TOY STORIES

Don't worry, there's a happy ending!

Don’t worry, there’s a happy ending!


Back in 2009, 25 Random Things About Me was the big thing on Facebook. I actually wrote a series of articles on how to use this idea to write a great artist statement.

I don’t remember what my 25 Random Things were. But today I add one more.

It’s about my toy stories. I make up stories about inanimate objects.

It began at a very early age, like maybe 3 or 4 years old. I had very few dolls as a kid but a lot of stuffed animals. And I always made up stories about their rich inner life. Like the night I thought they were cold and lonely, so I put sorted them into groups of ‘friends’ so they would would be warm. That left no room for me. So I slept on the floor.

Fortunately (or not), the next day I thought they might have chapped hands so I liberally covered them all with Jergen’s hand lotion. My mom threw them all out, and I got my bed back.

I still worry I had an alternative motive there. But I don’t think I did. I mourned the loss of all my little fur buddies, and I still miss them. Hence my large collection of old toys and very small dolls.

Which is why I felt sorry for this mama kangaroo at the thrift shop. I was shopping for small stuffed animals to decorate our Christmas tree. It’s our first Christmas without our kids, and we only have space for a very small tree.

She had a pouch but no baby kangaroo. How long had they been separated? Did she still miss him? I almost left her there, because I knew I would feel sad whenever I saw her. But then I realized I was putting my discomfort above her loss, so I bought her anyway. (I kid you not, these were my thoughts.)

And then at another thrift shop, I found a tiny bear who was glued into a little box. I didn’t make the connection at first. I just didn’t like the box he was glued into, and I thought he might be happier without it. So I tore the box off, and I put him in the microwave so I could soften and remove the glue.

Only I forgot to to remove the little metal hanging hook from his head so there were sparks and flames and the top of his head melted a little bit. And I had to clip the glue out of his fur so he looks a little ragged. I felt guilty that I’d made him worse. And now he smells a little….well, burnt.

Then I realized he would fit perfectly into the mama kangaroo’s pouch and they would be a comfort to each other.

So I guess I’m still telling stories about inanimate objects…. I don’t know what it means, and I don’t want to analyze it too much. It actually kind of works it’s way into my art, so I’m going to leave it alone.

Our first California Christmas tree, decorated with stuff I found at area thrift shops.

Our first California Christmas tree, decorated with stuff I found at area thrift shops.

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5 thoughts on “TOY STORIES

  1. My furry friends got stuffed in bags and put on a shelf because of my “allergies”, and I think it scarred me for life. A few years ago I was working a craft show and the booth across the way was selling teddy bears dipped in scented wax and displayed in plastic bags. I had nightmares for a week…

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  2. You are fabulous! Love is amazing and seems able to be directed even at inanimate objects. I have the same deal with plants and animals.

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  3. Love it! I am a plein air painter on the coast of Maine. When I come indoors to paint in my studio I have some little “furry friends” who sit and watch me paint. The weather is too rough here to take them out on location with me. But they love watching me at work in the studio. My office has another group of “furry friends” who cozy up on the couch.

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