Saturday, March 23, 2013

Snowy-Spring-Equinox-Hope: In Crafty Form.

The storm of March 23rd and the Metaphorical Red Birdhouse.
"Spring is when you feel like whistling, even with a shoe full of slush."
Doug Larson

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I can't take much more of this.  When I said I loved Denver's seasons I had no idea they would involve snow post-spring-equinox.  Eff that.  I'm over the snow.  I did more than my time with four years in the frozen tundra.  I'm done with the ski season (even if Matt intends to try to drag me out there again today and on Easter against my will).

In truth, despite having enjoyed our first Colorado winter thoroughly, I've been complaining about the cold ever since we had one utterly glorious 70-degree day a week ago.  Roman played outside (without complaining once!) for 5 hours.  We had margaritas on the porch.  We got the outdoor speaker-system working and, as if a sign from the Gods above, the first song to play was Abba's Waterloo.  I bought Roman a straw fedora.  Spring was nigh, dammit!  And I, for one, believe that once the flip-flops have been brought out, one simply cannot go back to the Joan of Arctics.  The absurdity of having to bring my newly-planted rosemary bushes inside, covered in snow and frozen, is not lost on me.

I've been so busy springing forward that I actually briefly believed I could will the snow away.  But, no, as I sit here typing, hot coffee in hand, it is a full-on blizzard outside my window.  At least I can cling to a few little projects I've been working on as a source of Vernal hope.  Time to share.

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In Crafty Form

1. Krista! Spoiler Alert: Evangeline's Little Outfit.

The Pinafore
My friend Krista just had a little girl (three months ago!) and her name means "bearer of good news."  Fitting for this post.  
I've been toiling away on this homemade project for her
Evie's Ruffle-y Bloomers.
based on this "cross-over pinafore" tutorial and this bloomer tutorial, (the package should be with them any day now along with some other surprises).
I found the awesome vintage fabric at an estate sale months ago and loved it immediately.  It screams spring.  I chose this outfit because the pinafore serves as a dress for a baby but can be used later as a shirt for a toddler.

It came out really nicely despite being more involved than I originally thought it would be - I swear to never attempt to make ruffles out of linen again - and I hope little Evie gets some use out of it once she's a little bit older. :)

2. Kitchen-Door-Melted-Crayon-Stained-Glass.

Roman's Melted-Crayon Creations and the Snow
We have an almost-all-glass door in our kitchen - our back door, technically - that I use as our seasonal decoration door.  We've had hand-cut snowflakes on it for months, and a few days ago I decided it was time for a little rejuvenating spring-time beauty.  I found several tutorials on how to make melted-crayon stained glass and thought Roman would enjoy it.  I didn't have a warming tray (though I'm seriously considering getting one, now), so I went with the old wax paper and hot iron trick.

Working on the Easter Egg
 We grated and chopped up some crappy crayons Roman got in a birthday goody bag recently, and this was the result: one crazy Easter egg, and two beautiful stars.  I would say that chopping the crayons roughly works significantly better than grating them.  I used colored crepe paper to make the borders.  Roman also did a free-style piece which ended up looking like a tree.  He hung it on his bedroom window so he can "look at it when [he] wake[s] up." :)

3. The Formicarium.
 Roman got an ant farm for Christmas.  I wouldn't be lying if I said it was partly a gift to myself because I've always wanted an ant farm.  I find ants fascinating.  They are intelligent, tidy, empathetic and organized. Some of them are even farmers.  Pretty much a lot of what I aspire to in a nutshell. :)  So when we finally got our ant shipment from Uncle Milton a couple of weeks back, I was thrilled.  It also helped to slightly ease the pain of Frankie's untimely death.

Three tunnels complete; the height of the dynasty.
The Formicarium - God, I love that word - sits in our kitchen.  The ants have managed to make three connecting tunnels and have kept me occupied for many an hour.  Sadly, of late, the whole thing has gone downhill and the undertaker has had more than enough work for his liking.  I don't know if it's too cold, too wet, too much food, but the ants are dying slowly but surely.  Still, they have been a lovely reminder that warmer weather is on the way, what with their industrious and tenacious ways.

Still not sure if I'll order another vial of ants when these are gone.  The fact that it's illegal to ship queen ants means that the formicarium is, essentially, a tomb from day one.  Maybe sea monkeys are next? 

4. Tree-Climbing & Soccer

Nothing says spring more to me than playing outside.  We're lucky that in Colorado, even when there's snow on the ground, if the sun is shining it's warm enough to play outside.  Roman and I have been taking advantage of this and I've even started trying to teach him how to climb trees (something that I rarely see kids do these days).  He hasn't had much success doing it on his own yet, but I am hopeful because the trees in our neighborhood are still young and suited to his height.  Here's a picture of him on one of his first attempts.

We also signed Roman up for the spring session of Lil Kickers Soccer, an indoor soccer program at a local gym which provides me with many child-obsessed-photo-ops and Roman, the long-sleeve-hater, with a weekly chance to wear shorts and a t-shirt in the winter.  Oh and Matt gets to indulge his inner-coach.  Win-win-win.

5. Sneak-Peak: The Upcoming Birthday Party

Boom: The Big 4.
As everyone close to me knows, Roman's May-Day birthday always provides me with 3-4 months worth of craftiness.  It always keeps me occupied during the generally-dreary winter months, a distraction that is particularly welcome this year.  I have, admittedly, gotten a particularly early start this year.

If you know us well, you know that I have good reason for looking for projects to keep me distracted so please don't judge me when I tell you that I've already chosen and embellished Roman's birthday outfit and started on the rather-involved project of making Buzz Lightyear wings out of cardboard boxes and duct tape for each child who will attend his party.  No, I have not even sent out invitations.  No, I am not insane.  Just really, really restless.  Oh, and highly efficient. :)  Here's a sneak-peak of what's to come:

And here's to Spring showing up.  For reeeeeals, y'all.

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