I haven’t blogged in a loooonnngg time.
No, it wasn’t just because I was busy watching the final season of the Oprah Winfrey Show. (My chances of winning a free trip to Australia have drastically plummeted…) Blogging is like exercising. When you’re into it, you’re into it. You have your cute gear on, your hair is up in a bouncy ponytail, your lipstick is on but your foundation is off--- it’s pretty hard to work out with L’Oreal running into your eye. When you’re not into exercise, you’re lying on the couch eating sugar cookies and channel flipping while wondering why that Nora Roberts' movie you swore you were going to watch last year is taking up valuable space on your DVR. What usually gets you up is either you realize you’re expected to fit into a swimsuit---a real one, not a string-one-size-fits-all-bikini. Or someone says, “Hey, did you know you’re morphing with the sofa?”
So when someone recently pointed out that I hadn’t blogged in a while, I thought, why not? There are plenty of books and crafts and TMI things I have to share, and not just with SPL librarians on SharePoint. All the adult participants of my craft programs want to know how to do some of the cooler crafts without having to comb through 15 books filled with impossible to make cards that require wire clippers, blow torches, and 2 weeks of planning.
I came up with this card after going online and realizing a lot of kids card crafts are ugly. Yes, I said it. Ugly. Hideous. Just plain wrong. You smile when they give them to you, but part of you wants to go all Tiger Mom and scream, “This is garbage! But I only say that because I love you…” I started thinking of how to jazz things up when my inner-Martha Stewart took over. The thing is, Sharpies and White Out are not items you want to turn over to a group of children, thus the butterflies were made beforehand. It’s not as difficult as, say, making the Four Season’s duck recipe (takes four days), but there is a learning curve. Sad to say, I can now turn out a butterfly in about 90 seconds, which means I surely have brain damage from the fumes.
Colored paper---yellow, plus colors of your choosing
Nice to have:
A room with ventilation (or a rock to throw through the window since ours don’t open)
For the card base:
1. The writing.
There are several ways to go with this. I printed “You are the sunshine of my life” directly onto my model card, but for the program I printed out cute sayings on colored paper to allow the kids to pick from. For the inside, I printed out poems to glue inside.
2. The flowers.
Find your desired flower template. Create two flowers using this template. Then take the second flower and trim the perimeter so that it can one flower can sit atop the other. Use these two different sizes to create masses of flowers. (Or e-mail me for some leftovers.) I traced a glue stick onto yellow paper for the center of the flower. (Please don’t tell the kids you are making the ovary of the flower---this will bring up questions you don’t want to answer.)
For the butterflies:
1. Make butterflies using orange paper.
We didn’t have a die cut machine, so we used Elk Grove High School students desperate for volunteer assignments that didn’t involve picking trash off the side of the road. If you need a template Central has this die cut shape, or I can send something over via inter-office mail.
2. Place the butterfly on scratch paper. Fill in the body and outline the shape with a black sharpie. Draw lines in the center bisecting lines.
3. Begin drawing in the other lines.
This is something you might not want to hand over to a sophomore who needs 10 hours of community service by tomorrow. If you don’t have time to closely supervise this work, only let trusted volunteers do this part.
4. Dot the lines created in step two with White Out.
Err on the side of stingy dots. You can draw over your mistakes on the black lines, but you can’t “white out” orange paper. Afterwards go outside and breath fresh(er) air.
5. After it is dry, flip over and repeat.
I only did the middle and right side of the other side, since the left part of it will not show.
6. Bend the butterfly in half.
You don’t want a crisp fold because the butterfly will look less perched-on-a-flower than it will look squashed-under-a-shoe.
7. Remember that perfection is the enemy of Getting Things Done.
Yes, it would have been nice if all the butterflies turned out perfectly. They won’t. Some staff members helped out and said, “I’m sorry, but mine doesn’t look like yours do.” My response: “So? They’re kids. I’m not worrying that an 8 year old might complain that the line’s not perfect.”
Putting it all together:
1. Do the inside of the card first, so as not to mess up the outside.
This is the time to glue in poems, love letters, baby pictures, ultrasounds, etc.
2. Glue the saying and flower(s) onto the front of the card.
Some kids will go all out and layer 3 dozen. Whatever floats their boats is fine.
3. Glue the butterfly atop the card.
And there you have it. I really don't know how long this craft takes because I broke it into many different parts, but the kids loved it and were really impressed. Of course children are also impressed by the magic of jello and finding pennies on the ground, but I take what I can get. Enjoy!