For a bit of “slice of life” we spotted local resident Mrs. Jennifer Janis both getting some housework done and enjoying some warm weather by doing her laundry outdoors.
“It is definitely not my favorite chore, but I am so glad to finally get some sunshine and fresh air.” she said. “I’m sure we will have several more cold days, but today definitely had the promise of spring!”
Mrs. Janis was happy to show us her old-fashioned wash tub and wash board. “I know there are more modern ways to clean clothes,” she said. “But some things really need a good scrubbing by paw and serious elbow grease.”
I definitely ran out of time for this round of 2018: Year of Creative Crafting! The theme this time was “Gold, Silver, and Bronze: Since the Winter Olympics are going on now let’s get inspired by the gold, silver, and bronze medals (and metals.) This challenge is all about metal materials and metallic colors. Don’t feel limited to the three metals listed above – copper, rose gold, aluminum, and more are welcome, as are metallic paints of any color. Even metallic glitter counts! Your project doesn’t have to be entirely metal or metallic, but it should have at least one metal or metallic element”
I procrastinated so much on this one…my excuse is that I was watching the aforementioned Olympic Games! I suddenly realized this past weekend that I had no project to share and no “brilliant” ideas. But I had to make something!
Luckily, several weeks back I had grabbed a two clean 2 oz. condiment cups from a restaurant with the idea that they could be transformed into something for my village. With the deadline in my mind, I decided to give one of the cups a couple of coats of silver nail polish I had on-hand. Yes, I know the Scrubby Dubby challenge already passed…but it was metallic and fit the challenge.
But still, I wasn’t satisfied. No challenge project has to be large or over-the-top, but I just didn’t feel that I had authentically challenged myself with this craft. So I decided to make a complimentary item, also featuring the metallic theme.
To go along with the wash tub, I made a miniature wash board. It is made out of balsa wood and a little bit of silver foil paper. I made this on Monday (yesterday) and it didn’t take terribly long from conceptualization to completed item.
Because I love to “talk” here is a bit about my process:
- I think of an idea – in this case, making a washboard. It will challenge me to make one and it will include a metallic element.
- I look up pictures of the item I want to make. Typically a google image search is adequate.
- I sketch the project on graph paper. I use paper with markings every 1/4-inch and draw it to scale based on the materials I plan to use. I have a small collection of balsa and bass wood of various sizes so I try to choose which pieces I will use at this point, so the scale is correct. I also like to grab a critter and hold it up to the scale drawing just to make sure I’m not making my item too big or too small.
- Using the scale drawing, I cut the wood pieces. I use a metal ruler, a self-healing cutting mat, and an exacto blade to do most of my cutting. Cutting errors are not uncommon for me! When working small scale, even 1/16th or 1/32 of an inch can make a huge difference. So while I am cutting, I am constantly “dry fitting” my pieces to make sure they are correct. The one positive in working in such a small scale is that if you mess it up at this point, just cut a new piece, and you’re only throwing away about an inch of the material…or you can save it for a future project.
- Work on the non-wood portions of the project. In this case, the “metal” scrub surface. This took some time to get right. My first inclination was to use some aluminum foil and give it pleats by scoring and folding it. I tried this technique but wasn’t pleased with how it looked. It was too flat and didn’t look right. Then I remembered I have a “paper crimper” (that I’ve never really used before.) First, I tried crimping some of the aluminum foil, and though it looked good, the foil was too soft and malleable – it distorted with even gentle handling and would be a bear to get glued down. Finally, I thought of using some paper-backed silver foil I had. I used the crimper on it – and it was perfect!
- Glue everything together. Glue the foil to the wooden base. Glue the washboard together. I really like to use Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue. It is super thick coming out of the bottle (I have to squeeze so hard!) but it really does stick quickly.
And that was my process for making the washboard. I really love how the washboard came out and that it added another metallic element for the challenge. The washboard took about an hour and a half or so, and that is including the conceptualizing, all the trial-and-error, and needing to re-cut some of the pieces. I’m so glad I challenged myself a bit more beyond the wash tub, because the washboard is one of my favorite things I’ve made!