Crafty Mom

I have a secret. I’m a little bit jealous of all the crafty mamas out there who seem to spend their off time knitting, crocheting, and painting masterworks from water and freshly ground flower petals that were picked by the light of a full moon, while dancing in the dew on the seventh day of the Local Produce Harvest Festival. These same women, not only seem to come up with amazingly creative ways to spend their own time, but they also often come up with great crafts and activities for their kids.

I know I sound a little sarcastic here, but I really do feel little pangs of guilt from time to time that I don’t create an entire Care Bear world out of bits from the recycling bin, or think of turning piles of shaving cream into colourful, foamy outdoor fun, or introduce my kids to the wild world of non-Newtonian Liquids (aka Flubber).

I would like to look at the world as a playground for crafts, but I don’t. So I quite surprised myself today when the kids came home from the park toting a few million (or five) large pine cones, and I chirped, “Let’s make birdfeeders!”.

My husband’s looked at me strangely and said, “Really? Um…”.

But there was no stopping me. I plopped the kids down in front of plates of peanut butter and bird seed and told them to go to town.

Once the kids stopped eating the peanut butter, they proceeded to smear it on the chairs, and the walls, and themselves…and only then did they cover the pine cones too. After rolling the peanut butter coated cones in bird seed, we hung them up on the one tiny tree that we have left in the back yard.

Pine Cone Bird Feeder

Of course, we live on a slough. A slough that is a haven for rats. I know this because I see the rats swimming from one side of the slough to the other on calm summer nights. Awwww. Such good little swimmers, those disgusting plague carrying rodents. Leaving a source of food for them hanging from a low-lying branch probably isn’t the smartest thing we could do.

Bird Feeder

But, I’m choosing to ignore that for now. This is my crafty mom moment in the sun.

Blue Steel


  1. Becca-Lou says

    Oh you do make me chuckle!!!

    I know exactly what you mean (although I am a little crafty and also a Mummy) there seem to be a raft of over achievers out there who manage it all whilst I am just about managing to keep everyone in clean clothes and have a little food in the fridge.

    I, however, have a different group of bloggers I envy….the Mummy who is able to write eloquently and comically about their fun days at home, with the kids or just about general life. This is something I have tried and abandoned, its just not something I can do.

    I guess we all have our strengths and weaknesses

  2. Nicole says

    I so wish I hadn’t clicked on that link about the care bear world. I feel very inadequate. Have you ever seen the website Rhythm of the Home? It inspires great jealously for me. I am so not crafty. But peanut butter pine cones? I could possibly get behind that. Although I’m pretty sure the massive squirrel population would take off with them.

    • Marilyn says

      I hadn’t heard of it, but I just checked it out. That’s pretty much what I wish I was doing, but totally don’t. The thing is, unless I am reading a blog, it doesn’t usually occur to me to do crafts with the kids. Then I read these blogs and feel as though I should be doing it all the time with them. You have squirrels, we have rats. Same thing really, just one has a cuter tail.


  3. allison says

    Excuse me? Aren’t you the woman who CROCHETS PUMPKINS? Do I have to smack you?

    I have a peanut butter issue. I like eating it, but smelling it or seeing it smeared anywhere when I’m not eating it makes me gag. I could never ever let my kids do a craft that involved peanut butter.

    • Marilyn says

      :D Yes, I may have crocheted a pumpkin (and a cupcake), but I find my crafty nature stops with me. It doesn’t usually occur to me to do crafts with the kids. If you feel like smacking me, please avoid the sunburn on my back, it’s still ouchy.

      PS. If you have a peanut butter issue, you couldn’t live with my kids. They’re pretty much coated in it 24/7.


  4. Amy Brown says

    I think I saw this on tv and I thought I could craft that.. but of course that would mean making a mess so I decided against it. Maybe I could try it on the weekend in my sister’s back yard!

    • Marilyn says

      I usually avoid crafts just because they’re so messy. But this one wasn’t too bad…the trick was containing the peanut butter. :)


  5. Loukia says

    Yay for your crafty mom moment! I have very few of those crafty mom moments. I am NO Martha. And I very envious of all the crafty moms out there!

  6. C @ Kid Things says

    I feel like a horrible mom, because if there’s any way it can make a mess in any way whatsoever, I steer clear. I probably would have just put the pinecones in a bowl or something. Your idea is much better. Even if it does attract rats. More wildlife to enjoy!

    • Marilyn says

      I’m very mess averse. I think that’s my biggest thing keeping me from doing lots of activities with the kids. Sometimes I can force myself to get over that.


  7. Kristin @ Intrepid Murmurings says

    Oh, don’t you worry, 90% of the time we are pretty boring around here (glad you liked the shaving cream though)! I am in awe of those who maintain an awesome blog day in and day out!!! I find it very hard to find a way to to be both crafty/organized, blog/stay in touch online, and keep any sort of sanity on the home front. It’s a daily struggle to balance and try to find time for each. Right now, sanity on the home front is drastically losing and it’s really not pretty…

    • Marilyn says

      Well, you have one more kid on me, so that’s takes up at least 20x more of your time (the math is right…or so I’ve been told). :) If I see shaving cream super cheap, I’m going to try your activity.


    • Marilyn says

      I think I’d prefer squirrels over rats…although I suppose they’re almost the same things with fuzzier tails.


  8. harriet says

    I’m a big time crafter wannabee. But I lack patience. I finally abandoned the baby blanket I was knitting for Theo. I had a brief flirtation with embroudery, which I’d like to get back to.

    LOVE the new web design!

    • Marilyn says

      I started a baby blanket when I was expecting K. Continued with for Em. Gave it up about 6 months ago. Ain’t never going to happen. I have accepted that when it comes to knitting blankets, I need to use the big honking size 50 needles. I knit too slowly.


  9. Amber says

    I like to knit and sew, but I totally can’t do it WITH my kids. Craft projects WITH my kids nearly always end in tears.

    And also? We’ve found two dead rats in our yard in the past year. So. Gross. I don’t even live on a slough, so I’m not sure what gives, but ew.