Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Summer Craft #1

I was just thinking that some warm chocolate chip cookies and a book would really hit the spot. The book, I have; the cookies, not so much. Fortunately my chocolate chip cookie making skills are such that I can whip up a batch, start to finish with dishes and counters cleaned, in 30 minutes.

It wasn't until I'd creamed the butter and sugar, however, that I realized I didn't have chocolate chips. How could this be? I buy chocolate chips 5 and 10 packages at a time. I always have chocolate chips. It's just the worst to commit yourself to a project, to get to the point of no return (that would be the creamed butter and sugar, don't you know) and then find you are missing a major component to your project.

This same thing happened earlier today. In an effort to have a "good attitude" about summer vacation, I thought it would be fun to have a craft for the boys to do. My idea was that we could do the craft a few weeks into summer vacation when the kids were "bored" of all the regular summer vacation stuff like sleeping in and avoiding all responsibility.

However, the boys begged to make these concrete garden stepping stones NOW! Well, actually, they wanted to make them on Saturday, but I told them they had to wait until summer vacation officially started.

This is how smart I am. I didn't purchase $20 stepping stone kits from Michael's. I bought a bag of concrete for $2.50 and some plastic saucers for .75 cents each and an assortment of funky doodads from the Dollar Tree. Instead of one $20 stepping stone, we were going to have 4 stepping stones for under $10. (I told you I was smart.)

Before we got started, I had to mix up the concrete and let it sit in the forms for 30 minutes to an hour. I wasn't quite sure about the proportions, but I think I got the first batch just right. I filled up two forms and went to work on the second batch of concrete. Unfortunately, I added too much water to the second batch. To compensate for this, I added more concrete, and more concrete, and still, more concrete.

After adding and stirring for about 20 minutes, I had about the right consistency. I also had enough concrete for 4 more forms instead of 2.

Long story short, I drove to Home Depot to purchase two more plastic saucers and got home before the concrete had set and turned my bucket into a huge but effective door stop. Whew!
The boys spent about 20 minutes working on their stones. So for about 2 hours of prep time, including my shopping, I got a 20 minute activity. (deep breath...)

It's going to be a long summer.


Senia said...

You're so clever. Just thing of all the home improvements you can get done over this long summer...

stepping stones for new-and-improved backyard: check.

Berry pickers for strawberry pies and fresh fruit consumption: check.


Vacuuming races? Who can pick the most weeds?


I see your point. Only 2 1/2 months to go. Good luck!!


claire said...

The stepping stones are so cute though!

I-Shuan said...

Those are amazing! I'm even taking a break from vacation to tell you how impressed I am! I think you should run a summer camp for kids...