Thursday, August 27, 2015

Book Page Butterflies

Another school year is upon us.

Next Monday I report to my classroom and begin the process of preparing for the coming semester. It has been an amazing summer. About three weeks ago, my husband and I returned home from hiking the Oregon section of the Pacific Crest Trail. It was amazing. I could spend a long time talking about the trip and showing pictures, but that's not why I'm here today.

One of the highlights of the trip was all of the butterflies in Southern Oregon - they were everywhere!  One section we hiked through is known for its species diversity - it boasts approximately 110 of the 162 species of butterflies in Oregon.

Later on in the trip, when we were stopped at a little spring north of Timothy Lake, this guy and his buddy landed on our gear and patiently let us snap photos. 

Getting back to school. The last few days I've been thinking about what I want to do this year to make my room more homey. I'm getting a new desk and bookshelf, which is an exciting new blank slate to make changes. So far, I've...
  • Purchased turn-in baskets from Goodwill (the clear plastic, stacking baskets) so that each class period has their own. 
  • Purchased and painted picture frames so that the random assortment of 8x10" frames are all somewhat cohesive, add some color, and serve a purpose. 
  • Cut out book pages to make a banner to go over my whiteboard. (Possibly another post on this later... we'll see...) 
The project I was working on today also involved book pages. I had a beat-up copy of a Tom Clancy novel kicking around my craft box, and I've been thinking of simple crafts I can make with it.  When I was a kid, my mom would make butterflies with us, using old magazine pages. So, this is basically that project, using book pages instead of glossy magazine pages.

To do this project you will need: an ratty old book (please do not cannibalize a lovely old book...),  a cutting board, scissors, and string or yarn.

Step 1: Tear a page out of your book and cut it into squares.  I was using a paperback with a shredded binding, so my big square is 4in. x 4in. and my small square is 2.75in. x 2.75in.

Step 2: Create creases in your squares to make accordion-folding easier. Make a center fold by folding two corners together. Open your paper back up, and then fold those same two corners to the center line. Fold that outer edge to the center line again (without unfolding), and again, until your paper has the number of creases in it that look good to you. I think I folded mine 4-5 times. Then, open your paper back up.

Step 3: Accordion-fold your paper. Starting at one corner, using the creases as a guide, fold your paper one way, then the other until the whole thing is folded like an accordion. 

Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 on your other square of paper.

Step 5: Line up the two squares like shown in the image below. Pinch the two together in the middle, holding them between your fingers. Cut a length of string or yarn and tie them together. (I trimmed the ends of my string to make them shorter.)

Step 6: Spread out your butterfly's wings so they stay open. 

I love butterflies because they remind me of new beginnings, fresh starts, and second chances. I love butterflies because they remind me that no matter how crazy, messed up, and hurtful our world is, a day is coming when we will hear God say, 
"Behold, I am making all things new." (Revelation 21:5)
In this we have hope. For this we pray. And because of this we rejoice.

I feel like butterflies keep showing up in my life. From my initials, to the trail, to my classroom crafts... so many butterflies! That's okay, though. They still make me smile...

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