Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bumper Stickers, Pinterest + Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving Day.
An entire day devoted to giving thanks & counting blessings.


I have so very much to be grateful for, so many blessings to count. At this time of year I always think of the term 'harvest' as it applies to all things in my world. Of course at the top of my list is the concept of longevity. The blessings accrued from the gift of living. The very gift of being graced with long life is the treasured bounty extra-ordinaire. We get to celebrate the phase of "grand-parent-hood", a gift truly beyond amazing, beyond divine. What a joy to treasure..... the gift of family, the gift of watching the next generation take root. The gift of living a long life. As of this minute we are a four generation family with seven wonder-peeps. THE blessing.

I am approaching my fifth 'cancer-versary' from my first cancer diagnosis. Every additional Thanksgiving season is beyond sentimental. It is treasured indeed. I ponder reflectively over those not as fortunate as moi and I shake my heart and I remind myself to exhale. I am nearing the second 'cancer-versary' of my second cancer diagnosis and the upheaval from its many and various complications. (Things can go wrong, with even the 'best' of diagnosis.) Enough said. I do indeed know first-hand about counting blessings. I miss my dear friend Saint daily. There are not enough words to convey the sense of loss there. Every day I receive I live on her behalf. Every day: the BLESSING! 
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We are now gifted with our 'snow-bird' phase of life. This could also be called our 'nomadic' phase. We ramble about the countryside taking the very best from some of our favorite locales and weave in travels to new destinations as I am invited to share my work: A blessing! We are typically either packing or unpacking, nesting for a night or two or ten -- before the next adventure beckons. Our passports have new stamps this year, this season, this harvest. A blessing.

As this week began we were packing for a quick hop over to Orlando for my first ASCI gathering and my author/illustrator music lady workshop presentations to teachers there. I was searching for my "Calamity Sam" puppet -- which I knew was in Florida, but he was eluding me. In the process of that search I found a pile of miscellaneous bits, including my favorite bumper sticker. The older I get, the more I adore bumper stickers. A blessing.



In this new era of Pinterest, I knew immediately that I needed to capture the bumper sticker to share with my heroes, my teacher friends, my blogger friends and my imaginary, creative pinning-friends. I knew it would be an appropriate gift to give on Thanksgiving, the gift of a 'pin' to a wider world. A blessing.


My long time followers know how much I adore black and white graphics: checks, polka-dots and stripes -- my total FAVES!!!! So I had all of those 'ingrediants' just an arms length away: in my illustrating quilter's fabric stash of goodies were tons dozens of fat-quarters of calico for my choosing, wide gross grain ribbon in another drawer and a ceramic tile purchased years ago that sits there to make me happy.

Cut. Fold. Arrange. Camera. Picasa + Picnik borders. Voila!! 'Quilted' collage a la bumper sticker. (I may have just stumbled upon -- LOL get it 'stumbled upon' a new mixed media category.)  A few buttons as a garnish and the thought is captured forever and can be pinned and shared over and over. Teachers. Heroes. Blessings. Collage. Pin. Share.

But back to lessons at hand. Nomadic traveler. Listener. Gleaner. Here's what I learned during the keynote presentation on Tuesday.


I was quite accidentally able to hear a portion of the keynote as I jiffed between the my workshop space and exhibit hall. At that moment I had a Sharpie for signing my picture books, but no paper handy..... hence my note taking modus of operandi. I will look up his name soon, but this is what he said about teachers. This is how he defined the mission of teachers. This is what I heard:

  1. Teach hope
  2. Model Integrity
  3. Mentor Perseverance
Thanksgiving. Teachers. Bumper stickers. Keynotes. Pins. Blessings. 

Hope. Integrity. Perseverance. Could be a new bumper sticker.

My spelling is always suspect, but my heart is in the right place. LOL. Thank goodness there's spell check for blog posts. One day maybe Sharpies will come equipped with spell check?

I added this bumper sticker collage over at "Classroom Freebies" where an entire collection of folks contribute said freebies 24/7/365. If you somehow have missed that site until now, consider it my slice of pumpkin pie offered in Thanksgiving.

Charity, the founder of the freebie site was the one that inspired me to create a collaborative blog related to my piece of the educational pie. Today I had the honor of introducing our readers to Deanna Jump at "PreK + K Sharing." Pop over there when you have the opportunity. BTW? Up at the top of my blog, under the Freebies tab, is a list of my other favorite bumper stickers.  

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