Sampler Saturday

Sampler Saturday: Needlework

This is a design I appliqued onto a pillowcase as a Christmas gift for Elizabeth, using scraps of cloth and embroidery thread I had lying around:

It’s the first time I’ve ever done a project like that; I was surprised at how long it took to finish. A gazillion tiny stitches = several weeks, who knew?

Elizabeth’s room is gradually transforming into a sea of magenta. Not sure what we’re going to do with it all when she finally outgrows Espio. Is this the sort of thing one hands down to grandchildren?

Categories: Artwork, Family, Gaming, kids, Life, Love, Sampler Saturday | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Sampler Saturday: Dashing Through The Snow…

…In a one-Dialga open sleigh…

Elizabeth contributed the artwork for this year’s Christmas card:

I can only mail this one out to the people who will understand the funny; the rest will have to get regular store-bought cards this year.

I might frame my copy. It’s distilled essence of 12-year-old Elizabeth, a snapshot of her inner world right now, decked in Christmas cheer.

Happy Winter Holiday of Choice, Internet! May it be merry and bright!

Categories: Animals, Artwork, Christmas, Family, Humor, kids, Life, Love, Sampler Saturday, Weather, Winter | Tags: , | 6 Comments

Sampler Saturday: Stakes On The Grille

Not sure why they’re not rocking Oz’s Mystery Machine….

(Click for a larger image)

Categories: Artwork, Fiction, Friends, Humor, kids, Sampler Saturday, vampires | Tags: | 3 Comments

Sampler Saturday: Inside Joke

Over the summer vacation Elizabeth read “Watership Down:” practically a rite of passage around here. I was just about her age the first time I picked it up, and it had a HUGE impact on me. Almost thirty years later it remains one of my all-time favorite works of literature; I still like to reread it every few years. If you’ve never read it I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Don’t let the subject matter scare you off. Yes, it’s about talking rabbits. No, it’s not a children’s book. There are deep truths here about what makes a true leader, the incalculable value of friendship, the distinctions between courage and thuggishness and recklessness, the simple beauty inherent in honesty, and appreciating the importance of diversity in fellowship.

Of course, if you’re Elizabeth, there’s always the meta humor to be found….

(Click on the image for a larger version.)

If you don’t get it, it wouldn’t be funny anymore by the time I finished explaining it. Also: go read Watership Down! Googling Sonic the Hedgehog and Friends is optional.

Categories: Animals, Artwork, Fiction, Humor, kids, Life, Sampler Saturday | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Sampler Saturday: Espio At Disneyland

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to readers of this blog that my children live rich fantasy lives. I don’t worry much about it; I’ve come to believe that most children (and frankly, a lot of adults) spend a fair amount of time in alternate realities of their own imaginings. I know I did when I was a child, and later as an adult through online rpg’s and such. These days my need for fantasy seems to be at a low ebb, but I get plenty of it through the eyes and stories of my kids, so maybe that’s enough to keep my imagination entertained.

Anyway. Elizabeth’s current favorite fictional friend is Espio the Chameleon, and he’s pretty much her constant imaginary companion. On our trip to Disneyland and California Adventure in August, she made observations now and then like, “Espio LOVED that ride!” or, “”Man, Espio got soaked on that that one.” I’m sure there’s some fancy psychologist’s term for this sort of imaginary attachment and projection, but when I think about all the other things that a 12-year-old girl could be getting into in this town, I count myself (and her) lucky that this mild obsession is only about a cartoon reptile-boy. (And yes, I have my own theories, but they are personal and I cannot share them with you, Dear Internet.)

So after we got back home, Elizabeth took a bunch of the DL/CA pics and photoshopped Espio into them, for her own personal collection. Here are a few of my favorites:

I love that Luke and Espio have pretty much the exact same expression in that last pic.

Nice to see Cartoon Reptile Boy had a fun time. And…that concludes this week’s glimpse into the mysterious workings of Elizabeth’s brain.

Postscript: I used to think that I have one child who loves to talk and communicate and express himself, and one child who is quiet and private and keeps her thoughts and feelings to herself. And to a certain extent that’s true, but…not really. Elizabeth has the same need to express herself and be heard that every other human on the planet has. She just does it in her own language, like, well, every other human on the planet. Elizabeth’s language is artwork, so you have to listen with your eyes and with your heart.

In the past couple of days I’ve read some articles and blog posts and seen a movie that collectively have left my heart aching for all the children whose parents never bother to learn their children’s language, or never really see or hear them at all. If you’re a parent, PLEASE, take the time to learn the language your child speaks in. It is so worth the effort, for them and for you. The future could be a much better place.

And every dad, married or single, NEEDS to read THIS. Seriously.


Categories: Birthdays, Family, Fiction, Gaming, Humor, kids, Life, Love, Sampler Saturday | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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