Category Archives: crafting

Let it Snow, Man – – –

Jack misses the mark again so the Wednesday post is a day late –

As we approach Christmas we’ve had a small production line going making miniature snowmen out of empty cans. We used canned pet food so to avoid landfill filling we try to reuse the cans for household purposes: plants we give away, small holders, etc. This year, it’s snowmen.

Wendy washes and strips the labels off the dog and cat food cans then she paints them white. I glue two or three together and use a cotton bud to dab the black paint for eyes, mouth and buttons. I cut a triangle of orange card and glue that on for the carrot nose. Wendy paints small cat food pots black and stacks them three high on a yogurt tub lid, and voila there is magic in those old tin cans we found: these become the hats. Finally, she crochets a wee scarf for the snowpeople and bands for the hats to provide the finishing touch.

Wendy says it is about recycling the cans. I say it’s a seasonal version of our tactic to keep ourselves busy and occupied during the pandemic so we don’t go completely loopy.

Once the first dozen or so were made they went out onto our front steps to the sidewalk with an invitation for passersby to help themselves to one or two. The first to take one was the Fedex guy, and we were glad he got something out of working on a Sunday. He was quickly followed by our regular neighborhood dog walkers and exercisers. We do get a kick out of one older gentleman in a dayglow orange hoodie who has never seemed to notice them. Even walkers who don’t take one tend to point and smile. His hood may be providing tunnel vision, or he could be a direct descendant of Scrooge, or perhaps he’s an art teacher and is evaluating our fumbling attempts. We don’t judge his judgment.

It truly just started as a way of using up the cans, which were beginning to take over the house. Wendy and I don’t often put up a tree, so we thought we’d make a few persons of snow for decorations in the house. Then Wendy hit on the idea of giving them away in a socially distanced way, and the production line was born. About a dozen have been given out, with a dozen left to go. If I have my way, that will be quite enough. However, I suspect….

Even when someone doesn’t take one they still smile when they see them so the spirit of Christmas is alive in a cheerful way.

Oh – and the first day they were out, it snowed – – – Wendy is convinced it was the snowmen magic. Who knows; she could be right.


Filed under between books, crafting, folklore and ethnography, humor, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch

Tin Can Ally

When the pandemic started, recycling was the least of our concerns. But we hated throwing away the plastic bottles and tin cans we’d been accustomed to sorting at the dump, so I started piling them up. If you have a decent funnel, bottles can be quite handy for storing all sorts of leftovers–especially if you aren’t going to the store to pick up Tupperware anymore.

But the cans? They became planters for tomato seeds to give away, holders of cooking grease, even tart burners on coffee warmers. And still they piled up. We have a dog and four cats, after all.

I began cruising Pinterest, which always makes Jack nervous. It’s not that he dislikes me picking up new hobbies; he doesn’t so much enjoy the part where “I just need you to poke the holes for me” and such. But he gamely welcomed my latest diversion: tin can snowmen.

It’s a 2020 thing.

Production began last night. We plan to make a few dozen of these and line the front walk with them, give some away to neighbors, just generally enjoy getting rid of the cans in a fun and fashionable way.

The funny part is, I figured this craft would be almost free, since we had the cans. All I had to buy was the paint. Over the summer when I got a supply online, it was relatively inexpensive, but schools have been out awhile now, and I suspect those with means to do so will thrown any amount of money at water-washable crafts that keep the kids quiet. So, the paint prices had tripled.

When I said as much to Jack, he waved a hand. “If it keeps you occupied, dear, I’m all for it.”

Hmmm. I don’t feel so bad about asking him to punch the holes for the arms now. Actually, he’s painting the faces because he has a steadier hand than me. And I’m doing the base coats, and the hats. We have become Tin Can Allies. The couple that recycles weird trash into cute Christmas ornaments during a pandemic, stays together.

If you want a pattern, just google Tin Can Snowmen. There are hundreds of ways to make these little guys. Have fun! (And buy your paint now. It’s still going up.)

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Filed under blue funks, crafting, small town USA, Uncategorized, Wendy Welch