Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ruby Red Slippers

One of my favorite movies is The Wizard of Oz.  I can remember sitting down and watching what seemed like a really old movie.  The black and white soon transformed into a magical world of color, munchgins, high hopes, and a long journey.  Dorothy was a character that resembled innocence and determination.  Her braids and basket shouted sweet while her new ruby red slippers spoke of a passionate longing for familiarity and family.  Those shoes not only dazzeled the yellow brick road, but it remains an iconic symbol of good ole home.  It makes me think.  She simply had to put on ruby red slippers and click her heels three times to find out what she loved best: home.  I had a pair of shoes that did this for me.

Granted, these shoes were not of a brilliant color and they definitely did not shine; more importantly, they did not look like something a girl would wear.  Rather, my shoes were dull and brown that laced up my ankles, as these were boots.  Bulky, cheap, pleather boots.  Aside from the vast difference in appearance, these shoes offered the same comfort.  After spending minutes putting them on, I wouldn't click them together.  Not even close.  They were not my secret weapon in getting me to what I loved best, but I was offered the safety that a home would offer.  

My dad wore boots a lot.  Mainly because he was a solider in the army.  His boots were symbolic of his bravery and hardship for a country he called home. Mine did not carry that much weight and burden.  But I looked to my boots the way my dad might have looked at his; the way Dorothy eventually looked at hers.  They reminded me of my dad's courage and it gave me courage.  I felt like I could do anything.  I thought, 'with these boots, I can climb a mountain!'  or 'with these boots, I can travel through any kinds of weather!'.  I don't know where those boots are now, but I can remember wanting to wear them all the time.  Now my 'go-to-shoe' is a pair of tennis shoes...

What are your favorite shoes?  When did you get them?  Why do you love them so much?  Write about those shoes that made you happy and paste a picture of you sporting those kicks.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Ugly Stuff

Sometimes happiness can come from the ugliest things.  I'm taking this approach with the latest news feeds from the 2012 Presidential Election.  I wasn't like the obscene dancers on TV, I didn't wiggle and jiggle when the President was re-elected.  It might take me a few days to adjust to the ugly... next four years. But, happiness can stem from this.  God is in control.  He has a plan and it is sovereign.  So, while I adjust I might just create a little ugly of my own.  I'm going to be a creature maker.

I'm going to invite a few friends over, crack open a bottle of wine, and I'm going to craft the ugliest monster I can possibly fashion.  It will help with the adjusting.  I will give this little monster a ridiculously sweet name, a history, a life story.  I will love this monster.

Confused yet?  Use the Very Easy Creature Recipe.

Here's what you'll need:  2 sheets of felt (cheap...fancy...homemade...however you feelt), embroidery thread in a complimentary color, scissors, a marker, a file folder (or cardboard), buttons, bits of yarn, scrap fabric, beads, and other accessories.

Start by drawing a simple shape for your creature on the file folder/cardboard.  If you’re a novice crafter, stick to a simple shape for your monster like a square or a rectangle.  If you’re a comfortable crafter, you can choose a more adventurous shape.  Use a copier to blow up these templates 200% (or any size that will work with your felt).

Cut out your template.  Trace it on the felt twice.

You now have the front and back of your creature cut out of the felt.  Sweet!  Now, you need to sew the two halves together.  Put the two pieces on top of each other.  Make sure that the “ugly sides” – the side of the felt with the marker trace line – are facing out.

Sew the two sides together.  If you’re an excellent seamstress, you’ll make tiny perfect stitches.  If you’re like me, you’ll do the best you can.  Be sure to leave a 1-2 inch hole unsewn.

Flip your creature right-side out through the unsewn hole.  Fill the creature with stuffing.  Chopsticks are handy if you’re stuffing long and skinny arms or legs or other bits.

Sew the stuffing hole closed.

Make a face using buttons, markers, embroidery thread, and anything else you have on hand.

Lilo had the right idea... I said, I'm adjusting.