Monday, July 22, 2019

What's A Garden Kite?


I was recently asked what in the world is a garden kite? A garden kite is my take on Lloyd Reynold's Weathergrams. Traditional weathergrams have too many rules for me.


Garden kites are meant to be ephemeral and I like to hang them  outside so I can watch them flutter in my Zensical garden. The kites begin life as Kraft paper or brown paper bags. I'll sometimes ask for my groceries to be put into a brown paper bag or I save the brown paper that is sometimes used as packing material. For ephemera, I'm amazed at how long Kraft paper will weather outside.


I cut the Kraft paper to 5 .5 inches square (or 13.97 cm) I like this size, but you can choose a size that appeals to you. Holes are punched for the hang cord and a tail for the kite. I use a reinforcement for a little bit of stability.


I don't use a particular layout except that a design of some sort will go in the middle. When I make a garden kite for myself, I'm not very fussy. You can use whatever materials you like. Sometimes I write with a Sharpie pen. I don't bother to rule up lines, but just write out whatever sentiment I've chosen.

 Here I've written with a 1 mm. Pilot Parallel Pen using Moon Palace Sumi ink. The sumi ink doesn't bleed or feather on the Kraft paper and doesn't run when it gets wet.


Any writing is done first and then some sort of drawing goes in the middle. 

 Himself got a new wallet with a Celtic knot dragon embossed on it. The Young One is fond of dragons so I copied the design. I drew it on tracing paper and transferred it to the brown paper using Saral Transfer paper.. I went over the Saral lines with the Sharpie pen.


Red is her favorite color and I used colored pencils to color in the design.


I don't bother to seal the design. As I said, I'm surprised how long the kites hold up in the weather. For the kite tail I use 6 strand embroidery floss in various colors as that is what I have on hand.. You can use whatever you like to make a kite tail: yarn, ribbon, thread.

I didn't have the right shade of red embroidery floss so used some red cotton crochet thread. A piece of tie for a hang cord, and the kite is ready to be put outside.

26 comments:

  1. For some reason, I was surprised how small the kite was. It looks much bigger in the pictures in the Zensical garden. It's amazing how photos can be so deceiving without something to compare them to. This was a lovely and well thought out design for your daughter. I hope her birthday was fabulous.

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    1. I think she enjoyed her day. She spent most of it online with her friend from Ohio. She asked for Five Guys for her birthday dinner. She had requested a Key Lime cake for her birthday and I found an easy Betty Crocker poke cake recipe. She indulged us (me, really) sitting through an off-key rendition of the birthday song and blowing out a couple of candles.

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  2. I love your kites and flags. You sent me one a couple of years back and it flattered on my balcony till nature carried it away. Have a great week, Valerie

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  3. I had to check your weathergram post also. It is a cool idea and as an artist, it is always good to go in your own direction. There will be some weathering today when the rain begins. Or maybe you have it already. Stay dry! Hugs-Erika

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    1. The morning is supposed to be dry. Rain moving in this afternoon. Maybe some thunderstorms with heavy rains and winds. You stay dry, too.

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  4. I like the idea behind all these types of garden accoutrement. I occasionally put out prayer flags in front of my studio window. Glad the Young One had a nice b'day! :D

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    1. These are very similar and I like how they add movement to the garden

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  5. I love her garden kite. It's purrfect. You are so creative.

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  6. what a great idea! love how this turned out.

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  7. I assumed you were buying the kites. So cool that you make them. They do hold up well, don't they! I hadn't heard of weathergrams, but I'm finding the concept attractive and might look into it for the next season. Thx!

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    1. Lloyd Reynolds modeled his weathergrams after prayer flags that he saw in Japan. It's a nice way to celebrate the seasons

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  8. I always enjoy seeing your garden kites. Thanks for writing a post on how to make one. (I added this link and the weathergram link to the "craft projects" "how to" section on my blog, so I can refer back to them.) I wondered how your garden kites held up to the elements, but it sounds like they hold their own. I like this red Celtic dragon that you made.

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    1. The weathergrams are hung outside from solstice to equinox or vice versa. IF they survive the weather, hooray! If they don't, that's ok, too. It's amazing how long the Kraft paper holds up. If you ever have any questions, just give me a shout.

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  9. Beautiful. Love it so much.

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  10. What a fabulous garden kite! I love the design and it must be fun to see how long they last in your garden 😁. Creative wishes! Hugs, Jo x

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    1. They survived the heavy rains and wind from thunderstorms Monday night into Tuesday

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  11. I love this idea and I love this kite! Beautifully done CJ! Big Hugs!

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  12. It's a super garden kite.

    All the best Jan

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