Wednesday, August 10, 2011

this is my childhood, and i am throwing it away.

last night i found three old boxes tucked away in the recesses of our garage labeled "carolyn keepsake."  let me explain the keepsake phenomenon in my house.  we are all hopelessly sentimental.  i still have my baby blanket for instance.  and all my corsages from high school dances (what the?  threw those out last night.  well, all except one.  the sentimental won out on that one).  and i still have the first thing i ever crocheted.  i think it was supposed to be a scarf.  it's more like two feet of skeewompus rows of bright green yarn.  and yes, the scarf ended up skinnier than it started out.  you get the picture.  it all amounts to finding some real treasures and some real horrors every once and a while when i come across hidden "keepsake" boxes.

the boxes i found last night were from kindergarten through 6th grade, and mostly it was a bunch of school projects that for some reason were "just too special" for me to throw away at the time.  you know, pilgrims with accordion-folded arms and legs,

santas with cottonball beards,

and the groundhog taped to a stick that i used as a puppet on groundhog day in first grade.  that type of thing.  don't worry.  i threw most of it away.  but so much of what i threw away was just too good to not take a picture of.  and thus i present: a walk through carolyn's childhood.

going through seven years of your life like that, as manifest in school projects, you start to notice interesting patterns.

in kindergarten i was all about rainbows.  proof: rainbow leprechaun, silver glitter and all:

i found a way to incorporate rainbows into every project i did.
i guess when you're looking at the world through rainbow-colored glasses, you can't help it.

yeeeeah.  you better believe that is me.  and yes those are rainbow rims on my glasses.

also in the kindergarten box there were a shocking amount of cards and notes from a boy named ben.  ???  they all said the same thing:  to: carolyn, from: ben.  (that was the extent of our kindergartenly card-making ability, apparently.)

first grade i found a lot of things made out of hearts.  maybe my teacher was obsessed, i don't remember.  but i am pretty sure i've had nightmares about this little guy.

i mean...what is it?

it was apparently also in 1st grade when i first tried my hand at great art.  matisse, you've got nothing on me.


and a goya-inspired mask perhaps?

(a note on this--in the sixthgrade box, i found a sculpture project we did, in which i have notes about michelangelo's pieta.  to think that i got to see it just a few weeks ago!)

looks like the brightred fingernails also started around then.

and mr. popper's penguin!  this is the best little treasure of all i found.  in first grade we read "mr. popper's penguins" and "little penguin's tale", both of which are exceptional stories.  especially if you're into penguins.  i mean.  what more could a six year old ask for than to make penguins out of an empty milk gallon, papier-mache and those rolly-beady eyes?  nothing!  the answer is nothing.

finally, the upper elementary years...paw prints and watermelons on everything.  so, so glad i grew out of that phase.

so there you have it.  my childhood.  what a lovely one it was.

(if any of you would like me to host penguin making parties at your next get-together, i would be happy to oblige.  i charge two Book-It stickers per event.)


  1. I think your art skills at these ages (yes, this is including the creepy heart... thing from 1st grade) still surpass my current artistic skills.

  2. Carolyn, that picture is the most priceless gem I could ever hope to encounter. Thank you... thank you for sharing this sweet history.

  3. Awwwwwwww. Sorry, had to say it. I like the penguin. I might order one. You were a cute little elementary schooler. :)