Thursday, September 16, 2010

Letter Tracing

Many of you know Lady is autistic. At the suggestion of my mother, I am going to start including things that help us cope and work through raising a child with autism.

And this is my first post. Lady struggles with fine motor dexterity. This morning we were trying to trace letters and she was about to melt down. So, what I did was using my fingernail, I gently traced the letter on her left arm as she was tracing it with her right hand on the paper. She would follow my pattern, so she formed the letters correctly, but I wouldn't begin until she started moving the pencil on the paper. She needed that sensory motivation to complete the assignment. I also would use the pad of my finger as if it were a pencil eraser and rub her arm over the spot where I just traced the letter so we could start a new letter. I also did that if she erased on her paper. She responded beautifully. We have some great looking pages of A's, B's, and C's.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Headboard: Anthropologie attempt

So I saw a wall about 4 years ago in an Anthropologie store back east. I fell in love. My mom came to visit me this week, and we needed a project. I had this one stewing for about four years and we thought we'd take on the challenge. And, true to form, it was a challenge, with many layers of work to complete the project. What were we thinking!?! We were attempting to recreate the Anthro wall, but modify it to match the bird painting I love.
We started with this frame. 2x12x8 foot boards, but in half so they were four feet long. We had B screw 2x4's into the back for the legs and to hold up the 2x8's.
Then we tried this wonderful technique for aging wood. We soaked steel wool in vinegar for at least 4 hours, added some (about a cup) water after they soaked, then scrubbed the boards with the steel wool.
This is how it turned out.
Then we took my favorite wrapping paper, spray adhesived it to the wood, put a water color of brown over it, let it dry. It wrinkled the paper and I loved the texture it added. After it dried, we dry-brushed cream paint over the black flowers to tone them down. Let it dry, then sealed the paper with clear, satin polyurethane.
This made the paper curl some, but the texture was great, so I just nailed down the edges of the paper that curled.
Next, we took muslin and silk and ripped it into 4 and six inch strips. We had to use Rit dye for the teal/aqua color on some of the muslin because I couldn't find that color. The natural muslin was left alone because it's texture was a little rougher than the muslin we used to dye. The silk was stuff I already had.
And a project isn't a project until the hot glue comes out! My SIL called it the crafter's power tool. Too true. And you can't truly due a project until you get burned by the glue gun, too! Anyway, enough about the glue gun. I cut out three cardboard circles, small, medium, and large. We hot glued the fabric strips around the outside edge first, then filling in the middle, pinching the fabric to make the gathers. Confusing? Sorry.
We placed the fabric flowers, and then I used green mesh floral wrap for leaves. I cut long strips of it, wrapped the center with floral wire, then stapled the flowers and leaves to the wood in whatever fashion.

My blessed B screwed in the 2x4's into the bed frame, and my good boy helped hold up the beastly headboard. Man, it was heavy! It took about 20 minutes to move it from the garage to the bedroom just because I had to keep resting!

Pretty close to the painting! And now I really need new bedding!