Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Snow Day Craft Fails

Things have been hectic around here these last few days. Sickness, sickness, and more sickness. We're falling like dominoes, and I really hope that I am the last domino in the line. I should probably be resting, but I feel the need to be writing for some reason. (Probably the fever. As you may recall, that's what happened the last time I had a fever.) Anyway, it seemed like a good time to share some snow day activities from last week -- the ones that were less than stellar. (I do try to keep it real so you know that not all of my craft endeavors are home runs!)

First up, we tried something that this website referred to as "Sparkle Snow Paint." For the record, this does make a good homemade paint. In fact, while mixing it up, I thought to myself, Haven't we made this before? Yep, pretty sure we added food coloring and called it "puffy paint." Yes, it turned out to be the very same recipe: 1/2 cup water + 1/2 cup salt + 1/2 cup flour, mixed together and put into squeeze bottles. While this works well for homemade puffy paint, my complaint is that it is not sparkly. Also, if you are using unbleached flour, it's not even white! For future reference, if I want it to be sparkly, I will add some glitter.

{Puffy Paint Snowflake by Mia, Age 6}

The second homemade craft material experiment was making paste. I had never before made any sort of glue, but it was on my mental to-do list for the past few months, so I decided it was time to test this out. I have an older edition (from 1994) of The Little Hands Art Book, which is where I found this recipe for "Flour Paste."

Following the directions, I combined 1/2 cup flour with 2/3 cup water. The problem is that this seemed to be too watery of a consistency. It was wet for glue, and certainly too wet for "paste," which should be quite thick, at least the way I remember it from my elementary school days. The other problem I encountered is that it called for "oil of peppermint or oil of wintergreen," and I was not 100% sure was meant by that. I took it to mean essential oils, so I used a few drops of peppermint essential oil since I had that on hand for the homemade bath salts. I may be entirely wrong, though.

This "paste" smells delightful, but it looks disgusting. I put some into an old glue bottle and gave it to Mia to test out. She found that it did work as an adhesive, but she agreed with my assessment that it was too thin and watery. I hoped that it would eventually "set" but no such luck. There is a layer of putrid looking paste topped by a layer of liquidy goo -- and I have a half-pint canning jar full of this gross-looking "paste" which is supposed to last a couple of months. (Evidently, the oil -- if I used it correctly -- acts as a preservative of some sort.) That's what I call a craft-astrophe. Really, it's so nasty looking, I have decided to not include a photo!

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