Maybe one day I’ll look back and say, “Remember the night when the scorpion fell on the bed next to Mia, then the cat pooped on her foot, then Anina woke up crying and needed to be walked?” and we’ll all have a good laugh. The funny thing is, Mia didn’t wake up at all that night – not when I washed her foot, not when I moved her to another bed to change the sheets, and not when her sister started fussing right next to her. I’ll take that as a silver lining.
I was fully expecting to be on survival mode the next day, but somehow I managed to stay relatively upbeat. This was largely due to the fact that I’d planned an exciting project for Mia, and she absolutely loved it. I loved it too. I think it worked so well because it had various parts to it, each one leading to a more exciting “next step”. First we collected wildflowers and leaves, and after a short break by the lakeside – where I snapped the above picture of Anina – we came home and made some salt dough. I’ll include the recipe at the bottom of this post for those who might be interested. We used an upside-down bottle to make circles and pressed our various wild things into the dough to make imprints, then let them sit on a cookie sheet to dry out.
At 5:30 the next morning, Mia shook me awake and pleaded to paint our masterpieces right away. We did get to them eventually, and even 22-month Anina poked at them with a paintbrush. The finished product looks a lot like cookies, Picasso style, but thankfully Anina didn’t take a single bite.
This project reminded me just how much fun being crafty can be. I’ve been wanting to do something with my hands for a while now – I miss being creative in a non-computer, hands-on kind of way. At first I thought of knitting, but then conceded that the cutest knits in the world wouldn’t be very useful here in Guatemala. Plus, there is no yarn to be found anywhere.
There are, however, plenty of threads. I was dazzled by all the colours available, but then decided that it would be way more fun to try dye the thread myself using natural plants and fibers. So now I have plants ready to be soaked, thread waiting to be dyed, and crochet hooks waiting to do… something. I’ll let you know how it went. If you never hear me mentioning it again, you can safely assume my experiment flopped.
But starting new projects is so much fun. I love the anticipation, the excitement. Maybe the kids can collect plants and wildflowers for their projects, while I collect some for mine. Wouldn’t that be lovely?
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SALT DOUGH RECIPE
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Mix all the ingredients together.
- Knead the dough, adding flour if it sticks to your hands. It should have the consistency of regular bread dough.
- Roll out the dough using a rolling pin.
- Cut out shapes, and make your imprints.
- Air dry or bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 10 minutes or so.
- Allow to cool, and paint (or not – my favourite one out of the batch is this wildflower creation that Mia made).