A New Endeavor...

Hello friends of the enchanted forest!

We are excited to announce a project that has been in the works for awhile. The Squatchie and I are now offering FREE birthday party packages to children experiencing life challenges and who are in need.

One of the Squatchie's missions is to empower children, families, and communities in need because this will grow a brighter, happier, and more magical world for everyone.

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The Squatchie believes that EVERY child's birthday should be a bright and happy celebration filled with entertainment, surprises, and lots of joy and laughter with family, friends, and/or others who care. The love, hope, and magic that the Squatchie provides to children on their birthdays is truly invaluable and the memories will last a lifetime (not to mention our parties give hard working family members a well deserved break by taking care of details and allowing them to relax and have fun, too).

SO LET'S GET STARTED and spread some BRIGHT and HAPPY CHEER! 

  • We would love to hear from you if you know of a child or a family in need!

  • We would love to hear from you if you would like to sponsor a birthday party or donate money towards a birthday party! 

Please use this contact form to get in touch with us! 

Let's make this magical world a brighter and happier place together!

Birthday Parties are BACK!

Hello friends of the forest!

This is just a quick note to let everyone know that the Squatchie and I are now doing birthday parties again! I had to take a brief hiatus from parties after the birth of my daughter, but we are now ready to help your child celebrate his or her big day! You can find photos of my birthday parties on Facebook, but here are a few fun favorites-- 

Please contact me with any questions or to get a quote. We are looking forward to making your party BRIGHT HAPPY AND MAGICAL! Xx

With Love,

Hello friends of the forest!

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who helped with our pajama drive for local children in foster care this holiday season. We collected around 60-pair of bright happy jammies, snuggly comfort toys, books and warm winter clothing as well as $230 for With Love! 

Many thanks to all of the local businesses who hosted our pajama-drive storytelling events! What an awesome community we have! 

Thank you to all of our friends at Westside Play Gym for their support! 

Thank you to all of our friends at Westside Play Gym for their support! 

If you were unable to come out for a show or make a donation, then please consider heading over to With Love, and making a tax deductible donation or signing up to volunteer!  This organization is changing the lives of children in foster care and provides tremendous support to foster families! Please take a moment to check out their website.

Thank you again for all of your donations! The Squatchie and I know that they will bring smiles to the mouths of many children this holiday season and beyond! 

Friends of the Squatchie

This is just a quick post to thank all of the wonderful people who help us behind the scenes! As you know, the Squatchie and I do a lot of charity work as well as school, library, and museum programs. But even with all of the magic in the forest, we cannot do the work alone. Friends of the Squatchie is a group of people who believe in the Squatchie's messages and help support us before, during, and after our storytelling programs! 

Would you like to help spread positive messages? 

Help support local families, charities, and non-profits? 

Volunteer at our programs? 

Add your special talent or creative skills to our team? 

Please contact us

Members of Friends of the Squatchie-- Gabby Stocke Ruzicka and Upper Westside Play Gym Owner, Lara Jones

Members of Friends of the Squatchie-- Gabby Stocke Ruzicka and Upper Westside Play Gym Owner, Lara Jones

Friends of the Squatchie regularly supports and promotes children’s charities and non-profit organizations. If you know of a group who could use our help, just contact us! The Squatchie and I love spreading joy to children everywhere and we especially love helping vulnerable children. We not only provide entertainment for special events and host benefits, but the Squatchie also loves sending children uplifting packages filled with magical surprises in the mail. Let's work together to make the world brighter for ALL children, for they are the future! 

Thank you for taking the time to read our important message today! Hope to see you soon.

Benefit Show for Foster Children

Hello friends of the enchanted forest!

I have been asked at my programs this week why I don't keep my website updated. If you would like up-to-date information and magical updates from the Squatchie, himself, then please follow us on Facebook! You can also find us on instagram under @emmy_blue_sky! I will try to update my website, but please join us on social media for the time being. 

The Squatchie and I just wanted to write a quick post to THANK YOU for all of the AWESOME bright and happy pajamas, toys and books that you are donating to local foster children!

And while we are so thankful for the amount of generosity we have received at our FREE pajama programs around town, we are still in great need for more pajamas!!  SO, the Squatchie and I are announcing ANOTHER PAJAMA PROGRAM! This interactive family storytelling program will be jam-packed with tons of bright and happy magical surprises! Please be sure to wear your jammies as well as bring some new pajamas, toys and/or books to donate to foster children. The show is going to be at Upper Westside Play Gym on December 10th at 2:30pm and we just can't wait to see you there! Xx

 

 

#thesquatchie

Admittedly, a selfie with the Squatchie is no easy task! Not only is he hard to find, but he has one big head! (Big head, big heart, I suppose). If you are one of the lucky few to have seen the Squatchie and you got your photo taken with him, then we'd love to see it! Please use the hashtag #thesquatchie when posting on social media. 

Good luck finding our magical friend around town and in the enchanted forest! 

#thesquatchie

#thesquatchie

Sprinkling kindness and love around Portland

Hello friends of the forest!

Just a quick update to let you know how busy the Squatchie and I have been this fall! We have been doing free performances at schools and small businesses in exchange for pajama, toy, and book donations for local foster children. As you know, the only thing the Squatchie loves more than helping others is seeing all of his friends stepping up and helping their communities! He knows that all of that bright and happy magic we have inside of us can truly transform this world into a wonderful place. Just check out these little shining stars with their donations at Acorns to Oaks Preschool in SW Portland: 

If you would like to brighten the holiday season for foster children then we would greatly appreciate donations of bright and happy pajamas, toys, and books. Please message me if you are not in the Portland area and I will send you an address where items can be mailed. Thank you so much for helping the Squatchie and I with this project! Together we can make the world a happier place for children!

Love and hugs!

Fall Update

Hello!

Okay, okay, so I am terrible at keeping my blog updated! Please add me as a friend on Facebook and/or like my Facebook page if you would like to stay in touch! 

Thank you for your patience while I was on maternity leave! (Ozzy and Célestine thank you, too!) 

I am currently booking programs for October, November and December. Please contact me immediately if you are interested in reserving a date because I only have a limited number of availabilities. The Squatchie and I are busy this year taking our programs into children's hospitals as well as performing programs to benefit foster children and their families in Washington County. (I'll post more information about this and what you can do to support our magical new endeavors very soon.) 

Again, thank you for your patience! I can't wait to start telling tales again! Xo

Emmy 

 

Let's nurture little hearts

While watching my son as he explored the forest today, I had this thought-- 

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Having the privilege to work with children and to be a parent, I have the advantage of seeing the positive energy, future ideas and brilliant visions that all children possess. As adults, instead of "preparing our children to live in the cruel and harsh world," let us all nurture their positive lights, their compassionate hearts and their little voices because our children hold the power to change the world into the magical and gentle place that we dream about.

Coping tips after a tragedy

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Hello everyone! The Squatchie and I had an amazing time sharing our tales and magic at the Quake Up event.  Here is a copy of my handout containing helpful tips about how to support children after a stressful or a traumatic incident occurs.  Feel free to contact me with any questions! Xx

 

 

 

 

 

A stressful or tragic event such as an earthquake most commonly leaves us adults feeling confused, sad, angry and fearful. And if we cannot make sense of a tragedy or if our fears have been triggered, then imagine how children feel. If adults feel fearful after tragedy or the aftermath, then how do we keep our children feeling safe?

With my background in education and the arts, I've worked with traumatized children in a variety of settings. Here is a quick list of creative activities that I most commonly utilize. These activities have two main objectives:

  1. To make sure children feel safe enough to open up and talk with a parent or an adult
  2. To make sure children know that the parent or adult will do everything possible to keep  him or her safe in this world

While we may not always have the power to control what happens in the world around us, we do have the power to give children constructive tools to help them deal with the problems within the world as well as to show children that the world is still BRIGHT, HAPPY and MAGICAL.

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Before I list my activities, I would like to mention the importance of not creating a fearful environment for children. Children are extremely sensitive to the news and to adult reactions. If adults are walking around saying "How could this happen?" or "What an absolute tragedy" or if adults are fixating on the television, then this is creating a fearful environment for children. Try limiting your own news intake and create a positive environment. It's good to let children know that feeling scared or sad is perfectly acceptable as long as we offer some tools to cope with the feelings. Just make sure that our own fears are not creating a fearful environment and make sure that the environment is appropriate for a child's developmental stage.

Here is a list of creative activities to help children work through a stressful situation or tragedy:

1.) Creative Writing and Storytelling. Telling and writing stories are not only excellent outlets for emotion, but they also help children process a tragedy, even when their creative story may not seem like it's related to the event. For example, I often hear tales of superheros and children born with special powers after a tragedy occurs. Even if the characters aren't engaging with the tragedy itself, it is soothing for children to believe in the safety these legendary people offer the world and it is empowering for children to believe in their special abilities in a world where they may feel powerless.

Let children create their own stories regardless of the themes that may arise--they are inserting their concerns and feelings into the story. If themes of violence or tragedy do occur, then play a mutual storytelling game where the child tells the story first, then you either tell, reenact or use puppets to retell a modified version of the story. Throw in fun and magical twists as well as positive tools or messages to address any issues that appeared in the first tale.  (Keep messages simple, "I love you," "I will do everything to keep you safe," "There is so much good in this world," etc.)

2.) Art. A variety of art materials should always be available to children. Sometimes children don't want to talk about what they have seen or heard about a tragedy. Chalk, crayons, markers, colored pencils, paints, finger paints and clay are all excellent tools to help your child express their conscious and unconscious thoughts. When your child is finished, ask questions about their artwork and really listen to their answers as well as acknowledge their feelings. Try not to push them into talking, just ask a few questions and let them lead the conversation.

3.) Creative Play. Children often process and make sense of the world around them by engaging in play. Encourage children to use their imaginations to explore situations and outcomes. Try not to correct them if violence or scary themes arise, just gently guide them to more positive ideas and solutions for resolving their anger. (Remember, we want to encourage children to open up and talk, so if we try to control their thoughts and feelings, they are likely to keep their ideas to themselves.)

A sensory table can also be therapeutic for a child. Fill a container with brightly colored sand or Kool-aid dyed pasta shapes and allow your child to use his or her toys (miniature humans, animals, houses, trees) for creative play. Pay attention because the child most commonly will use the toys to represent their needs.

And finally, interacting with puppets or offering some stuffed animals for comfort and anger release are also great tools to inspire creative play.

4.) Go to an uplifting movie or to a storytelling event. After a tragedy (especially a tragedy that directly impacts a child), it may be difficult for children to believe that the world is a bright and happy place and that there is an infinite amount of positive experiences just waiting for them. Experiencing uplifting, inspiring or even just silly stories often shifts this negative outlook. Engaging in positive stories can be key to helping children cope with tragedy.

5.) Focus on the good. Take a trip around town looking for all of the hardworking and caring people in this world. You can even design a scavenger hunt for younger children and include things like a police car, a police person, a fire truck, a fire person, a paramedic, an ambulance, healthcare workers, a teacher, a trained guide dog, a school, etc. By showing a child that there are lots and lots of positive people who care for this world, you are offering him or her hope and reassurance.

I do hope that this handout offers you some ideas to help create a brighter and happier world for the children around you. Please feel free to contact me with any further questions!

The Squatchie is coming!

Do you want to meet the Squatchie? Starting this winter the Squatchie will be passing out his magical stones and meeting your little ones at all of Emmy Blue's storytelling programs! Tell the manager of your favorite library, school, bookstore, toy store and play cafe that you want the Pacific Northwest Squatchie to spread his enchanted forest magic in your neck of the woods! Xx

Summer Update

Hello friends!

It makes me sad to announce that I mysteriously lost my entire website.  Yes, all of my magical blog posts and bright sparkling photographs that were posted on emmyblue.com over the last four years drifted up into the clouds and vanished forever.  I've had a few weeks to process the loss and feel it's time to move onwards and not dwell on the missing work. So here I go...

I have an update. 

Every day I am presented with the question, "Where can we buy your books?"  And my answer has always been, "You can't." 

Well, this will no longer be the case.  

As many of you know I am the mama of a magical (and very high energy and sleepless) infant.  I also work as a children's writer and storyteller in the Portland, OR area.  This leaves me very little time to do much of anything else, so I have decided to publish my own fully illustrated enchanted forest stories.

Yes, it is time for the Squatchie and all of the other creatures living in Emmy's Enchanted Forest to spread bright and happy magic all over the world!  

The first two books to be published are titled Who is the Squatchie? and The Snoozlers and the Wahooligans due February 2014!

Please stay tuned! I will be fixing up the website so that it is just as functional as it was before all of the material was lost and I will be posting updates as well as new performance dates this summer!

As always, thank you so much for your support. You mean so much to me! 

Xx Emmy