Squirrel Projects

I'm finding myself with a lot of craft opportunities of late. Through church, where I'm helping to plan Vacation Bible School (VBS), and my daughter's Girl Scout troop, I'm entertaining kids with scissors and paper and glue. And each project has to be somewhat unique. There are no points for copying the school art teacher's lesson plans, even though her paper chameleons are pretty awesome.

So my house is turning into a sea of craft supplies and prototype VBS projects and piles of Girl Scout journey ideas. I've convinced myself that I'm a normal mom even when some of my crafty tendencies start to become slightly suspicious, like the toilet paper tubes.

Toilet paper tubes are a crafting goldmine: glittery poinsettias, finger puppets, banjos, shouting tubes. The possibilities are limitless. Last Halloween, I got caught without an ample supply of TP tubes. I ended up hot gluing manila file folders to replicate that which holds Charmin sheets in a handy roll. Apparently, something snapped inside me and I've never been able to toss the tube since.

I'm saving masses of these things with nary a craft project to use them.

My husband coined the phrase "squirrel project" when he observed me refilling old milk jugs with water for a Girl Scout meeting.

"What kind of squirrel project do you have going on there?" he asked one night.

I had about five gallons of water stowed in the foot well of my kitchen desk at the time. I explained that I was saving the water to have the girls do a water carrying relay race at the next meeting.

He gave me his very special, very disappointed look.

At the meeting, it occurred to me that milk jugs would spill everywhere if the girls dropped them. I ended up having them try to carry two jugs a short distance while I followed closely.

"This is easy!" they said.
"Well, it wouldn't be fun if you lived in a third world country and it's all you did all day," I said. I'm a very good Girl Scout leader, you can tell.

So then the water jugs were done, most untouched, and now they're squirreled away in our garage. This spring I'll water the plants with them and recycle the jugs. Then the squirrel project will be complete.

But there are more, many more. I'm saving the little ends of bar soap because I'm thinking someday Julia and I will chop them up and make decorative bars of new soap. I'm saving bottle caps because Pinterest made me do it. I save bottles if they're an interesting shape and I can't throw away Cutie crates because they seem like they're begging for some new purpose.

St. Patrick's Day brought out a unprecedented rash of nutty crafting when I spent several hours constructing Leprechaun donuts. For the whole Girl Scout troop. I remember a seemingly quite rational thought process wherein I decided that if I was going to make one box, I might as well make twenty boxes.

And I did.

I made twenty boxes of Leprechaun sized donuts out of Cheerios.

The thing is, I would do it again. Those donuts and their little boxes with authentic windows in the lids are the cutest things ever. It was an easy way to illustrate to the other Girl Scout moms that I'm a little off. I took two extras to the VBS meeting so word can work it's way around church too.

They're all laughing now, but someday they're going to need a chip of soap or 67 toilet paper tubes. Then it will be my turn. To give them some of my toilet paper tubes.

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