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]