It has been a while since I've blogged - embarrassing as it is, because I've been very, very busy. But today, I can't help but tell everybody about the lovely morning I got to spend with the three Reception classes at Stocksbridge Nursery & Infant School. The 80 or so children helped me out by telling me the story of Rapunzel, and I explained to them what I was doing. Then, we set about building a stage set for Rapunzel. Class 6 had the job of deciding on the background - since the tower is in a forest, that meant lots of trees, flowers and butterflies - and, for some reason I have yet to fathom, chameleons, which appeared across all three classes in an out-of-the-ordinary frequency (I never got to find out why). The flowers were made out of tissue paper and stuck on with sellotape, giving a lovely colourful background to the whole scene!

Class 8 was in charge of the tower! I had wrapped several boxes of various sizes in lining paper, and then came the difficult decision of which to use for our final tower. We worked out what our tower would be made of (bricks), and decided to decorate six boxes - just in case, you see...you can never have too many Rapunzel-Tower-building components! Class 8 proved to be brilliant not only at drawing bricks, but also at colouring them in, and adding flowers, vines (and the odd chameleon!!) to the decoration. Once all boxes were painted, we did, of course (in a very sensible way, you understand, and therefore held in place by hand to avoid toppling) have to test just how tall the Rapunzel Tower would be if we used all six boxes (answer: nearly as tall as the ceiling!)...however, in the end, we did decide on four boxes to make up the final tower. Our top box had a window drawn on it, and it was my job, over break, to cut this out, so we had somewhere for all the hair to come out. Hair? What hair? We needed hair!

Rapunzel's hair was Class 9's job, and a fabulous job they did, too. Sitting in three groups, we passed balls of wool, one round saying a shape each as the wool came past, then a colour, an animal...you get the picture. Before long, each group had passed the wool five times all the way round, and we had a little test to see which group had made the longest hairs. All together, they made the perfect tangled mane to go into our top window.

Two of the classes also helped me out by drawing me pictures of Rapunzel, and kindly allowed me to take photos of their work. The pictures-only ones will go on Facebook, but some children posed with their work - here is a small selection: 
Finally, our work was done - we had set up Rapunzel in a fairly small space, and so all classes came in small groups to admire their handiwork and pose for a photo.

Thank you so much to all three Reception classes, and to the staff at Stocksbridge Nursery and Infant School, I had a fabulous morning, and am looking forward to coming back soon!!
It was a blowy, blowy day in Fairyland, when a hunched little person was spotted staking the ground with signs, sporting arrows, and the words 'Make a Fairy' Workshop, 1-4pm - drop in!
I have to admit, I'd been following the weather forecast in a mild panic....flower fairies in the snow wouldn't have worked quite so well! In the end, although it wasn't warm, the rain held off, and there was a steady stream of fairy-making artists coming down to Fairyland.

The first job for everybody coming was to attack the vegetation, carefully selecting bits and pieces for a skirt, wings, a body, and a head. Small hands got child-safe scissors, although it became obvious quickly that particularly the bamboo required industrial strength stainless steel! Rhododendron leaves were most often chosen as wings, whereas a never-ceasing array of flowers made up the heads - primrose heads, narcissus heads, purple-ball-flowers-that-I've-forgotten-the-name-of heads...no two fairies were the same! With a bit of help from some raffia (and later, after I ran out, thin hemp string), skirts were gathered and secured, wings tied on, and the head attached. I have now learnt that tulip leaves make tricky wings, and pine cones can be secured better than I thought, and that magnolias truly are very, very fragile!

When a young man sporting a big camera appeared, it turned out that he hadn't come to make a flower fairy, but instead, to document the "Flower Fairy Follification" for the Barnsley Chronicle, so I'll be sharing that as soon as it comes out.

Once made, the fairies went (briefly) into hiding, looking for the perfect spot in Fairyland to have a photoshoot. Thanks to James Brunt, my council contact for Cannon Hall, for staying around today, dealing with all the 'boring' bits, such as photo release forms - and thanks to all the grand-parents, parents, aunts and uncles who allowed me to use the pictures!

Thanks also to the lovely Janey, who once more took charge of my well-being (you can detect a theme here, can't you?!), and supplied me with tea and a scone!!

All in all - unless I miscounted - 23 children, ranging from 3 to 9 years old, made 24 flower fairies in three hours - I had no idea what to expect, but, with what I shall now call 'The Luck of the Foolish', it couldn't have worked out any better! There was a steady trickle, any more and I think there would have been queues, any less, and I'd have had downtime. So, thank you to everybody who came and supported Follies for Follies!!