42/52: A Hole is to Dig, and Crafts are to Craft

Thursday, October 24, 2019

A few weeks ago, either Peter or Elizabeth decided to start digging a random hole in the yard. The other of the two decided to join in, enlarging the hole little by little each day, until one day the other three big kids decided that it would be a perfect cat trap if they could only make it a little bit bigger.

Well, when five energetic children get to work digging a hole, it doesn't take long for it to become quite large. Their wise mother, remembering the peonies she needed planted, allowed the digging to continue. The cat never did get trapped in it, although she did decide it made an excellent outdoor litter box. Fertilizer, I suppose?

I saw someone on Instagram gluing acorn caps to felt balls to make little pretend acorns and thought that was just too adorable for words! So click-click I went, ordering adorable felt balls (affiliate link!), which arrived during outside time one day. I showed the kids my brilliant plan and sent them out to the woods with a pail to search for acorn caps. "Mom, you're just doing this to keep us outside for longer, aren't you" asked my wise-beyond-her-years Cecilia.

Why yes, that was certainly part of it. And would you know? They spent a good 30 minutes longer outside, searching halfheartedly for acorn caps but mostly enlarging the forts they had forgotten they started over by the oak trees. Many a precious acorn was made with what few caps they did return with, and they've continued to forage for larger caps, because the tiny ones they brought at first made for somewhat pitiful acorns...

The leaves have started to change colors, though not so much in our woods, which are profoundly lacking in trees that turn any shade except brown, or perhaps yellow-brown. It's disappointing, and even if I do look a little crazy collecting gorgeous sugar maple leaves in the parking lot outside church, I'm only doing it for the sake of crafts! I've wanted to try making wax leaves for years and decided this would be the year. It's really remarkably easy - you take a roasting pan that you don't care about keeping wax in forever, melt some paraffin wax (another affiliate link!) in it, and dip leaves briefly, allowing them to drip in the pan and then straight onto a newspaper you've carefully laid to keep wax from ending up on every surface in your house. Do hang them up immediately out of reach or, we found, children will find it irresistible to pick little bits of wax off the leaves, destroying all your hard work.

One way to add to the fun is to try it on the wood stove on a cold morning, forget that aluminum pans get hot, and then pour wax all over your uneven stone floor. I don't think we'll ever get it scraped up, and it will melt and harden again every time we use the stove. Not my finest moment, I'll admit.

Pssst! While I'm posting, I thought I should let you know I've got an Usborne virtual party going on right now if you want to shop early for Christmas or birthdays through my link!
Sarah is offering free shipping on $100+ orders until Friday night (she'll refund shipping to you), so take advantage of that great deal!

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