Wednesday, December 19, 2012

New Uses for Bad Books

For the past four days I’ve been home with sick kids. Normally I’d be climbing the walls by day two. Normally, I’d be thinking about all the work not being completed at the office.

Instead, I was a little relieved not to send them to school. Instead, I’ve relished the cuddle time with my sickies. The horrific tragedy in Connecticut certainly put things in perspective.

My time at home also provided a chance to work on a couple projects that keep getting put off. On a recent shopping trip, my friend Dawn and I saw all sorts of lovely crafts made from old books. In the past couple weeks we scheduled and cancelled two girls’ craft days due to sickness and the craziness of December.
Sunday, when I was supposed to be crafting with Dawn but couldn't leave the house, I decided to craft with my daughter. We made these from a copy of Wuthering Heights that I started and stopped before the end of the first chapter.

After she lost interest, I made this.

I’m sure there are directions online somewhere for my wreath. This is patterned after one I saw at Cracker Jax and a picture I think I remember seeing (and probably pinned) on Pinterest. I’m not big on directions. I like to look at something and figure it out for myself. I’m a problem solver like that.

In case you like directions and would like to make one, here's what I did:
An old book
Styrofoam wreath
Pins short enough to not go all the way through the Styrofoam
Glitter spray
This particular copy of Wuthering Heights was perfect for my wreath. It was old enough to have yellowing, vintage-looking pages and it was a perfect size. I didn’t have to cut the pages to avoid having a really big wreath. I tore out about 30 pages to start.

My Styrofoam wreath had a curved front and flat back. I’m not sure if the shape of the Styrofoam is important. It’s just what I had in my craft box.  When you live in the sticks, you make due with what's on hand.

Start by making a circle with your left index finger and thumb. Place the middle of a page over the circle. With your right index finger, poke the middle of the page through the circle forming a messy cone.  You want each one to look a bit different.

Next, bend the pointy end of the cone up and pierce with a pin.

You need the pin to go through several layers of the page, otherwise it will just rip through the single layer of paper. You could put a bit of glue on the bottom of the paper that will come in contact with the Styrofoam to reinforce the bond. I didn’t. My wreath isn’t in a high traffic area so I’m not worried about people brushing up against it.
Then start poking the coned, pinned pages into the Styrofoam. I started in the middle of the ring and worked out. I found it hard to pin pages in holes later, so try to get the pages to the thickness you want before moving out.

Finally, I sprayed my wreath with a clear glitter spray. I’m not sure if I had a bad can, but when I went back in the morning to spray my ornaments the spray nozzle was all gummed up. If you are doing multiple projects, consider spraying them all at once. They spray is fairly pricey for what you get and I’m pretty ticked that I only used about an eighth of the can one time before pitching it.

So there you go.  Next time you don’t like a book, don’t throw it away.  Save it for when you are quarantined with your sickies and need something, anything to do. Next time, we’re making trees!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Day 30: My farmer.

A few days into my 30 day blogging adventure a friend asked if I had planned out my posts for the month.  Hmmm.  That would have been a good idea.

I've been flying by the seat of pants each day with each post.  Looking back, I'm kind of glad.  By not planning it all out it advance, I got to reflect each day about what really matters and what I love most about my farmer, our small town, our farm, and raising our kids out here.  The few days I was grumpy with my farmer were hard. I had to dig deep, but there was always something.  It always came back to him.

I used to drive my college friends crazy by saying, "I have the best boyfriend in the whole world."  And I did.  

After we got married, I never made the transition to "I have the best husband in the whole world."  But I do.

He married me even though I was landless.  He puts up with my silly city girl questions and ways.  He moved me to a caring community.  He gave me my babies and a second Grandma Millie.

I hate to think about what my life would be like without him.

Thanks to everyone for sticking with me these 30 days.  I now need to take a short break from blogging.  I have a fifteen page research paper due next week and I am really behind.  Did I mention that I really don't like writing?

My 30 day series was part of a larger blogging project.  Check out my friend Holly's blog and the list of the other 30 day bloggers at 30 Days on a Prairie Farm.

Day 1: Grandma Millie
Day 2: My clean car
Day 6: Farmer humor
Day 7: The first weekend in December - friends, food, & Farm Bureau
Day 8: His fourth grade girlfriend
Day 12: He's a trend setter
Day 13: Our neighbor BFFs
Day 14: Gardens, farms, and golf courses, and knowing the difference
Day 15: Jam!
Day 16: Our multi-purpose shed
Day 17: He gives me permission to be a slacker
Day 18: He's all about function
Day 19: He loves our NEW dog
Day 20: July and August
Day 21: He puts me in charge of fun
Day 22: He's industrious, even on holidays
Day 23: The art of strategic small talk
Day 24: Small town youth activities
Day 25: Creature comforts
Day 26: Finding common ground
Day 27: The FFA
Day 28: The future of our operation
Day 29: My athlete