Is it too early to be thinking about Easter baskets? Maybe! But this year I won’t be at home for Easter, so I wanted to prepare one for my little sister before I head out of town tomorrow, since she’ll be here visiting Dad on Easter while I’m gone.
Easter baskets are a fond tradition in our family that hasn’t diminished all that much over time. They were important when we were kids, and are still fun to put together, even if there are no kids around—for instance when someone visits, or has an April birthday, or needs a little get-well goody.
Here’a a pretty pink Easter basket I put together (with Charlotte’s help) for Mom when she was in a rehab facility for several months, prior to her death in 2010. (This basket had a lot of ho-hum stuff in it like travel size toiletries, but Mom still seemed to get a kick out of how festive it looked.)
I also had a bit of help putting together this year’s Easter basket for Julie, pictured at the top. Dad rounded up all the candy, and Charlotte put on her bunny suit a little earlier than usual, so she could model for the card.
Kitty also supplied me with something to draw for Dad’s breakfast table doodle this morning, when her bunny suit zipper malfunctioned. (Thanks, Charlotte!)
By the way, you probably can’t see it too clearly in the above snapshot, but the drawing of Charlotte for Julie’s basket got enhanced with a bit of tinted sparkle glue here and there. —Worth mentioning, just in case there are any other magpies out there who, like me, are into glittery, shiny things. This was one of the treats my sister Carol gave me for my birthday, and something I’d highly recommend getting ahold of: a set of 24 little tubes of glitter glue from Martha Stewart Crafts, in delicious subtle colors like, “aquamarine crystal” and “purple sapphire.” Sounds—and looks—pretty yummy, no?
While we’re on the subject of craft supplies and make & do, a few days later Carol had another treat sent my way: Do any of you remember the 1953 classic, McCall’s Giant Golden Make-It Book? My sister and I had been reminiscing about our long lost copy a week or two before, and she ended up tracking down one for me, which was pretty darn thrilling (and very thoughtful of her, too).
I’ll bet a lot of you reading this have books in your own distant past, which, for whatever reason, held you spellbound. When I was a kid, I spent hours pouring over the colorful retro illustrations in the Make-It Book—showing how to decorate a table for a Valentine’s Day party, or make jewelry out of bottle caps and seashells, or a weird and wonderful “chemical garden” (like the kind you used to be able to buy in kits)—fantasizing all the while, not about doing the project, but about the end result. (A lot of the instructions required much, much more focus than my youthful attention span could muster, alas.)
Fortunately, Mom not only had the necessary focus, but, being an artist and graphic designer, she also had the requisite fine motor skills to tackle anything at all in the book, and to make it look even better than the illustrated examples—which was extremely impressive to me, both then and now. I don’t recall her creating any of the “Make-It” Easter baskets that I used to love to study, but I do remember her making her own version of the Jolly Easter Eggs pictured below, creating a fantastic menagerie of egg shell animals—bunnies, chicks, birds, goldfish, chipmunks, etc.— which we would display at Easter for years to come.
Whatever happened to those wonderful “jolly eggs?” Or, to our original copy of the beloved Make-It Book, for that matter? —Just one of the many mysteries of what got kept and what got tossed, that every family or household has.
Something, however, that did get kept (albeit reluctantly), were Carol and my first Easter baskets, pictured below. I love the way Mom labeled them when she stored them away: “Carol and Jean said save. Why?” Well Mom, because just seeing them brings back memories of all the wonderful things they once held—those jolly eggs, the fuzzy toy chicks with the wonky metal feet, the sugar eggs with scenes inside. —Not to mention, the thrill of finding them all, tucked into a basket bulging with candy, on Easter morning.
Is it any wonder I still like Easter baskets?
Have a great Thursday night everyone and a happy Friday tomorrow!