Monday, June 10, 2013

kindergarten alef-beis siyum - Mazel Tov!

I love watercolor collage!
My kindergartener has finished learning all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, which of course calls for a full week of festivities. Decorations on Monday, show-and-tell extravaganza on Tuesday, edible goodies come in on Wednesday, and Thursday is the day to dress up and eat the goodies. "A lot of junk!" as my friend's kid puts it.
Of course we had great plans of making a huge and beautiful celebratory poster together. Luckily we even had ALL WEEKEND to plan it. But then Sunday being pajama day, we forgot all about it until bedtime. Waaa!
"I'll make you a sign," I promised my daughter.
"But I want to HELP!" she wept. Of course she wants to help, bless her. Nu, so how long does it take to paint a couple of color-papers?
Using Q-tips and Tightwad Gazette paint, the kiddies (Miss Kindergarten and one sister) painted a blue page blue and a pink page red. Then I shooed them into bed and took over.
On a scrap looseleaf page I drew stick-figure Hebrew letters in pencil, then outlined them for thickness. I adjusted the outlines with my pencil, aiming for sturdy yet graceful shapes. (Practice gives you a feel for this. It also helps to study your favorite fonts. Of course you could simply print the lettering from your computer...)
The pink page was still wet enough to cling to the thin paper, but not too wet to cut. Perfect. I cut out the pink letters, saving the scraps for decorations.
Pink means flowers, and flowers need leaves. I found some light green paper and painted it with the blue paint. I cut 1/2" strips of the green paper, then snipped it diagonally into fingerprint-sized diamond shapes. Rounding off two points completed the leaf.
The rest is simple. Hearts make sweet and easy flowers. Flower stems and blades of grass (same thing) are easy too. I got out the double-stick mounting tape and stuck bits of it all over the backs of the letters, leaves, flower-hearts and grass.
I thought I'd center the words, with a sweet little kindergarteny garden below. But when the first few hearts were ready, I clustered them in a corner and immediately fell in love with the off-center design. Borrowed this idea to help balance out the layout. Love it. What a shame we missed out on planning the layout together... oh well! There will be other Sundays.
Debated leaving the last step -- sticking it all together -- for my daughter to finish in the morning... but with no guarantees as to what the morning would look like, that might mean an unfinished sign. So I did all the sticking except for the vine down the margin. Hoping to make the morning session go a bit more quickly, I picked up the painty q-tip and printed dots of paint to indicate where the leaves belonged.
By the way -- if you do this project with plenty of time, consider ironing all the papers flat, either before you stick on the tape or maybe before you cut out the shapes. Cardstock might not require it, but we did not use cardstock.
The morning went just as I'd hoped, thank Goodness. I even found some cream-colored cardstock to mount the sign onto. (Yay! More puffy mounting tape.) This made it both sturdier and larger -- more impressive overall.
The photo is as good as I could make it considering our only working camera is actually a cell phone. Thank you Photoshop.

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