Back in Februrary, I found this great post from The Long Thread about making recycled crayons for Valentine's gifts. BabyE and I jumped on the band wagon and made a whole bunch - for playgroup friends and all the students in my mom's first grade class. (I was maxed out on peeling crayons for a looong time after that!)
So, flash forward to earlier this month when Chez Beeper Bebe posted about recycled crayons. I knew it was time to pull down the giant basket of lonely bits (donated by my mom's aforementioned class) and turn them into something fabulous.
First, it took one full night to find, peel and sort crayons. I was really excited about the mix of different shades and hues of each color - kind of a crafty mystery - what color will the final crayons be???
I was so eager to start this project, I (foolishly) started the next day during nap/quiet time. I didn't realize how long it would take the crayons to melt down (and what a complete and utter mess it makes - thank goodness I don't love my kitchen floor anyway - it is now stained a bit red from spillage).
I had to stop, elbow-deep in the crayon melting due to the end of nap/quiet time. Everything was out when my husband came home and commented, "It looks like a meth lab!" God bless the husband of a crafter - he helped me figure out how to contain the melted crayon in the molds ("just mush some Play-Doh in it"). The man is a genius!
That night, I fired it all up again. Not only is this project satisfying (those lonely old bits are magically transformed - don't they just look happier?) but it proved to be a cheap, at-home facial as well - can you see all that steam coming out of the pan?
Late that night, all the crayons were melted, molded and cool. (Notice the very standard crayon colors? Despite mysterious mixes of different crayons, they all melted down to create your basic roy g. biv palette. Go figure!) Then they were packaged into bags and labeled - ready for next weekend's crafty open house.
Today, little E asked if she could eat lunch in her room while she was "arting". I got a little giggle out of that (and it warmed my heart to know how much she loves to create).
P.S. Glitter and water make for a very sticky clean up project!
A while back, my sister-in-law gave me a book about sewing different bags. I found this great tote pattern that folds up on itself and buttons (think: Envirosax), but it was actually a bit labor-intensive and I couldn't simplify it. Call me lazy, but I like my sewing to be simple -in style, maintenance and construction.
A little dark - I was taking these photos at night in the sewing room.
So, flash forward to yesterday when I was wanting to make a little something for a friend's birthday (8 days late!) and knew she was a fold-up, environmentally-friendly tote kinda gal. A bit short on time, I made up my own tote using the button idea, and loved it. It was one of those projects that didn't take too much time or brain power, and I could enjoy the process, thinking of my friend walking home toting her groceries with her new bag. Very satisfying!
All buttoned up.
P.S. See the label? My aunt had those made up for me LAST year and I just rediscovered them - I love the look - kind of Cath Kidston? If only...