Friday, December 31, 2010
Can you believe it?! 2011 already...just want to wish everyone a lovely and peaceful beginning to the new year! Sending the best vibes we can from fridgid Colorado! We are expecting temps somewhere around -20 tonight. Stay warm and keep a good thought.
Bruce and Stella
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
A new beginning 12/28/2010
The importance of simplicity: I love simplicity but it is difficult for me to keep things simple...Not sure why. My brain is complicated and after so many years I know that…but the practice of remembering it is more difficult than I ever knew it would be. I guess I thought that simple meant “easy”. That is not really true. It seems that [what I know] is easy because it is long lived and practiced…but there is nothing easy about what I know or what I have known my entire life. When I actually go back to see where the patterns came from or how they emerged I am brought back to my mother and father. That was a long time ago! My mother was the consummate multi-tasker. After all if you had five children and a husband that was not around during the week [only on weekends for bowling and drinks with friends] you’d learn to multi-task too. I guess I am like my mother; I can and usually do way more than one thing at a time. I’d like to focus on one thing at a time; I imagine that to be very Zen-like and peaceful. BUT for now, I am pleased to be having this dialog, even with myself, about simplicity. I know the practice is long and right now this is all I’ve got to give.
Peace is my goal. I want and love to be good at what I do/or am doing. I always want to best my last performance whatever it is I do. That for me has been my personal challenge throughout my lifetime. That has been ok with me up to now; I am tired and want to love the moments, one at a time. I want to embrace that instance that I do the dishes or walk outside to get something from the car. I want to look up and love seeing the mountains with fresh snow and feel the crisp air on my cheeks. I want to pet a dog and be in that moment…feeling the fur and warm loving feeling from my beloved pet. Right now, it seems that I do ten things instead of one and there is no rest…not even at night when I am in bed needing to sleep to regenerate so I can do this again.
My practice for the past decade has been to be independent and productive, to teach others how to be productive and self motivated; to pay attention to the strengths they posses and put order into their lives so that they can live the life they want and create. It seems that I have forgotten the main or key points to this kind of work; keep it simple, work from your strengths; be present and pay attention. So today, I say thank you and begin again.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Our son Ben finishes his college education at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO next Saturday, December 18, 2010! We are very excited for him. We are proud of him and can hardly wait to see what he will do as he sets out to create a life that works for him.
Many of you know that Ben has a small business which he started early in his college career; he also went out to Maryland over a year ago to get his real estate license [which he did!] and worked for his Aunt Robin, sold a house and came home after the market crashed to finish college! One good thing that came out of that crash...and now he gets his Bachelors Degree in business management. Ben has always expressed an interest in law enforcement [I swear that kid was born with a red cape] he says he will pursue that in the Spring.
For a kid who never wanted to work...he sure has made a splash in this world so far!
Boy you have done it! I love you, I am proud of you.
See you Friday with your dog,
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Community Partnerships is having their Holiday Arts & Crafts Show! I am there in full regalia, sporting an entire tree...zoom in so you can really see the ornaments. Not as traditional as some like but a bit more personal in my opinion:) Stick Heads and hand painted ornaments - what more could you want?!
Wishing you all a happy and trouble free holiday season. Times are trying for most of us but we can practice everyday living the way we choose - to be happy and bring happiness to others.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Now I am back to work on my websites: today I have updated my PlayPals site [www.playpals.etsy.com] to show price changes and some new descriptions. If you have friends who might be interested in hand made dollies or other "feelings" tools please share the address with them.
This weekend I begin adding new products to my I.B.intentionalbeauty: [www.intentionalbeauty.etsy.com] Friday this week. I will be add new Desk Heads, cards, and some new parasols designs. So please check in from time to time to see the most current items & creations from EC Hanson Studios.
Here is a sneak peak -
This is a "mood meter"- Signing off for now,
Sunday, October 31, 2010
This image reminds me of the good things.
I hope you have some lovely things/moments/friends that remind you how lucky you are and how much you deserve. Smile and be happy:)
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Many thanks to all of you,
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
The National APT Conference is finally done! It was a long haul but I made it and my sisters showed up:) It was amazing... I met so many new people and re-connected with others it was great!! It felt good to be received so well; thanks to those of you who remembered me and told stories of how well the dolls are received by your children in your practices. It was affirming.
The drive was wonderful...this country is truly beautiful and my timing was good. I had an easy trip. It was long but "Magellan" got me there with no problem! The hotel was great! The view from our room was magnificent - a view of the Ohio river with views of barges being pushed by tug boats and the sun setting...wow. AND THEN....
two of my three sisters showed up to celebrate my birthday! What a week I had...I feel lucky and know the universe has been good to me. My husband and partner of many years remembered my special New Year by sending me flowers.
AND THEN..... Making new friends!
and Mary and Charlotte who are not in my pictures:(
So it was an amazing trip; one that will stay in my heart for a very long time. Celebrating my 60th birthday or New Year, as I like to call it! AND meeting tons of great people who like to laugh, create, and help people. Family and Friends...what else is there?!
I hope to give you a smile today with some of these shots. I will bring more your way soon as I go through my photos and memories of Louisville!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
PlayPals are heading to the National Association for Play Therapy conference in Kentucky in October! This is a big deal for me and my small company. I am working at a frantic pace to get all my products complete and the stage set for what I hope to be a major event.
As I write this note, my mind is designing new products.
It is a challenge remembering...that all this is practice, nothing is perfect and it will be just fine. The day of departure is approaching rapidly but I feel I am ready and truly excited!
Keep a good thought and wish me well as I travel across the country, car filled with dollies and such!
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Good Luck and Best Wished to you both, Ali and Bart on your new adventure, the journey begins!
Thank you for requesting and trusting me to create a piece for this lovely event.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
Here is Cin, out of costume seated with Henry, her therapy dog and the dollies in her playroom at her Beech Street Program. She sent this photo to me so you can see that the dolls are durable and having many serves many issues. She has shared stories about the work they have been a part of. The work is tough and the dolls can take it:) In fact, many of the tools I currently make are directly related to Cin's particular kind of work. After I had created dolls for my own children, Cin saw them and requested I make her some for her office and over time we would talk about her work and mine with the mental health agency, and I developed tools to draw out feelings that people young and old had a tough time expressing verbally. It has been quite an experience for me in the past many years applying my work with people and art to such important work.
This is what Cin has said about PlayPals:
"PlayPals have been staples in all of my playrooms and offices since their inception. Over the past 15 years, I have amassed a collection of different ages, skin tones, expressions, and outfits. They have been heavily used in both directive play therapy sessions as well as child centered sessions and offer our child clients opportunities for therapeutic work in many thematic areas. They have been used to work on nurturance, aggression, trauma, victim, perpetrator, good, evil, power, control, anxiety, loss and family and relationship themes. These dolls have been given roles such as perpetrator, robber, victim, jury, police office, sibling, baby, parent and student. They are wonderful props that offer endless possibilities for creativity in children's play. They are artistically made, durable and can be easily cleaned. You would be lucky to own one."
I have many dolls in offices and playrooms of therapists, school counselors offices, classrooms, nursing homes, and many in private homes. So if you have a child, or not, and want someone to hug............."who ya' gonna call?"..........that would be me! Check out the dolls I have on hand at my etsy site: www.playpals.etsy.com
Here are just a few of the PlayPals I have been making for the upcoming conference in Louisville, KY. I am as busy as I can be making dolls and other tools for the international play therapy conference in October. Oh yeah, I'm having fun too! You see, I think I am hilarious! It's a laugh party almost every day!
Monday, June 21, 2010
"I have been using the PlayPals in my clinical practice for several years. I work with children birth to 6 years old and use play therapy with them regularly. Most of the kids I work with have some kind of behavior issue or have experienced trauma, abuse, or some other significant negative experience that has affected their life. In the play therapy room, children really respond to the size and softness of the PlayPals. They are about the same size as some kids! The children not only like to just be with them, but also use them to express themselves and their experiences through play. One thing I like best about the dolls is the rich and soulful expressions on their little faces. I believe this can help the children to explore a fuller range of feelings and meaningful experience, that it's OK to feel whatever they're feeling even if it's sad or angry or scared. The PlayPals are a valuable, integral part of our play therapy room environment. I even have a couple of dolls at home just because I enjoy them so much."
Carol Chrysler, LPC, ATR-BC
Early Childhood Clinician/Art Therapist
San Luis Valley Mental Health Center
Carol, thank you from EC Hanson and PlayPals!
Friday, June 11, 2010
I wanted you to see how far PlayPals have come in their evolution. So here goes. After our journey to Colorado we visited the next few summers just to give the kids something to look forward to. It was on one of those trips that I made a small bunch of dollies for one of my sisters' grand kids. They were somewhat larger but a little scary. I was then making the faces 3D and it was a bit primitive. It was on one of these visits that one of my other sisters who happens to be a "play therapist" asked me to make some for her playroom and office. The picture you see here are those first dolls.
These are the beginning of a fairly large collection she has in her playroom in Carlisle, PA. Cindy is owner operator of The Beech Street Program. She is quite an accomplished play therapist, family therapist, and filial trainer. She recently won the Guerney Award! A big honor which was given to her this month in Indiana, PA at the Pennsylvania Play Therapy Association yearly conference. This is what Cin has to say about PlayPals.
"PlayPals" have been staples in all of my playrooms and offices since their inception. Over the past 15 years I have amassed a collection of different ages, skin tones, expressions, and outfits.
They have been heavily used in both directive play therapy sessions as well as child centered sessions and offer our child clients opportunities for therapeutic work in many thematic areas. they have been used to work on nurturance, aggression, trauma, victim perpetrator, good, evil, power, control, anxiety, loss, and family and relationship themes. These dolls have been given roles such as perpetrator, robber, victim, jury, police officer, sibling, baby, parent, and student. They are wonderful props that offer endless possibilities for creativity in children's play. They are artistically made, durable and can be easily cleaned. You would be lucky to won one."
This group of dolls was created for the 2001 a National Association for Play Therapy Conference held in Portland Oregon [I think, I've done a few of these conferences]. It was great fun and one of PlayPals and my first introductions to the public other than a call here and there from one therapist who had seen those dolls in Cindy's playroom.
This is Dr. Charles Schaefer who is a well known and respected authority on play therapy. He has written many books and trained huge numbers of people in the field. I met Dr. S at one of the international play therapy conferences and he gave me permission to use this photo. He was very happy with the dollies way back when. I am anxious for him to see the newer dolls this year in October at the 2010 International Association of Play Therapy Conference in Kentucky. This picture was taken, I believe in 2001 and this will be 9 years.................."Thanks Dr. S for your support!"
This little guy is now 16 and has tucked his dolls in a safe place for his children........one day. They stood up to lots of love, hugs, and tosses!
Then and now........it's been a long fun ride. In the past 15 years, I have created 734 dolls including the dolls I have begun creating for the upcoming conference; there will be more, you can count on that! I have sold 697. My hope is that every therapist has at least one doll and every child who finds themselves alone in a bed waiting for mom and dad to finish speaking with the doctor, has a doll beside them. I love making them, I hope you love seeing them and I wish you would all want to have one just because you want to give a hug!
Thanks for taking time to read this, I hope you have someone to hug:)
Sunday, June 6, 2010
These two dolls are in Therese P.'s bag of tricks. She is a licensed professional counselor and goes into peoples homes because of her rural location. Here is what T has to say: "I am a licensed counselor working in a rural area, which allows me to do a lot of therapy in people's homes, including play therapy with kids. I like bringing PlayPals along for this purpose--- they are versatile and portable. Kids (and adults) always have a reaction to PlayPals--- they are hard to ignore: They're big, with bright features. I bring them in and let people make their own decision about "who is this?' and "do I like it?" PlayPals are human-like and useful for role-plays--teaching healthy boundaries and other social skills. While they are non-threatening and super-soft and cuddly; they also have what I would term "neutral" expressions on their faces. Clients can project their own thoughts and feelings onto these dolls. I've seen the dolls tossed in the air, locked in the closet, hugged, thrown on the floor and punched, sat on--- you name it. The dolls are beautifully made, of good quality, durable, and can take what kids dish out. My first one has lasted for years and still looks great. Now I'm using two PlayPals together for twice the effect in my sessions.
As you can see, they reside in varied places but enjoy the love!
Thank you to T and to Katie for the shots and the kind words.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
WOW! What an amazing country this is. It is beautiful and diverse. We recently traveled to LA to assist our sweet daughter on her move to Portland to begin a new job as a recent Masters Grad. Saying goodbye was sad but life goes on and so begins the move to her new life in the northwest.
What an adventure we had! Knowing that I would probably not go back to LA with her gone, I was careful to take in all the wonders and beauty of her little niche in LA. Everything was blooming [an allergy nightmare] but beautiful. Actually, I don't know why all the jokes were made about the fog and smog in LA because I've never been there when it wasn't sunny and lovely. Even the crowds this time were ok and kind of fun! Then off to San Fran. After a visit with my daughter's friend and family - finally meeting the infamous Connor T, we set our sights north to Portland. Before we left, the conversation was about route 5 being "boring but wait until you get to Oregon". Boring didn't come into play at all..............it was amaaaazing! The green and rolling hills were like non I've ever seen......the entire trip was one of such great beauty and awe that my husband and I were loving every minute of the trip. Our travel buddy Ollie [what a great companion] was sitting in his little travel bag [next to his girl] looking out the window also enjoying the view. I would recommend route 5 north to anyone, not so much traffic and the countryside was truly relaxing. Of course, we love 'seeing far' and those rolling hills and farmland WOW!
We got to Portland and the green was to die for! As an artist, I have used lots of color.......but I have never seen as many shades of green as in Portland. It is lush and the lush looks happy:) It wasn't too long before we discovered 'why' the lush looked happy........the rain showers were light and it was lovely. The first few showers were lovely.......the torrential downpour on our walk back to the apt. before starting home was hysterical. There were waves of water running off my brow into my eyes. I could barely see to walk across the street. We were drenched to our undies and had to change clothes just to jump into the car to head home. I found Portlanders to be very friendly except when standing on a corner in the rain........no one moved their umbrella to help ward off the downpour, not even a little......they hogged their dry area and averted eye contact but the three of us made it back to our darling's new little nest and dried off in time to begin the next leg of our journey home.
We drove along the Columbia river through the Dalles. What the heck is a Dalle? I should have paid more attention in geology class so I could understand a little bit about the amazing terrain in my own country. The natural regional differences in this country are huge and I have to say I have never [to date] seen anything such as this........along the Columbia river.
The green continued and the rocks were amazing but different from the cliffs and giant rock outcroppings in Colorado and New Mexico. There was almost nothing familiar on this trip. It was all wonderful and new to us. Besides the outstanding landscape, we saw huge windmill farms. It was great to see how some states are utilizing the power of the wind for energy. We stopped a few times to watch and listen. I had heard that wind farms create tons of noise and it would not be desirable to live close by.......we didn't hear a thing. BUT those wind turbines are huge; about two tractor trailer lengths or better and the paddles [probably not the correct word] are taller than my house!
Next state, Idaho! Another wonder, not as green but beautiful, open and mountainous [is that an oxymoron?], similar to Colorado but different. We didn't spend too much time in Idaho but we felt lucky to have traveled through a small part of it. We must have driven around Boise because I didn't see too many people or cars or houses.........they said on the map that Boise is the largest population in Idaho but we didn't see too much except for the mountains and the sky:) It must be a hard go in the winter with all the snow. I heard at lunch that jobs were scarce:(
We entered Utah! Also beautiful; mountains and open spaces, much more familiar, more like the Colorado Rockies. Still amazing to see. It was very curvy coming through that last leg after Moab. We did make a stop south of Provo to have a cup of coffee and a piece of pie with family! It was a wonderful stop and the company was great:) But we had a long way to go so we jumped back into the car and hit the road one more time. As I write this............... the rest of our trip is becoming a bit of a blur, at this point we were beginning to feel that we wanted to be home, pet the dogs, listen to the birds, and look at our mountains out our front window.
We had a lovely time and the beauty, as I've said repeatedly was too much for real description. We hear from our sweet girl that she loves the rain and the green and the people are very friendly. She has her own umbrella and is now never without it. There are markets close by with organic foods, the library is close, and the walk to work is a joy everyday.
Life is good. Back to work, weeding, and planting. My poor plants have been in my dinning room window waiting for the wind to die down. They are going into the garden today; I believe we have Summer!
Remind yourself as you drive to work or to your friends house, enjoy your landscape, smell the rain and the roses! Embrace the beauty of where you are, it's all around us and it is amazing.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Not only am I grateful for the assistance..........but had I not painted parasols for your wedding, I wouldn't have known how much fun I could have! Give your bride a huge hug from me!
For those of you on-lookers that like what you see...............please check my etsy site: address:www.intentionalbeauty.etsy.com .
For the next hour or so, I will be posting the pictures I took today of the parasols I have on hand.
I see these parasols in the hands of people out on a sunny day, in store windows, in play therapy offices for children to play "dress-up", as decorations in private homes, and for elders sitting out on the porch on a sunny day at a care center! Let me know where you see these colorful beauties!
Just in time for my parasol production...........yikes. Take a look at these and imagine you are on a stroll, the sun is shining, the wind is a mild breeze and your only worry is to be home in time for dinner:)
OR you have a shop and as Summer approaches you ponder the "window-redo"........how will you attract buyers and display your wares?
What's your color? You choose and I'll create a parasol just for you!
Enjoy your stroll............
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Look at these happy unions! Making dolls for me is about making a connection and by extension, making a difference. I think we did that today! All of the people you see here were very excited about receiving a doll. Each person made their doll choice thoughtfully and vowed to care for their doll with compassion and love. I jokingly said to one women, you can sleep with the dolls too................she replied with daggers in her eyes.........."no I won't, they are too special." I had an opportunity to speak with every person who wanted a doll and as I left the building everyone was holding tightly to their PlayPal with smiles on their faces.
Thank you Juniper Village for this amazing opportunity; me sharing my dolls with and you sharing your smiles and giggles with me!
Social Worker, Donna and Juniper Village Director, Jill Weinger suggested the dolls be smaller than larger. It makes perfect sense that the dolls for elders [in care centers] be smaller, to hold and cuddle. The larger dolls children use as companions in play therapy or the larger doll becomes an adult who the child sees as a relationship needing work. Children seem to be drawn to larger dolls more "their size"; the larger doll is like having a peer beside you and the smaller doll suggests care needed...............so size does matter! At least with these dolls.
Be thoughtful about your need for a doll and together we can work to determine the size of the doll for you, your clients, or your children.
Signing out..........have a peaceful day and enjoy what you do,
Monday, April 19, 2010
I have been meaning to send this and just haven't had a chance! This isn't a great picture, but I thought you might like to see where the dolls will be "living." I'm very excited about them, and it has been fun to see my clients reactions. Some have been a little standoffish from them because they are new, and others have been drawn instantly. Anyway, I love them and am thrilled at the ones I picked!
Thanks so much!"
Dawn, thanks so much for sending this shot and for allowing others to view it and to read your remarks. I hope you will send follow-up remarks as you get to know the dolls and your kids get to know the dolls as well!
For anyone who reads this and has some of my dolls for their own children or who use them in their therapy, please send me some feed back; how the dolls are used, are they loved, do they evoke stories, and how they fit into your lives!
Saturday, April 10, 2010
So..................there you have it. As an artist I know that I will never be paid realistically by time alone, but I love creating ........ so I do. What's really funny is.......I am really fast and I have been making them for so long that I have the time down to the bare bones. I like to keep each doll different with personality so the child or adult can choose the one that speaks to them. Big, small, it doesn't seem to matter unless the doll is life size, the adult life size:) That doll is more expensive -
One fact that I think is worth noting; the dolls last for a very long time. True enough, I use very good materials so the dolls are extremely sturdy. Cindy Caparosa Sniscak, Play Therapist and owner of The Beech Street Program has been using my dolls for 15 years. [You can read a quote from Cindy below.] I have made a few repairs on her dolls and they have taken some hard hits. In a play therapist's "playroom" the dolls take real beatings sometimes, literally! They last for years and they clean up very well. I use natural products so they are easy to touch and don't get snaggy:( I work with my hands all the time and if I can't touch it, I won't use it! I want these dolls to be hugged and allowed to be close to the body of children. I will not use fabric or thread that won't hold up under the stress of love or the torture of a child working out some trauma. Now for the dolls I use yarn that I can buy fairly inexpensively .......the reason for that is that children like to cut hair and tie it into knots so you should not worry if that happens. I can repair it very reasonably..............so far for the shipping and the materials, no labor charges.
Cindy Caparosa Sniscak has this to say, "Playpals have been staples in all of my playrooms and offices since their inception. Over the past 15 years, I have amassed a collection of different ages, skin tones, expressions, and outfits. They have been heavily used in both directive play therapy sessions as well as child centered sessions and offer our child clients opportunities for therapeutic work in many thematic areas. They have been used to work on nurturance, aggression, trauma, victim, perpetrator, good, evil, power, control, anxiety, loss and family and relationship themes. These dolls have been given roles such as perpetrator, robber, victim, jury, police officer, sibling, baby, parent and student. They are wonderful props that offer endless possibilities for creativity in children’s play. They are artistically made, durable and can be easily cleaned. You would be lucky to own one."
Thank you Cindy for those comments :) Cindy will be sending a picture of the dolls in her playroom and I will post that when the picture arrives!
Update on shipping: I just raised my shipping charges to cover the doll getting to most areas in a few days fully insured. I can actually ship two dolls in one box for the same money so that is a benefit for sure. Costs for shipping have gone up every where so I use USPS to ship. I will ship Mondays and Wednesdays. If you have a "doll emergency" please let me know. You can contact me through this sight by making a comment and leave me your contact information or you can go to my website: www.playpals.etsy.com and begin a conversation. That's all! EC Hanson