That's when I came across Fry Instant Phrases and short sentences. The words in these phrases come from an Instant Word List developed by Dr. Edward Fry (1925-2010) from a book he wrote in 1980. According to Fry, the first 300 words in the list represent about 67% of all the words children encounter in their reading. They are divided into sections of 100 phrases per group. The first 100 are the easiest, the next 100 are a bit harder, and so on. These phrases are ones that children commonly come across when learning to read as well as in writing and spelling fluency.
Reading through these phrases, I could see that a lot of them were common place short sentences (So there you are, He called me, Have you seen it?) but when brought together and read in a sequence they created an interesting narrative that was so loose it was really up to the reader to decide what was happening. This really got me excited about telling a story through something I was making instead of traditional story making: sitting down and typing or writing out a story, so I picked out my favorite ones and made a list:
I read through the first 5 groups (500 phrases). I really like how it felt when I paired them up with ones that kind of went together or that had some kind of descriptive chemistry creating a tiny narrative. I typed them out in Illustrator and chose appropriate fonts that went with each one. Next I arranged them into color circles with small graphic elements. Below is the original 16 but as I moved forward I boiled it down to 12 since I would be screen printing each one in a different color (kind of a lot of work, you know?) It's good to edit anyway.
I used creme muslin which I pre-washed making the fabric so super soft! I precut the fabric to the approximate size of the flag. Then it was onto the screen printing which took me about 2 days to burn each screen, print, wash out, reburn, etc. Cue upbeat movie montage music!
Finished! (the printing at least)
I bought the dowels at an art supply store, sawed them in half and hand sanded the ends.
I tied white paracord on the ends of the dowels for easy hanging.
Done! I hung one of each of them on the wall and took a group photo!
Some individual shots:
The flags are great to hang in apartment entry ways, bedrooms, living rooms, or kids rooms (the phrases are for children after all) to add a pop of color and some subtle style to any room. Is there one that resonates with you? They will be for sale at the Mokuyobi Threads booth #159 at the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, NY on June 22+23. And after that in the Zipper Teeth Etsy shop while supplies last.
I hope you had as much fun reading the post as I had making them.