Monday, August 30, 2010

Campsite Crafting

Every year, we get together with a group of friends and take over a campground. Okay, we don't really take it over, but, there's a lot of us and we may seem a bit overwhelming at times. We've spawned so many children that we need a group site! This year, I thought the kids might enjoy doing a group nature craft. After more pondering than was necessary, I came up with the idea of making ornaments. We are all nature lovers and start to feel a little restless during the long, cold Wisconsin winters. So, what better to have on the ol' Christmas tree than an ornament that reminds us of sunnier, warmer times and what we have to look forward to (and be thankful for).

To start, I purchased some blank carboard  ornaments from the craft store. (Yes, they actually had Christmas stuff out in the middle of summer.) I would have preferred to slice up some thick branches or other found objects and attach our own strings, but time was becoming a major factor (probably due to the over-pondering). What can I say? I'm not a purist. Practicality must come first at times.

During the first few days of the camping trip, my daughter helped me collect little rocks and shells from the beach as well as sticks and nuts from the campsite. Then we got to the crafting. Kids and moms both enjoyed themselves. The dads pretty much stayed out of it. Here are some of the results of our camping creativity. I can't wait to see them on the tree at Christmas!

"Aw screw it, get the sledge hammer!"

There are times in life where it is best to listen to your father. This was the case recently as we began the remodel of our first floor bathroom. You see, Dad's more of the philosophy that we should totally gut rooms, get it down to the bare bones, and start fresh with new drywall and such. I am more of the school of thought that we should work with what's there, patch things, fill in the blanks, smooth things out, etc... as long as it looks beautiful, of course. So, it being my house, I have the right to trump any and all of Dad's opinions if I so wish. So I decided to have a few friends over to do some minimal demo to prep the bathroom for the construction stage. All went well. Thank you Colleen & Lucas!

Only problem was, the bathroom still looked so gross to me. And, more and more, I was shying away from the idea of just working with what was there and was leaning toward the whole fresh start approach. It could have been the fact that both of my parents were laying the convincing arguments on extra thick or it could have been my pending fear that the moldy areas would never really be clean even with bleach and paint. Or, maybe it was just that I finally came to my senses and realized that sometimes, you just gotta say, "aw screw it, get the sledge hammer." So that's exactly what my Dad, Jon, and I did one hot summer day in July. We strapped on the dust masks and safety glasses, picked up our hammers and wrecking bars, and embarked on the fourth major demolition project this house as seen since we graced it with our presence two years ago.

Here is the state of the bathroom now - bare bones, cleaned out, and ready for a fresh start - just the way Dad likes it. Next steps include moving the window, a new bath fan and lighting, insulation, and finishes. I have some more reuse ideas up my sleeve so stay tuned for what's to come.