You can find Charlotte Lyon's free pattern for this Woolie Chick here; it was a breeze to put together and I am eager to set it out for Dean to find tomorrow morning. Several years ago I purchased a set of hand-dyed, felted wools without knowing what I'd do with them and I guess it does prove how nice it is to have on hand the materials you need when you eventually do sit down to make something. If I had started sooner, I would have made a whole flock and given a couple to Dean's teacher -- maybe it's not too late to do that.
One of the underlying tenets of Dean's school is to teach children that they themselves, as individuals, make a difference in the world and in fact have a responsibility to bring about positive change. Dean and I wrote a letter to his pediatrician recently; she's the head of pediatrics at the health center and we urged her to turn off the televisions in the waiting area for upcoming Turn Off Your TV Week. Last year, Dean had an appointment that week and we were both disappointed that our ONLY tv-viewing transgression came when we were exposed to the tv in the waiting room. We suggested hanging a sign on the tvs, explaining about the week and encouraging families to read or talk together while they waited and to ask them to consider participating in the week at home. Well, imagine our surprise and delight yesterday when we got a letter back from the doctor's office, telling us that our letter was discussed at a departmental meeting and that they've ultimately decided to REMOVE the televisions from the pediatrics area all together! They will solicit more book donations -- apparently many of their books end up being taken, but given that the center serves families of all economic backgrounds it is nice to think that for some this is the only way to get books into their homes. Dean and I will bring in a box of books to donate when we go in for his check-up in a few weeks. Dean was overwhelmed by the result of his letter and I was pleased all the way around -- yes, we can make a difference in the world!
If you've never done it before, I can highly recommend turning off your tv (and computers, and electronic games) for a week. It helps you remember all the other things you enjoy doing with your free time and makes you think about your choices more critically. I know it will be hard for me in a couple of weeks to go without blogging, but I'll vow to get some WIPs finished up and that's the week before Dean's birthday party so I won't want for things to do!