Today was Workshop II at Coldean Primary School; it was such fun

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!

class room of children
Stef giving a short recap on a few points of information on scabies

 

So today was:

  • mite decorating
  • 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.

information sheet
One of the completed information sheets

child with paper

children sewing mites
Mite decorating

 

children on mat
Making the mat, four children opted to sew on the mites, others stuck them down

The games mats came on in leaps and bounds, with children both glueing and sewing the mites down.

 

boy sewing
It was so exciting that the children wanted to sew

 

children sewing
The workshop required considerable concentration

 

completed mite
One of the completed mites

 

brightly decorated mite
Wow – bright or what?

 

mites
Mites on the modular games mat – decorated with glitter glues

 

glued mites
More glitter decorated mites
mites on a windowshelf
A selection of mites
more mites
A few more of the mites

 

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.

 

five helpers
The team

 

 

 

 

I would sew an example scabies mite onto the mat, but …

This was me preparing for the workshop on the 19th April, I had everything laid out on the floor, but someone liked orange…

Dog on fabric
‘Do I really have to move?’

… and has adopted my workspace as sleep-space.

Dog on fabric
A tired cocker spaniel likes a dash of orange as a background

So I gave up for a while, cut yarn into bundles, watched ‘Keeping Faith and enjoyed a cup of tea and a smidgen of chocolate.

The bean bags are being printed as I write

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.

 

 

 

Glue and more glue

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.

Coloured felts
Lovely bright felt for cutting up into ‘mites’

 

 

Testing techniques and methods for mite-making

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’.

Feelerson mite
Hooked yarn ‘feelers’
Pipecleaners
Attaching the pipe cleaner legs
Competed mite
An example mite

Hours and hours spent editing drawings in Photoshop

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.

Exciting!

Lying on the floor is an Invitation for the dog to play

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.

Pattern and dog
The pattern with dog
Hand outline in paper
Close up of the hand

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.