Tag Archives: children

Sock Monkey

This picture made me smile this morning, when I was getting caught up on my Blog reading today. It is from the Nie & You Blog. I like how he (or she?) has been casually set on his little perch, waiting for someone to come back and play with him.

It is so lovely outside today, I wish I had someone to go run and play with. The sun is streaming down, the wind is lightly blowing and it would be a wonderful day to walk down to the park and play on the swings.

Maybe tonight after dinner we will do just that! A little ice cream and getting pushed higher and higher on the swings, never hurt anyone! You are never too old to bring out your inner child and just have fun!

“Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like it’s heaven on Earth.”  
✤ Mark Twain

(Sock Monkey image copyright The NieNie Dialogues, Swing Time Fun by Jennifer Michie)

The Country Bunny

This my friends, is one of my most treasured books. The pages are very lovingly worn and well read. It was placed in my Easter Basket many, many moons ago by the Easter Bunny and is one of my favorite books! Not only for the story itself but for the beautiful images.

Du Bose Heyward wrote it for his daughter, Jennifer. This was a fact that I did not know until I was older and since it said on the cover “as told to Jennifer”, I thought for the longest time it had been written just for me!

If you have never had the great fortune of reading this book. It is about a country bunny who has always wanted to be an Easter Bunny. She is a very organized and wonderful mother, each of her children have a responsibility in their home, so everyone works together. After learning that there is a search for a new Easter Bunny she sets out with her children to compete for a place alongside the other bunnies.  She earns her place through hard work, resourcefulness, intelligence but most importantly her kindness.

One day a little country girl bunny with a brown skin
and a little cotton-ball of a tail said, “Some day I shall
grow up to be the Easter Bunny: you wait and see!”
Then all of the big white bunnies who lived in fine houses,
and the Jack Rabbits with long legs who can run fast,
laughed at the little Cottontail and told her to go
back to the country and eat a carrot.
But she said, “Wait and see!”

 

On Easter Eve after delivering so many baskets of eggs to all the little boys and girls she is given the great task by Grandfather Bunny to make one more delivery to bring one very special egg to a very sick child.  She succeeds in the end with the help of Grandfather Bunny’s wisdom and the magical golden shoes.

While in college I had the great opportunity to intern at the Gibbes Museum of Art which holds the original images to this book. Every Easter the prints are carefully taken out of storage and put into a side gallery that doubles as a classroom. I had the privilege of teaching kindergarteners and 1st & 2nd graders the principles of printing and color mixing using these images. As with many older printings the color was created by a layering effect.

I would pick up my little munchkins in the main entry way, they were always adorable, a little fidgety standing there in a small huddled group. The girls usually all dressed up by the Mama’s with a big bow in their hair, because they were on a school field trip, the boys in little khaki shorts with polo shirts and normally untied shoes.  It was my class to teach, so I ran it how I saw fit. I would take them into the dollhouse miniatures gallery first and watch their little faces as they climbed up onto the plinths especially built for little people and with noses pressed against the glass they would stare into the cases of miniature rooms and houses, all built as elfin sized replicas of historic homes.

Next, we would cross the hall and go into the Japanese Print Room, where I would begin to talk about carving a design and how you layered colors, using a different carved block for each new color.  From there we marched on to the “Bunny Room” and there faces were always magical to see as they stared at the prints on the wall of a book many of them had read or been read to numerous times in their young lives.

We would talk about the process layering  and mixing color and we would read the book; have an Easter Egg hunt (the eggs held inside a “puzzle” piece of the images on the wall they had to match) and do a little coloring exercise too.  The days I got to teach them were always a day I looked forward too, because without fail, if nothing else I said or showed them grabbed their attention, that room always did because of Majorie Flack’s sweet images and the beautiful words written by Du Bose Heyward.

I wish I had the Country Bunny’s golden shoes on today, because with a few good leaps I could skip across this ocean between me and my family and be their Easter Bunny hopping in through the door and visiting with them for this most special of Holidays.

The Hungry Caterpillar

I loved this story when I was little. I continue to give it to friends for their children. I am the book gift giver. I think books are very important, especially instilling the love of reading in a child at an early age. My parents always read to us.

We loved being read this story when we were little, sticking our fingers through the little fruit holes and wiggling them around like we were the tiny caterpillar munching away.

I especially loved the picture where has was fat. He looked adorable.

While looking on Etsy (I need to really work on setting up my shop soon!) I came across Sara Carr, who is a beautiful knitter.

And, as I was scrolling I saw “Kevin the Caterpillar” and I could only think of being little. He is adorable! This alone would make you want children to be able to dress them in little caterpillar scarves! I am crazy, I know. He is just too cute!! Check out her Etsy page, she has a lot of other amazing little animals she has created as well!

There is even a plush Kevin with little knitted caterpillar legs!

Heart Day Countdown

There are only 13 more days to go until Valentine’s! YIPPEE! I love celebrating Valentine’s, especially the fun of it when you were little. We made shoebox “mailboxes” and got to decorate them in our classroom. Covering them with Valentine’s colored construction paper and hearts and glitter…

My mom would take us shopping and we got to pick out what box of Valentine’s we wanted to give. One year I picked a box of retro Valentine’s cards to give away. The box was filled with cute cowboys, puppies, girls cooking in the kitchen. I loved the designs. Maybe that really started my love of vintage, I don’t know? But, I have always collected vintage postcards and I have a nice collection of Valentine’s & Christmas ones I dot around the house.

I would work hard one evening writing out my little cards for my classmates and then we had a morning where we all walked around and deposited them in the owner’s mailbox.

Oh! the anticipation of pulling open the wee door to see what awaited us inside. Some people would have cards that held heart shaped lollipops and I savored it as I worked at my little desk, legs swinging underneath.  Sucking away until all the white writing came off… Or, I would be munching away on a little box of love hearts, reading the messages on top (because those are the rules) before I popped them in my mouth!

Two Crazy Crafters have been doing a really nice job of putting up all kinds of vintage Valentine’s images and they have a list of projects to create with them as well. So, if you are looking for a little vintage Valentine inspiration, check them out.

Maple Snow

All this snow has made me think of “Little House in the Big Woods”.  I loved reading this books as a child, it was a world I wanted to belong to.

I wanted to be in the sleigh with them as they drove through the snow to their Grandparent’s house, for the sap harvest.  Once, they arrived Pa joined the men folk, trudging off into the snow to help start the sap buckets.  Drilling holes into the thick bark to place a pipe that would drain the sap into the buckets below.

The women worked hard indoors for the party that would come that evening under the starlight. At the party to celebrate the winter harvest, Laura and Mary scoop fresh powdery snow into bowls and their Grandma ladles a stream of hot syrupy sap onto their dishes to make snow candy with. The sap hardened on the snow, thus making a chewy maple candy to enjoy.

“Grandma…poured hot syrup on each plate of snow. It cooled into soft candy, and as fast as it cooled they ate it. They could eat all they wanted, for maple sugar never hurt anybody.”

I always wanted to do this when I was little, I loved reading about Laura’s pioneer girl existence, I wanted to be a pioneer girl myself! I wanted to run through the fields with my hair in braids and my bonnet hanging down my back, the warm sun baking me as I brought Pa his lunch pail.

I found this recipe for “Snow Sugar” on the Laura’s Prairie House website:

I have not tried this particular recipe myself, so I will have to wait for the next snowfall and pull out my glass bottle of syrup and get to work!

{click on the recipe to be taken to a larger version}

Sing For Christmas

I love vintage Children’s books and I collect them as I see them, only the ones that really strike me. I wonder what happened to the little person they belonged to, their name written inside either scrawled in their own handwriting or written with a message of love from the people that gave it to them.  What life did they lead, what life has this book lead?

I love illustrations, it is the image that grabs you before the words and these old drawings by Gustaf Tenggren from Sing for Christmas are so sweet. They have a wonderful German appeal to them, looking like the gorgeous wooden German Christmas ornaments made by Wendt & Kuhn.

These images made me smile and so I thought I would share them.  I have found them in two places, the first being the wonderful ASIFA website, which is a treasure! And, the second being the Golden Gems Blog.

Still Snowing

Well it is still snowing. We have bundled up and stayed cozy and warm tonight inside. We have about 6 inches at the moment.Will it be a White Christmas? I hope so! The wind is whistling away and the snow is swirling around in mini white tornadoes.

The wind is so strong it sounds like the snow storm in Rudolph, I am waiting for the shingles to start peeling off and presents to go rolling by as the wrapping is torn off of them.

I love these frosty wintery nights and the unique peace that a snowfall brings.  It seems to nestle all the houses in a blanket of love and brings a gentle quiet to the world.

(Illustrations by Richard Scarry)

Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane?

What’s that peeking out from behind my little line of tooth bears? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, its bunny ears, peeking out!

That is the new pattern I have been working on! I am now making tooth bunnies along with my bears. I have sent two samples to Rosablue, so we will see what the customers think about them.

I had so much fun creating these little guys and sewing on their fluffy bunny tails. I had to be careful they almost scampered away before I scooped them up and placed them in tissue paper in their box to be mailed.

I am sure they were happy to have arrived at RosaBlue, there wasn’t much room for them in the box to hop around…

Happy Saint Nicholas Day!

Hope everyone is having a Happy Saint Nicholas Day on this second Sunday of Advent. The little surprise in my shoe is that I am being taken out for Brunch!

I loved being little at this time of year! At my school we would put our shoes out into the hallway and then try to sit as patiently as we could in our desks waiting to see if St. Nicholas would come.

There would be a rustle outside and you could just catch a glimpse of a staff and a mitre going past the little window cut in the door. We would rush outside to see a glint of a red cape as he rounded the corner and disappeared.

Inside our shoes was a little candy cane, an orange and a plastic snow globe; usually with a little Christmas scene. I savored that little candy cane when I ate it, swinging my shoeless feet off of my school chair and shaking my little snow globe as I made it snow for the miniature village inside. Oh to be little again!

Good Morning, Good Night

I am laying in bed on this frosty night going over some vintage knitting patterns I want to try.I have found the most adorable one for a 50’s style “pixie cap”; it looks like something Doris Day would have worn in Moonlight Bay.

It is late here and everyone is asleep. It is so blissfully quiet outside that I can hear the church bells from the other side of the common chime the hour, ding-dong, ding-dong, ding they say, it is just after 1am.

scraopologie angels

 

I feel like the little girl from the Golden Books story, “Good Morning, Good Night”.She isn’t tired and wants to stay up, even though her parents tell her that everyone else is in bed.

She doesn’t mind being alone and goes to play with her toys, but they are sleeping. She is so determined to stay awake and decides to go play with her dollhouse instead, but everyone inside the dollhouse is in the land of as well.

In the end she concludes that it is time for her to go to bed, which is what I need to do to, but my mind is just buzzing with ideas tonight and I am enjoying the quiet.But, since there is no one to play with, I guess it is off to bed I go….

(Church image copyright Scrapologie, the vintage knitting pattern can be found for free download at: Baby Dee Vintage Patterns)