|The Temple of the Inscriptions: largest Mesoamerican stepped pyramid|
Thursday, July 14, 2022
Wednesday, July 13, 2022
|My son, the groom, and my husband, father of the groom|
I was lucky enough to be given a roll of white tissue paper, almost like thin paper table covering, and quickly realized that I could get 150 10" X 8" rectangles cut with almost no waste. I found some left over on a second roll and ended up making 250 total.
You can cut each piece like a snowflake by folding it in half vertically, and then half horizontally, and then half again with the center being the point, you can make an 8 petaled flower in matter of seconds. You can do it it in thirds for six petals. I also liked starting with 3 or four vertical areas to make a scalloped bottom, with a few little cuts for hearts or flowers within each scallop before tackling the main area. There are so many combinations of shapes and lay outs that it wasn't hard to make minor adjustments each time and come up with 250 completely original designs.
It took me about 25 hours to cut 250 flags at the rate of 6 minutes each (10 an hour). I didn't realize that it would take me another 17 hours to fold and glue them to string, arranging a variety of types of patterns on each string and measuring a hand's width between each one. I put in a movie or two each night over Christmas break and that was the perfect chance to work on the project.
After they are carefully stacked under a couple of heavy books for a few months, the fold lines almost completely disappear. This only looks good if the paper is flat. To attach to the string, I creased the top about 1/3" and used a glue stick on the crease before folding it down over the string. It's important to measure out the string to make sure each one is the same length, and I usually had 3 of them laid out at a time to make sure I was making the types of patterns change order on each one.
When it was time to actually hang them, we had to stretch wire the length of the gym and tie each string end to the wire. We also used 3 or 4 bolts of tulle to make a drop ceiling and string lights between each string of papel picado. I used 14 strings of about 17 flags each to start, but when we realized that it was going to hang too low, I had to take a flag or two off of each string.
Other money savers was skipping the vases and floral shop arrangements for table toppers, and instead opting for a friend's magnolia leaves trimmed form his tree the day before. The leaves last a couple days without water. I used silk magnolia flowers to nestle between the leaves. We borrowed some lanterns for battery operated candles to also go on the tables.
A discarded hula hoop with eucalyptus, and wisteria hung over the food table. We used some of the golden chair ties to wrap around and give some visual unity to the room.
We also built an arch from the tree branches we just had cut off a tree in our yard. (one branch actually fell off the tree). I wired silk flowers and fresh magnolia leaves onto the arch before wrapping the whole thing in 3 strands of Christmas lights.
I also took a bunch of frames that I picked up for free at a frame shop that was going out of business. painted them gold, and we strung them on the stage with fishing line.
It WAS a special day. It was worth the two days of setting up and 2 hours of tearing down to set this time to let the bride and groom know that we want to celebrate their union. I don't think any party is worth going into debt for, but there's nothing wrong with sending the couple into marriage knowing that we believe in them and wish them the best.
|Paper shipping tape used to build and smooth the forms|
We also went on a field trip to Dauset Trails Nature Center, which is like a free outdoor zoo with rescue animals such as bears, otters, and eagles as well as a farm animal area. I'm always happy at the end of the week, getting to know the students in a relaxed environment where they can learn without the pressure of credit and grades.
|A student with her fox mask|
|Students with goats at Dauset Trails|