Tiny Masterpieces

For centuries, scholars and commoners alike have debated what defines the word "art." Is the distinction between what is and isn't art made by financial valuation? Do people need to have training in order for their work to be considered legitimate art? Are artists truly artists if their work is not their sole occupation? These questions and more have kept history's greatest minds awake at night.

Still, if there's one thing humanity has proven throughout its existence, it's that there's no limit to the type of canvas people can use for their art. From etchings on cave walls to galleries of the modern metropolis, our species has shown its boundless creativity by designing with whatever materials are available and on whatever canvas can be found.

By the Spoonful

All parents have told their children at one time or another not to play with their food. Ioana Vanc was told the same thing growing up as a child in Romania, but her artistic sensibilities were hardly reined in. Now an adult and a professional artist, she has taken her messy childhood habit and turned it into a hobby that has brought her worldwide recognition.

zebras on a teaspoon
Image via Ioana.

Using nothing more than the most minimal of food scraps, Vanc creates colorful landscapes and recognizable portraits on the surface of a teaspoon. Her works include zebras in an open plain, as well as likenesses of celebrities Karl Lagerfeld, Iris Apfel, and even Kermit the Frog. Regular updates to Vanc's gallery can be found by following her Instagram page. They make for some of the more interesting food pictures one can find on the site.

Petri Paintings

With art being such a deeply ingrained part of the human experience, it isn't very far-fetched to think that artistic urges might be part of the very building blocks of our existence. Similarly, it isn't too great a stretch to imagine those very building blocks becoming works of art themselves. The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) recently launched the first-ever Agar Art competition, inviting challengers to use microorganisms and mold to create art pieces that fit inside of petri dishes.


Petri dish
Image via Hyperallergic.

The above stories show how, more often than not, art adheres more to vision than to tool or format. All it takes is a little imagination to transform something ordinary into something truly inspiring.

Snow Day Crafts for All Ages

Okay, maybe your kids aren't actually off for the giant snowstorm today, but as the Northeast gets socked with a foot or more of snow, it's the perfect reminder that winter is far from being over. So, if your kids are around (or will be over the weekend), it's really not too late to get crafty for winter. Here are some new suggestions to make the most of the snowy weather, despite your own frustrations that this winter has gone on for too long.

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Spread the Love, DIY Style

It's hard to imagine that Valentine's Day is just a couple weeks away! If you're like us, you might have a tendency to wait until the last minute, wondering how to show the special someone in your life just how much you love them. This ultimately means buying a store bought card, a pack of Disney cards for your kid's classroom, or a bouquet of flowers.

But how about making 2014 a little bit more special? These DIY ideas will help you (or your kid) stand out in a sea of mass produced tokens of affection.

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