Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Make a Butterfly Wand

 This is a great birthday party craft which I found in "The Children's Year" by Cooper, Fynes-Clinton, and Rowling!  We did it for my daughter's 3rd grade birthday a long time ago as a part of a fairy birthday celebration, and it was a lot of fun.  Children that age can do most of the craft on their own.  We recently did this at a party for a first grader and the children needed a lot of adult help.

 I prepared some beautiful tissue paper in a selection of colors cut four inches square, and

 some black pipe cleaners folded in half.

 I had sticks which had recently been pruned from a plane tree, but of course you could buy small dowels.

 I tied pretty little ribbons onto the ends of the sticks and secured with a dot of glue.  You could use thread or string if you want.  I added a jewel to each stick for some sparkle.

 Show the children how to put a twist in the bend of the pipe cleaner for the bottom of the butterfly.

 Each child may pick two colors of tissue paper and pinch the middle together.  These are the wings.

 Now place the wings between the twisted pipe cleaner and twist the top to make a head and the antennae.  This part was hard for first graders because of the difficulty holding the scrunched tissue paper while twisting the pipe cleaner.  Now knot the ribbon below the antennae.  The wands are done!  The children at the party ran and played and danced with their butterflies held aloft and flying behind them!  It was so cute, I wish you could have seen it.

Look how pretty the butterflies look all collected in a box.  If you had a tall vase they would make a beautiful centerpiece when you sit down for birthday cake.

 This craft costed about 4 francs per piece, with tons of left over tissue paper for other projects.  That's not too bad a price for a children's craft in Switzerland.  It would cost a lot less in most other places depending on what materials you use....

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Patchwork Pillow for Sylvia

 Marianne and Lina and I made a pillow for Sylvia, Marianne's daughter, as a housewarming present.  We started it one morning right before the end of Marianne's visit, and got so busy and had so much fun that we worked right through lunch, so Marianne could take it home with her.

 We picked out all the colors together, trying to make something which would work nicely with Sylvia's sofa.  I loved collaborating with my friend, she was so decisive and has a great color sense, though she doesn't think so.  We used the crazy log cabin method, which is great for design-as-you-go! When Marianne got home her mother Lina helped her finish the pillow.

 These pictures of the finished pillow are tiny because they were taken with a phone.

 Look how beautifully the pillow is finished on the edges, and the pretty zipper and backing, below.

See the little pocket on the back?  It has a butterfly on it.  It is a surprise note pocket.  Marianne can put little love notes in the pocket when she goes to visit Sylvia!  Happy New Home, Sylvia!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Butterfly Collages

This is a project we did with kindergarteners and first graders in the after school art program.

First we made some beautiful collage papers.  A visiting friend and I painted some together.

Karma and I had gathered some plane tree prunings for the project, which was developed around an idea of hers to do squish paintings.

Here is my friend trying a squish painting.  Using a little spoon some put paint on the middle of some paper.  Fold it in half and squish it.  It makes a symmetrical painting and it's fun to see the results.  This part of the project gave us problems because the squish paintings took way too long to dry during the class.  The children had to work with wet paper to make their butterflies.  I had some templates handy for the children who wanted them for their butterflies.

Each child had a base made of corrugated cardboard, and they cut collage papers to make a scene, added branches, (I hot glued the branches where they wanted them,) cotton for clouds, and butterflies cut out from the squish paintings they made.

Here are some of the children's squish paintings.  Karma showed the children how to make them.

As always, it's so fun to see the variety of results!