Growing Like Weeds

There are times where inspiration hits like an anvil – and May 2021’s theme was like that. Basically, we did not change the theme, but instead, adjusted the décor just a bit for a very easy-yet-effective transition.

The last time something like this happened was back when we went from a Mondrian theme to LEGOs. For reals.

This time around, I was driving home from work and letting my mind wander. I began thinking about our summer programming, and that I wanted to finally start experimenting with insulation board sculpting (which I learned about back in my theater tech days). But that was going to take more time than our usual décor.

My first idea was to make one single, giant golden dandelion. WAIT. We have yellow watercolor. We could put it in a spray bottle and spray the white heads yellow! It was that fast of a realization.

I could hardly wait to share this idea with Meggie. Thankfully, she loved it too. I don’t know what I would have done if she’d hated it.

When it came time, I took the lead – and within an hour the flowers were yellow!

Now, in the photos of the finished flowers, they look completely yellow. The fact is they are not. We were low on yellow, and so I watered down some acrylic paint once the yellow watercolor was gone, and that worked just as fine. But, once you got close to the flowers, you could tell that they had been “spray painted.”

It was really cool.

The longest part of this transition was when I realized that the flowers should have leaves, and that those leaves should tie-in the dandelions that we had along the side of the building (and which we kept up – along with the reading bench/whiteboard art).

So I jumped on one of my favorite programs – Affinity Designer – and learned a few skills to end up with a sheet of paper like this:

Then I found a basic dandelion leaf image online and turned it into a template on cardstock. Then I would staple four sheets of the dandelion-patterned cardstock paper together – stapling on each of the sides, then trace the leaf template twice on the top patterned paper and then cut out the patterns, creating eight leaves in one go.

After that, I just taped a few leaves onto the base of each flower stem – and back into the window they’d go!

The best part of all this was that a family that came into the library just as I was taking down the last white dandelion flower. I heard the dad point out that we were taking down his daughter’s favorite flower. I got the last one sprayed and…leafed?…leaved? I added the leaves, and then it was time to put the revamped flowers back out.

The family was still there.

They all about lost their minds at what we had done – and they said some very nice things. Yay!

I enjoyed it any time I heard that a child’s favorite flower was the dandelion. After all, it had been a childhood favorite of my own – I used to pick bouquets of them while waiting for my mom to pick me up from Kindergarten, and then give them to her.

I still love their smell.


As always, feel free to reach out to me, either on social media or at I love getting questions, or learning about anything you’ve done as a result of my sharing.

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