives with Digital Vaults
- Weekend Activity: Origami
Over the years most of us have gathered at least two printers at home and some of us got quite a collection of them. Latest since prices have drop so much it often does financially make no sense to get that old boy going again. And with that new printer you have it’s most unlikely that you would go back to half the resolution of the old one. So it’s collecting dust in your closet since quite some time – but what to do with it? – Our three suggestions to you…
If its raining or its too cold (or too hot) or whichever other reason you have not to go outside here are some unusual paper toys that surely will impress your friends (or kids).
Many of these toys can be made with just a few sheets of paper, scissors and some tape, others like for example the the Paper Rose or Flower paper (see link section below) are more elaborate but should still be mastered by everyone.
The toys we chosen for this article are more like the ones you would create when you sit together with a group of friends or want to show your kids something old Daddy or Mom can do. There are of course many others that use templates to be printed on photo paper, cut with an art knife and then glued together. We provide links for these too…
The National Archives have put 1,200 of its 20 Billion documents online for access through an 2D search interface. Digital Vaults as the Adobe Flash interface is called allows you to explore photographs, documents and video clip plus the connections between them.
Once all interface elements are loaded, the application presents you with a series of starting point, click one and the image for the selected topic will be shown in the center of the window surrounded by related items.
Additional information is available for each of the items by clicking on them and…
Here’s a great time lapsed video of how to create an origami version of Evangelion Unit 01
Might be a bit tough to start with that art but still interesting to watch.