A few of the wrapping paper sheets we did last night.
During the summer, the family cozied up to the inspiring Pete Seeger documentary, The Power of Song.
Pete, himself, thought it seemed too much like a eulogy and man alive, anyone can tell this man is NOT dead: chopping wood, ice skating and skiing, standing on the side of the road in the pouring rain to protest the war in Iraq with his handmade sign asking for PEACE, well into his eighties yet as strong and lithe as ever.
I love him.
I got to see him this fall in concert. He maybe passed his belting it out stage but the sight of him on the stage filled my heart with the beautiful sound of his voice, still ringing out from my childhood.
Watch the movie. He makes you want to be a better person. And he does it all with a startling lack of hubris. He couldn’t care less about being star in front of the crowd; he only cares about harmonizing among the voices of those gathered.
During a scene in the extra features during which Pete and his family made wonderful wrapping paper, we all vowed not to buy any Christmas paper this year. It’s been a project on my list for ages. I finally got to it last night and it turned out to be even more fun than I imagined.
Last night was Friday and Friday is movie night but yesterday was the day before leaving town to celebrate the holidays with family and everything was topsy turvey. Fluffy was on the computer in the middle of the day while Dave and I raced about, gathering piles and the suitcases in which to dump said piles. Outside, the snow steadily fell from noon on. The scene out the window was straight out of a children’s storybook, full of romance and magic as passersby dotted the white with colorful puffs of snowgear.
By the time I extracted Fluffy from the monitor screen, he had about 3 molecules of blood sugar circulating through his veins and needed to eat so I heated up a frozen pizza and we all ate like retirees, done by 4:30. The boys suited up and frolicked in the fading light for as long as they could last, coming back inside with red chins and runny noses while I, driven by my adult-onset compulsion to clean out the refrigerator before any trip out of town with the fervor of a marine corps recruit, frantically sniffed, dumped, wiped and scrubbed. Then it was upstairs for movie night.
Movie night started early enough for a decent bedtime but by the time the movie ended, Fluffy begged for more food and seeing as he hadn’t eaten for three hours, we trudged downstairs for grilled cheese.
The reason I tell you all this is because the next part, the part that went so well, was all because I didn’t get tense. After all, it was the night before we’re leaving on vacation with a scadillion things to do; it well after 7pm, Fluffy’s teeth were already brushed (never an easy task) and in pjs (which would not last through the consumption of food) and we hadn’t even cracked the big stack of books waiting for us on his pillow.
While Fluffy ate his grilled cheese at one end of the table, I laid big sheets of paper on the remaining available surface. I mixed simple poster paints and narrated my process aloud: Hmm, what kind of designs shall I make? Will they turn out? How do I even start? I brightened when I remembered the five elements of shape that we are learning about from the fabulous new art book I am using with Fluffy called, Drawing with Children (which I highly recommend!) and began narrating as I painted dots, circles, curved lines, straight lines, and angle lines. Fluffy was fascinated.
Soon he was up and circling the table with me, commenting all the while about how he thought it was coming, remembering his favorite wrapping paper designs (who knew he even had noticed!), making suggestions about what I ought to try next. I offered blank sheets for him but he declined and I didn’t push it. Instead, he offered the use of this stroke and that color and I followed his lead. It was our first true artistic collaboration. Fluffy art directed me––beautifully I might add, and I painted away and by the time we tossed the empty paint holders in the sink, it was after 9pm and we were high as kites.
So, we have our wrapping paper. At least, for the gifts from us. What Santa does is his business. I understand his paper looks remarkably like the rolls we’ve seen at the supermarket.