Thursday, August 5, 2010
As a way to welcome the chicks back and to help make the transition smoother, I like to have a calm and relaxing sensory activity planned for after an overnight or long weekend away. This is particularly helpful with Ninna, but really all three of us benefit from some calm, meditative handwork (or clay, or sand play, etc.) during any stress-prone time.
When they returned from their last weekend away, I had everything set up to do wet felting. We've had a bag of about twenty different colors of wool roving in the art cabinet since last year, but we hadn't done any felting yet--and I'd never done any in my life. I looked at a few tutorials, but basically we just learned as we went.
Even if we hadn't ended up with a finished product, this was a great project for the kids. Anything that involves sitting around a container of warm, soapy water and something soft to manipulate is bound to be a hit.
We first tried felting around pine cones. Why? I have no idea. It seemed like a good idea at the time. It wasn't. Nothing really stuck, and it became frustrating--certainly not the kind of emotion I was trying to elicit.
So we abandoned the pine cones and went to making little balls. And...wow! It's so cool. If you've felted, you get it. If you haven't, you have to try it. It's really kind of amazing how the wool eventually catches and melts together in an almost new substance. I'm a little smitten with this new (to us) craft.
I never in a million years thought I'd get into felting. It just didn't seem like my thing. I now think that was probably not because of the handwork itself but because a lot of the finished products that come to mind are just things that are totally not my style. But there's actually a lot of fun felting out there.
The chicks and I will be doing this again on Sunday after they get back, and I hope to have more to share. I'm thinking that repeating the same craft for several long weekends in a row will help reinforce this as a transition ritual.