seeking light

When the sun rose bright Wednesday morning, it felt incongruous after the horrifying results of Tuesday night. I got up to prepare breakfasts and pack lunches for my children with the birds and squirrels, trees and sun sparkling outside the window. There was the usual coffee & toast accompanied by rambunctious chaos in my kitchen, and the world beyond this tiny microcosm seemed dark and scary.

Does it sound naive to say that when in despair, it's time to look towards the light?  And to look in our hearts because there is light there, too?  And do something beautiful with our hands, because it can be healing for ourselves and for the world?  And then start again, raising our voices to stand up for what we know is right?

Here are a few places I've found words which feel helpful and true; and these are not just words of comfort, but words which call us to action, because now, as much as ever, action is needed: Clean, ben and birdy, Tara Lazar, plus this and this at Huffington Post.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: 
only light can do that. 
Hate cannot drive out hate: 
only love can do that.  
Martin Luther King Jr.


tutorial :: watercolor leaf garland

A re-post of another favorite autumn craft...

Last week I looked over at my mantelpiece and decided it was in need of a festive autumnal garland.  This thought sent me rummaging through my craft supply cupboard where I found some paper which we had painted with watercolors about a year ago.

To create this garland, I cut an oak leaf shape from a piece of card-stock and traced outlines on the reverse-side of the water-colored paper.

 Then I cut out the leaves...

And used a 1/16 in (approx. 1 mm) hole-punch to add two holes to each leaf (a 1/8 in / 2 mm hole-punch would also work.) If you don't have a small hole punch, you could thread a needle and use it to create holes in the leaves as you string them up for your garland.


 Like so... 

And done.


tutorial :: autumn flutter-kite

This is a re-post of a favorite autumn craft from a few years ago...

These flutter-kites are easy to create, fun, and great for rainy days when everyone is feeling cooped up.  We always seem to have one or two among the book shelves for a quick run around the house when the mood inspires. Just grab the end of the string, take a dash around the sofa, and these little kites will flutter & fly satisfyingly in your wake (or you can take your kites outdoors on fine autumn mornings as we did today.)

I usually make these kites from construction paper, but today I decided to get fancy and cut up some watercolor paintings.


Besides oak leaves, some of our other favorite shapes for kites are butterflies, fish and ladybirds.

Generally, I use cellophane tape to attach short pieces of yarn (about 15 inches long) to the kites; however, for this kite (made from heavy-weight watercolor paper) I trimmed a scrap and glued it to the back of the leaf, sandwiching the yarn between the leaf and the triangular scrap (see photo above.)

The kite is ready & now it's time to fly...

(or sit on a bench and give it a hug.)