Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holiday Snowmen Gifts

Last summer when I was teaching arts & crafts for the summer camp kids at Wheeler Farm, one week's activities focused on holidays. One of those holidays was Christmas of course, and this was the craft project we made. We'd had over 70 empty (and cleaned) liquid Coffeemate jugs donated, so we made snowmen.

I borrowed that idea for my Holiday gifts for the neighbors this year. We all (well, about a half dozen of us) exchange family gifts every year. First I cleaned the bottles thoroughly. Luckily, I've saved plenty of these all fall, because when I tried to boil the first batch (to sterilize them), they shrunk up. Oops - wrong kind of plastic for sterilizing!!! . Live and learn. So instead, I washed another batch thoroughly in very hot water and dishwashing liquid and let them dry.


The "scarves" are green wool (torn), the buttons are hot-glued on, and the faces are done with magic marker. Yes, I could've gotten fancier - vests, hat decorations, a pipe cleaner nose, even arms. But frankly this was fairly last-minute and I was "Christmas'ed out". They were filled with Stephen's Hot Cocoa Mix, and the hangtags I tied on with a silver cord gave the recipients mixing directions along with Christmas wishes.

Speaking of Wheeler Farm, I'm going over there tomorrow (we're officially off for New Year's, but this is a priority) because we had an electrical short and smoke in the furnace in the Ice House (the building where we held summer camp). The fire sprinklers came on and soaked much of the stored antique collection of the Farm in 18" of water (which was in a special storage area in the basement). Many things have been damaged beyond repair, but many of the waterlogged items are fabric - clothing, linens, dolls. I even found a soaking wet cigar box of buttons this afternoon. Yikes! We're trying to get everything sorted out and dried. Next week we hope to get a conservator in to help us with cleaning where possible. Don't want to proceed too far without an expert to guide us.
However, Salt Lake County (who owns and operates the Farm) is self-insured, so with budget cuts and hiring freezes, we're not too hopeful about professional assistance. Then we'll begin the task of inventorying everything. January and February are usually deep-cleaning months for the historic farmhouse and other indoor displays, so we've got a window to work within before we have to turn our attention back to public tours, etc.

In the meantime, I've got to go through all the summer camp arts & crafts supplies (which includes lots of contemporary fabric for costumes and dress-up as well as sewing supplies) to see what is garbage and what can be salvaged. We're trying to get everything done before it begins to mold..

1 comments :

LouAnne said...

Hey! I love those snowmen! Guess what I'll be saving this year....? Stephens cocoa mix? I'm sure I have a recipe around here for a dry cocoa mix, but you said that like we all should know what Stephen's was....? curious in CA aka LouAnne