This is one of my treasures. It is a favorite childhood book. As an adult, I was reunited with a copy of it at a thrift store, and what a happy reunion that was! This particular copy has now been in my family for years… it is a bit worse for wear nowdays. *
This poor book is going to get taped up and kept in my studio where it will come out once in a while for entertaining me and the kids.
Christina Katerina and the Box was published by the Weekly Reader Children’s Book Club in 1971. (The clothes in the pictures are awesomely 70’s!) The story is about a do-it-yourself-upcycling little girl. She loves and collects all kinds of old things.
I love her! I have a collection, too. The poor furnace man who was here today was probably puzzling over why my studio is full of empty milk cartons, cut up jeans, old glass soda bottles, etc. etc. etc….
When her mother’s new refrigerator came with a new box on it, Christina made the box into her castle. (I always loved this picture. Look at how she upcycled fallen branches to be bars of her castle window.)
The box goes through several upcycling stages. Once it is no longer fit for the creation of the moment, it becomes something else. One stage is a racecar, another is a ballroom dance floor. Christina has a blast! What a teaching moment this book provides for the little ones about reusing and creativity. It was such an inspiration to me as a child.
In fact, when I was 8, I asked my mother to teach me to use her sewing machine. She showed me the basics at first and then let me explore. It was even cooler than Christina’s mom letting her have a castle under the apple tree!
I think my first sewing project was a barbie pillow made of fabric scraps. (When I was a kid, little girls were all about barbie.)
I still get such enjoyment from creating something new. What a great lesson in parenting from my mom.
In true Christina style, this project is made from cardboard. Fleur de lis wall hanging is a work in progress. I am determined to find a better method of construction. I would also like to make it functional for something. (Or perhaps it just wants to be beautiful and not be functional for anything at all!)
*Just in case you HAVE to have a copy of Christina Katerina and the Box, rest assured that there are more recent publications than my copy. I have seen copies of this book on sites such as amazon and ebay.