Nakedness Dens and Food

My life with four little boys

Being “one of those mums” Attempt #5 – The Suncatcher

on August 26, 2014

Aaaand… we’ve arrived: the last leg of my current journey to the shores of “one of those mums”. I’ve been so touched by all the encouraging remarks I’ve received as well as by people taking the time to send me their suggestions of things to try. Particularly memorable was someone I last saw many years ago when she was about 13 during my time as a youth worker, who took the time when she was out shopping ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD to take a photo of something she spotted and send it to me via the wonders of social media! And there were many more people who for one reason or another thought enough of me to make contact with possible craft suggestions so thank you all. Really guys. You are all too cute 🙂 I haven’t had time (and sanity… I am only a tourist to this land after all…) to try them all but the 5th craft I did give a go comes from a blog written by a wonderful fellow mum and friend of mine who (now she’ll probably argue with me but she is. Trust me) is simply brilliant at this sort of stuff. Her blog is well worth checking out here http://wugsanddooey.blogspot.sg/search/label/suncatchers. From it, I took the idea of making a suncatcher and this week fellow villager Julie and her son were back to join in the fun… oh and it involves everybody’s favourite craft material too: sticky black plastic *cue Blue Peter theme tune*. Enjoy…

 

The Travel Log –

The first thing we did was go out in the garden to collect various flowers and leaves to use. I gave each boy a tub and said they could pick anything they liked. Whilst this did prove to be a risky strategy when son #3 came back with a whole heap of lettuce leaves from the vegetable patch (My fault I guess as I forgot to specify no veggies!), they quite enjoyed this bit – especially as I don’t normally allow them to vandalise the flowers in this way! We were considering going on a nature walk to do the collecting but in the end the garden sufficed (read “in the end we decided we didn’t have the energy!”). We also collected together a few craft bits (feathers, sparkly jewels, stickers, beads…. etc.) to use alongside the flowers and leaves inside the suncatcher as well as to decorate it externally to extend the activity further.

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Knowing the fidgety nature of little boys and the limited pairs of hands that Julie and I had between us to help, we thought it best to prepare the suncatchers a little bit in advance by cutting the centre out of a paper bowl (should have been a plate but I ran out so I used the bowls I happened to have instead, which did the job just as well but you end up with a thinner border than if using plates). In order to make the stuff stick you need to cut to size and attach sticky back plastic (contact paper) to the underneath of the newly formed circle and fasten it around the edge. This we also did in advance but if you only have one or two children there is no reason they couldn’t help do these things or even do them independently if capabilities allow.

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The good things about having done this is that it meant that the boys could go straight in to the exciting bit: the sticking! They had so much fun and it was lovely to see how each one was unique as they created their own little designs.

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Once they were happy with their work we stuck more sticky back plastic on top, just to make sure everything stayed in place nicely, and then punched a hole in it to thread string through so they could be hung up. After that the boys were able to decorate both the string with beads/craft shells and the border with stickers.

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I have to say I was really impressed with the results. They all looked very pretty. The boys were more interested in running around in the garden than posing with their creations for a photo afterwards, and it was also a bit windy for the suncatchers to stay still (see photo 1) but I did my best to display them in their best light for you to see how they turned out.

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I’ve waited a while before posting this as I wanted to see how long everything would last before going brown inside the sticky back plastic. It’s a week on now and actually everything still looks really nice. So as I write this I’m not sure how long they will last but so far they’re still going strong. And they look lovely hanging in my kitchen widow (they didn’t stay on the clothes horse!).

🙂 🙂

The Review –

Success Rating: 5/5 – really successful I thought.

Fun Factor: 5/5 – I wasn’t sure how they would take to it as making “pretty things” with flowers could have been seen as being a bit “girly” especially by my Mr 9 year old, but they all really enjoyed it.

Difficulty Level: 2/5 – The hardest part was sticking the sticky back plastic to the circle shape. But apart from that, really easy.

Cost: 3/5 – The sticky back plastic was £3.99 from Rymans. My friend bought the craft bits so they didn’t cost me anything but you may have to buy them. Same goes for the paper plates or bowls. So quite cheap for me but I guess it depends what you already have knocking about and whether you are “one of those mums” who has a permanent stash of things (or have a crafting partner who is!).

Should you try it?: Yes. Just for fun or I reckon they would make a lovely Mother’s Day gift. 🙂

 

And with that, I am signing off on the final postcard from my journey. I have to admit that I’ve really enjoyed it and it’s proved a wonderful weekly focus over the summer holidays. But now it’s time to tidy my newly acquired “one of those mums” stash of craft bits away and get ready for the new school term. Who knows, with this new found “making stuff” string to my bow, I might even volunteer to make a cake for the weekly raffle! Now, where’s my mixing bowl….?

Not-one-of-those-mums-but-quite-proud-of-my-efforts-to-be-one-actually

Helen -x-

 

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