Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Crafty Weekend

What a weekend! After their retirement, I have not seen my parents in about 2 years. I was blessed to have them for the weekend as they came to town to celebrate the holidays with us and their 44th wedding anniversary. From accordions to zero gravity, no subject was ignored. I find that they stay up way later than what I can stay up and sleep in pretty late….hmm…. they sound like teenagers. They also drink a ton of coffee! My heart could not take anymore strong caffeine, so I switched it to one of my husbands favorite: Abuelita Chocolate (FYI Abuelita ( ah-boo- el- ee- ta) means grandmother in Spanish).  Mom and dad like theirs with marshmallows. When they did start eating sugar again?

During dinner this Saturday evening with them and with my older sister, I came to the realization that my family has been upcycling and recycling for many many years. I am not sure if this was done out of necessecity or an insane drive to create.

While enjoying dessert at the dinner table, my older sister got to creating. We were sitting at the dinner table chatting away about our childhood and I had just finished an orange. She grabbed a pair of scissors and cut up the orange peel into little hearts, squares and triangles. She then placed them in the middle of an opened napkin, tied the napkin with DMC floss and went at the napkin with the scissors. She created cute little orange potpurri in just a few minutes. I had to smile at this. It came so naturaly to her as she chatted away with mom and dad. I questioned if she even knew what she was doing. Was she doing this consciously or not? It just came to her! It reminded me of the long strands of orange peel that my mother and grandmother used to hang in thier kitchens. They would use these for baking, in thier tea or just for scent. When the sun hit the peel, it was a wonderful comforting smell. My sister is so crafty and does it so naturally. She even saved a couple of larger cute orange peel hearts for me for my tea. Or, maybe I will take her advise and thread them into a mini heart bunting for my window. When the sun hits it- the smell is heavenly.

My garage sale find owl gets to enjoy the lovely scent: This was so easy that my 7 year old made the one pictured below without my help! Gasp! Without my help? Wait a minute, she isn't suppossed to grow up...

On Sunday after dinner, my father found inspiration from my kitchen curtains. He was telling me that he bought at a craft fair, a rooster crowing can. He wanted to try and make one and we gave it a go. Below are the steps, but PLEASE BE CAREFUL IF YOU ARE DOING THIS WITH A CHILD. If you are not using the correct can opener, you will end up with sharp edging on the can. We use a can opener that does not leave sharp edges. Instead, the top of the can be used as a cover and there aren't any sharp edges. PLEASE be careful. If you do not have the correct can opener, then just don't do this.

Supplies for rooster crowing can :
hammer/ nail or screw /2 beads /different types of string/ rubbing alcohol or any oil /a can (the smaller the can the better)/ a small piece of cardboard (about 1 inch X 2 inches)/ stickers, the label off of the can you are using, markers, paper and anything you wish to use to decorate

Now to the steps for rooster crowing can:

  1. clean an empty can 
  2. keep the label to use the back of it to decorate your can or use it as a template for another sheet of paper to wrap around the can 
  3. With a nail or screw, and using your hammer, make a small hole on the bottom of the can
  4. thread your string through the hole
  5. hold the string in place inside the can by tying it tightly with a bead (here we used a small wood rod) 
  6. add another bead to the end of the string outside of the can 
  7. dab oil or alcohol onto a piece of cardboard 
  8. wrap the bottom piece of cardboard around the string and pull the cardboard down and across the string
  9. as you pull down, the can will resonate with one loud and rather annoying sound- down pull down too hard or you will break the string
  10. to make the rooster crowing sound go down the string but stop in between 
  11. with time and practice, you will either annoy yourself and those around you, or come up with a sound that resembles that of a rooster crowing (it may sound like a rooster with a sore throat- this is why smaller cans are better).  
  12. Try with different strings/ different lengths until you get the sound you think a rooster makes
  13. decorate the back of the can's label - or make your own- with your sticker or other items and cover the can with it
  14. make two small holes using your hammer, across from each other near the top of the can
  15. thread string onto the can through the holes to create a holder for hanging or carrying your can 
My father tells me that in Puerto Rico, they decorate the top of the cans with roosters, horses or other animals and paint the cans with tropical colors. He also tells me that some folks can get a horse neighing sound out of those cans. I will be using mine to wake up stubborn folks around here so that we can be ontime for church. Right now the kiddos are having a blast using it as a dinner call and to sneak up behind each other for a good scare. Its also prompted them to discover more about roosters and chickens. Did you know that hens lay eggs regardless of fertilization of the egg?

I plan to place my can outside in the summer to call in the kiddos for dinner. And, I have just the right spot to hang it from…

Well I was certainly blessed by my crafty family this weekend. 
May you find inspiration in anything…orange peels or curtains….and may it be wonderful!

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