Simple Gifts

I am just about to hit the trail for a week-long trip, but before I do, I wanted to give a shout-out to my sister Carol:

Happy Birthday, Sis!

Happy Birthday Carol!As much as Charlotte loves her Aunt Carol, she’s not super thrilled about this—nor is she very happy with me right now: Not only did I just wrap a pretty little gift and put someone else’s name on it, I’m also posting a single, simple, black and white cat doodle today —versus giving her the full Hollywood star treatment she deserves. (Not to mention, I’m posting some old photos, instead. Egad!)

Sorry Charlotte! As it’s Carol’s birthday, I wanted to post something on here today that I thought she might enjoy even more than a cat doodle—i.e., some “birthday monkey business” by our mom Priscilla, from a bunch of years ago.

In the photos below you can see Mom’s hand drawn Give-the-Dog-a-Bone game (ala Pin the Tail on the Donkey), and a similar game where features (nose, eye, lips) were stuck to a half-empty portrait she drew of the Queen of Hearts, resulting in some giggle-inducing, Picassoesque faces. (The beautiful little birthday girl with the braids is Carol, of course.)

Carol's Birthday Party

The wonderful hat box birthday cake centerpiece was inspired by one of Mom’s “go to” books, the McCall’s Golden Giant Make-it Book mentioned in an early post (see below illustration from the 1953 edition). Each little girl guest (including me, with the cropped ’do in the foreground) had a big paper daisy at her place setting with her name on it, attached to a ribbon, attached to a party favor inside.

Make-It Book Birthday

I’ve been to lots of parties over the years, but it’s hard to beat this one for sheer fun—even though it wasn’t me who was being celebrated that day. (Hmm…Are you listening, Charlotte?)

Dear Carol, I hope you have a wonderful birthday, and feel all your friends’ and family’s love around you today, including Mom’s. Very tough losing her (2 years tomorrow), but so wonderful we got to share her all those years. Lots of love to you. I’m so very glad we’re sisters.

Hope everyone has a good Monday and a wonderful week. See you when I get back!

About Jean Tuttle

Jean Tuttle is a Chicago-area illustrator, designer, and doodler.
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2 Responses to Simple Gifts

  1. mary says:

    OOOoooh, i remember those haircuts, especially carol’s braids! i was always a little jealous of your barrington birthday parties as i always seemed to miss them by a couple weeks. i would come out to stay when my mom could make the trip, i don’t think we cousins had birthday parties with each other very much….too many girls, so little time. however, we did get together for the religious occasions like 1st communion and such! so YAY, we got to eat cake and wear pretty dresses! and I do remember the donkey tail game on the wall,…we played it in the summertime, so maybe I was a few weeks late and your mom graciously allowed it to stay up! then she would sit us at the table near the bay-ish windows and put the most perfectly made and precisely triangle cut sandwiches on a medium size (official luncheon plate) plate with a handful of gorgeous pristine potato chips (never any ugly ones) and perhaps a glass of lemonade….and maybe a cookie or treat later. your mom’s lunches were so amazing to me as my mothers were bigger and crustier and seemed not so genteel, and never the pristine chips!! for chips, I had to sneak down the backstairs into the kitchen during an ‘adults only’ cocktail party (for which my mom bought all the crazy stuff we never had like Jay’s chips and ‘sociables’ crackers) …and cram a dozen or so in my face and run!!
    oh dear, im remembering also real quick now,…your mom would bring to our house always these 3 things, perfectly executed and tenderly offered:
    1. PIE !!
    2. pie crusts for Julie
    3. salami rolled up with cream cheese and sliced into spiral appetizers! YUM!

    enough for now!
    have a wonderful trip Jean!
    did you enjoy my new (second new post of
    myself on the internet) youtube? let me know if ya need the link!

    • Jean Tuttle says:

      Mary — thank you so much! It is wonderful revisiting my — our shared — youth through your eyes and memory. Loved when you would come to visit — or vice versa (your household was equally as exotic and wonderful to me!). Just the other day I was remembering us hanging out in the summer as grade schoolers, running into our den to watch Let’s Make a Deal at lunchtime, running around out outside, imaging we were moon maidens (describing our outfits and makeup to each other)…always giddy with excitement that we weren’t in school and could just play, and do whatever we wanted. Heaven! :-)

      I think I might have the link you mentioned via Facebook, but yes, please post it as a reply to this, then I’ll have it for sure!

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