GRAND Magazine - September/October 2016 - 28


grand crafting

CONNECT WITH GRAND

Grandma, what can we make today?

Simple, fun ways to delight, inspire, and empower your grandkids

BY JOYCE GILLIS

little ladies have ambitiously strung more than a few necklaces
from paper daisies and striped straw beads. (The cats get them,
too, but those don't last very long!)
We love to paint with a wild abandon welcome nowhere else
but at Grandma's, where wide brushes dip into generous pots of
eye-popping paint, then collide enthusiastically with non-stop
lengths of inviting blank paper. We self-jury, mat, and reserve
the best of what we produce. Over the years, family clothesline
art shows have evolved from a dizzying whirl of "abstraction"
to charmingly recognizable portraits of people and pets. All for
sale, of course, snapped up by eager parents, aunties, uncles, and
grandparents.
My grandkids have learned that their efforts have value and
they are proud of their multi-media artistic progress. They witness, also, how a successful venture requires careful planning and
teamwork.
I like that, too.

O

nce in awhile, along the picturesque path of my
grand-mothering years, I realize that I've done a few
things right. Never having been greeted with a needy,
greedy, "Grandma! Grandma! What did you bring for me?" I
hear, instead, "Grandma! Grandma! What are we going to make
today?"
I like that.
My name has been associated with "projects" ever since today's
oldest - twin grandsons, age eight - awkwardly held plastic kiddie
scissors in my presence. I guided them in snipping snowflakes
out of paper and tying them to the twirling twigs of a gangling

"

Over the years, family clothesline
art shows have evolved from a
dizzying whirl of "abstraction" to
charmingly recognizable portraits
of people and pets.

"

mobile. We printed feet so often that the boys took their socks
off whenever they saw me! Those five-toed ghosts, turkeys, and
Santa heads are now priceless treasures. Little feet don't grow any
smaller, you know!
We've also printed potatoes and pinched a few pots along
the way. Perky pillows come out to celebrate each holiday. It's a
simple task to stitch, turn, and stuff what kids paint on fabric. My
28 GRAND

SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2016

Yes, you can craft too!

Rain sticks!

But where to begin? More than once, I've answered this question.
Seems that lots of grandmothers falsely believe they need to be
craft-handy and artistic themselves in order to share this type of
satisfying fun with the kids in their lives. But that's soooo not so!
Baby steps first. Try placing a wealthy pile of craft sticks, pom
poms, yarn, glitter, and "chenille stems" (formerly known as pipe
cleaners) in front of your grandchildren and see what happens.
Magic! They will teach you a thing or two! Scour the pages of
Pinterest for more ideas. You'll recognize what's age appropriate.
As you become more comfortable in your role, you'll combine
crafts with other experiences. We collected ladybug-shaped rocks
Continued on next page


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - September/October 2016

Contents
GRAND Magazine - September/October 2016 - 1
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