Friday, September 30, 2016

Zoom Zoom Zoom redux

I love the song "Zoom Zoom Zoom, We are Going to the Moon." 
Perhaps this is because my favorite book as a child was:
This book taught, in no uncertain terms, that rocket travel was real and imminent. 

Good little boys would go into space and hang out with a bunch of other white dudes in some sort of space station frat house. 

Pretty great, right?

Well, it was apparently all lies. I'm still a little burned by this.

Now my views on space are more Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Ursula K. LeGuin and a little less Robert Heinlein and Orson Scott Card. Doing "Zoom Zoom Zoom" at storytime is a way of working through my broken dreams.

The Juno space probe has been sending back some awesome pictures of Jupiter. You can find all kinds of info at the NASA Juno website. To promote this at storytime, I added a Juno section after singing the Zoom Zoom Zoom song.

After going up on the rocket...

 Juno passes by the moon...

 Says "Hi!" to Mars...

 And eventually meets its new friend Jupiter and gives a big hug.

I then ask the kids to be satellites orbiting their caregiver planets.

You can even let the kids listen to Jupiter's auroras as heard by the real Juno probe:

Thanks to Wendy at Flannel Board Fun for hosting

Thursday, September 22, 2016

How to Make Awesome Kawaii Felt Things -unabridged

"Kawaii" is the Japanese word for "cute." Think Hello Kitty and other Sanrio characters. I like the “kawaii” style because of the big bold outlines of the images. This makes details stand out at a distance. A core element of using this style for the flannelboard is using the background color of your felt piece as the negative space between the other pieces.  

I have a red flannel board at my library so I use a black felt background for my pieces to make them pop. If your board is black, try using a white or other light colored background.

Here follows a jaunty walk through 
the making of a kawaii felty thing.
Click here for info on felt, scissors and glue!

Tools of the Trade

Tools used:

Felt-- Basic felt colors are available in 8.5 x 11” sheets at most big box craft stores. They typically sell polyester felt made from recycled plastic under the brand name “Eco-fi.” This works fine for most creations. 
If you find lighter colors have too much visual bleed-through from the background, you might want to try using a wool felt blend. This can be bought in sheets at fancier fabric stores or off the interweb. I’ve had success with felt from Prairie Woolens. Their 35% wool/65% rayon blends are noticeably thicker than full polyester and come in a multitude of colors. Whereas Eco-fi comes in 3 shades of grayPrairie Woolens offers eleven.

Nice Scissors- Keep a pair of scissor to only use when cutting felt. This will keep the blades sharper. Fiskars Titanium Soft Grip are my personal favorites. They aren't too expensive (especially if you use a coupon) and maintain their sharpness reasonably well. Arthritis scissors like the Easy Action scissors are pretty great if you are doing a lot of cutting.

Glue – Tacky glue takes forever to dry and doesn’t always hold very well. Hot glue is stringy and difficult to control. It also will melt polyester if the tip gets too close. 

I’ve had the most success with Fabri-tac. It dries quickly and is relatively easy to control. I keep two bottles: a small bottle with as tiny a hole as possible cut in the tip for detail work and a larger bottle for covering big areas and refilling the small bottle. One note, try not to hold the bottle upside down while applying glue. This creates air bubbles within the bottle which will slowly rise, causing glue to dribble from the tip. Keep a paper towel handy to clean the tip.

For Super Savers Only:
Work those reciprocal coupons when buying your glue and scissors! The following stores will honor each others coupons:  A.C. MooreMichaelsHobby LobbyJoann’s. I buy most big ticket items one at a a 40-55% discount. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

B - Bunny Balloon

Next in my series of GMO felt critters is the misfit offspring of thing beginning with letter of the day, “B”!

Take a bunny…

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Dog's Colorful Day

I love Emma Dodd! 
Her big bold images are perfect for converting to feltiness.
This is an edited down version of her book, Dog’s Colorful Day.  Dog becomes a messy rainbow of primary and secondary colored spots.

 Here is Dog. She is white and has one black spot.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Jumping Jellyfish!

I made some awesome jellyfish and have been doing 
the "Three Jellyfish" song, but it falls kind of flat. 
This remix, including lyrics from the Yo Gabba Gabba song
 "Jumping Jellyfish," jumps it up a bit.

Three jellyfish sitting on a rock.
One fell off. Wheeeeee...splash!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

One Elephant Went Out to Play

Please ponder the peril of plummeting pachyderms. Although a web is a peculiar place for prancing, the improbable physics of this rhyme fails to perplex most young children…

One elephant went out to play,
On a spider's web one day,
She had such enormous fun,
That she called for another elephant to come…