Let’s talk about the Chalkboard Craze, they are everywhere nowadays.
I did not want to bring up a when-I-was-young observation, but I have to because as I mentioned in the last post, it’s all about recollecting.
In my day a chalkboard was all about function, not decoration, and it was all that there was. Then when my classroom upgraded to white boards and erasable markers we thought it was the best thing ever. But when my kids were younger and I visited their classrooms, I made the comparison and described the original boards with nostalgia and fond memories. Even when I was in college, way before this trending décor, I used a chalkboard for projects in my photography class, just to have fun reversing the images.
--- yes, back when we would develop and print our film and photos ---
So I had told them so much about it that I decided to make one for them outside.
Why outside? One, because I remembered how messy chalk powder is. Two, because I wanted them to play outdoors like I did when I was their age. And three, because on the passage to the patio there was a long wall that felt like wasted space and had the perfect surface for it. Now that I think about it, it was for a decorative purpose too.
I painted 3 boards so each one could have their own. I wanted to motivate them to use it so I wrote the word “illustrate” on top of one. Trying to be consistent, I looked for other words that started with the letter “i” and discovered a few more (such as these here).
Then the cutest thing happened. They assigned themselves a board and explained the order. My daughter, at age 7, told me that board labeled illustrate was hers because she was always drawing (she forgot to say masterpieces).
My 4 and 5 year old agreed. The one labeled imagine was for the little comedian who was always telling stories and making up songs, and the one labeled invent was for the youngest, brightest, tinkerer in the family. They wondered why I even asked, as if I had done this intentionally.
That is how I became attached to those words. Together they inspire me.
I wish I had pictures of those chalkboards because each one had a unique, painted frame and detailed crown on top. Here's something similar from a side wall we had at the studio:
Students would work on some visualization-coordination exercises and would end up with such interesting abstract compositions that we could not dare erase.
Other times they would draw very detailed work that people actually thought they were signs for a store, like the time they drew some birds and people would stop by and ask if we had any parrots for sale. True story.
If we are going to be outdoors we can keep going, chalkboard or not, that's what sidewalks, and stairs, and landings are for.
I'm so glad chalkboards are in. They have always been fun and now adults have permission to play too. It's time to make a new one.
How To Create The Perfect Family
You will need:
1 large house
3-6 people, depending on how long you want to wait for it to be done
3 cups of pets
2 cups of patience
3 ounces of anger/frustration
3 quarts of laughter
4 teaspoons of trust
And last but definitely not least, lots and lots of love
First, open the house, and make sure that it will be the right size for your family. Mix the desired amount of people with the pets, carefully so you don't damage them. In a separate bowl, stir the love and laughter together. Set aside. Taking each person separately, evenly distribute the patience and trust, making sure that each one gets an equal amount (Failure to distribute evenly may lead to different recipe! See recipe for "My impatient family" for details...). Carefully open the bottle of anger/frustration. Using a Q-tip, dab small portions onto each person. Lastly, take the love and laughter and sprinkle it all over the house, pets, and people. Let it sit until all parts of the recipe are thoroughly combined, and voila! Your Perfect Family is complete.
Source: Family Friend Poems © Katy
I am missing one of the ingredients.
I do not have a big house, but it sure feels like it when it comes to maintaining it. It keeps me so busy that I miss my deadlines, ergo this post at the end of the month.
When I was about 10 years old I wondered if my future grown-up home would be nice and tidy. I was young but I had even younger sisters who were really messy. I remember I would admire a corner of the bedroom where I had just finished rearranging some knick-knacks and I would feel so accomplished and proud that I could gaze at it forever. Then I discovered a comic strip where this real cute mom character had just finished cleaning the linen closet, then walked around the house and everything was so overwhelmingly messy that she headed back to the closet. For the final image she is shown seating down and contemplating, basically appreciating all the neatly arranged towels, and the family is in the background commenting on how she has been doing that for a very long time.
I cannot believe how clearly I remember this particular newspaper print after all these years. What I could not remember was the name of the comic strip, but I am so happy to report that I found their website and Facebook page where they make comparisons of the decade changes, fun times, and their real family. What a find. A treasure of time, family, and art. Just like my own funny family. And just like for any work of art to be appreciated, it is important to take a few steps back and stare at it for as long as possible.
Thinker, Tinkerer, &
Three - Teens - Tamer