France: le début

We are off to Europe, to a country close to my heart, France!

When I was in college I had the opportunity to study abroad in Paris and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Without sounding overly dramatic, it really shaped who I am today, not to mention the city is wonderful and the country has so much to discover.

I was instantly very excited that Martin picked France, then suddenly very concerned about what we would focus on… from the Tour de France to the Kings of France, from Degas to Renoir, from the Bizet to ballet, baguettes to cheese… what to choose!?

I hope you’ll join us this week to find out as we take a tour of France 🙂

So with out further ado, allons-y!

The Flag

A tri-color of red, white and blue makes up the French flag.

Start by folding the paper in to thirds.

Paint one side red and the other side blue, leaving the center white.

And there you have it!

Cathedrals and Stained-Glass Windows

Some of the worlds oldest and most beautiful stained-glass can be found in churches and cathedrals all over France. I have some books from my travels that Martin and I looked through. We talked about the different stories the glass tell, and how the light brings them to life. When you look at the windows of a cathedral from the outside they can look boring compared to when you go inside!

Here’s a picture of me from more than a decade ago, but you can see the rose window of Notre Dame in Paris. From the outside it is a circle on the side of the building but on the inside it is an explosion of color!

So Martin and I set out to make our own stained-glass and cathedral.

You will need…

For the stained-glass
– Clear contact paper
– Multiple colors of tissue paper
– Scissors

For the cathedral
– Large sturdy box
– Box cutters/ Scissors
– Ruler
– Packing tape

Start by deciding how many windows your cathedral will have and how large they will be.

Then cut out two pieces of contact paper per window, make sure to make them slightly larger than your window opening.

Next have your stained-glass artist go to town with the tissue paper- the more color the better! Depending on how many windows you have they may get bored… just a forewarning! Once all the windows are covered in color, stick another piece of contact paper to the tissue paper side and press down to seal it all in.

Next draw the windows on the box using templates or just measuring. Then carefully cut out the windows and a door.

Attach the stain glass to the inside of the windows with packing tape.

Finally place it in a sunny room or better yet take it outside! Climb in to see the bright colors and beautiful cathedral stained-glass windows!

For more box creations check out our castle craft from Germany!

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