February 4, 2010

Roman Mosaics for Valntines Day!

It's still Ancient Rome week 1 and we are really rolling in the craft department. When we hit a new civilization we usually try to live in it for a few hours a day, which means looking at and recreating their art, reading their great literature (when it is appropriate, AKA not Gilgamesh!!!!) eating the food, and sometimes wearing their clothes. Ancient Egypt was the last time we had this much fun going all out, because quite frankly not all civilizations are jazzy enough to get all dressed up for.

Rome has been full of craft project potential. Today we are making mosaics. We made some plaster and gem stone mosaics this summer after happening across a really wacky section of sidewalk near our favorite thrift store, Somebody's Attic, but that was all random and abstract. Nothing like the Roman art we are looking at. So Hannah Jane decided to make a mosaic photo album for her dad to keep in his man cave (the tiny room to which his deer antlers and hunting cot have been relegated) for his hunting photos. The boys wanted to make a mosaic as well, and I thought this a fine time to make some more valentines art for grandparents!

I sketched out the silhouette of a buck and some mountains and then cut up a thousand tiny shreds of paper in appropriate colors for the scene. For the boys I just sketched the outline of a heart on several pieces of blue paper and cut up some neon pink shreds.

Hannah Jane's shreds were teensy weensy, so I gave her a dental pick to use for picking them up and placing them on her scene. The boys didn't need a tool because their shreds were much bigger.

We smeared glue all over the area to be filled in and the kids got to work, quietly and intensely placing the pieces of color on their picture. They did a great job. I love the sudden calm that comes over the house when we are doing a fine motor craft project. Wish I had time to keep them crafting all day long. How blissful my existence would be!

Tomorrow Hannah Jane will finish and shellac her photo album to keep the paper shreds in place for the long haul. The boys' hearts will be stuffed into packets to be mailed all around the US for grandparents near and far. One will be held out for Ms. Joe, our favorite old lady at the old folks home.

Next week? Building a model of a Roman Villa, perhaps?

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