The cliched old image of a little boy or girl bringing in a shiny red apple for Teacher originated during the days of one-room schoolhouses, when communities pooled their resources to hire and retain a teacher. Part of the teacher's salary would be paid by the students' families in food. Due in no small part to Johnny Appleseed's influence, many pioneer families would plant an apple tree on their property. The fruit not only kept well in cellars, but the tree grew quickly and provided welcome shade in the summertime. Come autumn everyone would have a plentiful apple harvest to lay away for the winter. Thus it was that schoolchildren often went to school with a basket of apples (yes, a basket, not just one), and/or some jams, vegetables or bit of pork. You get the idea.So, when I wanted to give a small gift to some teachers who had really gone out of their ways to be kind and helpful to me in the last couple years, this quaint old custom provided the perfect inspiration. Lana and I had purchased this Japanese craft book a year ago, but I had never had the chance to make anything from it. Too busy to shop for the materials, let alone figure out the pictures (annotated in Japanese, of which I speak zilch), and put anything together. Well, today I did, and here is the result. My apple is propped up against a salt shaker. If you will notice, mine is laughing open-mouthed, compared to the one in the book that sports a rather milquetoastey grin. Also did away with the fake reflection marks on the left cheek...didn't want to bother with the fiddly cutting and gluing. I was going to turn it into a keyring so that it would be somewhat useful, but the corded arms and legs, with the glued-on hands and feet, indicated that that would be a bad idea. Oh well. I have to make a few, so maybe my next one will be green. Stay tuned.