Friday, February 25, 2011

A Play Therapy Friend

I wanted to introduce you to my friend, Dr. David Crenshaw.  I first met him a number of years ago when he was our speaker for the Kentucky Association for Play Therapy annual conference.  I have such respect for his decades of clinical experience as a play therapist and psychologist.  He has written numerous articles and book chapters and is the author or editor of many books.  You can read more about him here.

He is such a down-to-earth guy with a keen sense of humor.  One of the things I love best about him is the reverence he holds for children, especially the ones who have been abused or neglected or are hurting in some way.  He has a creative side to him as can be seen in his poetry.  The following poem you can find translated in 5 languages on his website:

The Multicultural Language of Healing a Child
©David A. Crenshaw, all rights reserved, 2010 
Listening attentively with the heart to what the child can’t say but deeply feels,
Sometimes enabling the child to shed a long overdue tear
Goes a long way towards helping a wounded child heal
The child is no longer alone or the pain too much to bear. 
I don’t want to know how many degrees you’ve been awarded,
What you know matters less to a child than how much you care.
In the thick textbooks on therapy it is rarely recorded
Sometimes a child just needs us to be there. 
Across cultures and the great oceans
The language of healing is wholehearted caring.
Perhaps more potent than any of the pharmaceutical potions,
The healing elements are sensitive attunement, empathic listening, and heartfelt sharing.   

I hope he will inspire you as he does me.  I will continue to share with you from time to time, some of the "big wigs" in the play therapy field as I affectionately call them.

Here's hoping you have a playful weekend.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dear Blog

Dear Blog,

How I've missed you.  I feel a bit antsy when I don't have make time to be creative and play.  But I'm not gonna beat up on myself for that.  It's been a bit of a rough week...and that's life.  Allergies, a friend moved away, and a big project (rated proposals for the next APT conference).  I'm getting back on track.  And how nice it was to spend a day with my daughter last weekend!

Today I bought these tulips to bring some cheer into my world.
Hope you have some cheer too. ~smiles~

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

That's My Girl

This is one of my favorite pictures of my daughter.  She is 4 in her playroom that became her bedroom when her brother was born.  She built some sort of structure for her Barbies.  I remember thinking at the time how very creative it was.

Now this daughter is 11 1/2.  Yes, must add in the 1/2 because she's definitely closer to being 12 than 11 in more ways than one.  She exercises her creativity more through writing stories and photography.

Last night she said we needed to have a mother-daughter day.  I am so glad she did.  I LOVE our mother-daughter days.  When I woke up this morning she left a note with it all planned out: eating lunch out, shopping, mani/pedi, seeing a movie, and going to Barnes & Noble.  My kinda play day!

So today I am grateful for my creative daughter & the beautiful sunshine with temperatures in the 60s.

Here's hoping that you have sunshine and creative people in your life to brighten your day!

Monday, February 14, 2011

When Art and Play Bring You to Tears

Sunday afternoon I reread the chapter, Guidepost #7: Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth, in Brene Brown's book, The Gifts of Imperfection.  (I thought for once I'd be ready for this week's topic for MondoBeyondo's Dream Lab, the class I'm taking.)

Then I immediately took a nap where I dreamed about my friend Heather who is moving away next week back to her home state of Utah.  In my dream she had already moved and had taken pictures of some sort of Play initiative that the state of Utah was doing. (Not really happening, but that's my dream.)  So the pictures consisted of reminders to play that were found on things like stoplights and street signs.

When I awoke from this nap I felt the strangest emotions and sensations.  In an attempt to shake it off, I went to Google Reader to catch up on my blog reading.  I immediately saw this post from my sister where she shares the picture at the left and describes its meaning.  If you don't actually read it and I think you should, I'll just tell you that the hearts represent members of our family (wonder which one I am) and she explains her gratitude for each one of us.  By now I have tears streaming down my face.  You must know that she lives in another state, in Texas, and I don't see her very often.

Meanwhile, Miles is busy sitting at the kitchen table (my computer is in our dining room) and playing around with art materials.  Then he proceeds to hand me the little flower below and says it's for me.  Major tears now.

I am reminded again just how meaningful art and play are in our lives.  And how, while they can be solitary activities, they are best meant to be shared.

I should leave my post where it is but it's Valentine's Day.  On Friday I received the following tweet:

For those of you who are new to Twitterland, this was a tweet from Michael Douglas Jones who happens to be an artist.  He had spent the evening choosing sayings from candy hearts for those he follows on Twitter.  He chose TEACH ME for yours truly, playcrane.  The hashtag #FF stands for Friday Follow.  It's where you recommend people for others to follow on Twitter.  I am honored but also awed by this man's creativity with this series of tweets.

While watching the Grammys I sifted through 24 oz. of candy hearts to find these two.  Pics taken on iphone.

Happy Valentine's Day! 
I appreciate each and every one of you who take time to read my blog. 
It fills my heart.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Music, Play and Passion

Check out this video of 3-year-old Jonathan conducting to the 4th movement of Beethoven's 5th symphony.  He really does FEEL THE MUSIC as Jamie Ridler stated in this post where I first saw this video.  Man, does this kid get into it!  Such passion in his play.  (See I'm continuing with this passion theme.)

And here he is in a much shorter video practicing his violin.  My favorite part comes at the end when you can see what must be his little sister "playing" right along with him.

Of course this child has natural, possibly genetic, talent and we all can predict his future vocation will involve music some day.  And it reminds me what Dr. Stuart Brown says in his book, Play, that we are probably happiest in our work as adults if our career involves some form of what we used to play as a child.

And for me, I'm checking out some live music with some friends this weekend.  Can't remember the last time I did that.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Play is Long

Sweet childish days, that were as long
As twenty days are now.
~William Wordsworth

The picture above was taken by my dad when he, my mom, and sister were in town for a visit in August 2009.  On this particular day we visited Paint'n Place.  I remember that we had so much fun that day.  My sister painted a cat to look like her real cat named Zach.  Mer painted an ice cream cone and Miles filled a car with yellow color, his favorite.  It was hot that day and their air conditioning wasn't working as seen in our sweaty faces and big drink cups.

On that day I made this plaque thing seen below.
taken with iphone
That plaque now hangs at work along with other art I am collecting about PLAY.

Today I am feeling cranky.  I stayed up too late on the computer, was awoken by my husband on his way to work to tell me that the kids have ANOTHER snow day so I could turn off my alarm and go back to sleep.  But, of course, I couldn't.  My mind started swirling about how a snow day changes all my plans for the day.  For one, I was going to treat myself to a pedicure at a salon.  Hard thing to do with a 5-year-old around so I'll save that for another day.

For some reason I then remembered the quote above.  I use it in my Lifespan Development class when we cover Socioemotional Development in Early Childhood.  A big part of a preschooler's development is facilitated by play.  The quote above reminds me of those days when I was little and would just play, and play, and play, and play.  Those days seemed to go on forever.  Can you tell I'm missing those days?  I could use a day like that.

Hmmm... perhaps I'll take the kids on a little field trip to paint today.

Here's hoping you have memories where play is long.  I think it's harder for us as adults to capture that feeling.  But we sure can try.

By the way, that quote is part of the poem below.
"To A Butterfly" (1801)
By Williams Wordworth (1770-1850).
I've watched you now a full half-hour;
Self-poised upon that yellow flower
And, little Butterfly! indeed
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless!--not frozen seas
More motionless! and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again!
This plot of orchard-ground is ours;
My trees they are, my Sister's flowers;
Here rest your wings when they are weary;
Here lodge as in a sanctuary!
Come often to us, fear no wrong;
Sit near us on the bough!
We'll talk of sunshine and of song,
And summer days, when we were young;
Sweet childish days, that were as long
As twenty days are now.
Stay near me--do not take thy flight!
A little longer stay in sight!
Much converse do I find in thee,
Historian of my infancy!
Float near me; do not yet depart!
Dead times revive in thee:
Thou bring'st, gay creature as thou art!
A solemn image to my heart,
My father's family!
Oh! pleasant, pleasant were the days,
The time, when, in our childish plays,
My sister Emmeline and I
Together chased the butterfly!
A very hunter did I rush
Upon the prey:--with leaps and springs
I followed on from brake to bush;
But she, God love her, feared to brush
The dust from off its wings.

As always your comments are welcome and very much appreciated!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Passion is the theme of the month at Creative Every Day, so I decided to play around with the color RED using various shades of red acrylic paint in my art journal and the result is what you see above.  Honestly, I am not liking it, but I did find the process of painting to be very relaxing.  I am very much wishing I had a space where I could keep out my art supplies all the time.  It seems like such a chore to get everything out and later put it all away.  But I digress.

I'm also finding that it's hard to focus on passion when everyone where I live is very much sick of the snow.  Most of the school districts around here have missed a lot of school; thankfully, my children haven't.  Meanwhile, so much in the news is depressing.  Yet, isn't it always like that?

So right now.  In this moment.  I will focus on PASSION.  Sure with Valentine's Day coming up the word has sexual connotations.  I'm choosing to view passion in a different way.


What makes me smile.
What makes me happy.
What makes me feel alive.
What we are passionate about is what gives our lives meaning.
Passion is what keeps me moving forward when sometimes I'd rather just play turtle and crawl into my shell and go to sleep.
Are you living a life of passion?

I am passionate about children, PLAY, books, inspiring others, art, and play therapy.

What are you passionate about?

P.S.  As I wrote this, I got a text that said I won this.  Kathy Davis is someone whose art I truly love.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thoughts on the Color Red

Been watching the events in Egypt lately.  All that blood shed.  So relieved to focus on RED in a different way. 

Today is National Wear Red Day, a day to raise awareness of heart disease in women.  Heart disease is still the number one cause of death for women in the United States and not breast cancer as some might think.  This year the day falls one day after Chinese New Year.  For the Chinese, RED is a color of happiness and good fortune.  Chinese New Year is a time for celebrating.

RED in a few languages:

Shades of RED: Auburn, Burgundy, Burnt sienna, Candy apple red, Cardinal, Carmine, Carnelian, Cerise, Chestnut, Coral, Crimson, Fire engine red, Flame, Fuschia, Lava, Magenta, Maroon, Persimmon, Puce, Raspberry, Red-violet, Redwood, Rose, Ruby, Rust, Sangria, Scarlet, Terracotta, Vermillion

So today I shall reflect on all those touched by heart disease.  I shall play with the color RED.
The color of passion, the color of energy, the color of love,
the color of life.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Getting Messy

Went looking for a certain photo in an album to share on the blog today.  Tried to scan it but couldn't get that to work so I'll save it for another day.  Ended up looking through old digital photos instead and came across these two from 4 or 5 years ago.  Of course, I couldn't stop there.  I reminisced for quite awhile.

Opened the linen closet where I keep medicines as well as towels and found a jumble of bandaids on the floor.  I've been finding evidence of Miles's messes all over the house lately.  I can remember Meredith being the same way.  Then it hit me.  It won't be long before Miles will no longer be "messy."  My frustration then turned to sadness.  When we're little we don't mind the messes and then we "grow out of" that which may contribute a bit to our loss of creativity.  I think there's something wrong with that.

So today while I'm doing laundry, I think I'll get out the finger paints and get messy.  (I guess the kids can play too.)  Yep, life is full of contradictions/tensions/opposites like that.  Clean and dirty, play and work, boundary and freedom.  What I know is you have to be willing to play and get dirty in order to exercise your creativity.

Will join me?

Please take a moment to leave a comment.  It makes my day and encourages me to keep up this blogging thing.