FUN !    THE FIFTH FREEDOM !

Miniatures with easels to make and take home - LOCAL classes forming, video in progress and online live possible - Use contact link at page footer with a note to me, to show interest !

Norman Rockwell's famous series of paintings, "The Four Freedoms"  - Freedom of Speech and Worship; Freedom from Want & Fear - inspired this page title - people who skip the 5th Freedom, soon lose parts of the other four.   Fun - the Fifth Freedom - Have some!

Like these ideas, projects and people and achievments and more:

Scroll down for some of the offerings here - the links, in some cases are being updated to this new site, and  will soon be alive again!
 

  • Roundthings - scroll down
  • Labyrinths - scroll down
  • Chopsticks - scroll down
  • BETSY ROSS' five-pointed star in one snip
  • Lost Art - "The Money Bouquet"  - as seen at page top, it is quite a project, done with love for a wedding, with variations for other events, using appropriate decorations.  It has its own page here, not yet re-published. Find me for it, if it interests. I will make one with  your group of friends for the bride, or teach it.
  • Ancient Celt Craft - Saint Brigid's Cross 
  • Suzy Beggin, Shepherdess
  • Historic Sheep Breeds & Hand-milled Wool   Wonderful site, especially if your project wants Historically-accurate Wools 
  • Dreidel - scroll down
  • Aztec God shares 25 Things to do instead of watch TV  - Scroll Down
  • Egg Craft - renewal of a Lost Art    - scroll down 
 


This page evolves, so I hope you will return for the latest, with "no-pressure" goals ~ looking through these pages, like we look at life, there was need for fun. War, and sorrow, we are told, are part of the life experience, but fun is part of the healing process for personal repair, restoraton and resolution. One of the ways we re-assemble ourselves from disturbance.


Have YOU giggled with a child recently? What kind of giggling was it? Helpful? Sound? or with too much edge, or evil?...realllly good giggling has a nice after-effect.
We can learn a lot from our own laughter. :-)


roundthings - graphic from four small watercolors 8x12 2001 - elle

roundthings - graphic from four small watercolors 8x12 2001 - elle

ROUNDTHINGS

Roundthings!    "Lord of the Rings" started me on it - the benevolence of round things - and people - like Hobbits, their smials, their  front doors, yesssss and Mushrooms!   Round figures in my bank,  hula hoops, BASEBALLS and BEACHBALLS  in summertime!  Basketballs in Winter, FUUUUTBOL! soccerfun.   Tennis....FOOD????  Donuts!   most sweet fruit!    Tree Ornaments....

  "Roundthings" is no more than that, motive: cheer and healthy colors; a visual vitamin.
Painting roundthings was fun!

See if you can get your head into it, and find some fun in it, too!     If you like, find me and we will talk, eat, write or craft up ROUND THINGS!

 


Heart Labyrinth - water media on claybord - elle fagan 2015

Heart Labyrinth - water media on claybord - elle fagan 2015

Labyrinths  


I was honored to be asked to contribute to "108 ways to Use Labyrinths in Schools", since I'd had fun making any number of them in varying shapes and sizes - Christmas Tree, Star, Sun, Round, and this Valentine.  I am so proud of this little honor - used in Montessori Schools.  The link shares some pre-done labyrinth designs and gifts, or design your own - or have fun with mine - 4U 

Philosophy:

One is lost in a maze, but FOUND in a Labyrinth - both challenging, but one will help, all along. In the image above, the red line is the pathway, and the surrounding area might be sand at the beach, or grass in a field or snow on a snowy day! Or paint or sidewalk chalk on a parking lot!    The word is used a lot in mysteries - more fun, often but not always.  

Guidelines:

Whatever shape it is made to mimick, at the center should be some reward.  A bench or "tuffet" or pile of pillows, or even a stash of treats and seating to enjoy them, before the treck back to the real world.   One can race one's friends to the center, or be quizzed to be allowed to proceed, or arrange clues, codes or music to govern the progress to the center of the Labyrinth.  

Many churches and meditation centers make prayer walks of labyrinths for the spiritual progress, as one proceeds, with prayer or meditation - assigned or  of ones own choosing. A rosary with Crucifix at the center is nice, too.

 

In Gardens , they provide the addition of live beauty and are constructed as a permanent feature, with pebbles for the path and mosses and hedges for the barriers and then adding in as it pleases, for color or symbolic or spiritual or health inspiration.


Ancient fun, updated and once again popular, for fun, garden and meditation or art: done in mosses and low-growing shrubs and flowers.....or trace a path for fun in snow or sand, and play "tag"....or make it a craft challenge or wall-hung art project........Sacred places use them for meditative walks.

However your imagination takes them, they are fun and create interest. 
Here are a few for starters, and you might find it fun, once you get into it , to invent your own.
All labyrinths have a "home" or center. The center is surrounded by several rounds of paths. The paths usually re-iterate the shape of the center, but not always ... some labyrinths share complexities between center and outer bounds....
but you can't get lost or trapped ...that is,

Labyrinths are NOT mazes ... one is lost in a maze, but found in a labyrinth, along the most interesting ways! 

For Beginners, an easy one to make in sand or snow...done in a few minutes ... no shovel needed .... one can trail it in place with the feet. Then if you like the idea, try the fancier permanent installations.

 

About CHOPSTICKS...The word means "fast"....This week the debate about whether they were a cause of arthritis in the hands neutralized itself, so I plan to have fun with both kinds of Chopsticks: the "happy-nostalgia-at-the-piano-Chopsticks", and the "fun-with-Eastern-Cuisine-chopsticks", and hope you will, too! I clipped this image of the correct way to enjoy the food kind, because it was fun, too!

 

Chanukah Dreidel

Enjoy this printout/assembly fun, then visit the Chanukah links online, like Chanukah.com  for great play ideas for the ages-old toy!    And you can purchase your dreidels, if you lack the time or feeling for making your own, 
at many of the online Chanukah pages.

The Dreidel Game is like spinning a top, with four sides. It is spun like any top, and the
side that the dreidel shows uppermost when it stops, is called like the numbers that show on top of dice. 
The symbols "Nes", "Gadol", "Haya" and "Sham", in Hebrew , taken as a sentence, refer to the
Chanuka Miracle: "Miracle" , "Great", "Happened", "There".

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR CREATING DREIDEL
 

  • copy and print dreidel on stiff paper on your printer; photo paper gives a lovely effect, adjusting size and colors as you are able.

    You can also print it out on standard copy paper then paperglue it to something with poster or card weight to it, otherwise it will not hold its shape when done, or be useable.
  • Fold over flaps ( the wedge-shaped edges) and fold at lines, to create a Top. Do not tape or glue it yet. 
  • Open flat and, on a safe cutting surface, cut an "X", corners-to-corners, in the small square on the lid section of the Top, or Dreidel.
  • The body of the Dreidel should appear square, with the bottom folding to make a pointed bottom, and the top folding over to make a flat lid for the Top. Set aside. 
  • Craft and hardware stores carry wooden dowelling of all sizes for under a dollar.
  • Get one length about the thickness of a standard pencil or slightly thinner. 
  • Cut a 6"length and sharpen one end in a pencil sharpener, then 
  • use a standard nail file or sandpaper to smooth the point for safety, and smooth the flat top of the dowel as well for safe handling. 
  • Gently retrieving the Dreidel, pierce the dowel through the small square on top, at the center of the "x" cut.
  • Withdraw the dowel. 
  • A good glue stick or craft glue is now applied to all flaps, and 
  • the Dreidel folded and fastened, except for the lid, which is left open. 
  • Next drop an extra dot of the glue inside, at the very point of the bottom of the Dreidel, and 
  • close and glue the lid. 
  • Aim the dowel, through the lid cut, to the base of the point of the Dreidel, but not through the point at bottom (if it should pop through later, it should do no harm to the operation of the Dreidel, but may not be the safest thing for very little ones. 
  • Test the spinning of the Dreidel, and make any minor adjustments before the glue dries. 
  • Due to the variations in construction, you may also wish to shorten or lengthen the dowel...there should be just enough protruding from the top of the Dreidel to give a grasp for spinning, but as short as possible for safe use by children.
 

Aztec icon,a fun thing from times past...sort of like a kitchen witch ...be fond of him and he is benevolent...Halloween fun!
...or a TV Jack o'Lantern, and so.. 
TV-Free! 25 Fun Things to Do When the TV Is Off 
By Martha Southgate/ Inspired by the families in our article "Why We Turned Off the TV" 

1. Have a tickle party. Wrestle and roll around with your children. 

2. Blow the dust off those board games. When was the last time you played Monopoly anyway? 

3. Have some friends over -- life without TV is a lot easier when you do it in a group. Try to organize your turn-off with another family or through your child's school. Marie Winn's influential book The Plug-in Drug: Television, Children, and Family (Penguin USA) is packed with reasons to live TV-free. 

4. Let the children take every cushion off the sofa and build a fort. Crawl through once or twice yourself. 

5. At the risk of being obvious -- read! Take the kids to the library to stock up before your set goes off and lay in a mountain of books. The older ones can read to the little ones when your voice gives out. 

6. Share a skill with your children -- do you knit, sew, tie flies, play an instrument? Spend some time passing your knowledge on. 

7. Take a class together. Isn't there something you'd both like to learn to do? 

8. Go ice-skating -- have hot chocolate after. 

9. Get to know the museums and historical societies in your town. 

10. Stock up on books and stories on tape. There's an extraordinary selection available for the youngest to the oldest these days. Your local library has them for free, or ask at online "Search", for an ocean of sites to download or purchase. 

11. Have a family letter-writing party. And no, not using e-mail, but pens, paper, markers -- remember them? If your children are too young to write, have them draw on the front and then dictate a letter to you to write on the back. Grandma, Grandpa, and faraway friends will be thrilled. 

12. Set out a lot of good dress-up stuff and let your kids play with each other -- it might be bumpy going at first but you'll be surprised at what they can come up with without the tube. 

13. Have a dance party in the living room. 

14. Teach the children all the card games you know. If you don't remember any, get a hold of 101 Best Family Card Games (Sterling, 1994) by Alfred Sheinwold. For younger children, try Card Games for Little Kids (Workman, 2000) by Gail MacColl, which comes with a brightly colored deck of cards. 

15. Bake something -- even the youngest can help with simple cookie recipes. 

16. Cook dinner together. Mollie Katzen's Pretend Soup (Tricycle, 1994) has some terrific recipes. 

17. Get crafty -- there are tons of books with terrific craft projects in them. Get one, get some felt and get to work. 

18. Do something for someone else -- spend that afternoon you would have spent watching Pokemon or Arthur culling old toys to give to less privileged children or with older children, working with a community group or church or synagogue to help folks in need. 

19. Can we fix it? Fix that leaky faucet, sew those ripped pants. Turning off the set gives you time to do some of those household projects you've been ignoring. Let your children hand you wrenches, or work on their own sewing (or for the little ones, lacing) projects. 

20. Take it easy. Part of life without TV, for you and your children, is figuring out what to do with yourselves without the easy escape of the tube. Stare into space for a while -- something's bound to come to you. 

21. See some live shows -- community theater, a dance performance, a music concert. Introduce your kids to the excitement and spontaneity of entertainment that's not taped. 

22. Play outside. Even if it's cold outside, bundle up and go for a walk. Make a snowman or go sledding if there's enough white stuff around. Time spent outside every day is key to life beyond television. 

23. Get photographic. Work together on scrapbooks or organizing photos into an album. Children love to see photos of themselves as babies or younger children, and they can help make beautiful scrapbooks that will become family treasures. 

24. Take an evening walk together -- the days are shorter now and it will be dark well before bedtime -- time you might have filled with TV. Go see what your community is like at night. Maybe you'll even see some stars. 

25. Laugh more, talk more, enjoy each other more -- the thing about television is that it means you never face each other. Once you start interacting more, you might find that you live with some pretty great folks. 

01-01-2002 Copyright © 2001 Parents.com. 

 

 


 

Eggs-Zactly

Paint an Egg! Draw one, make one from clay or other craft medium.   Learned as child, it was and artisanal egg that won my art to the White House and I will share good things here about it for all.

Bring in a pretty branch, paint it white and hang your eggs from each twig on the branch. Add ribbons or not...it stillmakes a nice show on the table.

It can even be done as high art, with the correct medium and application. 

Whatever your preference, egg crafts abound, in every culture, past, present and "future"