Category Archives: booches

Crooked Halos

I don’t recall anyone (even my parents) ever calling me an angel, but in the last week I think I’ve connected with the type I would want to be.

After writing the Tree of Life tutorial for my etsy shop, I wanted to use the weaving in the round technique for something else. Weaving is a bit addictive and this one is especially interesting. So, I worked on creating an angel with this weave. This provided him or her with a 3-D body similar to the tree trunks. It’s also a project that doesn’t require as much weaving as the tree piece.

angel1-hang

I had several miss-starts trying to figure out how to make the angel wings. Finally I figured that out, but had no way to give the angel a head. The halo was tricky too and in the end I added an extra piece to that part. This makes it possible to adjust the halo forward, backward or more to the side depending on the attitude of the angel. When I finally figured that out, a customer wanted this piece to be a pin . . . back to the drawing board to figure out how to weave the pin into the back of the angel. The weaving is too tight to simply secure the pin with another piece of wire.

The silver angels below are made from artistic wire which is much more difficult to use in weaving than bare wire. I still like working with copper wire best.

angels2-pins

If I were an angel, I would want to be the kind, like these, that can adjust her halo depending upon the situation. Would that make me a divergent angel or just an wanna-be angel? hmm . . . that bears consideration. What kind would you want to be?

Children and Problem-Solving

I was somewhat bothered by a short five paragraphs in the Parade section of last Sunday’s newspaper. I waited several days to comment in order to see if my thoughts changed. They did not. The title of the article was “Teach Problem-solving to Prevent Bullying.” It was based on research conducted through Louisiana State University and the University of California the results of which indicated that those youngsters who have trouble with solving problems are more at risk of being bullied.

Bullying has also been on the television news lately as a result of the school bus incident during which a child was bullied and her father later threatened her attackers. This child, who is handicapped, would probably fit the profile suggested in the abovementioned research.

It wasn’t, however, my concern about the relationship of bullying and lack of problem solving skill that concerned me about the article. I believe that is a good point. It was the fact that the article focused solely on how games could help develop problem solving skills. I was pleased that the author mentioned checkers and chess since these do require rational strategic thinking. We might add to that dominos, chicken feet (played with dominos) and a number of other similar games that require thinking. None of these rely solely on chance like so many of the simple spinner type games.

I wanted the article to also talk about the place of art in the development of problem solving skills. I believe that almost any form of art requires this type of thinking. Even when the child is merely drawing a picture, he/she must figures out and plan where things go on the page, what colors work well and often what to do when a mistake occurs. Consider why a cardboard box is so often a child’s favorite toy. The child must solve the problem of how to create something out of very little. Also, if the art form selected requires tools or supplies, a young artist may need to solve the problem of what to do with limited supplies or lack of tools.

Many of of schools have no art classes other than what the classroom teacher might squeeze in. With extremely tight budgets most of the “frills” of education are gone. I have heard parents at school board meetings plead for retention of arts programs. Among other things, their rational is often based on the value of art (including music) in bringing joy and self confidence to the child. Should we instead be discussing the higher level thinking and problem solving skills that the arts teach our children?

My most recent example of difficult problem solving in art comes from the angels I first mentioned on September 11. I have continued to work with them for days trying to solve the problem of their crooked halos and messy backs covered with too much solder. Finally, after considerable work (problem solving) I completed some angels that are working. The halo now goes around the angel rather than just in front and the solder is hidden between the body and the wings.angel1I’ve also solved the problem of how to display/market them in boxes with a small poem. Doesn’t everyone need a guardian angel? (www.dreamcatcherdesigns.etsy.com ) I wish I could send one to each child who is forced to endure bullying.

angelpoem

This problem solving adventure is only one of so many that we find in art. Does that mean I’m ready for those big bullies? Hmm . . . I’d still just as soon they stayed away from me and from everyone else. Maybe the bullies need the opportunity to learn problem solving skills in order to direct their misguided energy down a better path.

Blooming

 

flowers pink Is it Spring yet? I seem to be all mixed up in the studio this week. I’ve been busily enjoying making fancy flowers and trying to ignore the fact that it will soon be Fall. It doesn’t feel like Fall in South Texas with temperatures still in the high 90s; so perhaps that’s the problem.

I just learned to make these flowers and, as usually happens with new things, I’ve gotten a bit carried away. I’m using organza and tulle in various color combination to produce flower brooches and hair accessories. One of the store owners where I sell jewelry asked why I was “sewing” instead of making jewelry. Do you think that was a hint? I made her a couple of necklaces and think she is happy now.

flowers blue

I’ve been seeing flowers on all sorts of things in the magazine ads and one of the boutiques just got in a sweater with velvet flowers on it. A boiled wool jacket at the same store has chiffon flowers already attached to it.

I took a basket of these to the nursing home today to show Mother and could hardly get down the hall for people stopping to look at them. I hope these folks are around when I need to sell them! In the meantime, I’ll just keep blooming.