There is a craft waiting to happen with every step you take in the woods, a friends cabin, your own backyard, a fallen tree on the boulevard a block away, your cousins 3-acre property. Fallen trees, branches, twigs, bark, aged with each passing season, becoming worn and weathered in the most perfect of ways, unable to be synthetically recreated with as much perfection as mother earth.
Coat rack, towel rack, curtain rod, cup holder, candle holder, plant hanging, nature shelf, music shelf, book shelf, garden planter, jewelry, couch legs, porch chairs, dining table, side table, bed frame, how do you stop! Always collecting bundles of twigs, logs and sheets of bark in our closets, and having them knocked over, chewed by Droopy all over the living floor when I'm in the other room, broken by the kids, then eventually collected again.
"Hunny, we have too too many sticks at home already!" I said on a weekly basis as Amaya shoves another armful of small logs into my bag. But is it too many really?
Bringing home things we want to remember or research. What made those amazing grooves in that bark?! A worm with teeth? Woah, cool.
Nature Shelf made from leftover pieces from various jobs.
The imperfections, knots and crevices we cut off for carpentry projects
become perfections for the craft projects.
So many specimens and nowhere to put them. I finally got Amaya to stop stashing bugs in enclosed containers throughout the house, because if you haven't smelt a rotting cicada shell after 6 days in one of your kitchen tupperware ... I suggest you don't....
Easy to see, safe to handle, and visually appealing storage. We can put our finds into these vials, hold them up to the window to see them so clearly and switch them out with a new find when we're done with them. And hey, if it does get stinky, at least it's no longer my kitchen tupperware...
(notice that missing vial? That's what happens when you put the finishing touches on a project then you turn your back for .02 seconds and your son smashes it on the wood floors.... maybe I'll get around to finding another one soon.... or maybe it will end up being the place to collect all the feathers)
Cutting a V shaped stick to be used on the guitar rack shown below
Our guitars have been out of tune since Milo started crawling and they each have a dent or six because two of Milo's favorite things are noises and tools, and let me tell you, there is a significant amount of noise when you bang a guitar with a hammer. We will finally be able to pick up the guitar and play (or in my case, pluck 'mary had a little lamb' on one string) without spending five minutes tuning it first.
Who hasn't wanted a living room swing since they were a kid?
Old rope leftover from who knows what, a wooden dowel from an old closet, athletic tape from the safety kit, the other half of the stump from the guitar rack, and two pulley's from old weighted windows to be able to raise the bar out of the way when not in use. We did buy the rope clasps then used leftover bolts from a deck project to fasten it into the joists. Although I would have preferred a thick light blond colored rope for this swing to blend into the surroundings more, the main goal is to reduce, reuse and recycle while transforming your space.
But hey, if you have one laying around somewhere you no longer need, send it my way! ;)
Many hours clocked on this thing already and not one hospital visit (whew!).
It helps Amaya focus during homeschool reading times and lets her exert energy on a rainy or house cleaning filled day.
I would like to eventually alter it to accommodate silks and a single rope so she can practice her circus tricks at home too.
Amaya found a branch last fall that looked exceptionally like young antlers. We made a 'buck' headband out of it for Halloween and have brought it with us on most outings since then; Costco, banks, hikes. I love how much she loves it, but on occasion have to ask her to stop grazing the floor with her head... like last week at the bank... when she ran into some guys feet.
So many crafts to bring a touch of nature into your every day living space. So many ideas and not enough time. Slowly creating a space that feels good to live in. It's only a matter of time before I persuade Zeke to let me bring a fallen tree into our bedroom to use. See hunny? How preeettty...
I hope into adulthood and beyond, I'll always find the kids with a bundle of sticks, twigs, branches and bark and that their separation between the indoors and outside is so very small.