Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Technical Difficulties and a Change in Operating Proceedure

For some reason it always surprises me when I encounter a project that doesn't sail smoothly from start to finish without any false starts and practice runs. How's that for humility! I think sometimes my vision of the end product is so clear that I cannot fathom how anything could go wrong. If I could only jump right from the planning stage to the finished stage . . . it is all those intermediary steps that trip me up! What? Opaque, heavily painted muslin doesn't resemble the iridescent and multifaceted feather's of a butterfly's wing?! What, do you have to be God  to create a butterfly that doesn't list drunkenly to the side?! What's that about Pride going before a fall . . . ?

I am anxiously anticipating starting my second round of butterflies. This first set was for our "color of the day wreath". In some Waldorf schools they use a color of the day to help preliterate children feel the flow and repeats of the weeks. The colors are pretty standard:

Monday is Purple Day
Tuesday is Red Day (We do pink)
Wednesday is Yellow Day
Thursday is Orange Day
Friday is Green Day (As someone who grew up in the 90's this always makes me laugh!)
Saturday is Blue Day
Sunday is White Day.

I started incorporating the color of the day last summer for just that reason; to help B have a sense of the unit of time we call a week. It was my challenge and goal to organize our activities so that the same thing falls on the same day each week, giving our week a balanced rhythm. The color of the day is to give B a visual way to track where we were in that rhythm. I hung a wreath in the dining room where we can see it prominently. We have had various beings, according to the seasons, help us track the color of the day. These butterflies made their appearance on Ash Wednesday in anticipation of the coming of Spring and the celebration of Easter. A second set of butterflies will hatch out of their cocoons on the nature table Easter morning. That gives me just under two weeks.

Hopefully, with that amount of time, and the practice from the first set I will find a groove, but for some reason I am still anxious. I didn't give myself a whole lot of time before Ash Wednesday to work through the kinks in the technical side of this project. Some of our new visitors didn't take flight until more than a week after their first appearance, and I found myself up late each night painting the next day's butterfly. This is not how I like to work, but I am finding that crafting time is growing scarcer and scarcer.

Because, of course, I am so very rarely alone anymore!

I am facing a shift in thinking. Crafting used to be by and for me. Then, it became for me and my children, but still by me. Slowly (or not so slowly!) it is becoming crafting by me and my children. I honestly don't know how I feel about that! (blush) Ultimately, I hope very much that my children learn from me, and enjoy making things with their hands. I hope to pass on the confidence of being able to tackle any project, and the enjoyment of making beautiful things.  But there is a part of me that really enjoys creating something and setting it out, unexplained, to be found, and played with, and marveled at. And there is certainly a part of my that enjoys working in peace without having to stop mid flow to fix, or straighten, or clean up. I suppose it will just take some adjustments in time management; definitely some patience on my part; and some clear boundaries about which is my project and which is our project.


  1. Your butterflies are gorgeous!!! That seems like what I was thinking when I think of handmade butterflies, but how I was thinking of making them would have had them turning out very different, and probably disappointing. I'm going to have to give them more thought!

    1. Thank you! I am happy with how they turned out, especially from afar! Lol! You can look at this post (http://thehomelymaker.blogspot.com/2014/02/preparing-for-lenten-transformation.html) to see pictures of the process. I used one layer of the heaviest iron-on interfacing and one layer of muslin, and I sandwiched between them a short length of floral wire so they would keep their shape. I used craft store acrylic paint to paint them. The most challenging part was getting them to hang nicely and getting the colors and patterns to look at all realistic, or even at all attractive. I did use glitter on some, but my best friend ended up being white pearl paint. It livened them up without being gaudy. I also ended up adding water to the paint to help it blend. I think I am going to use a lighter weight interfacing for the next round. In case you were wondering! Lol! : )

    2. I also literally sat at of the computer with images of butterflies in front of me while I painted.