February 27, 2011

Ayyam-i-Ha traditions

Okay, I know we're not supposed to get all ritualistic about Baha'i things, but after 3 years we have developed a fun little tradition of ding-dong ditching (for those saintly friends out there who aren't in the know when it comes to pranks, this generally means ringing the doorbell and then running away or hiding in a nearby bush to watch your victim stand on the porch in confusion, but we leave a bag of treats behind) all of the Baha'is in town.  It's a small community, so that's not too hard.  And the few Baha'is who have chosen not to be in the directory have to get their goody bags at the party.

Everyone knows to expect us now.  The first year, Hannah Jane was ding dong ditching a Baha'i that she hadn't met yet and the woman caught her.  I could hear the woman's voice saying, "Come here little girl.  Are you Skyla's daughter?"  Hannah Jane stood frozen behind their camp trailer, refusing to come out until I made an appearance and explained the whole thing.  Since then, she has learned to open the door, marvel aloud at the surprise gift so that Hannah Jane can hear her from her from her hiding place, and go back inside.

We usually do food bags filled with muffins and cookie, but that's been done and we have some cool craft ideas up our sleeve this time!  We made hand stamped and dyed tea towels and bird ornaments and placed them in brown paper bags covered in stamps.

For my Baha'i homies (home schoolers) who asked for the full rundown, or anyone who just loves a good craft project, here's exactly how we made them:

The kids got 9 pointed star cookie cutters from their godparents (Thanks, guys!) for Ayyam-i-Ha, and knowing that they've been dying to do this project, I arranged it so that they got the cutters on the first day.  The original plan was to batik with them, but that proved unfruitful, so we turned them into stamps.

We rolled out sculpting clay and pressed the cutter down into it, leaving it full of clay.  This was our stamp.  The boys decided to bail before they ever got started,  so Hannah Jane did the rest of the stamping all on her own.

We spread out our cheese cloth tea towels with new paper underneath and then painted the star with red acrylic paint, stamping it in a staggered row across the bottom of the towel.

Towels took over the house!

Because we were short on space and the house was quickly swallowed by drying tea towels, we expedited the process by blow drying them.

Next they went into a blue dye bath of Royal Blue RIT.

While they soaked up the blue, we made bird ornaments like the ones we made for solstice.  I have selective memory and I totally forgot how tricky this was last time.  Not until I read my own blog entry did I recall the irritation I felt when last we tried this.  But the results were so darling that we had to do it again.  This time we made hearts and stars using 1/4 cup water per pack of gelatin and adding 3/4 cups bird seed.  Once we attached a quote with a bird in it (just to ensure no one thought it was a home made granola bar or something) we packaged them up for delivery.

The kids decorated the bags with stamps.  This was a disaster.  Whenever I get lazy with the instructions and liberal with assumptions that something speaks for itself, something like this comes up and for a full month I will never neglect to be thorough with my instructions again!  Never.  There was ink on every surface of the kitchen and their bodies.  Luckily Joe was taking a nap and I had time to bleach it all down before he woke up because this is just the sort of thing that would cause us all to be sent to time out!  All of us!

Finally the tea towels were ready.  I ironed them, folded them, tied them up in a sweet little bow with a card stock tag.  So cute!  I wish I had snapped a pic of one opened up so you could see how adorably they turned out, but this one will have to do.  There are so many ways we came up with to use them.  They are giant and whispy thin so we're thinking picnic basket liner, gift wrap for a very special occasion, the kids decided tree house flag was their top choice, kitchen decor...you name it.  They're just darling!

The bags are loaded up and we're about to head out to ditch them on people's door steps!  Hunter says he's old enough to help with the ditching this year and Hannah Jane is super excited about being his mentor in the age old prankster art.  Then it's off to sledding in this fresh snow (Sundays in Utah are perfect for sledding!) and then to the Bowling party with all the Baha'is!  A super fun day is just getting underway!

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