Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Back Up a Bit

Angels We Have Heard on High

My friend, Gardner E., volunteers in my classroom on Thursday mornings. She does a variety of art projects with my children. What you see here is a few of the Christmas stitcheries they made for their parents.
First she teaches them basic stitches, then they can choose from an assortment of angels, each holding a different instrument. For the dress, the students decide on color and stitch type.
These projects we do are, have mercy, of the hair pulling kind I'm telling you. Most of my fourth graders have no experience with textiles/fibers, or needles.
"Mrs. E, this string got tangled."
"It is yarn dear, and it doesn't tangle itself."
"Mrs. Paris, I parked my needle like you said, but it's gone."
"Sweetie, if it was parked in your fabric, it would be there."
"Mrs. Whoever is handy (cuz you know Mr. E goes and home and leaves me with the little tailors/seamstresses) how do you make a knot in the back again?"
"Darling, remember, you don't make a knot, you pull the yarn under several stitches on the back side."
"Uh, how can I do that, there isn't enough string."
"Well, that's why we've been saying since September that you always, always leave a couple needle lengths of yarn."
It is a lovely picture though, when 24 wee heads are bowed over their canvas, so intent, working like the shoemaker's elves.
The problem, one finishes in 3 sessions, while three are still stitching at the very last minute on the day we dismiss. Praise be, 24 beautiful angels were completed and wrapped by the bell that day. Now, one or two had no additional stars adorning the background and one had no instrument (no arms either actually, but since there was no instrument to play....), but all were perfectly adorable.
This kiddo worked so hard and was determined to see it through, even though he had picked a tough instrument to create.
The fellow who created this little masterpiece was absent on the first day of instruction, due to a broken elbow. I was worried that there was no way he could manage this, but he worked and worked at it. When he made her horn, he could see that it was too big and didn't look right. He shared with me his disappointment. I told him he had the option of just having the gold be part of her dress, but I thought if just took out the outline he'd made, it would be okay. He wanted her to have an instrument, so he opted for carefully pulling out those stitches that took him so much time in the first place, bless his heart. He said he was okay if she didn't have stars, but he wanted her to have arms. I asked if he wanted help, but he wanted it to all be his own work. Kudos to such a hardworking young man. I think his angel is divine.
I wrap them around mat board, so no rough edges show. Gardner E. brings wooden stamps from a trip to India and they stamp their own wrapping paper. So, their gift in it's entirety is a work of their heart and hands. I love it.
Thanks Gardner E. -how much for hair replacement? A tad premature perhaps since knitting starts in one week. Yee Haw!!


  1. Once again you and your students amaze me! Those angels are beautiful and love your story!

  2. Very cool. I love that each angel has its own distinctive look. I'm sure the recipients were very impressed!