Friday, December 21, 2012

Celebrate the Winter Solstice - Countdown to Christmas - Day 21

December 21st marked the Winter Solstice - the day of the year with the least amount of sunlight. In Minnesota, that means we have about 8 hours and 46 minutes of sunlight on the Solstice. 

This is such a contrast to the Summer Solstice when there is more than 14 hours of sunlight (though, it seems like it is much longer than that when there is sunlight by 4:15 a.m. and it is still light outside at 9:30 p.m.). 

Today we began making lanterns for the solstice - one is a star shape and the other a rectangular shape. Both ideas I found on Pinterest. 

The first one is for a rectangular lantern. The pin leads to a tutorial on Bobbins and Brambles.

The other one is a star-shaped lantern that is commonly-seen in Waldorf communities. The pin leads to a tutorial on Passengers on a Little Spaceship.

First, I cut the paper into 11"x15" and 12"x12" sections (each one is for a different lantern). The girls wanted to paint all the paper, so they even took the scraps of smaller paper to paint.  

Olivia and Sophia doing watercolor painting.

I soaked the paper in water for about 8 minutes and then lightly removed some of the water with a sponge.

They are enjoying playing with the different colors
and seeing how the wet paper affects the paint when they meet.

Since the paper will be folded, the point of painting was simply to put color onto the paper in random patterns.

Olivia enjoys how the colors and patterns appear depending on 
how much color and water are used.

The girls painted some of the papers in darker colors (symbolically representing the darkest day of the year).

One of Olivia's paintings.
It will be made into a star lantern.

While other paper they painted in brighter colors (to represent the forthcoming light from this point forward to the Summer Solstice).

Sophia is using lighter colors for her painting.
The paper will be used to make a rectangular lantern.

The paper needed to dry and be pressed, so the finished lanterns will be shown at another time.

One of Sophia's finished watercolor paintings.
The paper will be used to make a star lantern.


Another type of lantern that the girls made used snowflake-shaped sequins, torn pieces of tissue paper, and Mod-Podge. The idea came from Our Day Our Journey.

Sophia and Olivia used paint brushes to paint some Mod-Podge onto a canning jar and attach the sequins. 

Olivia's lantern after all the layers of sequins, tissue paper, and
Mod-Podge have been applied.

Over that, they glued on pieces of tissue paper in random patterns. They let the lanterns dry for a while.

Sophia's lantern in the process of drying.

We lit tea lights and placed them into the lanterns. The snowflake-shaped sequins show through the tissue paper.

The finished lanterns.

This was an easy-to-make craft for the girls that we can use not only this year, but for years to come.

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