Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Its never too early for Christmas

This is how it began. Anjali has been having a temperature since Sunday and as a result of that, her Coats surgery had to be postponed.

We were looking for activities to do, and since Shree Valli's reception is coming up, I suggested to the girls that we make a present. I had spoken about this previously to Anjali and she suggested buying jewellery making stuff - beads and the like and making a very grand necklace and grand earrings for Shree Valli.

"Will she wear them?", I asked, as we were returning from the doctor.

"When she is married and she goes for another wedding, then she will have two grand things to chose from", said Anjali confidently. "Her own wedding jewellery and the ones we make for her"

Now, I have no idea where to go for grand looking beads - with the exception of art friend, and going all the way to Buona Vista was not an option.

But then Anjali was starting to get a kick out of browsing wikipedia, and I knew that had to stop at all costs, so I decided instead to remind her of the ShreeValli wedding reception project. We got out a crafts kids can make book from the libraryand spent a happy fifteen minutes browsing through cute projects to do, but which would be really not suitable as wedding gifts- like tissue paper fans, paper mache flower bowl (which looked kind of cute), and angel hat. And then we saw a pomander project that looked doable and cute and might be, if done properly, part of a wedding package. More on the pomander in another post, but then the girls saw a craft of a nativity scene in polymer clay.

Anjali  suddenly said "Mom!, I could make this for sister Joanna and give it to her for moral education".

And then Sophia piped up "la la la Away in the Manger... la la la"
And so they got to work. They didnt do it quite independently, but I am proud to say that I didnt have as much of a hand in the crafting as I might have had, say six months ago. We used home made playdough, except for the white, for which we used saltdough. In retrospect, it would have been better to use salt dough for the whole thing, but mostly I was too lazy to make up a new batch of colored salt dough, since I knew from experience that painting salt dough after baking is a whole different project with unreliable results. And I also knew that the children wanted something presentable at the end of the activity.

So here was the division of labor. Anjali made both the sheep, I made Joseph and Anjali made Mary. The rest of the cast of characters were shared, with me sculpting the body and Anjali sculpting the various facial features.

One sheep, three wise men, Mary and Joseph
A wiseman is ready for facial features
Sophia discovered that if she stepped on the playdough, or sat on it, it mixed in in very interesting and unpredictable ways. At first I tried to involve her to make something constructive, but halfway through, I realized that she was doing something constructive of her own and left her to it. And she did contribute to the project in her own ways- sww the rich robe colors of the wise men - most of then were mixed by Sophia.
Anjali made an angel with a seat for it. Donot be alarmed by her face - husband bought a pack of face painting crayons and she has been a cat for most of the days since then.
Finally, the whole set is complete - two sheep, three wise men, three shepherds, one angel and baby Jesus in a cradle
I baked them at 100 degrees for about an hour and went to bed. Next morning, the figurines were mostly hard and Sophia and I glued them on to cardboard.
Anjali did some embellishing - glitter glue on the wise men

Thats the pile of glitter glue - it was runnig out, so I squeezed a whole lot on to a piece of paper and the girls painted over the figurines with the glue
In the meantime, Sophia brought out the nativity story book from the bookshelf and began to peruse. At first she asked me to read to her, but before I could, she decided to "read" it by herself.

Here is the fun part - the stable is full of hay (courtesy of the guinea pigs) and the outside is full of snow
Proud of a good job.

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