Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Toddler Mutant Stenciled Turtles

Remember back when you were a little kid and everything seemed larger than life? Maybe your house or school seemed huge to you or maybe your older brother seemed like a giant hovering over you?

Events always seemed larger than life too. I have certain memories burned into my brain that are actually pretty mundane, but as a child they seemed so big and important.

About a month ago my nephew "discovered" a large turtle in his grandmother's backyard at the shore. Her house is between the ocean and the bay. Though not exactly a far distance in either direction, it would be quite a long journey for a turtle to make. How did the turtle find itself in her yard? How long did it take to get to her house? How did it manage to avoid being hit by a car in this busy summer season? This out of the ordinary experience was exciting to me as an adult, I can only imagine how magical it would seem to a child.

Since I had already made a turtle stencil, I decided it was only fitting that my nephew have a shirt of his own to commemorate this event. These photos are of Little C's romper. I didn't take a picture of my nephew's, but it looks exactly the same in t-shirt form.

I used plain fabric paint from the craft store (in marine blue--how fitting!) and one of those 15 cent throw- away sponge brushes. Here's a tip: use a straight, up and down motion when stenciling.

I find myself checking my mother-in-law's yard whenever we visit, hoping to see that turtle, or another turtle. If I was my nephew, I would feel convinced that grandma's yard always contained turtles. These events are so big in our imagination because they're not likely to happen again. And that's what makes them so memorable.

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