Das Buch

I am really beginning to wonder when Waldorf mamas have time to blog.  It seems to me that between staying busy doing things all day (and, of course, no computer unless my child is in the bath like right now) and then preparing for the next day and getting my only break once bedtime comes, that I’m finding it hard to balance.  *sigh*

So, on to “The Book”.  I posted the other day about creating moveable pictures, which is handy for someone like me who does about 6 paintings each painting day and is always on the lookout for doing something creative with them so they don’t just pile up to Mars.  After that, I began thinking of the possiblities and got the idea for creating a book out of such pictures for Cecily’s little friend.  Cecily wanted to give Carley a Valentine present and I’m really trying to make the gifts we give more meaningful to us by crafting as many of them as we can ourselves, especially since now, at age 5, Cecily’s crafting abilities are progressing.  I wanted to involve Cecily as much as possible in this (I have to admit in times past I have just done all work myself so it would look better–a bad habit I am trying to break!) as I wanted her to have a sense of accomplishment and pride in knowing that she was truly giving her special friend a gift that SHE had made with love.  The balance I finially found was to use my paintings for the background and to let Cecily make the characters.  The gist of the story is about a little egg that hatches into Carley Robin, who then plays about and finally finds a friend, Cecily Cardinal, to slide down the rainbows with her.  Cecily has LOVED this book and has spent hours looking at it and playing with it.  That is one reason I wanted to make it far in advance of giving it to Carley–Cecily needs that time to enjoy it and make her own peace with passing it on.  I have also promised to make a “Cecily Cardinal Meets Carley Robin” edition for Cecily once I get more paintings done.  So, our book:

This page has a crack in the felt egg that opens revealing a very tiny Carley Robin.  Both the tree and the egg are just crafting felt hotglued onto thick painting-grade paper.

In this picture I cut out a “flying path” for the bird and bee to follow.  I used one wooden crafting stick and glued the bird to the top, inserted it into the picture, and glued the bee to the bottom.  Then, to prevent it from coming out I glued another crafting stick to the back, sticking above and below where the cutline occurred.  In that way, it is held in place on the page but still can be moved along the cutline.

This part of the book also has a liftable felt leaf pile I made with Carley Robin hiding underneath it.  Cecily wanted to add in another robin eating worms on the ground, so we did that too.  She wanted it to be able to bend over so we only glued part of the body down, making it bendable.

With this page, I printed out a robin and cardinal picture from the internet (there are a LOT of non-copyrighted images, esp. of animals, on the net), laminated them using packing tape, and cut them out.  I then glued them onto crafting sticks, cut out a felt heart (which I then cut in half so it could be fitted back together) and inserted them along a pre-cut flying path.  Their wings hold them on the page so they don’t fall out.  This is Cecily’s favorite part, fitting the heart together to symbolize their friendship.

This page was the trickiest and still didn’t end up how I envisioned, but it still works well.  I ended up getting Cecily’s picture of Carley Robin and Cecily Cardinal, gluing them together, and then gluing them onto a short ribbon so they could “fly” on the rainbow.  I secured one end of the ribbon to the birds and then the other to the center of the rainbow underneath the central red flap I had cut, which brings me to mentioning that I actually cut out a spiral path in the rainbow painting and then glued the entire painting onto another piece of painting paper so it wouldn’t be all floppy.

I actually made the covers for this book from the cardboard backing that comes on our painting paper pads.  It’s very handy cardboard to keep around so I always save it when we use up a pad. It is great for this project because, since this book is made from painting paper, you already know they fit together well!  I had some extra-large dark green felt that I used to cover the front and back.  On the inside I placed a standard piece of lime green felt and then used hotglue to hold everything in place.  I put ribbon in between the cover and the backing to secure them together and then glued the pages to the ribbon.

And, last but not least, one very absorbed little girl:

One of the things I love about Waldorf is its emphasis upon stories and imagination–and quality over quantity–and I’m always trying to find and employ new story formats for our family.  A project like this is not only utilitarian (remember my overloaded painting pile?) but creative for both mama and tot.  And, I absolutely love that Cecily has such a treasure to give her friend and how proud she is of it.  That is the best Valentine gift of all.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. hakea
    Feb 11, 2011 @ 04:56:30

    So cool! I love handmade books.

    We do lots of them in the playgroup I facilitate. The children and parents really value them.

    Reply

  2. Allison
    Feb 11, 2011 @ 11:37:01

    Thanks!

    Reply

  3. Trackback: Unraveling the Mystery of Wet-on-Wet Painting « Canticles By Candlelight

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