Our friend Lily, celebrated her 4th birthday on October 25th.
On Monday, we asked Lily to share more with us about how she celebrates her birthday with her family.
I have three birthday celebrations. One already passed and the other and the school birthday. - Lily
It was like what you do at normal birthdays. - Lily
So if I had to guess what you did at a normal birthday, I think you maybe ate something special. - Sam
It was cupcakes! I had chocolate and she had chocolate. - Bea
Cupcakes are my favorite kind of treat. - Lily
It sounds like Bea was at your birthday. Were other friends there? - Sam
No and one grown up and my family. - Lily
She had two presents. - Bea
And I had others because I had family presents too. I had two others. - Lily
And one was a smoothie maker! - Bea
Questions We Ask Ourselves
When we start birthday committee work, we begin by having a large group brainstorming session before we dive deeper into the work with a small committee. Both in large and small groups we ask ourselves to think about what things the birthday child likes. What do we already know about the birthday child? What can we still learn?
What kind of things does Lily like?
Maybe she likes unicorns because she has unicorns on her mask. - Finlay
She also had a unicorn birthday. - Bea
Yep, I love them. They’re my favorite type of animal. - Lily
* some discussion about a unicorn piñata at birthday party*
They’re just kind of magical and I like kind of magical stuff. - Lily
What is magical stuff? - Ines
It means like they can make stuff appear that other people can’t do. - Lily
Can anyone else think of other magical things? - Sam
A princess? Because I have a wand from Lily’s birthday. - Bea
So like a rainbow. - Finlay
Also we can make some magical paper thing for Lily’s birthday. Like we could put a big piece of paper and like do a outline of a unicorn and then we paint the inside of the unicorn. - Bea
I think that would be good! But maybe more than one unicorn. - Lily
Like two unicorns. One’s the baby and ones the mom and ones the dad. - Bea
Maybe like four. Actually three. Well one mom one baby and one dad. That’s all I want. - Lily
And did you have a favorite color you’d like to share with us? - Sam
Pink, red, and yellow. - Lily
I knew you would! - Lily
Speaking to Bea when finding out that she would be on the birthday committee.
Birthday Committee Work
Keeping Lily's interest in unicorns (her favorite animal) in mind, Daniel and Bea began discussing their ideas for how to incorporate this interest into the birthday portrait in addition to other ideas they had about the overall setup.
We need something magical. Like sparkles coming out. She likes sparkles too. - Bea
So do the sparkles come out of the unicorn? - Sam
They come out of the unicorn’s horn. - Bea
And have we thought about what Lily might wear? - Sam
All of her favorite colors. Maybe we could sew it like we did for Remy. It would look like pink, yellow, and red. - Bea
I remember for Remy you made a dress. So what do you think Lily's portrait outfit might look like? - Sam
She always wears headbands. - Bea
You’re right. She does wear headbands a lot. Maybe we could make her a headband. - Sam
I could bring my headband. - Bea
I’m wondering if we could create her something new and make her a headband. - Sam
Like how we made Remy's headband? We already have one. We could use that since we already made… - Bea
Well I know that the other headband was made special for Remy’s birthday portrait because of what she likes.
So I’m wondering if we could make something just as special for Lily? - Sam
Yeah. - Bea
And make bows. - Daniel
Yeah she’s wearing a bow headband right now! - Bea
Great. It sounds like we have ideas for what she will wear. - Sam
I don’t even know how to make a unicorn! - Daniel
Well we could look at a picture. - Bea
Three images were chosen for the unicorn family. A mom, a dad, and a baby (per Lily's request)
After tracing the three members of the unicorn family for the portrait background, Daniel and Bea decided that color should be added to each. The color inspiration came from the images found and selected to represent each unicorn.
Initially, markers were chosen. It was quickly observed that it's difficult to cover large spaces with only markers as our tools. Then, we explored oil pastels and chalk which are able to be spread out and blended.
These materials seemed to cover more surface area when used and exploring their "blendability" was fascinating!
Drawing the unicorn hair proved to be the most challenging part of this step in the committee work.
When looking around the atelier for materials, Bea noticed the yarn and thought it could be used to include as the unicorn's hair because the properties of yarn are "warm and soft" like hair!
Making a Headband
Knowing that Lily often wears headbands, Bea went to the source to find out more about the functionality of a headband and what it's made of.
Lily removed her headband to give Bea a closer look.
Ohhh bending. - Bea
I think you used a material recently that you could bend when you made a sculpture for my birthday. - Sam
Oh. wire! - Bea
And what’s wrapped around the headband? - Sam
That’s ribbon. - Lily
And you could also use fabric. - Bea
This is for the birthday committee, right? I can tell. You’re asking me a lot of questions! - Lily
And how would we make the bow? Fabric? And tied it and clipped it on (the headband) - Bea
Look. it’s rippable. And you can slip it back on. - Lily (demonstrating how to remove bow from headband)
Daniel and Bea then got to work selecting materials and creating the headband accessory for Lily to wear in the photo shoot.
When finished with the custom made headband, Daniel and Bea shared the following thoughts:
It looks like, "Hello! I love you!" - Bea
It looks like a pop band. (singer) - Daniel