Thursday, March 12, 2009

Baking Crayons

Before we proceed, we'll need to clear something up. How do you'ns pronounce "crayons"? It might seem like a moot point, but apparently, around these parts, it is not.

Case in point:
Me: Honey, when you were a little boy, what did you use to color with?
Cory: Crans.
Me: As in, cranberries?
Cory: No, crans. Like... crans!
Me: Uh-uh.

Case in point numero dos:
Me: Keish, when you were a little girl, what did you use to color in my coloring books with?
Keisha: Crowns.
Me: As in, the Queen of England?
Keisha: No, crowns. Crowwwns. Right? Crowns!
Me: Nope.

Call me old school, but I prefer the two-syllable pronunciation. Cray-ons. It's phonics, people!

Onward.

I found the best craft idea from "Whatever", a blog that is near and dear to my heart. This craft just spoke to me, for some reason. I decided that Calvin's upcoming birthday was the perfect reason to try it. I had the epiphany that I might as well start early, while it was cold and grey and I was spending countless evenings decaying on the couch. It's a good thing I started early, because it ended up being quite a task. A fun one, but a task all the same.

First, I went to Walgreens and bought the gigantic box of cray-ons that has the built-in sharpener. It harkened me right back to being a 7 year old and yearning for such a box, although I was also partial to K-Mart brand cray-ons, because they rendered a darker, waxier color.

So beautiful! It tore me up inside to think about what I was about to do to them. It just felt wrong.

But I overcame, and began stripping them down. I swear to you, I ended up with a battle wound from peeling so many cray-ons. I cut my thumb under the edge of my fingernail. Yeow.

Oooh, naked cray-ons. So much prettier without those Pale Gail wrappers. Is that Carnation Pink I spy?

Now, I have no pictures of this next and most important step. But here's what I did: I broke these bad boys up, put them in ABC sillicon molds, then baked them until they melted at 300 degrees.

I let them harden for an hour or two then I started peeling/popping them out of the molds. So fun! Until I got to M. And N. And S. And K. Some letters were just not designed to be melted into molds and then popped out in one piece. The problem was, I planned to make a set of these for each of Calvin's class mates, spelling his/her name. And there is a Macy and a Markuz. And a JerraN. And an Aaron. And Saige. And Sophie. You get my drift. The most popular letters were also the most impossible to forge.

At the same time, it seemed silly to scrap the whole plan. I was bound and determined to make a stinking M! I even consulted Meg over at Whatever. She said she had the same problem, although she was probably just trying to make me feel better.

I labored on. I think I finally did get a solid M and one, lone S.

For the others, I called in my favorite handy man, and he welded them back together for me. My motto is always that imperfections add character, so why the heck not? Plus, hello, they are 3 and 4 year olds.

Finally, it was time to pack them up.

The girls got lavender ribbons. This looks like...Sophie. Hi! Ha.

The boys got green. Kaiden, is that you? I took these pics at midnight, the night before the party. So, no natural light and lots of glare, instead.

This artsy shot is courtesy of Cory and his new monstrous, fancy camera.

The party was a success, though the teachers seemed more excited about the cray-ons than the kids. They are probably all lost or broken up by now. Or their little sisters have stolen them. But it was a fun project and it gave purpose to roughly 158 hours of my cold, Winter nights.