I’ll admit that I was not thrilled with the idea that my niece chose a prefab Cinderella castle kit from the store for our annual gingerbread session this year. She loves to bake and is now old enough to see the project through from scratch. I was looking forward to designing our own charming chalet or creative candy cottage a la Hansel and Gretel. In the end, the gingerbread castle we put together from the kit still allowed for unique touches. My favorite parts are the mice dancing on the roof and the alien-looking snowmen with the blue eyes (all from the brain of the sweet five-year-old). I need to remember that these activities are, above all, about togetherness and that the outcome will inevitably be as unique and fabulous as the individuals involved.
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One of my favorite collections as a kid was my sticker collection. Afterall, I was an American child of the Eighties. Unfortunately I no longer have my spiral album filled with scratch ‘n’ sniff (Mello Smello online?!) and velour stickers, but I do still keep a full sticker box. After years of being a summer camp counselor, preschool art teacher, and avid envelope (letter writer) decorator, I have amassed all sorts of sticky embellishments in there. I am doing a little crafty spring cleaning and want to share the love with anyone interested. If you or someone you know would like to receive a sticker assortment in the mail, send the mailing address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org — first five responders will get an envelope from me soon!
It is the time of year here when colors start to appear from the grey and brown landscape like confetti strewn along streams and parkways. I had a bag of confetti left over from New Year’s Eve, so I put it use for Easter, a celebration of new life. Originally I planned to cover my eggs on the outside until I learned about cascarones: eggs that are filled on the inside with confetti. Why not celebrate on the inside and the outside? More fun: a game with Cascarones at Oh Happy Day! The story goes that having a cascarón broken over your head will bring good luck. Depending on how much confetti coverage you get, you will have disco eggs, which calls for a little disco duck.
Blowing out eggs from last year… this year I made lime custard with the empties!
I made it to the post office in the nick of time this weekend to mail off my simple sweet valentines in time for the 14th. I hope they like their favorite juicy Starburst flavors put together to make heart shapes. You can make your own Starburst hearts by gluing (I used Elmer’s) three Starburst on a piece of heavy paper (I used fluorescent poster board cut to fit a long envelope). Candy tiles and juicy hearts!
I did a little apartment decorating using heart stickers and heart garland (made by accordion-folding used wrapping paper before cutting the heart shape). While I attached them to my globes I thought of all of the people in all of the world and how all of those people have hearts for feeling. Anne Mansfield Sullivan was Helen Keller’s teacher who explained to her that “the best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen nor even touched, but just felt in the heart.” Hope you feel the love across the globe.
One of my dad’s hobbies is making paper models of historic homes. He gave a few of his prototypes to my niece to color over Thanksgiving, and here is one brilliantly surfaced product that she gave to me. I thought it would be nice to live there and be snowed in (a chimney implies a fireplace!). And if we were snowed in we might not so feel guilty watching college basketball and Christmas movies on TV for a day (a few of my dad’s other hobbies that I happen to enjoy). No snow here, yet.