Party Favors

Give The Party Group a week’s notice and they’ll put together an innovative, imaginative child’s birthday party that will never be forgotten. Imagine an Incredible Edible party. The children (supervised, of course) prepare a fantasy concoction of cake, frosting, popcorn, gumdrops, food coloring and pickles. Pickles? Pickles. Then there’s the Joy of Bubbles party: one solid hour of sudsy shenanigans with special soap bubble techniques. For older children there’s the Media Marvel event. The Group brings movie film, the kids draw directly on it with special marking pens and then watch the movie they made. There’s also a Scientific Wizardry party and an Animal Party that includes a skunk, parrots and a coatimundi. The Group is twenty talented people who trained and taught in the Experimental Arts Program at SMU. Each party is $50 for a group of 20 or fewer and the price includes all materials and supplies. Call Aledra Braddell or Karen Crocombe at 369-6772 for more information.

Days for Knights

Join knights in armor, jesters, strolling balladeers and musicians at Midspring: A Medieval Festival – a week-long event at the Craft Compound, 6617 Snider Plaza, this month. The shops will have special displays and demonstrations and shopkeepers will wear costumes of the period. Several local madrigal groups are scheduled to sing during the week and a traditional May Dance will be performed.

In addition, a juried show of body ornaments will be on exhibit at the Front Room Gallery. The handmade, original designs may include anything that can be worn – jewelry, leather goods, even hats and shoes.

Festivities start April 28th and end May 4th. Hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. including Sunday and Monday. The public is invited to come in costume but that’s optional, of course.

Cleaning Solution

Two enterprising women, Debby Toops and Daisy Drinkard, manage a service called Debs Days-Ease Professional Cleaning. It’s basically a heavy operation including all the really horrible jobs like cleaning light fixtures, lawn furniture, sky lights, vents, changing air conditioning filters, etc. They also clean up new houses and put them into move-in condition after the builder is finished. Mrs. Toops says the fee for this work runs about $100 per 1800 square feet. For a spring cleanup she’ll come by and give an estimate on any job you need done. Call 251-2135 or 263-8746.

Animal Crafters

In Ghana these whimsical animal-shaped cages are used to hold small birds until enough have been accumulated for a meal. The unlucky bird is usually a wild canary – considered a rare delicacy in those parts.

Ordinarily these palm pith cages were simple rectangular forms, but Kwasi Oden, an elderly blacksmith living in a small village, began to make a few in the shape of native animals – bush pigs, scorpions and crocodiles. Now he and his brother devote themselves entirely to cage-making and turn out a limited quantity each year. The cages are lightweight and measure just about 30″ in length. $150 each at the Horchow Collection. Call 233-9541 to order.

Milk Duds?

Chocolate Soup is a charming shop full of good looking, well-made clothes for children in sizes six months to 12 for girls and six months to six for boys.

The company that manufactures the clothing has its own retail stores and the clothes are not available elsewhere. This appliqué jumper in cotton blend is fully lined, has let-down straps for growing room and is machine washable. $9.75. Coordinating slacks and long and short sleeve knit shirts to wear underneath are also available.

In the smaller size ranges there are matching brother and sister sets and in all sizes a full range of school and play clothes plus long dresses, shorts sets and bathing suits. The large selection is maintained well into a season. Hours 10-5 Monday through Saturday. Located across from Preston Royal shopping center at 5960 Royal Lane, 363-6981. Cash and checks only.

The Jokari Is Wild

Jokari – a fantastic paddle and ball game – has been recently introduced in the United States from Europe where it has been popular for over 40 years. The equipment is inexpensive and simple: two wood paddles and a ball which is anchored to a wooden block by a twelve foot stretchable band.

You play on any hard surface measuring about fifteen by thirty feet. Here’s how it goes. The playing surface is divided into two sections by an imaginary midline in front of the anchor block. Players remain in the back court at all times and the object is to volley the ball in such a way that the opponent cannot return it. That’s how you score a point. Or, a point is scored if the ball bounces more than once in the forecourt or the backcourt. Twenty-one points (with a two point margin) and you’re the winner.

In addition to the fun and exercise this game is an excellent way for kids or adults to improve their motor skills and eye-hand coordination. The set is sold through local YMCA’s for $9.95 or at Cullum and Boren (all stores), J.C. Penney (major stores only) with heavy duty paddles for $11.95.

Jokari hot shots from 8 to 14 can compete for ribbons and a trophy in the second annual Richardson YMCA Jokari Tournament to be held the first week in May. Call 231-3424 for details.

Impatiens Is A Virtue

Good news! Fourteen different New Guinea hybrid impatiens cultivars developed by Longwood Gardens, Kennet Square, Pa, and the United States Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Md, are available for April 15th planting. The flowers are larger and in different shadings from the varieties previously available. Some even have variegated foliage. Impatiens can be used in pots, as a bedding plant or even in hanging baskets. Available locally at most nurseries and garden centers.

Our First Mistake

The April Windfalls column carried an inaccurate telephone number for the Smith College Club of Dallas which is currently collecting books for its annual book sale. The correct number is 528-2663. D apologizes to the Smith College Club and to the person whose number was published. The sale this year will be May 9 – 11 at a time and place to be announced later. Now that you have the right number, give them a call and donate some books.


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