Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Plant naught but the rose of Love

This is a bargain post because you get several projects in one.
But first I would like to share a quote from, Plutarch.
“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled”
Since we are all striving to build communities through the institute process it seem very appropriate to reflect on it.

The Heart
The first project uses a cereal box, some tissue paper, and three tissue flowers which form the second part of this post. It is based in part on the following quotation.

In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love, and from the nightingale of affection and desire loosen not thy hold. Treasure the companionship of the righteous and eschew all fellowship with the ungodly.
(Baha'u'llah, The Persian Hidden Words)

Collect some cereal boxes.

I used the upper part of the box to make a heart template, the size of the template will depend on the boxes you have available. If you have large boxes or wish to make small hearts you may want to make two hearts from each base

Place the template in the corner of the box and draw round it, repeating the process on the other side, then cut out your heart.

I painted the heart with red acrylic paint (This required multiple coats). But it would be quicker to cover the heart with construction paper, or paste red tissue paper over it. However decoration can be as simple or elaborate as you wish or meets needs of the group. Then add the quote of your choice.

I used a hot glue gun to secure the flower stems to the inside of the heart, and the filled the space with ”scrunched-up” green tissue, then arranged the flowers. It may be simpler just to hold the flowers in place with the green tissue paper.
The Flowers
All that is required for this project are some pipe cleaners, and sheets of different coloured tissue paper.

Sequence 1

Select two sheets of different coloured tissue paper:

• Fold them in half
• And again
• And finally a third time

Sequence 2

• Draw a circle on the folded paper
• Cut out the circle
• Mark two holes (approx 3 fingers apart) in the middle of the circle
• “Punch” holes through all the layers with scissors or an awl

Sequence 3

• Fold a pipe cleaner in half
• Feed the tissue petals onto it
• When all are threaded – pull sharply on the pipe cleaner pushing the petals upwards
• Twist pipe cleaner together

Sequence 4

• “Scrunch-up” the first petal
• Repeat with all the petals until you have achieved the desired shape

These flowers can be used for a multitude of activities, and can be made in different sizes to suit your needs.
There are many references in the Writings regarding flowers, so they can be used for children’s classes, study circles, or a decoration for a devotional.
Juliet made a huge number of them and placed them in baskets to decorate the stage for the 2009 Texas Bahá’í school.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 Ridvan Message @

As I was planning a post, I noticed that are offering a FREE audio download of the “2010 Ridvan Message”.
All you need to do is share the link on Twitter or Facebook.
Check it out at:
I have just downloaded my copy, and plan to listen to it on the drive to the Louisiana Bahá’í School later this week. I also intend to post again before we leave and hope to report on our craft activates at the school.
More crafts later

Saturday, December 11, 2010

All from the Same Dust

"An actor mentioned the drama, and its influence. "The drama is of the utmost importance." said 'Abdu'l-Bahá. "It has been a great educational power in the past; it will be so again." He described how as a young boy he witnessed the Mystery Play of 'Ali's Betrayal and Passion, and how it affected him so deeply that he wept and could not sleep for many nights."
(Published in "'Abdu'l-Bahá in London: Addresses and Notes of Conversations"
(Oakham: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1987), p. 93) [22]
(Compilations, The Importance of the Arts in Promoting the Faith)

Reading Abdu'l-Bahá's comment made me think of our good friend Michael Costello who is currently working to put together a short film project called; "All from the Same Dust"


An African-American woman and her white father-in-law confront the hatred, mistrust, and pain that separates them when her husband dies unexpectedly.
Though race relations have improved since the time of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement, racism has not been eradicated, it remains in many forms, often just below the surface, hidden in the shadows of deceit, undermining any true possibility for healing, equality, and unity. The film not only addresses the racial divide between blacks and whites in America, it also speaks to the pervasive bigotry and intolerance seen between cultures, nations, religions, tribes, and races throughout the world. Until we come together as one human race, we will never achieve the peace on earth we all long to experience. The producers believe All from the Same Dust will contribute to the larger dialogue for understanding, healing, and reconciliation.

You can find more detail by following the link below, and learn how you can assist in bringing this wonderful project to fruition.

Shooting is scheduled to start early in 2011, and the film will be released later in the year.
This I believe will be a great tool to spark dialogue in various "core activities".
Details of the release along with a review will be published on this blog as soon as available.

Angela Rawna and Michael Costello

Friday, December 10, 2010


This post I would like to share another quotation on, "The Importance of the Arts in Promoting the Faith". This one is from the booklet of the same name.
The pictures are all from the terraces, some are breathtaking whilst others are the less obvious "fine detail", but all are examples of beauty and symmetry. (Even the drain cover).

It is natural for the heart and spirit to take pleasure and enjoyment in all things that show forth symmetry, harmony, and perfection. For instance: a beautiful house, a well designed garden, a symmetrical line, a graceful motion, a well written book, pleasing garments -- in fact, all things that have in themselves grace or beauty are pleasing to the heart and spirit -- therefore, it is most certain that a true voice causes deep pleasure.

('Abdu'l-Bahá's words to Mrs. Mary L. Lucas, as quoted in "A Brief Account of My Visit to Acca" (Chicago: Bahá'í Publishing Society, 1905), pp. 11-14) [24]

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Story Book

The recent commemoration of several Holy days, brought to mind an old project with several applications.
It was originally envisioned as a home visit booklet project for Book 2, but can also be used for Holy day gifts.

Detailed instructions can be found on Ruhi Resources.

The example shown here has a set of story cards detailing the life of Baha'u'llah, which can be used for both Books 2 and 4 as well for the Birth of Baha'u'llah celebration.

The Booklet with the story cards

A close-up of the cards
So why not make your own story book and a home visit.
Plan to post again soon and would welcome any ideas or stories you may have.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

"All Art is a gift of the Holy Spirit."

Another of the occasional quotations on the importance of the Arts to the institute process.

"All Art is a gift of the Holy Spirit. When this light shines through the mind of a musician, it manifests itself in beautiful harmonies. Again, shining through the mind of a poet, it is seen in fine poetry and poetic prose. When the Light of the Sun of Truth inspires the mind of a painter, he produces marvellous pictures. These gifts are fulfilling their highest purpose, when showing forth the praise of God."
(Compilations, The Importance of the Arts in Promoting the Faith)

Monday, November 15, 2010


Our community has just started a children’s class with a Book 3 Study circle running in conjunction for the parents.
This weekend both had memorization exercises, and I resorted to what Juliet calls my cave paintings, although now that I am using clipart they have been elevated to Hieroglyphics.
So without further ado here you go.
From Lesson 4

From Book 3

Let me know if they work for you, or if you have any ideas.
I am working on a few posts but I hope this keeps things going.

More soon

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

From the Ridvan Message of 2001

Have decided to start including examples of the guidence relating to the arts and the advancement of the Institute process.
This first is from the 2001 Ridvan message:

"Throughout the endeavour, periodic meetings of consultation in the area need to reflect on issues, consider adjustments, and maintain enthusiasm and unity of thought. The best approach is to formulate plans for a few months at a time, beginning with one or two lines of action and gradually growing in complexity. Those who are actively involved in the implementation of plans, whether members of the institutions or not, should be encouraged to participate fully in the consultations. Other area-wide gatherings will also be necessary. Some of these will provide opportunity for the sharing of experience and further training. Others will focus on the use of the arts and the enrichment of culture. Together, such gatherings will support an intense process of action, consultation and learning."

(The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 158, 2001 01 09, to the Conference of the Continental)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Monsters from the Id

Last night Juliet hosted her monthly craft night, and the project was "Stuffed Monsters". I do not intend to describe the method but simply want to share the wonderful evening we had indulging our imagination in creating our monster.
Mine was a hairy haggis (see the last picture).
I will continue to report on the craft meetings and let you share in Juliet's latest project.
I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed taking part.

Juliet's sweat-shop
Juliet and Gwen
Alek, Jennifer and Andie
The finished monsters
Monster and Hairy Haggis

Monday, September 6, 2010

Floral Arrangement

It’s labour day weekend and the schools are back so thought it was time for another project.
This is a very simple and inexpensive project, with plenty of scope for improvisation, that Juliet found whilst “surfing “ craft sites.

 Gather a number of cardboard tubes
(The kind on the inside of kitchen towels or toilet tissue)
 Press them flat and mark them off in ½” (12mm) increments
 Cut the tube into strips (these will form your petals)

 Take 5 sections and glue then together to form a flower

 Arrange your flowers

 This is the point where you can get really creative, we decided to use acrylic paint to colour the flowers, but you could use crayons or pencils or let your imagination run riot.
 When the paint is dry assemble your floral arrangement.
(This is one disadvantage of painting)

 We chose to use glitter glue to decorate the edges of the petals.

 And here is the final arrangement.

Here are some thoughts for variations:

o Use the small gems, or felt circles, or mini pompoms for the centres
o Use pipe cleaners for stems
o Use a different size tube for petals
o Use them as part of a picture story

Anyway if you have some ideas please share them, this is what the blog is about – participation and sharing our passion for crafts and the Institute process.
Looking forward to hearing and seeing all your ideas

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Weaving activities for young children

There are lots of ideas and talent out there, here is an interesting blog post, from Australia.

Thank you Jenny.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Quilling 101

Juliet is an ardent "quiller", and she just posted this link on Twitter to a Quilling 101 article on Craftzine:

For more samples of Juliet's work go to:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Letham Crafts

Where have all the postings gone?
Long time coming
Where have all the postings gone?
Long time ago………………………

I am no doubt showing my age by paraphrasing that old song, but it has been a while –Again I hear you say!!
Anyway we have had quite a bit going on since the last post.
I completed the BPMS150 Houston to Austin ride for MS, in April, and then did a bit of travelling. A few weeks ago Juliet, Tye and I were fortunate to be able to visit our younger son who is currently serving in Haifa,. We were able to visit the Shrines and various other sites in Israel, and had a wonderful visit with Alek.
The picture is of a craft project, which hangs in the apartment he shares with several other volunteers.

So these are the excuses, but what does that have to do with crafts?
Well on the way to Haifa we stopped in Scotland to visit my parents and two sons.

Unfortunately our timing was bad and my mother was traveling but when we visited my father in Forfar we also had the opportunity to visit a unique craft shop.
We took a series of pictures because it is impossible to describe, it has a vast selection of – well just about everything crafty. If you imagine a Hobby Lobby compressed into a regular house you have some idea of the “treasure trove” that awaits the crafter. It is not located in a city or large town but in the picturesque Angus village of Letham.
See their web site for location details
If you are ever in NE Scotland I would recommend you pay them a visit.
This may be the point to issue a “financial health warning” to non-crafting spouses;
It would be wise to take control of the credit cards before turning your spouse loose in this Crafting Aladdin’s Cave.
I will not attempt to describe the shop in detail, but will just let the pictures do the talking.
My Dad and Tye

Juliet with her purchases