Tuesday, January 21, 2014

mr. rogers neighborhood

   Like most young children of the 70's I grew up watching Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, Trolley and Daniel were my favorites.
   As a child I didn't think much about what he was teaching, but as an adult (parent, teacher, girl scout leader) I realize that what I try to give each child is based in part on what I learned from him:
  "You always make each day a special day. You know how: By just your being yourself. There's only one person in the whole world that's like you, and that's you. And people can like you just the way you are."

Thought you couldn't hold Mr. Rogers in any higher of an esteem? Check out these 6 wonderful facts

1. He basically saved public television. In 1969 the government wanted to cut public television funds. Mister Rogers then went to Washington where he gave an amazing merely six minute speech. By the end of the speech not only did he charm the hostile Senators, he got them to double the budget they would have initially cut down. The whole thing can be found on youtube, a video called “Mister Rogers defending PBS to the US Senate.”

2. “Certain fundamentalist preachers hated him because, apparently not getting the “kindest man who ever lived” memo, they would ask him to denounce homosexuals. Mr. Rogers’s response? He’d pat the target on the shoulder and say, “God loves you just as you are.” Rogers even belonged to a “More Light” congregation in Pittsburgh, a part of the Presbyterian Church dedicated to welcoming LGBT persons to full participation in the church.”

3. According to a TV Guide piece on him, Fred Rogers drove a plain old Impala for years. One day, however, the car was stolen from the street near the TV station. When Rogers filed a police report, the story was picked up by every newspaper, radio and media outlet around town. Amazingly, within 48 hours the car was left in the exact spot where it was taken from, with an apology on the dashboard. It read, “If we’d known it was yours, we never would have taken it.”

4. Once, on a fancy trip up to a PBS exec’s house, he heard the limo driver was going to wait outside for 2 hours, so he insisted the driver come in and join them (which flustered the host). On the way back, Rogers sat up front, and when he learned that they were passing the driver’s home on the way, he asked if they could stop in to meet his family. According to the driver, it was one of the best nights of his life—the house supposedly lit up when Rogers arrived, and he played jazz piano and bantered with them late into the night. Further, like with the reporters, Rogers sent him notes and kept in touch with the driver for the rest of his life.

5. Most people have heard of Koko, the Stanford-educated gorilla who could speak about 1000 words in American Sign Language, and understand about 2000 in English. What most people don’t know, however, is that Koko was an avid Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood fan. As Esquire reported, when Fred Rogers took a trip out to meet Koko for his show, not only did she immediately wrap her arms around him and embrace him, she did what she’d always seen him do onscreen: she proceeded to take his shoes off!

6. Once while rushing to a New York meeting, there were no cabs available, so Rogers and one of his colleagues hopped on the subway. Esquire reported that the car was filled with people, and they assumed they wouldn’t be noticed. But when the crowd spotted Rogers, they all simultaneously burst into song, chanting "It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood." The result made Rogers smile wide.

Another little tidbit I found when looking for Mr. Rogers trivia:


   Mr. Rogers hated television so much that he joined the TV business just to change the system. We all know this hate story has a happy ending with "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," so here's an amazing quote from Rogers that exemplifies his greatness as a hater.
"I got into television because I saw people throwing pies at each other's faces, and that to me was such demeaning behavior. And if there's anything that bothers me, it's one person demeaning another. That really makes me mad!"
Mr. Rogers is a hater -- and a lover -- who will always be missed.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if more people acted like Fred Rogers.

Chris =]

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

pinterest project 1 - papermache animal head box

     Sort of an odd title, I couldn't think of one that wasn't an awkward description... Oh Well!
My first project is one I pinned over a year ago from Aunt Peaches. She made this:
photo: Aunt Peaches
  Awesome right?!  The hardest item for me to find... the mask. I finally found one last spring when we took our class to the Zoo. You should have seen me running into the gift shop at the last minute when I remembered that I wanted an animal mask.
  Instructions for Peaches project can be found HERE. Her directions were easy to understand and follow. Any changes I made were due to using supplies I had on hand.
plastic mask
masking tape
paper bags
an old book
water downed tacky glue - 1 part glue to 1.25 parts water
tin foil
plastic cup and sponge brush

1. Cut the height of the box down using a ruler and exacto knife, then tape the top edges to give it a finished look.
2. Stuff the face with paper bags and the ears and antlers (?) with tin foil. I had to tape the bags to the inside of the mask to keep it all in place then hot glued the mask to the box. 
3. The eyes looked a little spooky without a pupil so I rolled up a small piece of tin foil and taped it to the socket. Tape the nose and mouth openings closed.

4. I didn't have coffee filters, instead I over taped the neck opening and reinforced the back of the ears and antlers by taping them to the inside of the box.
5. Tear the book pages into usable strips then use a plastic cup and a sponge brush for the glue mixture.
** That way you didn't have to deal with cleaning up the glue, just throw the cup and brush away. Easy Peasy!
6. Make sure you put glue on both sides of the paper strips and cover the mask.

7. I needed to add more at the neck so I hot glued strips of tin foil to the area then added another layer of paper. Tin foil works great in the awkward areas because you can mold it. 
8. I didn't use tape to reinforce the edges of the mask (mostly because I forgot), so I added 1 one layer of paper strips horizontality and the other layer vertically.
9. Cover the mask and the back of the ears and antlers with two layers of paper strips.
10. Cover the entire box with larger sheets of the book pages. I glued a page inside each panel of the box because I hate looking at messy edges. 
And voilĂ !     

 I named her Cora because I kept seeing the name on the strips as I was gluing them to the mask. I chose not to paint her, I like the look of book strips. I might paint the box, but haven't made up my mind yet.
  I decided to store my chenille stems (aka pipe cleaners) in her to keep them from bending. 
My biggest Ah Ha! moment was when I realized that a paper towel tube or 2 toilet paper tubes taped together was the perfect storage device to keep everything organized.  
Chris =] 
P.S. Just in case you were wonder what those antlers/horns on top of the giraffes head are called:
    The horns of a giraffe are known as Ossicones and both sexes have them. Ossicones are formed from an ossified cartilage and are covered in skin. They have a main pair of ossicones but the females' are thin and tufted, whereas the males' are mostly thicker as well as bald on top due to frequent sparring over time. Ossifications on a male's head add weight, which normally heightens with age that enables a bull to deliver ever heavier blows throughout sparring contests.
P.S.S. No giraffes were harmed in this project.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

would you like to join a swap?

  My friend Valerie over at Yarnigras Swapper Spot is hosting a swap called the Needful Things Swap. She is looking for more crafters who would like to join. I reposted the info below or go to Yarnigras Swapper Spot.

 The Needful Things swap is all about those things you can't seem to live without.  Not BIG things...little things.  Things that make you smile. Things that make you squeal with glee.  Things that make you do a little happy dance.    

For example:

1.  Needful things can be frivolous but useful....like those funky little pincushions in my sewing room or the beautiful hank of yarn just waiting to be made into a scarf.  
2.  Needful things can be quirky...like the zombie dolls I love because they are the perfect combination of cute and creepy. 
3.  Needful things can be characteristic...like my need to move turtles out of the road so some jerk doesn't squash them. 

Read how it works to see if you want to play along:

First, you need to do a little post about yourself and schedule it for February 1st on your regular blog.
Instead of jotting down a list of stuff you like, you will write 20 sentences that start with "I Need" and then write what it is and why you need it or need to do it.    Add pictures if you'd like.  

This is a SECRET SWAP so the post encourages you to tell us a little bit about yourself.  This in turn, will help your partner create a great package that you will love.   You will be amazed how much you can tell someone about yourself in just 20 sentences.  

Use your post to tell us things you like to do, stores you frequent, colors you like, what hobbies you have, things you collect, treats you can't resist,  etc.  Remember, these are little things.  You may not even realize how essential these little things are to you, so take a good look at your post and edit it before scheduling. 

What we are swapping:

The package needs to be worth/valued at $30.00.
The package needs to have a minimum of 6 "needful things" and ONE of these things has to be handmade.  (It doesn't matter how you break down the cost.  Buy 1 nice thing and make everything else; make 1 nice thing and buy everything else; spend a few bucks per item; etc. )

Then, you need to wrap each item up individually and include a note to your partner.
This is supposed to be a pretty package, not a "thrown together, helter skelter, cram-it-in-a-box and forget-it" type of package.  

As always, my swaps are meant to challege your creativity, not bust your budget.  That being said, your package should be valued at $30 dollars BEFORE shipping.  If you regift, the item needs to be new, clean and worthy of regifting.  (I got something once that had a stain on it.  Gross.)  

Because shipping has gotten outrageously expensive, this is a USA only swap.  

The join by date is January 25th.  I will email your partner info the following week.
The blog post date is February 1st. 
The ship by date is February 22nd.  Please use delivery confirmation or priority mail so you can track your packages.

Okay, so if you want to join along, simply email me your name and address at valpowery(at)yahoo(dot)com.  I'll reply and then send an email confirming everyone right before the swap.  You'll need to reply to any emails I send during the course of the swap.  
Chris =]

Monday, January 13, 2014

why i haven't posted and a new years resolution

  Hi!! Did you miss me?
  I have no excuse for not writing, it's not like I've been doing anything for the last three weeks. I'm not being sarcastic, I was off work for Christmas break and other than reading a big pile of books I didn't accomplish much.
  I blame Mr. L, he's a bad influence. He was home the entire time playing video games and reading so I figured if he can, I can.
Ms. L was able to visit for a week after Christmas and that was fun, we went on a hike, went to the beach, put together a puzzle and generally enjoyed ourselves. I remembered we did this hike when Ms. L was younger so I had to take a current photo in the same spot.

   I've decided my New Years Resolution is completing some of the pinterest projects I have on my boards. I figure if I'm going to make a resolution it should be one I have half a chance of following through on. I will post my first project in the next couple of days.
Stay tuned...

Chris =]