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Volume 1 Issue 1 ISSN# 1708-3265

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Opening Our Creativity
by Chelsa Roy

When I started to write this article on craft projects, I was excited. I enjoy crafts, both making them and teaching them to others. And, while I had often done themed crafts before, the themes were the major holidays. Now, though, I had been asked to come up with four projects with an "openness" theme. As I started to work, I suddenly realized I didn't really know what "openness" meant.  

So, I found myself exploring me. What did it mean when I said I was open? My thoughts followed many paths: receptive, receiving. Receptive to what?

Slowly, I began to realize, for me, openness, or acceptance, revolved around light; to be open to the light, the divinity of myself, of others, of the world around me, both seen and unseen. Of the great "Is", whatever that may mean to each of us.

I repeatedly received the image of a rose opening. (Opening to what? The light, of course.) Instead of feeling blocked, I began to see "openness" as a theme running my life, like light binding us, one to the other.

"Look at the stars! Look up at the skies! O look at all the fire-folk sitting in the air!"

The Starlight Night
Manley Hopkins

Starlight Lantern


  1. Knead first four ingredients together to play dough texture. If it crumbles, add more water. If it sticks to your hands, add more flour. (Food coloring may be added or lantern may be painted with watercolors after it's dry.)
  2. Roll dough out to 1/2" thick.
  3. Using cardboard as guide, cut out two 6" dough circles. Use small cardboard circle to make a 2-1/2" hole in the center of one. The resulting ring will be the lantern's lid. You may choose to cut or apply small designs to this lid.
  4. Make seven more 2-1/2" circles from dough. Cut a small design from center of each small circle.
  5. Allow dough to dry completely. This could take 10 to 14 days. You can also dry them gently in the oven at 160 degrees (no hotter), which should take about two days. If dried too quickly, dough may bubble, crack or curl.
  6. When dry, apply at least two coats of thick varnish.
  7. Glue the small disks to the base and to each other so they are on edge around the perimeter.
  8. After glue is dry, place a tea candle on the base and place the lid on top.

CAUTION: Don't use a candle larger than a tea candle.

Never leave lantern unattended & be sure to use HIGH heat glue sticks!

Campfire Lantern

  1. Sketch various shapes or patterns on your oaktag, leaving a 1" margin all around.
  2. Punch a hole in the center of each shape and carefully cut out shape. (You can make more elaborate designs using a craft knife or much simpler ones by just cutting amorphous shapes. This last technique works well for children.)
  3. Once your shapes are cut out, turn oaktag over. Cover shaped holes with tissue paper and glue.
  4. When dry, form oaktag into a circle and staple edges of lantern.
  5. Light a votive cande on a flat, non-flammable surface. Place lantern over it. Step back and enjoy.

"Every Fairy take his gait;
And each several chambers bless,
Through this palace with sweet peace"

A Midsummer Night's Dream Act V Scene I
William Shakespeare


  1. Crumple newspaper and wrap with masking tape to form head. Paint with skin color. Allow it to dry. Paint on facial features, if desired.
  2. Fold cardboard in half. Draw a basic wing shape, with base of wing at folded edge of cardboard. Cut out.
  3. Using glue, cover both sides of wings with fabric.
  4. Snip a 3/4" deep triangle out of one edge of toilet paper tube. Cut a 1/2" long slit straight down from point of triangle hole.
  5. Staple wings to tube on side opposite triangle, 1" down from top. Staples will lie across fold of wings.
  6. Overlap edges of triangle and wrap with tape to form neck.
  7. Wrap bottom half of tube with one or two fabric strips and glue.
  8. Tuck ends of the remaining strips into the neck so the strip flows down over the tube. Glue in place.
  9. Glue head to neck.
  10. Cut yarn for hair and glue to head.

"Change me, some God, into that breathing Rose!"

A Series of Sonnets, 1820 VII
William Wordsworth

Paper Bag Rose

  1. Using acrylic, paint skewer green. Allow it to dry.
  2. Using watercolors, paint one strip of paper bag green. Paint the rest red. When dry, turn over and paint the other side to match.
  3. When bag is completely dry, tear 15-20 rose petal shaped pieces from the red section of the bag. Tear 4-6 leaf shaped pieces from the green section.
  4. Roll one petal tightly and allow it to uncurl. Wrap it around the top of the skewer and scotch tape in place.
  5. Keep adding more petals to top of skewer, rolling, shaping and taping each.
  6. When you've added enough petals, use masking tape to cover the scotch tape, continuing to wrap for 1" down the skewer.
  7. As you wrap, add leaves to bottom edge of petals, using masking tape to secure.
  8. Paint masking tape with green acrylic paint.

Chelsa Roy is a longtime crafter who specializes in making things from found and recycled materials and rediscovering the evolution and cultural basis of traditional crafts. She currently resides in Wilmington, De. where she home schools her three children and serves as Director of the Monkey Academy.

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