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Monday, September 30, 2013

Crafty



The grandson has an art project for a homework assignment. He must make a carnival mask. He can make this mask out of any material he wishes and of any design he desires. As with all his other 'homework' assignments Grandma must keep on eye on him and nag encourage him to do it.

While talking to his parents via Skype we were encouraged to make this mask out of papier-mache, which I readily informed them I had never done before. They both assured me that it was 'easy' and 'fun'! Use a balloon, they said... Sam was about as keen as I was to try. We went found several instructional sites on YouTube and it all looked pretty straight-forward: Make paste out of flour and water; tear newspaper into strips, get a balloon, paste the strips on the balloon; build at least 3 layers, and make the top layer from strips of white paper, such as the paper in my computer printer.

Why is it that when you want something like balloons you never have any and the first stores you go looking for them don't have any? The super market had them though I had to ask the manager where they were. It took him a while and he helpfully advised I could buy a cheaper packet that said "girls party" balloons. I told him it was  not a good idea to present Sam with anything that said "girls" on it and bought the slightly more expensive packet that didn't say anything about gender. Anyway, I digress.

On Saturday I reminded Sam that we needed to start this project and he got a balloon and excelled at blowing it up to a suitable size. Then I got out  a mixing bowl and made the slop paste. The recipe we found said two parts flour to one part water -- that we soon determined should have been the other way around -- easily fixed. Now I had remembered to cover the kitchen table with newspaper -- which much to my relief we still had in supply, as we quite regularly put it out with the weekly trash pickup. I found a tabloid size newspaper and Sam was very good at tearing the strips to the right size. But what I had more or less forgotten was that Sam is one of these kids who hates putting his hands in slop!

Then the balloon kept slipping and sliding and bouncing around the table and floor as both of us were trying to hold it down and get newspaper strips stuck on -- strips which were so sodden they kept ripping and disintegrating into a mass of yuck.  When we finally managed to get the 'sodding' over-wet strips stuck to the balloon they were in such a disarray as to be completely useless. I took it all off and we had to start again. By 'we' I mean 'I'...

My apron, well covered in paste, as well as the sleeves of my sweater/cardigan -- from trying to hold onto a balloon that was slipping and sliding all over the place and all over me -- I managed to somehow hold down the balloon and apply two layers of newspaper strips and one layer of computer paper strips successfully. Sam helped a bit. Although he tried to escape, I wouldn't let him! This morning the mask-to-be was dry -- it took a good 36 hours. When he got back from school, Sam was able to stab the balloon:



We have only just begun -- or rather, Sam has just begun. I wonder what we he will come up with!

29 comments:

  1. Dear Broad, ah, the mishaps that seem to come--for me--whenever I try to do some "crafty" thing. I hope Sam enjoys finishing off the mask. And I'm wondering if he'll choose to do a superhero or an animal or a clown. Please do share the final product. And by the way, you are such a good and loving grandmother. Peace.

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    1. I will share and I, too, wonder what sort of 'whatever' he will choose! I don't always feel so 'good' and so 'loving', Dee!!! But thanks ;-)

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  2. Boy...just as well the parents aren't within physical reach....

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    1. A true thing has ne'er been writ!

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  3. I hope you're planning on showing the finished product. Can't wait to see it.

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    1. I will, I will! Now I just have to get him to start thinking about it...

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  4. I chuckled from top to bottom, and am smiling ear to ear over the frame. Nicely done, but a long way to go. We must see the finished mask. More trips to the store for paint and stuff. No glitter, though, I'm sure. Definitely no glitter.

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    1. But I love glitter, Joanne -- oh.... no I definitely don't -- not in his hands!

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  5. That reminds me of the occasion GS made masks for both of us ...Popeye and Olive Oyl ...to wear at a costume ball at a Lions convention.
    It turned out the masks were probably the easiest part

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  6. I confess to setting homework to Y7 last week to make a model specialised cell. I showed them some examples many of which involves paper mâché. However I did warn them that it takes a lot of time and to start early - they were given 10 days.
    Good luck with the model...

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    1. So you're to blame, eh? Since this was set for year 8 you're off the hook! ;-)

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  7. Good effort in doing the model in paper mache...

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  8. Hey that was fun! Look forward to seeing what happens next!

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    1. Thanks, Vera! Glad you enjoyed...

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  9. What a great post. The description of all that preparation, and then the wonderful video clip....perfect. I cant wait to see the finished article. Well done grandma.

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    1. I can't wait to see it either. But the procrastination to the next step is over today!

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  10. Now there’s a patient and kind grandma. I hope he is duly appreciative, particularly as she lets him have the fun job of bursting the balloon.

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    1. I agree -- duly appreciative! Chance would be a fine thing! ;-)

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  11. I thoroughly understood the frustration. I was never a crafty mother,not at any age, and my kids were patient with me the whole time. Ah, the memories.

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    1. I have a 'patience' problem, too. It's tricky to know how to be helpful without taking over!

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  12. You're a wonderful Grandma. I hated papier mache when I was a child, and would rather sleep with snakes than do it again now. Here's hoping the mask turns out right and is a big hit!

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    1. Oh, Sully, you do make me laugh! Sleep with snakes -- I confess I'd do the papier-mache -- but I'd grumble like hell all the while!

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  13. G'day Broad. What a great post, had me laughing. Sam is very lucky to have you. Take care. Liz...

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    1. Glad I had you laughing, Liz! Thanks...

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  14. Oh, this modern homework! DD often has a little grumble about the tasks her two are set and how much she has to guide/ advise/ help them. I look forward to the denouement and think you have the patience of a saint. :-)

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