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I was just reading an article from About.com on an artist from New Orleans who returned to her studio after Katrina, to find by her surprise a watercolor painting that had survived the hurricane.

Reading this article got me to thinking. What if a natural disaster happened to our family?

If I were lucky enough to have fair warning I know what I would bring. After bringing all the essential legal papers and my hard drive (I’ve got video and pictures on there), I would head for the emotional stuff that I just couldn’t replace.

Things like photos, artwork, the kid’s drawings, and small love gifts would be the first things to come. Then my box of childhood mementos, along with my husband’s and our children’s. Other things would come only if there was room.

If you had just a few hours to grab a selection of your personal possessions what would they be? What do you think your children would bring?

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I recently came across a short article from the Proctor and Gamble’s P&G Everyday Solutions Newsletter, called " 6 Ways to Be a Kid Again: No Kidding!"

As parents we have a huge opportunity to re-live some of our childhood through something that is called ‘play therapy’. Childhood games like tag, Red Rover, skipping and using a Hula Hoop is a fantastic way to stay healthy and young at heart.

Some of the other ideas presented in the article were, finger painting, doing crafts, dancing, and being on a sport team.

I loved the idea of taking a group of your friends (leaving the kids at home), and heading off to an amusement park, zoo or the water park.

I know there would be a lot of giggling if my friends and I went to Playland… and even some screaming from me if we went on one of those crazy swinging rides!!!

Tell us some of your favorite childhood activities, that would make you feel like a child again if you tried them?

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Have you ever read an article and been instantly transported to your childhood?

I just read an article about the popular comeback of the ice cream sandwich from the New York Times called Frozen Treats: A Bite of Childhood.

The moment I started reading the article, a flood of ‘ice cream sandwich memories’ came rushing back of my own childhood. One memory in particular comes to mind.

My grandma lived in a tiny town called Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. This tiny town is nestled in at the base of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

For most of my childhood, we lived on the West Coast of British Columbia and did not have that many chances to visit my Grandparents. So getting to stay with them in their home was a special treat.

Grandma kept an old deep freeze in the mudroom by the back door, where her friends and family entered the house. The front door was the formal entrance and was only used by guests.

Whenever we would visit, my little brother and sister and I would go out to the mudroom and hunt in the freezer for treasure! The treasure we were hoping to find was a bucket filled with homemade ice cream sandwiches.

Grandma made her ice cream sandwiches with large chocolate chip cookies filled with vanilla ice cream. She then rolled the edges of the sandwiches in melted chocolate. Before the chocolate hardened, she’d roll them again in a plate of chopped nuts, usually salted peanuts.

Then grandma would carefully wrap the ice cream treasures in wax paper, before placing them in an empty ice cream bucket in the freezer for us to find.

She made it seem like there was probably always a bucket full of ice cream sandwiches at her place. Though now that I’m an adult, my guess is she started making them right after she found out we were coming.

Childhood memories are amazing. Simple things like the thought of an ice cream sandwich can take you back twenty or thirty years. When times were simple and pleasures were sweet.

How far back can an ice cream sandwich take you?

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Personal Note: Since this is my first post to this blog I decided to include it in the General category as well as the Spirit Bear category.

Also, if you have been to this Look What I Drawed site before you will see that it has changed!  What was once a regular website, is now an interactive web-log or blog for short. That means that after you read a post or watch a video (coming soon), you will be able to follow the comments and opinions of others and be able to offer your own ‘two cents’.

Being interactive makes things way more fun! So I hope you enjoy the new format.

There’s a bear in My House!

In Spring 2006 I was involved with a very exciting and rewarding charitable project called "Kermode Spirit Bears in the City". To watch "The making of the Spirit Bear" with interviews of Sullivan Elementary Kids click There’s a bear in My House!

The Lions Society of British Columbia, Easter Seals, and the Canucks for Kids, came up with this public art project after the huge success of the "Orcas in the City" project in 2003.  (My orca on this link is titled ‘Young and Free’ and is half way down the page.)

Click here for newspaper articles involving both our "Orcas in the City" project and our "Kermode Spirit Bears in the City" project.

These two projects were created to give exposure to artists and sponsors, beautify the city and ultimately to raise much needed funds for children with disabilities.

Basically the way the projects worked was, a limited number of gorgeous life sized fiberglass sculptures were created. An 8 foot baby orca whale, and a 71/2 foot baby Kermode Spirit Bear.

These were the ‘blank canvases’ on which the artists created their masterpieces. A sponsor funded the cost of the sculpture’s creation and installation, in exchange for their name on the plaque and brochure,  the say in the location of the sculpture, etc., etc.

The sculptures then spend the summer ‘out on the street’  enjoyed by the public and are auctioned off online and at a big gala event in the fall. Our Spirit Bear will be auctioned in October 2006.

What makes my Orca and Bear particularly special is the involvement of tons of children. As an artist who works with children’s art as the basis of my designs, I can combine the work of many children’s designs into one piece.

This really ‘raises the bar’ as far as involving the community.

With the orca project I used the drawings from 10 different children including my own. With the bear project there were over 500 children involved!

The sponsors for our bear were 4 Moms for kids. They were four moms from a private school in Vancouver, BC called West Point Grey Academy (WPGA). They approached me to paint the bear after one of the moms had purchased my orca in 2003.

Together with the help of the Fine Arts and Performing Director at WPGA Christina Mears, we collected over 700 drawings of specific images from the students of WPGA.

They held a special Spirit Bear Day to create these drawings and many of them will be published in a small book along with poems and stories the children have created. 

My husband Doug and I were there at WPGA on Spirit Bear Day, going from classroom to classroom observing the kids creating their drawings. It was so inspiring to see their excitement and raw enthusiasm for the project.

Right now our bear titled "WPGA School Spirit" is standing out on the corner of West Tenth and Sasamat in Vancouver, BC enjoying the ooohs and aaawes from the passers by … from the tiny baby to the big burly construction guy.

So go check out the video to listen to all the children’s darling opinions and come back here to leave an opinion of your own. I’m sure all the kids and their parents would to here your kind words!