I’m always amazed and inspired by the artwork children create. Even more so when it’s for a worthy cause.
Earlier this year Ouchies Bandages sponsored an art contest where kids from around the country submitted designs with messages of hope and healing to battle pediatric cancer. Ouchies’ CEO, Ian Madover explains, “Kids with cancer get pricked many times a day, and we thought it only makes sense to put the two together.”
Hundreds entered, thousands voted online, and five winners were recently chosen to be featured on the new line of bandages to be released this summer, as part of the Ouchies for Others campaign. 100% of the profits will be donated to three national pediatric cancer care organizations.
Below are the winners, whose artwork will be featured on the Fight Against Pediatric Cancer line of bandages:
Laura Vargas • Age 10 • San Antonio, Texas
“You Can Be Pain Free”
I wanted to do this because I had cancer myself so I wanted other kids not to let themselves down, and show them that you can have fun during cancer treatment and never give your hopes up… and look cool with my bandage.
Amber Moosvi • Age 17 • Des Plaines, Illinois
The picture that I made represents two things. The Teddy Bear with a bandage and the feel better soon balloon represents that I’m not completely better but soon I will be because my broken bear has a bandage. The stars represent all of the people who support me in my battle with Brain Cancer. I couldn’t fit everyone because I have so many people supporting me and I appreciate them so much.
“We are thrilled that so many children entered our contest, and were truly touched by the beautiful designs and stories they created and shared with us,” says Jennifer Saporta, Director of Sales & Marketing at Ouchies. “The Ouchies for Others program has given us the unique opportunity to work with amazing organizations dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children with cancer. We are beyond honored to be able to partner with them and help to increase their tremendous efforts in the fight against pediatric cancer.”
All contest entries can be seen at www.ouchiesonline.com/bandage-art-contest.
I’ll admit I’d never heard of Ouchies before I learned about this contest, but I definitely plan on picking some up. In addition to this great kid-designed line, they have scads of other varieties, all of which are unique as well as fun. They will be a welcome change from the over-saturated and over-marketed Dora/Batman/SpongeBob options you find at most stores. Go here to find the store closest to you that carries Ouchies.
For more information on the beneficiaries or to make a donation, visit The Childhood Leukemia Foundation (www.clf4kids.org), Cookies 4 Kids’ Cancer (www.cookiesforkidscancer.org), and The American Childhood Cancer Organization (www.acco.org).
TODDLERS ARE LIKE THE BORG. Whatever you throw at them, they adapt, reconfigure their circuitry, then come at you full strength with a whole new arsenal.
And whether it’s through precociousness, manipulation or rage, you’d better…
Live Long and Prosper, particularly those of you with toddlers.
It’s been a while since I’ve gotten full-on, down-and-dirty, non-work-related crafty. But when I heard about this contest being held by Life of Dad, wherein you had to create art from Cheetos, my interest was peaked. When I found out the winner received an all-expenses paid trip to Dad 2.0 Summit (the King of all Dad Blogging conferences) I got my CHEESE ON.
A dad what-now conference? You see, I had a lot of fun the first year or so of Designer Daddy. Alas, then my energy/interest/well of ideas started to dry up. Serendipitously, I got hooked up with a group of Dad Bloggers on Facebook, and energy/interest/ideas were renewed and energized. Yes, it’s sometimes a time-waster (What on the internet isn’t? Except for this site, natch.) and obviously a sounding board for blogging ideas. Yet the group has also been an online drum circle, bar crawl and bitch session rolled into one.
All that to say, it would be awesome to attend Dad 2.0 Summit next year, to meet some of these men in person and get even more psyched about writing, networking, parenting, and all-around man-bonding. Plus Cheetos!
Here’s my Cheetos Mix-Ups offering…
My creative process: I thought about “Mix-Ups” and that led to “mixing it up” which led to drinking a cocktail, which then led to an old school, party time DJ MIX TABLE! And yes, those are crushed Cheetos (the puffy variety) as the “background.”
more here >>
If you’re a normal parent (or just otherwise normal) you probably finished this post’s title with the word “word.” Or if you’re the motivated type, the word “step.” Perhaps “tooth,” for the orally fixated. But it takes a special breed of parent to remember their child’s first logo.
I’ve met a lot of other dads in recent months, thanks largely in part to a Facebook group of Dad Bloggers. Among them are several sports nuts, a battalion of Star Wars fanatics, a few Lego freaks — all of which are hoping to pass their passions on to their offspring. While there’s definitely some overlap with many of the other dads, my love and appreciation of design — and where it mashes up with marketing and pop culture — is tops on my list.
From the onset of JJ’s visual development, I’ve kept a mental list (oh alright, an actual list) of the logos and brands he’s recognized on his own. Had he the memory capacity or verbal skills at the time, he might recall differently… but I’m pretty sure THIS is the first brand my kiddo knew:
If I have to explain the significance of the above logo and the role it’s played in my life these last three or so years, you’ve clearly never been or met a new parent.
Happy May the Fourth from Designer Daddy!
Concepción Studios is a California-based graphic design studio that specializes in vintage-style prints, posters and photographs for its music industry clients. They’ve worked with the likes of Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, MUSE and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, merging 60s-style design with contemporary irony and whimsy.
Yet it’s the studio’s Etsy store that drew my attention on this most blessed of holidays. The shop features, among other things, an out-of-this-world collection of Star Wars-inspired prints. Let’s take a stroll through the gallery, shall we?…
My favorite is this set of Princess Leia and Han Solo silhouettes. Click to enlarge and read the obvious, yet hilarious, captions.
I recently checked in with B, toys, my favorite toy creators on the planet, and they asked me to try out their brand new-ish Global Glowball. Being the clever person I am, I thought it would be a perfect way to celebrate Earth Day!
Looking at the Global Glowball (Their toys just have the most awesome names, don’t they?) online, I was immediately intrigued. B. toys always has top-notch playthings: colorful but not garish; creative, never predictable; exciting without being over-the-top-in-your-face. And of course all their packaging is recyclable or recycled [BONUS EARTH DAY POINTS].
Like many other third installments of a trilogy, the finale of Dora The Explorer and The Destiny Medallion was a necessary — and muy disappointing — conclusion to the watered-down joke that started out so promising.
How do you say “LAME” in Spanish?
So what film trilogy conclusion is YOUR least favorite? Tell me in the comments.
Being a parent of a toddler is hard work — no one who’s ever seen, heard or smelled a toddler would argue with that. But it doesn’t have to be as difficult as we modern parents tend to make it. Respite can come from an unexpected place…the toddlers themselves.
Looking to lessen my own stress and find some solutions, I recently completed a Parenting Preschoolers class, taught by the fine folks at PEP. In this class (and the many others offered), instructors champion a philosophy that expands how most of us view a child’s role in everyday life. And it doesn’t include a remote or an iPad.
Nowhere is this more apparent than PEP’s CAN DO KIDS FAIR. This annual event (for children 3-10) showcases PEP’s ideas on parenting, putting them into live, kid-operated action. This year’s Fair took place just a couple of weeks after I completed my class, so it was a great opportunity to practice all these new Daddy skills… and hopefully spend a Saturday afternoon getting JJ good and tired.
I’ll admit it was overwhelming at first. Held in a nearby church’s education building, every room on every floor was packed with parents, kids, instructors and volunteers busily trying or explaining a different activity.
We headed to the first of three floors, and not surprisingly I led us to the painting station. I was a little shocked to find it wasn’t full of easels and finger paints. I was even more shocked to watch my three year-old not only roller paint, but also drill a hole in drywall and then spackle over it. Yes, I used the words “3 year-old” and “drill a hole” in the same sentence. It was pretty amazing — and a little frightening — but he was flanked by a PEP volunteer and Papa, and was being given simple, clear instructions. And he was, of course, loving it.
I’m about a week behind on life (checking calendar… make that two weeks), so pardon the untimeliness of this post. However, I couldn’t NOT document it for JJ — and for myself, as I am getting older and more forgetful. Plus, have you ever actually met anyone who’s been to the White House Easter Egg Roll? I hadn’t, so thought sharing a bit of our eggsperience might be eggciting* for you.
The White House Easter Egg Roll (henceforth, The WHEER) is one of those things you grow up knowing about — especially around these parts — but never imagining you’d go to. I even remember a few years ago hearing about same-sex parent families attending, and that it was kind of a big deal. But again, I never thought I’d end up at this DC Bucket List-worthy shindig.
But out of the blue, a few days before The WHEER, I got an email from a friend offering us some tickets! He’s got major Obama connections and had taken his nieces last year; but he thought of our family this year. [Thanks RyRo!] Needless to say, we hopped at the chance!
I won’t go into too much minutia — I wouldn’t want to ruin it for anybunny with dreams of going themselves some year… But hare are the highlights:
The throng waiting in eggticipation. It started out overcast, and was drizzling about the last 1/2 hour we were in line. Papa also tried to teach JJ to say “obelisk.” I commented to a woman next to us, wondering aloud how many of these kids were going to be sick the next day. Despite all this, it was a surprisingly well-behaved horde.
Papa and I took turns holding JJ, as he’s a runner. Hare’s a huggy photo I’m particularly fond of.
While last week was a monumental one for marriage equality and its supporters, it was also quite eventful for our little family. A quick recap:
I was coming off a “theater high,” having performed the weekend prior in Xanadu with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington. However, re-entry into real life was rather bumpy. I hadn’t been around for JJ’s nightly routine in almost a week, and he acquired a few new tricks in my absence: finding new (and unending) reasons to get of bed, coloring on walls, and a higher register in his screaming voice chief among them.
Our family dog baby girl was recovering from her third surgery in as many months — and she’s still not out of the woods.
Papa and I had our first date night in months. It was about as romantic as you’d expect between toddler parents (i.e. sharing stresses, trying to stay awake, drinking). Yet the real high point was me kneeling over the toilet at 4am, and then either parked on top of it or in bed for the next three days.
It wasn’t all screaming and sickness. An interview we’d done with NPR (not about gay marriage, but remote controls) aired on Morning Edition. While they used very little of what we recorded, and apparently I wasn’t miked well enough so can only be heard muttering in the background, it was great to hear Papa and JJ get some airtime!
Add to all that, ongoing struggles with money, work, eating/exercise habits, potty training, pacifier addiction, too much TV, not enough family time… It’s not surprising the Supreme Court hearings about Proposition 8 and DOMA snuck up on me.
I’m sure I’d gotten a dozen emails from various organizations I follow, and had even seen some chatter about it online. But with everything going on in my life, I was in a bit of a bubble… and not the cool Glinda the Good Witch kind.
So I was genuinely shocked when I logged onto Facebook late Tuesday morning and saw a sea of red — dozens and dozens of friends had replaced their profile photos with equal signs to show their support of same-sex marriage.
I was also genuinely moved. I not only felt accepted, but advocated for. And I felt a sense of community I’d never experienced on Facebook before. And it wasn’t just my LGBT friends — but a number of my heterosexual friends. It was having so many of them mixed in that made it feel more real, like more of a change had taken place.
As the day progressed, the numbers of red avatars grew. People (yours truly included) started creating their own versions, which ranged from the politically clever to the absurdly silly. Several friends who’d made it to the rallies started posting photos of the crowds. Various news sites and blogs started uploading recordings from the hearings. And by the second day of hearings, there were already stories about the profile photo phenomenon happening on Facebook. All told, nearly 3 million people changed their profile pics to some variation of the red and pink equal sign.
I want to acknowledge all those straight friends in particular: I felt and appreciated the love. It didn’t just make me feel equal, it made me feel like I was being carried around on your shoulders at the end of Rudy.
Now before I get too sappy (too late?), I need to answer the question posed in the title.
What are we really fighting for?
While the show of virtual support was wonderful, and indicates in a small way how things have shifted, that’s not enough in itself. And the court battles are not just so we can get married. Gays have been creating their own weddings (commitment ceremonies, civil unions, beach parties) for decades. The same goes for building our own families, whether it’s through biology, adoption, surrogacy or circumstance. We’ve also learned ways to circumvent the walls blocking us from healthcare benefits, visitation rights, inheritance issues and parenting restrictions, so that we can protect these self-made families the best we can. We’re an industrious bunch.
But being a family is hard, regardless of who has what parts. And legal marriage makes all the stuff I’ve described — both the personal stories and the general issues — a little bit easier to manage. So to answer my question: We’re fighting for all of it. For marriage, for equality, for our families, for our lives.
Because when one week finds you dealing with food poisoning, dog surgeries, remote controls, temper tantrums and crayon graffiti, you’ll take all the legal/societal/spiritual/financial/emotional help you can get.
An abridged version of this article also appears on The Good Men Project.