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Pinterest in Action, project 2

November 8, 2011

If you are a lover of re-purposing, recycling, up-cycling and generally enamored with the idea of taking everyday objects and turning them into pieces of art, you need to visit Michele Made Me.  I love her approach and ability to take something unassuming and, with very basic supplies, turn it into something significant, with impact that can’t help but get noticed.

And that is absolutely what I thought when I pinned this project of her’s, for Twiggy Christmas Tree’s, from this summer.

Simple + no experience or special talent needed + made with found objects (hear “free”) = perfect side activity for the annual women’s retreat I hosted last month for church.

My kids and husband helped collect sticks from the yard.  The third grader helped me do a bit of the sawing — just a bit since I quickly moved on to the band saw.  I had a lot of cuts to make 6 beads + 6 branches + 1 trunk = 13 x 30 kits = 390 cuts.  Then in one afternoon, one hole got drilled in each of those 390 pieces, thanks to the great teamwork of a sweet friend who came to my aid.

I love the look.  The tree on the left’s branches are spray painted gold, the center tree has white craft paint dabbed on here and there, and the tree on the right, is left natural.  They look beautiful with a backdrop of ever greens, but also look lovely hanging from a cabinet door knob or from a window latch.  With the slightest bit of breeze or movement, they turn and spin, dancing in the air.

It proved a good project to have on hand for those who wanted to take home something tangible.  And I have enough for one of the children to assemble some for the aunts and uncles.  Maybe the preschooler would like to paint and practice stringing patterns?

At the retreat we spent just under an hour taking turns being 5-minute experts.  I asked for volunteers ahead of time to participate in a sharing segment where they were given no more than 5 minutes to teach the group 1 simple tip, technique, or strategy.  We learned how to make microwave caramel corn in brown paper lunch sack, to make our own foaming hand soap that’s great for super sensitive skin, how to roast chestnuts, how to can nuts, how to make silly putty and play dough, how to correctly cut an onion and green pepper, and a handful more.  It was great fun, we all learned things we hadn’t learned before, and we got to know a little bit about the women who offered to share of their knowledge.

I had really hoped to share how to make air dry clay from scratch using a recipe I’d pinned … but it was a total disaster.  Total disaster.  I cooked and cooked and cooked and I kneaded and kneaded and kneaded, and it never became smooth and supple.  It stayed a bit too soft and way too sticky.  I’m thinking it had something to do with the per portions of the recipe I used.

Has anyone tried this before?  I’m willing to give it another go, but I’d prefer to try a recipe someone else has successfully made and maybe makes a smaller batch.

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