we are feeling springy over here this week… the trees are already pink and white with blossoms and it’s been in the mid to upper 60s this week. yesterday N and i went for a long afternoon walk around our neighborhood, looking for treasures and for signs of spring.
we meandered through streets, ducked through bushes, gazed up at trees… we collected all sorts of nature’s gifts, like leaves, sticks, berries, acorns, seeds, flowers… the sweet friends the earth has put in our new california neighborhood. we are still acclimating to our new digs, and feeling our way through the scenery out here. the specimens we gathered were like evidence of our move; like clues to our new surroundings. we studied them.
getting personal with a palm tree
when the sun was setting and we made our way home, i remembered a cool project i’d just seen in a very cool book N got for her birthday last month called nature’s art box. (i also recognized it from the artful parent blog as well.) the project was about making a clay fossil to preserve the textures and shapes of natural objects in sculpey.
bag of goodies
when we got home, we looked over each treasure while putting it into a bowl on our table. we talked about what it was and where we found it.
then, i busted out our trusty box of sculpey, and we went to work making and squishing little balls of the polymer clay.
then we pressed some of the objects into the clay to make textured discs. like little thumbprints from mother nature.
granted, scupley is not my most favorite clay to use with kids, as it can be toxic while baking. so, i made sure to do that part after N was asleep on the other end of the house with kitchen windows open and her door closed. (next time, i may try my trusty model magic and see if that works…)
after the discs were baked, i put them onto a pretty plate that we often keep on our nature table or altar.
i wrote with a brown sharpie on the backs of them what the object was, the city, and the date. N is enjoying examining them and guessing what made the print. they’re a good size for her to carry around and be proud of, too. it’d be nice to poke a hole in the top of some (or all) of the discs with a straw before baking to make pendants or ornaments out of them, too. i enjoy the white of them, but they may also be nice if painted (a light watercolor wash, perhaps) or glazed.
i loved doing this activity – mostly the walking, talking, and paying attention to so many intimate details. seeing the world through N’s big, new eyes always keeps things fresh for me. i’d love to repeat this activity in different places, like on a beach vacation, almost like a 3-d photo album from a trip, without the photos.