Saturday, April 25, 2009

Handheld Fans

I attend a school that has an Ornamental Horticulture program--students can acheive certificates or two-year degrees in Landscape Design, Sustainable Design, Irrigation, Floral Design, Nursery Management, etc.
Every April, the Water Conservation Garden on campus hosts a garden festival.
Classes organize booths to explain their subject matter, vendors sell trinkets, and the school nursery sells its plants material.

Teachers often bribe us with extra credit if we show to work the booth, or provide handout materials.
To ensure I receive an 'A' in the class, I decided to make handheld fans (though it wasn't as hot today as it was a few days ago).

I spent hours and hours looking up the information, typing up the sheets, reducing and enlarging and copying onto card stock.
I was at Kinkos until past 2am last night, and still needed to get up early this morning and assemble the fans.
Butterfly fan front

I had wanted to use paste, thinking regular glue would buckle the paper, but there was no time to buy anything.
Double stick tape, rubber cement, or glue sticks don't hold long enough, though they certainly would have been easier.

I ended up using what I had on hand, which was school glue, spread on thinly with a stick, then added a touch of glitter.
Hummingbird and Bees fan fronts

After all the hours, the ideas, the assembly, the teacher gave me quite a lackluster response.
I had cleared both the idea and the content with her first, yet when she saw the fans she asked, "what are they?".

She said it was too windy and too cold to hand them out, and she'd keep them for next year.
She barely even glanced at the content.
I guess you can say she wasn't a fan of my fans.
What a let down.

I made 90 total.
Thirty each of three styles.
Only one color pic because the copying is so much more expensive.
I got all the images on Flickr, in the group that shares collage images for art use.

I had wanted to cut the paper into ovals, but opted for a half circle and rectangles to save time.
I think they're still cute.
I used jumbo-sized popsicle sticks for the handles (though I've read that paint-stir sticks are a good option too).

The backs listed plants, specifically California natives, that attract butterflies, hummingbirds, or bees.
I also listed some suggestions, such as not to use chemical insecticides, to provide shelter, etc

Quickly assembled, so they're simple (meaning not quite up to my usual perfectionist standards), but a cute idea I think.
It would be fun to make embellished fans for a party, and add sparkly ribbon ties.



Blogger Heidi said...

Well, I'm a professor and I would be very impressed by this project! Maybe you could write up a short reflection about how you made them or the history of fans or the content from the back and turn it in for some extra credit?

When our pastor retired, the church made handheld fans with his picture on them and I still have it!

7:27 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

What a shame all that time and effort wasn't appreciated. I would love a handmade momento like that. Don't feel too bad, this happens to me at work all the time. My boss runs hot and cold when it comes to new ideas. One day I am "Queen of Gymnastics" and can do no wrong; the next I am being screamed at for touching a mat and moving it five inches to the left. It makes no sense at all.

7:39 AM  
Blogger kt said...

Sounds like your teach got up on the wrong side of the bed--I think they're great! I love the idea of the info on the flip side.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Jules0988 said...

I agree with the other comments- I think they are precious and worthy of much praise. Lots of hard work went into such a pretty little keepsake. Keep up the good work-

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have dibs on the fan with the burlesque queen Barb. Just kidding. You did an awesome job. I hope you know that.

6:49 AM  
Blogger FredaB said...

This does not sound like a very good teacher. She should at least have commended you on all the work you went to to make them even if it was too windy to use them. I thought they were a great idea.

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe your teacher was having an off moment caught up in the stress of organising a public occassion? The fact that you did something and made it appropriate to the occassion and making the planet a nicer place should count for something. I think the butterfly one in particular is beautiful.

5:47 PM  
Blogger meggiecat said...


Your teacher just doesn't have any marketing sense. Those fans are great advertising handouts! They only need a great looking title on the picture side and an advertiser on the back.

10:11 AM  
Blogger The Tattered Rose said...

Barb, I love the fans. You did a great job. I'm sure they would have been a big hit! Did I also ever tell you that the Killer Bunny is my favorite bit from The Holy Grail. A friend and I were talking about the movie and I told him that was my fav bit. Then, of course, I see your Killer Bunny for Easter! Not surprising given all our other coincidences.

12:59 PM  

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