Sunday, February 21, 2010

Five Year Celebration and a Giveaway

[Note to those reading this in RSS readers: this is the real blog post.]

Five years ago, I started a storytelling blog. My daughter was not yet two years old and I was still working as a children's librarian on a substitute basis. I had as a goal for that year to learn guitar or sewing, and surprised everyone (most of all myself) when I started lessons for both. Throughout the years, I've learned to know new people through blogging and have even got to meet some of them. Relationships with old friends with whom I'd been out of touch as well as acquaintances who've became good friends have been possible because of blogging.

I'm thankful for all of you. Today's celebration is in thanks for your friendship. I am hosting a giveaway of a doll I made especially for this day: an Astronomy Magus to aid you in storytelling or inspire you as you work.

The doll is made with hand-dyed dark blue wool felt and embroidered with blue and white stitches. To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on this post with a reflection on one or more of the following items:

1. A description of a beloved story from your childhood that you have not yet located. Be as specific as possible, and someone might be able to find the information to reunite you with that story.

2. A song you really enjoy that you don't think a lot of people know. Please provide a verse or two.

3. A scenario of a book you would love to read that to the best of your knowledge has not been written. Only share the story idea if you're not planning to write it yourself!

4. Explain quantum theory as if it were a story.

I will need to be able to contact the recipient of the Astronomy Magus, either through an email address found on your blog/website profile or through a private email you sent directly to me at: saintsandspinners [at] gmail [dot] com. If you send me a private email, please be assured that I will not use your address for any purpose but this giveaway.

"Why an Astronomy Magus?" you might ask. Some of you know how much I love outer space. The science-fiction I enjoy most has to do with interplanetary travel. You might not have been aware that when Carl Sagan says, "The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be," my soul leaps with joy, but you've probably suspected that I watched every episode of the new Battlestar Galactica series. It is my hope that when I bring my first book-length story to completion, it will incorporate stories, songs and textiles into a science-fiction genre. That is why the Astronomy Magus is my gift.

The drawing for the Astronomy Magus ends Friday, February 26, at 6 P.M. Pacific Standard Time. You may comment multiple times, but each name will be entered only once. Parents and siblings of the House of Glee plus Brad the Gorilla are welcome to comment but will not be eligible for the drawing.


jama said...

Happy Blog Birthday, Farida! Five years -- wow!

I remember a story from my childhood about a king trying to find an appropriate husband/suitor for his daughter. To all the eager prospects, he asked them to produce/create/make something "as hot as summer, and as cold as winter." In the end, the person who pleased the king and won the princess's hand made a hot fudge sundae.

I really loved this story and don't remember the title/haven't been able to locate it anywhere. A teacher or librarian read it to us and to this day I've been trying to find it.

I'm so glad your blog is here. You are such a light and sweet presence in the kidlit world. Enjoy your celebration ! :)

mrsbeccijo said...

Happy Blog Birthday!

themagiconions said...

My Word... she's utterly gorgeous! We would be honored to give her a home with our other fairies, gnomes, dolls and animals =)
So... the story I'm looking for came from my grandmother. She read it to my dad when he was a boy and it was his favorite book. He read it to us as kids but somehow it has become lost and as I don't know the name of the book, I can't find it. It's about a little elf named 'Wiggly" Most of it is very hazy in my memory, except a drawing in it of him flying on a brown oak leaf. I'd love to locate a copy to read to my kids... continue a family tradition.
Lovely idea, Alkelda... thank you!
Blessings and magic,
Donni (Fairyfolk)

BirchLeaf Designs said...

Happy Blog Birth Day Farida!

One song that I love that folks may not know:

This pretty planet
spinning through space
your garden, your harbor
your holy place
golden sun going down
gentle blue giant, spin us around
all through the night
safe 'til the morning light.

Jules at 7-Imp said...

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! I only wish I had found Saints and Spinners five years ago and not later. But I'm happy I did.

I love that you love space.

#2: You know who I'm gonna pick. Sam Phillips has lots of songs that I love, but I've been tempted so many times to post the lyrics to my very favorite on a Poetry Friday. But I'd be terrified that NO ONE WOULD respond and I wouldn't get any help in deciphering the mysterious, beautiful lyrics. I figure it out a bit more each time I listen. I love that she leaves room for the listeners to wonder. But here are some of the lyrics. The song is called "The Fan Dance":

The violinist puts his violin away
Forbidden city broken into tonight
I use my blindfold to dry my tears
The stage is empy and tired of light

But when I do the fan dance
I'm all the red in China
I'm dialing life up on my telescope
Fringe and mathematics
Shaking down the curtain
To find the dragon parade

And when I do the fan dance
Searchlights answer gunfire
Angles escort falling mercies
Hearts shut off like streetlights
But even in the blackout
I'll find my balcony rose

As for #3, a friend once had a great book idea that he told me about, and I hope he writes it one day. But I won't repeat it here, in case he still plans to.

The girls were just in here, and they were jumping up and down over the dolls again. Piper's b'day is coming up; I'm thinking we need to make room in our budget for two more dolls. Yup, it's only Piper's b'day, but Ada is really all about that green doll with the butterfly basket. I'll email you. But consider an order in....

HAPPY HAPPY ANNIVERSARY AGAIN! One of the best places in cyberspace...

Lone Star Ma said...

Happy Blog Birthday! Your blog is always a joy to me but the biggest joy of it has been getting to know you again! It is wonderful to have you in my life!

Actually, reading about children's literature on your blog has already inspired me to find most of the old childhood stories that I longed for, but, thinking about Easter books the other day, I remembered a bunny story from my childhood. It is about a bunny babysitter (I think - it may have been the bunny mother but I really think she was the babysitter) taking care of a bunch of little bunnies one night - at least ten - maybe a lot more - and all of the challenging practicalities of supervising them and getting them to bed. It was sweet. Does anyone remember the title/author?

I also recently remembered a wonderful Mayer (I think Mercer, but maybe the other) book called The Flying Machine, but I am sure I can find that (if not afford it as it is probably out of print).

I really would like to see your Journal of Alien Contact finished. It deserves to be a book.

Kathleen said...

Happy Blog Birthday! In honor of your amazing five years, here's my grandmother's favorite poem, which she used to recite to me when I was a girl and wanted too much stuff. I didn't quite get it at the time but now I know that she was cheerfully poking fun at me.

Mattie's Wants and Wishes...

I wants a piece of calico
To make my doll a dress;
I doesn't want a big piece,
A yard will do, I guess.

I still can't find the author. The one listed on the site is the poster of the poem.

Reading the whole poem has reminded me that kids are basically the same. Mattie's very busy with her needs and my kid is too... although he may never ask for me to find his thimble.

tanita davis said...

My WORD, Farida, you taught yourself to play the guitar five years ago?


I have LISTS of things I still want to learn to do. LISTS. Had NO idea you just UP and did this. And SEWING!! You went from teaching yourself to ...dolls. Selling dolls. Amazing.

Okay, wow. Think I'll breathe now. But seriously - so, so, so cool.

adrienne said...

Happy Blog Birthday! I agree with Tanita--it's amazing what you've accomplished over the last five years. It gives me hope for my own learning, too.

I am going to try a book that has not been written--I will take a picture book with a character named "Adrienne." As far as I know, none exist, and "Adrienne" is a swell name, if I do say so myself.

Charlotte said...

Happy blog birthday from me too!

Here is the story I want:

It begins in an English orphanage set in a small cathedral town where girls have lots of books to read, work in the garden, learn to sew, have music lessons etc. Or possibly it could be a Bleak orphanage, to provide conrast to what is to come.

Two sisters are reclaimed from the orphanage by some sort of distant relative (?) who takes them off to a huge house with a huge garden in the country side somewhere and they explore the house and garden and find, perhaps, an old dollhouse and make dresses for the dolls, and old harpsichord which hasn't been played for years, a hidden garden that needs weeding and so they weed, etc etc etc and then they find a hidden box that has some sort of lost thing that adds a semblance of plot to the story. Or perhaps they make friends with the lame boy next door and convince him to do more. Or maybe the little sister gets sick, and the big sister has to save her somehow....

Saints and Spinners said...

I wasn't going to comment on this post, but I wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying your comments. The book searches, lyrics, and story ideas are so interesting! And yes, Tanita, there is hope for all of us! I'm a big fan of learning new things as adults.

Playing by the book said...

Happy Blog Birthday!

A song I love (and I hope you will too with your sewing skills) is TR Kelly's The Sewing Machine Song, about the long life of a singer sewing machine. Here's how it opens:

I came off of the assembly line in 1899
Paid for by a farmer's wife, three dollars at a time,
She got to western Oregon where the land was rich and green,
sounded strong and was ready to work that singer sewing machine.

Her feet were quick on the treadle,
She made my wheel fly,
She shined me and she oiled me,
She said I was her pride,
She made trousers for her husband, clothes for little girls and boys,
And the whirring of my big fly wheel was a welcome joyful noise.


The rest of the song follows the fortunes of this singer sewing machine through many different hands over a century or so, having been passed down through the family, then auctioned, then abandoned, then found and fixed. It's a gorgeous song I found by accident (on Amazon) but it's one I keep returning to.

momma rae said...

yay for you! happy blogiversary! i taught myself (and am still learning) how to sew only a couple of years ago. so fun!

as i am an early childhood teacher with two wee ones of my own, most songs in my world these days are children's songs. this one i can be heard singing at least once a day. sometimes i don't even bother breaking up the sibling quibbles, i just break into song!

*love and kindness,
love and kindness,
share these things,
share these things.
smiles are a blessing,
smiles are a blessing,
we can bring,
we can bring.*

Kathleen said...

Happy Blogaversary! I meant to post earlier, but sitting in my computer chair is getting less and less comfortable these days...

One of the only books from my own childhood I haven't been able to find is the first one I ever read, called The Bear Family's Summer Home, or something. It's about a family of bears (duh) with eight children, whose names represent the order in which they were born. So the sixth one was sixtus and the last one was Eighta, but I don't remember the others exactly.

Anyway, they go on vacation and try to pitch a tent, Little Eighta gets stuck in a tree, they have other various adventures, and I think they end up with a tree house.

My older sister very patiently read this book to me about fifty times, helping me sound out the letters (she was a recent reader herself, so she had to go slowly too), and before long, I could read it myself, just from drawing the connections. My parents didn't know I could read until they went to my first Kindergarten Parent-Teacher interview, by which time I must have been reading nearly a year.

Kathleen said...

PS - I realize that as a relative of the House of Glee, I'm not eligible for the giveaway, but I wanted to post in the anniversary thread. :-)

Saints and Spinners said...

Kathleen 2: You are neither a sibling or a parent of the House of Glee, so you are in fact eligible!