Posted by: jeanne | June 16, 2017

kids’ troll-house workshop

on thursday we had a workshop for the kids of olafsfjordur.  the idea was to make paper troll houses, for tiny itty bitty trolls, and then to wheatpaste them onto the stone walls outside various houses in the town.


the idea of itty bitty little troll houses is kind of funny, because this is the troll peninsula, and everybody knows trolls are huge.  enormous.  like this:

a troll, maybe 200 feet high.  they turn to stone when the sun hits them

but trolls, like elves, live in another dimension, and their sizes are not relevant.  i mean, they can be any size they like.  so they could actually fit into a door drawn onto an a4 sheet of paper.  anyway, that’s what we had to work with, and maybe the trolls will understand.


last week i arranged with asta, who is in charge of tjarnarborg, the town hall, for a date and a time to do the workshop.  she suggested that kids wouldn’t be containable for more than a couple of hours, so we set the time at 10-12am on a thursday, and i made up posters and got lara to translate them into icelandic, and put them up in the library, the pool, the grocery store, and tjarnarborg itself.

when i showed up with my two boys, there were several kids waiting already, and in the next few minutes, we had about a dozen kids, asta, and one other mom, who left the baby in the carriage outside the window.  the baby played for awhile, and then fell asleep.  this is a longstanding tradition in iceland, and helps make the babies hardy and strong, and since icelanders live an average of 10 years longer than people from other countries, this makes a lot of sense.  it’s certainly a better idea than living your entire life in either air conditioning or forced air heating, as we do in the states, where life expectancies are actually going down.


i first asked the kids to write down their names and where they live, so i could figure out later where to put the drawings.  we didn’t have time, and it wasn’t the right weather, to go around the town with the kids, pasting up drawings.  i realized a couple of days before that i was going to have to do the pasting up separately.  perhaps i’ll have some of the kids come out and help me when i get around to it.


the kids got a sheet of paper and grabbed crayons and colored pencils.  i showed them some drawings of elf houses that jim had sketched from internet references, and they started in.  some copied the drawings, some designed their own.


the local boys soon got bored and talked among themselves.  they were all at one end of the table, and within a half hour they donned their bike helmets and put on their shoes, and were out the door.


avery and connor had to go off to their swimming practice at some point in the middle, so for awhile it was just the girls.


and girls are very industrious artists in general, so soon they had finished their first drawings and started on second and third ones.


some of the kids decided to get abstract, and drew flowers and birds.



i put everybody’s names on back and piled the drawings up on another table.


and then asta served fruit, cookies, and orange drink, and everybody took a short break, but really didn’t spend too much time eating because they were having so much fun drawing.


even asta sat down and did a drawing, and when jim came back with the boys, he sat down and did one himself.

a gray troll

a gay troll



my own indifferent sample drawings ended up as the backing paper for the abstract drawings, where the kids made no attempt to stay inside the lines (true artists).


then it was getting close to the end of the workshop, and the kids needed to run off some energy, so they played tag and hide and seek in the entire building.  at one point connor was so well hidden that nobody could find him.


and so a successful workshop completed.  the kids want to do a sock tie-dye workshop next.  they saw my socks and all wanted to make them.  so i’m asking graycloud if he wouldn’t mind using some socks as packing material, and ordered a dozen and a half from amazon.  because if have to go to akureyri to get them, i might as well mortgage the house…



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