Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Wonder of Lumber

I must begin again with a confession. I have an obsession with boxes. It isn't logical, it isn't something I can explain, but there is something unforeseen about an empty box. One can wrap gifts in a box, one can organize small objects in open boxes, one can use a box for storage. When I married and moved from my parents' home, I found no fewer than 37 boxes beneath the bed, behind the dresser, in the back of the closet and in other obscure locations. I packed in some of them and recycled others and, I hate to admit it, but I may have moved a few of those boxes. It is something I have to keep in check.

In a recent inventory, I realized I may once again have fallen into this habit. One of my drawers is as full of discarded soap boxes as it is articles of intimate apparel. (The good news is that once they were wrapped in yellow cellophane they became gold bricks and had not been stored in vain.) In the basement I have a cupboard of boxes that used to house checks and slides (remember slides? It was like a PowerPoint before the computer became so readily available and widely used.)

And I am afraid that this obsession, for can I call it anything other than that, has spilled over into other areas. I believe one of the psychologists studied in my college Psychology class had a name for it, where a concept or a fear spills over into like objects as well as clinging to the original object. It's like over extension, but that isn't the word.

I have developed a love of cubes, wood cubes to be exact. There are so many purposes for them that I find it difficult to toss them into the burn pile for future camping trips.

With a cube (commonly called a 4x4 but actually measures 3.5x3.5ish) one can create centerpieces. I used some for my sister's baby shower. It was themed on Winnie the Pooh and as such had small figurines of Pooh characters glued on the top center.

The blocks, scrap parts of 2x4's also have a vast numeration of applications. Some have been painted to use as bases for the cheap scarecrow picks. I liked that project because all of my children ages 2 and up could participate. There is a good chance I went back and did a few touch ups on the block painted by the two year old, but he wasn't left out.

Then I like them because they can become freestanding decorations. I bought stamps for $1.00 at a local craft store and then imprinted them on card stock, which was colored in colored pencil and permanent marker, and then affixed with mod- podge onto craft paper and onto the block. Actually it was the opposite order. I painted the blocks and allowed the craft paint to dry. Then I used the mod-podge to adhere the craft paper onto the block (2.5x2.5 squares). Lastly, the colored, stamped pieces were fastened in a like manner. It was inexpensive, but easy enough that I could do it with a group of 2nd grade students and have them be successful.

In my house there is a ledge between the kitchen and living room. The blocks sit there. Having stamped them as I did, it made them one sided so that the view from the kitchen was colorful, but not season appropriate.

So this year I added lettering, created in a similar fashion except I drew the letters rather than stamped them, and I used glitter mod-podge rather than a matte finish. (Do you see how it says Halloween? I tried taking a picture of all the letters together so a reader could jump to that connection, but it was difficult to see the letters.) I realize there isn't two A's in Halloween and that I pictured the candy corn "A" twice, but that is because I snapped it in two pictures; make the leap.

I made a set of Elves for my brother and sister-in-law using Christmas stamps, Christmas colors, and wrapping paper scraps.

Lastly, created in the same way, I made the candlesticks. While I wouldn't recommend wood as an appropriate medium for candle holders, I don't intend to light the tapers and therefore the flammability issue is a non-issue.

1 comment:

  1. Ask Geoff how to add a "pin it" button so I can continue to be lazy and pin awesome ideas like this from my phone. Love these!