Sunday, October 30, 2011


We woke up this morning to this:

Several inches of snow on the ground, and an apple tree bent over (yes bent, not broken) across our driveway (actually, I woke up quite a lot earlier to the train-like sound of lots of heavy wet snow rushing off the metal roof).

The boys, of course, rushed right out to play in it (after much only partially fruitful searching around for boots and snow pants that fit) and later Z and I went out to cut twigs for his costume.

(Can you guess what he's going to be? I'll give you hint: that silver writing on the broom handle says "Firebolt").

Later, I melted a big coffee can full of years worth of old candle ends to make some lumpy and unattractive candles for our jack-o-lanterns (FYI, I would not recommend using sand dug out of a wet gravel pit and full of small rocks as a base for holding your candle molds, a.k.a. toilet paper tubes, unless of course you want wobbly candles with pebbles wedged in their bottoms).

We dipped leaves in the leftover wax. I have wanted to do this for years, but have never gotten around to it. This hasn't been a great leaf year, so I almost didn't do it again, but figured, what the hey?

As with many of the projects we do, E and Z started out most interested--M was busy coloring diagrams of cells for science class--but then they lost interest and M got really into it, though he was much more into the science of it than the art. The beech leaves curl nicely into bowl shapes, and he kept testing different leaves to see if they would hold water. Then he noticed that the drop of water held on the leaf and repelled by the wax magnified the leaf below. "Are you going to put this on your blog, Mom?" 

I have to admit that he's a little annoying when he gets really into something--he gets so excited he just bounces around the house and he narrates every move and thought out loud. I was picturing him as a mad scientist in his laboratory one day, twirling around so excited by whatever concoction he creates or monster he brings to life.

Z took the bowl concept one step further and molded two beech leaves into a little cup that actually held water, just the right size for a little elf.

 I really had no plans of what to do with the leaves.  I strung a bunch into a garland, which I thought looked stupid in real life, but I kind of like it in this picture. I tried affixing some to a branch (top left corner of the picture below), but that looked even stupider,  so the rest I just piled into carnival glass bowls and glasses. 

AND, I made yet another holiday embroidered kid-art table runner, because I just can't help myself. (See the Thanksgiving runner here and the Christmas runner here)

All of the art was done by the boys at age five (the jack-o-lanterns E and Z drew last year and the bat M drew on a paper plate which I somehow had the organization to date).

This one's my favorite--if I'm allowed to pick favorites?
This is one of those "use what you have" projects--I had just enough white cotton leftover from something for the embroideries, and miles and miles of the orange with black cats fabric, which I bought for a tablecloth when we had a Halloween party years ago (seven years ago, to be exact, when I was pregnant with E and Z, but blissfully unaware that I was carrying two babies, and no one else knew I was pregnant yet, and I kept having to mix pitchers of bloody mary's that I could not drink). I even had exactly the right amount of rick-rack hanging around.

The boys were excited to see their old art on the table--M got into it most of all. I think it's sweet that big fifth grade middle-schooler that he is, he can still get excited about something so simple.

Hope you have a spooky (and not too snowy--we've got a hay ride around the neighborhood ahead of us) Halloween!

(For a how-to on kid-art embroidery, please go here)

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