Sunday, 4 October 2009

On toys and being immature

The Amazon Mathematic Principal states that “If you are treating yourself to a book from Amazon that doesn’t cost enough to qualify for free Super Saver delivery then you can add a second book to your purchase to qualify and that second book will be determined “free” even though technically you are paying twice the amount you would have had you just paid the postage in the first place...”

Which is how it came about that I received a delivery of two rather delicious books yesterday. The first is "Stitch and Bitch: The Happy Hooker" by Debbie Stoller which, aside from having the World’s Second Best Book Title (we’ll come to the first best in a minute), is going to my number one tool in mastering the art of crochet…

I have dug out some garish acrylic wool from the loft, and dusted off a crochet hook that I didn’t know I even had (or why) and I am beginning to learn the basics. My sister had already taught me a few basic stitches and I had foolishly thought I would now just knock up a few granny squares, stitch them together and have a gorgeously colourful and kitsch blanket to snuggle by teatime. Turns out I’m not much of a natural though, hence the new book.

The second book and current holder of the World’s Best Book Title…er..title is…

Yes, that’s right – "Plush-o-rama: Curious Creatures for Immature Adults". The moment the wrapping came off Lillia had quite literally grabbed it from me. She then spent twenty minutes leafing through its pages laughing hysterically at the array of ridiculous multi-limbed creatures and making a verbal list of all the ones she wished to have made for her.

And make them I will. But there was another reason why I had ordered this lovely crazy book. Two reasons actually: First to teach me a bit of wild abandonment. As the introduction says "..welcome to the new plush frontier where it's perfectly acceptable to be a bit quirky, where uabashed originality is highly encouraged, and 'not-quite-right' is the norm"." I am hoping that some of this attitude will rub off on me.

Secondly I bought it having read about The Toy Society. Have you heard of it? It started as a street art project in Australia and is now spreading its love rapidly throughout the world. The basic premise is that you make a lovely little toy, you wrap it, add a tag saying “Take me home, I’m yours”, then leave it in a public place for somebody to find, take home and love. You include a little letter with your toy explaining what the Toy Society is and with details of how to report the toy as being found if the finder wishes to do so.

The whole thing is just so utterly sweet and has that pay-it-forward kind of vibe that I love. Just reading the notes from “finders” brought a tear to my eye. But then I cry at anything - TV adverts, news stories about rescued animals, losing my lipgloss…anything.

I believe it was the fictional Jerry Maguire who once said “We live in a cynical world, a cynical, cynical world…” I for one cannot deny being of the cynical persuasion, but I still see a lot of goodness in the world and if this little project helps to spread a little more of that goodness then I want to join in.
Watch this space!

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