This is a sponsored post for which I have been compensated.
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Flowers for you, mommy....from our little hands!
Yep. One and the same! These are the busy digits that dump freshly folded laundry, put stickers on the dog, and carefully pick peas out of pot pie dinners. They're the ones that lock themselves inside the bathroom, let flies inside the house, and pinch younger brothers when no one's looking....
But Mother's Day is neigh....and all is forgiven! Little hands are also those that gather dandelion bouquets, lace their fingers through your own, and reach to hug you tightly. You employed them when they learned to count, and watch them point and poke and prod at anything delightful!
This treasure is such an easy make that you can have it picture-perfect-ready for mommy or grandma - or yourself - by Sunday! Trace hands in singles or pairs - and cut from pretty scrapbook paper. Craft punches make light work of floral accents, rubber cement fixes everything firmly and smoothly, and a fine point (05 Micron) marker is "handy" (see what I did there? 😉) for tracing captions printed from Word (sizes 24 and 22 in Comic Sans font). Don't forget kids' names and date....this gift's going to make month-of-May reappearances for years to come!
Pop your finished work into a frame (mine is 8" x 10") with or without a snappy hand cut paper mat.
Happy Mother's Day, dear readers and friends!
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Saturday, April 20, 2019
"Cheep Cheep!" you say?
On any other occasion, I might take umbrage at such dismissal, but today, this assessment of my craftiness is an apt one! A teaspoon of yellow paint, a tear drop of orange, a plop of fluffy feathering....and we have a hand print hatchling! Cheap!
Our project is a burst of pretty pastel springtime. Make yours with a careful study of the picture. Showcase your effort with self-cut scrapbook paper matting, and an inexpensive frame (mine is 8" square). Don't forget to date your work. Best of all, since it's too late to "hand out" your gift at Easter, be an "early bird" for Mother's Day! What better time to make mommy smile at the memory of that moment her little chick hatched, chirping and hopping straight into her happy heart!
See a previous post here that features a hand print bunny face by Channing's cousin, Kaylee.
Friday, April 5, 2019
"There was once a velveteen rabbit, and in the beginning he was really splendid."
-The Velveteen Rabbit
For many years, while she was still alive, early chirps of spring and the promise of Easter prompted mother to retell the story of my year-old self and the yellow plastic bunny. Family friend and walking-distance neighbor, Mrs. Gedvila, had stopped to visit and gifted him to me. I cooed and gurgled appropriately in my high chair with my new toy until the second that dear lady closed the door to leave. Then, "BAM!" Mister Yellow Bunny forcibly met the ground, cleanly snapping an ear from his little plastic head.
I think the homicidal horror of what she witnessed caused mother to decide that MYB and I be separated for a space of time. He was eased from my grasp and tucked away, out of mind and memory, for his own safety. That was in 1949.
"And so the little Rabbit was put into a sack with the old picture-books and....carried out to the end of the garden."
Ten years ago the time came for me, as it does for us all, to clear out and clean my childhood home, the prelude to one last, loving good bye. Boxes, boxes, everywhere. Corners and closets of dust. Smiles through tears at days long past of good times together. I slipped the cover, bound by shoe lace ties, from a tired old box, and recognized him immediately. MYB. Nestled comfortably in brittle cotton batting, I'd like to say he blinked in the sun and asked, "Where have you been all these years?" But he did not. He let me do all the talking, listening to the rambling tale of how far I've come since the day we met, coupled with a heartfelt promise to never hurt him again.
My foray into stacks named "Easter" yielded other treasures from the past. A pair of egg-clutching rabbits, for starters. I suspect those, too, were candy toting gifts from doting neighbors. A third bunny, I'm guessing, had long since hopped the coop, since we were sisters three. The middle of us, Mary, inscribed her name in careful grade school script on the tag attached to one of a pair of 50s style baskets I also found. These would have greeted us, packed to the brim, at Easter dawn while mom and dad smiled and crooned and took adorable pictures of us in our jammies, cheeks crammed full of oozing chocolate and tangy jelly bean juice.
Following the home-again promenade from morning Mass, to grandmother's house we'd go. And there, in vivid pastel splendor - one white, one pink, one yellow - awaited bunnies so soft, so plush, and so sweet that we vigorously loved off not only their ears, but their fuzzy tails, pokey whiskers, and button-y bright eyeballs as well. I have my own to prove it!
"(The Boy) loved him so hard that he loved all his whiskers off, and the pink lining to his ears turned grey....and he scarcely looked like a rabbit any more, except to the Boy."
Thank you, mom, for saving all these things for us. It's my turn now, to relate the tales of MYB and his mini plastic and straw stuffed cousins. Indulgent nods from family acknowledge the quaintness of my past. But I'm the only one who goes back home again with each seasonal un-boxing, settling comfortably into memories of youth to share the journey of "becoming real" with vintage, deeply cherished one-eared companions.
"Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
The Velveteen Rabbit (children's fiction, public domain) was published by English-American author Margery Williams in 1922.
Friday, March 1, 2019
This is a sponsored post for which I have been compensated.
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Tuesday, February 26, 2019
in exchange for my honest review. Opinions and photographs are my own.
Larry Broutman has done it again!
Months ago, I reviewed his pictorial volume, "Chicago Unleashed," sharing a rollicking journey through vibrant streets, each one punctuated with wildlife casually romping and rolling along "as if they owned the place!" You loved it!
And you're going to love this one, too!
Back on the road again, camera in hand, Broutman enlists a talented duo (Green and Rabias), specialists in illustration, text, and digital effects. Their collective mission is to showcase the true treasure of Chicago: its beautiful children! But what warms the heart beyond the technical skill exhibited between covers of Chicago Treasure is the commitment to inclusion. You see, many of the featured children are visually impaired. They attend the Judy and Ray McCaskey Preschool Program at The Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Disabled, learning alongside classmates without visual disabilities. And, once again, Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind and Access Living will share author profits from the sale of Broutman's book.
Anxious for a tour? So am I! Let's Go!
Chicago Treasure comes to you in three parts: "Just Imagine!", "Now Showing!", and "Sightings!" - each one a playful paradise of color, charm, and fun adaptation.
"Just Imagine!" pictures children in story book settings whimsically described in front page news items from the "Chicago Pretender." 😉 That's how we learn that the young prince who rescued Rapunzel transported her back to his home base in Chicago on horseback - an impressive 7,000+ kilometer journey!
I have a few personal favorites from this section - the largest in the book....
And imagine being this lucky little dude! "The ride of a lifetime"? Indeed!
"Now Showing!" follows with a stroll through the galleries of the Chicago Art Institute. Children populate the parks, avenues, and living spaces of French and American masterworks so unobtrusively that a blink of the eye might mean missing them! What fun it is to carefully inspect each scene in search of modern day additions! I choose Wood's American Gothic stoic young visitor....
and Rockwell's puzzled observer as my personal favorites!
Photos of The Chicago River Walk, Museum of Science and Industry, Navy Pier, and State Street Bridge brought back fond memories of my own visits to that magical city!
I look forward to sharing this 168 page treasury with each of my grandchildren. It's truly one to return to over and over again, uncovering new dimensions every time. Together we'll recall fairy tales and recite nursery rhymes. We'll talk about visual impairment and other disabilities and how they are overcome with wheelchairs and guide dogs and competency in Braille. We'll identify famous art work and compare and contrast moods and methods in works by Rockwell and Hopper and more. I will describe the hustling bustle of Chicago, promising that, one day, each of my grandchildren will experience the allure of this remarkable city the way I have - in person, and again and again through the pages of this delightful volume!
PURCHASE Chicago Treasure here:
Everything Goes Media - use code CTBLOG15 for a 15% discount on total order!
and at Chicagoland book stores and gift shops