Day 21 – My Favorite Toy

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 21 - My Favorite Toy - Play-Doh - 70s - Doodlewash

Today was an exciting event as I got to see my first total solar eclipse, since I was on the “path of totality” which sounds so good I wish more of my life was that lucky. The last eclipse I witnessed was only partial and the experience consisted of peering through a hole in a Pringles can while sitting on the playground during recess. For some reason, this made me think of Play-Doh so that’s where we landed today. We’ll get to that in a moment, but I’m still rather amazed at the sight of the eclipse. We weren’t far enough north to experience anything that lasted minutes, but for a few seconds, it was possible to look directly into the sun! It was such a memorable experience that will be burned into my memory for some time, though hopefully, thanks to the safety glasses worn for the majority of it, not my retinas. There was extra drama, however, since the morning began with a huge thunderstorm and a sky even darker than the eclipse created. Just an hour before the big event, the clouds parted, only to return in patches in the minutes leading up to it. Just as the clouds threatened to cover the big moment entirely, they thinned and parted and a fabulous memory was made.

I truly thought that viewing an event like this would be just sort of fun. Perhaps, that childhood version was still lurking there, which was not particularly amazing, but memorable because I got to make something cool with a can of chips. What I experienced today was nothing short of incredible. A moment and memory that will last a lifetime. And even though that time on the playground wasn’t quite as amazing, it formed in me the excitement of creating something by hand. The mere idea that a simple can of chips could be transformed into something capable of projecting an image of the moon passing by the sun was thrilling! Discovering Play-Doh and the ability to mold something into whatever shape my imagination commanded was equally thrilling. I didn’t grow up to be a sculptor, but I did grow up to be a maker. Fascinated by the idea of creating something from nothing at all. And seriously, the smell of Play-Doh is such an intoxicating thing. I remember, just opening a can, still cardboard at the point, and taking a long slow sniff before jumping into my artistic pursuits.

I didn’t really have an idea in mind of what I wanted to make. I would just play and let whatever happened next, simply happen. I think that has stayed with me throughout my life and shaped the man I ultimately became. I adore each of you for coming to view my posts, knowing that you’ll never quite no what’s going to happen next. Some people have asked me about why I love all of these nostalgic memories. Do I live in the past? No, I respond. I live in the present, but with all of the beautiful memories that brought me here. When I sketch something from my childhood, I’m also sketching what’s happening right now. The memories that made me are the one’s that still shape every moment I’m currently living. That’s the beautiful thing about life. It’s our complete story. And no matter how old we become, we would be remiss to not honor that “once upon a time.” Today, I experienced an incredible moment in the form of a total solar eclipse. Tomorrow, I’ll still be the product of all those amazing memories experienced while enjoying my favorite toy.

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#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 21 - My Favorite Toy - Play-Doh - 70s - Doodlewash
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
Published in By Charlie
43 Comments
  1. Sharon Nolfi 1 month ago

    I love Play-Doh! Just the smell of it brings me back to childhood. Nice rendering of the iconic can.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah… the smell was sooooo intoxicating! hehe

  2. Sharon Nolfi 1 month ago

    Off-topic, but Charlie do you know what is happening with the free gifts from Cheap Joe’s? I haven’t received any of the items I won. Thanks.

    • Vicki Rowley 1 month ago

      nor I.

      • June Hadaway 1 month ago

        I just received mine today via USPS so I am sure yours is on it’s way.

      • Author
        Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

        Yay!! So happy to hear it, June! 😃💕

      • Author
        Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

        It will be heading your way soon… there was a bit of an inventory glitch. But it will be on the way!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      There was a little problem with inventory on some things, but they should all be shipping shortly. So sorry for the delay!!

  3. Von Reeder 1 month ago

    What’s not to love about Play-Doh! I still love to play with it – better than a kneaded eraser even!

    I’m glad you enjoyed the eclipse today, Charlie! ❤️

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Von! 😃💕 Hehe… oh yeah, my kneaded eraser gets used like Play-Doh quite a lot!

  4. Vicki Rowley 1 month ago

    I have a tiny Play Doh critter from my childhood! (Hmm,maybe should paint it!)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Yay! That’s awesome!! 😃💕 You should totally paint it, Vicki!!

  5. Jodi 1 month ago

    So glad you had such an incredible eclipse experience! Loved – no LOVE – Play Doh! 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks, Jodi! 😃💕 It was sooo amazing!! And yay!! hehe…. I don’t think it’s possible to ever stop loving Play-Doh!

  6. June Hadaway 1 month ago

    What a wonderful story and a cute can of play dough. You did a great job on those letters on the can. Glad you enjoyed the eclipse.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕 I’m trying to be less scared of letters… hehe… so choosing a few things this month with letters on them. Glad you liked it!

  7. mjmarmo 1 month ago

    Love this!

  8. Agatha 1 month ago

    Love the use of the primary tones for this one! These cans are so easy to recognize 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks, Agatha! 😃💕 This was the cardboard kind from my childhood… hehe… before it switched to plastic!

  9. Kyra 1 month ago

    This is awesome! I love it!

  10. Mary Beth McDonough 1 month ago

    Enjoyed your blog. Especially “the memories that brought me here”. Glad you got to see the eclipse….that is a memory I am sure you will remember. Great Doodlewash..

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks, Mary Beth! 😃💕 Yes! It was a truly unforgettable experience! And I’m so happy you enjoy my little posts!

  11. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 1 month ago

    Is that Little Charlie on the Play-Doh cover? It was so much fun for kids and then for the next generation as well – that strange smell, the squishiness, the color mixes. So much fun. Did you ever watch a very tiny child poke her finger into Play-Doh for the first time? It’s like discovering the whole world.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Lol… very little Charlie did have blonde hair before it turned dark and then, well, grey. And yes!! I’ve totally seen that! It’s such a wonderful thing to see a little one discover Play-Doh for the first time! 😃💕

  12. How cool that the eclipse came to you! It was awesome on TV but to see it in person must have been simply captivating.

    I was going to paint play doh too 😊, specifically the barbershop toy. Probably still will.😁What a fun toy!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      It was totally amazing!! 😃💕 If I’d driven a lot farther north it would have lasted longer, but it was still really cool to see for a few seconds! Aww the barbershop toy was awesome!! hehe

  13. lisacihlar 1 month ago

    Play-Doh is fun! It still is if you can find little kids who have some and are willing to share. Fun paint!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 hehe… yeah… if the little kids won’t share then I say just buy your own and play!! lol

  14. smzang 1 month ago

    I enjoy your articles so much. This one in particular is a huge pleasure because it reminds me
    of all the playdoh I bought for my son. By the time his daughter was ready for playdoh, I was into making
    our own …I’m thinking everybody in the world has done this, but just in case that’s not so
    here’s the recipe:

    2 cups all purpose flour
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1/2 cup salt
    2 tablespoons cream of tartar
    1 and 1/2 cups boiling water (add a little at a time, you may not need all of it)
    food coloring

    Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl

    Add food coloring to the boiling water and then mix water with dry ingredients
    Keep stirring until it all sticks together in a ball.

    Let it cool, then take it out of the bowl and knead it for a couple of minutes. It is important to continue
    to kneed until it has the elasticity you want.

    And then, no matter your age or background, you become a sculptor.

    Do I hear a whaaaaaaaa? and “What about that awesome scent?” Well, it is true Hasbro has trademarked
    their secret recipe, but we have come pretty close with a splash of real vanilla and a teensy tiny splash of
    cherry candy flavoring. (you have to practice, but it’s doable.)

    Thanks again for your great articles.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Oh wow!! This is awesome!! Thanks so much for sharing!! My mom used to make homemade Play-Doh, but I missed the smell. 😃💕 hehe… I’ll have to try it again and use your fix!

      • smzang 1 month ago

        : ) it’s fun, and the scent is not perfect but it’s close.

  15. Linda Olsson 1 month ago

    Oh Play-Doh =D Awesome work as usual <3

  16. Kaye Boggs 1 month ago

    Who doesn’t Love Play Doh!! I haven’t played with it since my grandchild was little and I’d buy.for him and we would play with it for hours together. Now he’s playing high school football, is on a soccer team, and has a girlfriend. Time marches on!
    P.S. I have yet to receive any of my give-aways from Cheap Joe’s, Daniel Smith or paper products. Maybe they will all arrive together.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Kaye! 😃💕 Awww you should totally gather them and play with Play-Doh again! hehe… it would still be fun! And sorry for the delay on shipment. The paper was new so it will be shipping soon. Cheap Joe’s had a slight inventory issue, but that will be on it’s way. And the paint is Da Vinci, and I’ll double-check on that! 😉

  17. Thomas Blanchard 1 month ago

    Ahh the cardboard container … now we have plastic! Great job representing the cylinder.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Tom! 😃💕 Yeah, the cardboard version was cool… hehe… but either way, that smell was awesome! lol

  18. Sandra Gilbert 1 month ago

    While I did enjoy playdoh, my favorite toy was actually Crayola crayons and a stack of blank paper. My mom always made sure we had plenty of paper and crayons. To this day when I open a new box of crayons, I smile because they smell like fun and creativity.

    Sigh, now I want to play with crayons.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Aww yeah! Me too! A fresh box of Crayola was amazing!! You should totally play with crayons again! 😃💕

  19. Lisa McClure 1 month ago

    My big ask of Santa the year I was 4, was the Playdoh fun factory toy, and it was my favorite toy of the year. Unlike so many of the rest of you, though, I have always detested the smell of playdoh!

    Charlie, so cool that you were able to see a total eclipse. I hope you’ll do a doodlewash of it someday. I’ve seen a couple of partials, but was not impressed. A good lunar eclipse in a dark location, on the other hand, is truly an inspiring experience.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 Not a fan of the smell, eh? hehe… I guess it’s just a thing for the rest of us. But yes, the total eclipse was truly amazing. I didn’t expect to be as impressed as I was, but it was incredible!

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