Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas Cards!

It was a chilly December morning. Abbot and I had finished our breakfast of pancakes and hot cocoa, and our chores, which consisted of dusting the house. I could never understand why we were summoned to spread dust all about the house, but such is our job. And if you ever visited here you would find that Abbot and I do a splendid job. There is dust EVERYWHERE! My maker, sensing our chill, asked us to follow her to her sewing room where she removed a beautiful box from her shelf. We were excited to see inside and when she opened it we found our lovely winter clothing from last year. How thrilling to put it on again! Then she told us it was time for a Christmas project because Christmas was on it's way. Abbot and I had no idea what it would be, but we watched bubbling over with glee, as she gathered all her supplies and we pulled up our chairs to see what was happening. First, she had a wobbly piece of a white rectangle and she said she was going to carve into it with sharp tools. This was not a job for Abbot and I, but we could watch. We watched her scrape away the rubbery material until what was left behind was an image of a pine tree. A Christmas tree! Now it was our turn to help. My maker let me draw a picture onto another smaller wobbly rectangle and she carved that one too. The next part was even more exciting. She propped us up on the counter top because we were going to do something called block printing. The wobbly thing she just carved was now the block and we would be rolling ink onto it and making a print of the block onto a blank card.
The inks smelled funny to me but my maker loved the smell. But, then again, she likes how Abbot smells when he's wet. I couldn't wait to roll the ink! I had to be very careful not to get the ink on myself, however, it was washable so wouldn't do any harm if I got a few splotches here and there on myself.
My maker squirted some green ink onto a sheet of glass, and added in a little shimmery gold ink to make it sparkle. I rolled the ink onto the glass until it made a sound like sticky tape being removed from a package. Abbot did not like the sound and he tried to cover his ears by pulling his hat down farther, but his hat will only pull down so far. My maker said she needed to take over from here, so Abbot and I watched as she rolled the ink onto the block. The block turned green in all the spaces except where she carved! It looked like a Christmas tree! She then put the blank card carefully on top of the block and rubbed it. She let us help with the rubbing, which Abbot loved so much he pretended to do it all day, long after we were finished with our project.
We made all of these cards and tags from one little block! I drew a snowman on my block and I loved how it looked in GREEN! My maker said we could use these blocks over and over again and make thousands of cards if we wanted!
Then we tried some red ink. Red with a little silver mixed in. We rolled it out and listened for that sound again.
I couldn't decide if I liked the red or the green snowman best, and I wondered about making a blue one, or a white one on black paper. My maker must have heard me because she said, "Maybe next time, Caruthers. Right now I have to make some cookies, wrap some presents, make some monsters, and do some laundry." My maker...she's always so busy. Sometimes TOO busy, but Abbot and I are always happy to watch her on the go.
Have a very Merry Christmas everyone, and Peace and Joy to all of you. I feel warm and full of love all the way down into my tummy. And Abbot....well...his tummy is full of chocolate.
Until next time.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Contemplations of a Second MadeDay

A few pictures from my MadeDay. I have a lot of thoughts to share, but first I want to show my wonderful cake that my maker made. Abbot and I were shunned from the kitchen after Abbot almost fell into the mixing bowl. We were told to go sit and watch television until the cake was made. We kept sneaking back into the kitchen, however, to take peeks. I don't think my maker saw us. And can I just say how unfair it was that she got to lick the bowl?
After the cake was complete Abbot and I were told to stay away from it until after dinner, but we couldn't help sticking our "fingers" in the frosting and having a taste. Abbot kept licking and licking, leaving one side of the cake bald. It was tricky to fix it back up before my maker noticed. Let it be a lesson to her not to leave a yummy chocolate cake unattended with 2 chocolate hungry monsters in the house. There should be a warning label.
It was all I could do to have my picture taken on my second MadeDay without stuffing my entire face into the delicious cake.
Abbot had to wash himself clean of evidence before this was taken. There was a lot of soap and water involved, and a smallish scrub brush pandered from the family dog, who keeps close tabs on its location. We had to force a deal with the dog, but I think it was worth it. Other than his ears being a little crinkly, and a LOT of gargling that had to be subdued while washing his belly, Abbot looks pretty fresh and clean.
So, having been in existence for 2 years, and observing what goes on around me in this world I have to say most of what I see is good.....happiness, kindness, and friendliness are three of the greatest virtues in this world. There is also a lot of bad. Selfishness, greed, and anger are the three most common vices of which I have been witness. There is also plenty of struggle within the human condition, a lot of which I do not understand. I think it should be so easy to be happy all the time....surrounded by seems so simple. But oftentimes the things that are most simple take the most amount of work. This has been a difficult concept for me to understand, but I think it is because humans think an awful lot. And thinking is not necessarily a bad thing, but they seem to be preoccupied with protecting themselves and the things they hold dear, that they lose sight of what is simple. And what is so clear to one human often is not so clear to another. I suppose if everyone was of like mind life COULD be simpler, but that is just not the case. And, after some contemplation, I think maybe it is best not all humans think alike, because the world would look as if it was painted all one color. Colors are what make life enjoyable. Just open a fresh box of colored pencils or Crayolas and watch yourself smile. Colors are the creativity and laughter and makers of diverse, new ideas. So, what IS the secret then, to simplicity? And WHY can't life be simpler? No one really knows. My maker doesn't know. But maybe, just maybe while we're trying to figure it out, we should marvel in all the colors, even the dark ones....the dark ones that trap us and make us feel sad.....because when you rub at them a little, and tickle them, eventually new colors emerge from underneath. I like being green, and I like that Abbot is green, but I wouldn't want everyone to be like me. I want to see and enjoy all the colors. Because THAT seems simple.
Until next time.

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's Showtime!

I don't know what it is about the fall that I love more: the leaves falling like little pieces of heaven or accompanying my maker on her trips to annual fall art shows. Though I am merely less than 2 years old, and haven't experienced a whole lot, even my second romp at The Country Living Fair in Columbus, OH, was more than I could ask for. Add my dear friend Abbot and I always know I'm in for a great adventure. So much to do and see. My maker, however protective of Abbot and I, allows us a little scurrying when we are there. She worries, but we always come back to her side. We posed for this photo by the antiquated outhouse. I had to explain this concept to Abbot, who understands very little when it comes to humans, and with a wide toothy grin he understood that an outhouse was not really a house at all....not a very nice place to PLAY.
My maker brought her wares, rather her folksy dollies that look surprisingly like Abbot and I, to this show to sell under the Earth Angels Toys Tent of Delights. I liked being under a tent because it reminds me of all I've read about camping. And I reiterate "READ ABOUT CAMPING" because my maker and nature don't always get along. Ahhhhh, to go camping. I wonder if I will ever get a chance? The Earth Angels Tent of Delights was brimming with customers and laughter. No one left the tent without a smile.
Abbot and I escaped any time we could. The Tent of Delights was indeed delightful, but we longed to stretch our legs and imaginations. We stopped at the infamous pumpkin pile and tried to blend in. We sat very very still until an unsuspecting child came to pose for a photo, then we wiggled, jumped, or otherwise maneuvered our way into a photo whenever we could. I wonder if anyone noticed? However, our fun came to a halt when Abbot, finding sitting still too tedious, tried to slide down the pile only to bring a tumbling of gourds behind him. You can bet we ran from there, lickety split.
We found a booth chock full of skirts. Perfect to hide behind. I boosted Abbot up onto the hanging rack, then climbed aboard myself, clipping us onto a hanger. Being such bright and colorful monsters, we blended right in with these colorful skirts. The owner eventually found us when Abbot sneezed on a customer who was thumbing through the rack. There was a faint scream by the customer, then a scowl as she walked away. The skirt booth owner approached to see what the ruckus was all about and found Abbot and I clipped onto the hanger. I have to say it hurt after she took me down, and my ears were blue all day. We told her how much we loved her skirts and wanted to wrap ourselves in the colors. We didn't want to tell her we were hiding because of the Pumpkin Incident of 2011. She placed us on the chair and showered us with lovely skirts that reminded me of a rainbow I had once seen.
Then she took a picture with us. She told us her name was Teri and we could visit whenever we wanted. I brought my maker over there later that day and she bought 2 skirts. Now when I am lonely for Teri's handiwork I can wrap myself again in one of Teri's skirts. Rather, two.
Abbot's tummy was a-growling after a while. We didn't have any money though and couldn't bother our maker to get some. We had to rely on free samples. It didn't take me long to find the hot fudge booth. Katie's famous hot fudge was just what the doctor ordered, had there been a monster doctor present. Abbot climbed the table amidst crowd of people. He grabbed a pretzel and started dipping. One, two, three, four times per pretzel. I told him his behavior was rude, that quadruple dipping is never allowed, and he needed to share with the other people, but his frenzy took hold of him as he cradled the entire cup and then began drinking it straight. It wasn't nice of him, but, knowing my maker's love of hot fudge, I knew she'd be proud.
Having had our fill of chocolate, and wiping our mouths on some nice woman's pink skirt, we smelled a most heavenly smell coming from a booth where there were cinnamon rolls, breads, cookies, and, well, after that we didn't care. Abbot, again, the little gargling troll that he is, climbed atop the table full of cinnamon rolls and grabbed a plastic knife. He tried to pry open a package until I weaseled the knife from his hand. Abbot continued to smother the plastic package, smelling, crushing, and even licking it. I told him we simply could not buy an entire tray of cinnamon rolls, especially if we had no money. The vendors there were so kind, however, that they let us take that package, no questions asked.
We were so sorry for our poor behavior, and so grateful for their generosity, we took a photo by their billboard. The Homestead Bakery from Illinois. Hey, that's the state where I'm from!
The following weekend we were off again to The Country Folk Art Fest in St. Charles, Illinois. There Abbot and I met quite a few new artists and got to pose with them and their art. There were painters and sculptors and papier mache artists. We had a lot of fun getting to know them, and they were all very kind to us....well, most of the time. They didn't appreciate us playing hide and seek under their tables, or pulling on their tablecloths or their pants. They didn't appreciate us playing statue tag on their tables, or eating a fresh frosted brownie and then fondling their creations. We didn't make everyone angry, though.
Joanna liked us very much. She even talked to us and treated us like friends. I'd never eat a frosted brownie at her table. Abbot, well, he's eat a brownie anywhere.
She let me sit next to a beautiful star named Gretel. Gretel gave me a piece of paper with a 10 digit number written on it, but I am not sure what that means. I wonder if it's her distance in light years from the sun, or her gravitational mass times one to the power of 12? I may never know.
Mystelle did gorgeous paintings of faces and figures. She was the happiest soul at the show. I loved her radiant smile and wished I had as many teeth as her. She made me happy just looking at her.
Alan and Donna made whimsical figures out of gourds. Yes! Gourds! They were bright and shiny and most had faces as silly as Abbot's. What fun I had looking at them, and talking to them! One wouldn't think gourds have stories, but do they ever. This alien one in particular. Not only could he keep an entire stash of chocolate safe from predators like Abbot, but he spun some wild tales about his days in the Intergalactic Navy, circa 2279.
Ed was a funny man. I dare say he was almost as funny as Abbot. He made wood sculptures that looked like real humans. They were pretty amazing. Some of them had strange legs and bodies. Some had regular bodies and simple faces. And some frightened me , which I guess was his intention. His attention to detail was second to none, and I must say I longed for a pair of those wooden shoes. The fact that he couldn't get my name right, he kept calling me Smuthers, didn't alter my fondness for him. I thought of it as a term of endearment. And whether he'll admit it or not, I know he liked me too.
Until next time....or next show.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Place for Music

Abbot and I recently got to travel to northern Michigan to retrieve my maker's children from the summer camp they had been attending for 6 weeks. The daughter was a camp counselor, having been a student at this camp two years in her past, and the son was a student at this camp. They lived in the woods of Michigan, in Interlochen to be exact, which is also the name of this world famous camp where students can go to become more proficient at their art. In my maker's children's case, they are string musicians and chose Interlochen Arts Camp to spend their summer leaning more about their violin and cello, and playing in an orchestra.
Abbot and I were tired after sitting in the car for such a long drive from Illinois that we were happy to get out and sit on a bench under the trees, while my maker opened the door to this cabin, our home away from home for a few days.
My maker, Abbot and I roamed the area that made up the camp, exploring all the while. We stopped in a practice hut to plink a few notes on a grand piano. All the practice huts on this road had pianos such as these, all wrapped in foam to protect them from bumps, bruises, and humidity. Abbot and I were not very good pianists, but we enjoyed listening to students that were.
All along this road of practice huts, the dramatic and angelic sounds of the pianos echoed throughout the forest. It was magical and serene listening. Abbot and I just had to stop and soak it all in.
The sounds coming from this stone hut were so soothing (my maker said the student was playing Beethoven) that we could have sat here all day.
There was a beautiful lake that the arts camp rests beside. Some wood had been thrown into this pit for a fire later in the evening. The loons were singing, and the gulls were calling, and music, either choirs, orchestras, bands, or small ensembles filled the gentle breezes with heavenly sound.
We stopped to have our photo taken with Pan, a sculpture dedicated to the arts camp's devotion to music and visual art.
Later in the weekend we were able to go to Traverse City on Lake Michigan. Abbot and I could certainly not balance on this rail without falling into the lake, so some strong hands held us in place. Ouch. I still have a few bruises. But my maker was adamant that we NOT fall into the lake!
Oh, and the weddings that day! We saw at least 3 of them, photographing near the lake just as we were. As we were leaving the lakeshore, we saw this lovely horse drawn carriage. We wanted to sit with the bride and groom, but the horse driver didn't think it was a good idea. She thought we were too sweet for any photos with a bride and groom, so she let us sit with her for a solo shot. The horses names were Cindy and Duke and we pet them for a while until Duke tried to bite Abbot's eyelashes. Abbot, I am afraid, will never go near a horse again.
After a full day of fun in Traverse City, we stopped at Moomers, the very best homemade ice cream in the midwest. Abbot had strawberry and I had, what else, chocolate! We were very careful not to spill on ourselves, just as careful as we were last summer at Ben and Jerry's in Vermont.
It was a fun little trip up to northern Michigan and we ended our final evening at Interlochen with a concert that has been closing the arts camp season since it's first year. Les Preludes was played by the orchestras and bands in one giant ensemble, and after that, the Interlochen Theme. My maker's eyes teared up and I did not know why. She looked at me and said, "Caruthers, this is my last child who will ever attend this camp as a student, and it makes me sad to see him grow up, but it makes me happy too because he is so wonderful and has an amazing life ahead. I am sad because I will never be back here to hear this beautiful music ever again. Usually in life days pass and milestones happen, and it is sad to see them go away forever. But there are always more good things ahead, so we musn't be too sad. Do you understand?" I wasn't sure I did, but I nodded anyway. I have only been in being for just under 2 years and I guess I have a lot to learn. But as sad as this occassion was, I knew my maker would be happy to have her children home again. And I would be too. It had been very quiet around the house without the sounds of their voices and instruments. That's what I miss the most when they're away....sound.
Until next time.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fun on the 4th

Independence Day was upon us again! The fun! The noises! The food! And even better, the PARADE FLOAT! This is the second year my maker's family has helped another family create a float in the Elgin 4th of July Parade. This year the theme of the parade was Toys on Parade, but being dubbed "People That Make Patriotic Floats" they wanted to design a float about toys, but also be partiotic. Abbot asked me what it means to be patriotic, and I wasn't completely sure. But I surmised by day's end, we would know.
As the float builders scurried about putting their thoughts into reality, Abbot and I found these funny wigs and a hat that we had to try on. My maker said those funny wigs were similar to the type of hair and costume we may have seen on July 4, 1776, the day the United States declared its independence from Britain. She said Ben Franklin had a bald head and long hair on the sides. He was a partiot, she told us. The other wig, and the hat, were similar to what George Washington wore, our first American president. We just thought they looked funny, and Abbot gargled for about 20 minutes when Ben's hair got tangled on one of my button eyes. We lounged in the chair and watched them flit about like bees, moving gigantic toys hither and yon so that the float would be a perfect balance of proportion and color. Abbot and I were quite sure we didn't fit into the color scheme, but when we were told by our maker that we would play a vital role on the float we were ecstatic!
Would we get to ride the bike that would spin the gigantic top? Would we get to throw the beach ball around, or sit on top of it? Would we get to wear those funny wigs or wave our flags?
Either way, Abbot and I were thrilled we'd be included, and all the children would see us and hopefully not be frightened. My maker's daughter played Paul Revere, another patriot, who rode the bike that looked like a horse, and warned the crowd, "The beachballs are coming! The beachballs are coming!" And my favorite, "One if by lemonade, two if by sunscreen!" But I didn't really understand why those sentiments were so well received by the crowd. Must be some sort of patriot humor I don't quite understand.
Just before the parade began, Abbot turned to me and pulled on my ear, which I've gotten accustomed to when he wants my attention, and asked me in his telepathic manner, "What do we get to do on the float?" My maker must have heard him because she called out to us and told us to come to the back of the float. There, tied to the giant wagon that became the base of the float, was a smaller wagon just big enough for us! My maker tied us in securely so we would not bounce out. She gave us sparkly garlands and told us to be careful because she would not be able to see us through the whole parade. That kind of scared me, and I think it scared her too, but she had members on the float check on us from time to time. I sat very still for the whole ride even though it was hot, but Abbot, true to form, squirmed like a tied up monster would and longed to run with the children and chase down the candy being strewn from other floats. I made him behave though by reminding him of where we got to go after the parade.
It was so wonderful to relax by a pool after a long morning. Abbot and I cannot get wet, of course, but just feeling the breeze off the cool water made for a very pleasant afternoon. One of my maker's family members had just put a pool into their yard and we were all thankful they let us come swim and spend the afternoon eating and playing cards, of which my maker's family never gets enough.
We arrived at our seats for the band show and fireworks display rather early. Abbot was able to run around with some children, and who knows what else he did, because when he returned to our seats he had broken his sunglasses and had a tummy ache. He wanted to wear his glasses anyway because he said last year the fireworks hurt his eyes. The noises he liked, however, because he said they remind him of the drums in the music our maker likes so much. And speaking of DRUMS.....
Abbot was SO excited about loud noises that he begged our maker to introduce him to the drummer for the DeKalb Municipal Band, Joe, who does such a great job keeping time for the big band ensemble every year. After a little harmless prodding Joe agreed to take a picture with us. He let us hold his fancy drumsticks. Abbot wondered why Joe's drumsticks didn't look like the ones on the Thanksgiving dinner table and was a little disappointed. We thanked him anyway, and as we walked away we thought maybe he wasn't used to seeing monsters in broad daylight.
Abbot kept his glasses with one lens poked out perched on his face the entire fireworks display. He closed one eye and only looked through the one lens with the one open eye, then turned the glasses around to let the other eye see, so both eyes got to see the fireworks equally. It was only fair, he said.
After the wonderful fireworks display my maker carried us back to the car. I realized I did not learn that day what a patriot was. I whispered to my maker, "How will I ever know what a patriot is?" She answered me, "Caruthers, do you love your country?"
"Yes," I said. "It is where you are. It is where my family is. It is where I want to be. Does that mean I love it?"
"I think so, Caruthers," my maker said. "Any citizen who loves his or her country is a patriot in my book. And any citizen who strives to make his or her country a better place to live is a patriot too. Our soldiers and armed men and women who protect us from harm are the ultimate patriots because they love their country enough to die for it. They are the bravest of all. Do you undertsand?"
"I think so," I said sleepily. My ears were ringing from the loud booms. Abbot was asleep in the crook of my maker's other arm. He rarely ponders life. I guess that's one reason I like him so much though.
Happy Independence Day United States of America!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sweet Sunshine and Gardens Galore

Winter has been especially brutal this year, according to the scuttlebutt around here. The poor weather has been the reason for the lack of stories recently. There was just nothing to report as the rain came down and the cold lingered for far too long this year. But eventually the seasons turn, as I knew they would. Convincing my maker of that and trying to raise her spirits has been a full time job this spring. But on Friday, finally, she smiled, put on a skirt, and took Abbot and I to the most beautiful garden center in the world. I jumped out of the car and took in the glory of the surroundings.....pots, plants, dirt, flowers, trees, yard ornaments, they had it all to explore. I climbed into the first planter I saw, right under the "open" sign at the entrance to the center.
Abbot couldn't climb nearly as high as I could and pushed some pots around to make a sort of stairway into the iron planter he liked. He blended right in with all the green ware, under the sign in which the street names were painted. We both donned our garden hats, Abbot with a giant flouncy one, and I going for a more classic style. We also wore our gardening aprons to keep us clean of dirt. Mine was legitimate, with pockets for seeds and tools. Abbot wore a vintage napkin tied with a snappy red chord. He didn't know the difference, and that's just as well, let me say.
Although we loved the beautiful plants and flowers, we were more excited about climbing in and out of pots. And running from the bugs. Abbot's friend Stanley 2, the cockroach that never leaves his pocket, escaped for a brief hour and made friends with some interesting bugs....centipedes, worms, beetles, and slugs. A bee tried to fly in to check out what was happening, but Stanley 2 cowered and made his way back into Abbot's pocket. Stanley then regaled us with his stories about the bugs and how no one understands them. They apparently live in constant fear of shoes. While Stanley 2 was on the prowl, Abbot and I catapulted ourselves into this planter using a rake, a garden hose, and a lucky step by one of the garden workers......well, it was lucky for US anyway. Not too sure about the garden worker. She went off running, holding her bloodied nose. The planter was high up so we could see all around. It was a good thing Stanley 2 returned to us because we simply could not find him.
The sunshine was glorious. I basked in this bright yellow pot while Abbot took in the rays on the bench. Our maker was off collecting an armful of plants she would later bring home and place in the soil.
There was so much to see! We enjoyed strolling arm in arm like old friends in a Hollywood movie, smiling at all who passed us by. Some of them walked briskly past us, assumingly frightened. We didn't know why.
All at once Abbot's hat blew off his head and we chased it like it was being pulled on a string by a silly jokester. Every time we reached for it, the wind took it again, and again, until....oh no....right into the pond. It lay atop the water like a lily pad, its felt flowers slowly taking in the water. I ran to my maker who had her arms full of plants, and yanked on her skirt. She dropped everything, and there was quite a commotion, and quite a few stares, as I thought I heard someone cluck and say, "Why can't people control their children?" I tried not to care. Abbot's hat was sinking in the abyss and I certainly couldn't go fish it out! I pulled on my maker's skirt, urging her to come and see. When she saw the hat in the pond slowly descending she grabbed a stick, leaned against the rocks, hovering the water, and fished the hat out just as it was about to sink. She shook it off and it dried quickly. Abbot and I then sat patiently by the pond. There were 2 beautiful mermaids perched on the rocks by the waterfall. They didn't have any clothes on, however, and Abbot was too bashful to say hello. I said hello, but when they didn't answer, or MOVE, I realized they were only statues, and my lifelong dreams of meeting a real mermaid were in vain.
My maker made her final purchases of succulents and herbs, and placed them carefully in the car. We posed for this one last portrait, a portrait for an afternoon well spent in the outdoors. Welcome spring. We are so glad you finally came. You are always worth the wait.
Until next time.
A very special thank you to Blumen Gardens, Sycamore, IL. By far the most beautiful garden center in the world. If you're ever in the area, it is worth the stop.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Color Forms

(This one is for my maker's mom who loved my stories so much.)
I always love to get in the car. Strapped into my seatbelt, nose at the window, I always know I am in for some fun. Abbot bounced in his seat like a rubber ball. My maker's very tiny car bounced down the road with equal delight. The car gets to go everywhere, though, and Abbot and I barely go anywhere. This is fine with me, however. Such is the life of a monster. We remain hidden most of the time. But this day was different. I wondered where we were heading as I watched the farm fields turn to neighborhoods and the neighborhoods to the shopping district. As I thought about this my maker said, "Caruthers, I am taking you and Abbot on a great adventure. The fruits of this adventure my family will live with for quite some time, so you and Abbot need to concentrate and make the best decision possible. Can you do that?" I nodded to her that I could. Abbot shook his head. He meant "yes" but still has not figured out the whole answering with one's head thing. My maker tossed into the back seat our trusty bandannas. "Here," she said, "Put these bandannas on your ears. They will help you get in the mood." I took the green one and handed the black one to Abbot. But he was adamant that he would NOT be putting any bananas on his ears. "Not bananas, Abbot," my maker called from the driver's seat, "banDANnas. A cloth you put over your ears to keep the dust out when you work." Hmmmm, I thought. We were going someplace to WORK?

When we walked into the Sherwin Williams store it didn't LOOK like we were going to work here. It was shiny and clean and COLORFUL. After a few well regarded and confirmed stares Abbot and I gave a quizzical look to our maker. She lead us over to a wall display that was loaded with colorful cards, and on the cards were colorful colors in every shade of the rainbow. My maker helped us up onto the counter top and said, "Caruthers and Abbot, I need you to choose a color for my bathroom. It has been 11 years since I painted last and I'm ready for a change." Abbot and I were so excited we began scouring the cards for the perfect color. What makes the perfect color? Is it a question of philosophy, emotion, physicality, ambiance or all of these? I had never really pondered the meaning of color. I have watched my maker work, however, and I don't think she ponders the meaning of color either. After she arranges a design for a doll or a monster (or a purse, curtain, quilt, or blanket), she always stands back, looks at it from afar and nods her head yes, or shakes her head no, and then changes something. Maybe color and design is just what looks good to a person, with no meaning intended at all. Could it be that simple?
Abbot chose an orange color. He said it reminded him of orange Popsicles, which reminded him of summer, which reminded him of being warm, which reminded him of blankets, which reminded him of winter, which reminded him of summer, which reminded him of orange Popsicles. "That's a good color Abbot," my maker said. "But we already have that color in our hallway. Let's try another one."
I liked this green. I was certain there was a stripe of color in my nose that was this color, and it made me feel happy. Green is such a happy color. But so are yellow, red, blue, orange, purple, and a jaunty plaid. I was feeling so indecisive. I knew I'd be no good at picking one color. I wanted more than one. I wanted all of them! I told my maker that she'd have to let me pick about 14 colors, or make the choice herself if she wanted only one. Abbot and I couldn't decide. She took out two color cards that were similar in color. Both were bluish-green. She set them on the counter and Abbot and I tried to see a difference. Finally I could see one color had more blue and the other color more green, like Abbot's face after he tried a bite of a sardine and found out what it was.
When we arrived home again (after stopping for a few bags of chocolates, in which we were not permitted to come into the store and Abbot howled for 10 minutes, so loudly that people stopped to check our car as to what was making that noise) we started our painting project. My maker had to be very careful with Abbot and I around the paint. Water is one thing, but it dries clear. Paint, however, would never leave our fabric bodies. I helped paint the edges of the walls, until I started dripping paint all over the cabinets and lost my job. 2 minutes never felt so fun.
Abbot and I were then given tape duty. We were to unroll and stick the tape to the surfaces that we did not want paint to touch, like the baseboards, counter top, and window frames.
Yet, it was another exercise in futility. Abbot didn't want any paint on himself, however, so I guess it could have been deemed a successful account.

After the edging was complete it was time to roll the paint onto the big empty spots that remained on the walls. My maker was excited. She let us pose for this photo but in no way would she allow us into the bathroom once that tray was filled with paint. Abbot and I watched from the hallway as the drab, boring, off-yellow bathroom transformed into a beautiful bluish-greenish oasis. Abbot says greenish-bluish, but then again, he doesn't know a head nod from a head shake. I can't wait to watch the next room get transformed. I just hope it will be in 14 colors and not one.
Until next time.