How a Pantheist Packs an Easter Basket

April 24, 2011

Above: Basket I created for a 5-year-old friend. A detail photo appears at the end of this post. Read below for more information.

It was a chilly and overcast day. I'd given up hope of riding my bike outside. I had put a call into my friend Diane because I couldn't stop yawning and get my work done. Chatting with her always gets me back on my toes.

She told me she was taking her mother out to Easter shop for Eric (one of Diane's grandsons). I adore this little boy. (Very intelligent, very verbal, very observant.) Next Diane told me they were going to Michael's. Well I can't go to Michael's unless I'm accompanied by an adult—so a plan started to form. Before I could say anything, Diane suggested, "Why don't you come out here and go with us?"

Not long after that I was at Diane's with a small Fabriano Venezia sketchbook and a squeeable ball that was filled with plastic flies (visible when you squeezed the ball—something I have been meaning to give to Eric for ages). Off we went to pick up the great grandmother and hit Michael's.

Since Diane had pretty much cornered the bubble blowing end of things with a sword wand, I focused on other items, much to the dismay of Diane's mom. At least once I heard her actually say, "ick." (Which was of course in reference to my choices.)

I graduated almost immediately to a larger basket. I decided to go for a storage basket that could be reused. It contains some matching paper "grass" which you can't see, that Fabriano Venezia journal, a pack of 4 Faber-Castell Pitt pens (Black, in various widths and a brush pen; the child already has a Niji brush and some watercolors), a set of plastic pin-backed buttons (which you can fill with your own artwork!), that squeezable ball, two realistic dinosaur finger puppets, a dinosaur egg which transforms into a dinosaur, and a large, 18-inch long scientifically accurate crocodile (or is that an alligator?) with babies on its back. (The mother had requested no candy and that just makes it more interesting for me.)

We returned to Diane's where I wrapped it all up in a large cellophane bag and ribbon, and made a quick card. He'll get it today when he's with his family. With luck he'll be out sketching art for his buttons before dinner.

That's what happens when you let a Pantheist pack an Easter Basket.

Below: Detail photo showing the heads of the two dinosaur finger puppets. One dinosaur is orange and yellow, the other, to the right is a T-Rex with a tooth-filled mouth. Click on the image for an enlargement.


  1. Reply

    best Easter basket ever!

    • Miss T
    • April 24, 2011

    Very cool basket!

  2. Reply

    Aunty H and Miss T (it just struck me the two of you should go on a road trip with names like that! I just came up with a whole series of adventures, evidently not enough sleep last night!) Anyway, I’m glad you both like it. I’ll remember that if the reviews come back in the negative. The way I see it, there’s enough diversity of stuff that if something isn’t a hit it can soon be ignored, and of course every 5-year-old needs a journal!

    • Lisa
    • April 24, 2011

    Wow — I didn’t know Michael’s had such cool stuff!

  3. Reply

    What a lucky kid to have such a spiritually diverse group of friends and admirers.

    • Jeannie
    • April 24, 2011

    The kind of Easter basket that would thrill me to pieces! I am sure Eric was over the moon with his treasures.

  4. Reply

    Made me smile. I give my nieces and nephews similar items. I mean how much candy can a kid possibly eat? And do not get me started on clothes and toys! 🙂

  5. Reply

    Lisa, the mix is huge at Michael’s—complete junk and some stunningly fun stuff. But it’s so overwhelming to sort through! And then there is the smell of those wooden boxes and doodads that some people paint and decorate—I’m allergic to that wood so I always start coughing and sneezing by those aisles. I have to hold my breath and look quickly to see if there is anything of interest there.

    But as well as shopping for Eric, I came back with a couple treasures of my own—one of which I’ll be writing about soon! (Maybe a week or so.)

    So venture forth, but take an adult!

  6. Reply

    Jeannie and Melly, I hope Eric loves it. He is indeed a very lucky young boy.

  7. Reply

    Elisabeth, well I was saved by the prohibition against candy, and I don’t know his clothing sizes for anything, so I’m off that hook as well, though I did see a lovely shirt his grandmother gave him, he’s going to look lovely in it.

  8. Reply

    Lisa, I forgot to reiterate in my last comment that the squeezy ball with flies and the Fabriano Venezia journal were not from Michael’s, but brought with me from home before the shopping trip occurred. I saw balls like that at Michael’s (bloodshot eyeballs come out in the squeezy bits!) but I don’t know if they sell FV Journals there. I wouldn’t go expecting it, call first just in case.


    • Carolyn
    • April 25, 2011

    Love that crocodile! (and the idea of the “fly ball”)

    • Diane
    • April 25, 2011

    The basket, as I knew it would be, was a roaring success. Eric burst out in a joyful laugh when he saw it. He was busy drawing dinosaurs when dinner was served and, like many artists, had to be persuaded to leave the drawing to eat.

    • Karen
    • May 1, 2011

    Lucky young man – what a cool basket! I have to say the beautiful reptile in the basket appears to be an alligator – because it has a blunt nose (as opposed to the croc’s pointier nose) – and you only see a few upper teeth (as opposed to seeing all the teeth in a croc, upper and lower.) Just signed up for your Strathmore journal class!

    ~ Karen (FL resident with gators in the fresh water behind her house…)

  9. Reply

    Karen, many, many thanks, for details on the differences between alligators and crocodiles. I knew there were several things like this but still couldn’t apply the name to the right set of elements! All that stuff I learned watching Tarzan movies has moved out of my brain.

    Eeep. Gators in your backyard. I don’t know about that Karen. Be careful.

    And have fun with the workshop!

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