Well, I had some fun creative time today.  It's one of the things I've missed the most with the Luke Project going on.   Not that I'm not creating things with the Luke Curriculum, it's just that writing curriculum is not the same as creating something...pretty.

At this stage in the Project I am very glad that we decided to provide some fun, artistic outlets for the kids during this 17-week process.  We decided to dedicate three Wednesday afternoons to this goal, and are calling them "Wednesday Workshops". The kids come early to church, and we work for several hours up until church time.

The first Wednesday Workshop was making Nativity Scenes. I'll have to show you the pictures of these on another post.  Despite it being a project that required a huge amount of preparation and a lot of hands-on help during the process, they all turned out very cute.

This second Wednesday Workshop will be banner making.  The idea came from wanting to do something from the passage Jesus quotes in Luke 4:

8 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”[a]

I think this quote (and the whole incident of Jesus preaching in Nazareth) is really the heart of the gospel of Luke, so it only made sense to commemorate it in banner form. 

I knew that appliqueing or sewing a banner would be too complicated for the kids, so I decided on doing a batik.  Batik is usually done with hot wax, but fortunately I found several fantastic suggestions on the Internet of how to make batiks with gel glue instead.

As it turned out, this method seems to work perfectly.  What I did with it today was to make a banner that we will use to announce the Workshop at which we will make - well, banners.

Here's how it works.  I wanted to have rather neat writing on my banner (i.e., not my personal freehand writing), so I printed out what I wanted it to say on the computer in a very big font.  I taped all these together to make the sign, and then I taped my fabric over it.  I also stuck a few clip art dragonflies under there as well.

The fabric I used is white muslin, and it's thin enough to see the words through.  See, like this:

I then used my Gel Glue to draw over the writing and the dragonfly:

At Jacob's suggestion, I also made flower vines down the sides.  After all of this I then let it dry.  The directions I had read said to let it dry for 24 hours, but as I wanted to have it ready tomorrow, I didn't have that kind of time.  Instead,  I took it outside to speed up the drying time.  The warm temperatures helped the process a lot.  The wind blowing the fabric over on itself so the glue smeared - not so much.

However, after a few hours it was dry enough, so then Jacob and I painted it.  We used regular acrylic paint that was watered down enough to make the colors run together a little bit - kind of like watercolors.  We also brushed water on the whole banner to make it damp to begin with.  Then we started to paint:

(I feel that I should insert here that Jacob was writing his name upside down.  He normally doesn't have any problems - as a twelve year old - with letter reversals).

When we were done, it looked like this:

When I hung it up to dry, I could see the glue lines pretty clearly, so I was confident that the quick glue drying time and then water application had not compromised the glue designs.  This was the back side:

This was the front side:

Again, you are probably supposed to let the paint dry for 48 hours, but again, I did not.  Once it was drying I rinsed the banner in hot water, rubbing on the glue areas to wash it out.  And voila!  This was what I got:

Yes, I love how easy it was to get such a neat look.  My plan for the workshop is to have the banners already fixed up with the verse written on them in glue.  Then the kids can help trace the letters and add border decorations.  Then while that is drying, they can each make a smaller banner of any design that they want to take home with them.  Then while the glue on those are drying, they can paint the large banners...and finally their own banners.

I think it will be fun for all.  I'll certainly let you know.

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