Monday, June 27, 2016

Crafty People - The Summer Projects

You know that old saying, 'it runs in the family'?  Sometimes it's a direct route, and sometimes not.

My grandmother sewed, and evidently she did a lot of makeover type sewing, creating suits for the younger boys from cast off things my grandfather wore.  My fondest memory of quilts at her house are about a crazy quilt she made from the scraps of his suits and trousers, all grays and blacks embroidered with red floss.  The border was red as was the backing.  I don't know what she used for batting but that quilt weighed a TON.  I wish I knew where it was now.  I suspect one of the cousins has it.

My mother knew how to sew but with eight children she didn't get to do a lot of it.  We didn't even have a sewing  machine until I bought my first one when I was in high school.  She did knit and she made the most amazing socks and scarves and mittens.  Later in life she crocheted lovely afghans.

Two of her three sisters were not crafters but the one that was taught me to crochet.  As a lefty, she did things backwards for me, but it worked pretty well after we decided to sit opposite each other instead of next to each other!  It was like watching it in a mirror...

And you have also read about my aunts and cousins and our Friday Night stitchers' group.  Friday Sewing  So crafting is definitely a family trait.

My daughter knows how to sew, (as does my son) but probably only enough to sew on scout badges or mend and only if I am on the other side of the world and out of reach.  However the grands who live next door are both very crafty.

Miss E has been featured on this blog, and she has her own sewing machine, the Baby Lock I won last year at Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend.  Winner

Miss E is a project person.  She needs a locker accessory, she makes a locker accessory.  She needs PJ bottoms, she makes PJ bottoms.

Miss A, on the other hand, takes after me: i.e. she is a process person.  She wants to do it all, and sometimes she wants to do it all TODAY.  Nail Polish project

Last year we painted rocks on the patio, and we intended to do more.  I was looking for my painting supplies, and you won't believe this** but I put them away so successfully that even with the help of DH, I could not find them!  (**My craft room is so neat, you know...)

Friday on the way home I stopped in at a Michaels store.  They just happened to have acrylic paint on sale for 50 cents a bottle.  Now you know what happens when you lose something, right?  You will not find it until the day after you replace it.  So I bought six bottles to test the theory.  A small price to pay.

(**Note to self, keep looking for that box of paint supplies because they haven't magically appeared yet.)

DH has been picking up pine cones in the yard all spring so as not to run them over with the mower.  He had a big garbage can full of them just begging to be played with.  Miss A pulled out a small bucket of them just for fun.  Somewhere I'd seen painted pinecones standing in for flowers in a dried arrangement.

Thus was born our latest project.  You need the shorter pinecones for this project, those long ones don't stand up very well.

The little fat ones are the best for this project.
These are about two inches tall and about the same across the bottom.

Here's what we have done so far.

The Artist At Work.
 Cover any surfaces with paper or plastic if you're letting kids do this.  It's messy!  But the paint cleans up with soap and water off most things.

Make the centers yellow or paint the whole thing one color.

Miss A likes to make them look like asters, while I prefer the chrysanthemum look.  I think that's because she has trouble with the word chrysanthemum.

Aren't they pretty?   And guess what they can be used for?  You put them in a basket painted side up, and give them to a friend with a fireplace or a fire pit to use as kindling!  That is, after you get tired of seeing the pretty colors and let them get dried out.  So if you harvest in the spring they'll be ready to use in the fall.

I'm not sure if the paint will smell when you burn them.  And it takes two or three coats of paint because pinecones are seeds and they are porous, so the paint does soak in.  But it's so much fun to do and there is no shortage of materials free for the picking up.  (Ask your neighbors if they mind before you go into yards other than your own, but I bet they won't care.  And you can always give them some of the product when you're done.)

Craft on...

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