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Designing and Creating a Flag for the Children's Room of our Town Library

Updated on October 19, 2016
Seafarer Mama profile image

Seafarer Mama/Karen and her family are members of an intentional community in Massachusetts and love the company of their neighbors.

Garden statue at our public library
Garden statue at our public library | Source

A gift from the heart to a town with heart

Books

I love books and I love to spend many hours at the library. Before my daughter was born, I was accepted into the MLS program at Simmons College in Boston. But, alas, fate determined that I must wait to take this next step. In the meantime, I have done my best to be helpful to librarians wherever I find myself.

The reason for my wait is my lovely daughter, and raising her is well worth the wait for another degree. Since she was born, I have loved to bring her to the library. We have played together, put puzzles together, I have read all manner of books to her, and we have attended special story and craft time activities together. Since we have moved out of the city, this passion has been fueled as much, if not more than before, by our local children's librarians.

Our librarian invites children to engaging activities and crafts!

Children holding a snake at an "Animal Adventures" summer library program
Children holding a snake at an "Animal Adventures" summer library program | Source
My daughter making a craft at the library
My daughter making a craft at the library | Source

Children's Librarians Rule!

Both our public library's children's room librarian and my daughter's school librarian are named Pat. They are both special, creative people who enjoy taking time to engage children in activities that enhance the appreciation for literature in readers of all ages, and teach crafts related to that literature. My daughter has her own library card, which she uses weekly. In return for my helping at the school library, the librarian has been gracious in allowing me to check out extra books in my daughter's name. Both are a blessing to our small, rural town.

The Seed of an Idea

When Pat at the public library expressed a wish for a simple flag to display by the side access door each time the children's room is open, I was both inspired and excited by the idea, and decided that this would be a fun project that some folks from our cohousing community, Mosaic Commons, could be involved in. I had a design in mind, so I sketched it that evening, and the following day I took a trip to Jo Ann's Fabric and Craft store at Old Shrewsbury Village to purchase the nylon and other supplies necessary to get the job done. Since I am not a seasoned seamstress (buttons and small tears at seams are my speed), I needed to partner with someone who could wield material through a sewing machine, particularly nylon.

After asking around, I finally found a friend named Jo Ann from the cohousing community north of my own, Camelot Cohousing . Our daughters play together often, so we were able to get our work done while they enjoyed extra play dates together. I cut the pieces using cookie cutters as my forms, and ironed on the gold lettering. She worked her textile magic by sewing a hem in the bright yellow fabric base and attaching those pieces to it. I am grateful to her for the flag becoming a reality.

Granting a Wish

The photos of our masterpiece are featured below. On December 21, 2010, I brought the flag to Pat as a gift from our combined cohousing communities, Sawyer Hill Ecovillage. It now flies proudly on Mondays and Wednesdays, when the Pat is working her own magic for children with books and craft materials. We are happy that she is pleased with it, and that it brings pleasure to our many neighbors who spend time there.

Pictures of the flag

Image of flag design sketch, with added notes (taken with a cell phone camera).
Image of flag design sketch, with added notes (taken with a cell phone camera). | Source
Close-up photo of the finished flag.
Close-up photo of the finished flag. | Source
The flag flying outside the entrance of the children's room at the Berlin Public Library, In Berlin, MA.
The flag flying outside the entrance of the children's room at the Berlin Public Library, In Berlin, MA. | Source

Design Your Own Creation

Now it is your turn to make someone's dream come true, even if it is your own. The breadth of possibilities for new accomplishments is amazing to me. There are so many things we can create with even the smallest amount of determination. It took me 3 months to sit down and cut the pieces of the flag after I bought the material, and that was because I finally found someone who was willing and able to spend the time to sew all the pieces together. The result was magical, and a new friendship blossomed as a result.

Perhaps there is a project that you have always wanted to begin, and see to completion. It is now time to get yourself into the driver's seat, and invite others along for the ride. Your new partners in creativity will be delighted.

Included in this hub are some ideas to coax your muse out of hibernation, listed as suggested resources in my Amazon "catalog." They are meant to help get you started, to serve as an inspiration for tapping into your own creative spirit and then finding what you are called to accomplish. Enjoy!

Peace, Healing, and the Arts

Creativity often fosters peace and cooperation. Together we can do anything we channel our energy toward accomplishing. Divided we can do very little of lasting value. I wonder if two warring groups could put their weapons down and talk to each other as they paint a mural located on the designated "borderline" between their two territories. When they see the mural, they could each see something that they both own, and perhaps find respect in their hearts for one another. This takes forgiveness, and living in the present instead of the past (which is where the impetus for war comes from). By no means do I suggest it is an easy task. It is not. Stubbornness often keeps people divided. Stubbornness comes from an individual's ego. It comes from defensiveness, from the need for appreciation and healing.

The arts have the power to heal. Dance/movement, music, culinary, literary, and the visual arts are vital to the emerging generations who will call themselves citizens of planet Earth. If we are to heal the planet, we must start with ourselves, and those closest to us. Self-discovery and the discovery of each other through the arts may be the doorway we all need to walk through toward a brighter future. So why not start with a neighborhood mural? Maybe our defense budget could place some funds toward employing the poorest of our nation to create a masterpiece together, and from that feed themselves. Perhaps it can be a means to transform a street gang into a different type of community. How revolutionary!

Make your own flag or banner

Make your own outdoor flags & banners
Make your own outdoor flags & banners

If you have the urge to express your creativity through making and flying a flag outside your home, here is a book that will get you started with inspiring ideas and project descriptions.

 

© 2011 Karen A Szklany

Comments

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    • Seafarer Mama profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen A Szklany 

      4 years ago from New England

      Thank you, Virginia. I hope so, too. It's fun to see it billowing outside the library door!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      What a marvelous project. I hope others take this idea and create a flag for their library.

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