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Monday, December 26, 2011

Card Mobile

What to Do With All Those Birthday Cards?
September 5th, 2011

Elianna's birthday recently passed and as is our tradition, we hang all the birthday cards up in the house.

When I was a little girl I use to save all my cards, years later when I had to clean my room out at home, I had stacks of cards that I finally recycled. Over the years I have found other ways to re-use cards. I have taken past years Christmas and Chanukah cards and cut them apart to make new collaged Holiday cards. I use cards and envelops in my collaged mixed media jewelry as accents. When teaching high school I would cut them up for students to use in collages, and I still do for the preschool. My Mother-in-Marriage ( I don't like the word in-law), cuts old cards up and uses them as gift tags, and my friend Sarah had a lovely idea when her son was born to make a mobile with the baby shower cards.

This last idea was in my head when I expressed to Elianna that it was time to take down the cards. She was very upset with the proposal and a tantrum ensued, but just beyond the surface the tears came and she said "Mama, I don't want to take them down." Our solution was to make an art project with them. While Sarah's wonderful mobiles are patterned cut outs of the cards in beautiful assemblage, Elianna and I took an easier route that had her doing a lot of the work.

Elianna first picked out the cards she liked best.

Elianna first picked out the cards she liked best.

For large cards that Elianna did not want to cut up, she glued them together so there was a different image on the front and back

After our cards were cut and glued, Elianna wrapped yarn around a metal hoop we had in the house.
It worked best when I held the hoop and we sang a little chant
"Loop it in, pull it under, loop it in, pull it under"
Not much of a chant, but it held the rhythm of the action.

As Elianna held the hoop, I tied the cards she had prepared.
After this, we picked some pictures from the party to add to the mobile.
One was the party invitation, another the thank you card picture, and a couple of highlight pictures.

What I loved the most about the mobile is that Elianna was so happy with it. Her feelings were honored as well as these cards which were so special to her. I also think it really imbibes the Spirit of a 3 year old, it may not have been how I would have made

this for her, but because we did it together, it captures her aesthetic, and I love it.
One last thought that Elianna and I talked about was that every year, we can replace old cards with new ones, holding onto the absolute favorite from the year before. I am actually really excited to see how this mobile changes from year to year as her creative ability and taste changes as she grows.

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