Getting to know PunkyJane is like winning the Daily Double. You quickly learn that she has an extensive eraser collection and has written and self-published a children’s book called Sally the Sheep and the Very Cloudy Day. First, the eraser collection…
You started collecting erasers in the 5th grade; how did you happen to start? And why erasers?
I don’t honestly remember WHY we started, but my friend, Nora and I began together. We are still friends today and occasionally exchange erasers as gifts. I do remember that she and I even climbed up on the roof of our school to get the erasers that other kids threw up there. (I can’t believe we did that! I think we snagged a bunch of tennis balls, too. Crazy!)
What kind of erasers do you collect? Are they vintage or recently manufactured?
I collect all kinds – from pencil toppers to novelty erasers to the old fashioned pink and gum styles. Nowadays, I am not longer interested in the cutesy ones so much anymore; I go for the more ‘grown up’ variety!
Where do you keep these little treasures?
I’ve had them stored in a large tackle box-style plastic sewing case until recently when I discovered a strange chemical reaction going on. Some erasers actually melted the plastic in the case! I now have over 400 in a small drawer organizer and another 30 or so in a clear jar in my office just to make me smile.
Do you have a favorite or favorites?
One of my newest faves is an off-white color about 2.5″ long, shaped like a rounded bar of soap with #*?@! printed on the top. As far as vintage is concerned, the ones that I collected as a kid now qualify; the Sanrio ones are the best!
What makes the Sanrio erasers the best?
I have such fond memories of shopping for Hello Kitty erasers! You can see in the pictures that so many of them came in their own little cases decorated with Hello Kitty and other fun Sanrio characters. I haven’t purchased any Sanrio erasers for quite some time, but I consider the ones I have my favorites. And I’ve shared a picture of my all-time favorite, the one that started it all!
Now, onto the book…
What was the catalyst for Sally the Sheep and the Very Cloudy Day?
The best way to explain how Sally was born is to share a conversation I had with Hannah, my then 5-year-old daughter, one night when she had trouble going to sleep:
Hannah: “Mommy, will you draw me a sheep?”
Me: “Sure, Honey. You get some sleep and I’ll have it ready for you when you wake up.”
Hannah: “Okay, Mommy. Is it done yet?”
Me: “No, Sweetie. I will work on it tonight and have it for you in the morning.”
Hannah: “Okay, Mommy. I love you!”
Me: “I love you, too, Baby. Sweet dreams.”
[10 minutes pass]
Hannah: “Mommy, is it done?”
Me: “No, Sweetheart. I can’t work on it until I finish the dishes, but I’ll start as soon as I can. You get some sleep. Count sheep.”
Hannah: “Okay, Mommy. Love you! Oh, Mommy?”
Hannah: “Can I help you? I’m really good at drawing sheep!”
Me: “No, Sweetie. You get some sleep and maybe I’ll even write you a story. Love you.”
Hannah: “Okay, good night, Mommy!”
After Hannah finally went to sleep, and I was washing the dishes, the little story developed in my head. I sat down at the computer and starting typing and drawing. In a couple of hours, I had something I wanted to share with my girls in the morning.
A few weeks later, I shared it with some kindergarteners and preschoolers, and Sally was a hit! I decided to go ahead and publish it, even if it was just for my girls.
Right on, Punky Jane!
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