Friday, December 4, 2009

How to Make a Woven Star by Juliet Hwang

From time to time we will feature a project or craft which requires a little more skill and practice, and will allow you to experience the work of Bahá’í artists
My wife Juliet produces beautiful 9 pointed paper stars, one type of which is featured in this post. This project requires some skill and patience, and is for more experienced crafters, but is worth the time and effort.
To see more of her work go to:

http://web.me.com/donendusted/Divine_Stars/Divine_Stars_Paper_Filigree.html

video

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Children's Classes

I have just discovered a blog, by Shirin Tan, which provides resources for Childrens class teachers.
You can check it out at:
http://brilliantstars.blogspot.com/
I have also put the link in the sidebar.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

PAPER MARBLING by Sandra Larkin Douglas

Materials
1. Cut cardstock into desired size. I like 4¼ X 5 ½, because it works so nicely with 8½ X 11 sheets of cardstock and because I have many quotations typed out that fit nicely on that size.
2. Mark one side with initials, if you have more than 2 or 3 in the group. (they will never recognize their own once it is dry)
3. Spray the other side with alum water and wait a few minutes for it to dry (recipe follows) or you could dip it in a dish of alum water, if you don’t have a spray bottle. The alum allows the
paint to adhere to the paper.
4. Mix paints (2 or 3 colors only) Squirt a teaspoon of acrylic paint into a small cup, add water and stir until the consistency is about like buttermilk.
5. Pour laundry starch into an appropriate sized pan about 1 ½ inches deep
6. Using an eye dropper, drop paint onto the starch. (you want the paint to float on the top of the starch, not sink to the bottom.) Put about 5 drops of 1 color and 4 or 5 of a 2nd color. Don’t use more than 3 colors, as they will turn into brown.


Step 6

7. Use a large-tonged comb or a popsicle stick and very gently skim the surface one time only, to drag the colors to intersect with one another.

Step 7

8. Lay the alum-sprayed side of the paper onto the surface of the starch and count, 1 one-thousand, 2 one-thousand 3, and lift out gently.

Setting the color

9 Lay it out on newspaper for about 5 minutes, to set the color.


Finished Craft

10 Rinse in a pan of clear water and lay out to dry entirely.
11 You can continue using the same pan of starch, but will need to add more drops of paint for each piece of paper.

Optional:
If you aren’t happy with the result, allow to dry only a few minutes or blow dry with a hair dryer until most of the water is gone, but the paper is still damp. Using a toothpick, dip into the paint cup and add more marks on the paper or use a toothbrush and splatter the paper, or just any tool to make marks. Lay out to dry entirely.

A FEW IDEAS:
•The edges can be colored with stamp pads (dragging the edge of the paper across the pad)
•You can add rubber stamp images, use stencils, stickers or any other embellishments.
•I glue on quotations and/or prayers.
•Use a half sheet of card stock for dipping. When it’s dry, cut it in half, then cut one half in half again. The larger piece is used to glue a quote or poem, the smaller 2 are for bookmarks. Punch a hole, glue on a short quote, and tie on a ribbon.
•If you use a ½ sheet, you can fold that in half and make a greeting card.
•I’ve also used lighter-weight paper and folded it into an envelope and then a greeting card, or several quote cards can go inside.

Alum recipe:
2 T alum added to 2 C hot tap water. (downsize appropriately eg: 1 T for 1C, 1½ in ½ C, etc.)
Alum can be purchased in any grocery store in the spices isle.
It is generally used in making pickles.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Abdu’l-Bahá and the Sheep.

We received our first request yesterday and our first two followers.
Thank you Aniela and Susan for the follow.
The request was for craft ideas for a Book 3 and Book 4 study circle, so here is the first idea for children's classes

The following is a story from Book 3, Unit 2 Section 6, and a suggested craft for the children.

One day Bahá’u’lláh sent Abdu’l-Bahá to inspect the work of the shepherds who were taking care of his sheep. Abdu’l-Bahá was a small child at the time, and the persecutions against Bahá’u’lláh and his family had not yet started. Bahá’u’lláh then had a good deal of land in the mountains and owned large herds of sheep.
When the inspection was finished Abdu’l-Bahá was ready to leave, the man who had accompanied Him said, “It is your father’s custom to leave a gift for each shepherd.” Abdu’l-Bahá became silent for a while, because He did not have anything to give them. The man, however, insisted the shepherds were expecting something. Then Abdul-Baha had an idea that made Him very happy! He would give the shepherds the sheep they were taking care of! Bahá’u’lláh was very much pleased when He heard about Abdu’l-Bahá’s generous thoughts towards the shepherds. He humorously remarked that everyone had better take good care of Abdu’l-Bahá because someday He would give himself away.
Of course, this is exactly what Abdu’l-Bahá did for the rest of his life. He gave everything he had, each and every moment of his life, to humanity, to unite us and bring us true happiness.

After telling the story you can discuss and memorize the quotation and then have the children do the craft project.

To give and to be generous are attributes of Mine; well is it with him that adorneth himself with My virtues.
(Baha'u'llah, The Persian Hidden Words)

Print out the quotation. I usually fill a sheet with as many copies of the quote as possible and, then cut it up into the strips as shown in the pictures below.

The beauty of this little project is that it can be as simple or as elaborate as the skill of the children, and the scope your budget can accommodate.













Basic Materials
•Paper or card stock
•Cotton balls (from the pharmacy)
•Google eyes (from the craft shop)
•Glue (Multi-purpose white glue)
•Crayons and/or markers
•Scissors (Both straight and patterned)
Optional
•Stickers (Flower, butterflies, etc. Dollar store)
•Felt or foam sheet


The children draw a landscape and then populate it with sheep by gluing the cotton balls to the paper and using the markers draw heads and legs. The sheep are completed by gluing on the eyes. Dependant on what is available the children can decorate further with stickers and shapes.

After preparing this post I was looking through Book 4 and found this picture in the section about the life of the Bab, and thought it would be ideal for the children to colour and add the sheep to. I added the quote. You can "save" the picture and then print it out.

A slightly more complicated project is this little critter

Dolly the Sheep

Around Easter time Juliet found “sheep kits”; each packet had sufficient material to make 6 sheep. (see sample).
We have not seen them again, but you can make your own by cutting faces from a sheet of black foam, and buying the fluffy balls, pipe cleaners and eyes from the craft shop.
(Walmart normally has all the materials, and if you “shop around” several Dollar Stores you can probably pick up the material. Some are better for crafts than others.)

Sheep Bits
They are reasonably easy to assemble:

•Cut the legs to length; put a blob of glue on one end and push into the body.
•Glue the eyes and nose to the face
•Glue the face to the body and Hey - Presto!!!! The sheep has landed.
•Our model has a small magnet attached to her butt, so that she can be displayed on the fridge door.

Take a look at the Book 7 crafts in the previous post for some more ideas.
Well I hope you and the children have fun as well as learning about giving

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Busy Times

Well!!! I hear you ask – where are the crafts? - it’s been a month since the last post.
A very busy month for Juliet and I, we had two major craft projects plus tutoring Book 7 “Walking the Path of Service”.



The first was a craft workshop for the Martha Root Training Institute, Coordinators Conference in Glen Rose Texas.



The second was a workshop at the Texas Bahá’í School this weekend called: “Arts and Crafts in the Ruhi Institute Process”.

Attending the two events enabled us to meet several interesting people who I hope will contribute to the blog, and share their experience and talent.
Details of the craft activities pictured will be given in future posts.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ruhi Crafts

I have been thinking about starting a craft blog for some time, and this weekend I was fortunate enough to visit the home of Donna and Mike Ard. My wife Juliet and Mike are on the Texas Bahá’í School Committee, so while they held their meeting Donna and I had time to compare craft projects, and brainstorm a bit with new ideas.
Anyway, that and going teaching the Faith today has so inspired me that I decided to, “Strike whilst the iron is hot”, and start the blog. I have not even prepared any graphics for the header and footer, but wanted to make a statement of intent, and get it out there.
It is not my intention for this to be a one person show. I would like it to be a collaborative site and would welcome feedback and contributions. If you have any ideas please get in touch, so that we can walk together on the path of service.
The plan (so far), is to start with a few general craft projects for devotionals, and then move into the first book, “Reflections on the Life of the of the Spirit”, and, surprise, surprise !!!!!, move through the sequence of courses.


So who wants to take the red pill, and see how deep the rabbit hole goes.

More very soon