Tuesday, December 28, 2010

WonderFUN! WonderFUN!!




How terrific to drive across the country and find wee wonders who respond just the same as my wee wonders "back home." Blink your eyes, click your heels and wind-up the fun. Location. Location. Location.

I've come to the conclusion that location is one of the least significant of the variables. Children are the significant portion of the equation. Where they are seems to be inter-changeable. Smile & jump. Freeze and giggle. The specifics aren't as important -- as the joy.
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Quilt for "Red, White and Blue"

Sometimes a morning goes flying past at such speed that I hardly have time to keep up with myself and all of the excitement unfurling in real time. When the NYC morning's young 14th St. Y preschool class emerged from the elevator I was so excited that I completely forgot my role as documenter slash blogger. There's no explanation, other than I was thrilled with their emergence into my presence. They came roaring across the lobby like a herd of buffalo. There were a couple of flags in the group and the teachers were carrying this child created quilt in honor of my new picture book.

I LOVE this quilt project. I LOVED it so much at the time that I totally forgot to snap any pictures, as it was time to get the party started and begin our singing together. Nili was clever enough to send me a digital postcard of the children's work long after I'd returned home to the midwest.

What I particularly appreciate about this effort is that you can clearly see that the children created the squares themselves. Ric-rack and tissue paper, cellophane & card stock, wrapping & scrap book papers......... all tied together with magic marker love. Child created in it's authenticity, yet a masterful masterpiece of mastered methods. Are you feeling the love?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Back to Bloggin': NYC





The last couple-a weeks have truly been a blurr, even by my standards. As I type, with laptop in the car (yes, I promise I AM the passenger) we are departing Ohio for the last time as residents..... officially beginning our status as FL residents -- for at least the snowbird season, whatever that means. We are at this minute treking south thru the Carolinas on route to a family Christmas celebration in Augusta, GA. A four generation Christmas.

Yet when I left off here, in blogland, I was just showing you around in a fully decked out Little Italy. So rewind the sands of time and let's get back there. The Big Apple. Beginning of Dec. Welcome to the 14th St. Y -- where I am being hosted by Columbus transplant Nili Talis of former Bexley JCC staff status. Nili has long been a supporter & encourager, saying repeatedly that it was time to get me into the big city...... so she talked up my unique skill set and here are a few of the faces from our morning together.

That first picture is the two of us, captured on Nili's phone and sent out to our mutual world of FB friends -- to announce my real-life visit was about to unfurl. I'm not sure who was the most excited? Nili or moi?? It is such a thrill to go half way across the country and encounter dear people from a former chapter of my life & see where they engaged in now. Pinching myself.
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

NYC: Little Italy







I am now officially 16 days behind in reporting on my travels, the sites and the excitement...... which makes the memories all the more delightful to reflect upon. From our adventures out on Long Island, we then traveled back into the BIG Apple in anticipation of my final stop of the tour. Our hostess for the evening is the director of the 14th Street Y, with her loft home, situated right in the heart of Little Italy. The weather was crisp, reminding us that it really was December as we walked the couple blocks between their place and a scrumptious Mediterranean-style restaurant. Enjoy the sites of Little Italy in December.


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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Flags Fly for Freedom




These were the flags flying-high on our route out of NYC and out to Long Island. Each sight evokes it's own sense of gratitude and acknowledges the sacrifice of those who have actively served our country. It's a good feeling to see the flag in such a variety of settings. Makes me smile to consider the small contribution my song and new picture book, "Red, White and Blue" may add to the landscape over the years ahead. We each must contribute our piece of the puzzle. It's such an honor to have this opportunity to share my work. I feel so very fortunate.
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fantastic Family Fun




I must admit, I took these pictures because they made me happy. They made me smile. They brought sheer delight. How can you look at these and be a grumpy-gus? To say that the hallways of this building were covered in art, is truly not much of an exaggeration. What treasures these children are creating -- ALL the time!! EVERY day!!! I chose these four pictures because of their 'diversity' in presentation and could have easily chosen four other selections at random, to show how each child has their own unique attention to detail. I'm willing to bet a nickle that there was a conversation about body parts and about hands and feet and fingers. Super fun families.
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Symmetry Specialists




Need I say more?? These are gorgous and worthy of being matted and then framed. Five stars!!
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Snazzy Self Portraits




Look at these self-portraits and then go back a few blog posts and take a look at the photographs of the children...... what an amazing reflection of the children, of their heritage, their culture, their unique pizazz. Captured for posterity. Those smiles genuinely reflect the feeling that I saw on each face in attendance. This is a place of excellence and happiness. Happiness and excellence. They go hand-in-hand at Northeast School.
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PreK Open-Ended "Project" Art




As long as I was popping back into the Amityville building, I thought that I'd take a few more pictures of the children's artwork in the hallways. These collages were created by the PreK kiddos. Can you see how, even though this results in a 'refrigerator-worthy' piece of art, that it is still "open-ended" and allows for all sorts of individualization and personal decisions by the children. How many buildings, what color buildings? How many windows? Where to place them?? Self-portrait in the city. Isn't it fantastic that in this economy they still have a dedicated arts professional teacher. Can't you see what her direction is able to produce from the children? RAH!!!!
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Monday, December 13, 2010

My Name Up in LIGHTS

Today is my birthday. Perhaps thats a bit confusing..... today, the day I'm posting this picture is my birthday. I've given myself the present of enjoying 'my' day by getting caught up on my blog and other tasks that involved deep breathing and relaxation. It's a true present to relive this day all over again. Now I'm caught up thru the Amityville-day-of-Amazement. We went back to the school the day after the fun, in the hopes that my sign, my name up in lights, was still on display.... and indeed it was!! I needed documentation of my big break in NY. Well, there you have it. Happy Birthday to me!!!
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Fun for the Whole Family




Teen-agers sharing the stage. Principal in giraffe costume. Teenagers vs. Teachers in 'So You Think You Can Dance' show down to the Piggy Rap..... and everyone reading, singing and signing my newest picture book project "Red, White and Blue"............ it seriously doesn't get much better than this.

At the end of the program a mama came up to thank me for the fun. She said that she gets up every day at 4:30 a.m. and was especially worn out the evening of our show, but her daughter had begged and begged to go back to school for the "Piggy Show." The mama said that she was sooooooo glad that they'd come -- that it had made her day, seeing everyone having so much fun & to see her daughter so tickled to watch the teachers dancing. Priceless.

Wow. Make my day! Genuine. Heart-felt. Sincere.
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