January 27, 2014

BLIZZARD BUSTER

Recently I was talking to my brother when he mentioned how hard it has been for his grand kids to be cooped up in the house. Their mom is running out of ideas to keep them engaged in wholesome activities. That was when I remembered how much I loved sewing cards as a child. I had some fancy cards from the store and I really felt special every time I got them out to use them. When they got a little worn my crafty grandma set to work to make a home crafted version for me. So here is my rendition of that memory.
Cut 12 x 12 cardboard into quarters.
I started with a 12 x 12 piece of white cardboard. You can use anything you have on hand. If you are desperate you could even use a breakfast cereal box. Get creative and use what you have on hand. I decided that because this was a craft for young people the sewing cards shouldn't be too big. It seemed natural to divide the cardboard into quarters. That made each card a 6 x 6 square.

Start your art work.
 Now is the fun creative/crafty part. You need an image on each card for the kids to sew around. You may use a stencil, a photo from a magazine, trace a picture from a coloring book, or in my case sketch something because it was faster than finding the coloring books in our house. The design needs to be fairly simple and have a strong outline. I sketched a lady bug, goldfish, bird and tulip. Then I added color to the picture. As soon as you have your picture colored you will want to add the holes that the sewing will go through. They should be evenly spaced and place them near the edge of the outline. You can see that I used a hole punch for some of the areas and a islet hole punch for the inner areas that I couldn't reach with the regular hole punch.
Add the well placed holes.
 Next choose your "thread". It can be anything that you have on hand. It might be yarn (mine was) or string or a shoe lace, embroidery floss, or ribbon. Just use what ever you have. I used some Scotch tape to create a stiff end to the yarn. If you use a shoe lace this step is already completed. If you have a child that is old enough to use a plastic darning needle you won't need to do this step. You be the judge of what would be safe for your special kiddo. I found that if you wrap a piece of tape around the yarn before you cut the yarn into two pieces it seems to work more easily.
Create the "thread".

Close up of the thread end.
 Once you get the end of the yarn stiff enough to sew with you just start anywhere that works for you. My grandma never made me start anywhere special. She usually told me not to knot the end. (Smart grandma). This is not only a good way for the kids to do something quiet, but it really helps to develop eye/hand coordination and a sense of order. Each kid will inevitably end up with some giant knots. Let them try to undo what they did. Let them struggle a little with cause and effect before you rescue them from the dreaded knot.
Finished sewing card.
Here is what the finished sewing card looks like. This is a good old fashioned quiet educational item. Think about trips in the car, church services, or any other time little hands need to busy with an indoor activity. It really is a good "blizzard buster".