G's been making beaded cards this week from Homemade Fun (good, helpful child!). It's been interesting to watch her figure out the project, read the instructions, and then produce some original ideas. She followed the embroidery instructions for a "straight stitch flower" and applied it to her card project. (She still has to mail this to her new pen pal.)
Occasionally people comment that they wish my books had photographs of the finished projects. Instead, I chose to have illustrations which demonstrate the steps for constructing a project and, when necessary the finished idea. I think kids can handle this when in uncharted crafting territory. This encourages them to imagine what a project might look like, come up with something unique, and they are free to not follow an image as a finished product. This is a more creative approach and it seems to work for most kids.
I will always recall one childhood summer, a group of us were sitting around drawing flowers one rainy afternoon at our family cottage. One girl, a friend of the family, was very talented and had an ability to draw a perfect flower. Everyone else was diminished by her skill to do that and stopped drawing almost immediately upon seeing her piece. So, I always think of that, since I now know that flowers don't have to look perfect like a photo to be interesting and creative.
p.s. sorry these aren't the most artful photos. The light is not great this morning.