Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Letter B

This week's "Unplug Your Kids" project theme was "The Letter B"

I told the kids last week to start thinking of places we could go, things we could do or make that would fit the theme. They had a few ideas... like going to "Bucky Beese".

I blogged on Tuesday, and even figured out how to share my blog with Facebook.

We baked on Thursday ... Brownies! Yum!

On the way to GIFT on Tuesday, I was reminded of something that I loved to do when I was in school... making collages. So I suggested that the kids start finding pictures in magazines that start with B and we could make a collage.

I also found a shoebox and suggested M go around the house and find things that start with B and put them in the box.

So Wed I assumed they would just sit down and happily cut and paste while Kara and I made freezer meals. Well, E went at it with gusto, cutting babies and boys from the American Girl catalog. M was immediately bored and went on to other things. R was just happy to have scissors.

E pasted some pictures to the paper and was "done"! But it didn't look like a collage to me and I didn't know how to explain "collage" effectively. A Google search brought up all types of complicated explanations of what a collage should "really" be.

So, sigh, I thought maybe the fact that cutting out pictures and gluing them together was so exciting when I was 9 had something to do with just how mundane formal schooling was. But, determined to find out if collages are really fun or not, I sat down Friday night with a stack of magazines and started cutting.

John had taken the kids out to run errands and to dinner, because I was feeling a little under the weather. I thought I might just go to bed, but it turns out the creative therapy hit the spot.

The kids had started out using a piece of larger 11X16 paper, and I thought that may have made it too overwhelming. So I started off using a smaller piece of paper, but soon found I could easily fill up the larger sheet. Here is a picture of my collage and below is a scan. The scan is in two parts and some things got cut out.

Most of the items are obvious, but even John had to ask why a few things made it. So, here is a list from upper left to lower right of all the items... can you find them all?

Jack in the BOX
Box with Bow

Thorben Blanke
Bottle of Booze
Bimbo (or "Broad" or "Barbie")

Broom (one on the left and the right)
Baker Bab
Mr. Bill

Blue Bucket
Bunny Boot
Blue Bathrobe (cut off a bit in the scan)
Brown Coat
Business woman (she's cut off the scans)
Baby Rose
Hair Brushes
Paint Brushes
Board Game
Boob in a Blue Bra

So, the kids came home when I was about 3/4 of the way through cutting. They were jazzed and jumped in with cutting. R wanted to "help" me and put some of the glue on the backs (and on the fronts which is by "bubble wrap" didn't make it in the collage. And surely no artist has ever uttered "Please keep the cheese off of my collage!" as many times during a creation.

M just cut and cut and kept giving me things... but not many were "B" worthy. E helped me cut the "B" words when R was nursing.

The verdict: Making collages IS fun! I can't remember if we had to follow a theme when we were in school. Probably. E cut out a bunch of dresses and other winter things but still couldn't see the point of overlapping the pictures. I guess I'll have to let that go for now. And apologies to all the real artists out there who feel collage should be presented as more than just a cutting and pasting exercise. Someday I'll evolve.

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