Month: November 2016

Around Town: Icy Fun

High up in the mountains, winter has already arrived with snow blanketing the landscape. We are so lucky in Crabapple Crossings to have a winter wonderland within easy travelling distance. The youngsters especially enjoy the skating rink.


We captured Winifred Whitetail and Fiona Firefox out on the ice.

“I’m learning how to skate backwards,” Miss Firefox explained. “I keep falling on my tail, but I’m having lots of fun.”

“My favorite part of skating is doing spins,” Miss Whitetail said. “I love ice skating.”


When asked if she was cold without her coat, Miss Whitetail explained that got too hot with the vigorous exercise of ice skating. “I put it back on as soon as I’m done! I don’t want to get frostbite!”


After a bit of a hiatus, I am back with this round of Iron Craft. The theme this time was “I is for…” so we were to come up with a project that used the letter I in terms of materials, subject, or technique. Brainstorming “I” projects was a bit of a challenge. I could barely think of anything fun that started with that letter! Finally, I settled on “I for ice rink.”


This project was actually quite simple once I settled on my theme. I started by finding a white styrofoam wreath base and a round craft mirror that was larger than the wreath’s inside diameter, but smaller than it’s outside diameter.

Using a knife, I cut the wreath base in half so that it would sit solidly on the mirror. I then painted the wreath base with some “Snow-Tex” textured paint. It was kind of weird stuff. It has almost a mousse-like texture. And because the styrofoam is quite slick, it was a bit difficult to get the textural portion of it to adhere. It took a bit of coaxing to stick; I found that a sort-of “scrape and dab” motion worked best. I let it dry for a good 24 hours, just to be safe, and it is really nice and solid – not crumbly to touch.

A lot of Christmas villages use a simple mirror to simulate a frozen lake, but I think that looks too reflective. So while the snow effect paint was drying, I traced the mirror onto a clear plastic window sheet and cut it out. I then used the finest paper on a sanding block to rough up the window sheet. I sanded all over with circular motions. This gives it a cloudy look and obscures the mirror surface a bit while still allowing some reflection. 

Once the wreath base was dry, I used a low temperature hot glue gun to adhere the window sheet to the bottom. Since the mirror was a bit on the expensive side, I decided to not permanently alter it; so the “ice and snow unit” simply sits on top of it. A folded up white towel borrowed from my bathroom and some cloud-printed bulletin board paper completed my wintery scene.

It was fun getting back into a bit of crafting after my break. And I love the effect of the window sheet over the mirror – it’s just the right combination of cloudy and reflective for my taste.


Family Introductions: The Doctors Lapin


Doctor Levi is always so sad when he hears that someone is afraid to go to the dentist. So he tries his very hardest to make a visit to his dental office a pleasant experience, because oral health is very important! He is very good at making jokes and keeping his patients very comfortable. His gentle touch and kind encouragement for good dental hygiene have made cavities in Crabapple Crossings nearly non-existent. When not working in his office, he enjoys playing on the town’s softball team, reading detective stories, and cooking.

Doctor Lucy is Crabapple Crossings’ town doctor. She is very adept at fixing any malady that comes through the medical office door; from sore throats to broken bones she can treat it all. As the only medical doctor in town, she is always “on-call” and quick out the door for late night house calls. When not tending to the various injuries and ailments of the townspeople, she enjoys knitting, amateur astronomy, and singing.

Family Introductions: The Cuddle-Bear Family


Father Carl is perhaps Crabapple Crossings’ most engaged citizen – he is the mayor. Of course in such a small village, mayor-ing is not a full-time job. So he is probably mostly known around town as teacher of the older students at the school. He loves getting to know each student’s strengths and weaknesses and encouraging him or her to be the best scholar possible. He teaches all subjects, but math is probably his favorite, because he loves watching a child’s face light up when they master a difficult mathematical concept. When not busy with teaching, caring for his children, and his mayoral duties, he enjoys beekeeping, barbequing, and fishing.

Mother Connie is almost always the first to know about current events because she owns the town’s newsstand. She gets up bright and early every day to collect the newspapers and magazines that are delivered by the earliest train. She also is the editor and publisher of the Crabapple Crossings Chronicle, which keeps all the townspeople informed of current events and activities around town. She is always soliciting stories and pictures from anyone who wishes to contribute. When not running her businesses and caring for her children, she enjoys playing croquet, dancing, and drinking tea.

Oldest brother Caleb is very focused on his schoolwork, always looking for a quiet place to study. With so many younger brothers and sisters, he often hides out at the Crabapple Crossings public library. It is much quieter than anywhere in his house. When not doing his very best in school, he enjoys doing origami, flying kites, and participating in plays with the community theater.

Sister Colleen is the twin of Caroline. She is very nurturing and loves to take care of her brothers and sisters, especially baby Calvin. She is always planning fun activities such as games and crafts for the other children. She is almost always available to babysit youngsters around town, and sometimes helps out at the nursery school for extra pocket money. In her free time, she enjoys jigsaw puzzles, rollerskating, and decorating for holidays.

Sister Caroline is the twin of Colleen. She loves the outdoors and is often found climbing trees or building forts. Her father wishes she were more focused on her schoolwork than running around outside, but she would much rather go for a bike ride than do her homework. She loves joining her dad on his fishing trips, playing horseshoes, and eating ice cream cones.

Middle brother Colin is a shy boy, spending much of his time to himself. Sometimes he tags along with his older brother Caleb to the library. He loves reading fantasy stories, and is working on writing his own. He spends a lot of time thinking about his fictional kingdom, and his side of the bedroom is covered in maps and drawings he’s made of it. He also enjoys playing games with his friends, creating scavenger hunts, and trainspotting.

Youngest brother Calvin is doted upon by all of his older siblings. He loves getting lots of attention, so can be a bit silly and very loud. He loves going to the park to play, especially when an older brother or sister pushes him on the swings. His favorite activity is feeding the ducks in the park and his favorite food is milk with honey.