We finished out our craft fair year with a great show in Garner at the 6th Annual Great Gift Extravaganza. My friend, Karen Noon, from Sunny Surprises shared her knitted mermaid tails with me to help our booth be even more magical than we could have imagined!
The highlight of my craft fair in Garner was seeing a young lady who I talked with last year at the same fair. Her name is Sherolyn and she sought me out. I was hoping to see her. She’s graduated High School and is exploring her options as an actress. When we met last year she was writing fan fiction about Snape and Lily Potter’s child. How cool is that!? Things are going well for her and we were able to connect and catch up.
Many of you know that mermaids are kind of my thing. I like the idea of knowing something isn’t real but loving it anyway. On my right arm lives a fantastic tattoo of Little Bear and the Mermaid from Maurice Sendak’s illustration of the Little Bear story by Else Holmelund Minarik.
I love the idea of a creature that joins my love of all things in the ocean, and my love of people. I imagine there are happy mermaids and sad ones, that they come in all flavors just like people do – and that they long for the land like I long for the ocean is similar to the exercises in empathy I imagine for people all over the world.
It’s fun to imagine mermaids and their world. This summer I was glad to lead a day in Mermaid Camp at The Artful Mind where we created our own mermaid crowns. We used shells, feathers, beads, and shiny things to create our crowns – they were all unique. Here’s mine.
I’ve got gadgets and gizmos aplenty, I’ve got whosits and whatsits galore.
Today I found a really cool artist’s video online that speaks to things I am passionate about – keeping our oceans clean, connecting with people, and mermaids. Take a look. Von Wong has created a wonderful way to reach people through art.
This week I met with a lovely new friend I made at the Harry Potter Barnes and Noble event. She and her friend are going to the Harry Potter Celebration Expo in Orlando, Florida at the end of January. She shared her pictures with me and one really cool one where she shared a coke with Ron Weasley on stage! It’s totally awesome! I feel like every Harry Potter fan I’ve met is a kindred spirit. There is love and magic in our hearts and it’s something we wear – it’s deeper than our clothes and the houses we’ve been sorted into. I really think that it’s the lessons of kindness, friendship, and love that we’ve all absorbed that let us be instant friends.
This is the feeling that Bryan and I love tapping into with our wands. Making art and sharing it with others gives us an instant connection with people who share our values (no matter your ethnicity, gender, orientation, or any other way humans have found to divide themselves). We value love, kindness, empathy, friendship, problem solving, creativity, loyalty, uniqueness, and trust. We acknowledge that there is darkness and pain in the world and we keep on going because there has to be something good to balance it out.
I’ll tell anyone who will listen that I came to the Harry Potter series as an adult and it still has had a profound impact on who I am as a person. There was one young lady at our BN event who said, apologetically, that she had only read the first book. I smiled and told her that that was fantastic! That I would love to be able to go back and experience Harry Potter for the first time – that she is at a wonderful place. She smiled and seemed to feel better. We so often shame people with our disbelief that they’ve never read a certain book or watched a certain movie or show. I prefer to look at this as a chance to share something special with someone. There’s no way you can know something until you’ve been shown or sought it out yourself. This is how I see myself making an impact in the world – that if one little girl can feel better about herself that she isn’t a “good enough” Harry Potter fan, if I can reassure her that she is exactly where she needs to be, then all my energy is going in the right direction. We all feel like we aren’t good enough at something – and it’s a lie. We are, we are just always getting better and that’s the cognitive dissonance, The Gap – we all have good taste, we just need to put the work into getting us to where we want to be. Thank you, Ira Glass.
I wish I knew how many wands I’ve made over the years. The wands I’m making now are so much cooler than the wands I made a year or two years ago. I can’t wait to see what’s on the horizon for me. Bryan and I played around with EVA foam this year and made a proto-helmet and swords. Bryan made a bow out of PVC tubing that he formed using his heat gun. I can totally see more play and imagination tools coming in the year ahead. If there’s something you’d like to see us make, give us a comment or shoot us an email. We are always looking for more ways to engage readers with real life play. This is our thing: Read books, make art, repeat.
Just keep swimming.