The Flip Side

As I promised in yesterday's post -
the inside of the bottle cap charms
that I finished last night.



I fell in love with paper glaze after reading about it on How About Orange. And, I've been wanting to make some bottle cap charms for quite some time. Darrin thinks it's funny that I always save my cap. Well finally I have done something with a few. I've made these charms reversible with my little felt friends on the inside. Of the first two I made, Ellie wears the bunny and the blue kitty is mine. You'll have to wait for the reveal on the next seven. I just poured the paper glaze and they will have to dry overnight.


Spring Time!

It's that time of year. Eggs everywhere symbolizing new life. This looks like a Cadbury chocolate egg, but no. This is a robin egg that Darrin found in the yard today. I picked it up and held it gently between the palms of my hands and got this overwhelming feeling that there is a fully formed live healthy bird inside. It cannot possibly hatch? I don't know what will happen here? I should probably move it far from the dining room table because, as I said, it looks like candy.


Sleeping Bear

Today I was feeling a bit crafty. I am not as happy with this little bear, as the rest of my wee little creatures. (re-posted photos following). Maybe this should be a week of many bunnies?


My TV Has Surrendered

It occurred to me that it is now April, and therefore National TV Turnoff Week is coming up. I had just checked the dates and was ready to get the girls all geared up for it, but we don't even have a TV now. Last Friday, Ellie was home sick from school. She snuggled up on the sofa with her pillow and blanket and cartoons. My mom was coming over to sit with her because Ellie has had more sick days than I could call off lately. As I was getting ready for work I noticed the TV turned to static and then went black. I thought Ellie had rolled over the remote? No. The TV died. It died. I got up and walked up to it to see if I could turn it on with the power button, but it smelled like burnt electronics. And so, Darrin immediately starting shopping for the recently coveted large flat-screen. I told him, "No hurry, I really wouldn't want a brand new kick butt boob tube just in time for the one week of the year that we don't watch it." Here we are, one week later, and we haven't missed it one bit. So here is one of many web pages to check out if anyone is interested?

April 18-24, 2011

The week has evolved into more than just not watching TV. No screens? The kids think this means you absolutely cannot use a computer. I disagree. No games. No surfing. Fine, but I will use it with discretion.

Following is my story of how it all began in our family. Please leave a comment to let me know... if you think the idea is absolutely insane and would not consider it.... if you think it's a good idea, but not personally interested.... or perhaps - I've never heard of anyone doing this before, but I'm going to give it a shot!

Why would anyone turn of their TV?

I've gotten used to the looks I get when I tell people that I don't have cable TV. It feels a little like I've just told them I am from another planet. But last year when I suggested to a few people that they turn off their TV for one week, they looked at me like I had just asked them to cut off their right hand.

My personal crusade started in 2003, when my four year old daughter came home from playing at the neighbor's house and told me it was "TV Turnoff Week". She informed me we needed to make a sign with and red circle and a line through it, put it on our TV and we couldn't watch TV for a whole week. My husband and I thought it was a great idea, especially since it was suggested by a four year old.

It was an eye-opening experience. Shortly before that, I had started working part-time to spend quality time with my two young daughters. I realized during that week that I needed to question the quality of time spent. Sure, we only watch PBS educational kids shows, but why was the TV on all the time?

The first few days were rough. Emotions ran high. I realized how often I used the TV to shut down emotional outbursts when I could not rationalize with a four year old or a one-and-a-half year old. I also used it to calm them down when they got a little too rambunxious. So the fact is, I was constantly using the TV to distract and sometime mildly sedate them. That is a sad fact. But, still in the first few days of "TV Turnoff Week" during those rough parenting moments I wanted very badly to give up and give in to the easy answer... "Hey look! It's Barney!"

It was a lot of work. I spent much more time dragging out toys, putting them away, cleaning up finger paints and other project supplies.

But, by the end of the week a lot had changed. I noticed a difference in my daughters' attention spans and imaginations. They began to play more independently and for longer periods of time. A new quietness had settled into the house. Everyone was more attentive. We didn't have to compete with the TV for the kids attention or talk over the extra noise. It was so fabulous I keep asking myself, "Why don't we do this more often?"

The truth is, we may have cut back a bit since then, but TV is sometimes more than a bad habit, it is addictive and a tough addiction to overcome.

The following year (2004) we missed TV Turnoff Week because I was not informed of the dates. The year after that (2005) I decided to look it up on the internet, to inform people and to invite them to participate. The next year, (2006) I hardly mentioned it at all because I feel my efforts are futile.

I had remembered seeing an article in the newspaper when I was in my mid-twenties about school kids who were challenged to not watch TV for a short period of time (maybe it was a week). The article was about a few kids who enjoyed it so much they kept going for months! I admired those kids, because at the time I was quite the couch potato. I thought perhaps those 10-12 year olds had more interesting and fulfilled lives than I had.

I do not want to imply that TV is horrible. I am not going to quote statistics that state TV makes people violent, obese or stupid. (All though in excess, I believe all those things are possible.)

I would like to invite everyone to experience the difference that I have experienced. And, I am not just addressing families with small children.

How many of us adults use the TV to distract ourselves from our emotions or shut our minds off from our anxieties? If turning off your TV could improve your attention span and imagintation, would you do it?

I cannot suggest that turning off your TV will be easy or make your life instantly more wonderful. But, sometimes the more difficult task is the most worthwhile and rewarding.


In the Now.


When I moved into my house 12 years ago, I wasn't sure about all the sedum that lined the north side, but I left it there because I also wasn't sure if I had a better landscaping idea. As years passed, I grew to love this plant. Hardy and succulent, it will grow in the poorest of soil/conditions and looks as green and lush through to the end of fall as it does when it pokes its first little sprouts from the ground. Not only have I left it there, but I've spread little sprouts to the super hot/dry south side of the house. Last spring I adored all the first peeks through the soil as they look like tiny green bouquets sprinkled on the ground.

So last year at exactly this time, I shot photographs. Then, didn't draw the little sprouts until I started the sketchbook project in the fall. And here we are – full circle. The sedum is now in that same stage of emerging. Today, I have sketched it in the Now. I have recognized drawing from the current season as a good idea, while contemplating how nature reflects many aspects of my spirit.

And, this reminds me of my water garden painting from 2 years ago (that I have not finished). It is an illusion of pattern. Random shapes are not really repeating, but comforting, just the same.