Tuesday, March 20, 2012

well, we tried

A few days ago, I came across a blog called "Housing a Forest" which has some really cute craft ideas. The kind of stuff I like. Granted, her youngest child is 5, but I thought we'd try a few things.

Our first project was Easter egg crystals. I showed Joshua how to bend and twist the pipe cleaners, but he had me do his for him. He picked the colors and told me which directions to put them in. Then he decided that instead of Easter eggs, they were windows for haunted mansions. So, we made an actual window out of two lovely brown pipe cleaners.

The next step was to loop them with thread to hang them from a pencil placed across a mason jar. And then I realized that our eggs/windows were too big for the mason jars I have. I found a couple pitchers in the cupboard.

I boiled some water in the microwave, poured it into the pitchers with the Borax, realized I needed more water, boiled some more and added it to the pitchers without adding more Borax (d'oh).

Then we strung up our eggs/windows to hang from a ruler and some knitting needles (couldn't find any pencils, and besides, I don't think they would have been long enough to go across the big pitcher.)

And now we wait.

And wait.

It's a lesson in patience.

While we waited, I thought we'd try another project involving glue, salt, and watercolors.

Joshua had done something similar at school so I was hoping he wouldn't have a problem if the way I had us do it was slightly different. Problem!

First, I got out a couple sheets of big white paper. I had bought watercolor paper, but since those are expensive and this was our first try, I thought I'd save those.

Next, we made some designs in glue. And then we salted the heck out of the glue. I offered up some table salt, sea salt, and rock salt. We ended up mostly using the table salt because I had it in a shaker and it was easiest.

Finally, we were to use paintbrushes to apply some watercolors to the salted glue. This is where the problem arose. Apparently at school, Joshua had used some squeeze bottle watercolors. Shame on me for wanting to use a paintbrush.

I went ahead with my picture and after piquing Joshua's interest, he decided to try it on his. But then he decided he wanted to do a flower (like me), so we did a new page with a flower. To which he then added a ghost and a spider.

Here are our finished products:
Joshua's original design - abandoned

I spilled water on the upper right

Joshua's spider, flower, ghost

I think that had I used the watercolor paper, the color wouldn't have spread out so much and would have stayed more in line with the glue and salt. Oh well. Next time.

 As for the eggs/windows, we're still waiting. I'll post pictures of the finished products tomorrow maybe. (I sure hope they turn out, otherwise, this day was kind of a bust!)


  1. I don't understand the glue/salt/paint business, but it looks cool! And I DEFINITELY don't understand what is supposed to happen with the pipe cleaners. (What the heck is Borax?!) I'm excited to see what it looks like!

    1. Sorr I didn't explain well. Borax is a laundry booster, kinda like oxyclean, I think. The sodium tetraborate (I think that's what it's called), forms crystals on the pipe cleaners.
      And the salt/glue thing is also to make a sort of crystally/sparkly raised painting. I'll find the posts I took the ideas from and post them, maybe.