Despite the heat, or maybe because of it, everyone was in a happy mood today. I arrived late because my satnav took me to the wrong entrance, but I don’t seem to be able to find the school by my own navigation either; I have got lost each time!
So today was:
mat making and
creating information sheets about scabies
Time was a little short to complete all the tasks, so the children will be completing their wonderfully creative information sheets tomorrow. I hope to be able to share some of these with you next week when we get them from the school.
The games mats came on in leaps and bounds, with children both glueing and sewing the mites down.
There will be an opportunity to finish off decorating the mites during the next session, but so far they are stunning – colourful and beautifully decorated.
The order has gone off to PrintmePretty; they were so helpful with this. Because the project is through the University, purchases have to be done through the finance system, which is a bit involved. The company found solutions so that I could use the online upload method, but the invoice would be paid separately, as opposed to paying on order. All a bit complicated, but I am so looking forward to seeing the results!
When we were speaking on the phone I commented that the children were very excited by the thought of seeeing their drawings printed on fabric, and the reply was, ‘..adults are too’. To be honest, I am already thinking what designs I can have printed myself.
When you start looking at fabric glue, you realise how many types of glue there are and the number of brands available. Tacky and fast setting were my main priorities, but of course the glues must also be suitable for use by children; non toxic and not likely to stick their hands to their foreheads! My favourite Copydex type was also not really on the agenda as it can be a bit difficult to work with. I wanted one that came in small sized bottles with a fine applicator nozzle, not one that needs spreaders.
PVA seemed the best solution, but most ‘school’ types are quite runny. Hi-tac type, thicker PVA seemed the best solution, and I chose two types; one is a specific fabric glue (Trimits Fabric Glue) that is tacky and fast drying, and another (Hi Tack Fast Tack) which is labelled as more general purpose, but with the same properties. Both seem to do the job OK, they hold almost immediately, but do take up to 12 hours to dry completely. So we will just have to be gentle when packing up the workshop.
Then we have the cool melt glue guns as well. I’ve not used a cool melt gun before, and having burned my fingers on my hot melt gun I was dubious, but these cool melt ones aren’t bad. I chose ‘Stick It’ ones, as they were cheap and the sticks are readily available. They are not really ‘cool’, but not burning hot – more uncomfortable than painful if the glue gets on your fingers (and of course it does), but still not suitable for children to use alone. I hate to think of the mess that would ensue! This glue really does set fast, and the bond is strong, but the gun will only be used by an adult, and must situated near to an electric plug. Children can bring things that they are having trouble sticking down with the PVA to the adult with the gun to stick for them. We must make sure the mat-making is put close to plug as the vinyl one will rely on the glue gun.
Today we are testing the sewing and making methods in preparation for next week’s workshop when the children will be making mites and the game mat.
Each small (larvae) mite will have 6 legs, whilst the nymph, adult and pregnant female all have 8. Pipecleaners sewn on with yarn work well, and beads make great texture on their backs. yarn pulled through with a machine needle or run hook makes the fine ‘feelers’.
the 50+ children’s drawings were scanned in and I have just completed editing them. Because they were pencil it’s been necessary to thicken and darken the lines and enhance the colours. They were on white backgrounds, so I have added pattern fills behind them so that the beam bags will be COLOURFUL. Yey! The children drew on A4 paper, but the drawings are to be digitally printed on cotton to be made into bean bags of a specific size, so re-sizing and some editing was needed. Despite being asked to put their name and on the front, not all have them. It may be tricky finding the owners.
I’m using PrintmePretty for the printing as our digi printer at University is busy at this time of year. A metre and a half will be enough for the 50+ beanbag outers, and I will have another length printed for display when the animation is shown.
We have just spent a giggling 5minutes with me lying on the floor whilst Ross drew around my silhouette as a pattern for the person mat.
Unfortunately Pepper thought it was a game. Only a few rips in the pattern paper resulted. Now it’s folded in half up the centre line and the outline firmed up.
I luckily have two large curtains that are now spare, so those will make perfect backings for the mats. If they work OK I may not make the vinyl mat cloth is easier to fold away and transport.
Off to buy the felt tomorrow from good old Fabricland. £3.95 a metre, very good value.
Update: after all that, I’ve decided the ‘person’ is too complicated, and have reverted to a plain mat that the children will add mites in different sizes that will represent different scores in the bean bag game.