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Colorful creations bring spring indoors

February 15, 2010

by Jenni Sebora

Although we are in the midst of a major winter wonderland, I am mentally ready for spring. I have been browsing through the seed catalogs, looking for some new flower or vegetable seeds I can try out this year.

I have been daydreaming of the sun on my face, clad in just a spring jacket, ready for a spring run outside instead of on a tedious treadmill.

Let’s think spring. Although I enjoy winter, spring is my favorite season. I love the rebirth of the season – the budding of the leaves, the colors of the flowers and all of the creatures making their way out of their winter getaways.

Since our outdoor canvas is covered in white, white, and more white, we will have to create some spring signatures indoors with our hands. As beautiful as a winter scene is, spring’s palette of colors is a wonderful welcome.

Create a colorful butterfly out of a coffee filter, pipe cleaners, watercolor paints or markers, water and a paint brush.

Place the filter on a paper towel or some newspaper to soak up the water. Paint the filter using the watercolor paints and water, or you can color the filter with markers and brush over with paint. The colors will bleed and form the same effect as watercolor paints.

Fold the filter accordion- style. Fold the pipe cleaner in half. Put the coffee filter into the bent end of the pipe cleaner. Twist the pipe cleaner around the filter. Bend the pipe cleaner tips over to create the antennae. Fan out the wings. Place a piece of magnetic tape to the back, and you have a wonderful butterfly magnet to adorn the refrigerator.

Use a coffee filter, painted or white, to create a parachute. Cut a figure of a person from a magazine or catalog. Punch two holes on opposite sides of the filter and put ribbon through the holes. Tie knots to hold in place. Tape the other ends of the ribbons to your paper person. Hold it up high and release it. Watch your parachutist float downward.

For more color, try some homemade finger paints. A recipe includes: two cups of cold water, three teaspoons of sugar, one-half cup of cornstarch, one tablespoon light corn syrup and food coloring and some smaller containers.

Stir the water, sugar and cornstarch in a small pan. Stir or whisk over low heat for five minutes, until the mixture is thick and clear. Then, stir in the corn syrup. Pour the paint mixture into small containers with lids. Add some drops of food coloring to each container and shake until it is well mixed. (Source: “Parenting,” March, 2005. Paint a spring scene).

Instead of your fingers or a paint brush, use a pencil eraser to make a dotted spring picture, creatures, flowers, etc.

The week of Feb. 15 is Random Acts of Kindness week. Help out a neighbor, a friend, a coworker, a family member, or maybe even a stranger. Say hello and smile at everyone you meet. It is amazing what that can do for someone’s morale. While driving, wave at the cars passing by.