A couple weeks ago, the talented stained glass artist Laurie Beggin had a post on her blog asking for help with her friend Flat Jack. Jack went all the way out to Oregon to spend two weeks visiting with Pam, who makes traveling plates. Here is a picture of Jack in Pam's studio. He had a great time helping Pam make more Pass It On Plates. Instead of staying in a hotel, he stayed at her home in a special guest room (ok, a magnet held him to the fridge so he wouldn't get lost or hurt.)
This week Pam was working on making more Pretty Little Doo Dads. These aren't pictured on Etsy or on Pam's website yet, and so Jack felt really special to be the first one to see the new bows. He helped tie and glue and really got tied up in his work.
Since Pam's husband Frank is Deaf, they use Sign Language at home all the time. Flat Jack wanted to know how to say a few things to Frank. As you can see in the previous pictures, Jack was constantly holding a blue water bottle in one hand (at least we think he had water in that bottle) and he was missing the other hand. Just like how our mothers told us "Hearies" that it's not polite to talk with our mouths full, in Sign Language it's not polite to talk with your hands full. Jack could not let go of the water bottle without hurting his only hand, so he was excused from that rule, but some words were impossible for him to learn. He even joked that his missing hand made him "mumble" in Sign Language.
Here is Pam teaching Jack how to say Thank You.
You can do it too. Just touch your hand (fingers together) to your chin just under your lower lip, then pull your hand straight out, away from your face.
This is how Jack learned to say More, by touching your fingers to your thumb on each hand, then touching all your fingertips together.
and here is the sign for Please.
Rub your open hand (fingers together) in circles over your heart.
They have a dog named Caesar, and Jack liked to pet the dog. To call the dog, Pam taught Jack the sign for Dog. Slap your thigh a few times.
Jack looked pretty silly bending over like that and he started laughing. Pam used sign language to call him Funny.
Jack said he was funny too.
If you want to sign the word for funny, just put your pointer and middle fingers together on the tip of your nose and rub downward two or three times.
Jack thought it was really funny when Pam told him that since she and Frank are originally from Minnesota, Deaf people in Oregon think some of their Sign Language words are funny. They say that Frank has a "Minnesota accent." In fact, if you already know some sign language some of these words might look funny to you.