Signs of the changing seasons come in many different forms, last of which is often the date...
... blooming branches, sparkling snow and carpets of golden leaves speak loudly of change, but what about the more subtle shifts...
... what about the stars?
The night sky however constant it may seem, tells its own story of the year. Orion starts his journey from East to West in November, fading into the distance by May. Ursa Major shifts her feet in the Northern sky, never drifting far, but always looking for a slightly different spot. Andromeda enjoys the cooler months, making her best show in the evening skies of November.
Each month the shifting positions of the constellations write a tale only they can tell and documenting this slow waltz can be a wonderful way to map the year. Which, is exactly why creating monthly star charts of your own is so much fun, especially when done with Batik.
From learning where to look for your favorite stars...
... to watching them glow while telling bedtime stories of epic adventures...
... creating a Batik star map is a wonderful way to take something as vast as the sky and make it your daily companion... your friend through every season.
How to make a Batik Star Map:
1. On a piece of cotton muslin (cut to your preferred size, although larger maps are easier to render with little hands) use star guides or charts like these to help you transpose the constellations of a given month onto the fabric with a yellow pencil (see step-by-step image above). The yellow pencil will stay on the fabric and give the constellations just a bit more detail. You can either transpose them by sight or you could enlarge a chart and print it out to facilitate an accurate tracing.
2. Once you have your chart drawn on the piece of fabric follow the instructions for creating a batik here (also click to enlarged step-by-step image above) and paint over the yellow lines with hot wax before submersing your project in dye. This simple map only requires one dye color but it could be adapted to include however many colors you would like.
3. Label your chart with its respective month (I used a typewriter on cloth to type the date, but you could batik it or write it with a permanent marker).
4. Learn, make up and tell stories about the great legends in the sky.
Happy Star Gazing!
P.S. Don't forget to enter the giveaway for Karen Benke's amazing book here!!
*Last time in Crafts and Activities: Bows and Arrows