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Customised Christmas Cards

Happy new year from P and me.

As a child I remember making handmade cards for birthdays, festivals, and no occassion ones. Thinking up designs, planning the colours, writing the apt words and personalising it used to give me a great sense of achievement.

Today, in this age of whatsapp and fb wishing, such simple joys and gestures are far and few. I wanted P to get a glimpse of my childhood holiday activity and have the experience going to the post office, buying stamps and posting the art work.

We sat down and decided the basic designs. P has been following the activity of making various animals  from thumb prinits, in the monthly Childrens Magazine we subscribe to. Hence he was keen to do similar reindeers.

We made a few Christmas trees from left over scraps of art paper. I got him to imagine what can be made out of the numbers 2016 and did a few myself.

Finally I made the envelopes for our cards and we trotted off to the post office to buy stamps and post them. P was super thrilled to stick the stamps and put them into the post box.

Such simple joys that made our end of the year memorable.

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Trapping Heffelump!

I know I have done something right when I see P creating something after reading a book. In the past too, characters in the books we have read have inspired a lot of art work. Today, yet again P was itching to give form to the story he liked, that he sat down to work soon after he brushed his teeth.

The muse for today’s creation is ‘Heffelump’ (from ‘Winnie the Pooh’). P was gifted this book – Eoyore, be happy, from Winnie the Pooh series – for his birthday.

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He doubled up in laughter the first time and every time that I have read it to him. Seeing his reaction, I knew it was just a matter of time that he will want to do an art work around Pooh or Tigger. That it was Heffelump who caught his fancy, came as a surprise. Guess it’s the mystery factor around him.

So, like in the story we have set up a Heffelump trap in our balcony, to ‘trick and catch’ him. And his face and form will be revealed to the world. We covered the trap with gift paper to trick Heffelump to think its a gift for him (P’s words).

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So tonight is the night when the the unassuming Heffelump will ‘fall’ for P’s trap and the world will see him!

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Feeding Shanmugham

Ever since P has joined for basketball classes, the sound of dribbling and shooting imaginary baskets is a constant at home. I can hear the ball being dribbled even in my sleep. All was quiet on the art project front for a few days thanks to the new found love – basketball. But yesterday P came sulking and said he missed many chances at the basket because he could not practice – talk about priming the parent to buying a new basketball set! So I made a deal with him that we will make one that will be fun and help him in his game.

I had done this project with a group of children for one of my workshops and I thought it will work great. So we pulled out thick card paper, chart paper, scissors and pen and got to work. I drew out a lion (Shanmugham) with an open mouth which P cut out and stuck on the card paper. I then helped him draw out the eyes, ears, mane and whiskers. We punched a hole and hung it in his room.

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We made a story that Shanmugham was always hungry and needed to be fed else he will roar and wake up the neighbourhood (inspired from the book ‘Snoring Shanmugham’). P had to feed him paper balls and keep him quiet.

Now P merrily practices his shooting and mutters ‘there you go Shanmugham, eat your vegetable’. And the house is temporarily spared from becoming a basketball court.

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Back to school stationery

It’s back to school for P after short break. He starts primary now which means more writing and taking books, pencils and other paraphernalia to school. It also means longer hours at school. We are both excited and anxious to know how P will react to a more formal setting.

To add to P’s excitement, I made these cute pencil tops for him. Though I wanted to do it myself, I had my little elf helping me a lot.

To make these, just draw out animals and birds of choice on foam sheets, draw out the features and stick googly eyes. Punch two holes and slip a rubber band through it and band it to the pencil. Easy peasy, you are ready to write.

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Science through art

P and I are back from our short break and we resume our respective call of duties tomorrow. Hence the silence  from us. I thought I’ll kick start with an adorable project we did before we left for our break – the climbing elephant.

I was inspired to do this one after I saw a similar climbing robot on http://buggyandbuddy.com/. The crafter had made a robot for her toddlers and they loved it. I stretched the project further and included a little science in it – the concept of pulley system. But before we embarked on the project I jogged P’s memory on how we saw women drawing water from the well in our ancestral village, during our previous vacation. I also showed him a few videos and pictures. The father contributed by explaining the pulley system in the elevator of our building.

Having set the base, I made P draw an elephant and outline it. I also made him cut one sippy straw into 4 pieces (actually you need just 2 pieces). We stuck the straw behind the drawing and looped a long string through the pieces of straw. I then looped 2 beads to prevent the string from slipping off.

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We hung it on the door knob and the elephant was ready to climb. P was overjoyed when he saw his elephant climbing the door as he pulled the beads. He kept pulling and releasing the beads to get the elephant climb up and down.

P was occupied pretty much the whole day with his climbing elephant – perfect for me to do my art in peace.

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Elephantine love

P’s current favourite is elephant. Everything he does these days has to do with elephants – books, drawings, play dough, blocks, random paper cuttings. Everything gets an elephantine shape and edge.

Yesterday, we fished out our wooden peg set and sat down to do these cute note pegs. Not that I needed them, but since P insisted on making so many elephant pegs. I thought might as well find some use for them.We also clipped a small note on acha’s (father) work to brighten his day.

It’s an easy craft. All you have to do is draw out the elephant, cut it and paste it on the peg. We crayoned our pegs to make it colourful and bright

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Handmade paper

This was largely my project and P was a keen bystander. I was making paper for the first time, so I deliberately didn’t urge P to join and was happy to let him watch. The traditional method of making handmade paper involves using a woodden screen and deckle. Since I have neither, I just laid it out on parchment paper and sponged out the excess water. I came across this technique by chance from a craft book.

I made a small A4 size sheet and put in some fresh flowers and leaves (should be done in earlier stage rather than end, which I did). It turned out a tad more brittle than what should be, but I managed to cut at the brittle portion and turn them into cute gift tags, cards and bag tags.

P thought the paper pulp looked like vomit and didn’t want to do anything with it. But when he saw the end product, a nice sheet of handmade paper, he changed his mind and said, ‘vomit has become so pretty.’

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