Monday, 13 February 2012

In the Boasting Corner


Were I forced into a boasting corner and asked to list what my child's five most impressive skills were, thumb-printing would be the surprise, and slightly obscure, entry on the list for my little boy. My daughter and I are loopy about the strange and characterful people that form around his thumb prints. Baby Man (the portly fellow wearing a nappy on the right of the above photo) was a particular favourite, but so too was their own grandfather who appeared from the whirls of his thumb complete with moustache:



It's uncanny how similar to my father this thumb-man actually appears to be, but then their grandfather is known for his propensity to infiltrate people's drawing paper. In a blog post in 2007, I wrote about how he had surprised us when he appeared on the front of a carton of Innocent Smoothie. Following that post, the illustrator, Ed Grace, creator of the Innocent image, stumbled upon my blog and denied all knowledge of my father being the inspiration for his design, but I like to think that he snuck in without Ed even being aware of it. My father leads a thrilling double life: one moment he is busily threading paperclips in the City, the next casting his own image onto works of art - the ego of the man!


Anyway, back to thumb printing: my little boy made these bookmarks to give as Christmas gifts in December, but I thought I'd mention them now as they're a perfect activity for anyone also enjoying a half-term break. It's as simple as having a thumb, an ink pad and a black fine-nibbed pen and amusement can be yours for hours on end. We have gathered together quite a library of thumb-printing books, amongst which are this one by Klutz which comes with its own inks and this one by the infamous Ed Emberley. Both are wonderful and many of the above are direct reproductions of the characters found within those books.


I'd love to hear what your own obscure specialist talent is: please consider yourself trapped in a boasting corner and don't be shy. Mine is that I'm highly skilled at folding myself in half - there's a photo of that somewhere on this blog, but I can't actually locate it...which isn't such a bad thing as I think that the thing about a specialist talent is that it mostly delights the talent-holder with their own freaky fabulousness, rather than the onlooker, who may just be left feeling slightly confused or even appalled. But I encourage you to share anyway. While writing this I sent my husband to the boasting corner. Once there, under duress, he conceded that his talent is that he's able to eat six Jaffa cakes in a minute. He said that I must make it clear that each Jaffa should be swallowed completely before beginning to eat the next is permitted, lest you brush the achievement away thinking it easier than it really is.

Florence x

Ps. Please do let me know if my father turns up in your artwork - we love to keep track of his movements.

24 comments:

  1. I must now add your blog to my reader, you are so funny. I can fold my ears into tiny little balls - I thought it was perfectly normal and everyone did it when I was little and then it turned out that it's just me and it's not normal and I'm weird.

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    1. Goodness! I knew that the folding-myself-in-half-trick would take me to great places - thank you, Lynne!

      I think that you probably are very strange (because I've just tried to fold my own ears into tiny little balls to no avail), but it actually sounds like quite an endearing thing to be able to do and as though you're unlikely to scare small children with it, so as specialist talent's go I think it's a good one!

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  2. eew, Lynne that's gross. I can identify songs after a couple of notes, not a great skill, will try and thing of something better. We have both those thumb printing books, my boy likes them too - maybe it's a boy thing?

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    1. That's so freaky, Kate! I can do that too. Ian and I play that game all the time - he selects things on his iPod and I have to identify it as quickly as I can. At Christmas I played it against my father and sister too (my father is a music fiend and is actually responsible for introducing us to anything we end up listening to) and I was proud to beat him every single time. I think we should ask Amy to chair a game of it for us next time we meet up.

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  3. I have no skills.

    I'm wracking my brains trying to think of something.


    No.


    I'm utterly useless.


    *sigh*


    Off I go to weep to myself

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  4. Katy...are you pretending to be my father in your profile picture?

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  5. I feel compelled to share this, but will probably regret it because it's gross but... I can put the tip of my tongue right up my nose!
    There's no need to thank me for sharing, I'm off to hide forever lol

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    1. Thank you for sharing! Please do return to tell whether you think your ability to do this comes from an abnormally long tongue or a very small distance between your lips and nose - I'm most eager to know!

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  6. After a temp job in which I had to stuff envelopes for two straight weeks, I can fold a piece of A4 paper into perfect thirds using just my eyes and hands.

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    1. That's actually a really useful thing to be able to do, I think. I'm sure that would mean that you'd also probably be unusually talented at making paper aeroplanes too.

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  7. My husband thinks he can do a pack of jaffa cakes in under a minute(said with glint in eye). I can play the bag pipes on my windpipe.

    And happy days quilting, please don't do that ewhhhhh

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    1. Thinking and doing are two entirely different matters! ;)

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  8. I think these Jaffa Cake scoffers need to move on to more challenging biscuits. When Mr Teacakes can consume six Jammie Dodgers in 60 seconds, let us know (with video evidence).

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    1. Goodness Nina, I will have to keep him away from this post for fear that he sees it and then dies trying...I can see now that a Jaffa cake is small fry: you win.

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  9. hhmmm last time I was pushed into a corner to share a skill I ended up stuck with both legs behind my head and a teacher telling me off for showing off (whilst trying to get my legs down). I am not as agile now - those were the days lol. I can however turn my tounge upside down - rather strange.

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    1. Goodness! Well that's super that you've retained full tongue mobility at least!

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  10. I can fit my entire fist into my mouth! why you may ask? Because I can...

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    1. That would be shocking if I hadn't grown up being friends with a girl who could fit an entire soup ladle in her mouth as a party trick. It makes me feel ill just thinking about it.

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  11. I can sing for at least half an hour to/with a group of children, getting them to join in and add actions!

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    1. I think that seems like the most worthwhile specialist talent detailed here!

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  12. well, because you asked...my secret super power is parallel parking my minivan. i once even had two men stop next to me after I had just completed that little maneuver and actually give me a round of applause. they even rolled down their window so I could hear them. I won't say it was my proudest moment, in case any of my children ever come across this post and wonder why I didn't cite their births, but it was definitely in the top 4 :)

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    1. Is this Adrianna or Susan speaking on behalf of Crafterhours? Either way, I'm suffering severe specialist talent envy - this is the one that I'd most wish to possess.

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  13. That is so funny about your father's face appearing in other people's artwork!

    I remember the post with the photo of you folded in half. I left a comment about it but when I looked a few days later to see if you'd replied, the photo had gone!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x