String Games

String Game Cats Eye Kitten Childhood Games Watercolor Painting Illustration

For our prompt of “Childhood Game” today, I tried to think of a game that I hadn’t yet sketched. Then I thought about that game we used to play with string. Though not really a competitive game, it was more of a mental challenge that consisted of creating shapes by pulling a loop of string back and forth through one’s fingers. Sometimes even using a friend’s help or in a pinch, one’s mouth as well. I remember the Cat’s Cradle shape which is being demonstrated here by this little kitten, but had to think for a moment about what other shapes appeared. There were Jacob’s ladders, stars, and diamonds, but one of my favorite shapes was a witch’s broom. This was primarily because it really did resemble one and seemed to be a crowd pleaser. Though, like many things from childhood, I’m not sure if I ever practiced enough to achieve any real skill. But, even if I was a bit rubbish at the game, it was still really fun!

Truly, that’s how I’ve approached most things in life as well. I’ve never been worried if I reach any level of prowess as long as the thing I’m DOing is actually fun! Seriously, fun can never been underrated when it comes to creative endeavors .I’ve learned that when you enjoy what you DO then you tend to do it more and more. And, doing things on a regular basis leads to the added skills that almost seem surprising when they appear. Suddenly, that prowess magically presents itself tenfold. So yes, I did actually practice doing things with string for a period. I also tried my hand at a million other things during that time. When my hands actually adored something enough to grab for it again and again, I let them. It’s a wonderful thing to know that you adore something. Whether it’s something you do for fun, or someone you particularly care for. To me, these are the signposts of life. So many things might appear in my path, but the things I adore remain the actual destination.

Tonight, Philippe and I were looking at photos of various dogs and marveling at how cute each one was. We actually spoke in hushed tones as though our own dog Phineas might hear us. This is literally the simplest and most ridiculous thing one could do, but it brings so much joy. During these confusing and uncertain times, I’m doubling down on this type of joy. I want to be reminded of life at its simplest. The type of life I only vaguely remember from childhood that gets enhanced each time I recall it. This is the world I want to experience and adore. It’s the one where things make the most sense. It’s that world that doesn’t try to justify itself. It just makes sense without any debate. That’s actually when you know something is the right thing to do. The right directions in life always come without questions. It’s just a triumphant feeling of threading it all together in just the right way. Like those wondrous times back in the day, when we were just playing string games.

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String Game Cats Eye Kitten Childhood Games Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail

Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Marisela Delgado 2 years ago

    Hola, Charlie! First of all, thank you so much for the birthday wishes! Did you read Mugdha’s comment to me, wishing me a great birthday? How sweet is that!? 😊 Thank you for your kind words, Charlie. I had a great day! The trip to Marble Falls seemed to take an eternity (construction everywhere), but it was a good day. We ate at Whataburger and they gave me a free apple pie. It burned my mouth, but, it was oh so good! haha
    I laughed because every time that my mom and I have talked about cute puppies and getting another dog, a flea mysteriously appears and bites me! Inside the house, mind you! My mom says it’s from Monster, letting me know that he hears me and is NOT happy. So, now we whisper it or spell it! haha haha
    Cute kitty! 🐈🐱 I still think Phineas’s portrait would take first in prize for the Pet Portrait Contest. haha haha I think your painting would beat out my stick figure Monster. haha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Aww I adore that you still talk for Monster! hehe Always with you! That’s the best thing about pets. And I do hope you had a fabulous birthday indeed! 😃💕 As for the contest, I’ve never entered one. Always feels a touch stressful! 😊hehe

  2. Karen Fortier 2 years ago

    Adorable Charlie and I do remember playing that but never got to the real complex moves. Today was a yard work day as my husband is down to 3 days a week. Both of us have sore backs tonight from moving rocks. It’s a good tired. Each day is an adventure.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Yeah this game got way to complex for me! Hehe…. Yay for good tired! That’s the best!

  3. Sandra Strait 2 years ago

    I was never able to get even the simplest cat’s cradle to work, but I can’t say I tried very hard. I did learn to crochet fairy early though, and found that much more interesting.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Hehe! That’s so true… I think I managed it once, and then moved on to other things. Crochet actually, but I wasn’t very good at it! 😊

  4. writerleenda 2 years ago

    Charlie you are absolutely right. I believe that is why this pandemic was allowed (not caused) so that man would learn how to get along with others and also how to be alone without freaking out. Blessings on you and Phillippe.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 Yeah, I’m quite content being alone, but didn’t realize that was something to learn until this time!

  5. Gary Middleton 2 years ago

    I remember playing that in the playground at school. I was, and still am, all fingers and thumbs so wasn’t very good at it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      hehe! I’m so glad to hear I wasn’t alone! Thanks, Gary! 😃💕

  6. Lisa 2 years ago

    Next time I find the odd bit of string around I might have to see if I can remember the moves to make this string game. If I can get Joe to cooperate. I’m guessing his attention span will last about two minutes.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      haha! Joe and I have that in common. Yeah, I’ve totally wanted to try this again, but I’m not sure why. I was never very good at it in the first place! lol

  7. Mugdha 2 years ago

    Hello Charlie,

    I have really always wondered if cats ever played cats’ cradle and you FINALLY answered my question. They do!!! Thanks so much! As a kid I was fascinated with the game but was so lousy at it, I quickly moved on to my next fascination. And you’re right… Phineas probably does hear and understand everything you say and he would be very jealous of finding that you & Phillipe think other puppies are cute too. My cousin’s pup once heard him talking sweetly about the puppy next door and next thing we know, my cousin’s project file was in shreds! I love that you find joy in the smallest things. That is definitely a way of ensuring you’ll never be sad. 🙂


    • Marisela Delgado 2 years ago

      Hi, Mugda! Thank you for your sweet birthday wishes! 💜 I left you a reply on yesterday’s post so you can read it. 😊

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 So true that I think Phineas does understand what we’re saying. But, he’s so confident that he doesn’t mind. To him, those other dogs are just pets. That one pup who shreds things sound naughty… just the kind of pup I like! Full inner child and no rules! 😉

  8. Mary Roff 2 years ago

    So perfect to have a cat playing this game!! Love this, Charlie!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Cat’s Cradle is the only thing I can remember as well as I think do successfully! lol

  9. LoriCtoo 2 years ago

    Ta Da! He looks so proud. 😉 I remember playing this, but I don’t remember how good I was at it. Like you, it did not last long.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, I don’t think I was super good at this!

  10. Kathy Delumpa Allegri 2 years ago

    Charlie, I always loved Cat-in-the-Cradle. Kind of reminds me of Cat Stevens’ song, now. I love to untangle stuff, so, string games are challenging and fun.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Aww so cool! Glad you enjoyed this Kathy! 😃💕 I loved the idea of string games far more than my skill. I wasn’t very good at them! hehe

  11. Loan Anh Pham 2 years ago

    It’s really beautiful, Charlie❤️

  12. Miky abcd 2 years ago


  13. TheFokeet 2 years ago

    cats cradle was a favorite. I was recently showing my kids then I realize I should’ve brushed up my skills before trying to impress. gg

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      hehe! That’s too funny! Yeah, I’m not even sure if I could still do it! 😉

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