the truth about crafting (and blogging)

April 6, 2010

Sometimes blogs give the impression that you've done a lot in one day, when in fact, you spent an entire week on a project. It's so easy to consolidate all your work into one neat, little post and to leave out all the boring, tiresome details. 

This project is kind of like that! I shared my bottle cap animals yesterday--but those weren't the ones Juliet made. They were the ones I laid out (they were not glued down at all) during the creative process. I started stacking the caps and then cutting out pieces and finding objects to use for the faces. 

That took one afternoon--on and off--working as I found time. 

Juliet discovered my creations and was very interested--"What are these for, mommy?" she asked. 

"They're for you to make!" I told her. 

The next day, I let her pick out one to make. She chose the kitty cat. I disassembled the animal and told her to build a cat. 

As she picked up a piece, I would prompt her by saying something like, "That's the tail--where do you want to put it?" And then she would glue it down where she thought it went best.

Her process involved LARGE quantities of glue and artistic license. At some point between her making the cat and us hanging it on the fridge, we lost the nose and whiskers (they were there originally!) 

The last thing we did was write Penny's name at the top of the page. I tried making dots for her to connect, but that didn't work that well. We ran out of space. 

After drying, Juliet proudly hung the cat on the fridge with the letter C (her idea, not mine.) 

We did one bottle cap animal a day for the rest of the week. Sometimes I suggested she make one and other times she came to me and asked if she could make one. I kept the pieces in ziploc bags and just handed her whichever one she requested. 

By the end of the week, we had a nice little gallery of bottle cap animals that Juliet had either named after animals we know or ones she knows through books. She likes to stand in front of them and "pet" them. 

So, what may seem like a one day event was actually a week-long affair! It was nice to have all the prep work done in advance and just grab a bag each day when she wanted to do a craft. Now that we are out, I'll have to figure out something else for us to do!


The Activity Mom said...

Same for us and our activities. Some days we don't do any new activities and others we do 3 but on my blog it looks like we do something everyday which might seem overwhelming at times.
I love those bottlecaps. Hey have you seen these foam animal letters from Totally tots? B LOVED making them. He would have done them all in one day if I let him. I prebagged each letter too like you did so it was an easy craft.

Phyllis said...

This was a very fun post to read.
Thanks for sharing your week with us.

Janna said...

Thanks for the honesty:) It's easy to begin thinking everyone is a supermom except me.

Did you paint the caps or were they already those solid colors?

Raising a Happy Child said...

I enjoy reading "behind the scenes" posts. Sometimes it feels like every child is able to create a perfect structured project except mine, and sometimes it's hard not to get frustrated when she wants to take something that I prepared in completely different direction - like shredding her rainbow strips into a salad :) I think Juliette's bottle cap animals turned out awesome.

Kevin and Kristina said...

I love the bottle cap animals! I need to start collecting caps so we can do some of these.

Chels said...

Definitely the truth! Juliet's versions are still great! ☺

artsy_momma said...

That's awesome that she wanted to hang them up with the matching letter!

Ticia said...

I actually have figured out just today, that multi-step crafts don't work well in our house. We start enthusiastically, but if we have to stop in the middle of the craft, we don't usually continue. Isn't that sad?

Brimful Curiosities said...

We like seeing what you craft whether day or week long project. Thanks for sharing!

Zoe @ Playing by the book said...

A very lovely post. Preparation is the key to so much success I find when it comes to crafty stuff with the kids. whilst I think it's great if they learn some patience (whilst I hunt down the glue or the pipe cleaners) I know that in practice things always work out much better ie with a lot more joy and happiness in the making if I have everything prepared. And blogs are funny things when it comes to representing a snapshot of one's family life. I know they can seem to make everything all rosy and cosy. I feel a bit of a fraud when it comes to this - for example, this week we're battling plenty of illness at home and yet there's no sign of that on the blog. I suppose it's partly because I made a very conscious decision that my blog (like yours) is a place of celebration, a place to remind ourselves of all the nice things that happen around us.

Vanessa said...

Zoe, I love your blog and I like seeing and sharing in the celebrations!

Mandi @ It'scome2this said...

Seriously LOVE this post!! Thanks for the behind-the-scenes looks!!

meibydesign said...

I "heart" this post. Thanks for sharing. I always wondered how such cute crafts were made by kids, a lot of love and a lot of prep. :) Now, to do the same for my kids!

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