Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Is Here!

A few days ago I wrote a post about needing some ideas for "nutritious" Valentine's Day treat ideas.
A couple of things that I mentioned were sending clementines to school with the kids or not sending anything edible and just sending heart shaped crayons that we melted and molded with our heart shaped candy mold.

Those were just a couple of the ideas I mentioned.  Those are the ideas I went with.
And it was quite the adventure, let me tell ya.

To start off with.  I came across this post on another blog page.
Now, I don't have a silicone baking sheet with heart shapes and even if I did I know that I wouldn't have enough old crayons to make those big hearts.  Using my candy mold is seeming like the best alternative, but I needed to research ways to melt the crayons.  I considered doing it in the microwave, in lieu of using the conventional oven with an oven safe silicone baking pan.  However, the reviews I found on that method weren't promising.  I kept reading comments about people using a double boiler to melt their wax.  I decided to go that route.

So the first thing I did was get Kai to help me gather all the broken or restaurant crayons in the house.  (Delsin started running a fever right around the time we were getting started, so I gave him some fever reducer and put him to bed.)

Then we removed the paper.  The best way to get that off is by scoring it and then it easily peels off.

Next we broke them into small pieces (like snapping green beans) and sorted them by color.

And then, because I don't have a double boiler, we placed those little glass bowls of crayons into pots of water, on the stove, and turned on the heat.
So far, so good, right?  Yeah, things are going well.

Oh yeah..... I had the heat turned up too high and for too long.  The water boiled over the edges of nearly every little bowl of crayon wax, thus I had really watery wax.  
It took me many hours of carefully pouring that watery mess into the molds and letting it cool in small doses, then getting the wax out and pouring the water out to get a good quality of wax again.  In many cases the wax and water were too intermingled and I was left with watery wax.  I had several hearts that didn't come out smooth, instead came out mushy on top.  Because we alternated layers of colored wax.  So the red layers were mushy and the green layers were solid. 

Up to this point here was the best crayon we had.  And it was pretty descent.

Then, as if things couldn't get worse.....(dun - dun - da!)  The dreaded explosive diaper monster came wondering through the kitchen screaming for some relief.  I don't need to get into the specifics, you've probably almost all been there once or twice.  It had to be dealt with quickly, only it wasn't going to be rectified quickly.  My attention was diverted and one of the pots boiled dry.  
That's right.  One of the pots that had wax overflow mixed into the water.

I came back from diaper drama to find that my favorite dutch oven was scorching with no water.  I quickly grabbed the pot off of the stove and kind of held it in the air for a minute before deciding that I should probably just set it down in the sink.  Forgetting that one of my plastic candy molds was in the sink too.  I sat it down right on top of that candy mold.  Melting the poor thing.  But that wasn't the worst part.  As soon as I sat it down it burst into flame.  The wax had actually caught on fire.  Using my quick thinking I thought how awesome that I had sat it in the sink and how quickly this fire would be put out as I turned on the water.  Boy was I wrong.  The fire got darted back and then flared up bigger than before.  I turned that water off as quickly as I could and cringed back as if to try to get away from angering the monster any more.  My mind was frozen for a second and I was too afraid to turn my back to grab open the drawer and get the top to cap it off.  I was afraid it'd get bigger and I wouldn't be able to stop it, so for some reason I just got every flammable thing away from the sink as quickly as I could.  The fire was actually dieing out pretty fast too.  Within seconds that seemed like an eternity, it was all over.

Still with me?  Either you are intrigued or have already gotten bored with this story.

Disappointed but not defeated, my momma didn't raise no quitter.  
I decided to press on.  I still have two good pots and several scraps of wax that can be remelted and reused.
I started scraping every last drop of crayon together, melting, and molding.

Finally, I have 61 heart shaped crayons.  Some of them look weird because the tops of the hearts are mushy, but as they dry it gives them "character".
(Ha, "character", yeah right!  That's what my husband says every time a project goes terribly wrong and I have to change my design.  Let me tell ya, I've had enough "character" in my projects this week.  Just wait till I finally finish and blog about my final Project Run and Play entry.)

Overall I think they turned out pretty good.  Some of them look black, but they are just a really dark purplish color and looked pretty good when we glued them to the cards last night.

End of day 1 of the Valentine's card making saga:
I made it out alive with my sense of humor in tact and only a little bit of crayon on my face.  
That's a good day.

So our next step involved making the cards.
In the original blog that inspired me to go ahead with my heart shaped crayon idea she had cut out hearts from card stock and glued her crayons on with glue dots.
I knew that we don't have a fancy heart cutter, but going through my old scrap booking drawer I found a lot of square and rectangular pieces of card stock.  Perfect!
So we got out the heart shaped cookie cutters and started tracing hearts onto the card stock.  I also found an edger that made lacy heart edging onto the edges of the paper.  This came in real handy.
Kai did most of the helping.  (Delsin is still sick in the bed.  In fact, Daniel had to take him to the Dr. office where they took him to the hospital for his 106 degree fever for tests.  We should find out more today when he takes him back to the Dr. at 4pm.)  When Delsin got back home he felt good enough to help out with a few Valentine's cards.  I know that made him feel good because it was his idea to make our own anyway.  He's so crafty.

I didn't take pictures of the process, but I did take pictures at the end.  

I realized during the photo process and more this morning that some of Delsin's cards got mixed up with Kai's (Carolina!) and we made too many for Delsin thinking we needed more when actually we needed more for Kai.  So we got a little creative with markers and stickers to rectify the situation.

Here is a link to the snapfish album with close ups of each card.

I was up till 12:30 putting heart stickers on Cuties.  
Kai took this one to school with her.

Now we have a basket full here at home, because Delsin was still in no shape to go to school this morning.

But it's nice.  I may actually clean this mess up now and put up some Valentine's Day decorations.