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Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's Flags for Everyone!

Wanted to share our process and experimentation with making New Year's Flags here. This was a project, enjoyed by everyone: 2 adults (one very art phobic Hottie), a three year old (Babe-O), an eight month old (Neecy Bee), and a 23 year old with cognitive and physical disabilities (Deo). Everyone with their own abilities, visions, and attention spans took part in this project and enjoyed both the process and the outcome.

One of my favorite blogs to refer to for art and craft projects is The Artful Parent. I spied the Stained Glass Bunting project there a while back and have always wanted to try. Here's how we adapted it for our needs:

Everyone got a sheet of wax paper, large enough to fold in half and cut a triangular flag from.

Using tissue paper, newspaper, and other scraps everyone decorated their wax paper by cutting and pasting shapes. (Babe-O loved this. He is obsessed with using scissors these days. Today he cut a phone charger cord because he was searching for string to cut and couldn't find any. Neecy Bee loved this because, well, she loves, paper, any paper, that she can put in her mouth or crinkle between her fingers.) Next, we tried grating crayons with a cheese grater onto the wax paper. (Deo loved this. He was able to grate all by himself and the end result was so awesome). We also squeezed glitter glue sticks onto the wax paper. The glitter doesn't sparkle in the sunlight but it was super fun and messy to use.

We folded the wax paper in half so that the crayon shavings were pressed inside. I microwaved the whole creation for about 50 seconds, being careful to be there when the time was up, as the paper needs to be "pressed down" right away to help the melted crayon bind to both sheets of wax paper. (Using the microwave replaced the need for a hot iron with small kids around and a big kid with some unpredictable movements).

We made two flags each this way. We were having so much fun. Then we decided to experiment further. We used permanent markers to color on the wax paper. Creating yet another interesting and beautiful stained glass effect. This was a quick way for Deo to get a lot of color on the paper. Then we went ahead and grated more crayons. Experimenting with how much crayon we could melt between the wax paper before it turned to grey mush instead of speckled rainbow goodness.

I cut out our triangular flags, folded the top over a string and stapled the flap to the string. (Didn't want to use our time at the sewing machine. This went quickly and will serve us just fine for a while).

While we were creating we were also talking and thinking about a word that could describe our goal or wish for the year. Mine was nourish. Nourish my body, my children, my family. Nourish our creativity. Nourish my soul by being present with my kids, carving out time with my husband, making things. This word dangling in the window will help me remember my direction this year.

Once the flags were dangling in the window, catching the sun, I wrote everyone's words on the flag of their choice. Now during meal times through out the day we can see our words illuminated.

These first days of the year pass and the moisture from the window and elements will eventually degrade our flags and we will take them down. By then we will have a new project to do to revive our words and remind ourselves which direction(s) we are headed in.

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