17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A Review of My First "Scribble Art" Project. I Mean Disaster.

Katie's recent post on how to keep your kids busy inspired me to pull out a book I purchased last year called "Scribble Art". I bought it because it was described as being full of open-ended art projects. If you read through the comments on Busy=Happy, you will see that Kage took a look at the book and said it was "a little too open-ended (messy)". I think she totally jinxed me.

I thumbed through the book looking for a good first project. Not too far in, I found this great idea for making "Scribble Cookies". Basically you take old, nasty, broken crayons, peel off what's left of the wrapper and put them into an old mini muffin tin (or one that you bought from Big Lots for $3.00 because it can never be used to make muffins again). You can sort the colors by hue or you can mix colors for crazy rainbow "cookies". Then the muffin tin full of old, nasty crayons goes into a warm oven, the wax melts, the colors swirl, and the old nasty crayons turn into this lovely smooth liquid, which, when cooled, become these super-fun, multi-colored crayon nuggets. They are great for rubbings as well as general coloring fun.

I was so excited for this project! I hate all those yucky crayons in the crayon box. I love brand new crayons with their wrappers intact and their colorname still bright and legible. But thanks in part to Kage's DD, Pukey, who has an obsessive, compulsive habit of picking off crayon wrappers, our box of crayons was a sad collection of "fat crayon" stubs from the early years, a high concentration of the primary colored variety from all the restaurants who give them out with the children's menu and those once beautiful Crayola's that fell at the hand of a 3 year old with OCD :). This project gave the old crayon box a chance to be reborn!

Princess spent about a half an hour peeling off the last of the crayon papers (it gets really hard when the crayons are old!) and she decided which colors would go together in the tin. We anxiously watched them melt in the warm oven and at last it was time to pull them out and cool them down. I carefully (I thought) pulled the tray full of hot, melted wax out of the oven when the very edge of the muffin tin hut the very edge of the top rack of the oven.

The rest happened in slow motion.

I yelled "NOOOOOOOOooooooooooo!" while I watched the tray completely flip upside down sending a spray of wax all over me, Princess, my kitchen and then finally come to rest upside down at the bottom of the oven spilling the remainder of the wax there. "AAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!"

Just to east your mind, wax cools really quickly, so the hot wax that spattered across Princess and I was no longer hot when it reached our skin.

Princess stood motionless, paralyzed by her mother's screams, frozen by the scene (which looked curiously like the scene of a horrible crayon massacre) and I think hoping that this disaster wasn't somehow her fault. I fought the urge to yell at myself for always being so clumsy (which apparently was the right move according to Heather's last post at MMW). I took a deep breath and right then and there decided I would quickly clean up the mess and we would start the project again. I was not going to be defeated (and I would not let Kage be right that open-ended art projects are too messy!). It's like getting back on a horse right after you've been bucked off. You just have to face the fear right then or else you will never gather up enough courage to attempt it again.

The wax came off our bodies rather easily and since most of the crayons were of the washable variety, our clothing came out of the wash looking quite good as well. Mr Clean and his Eraser really did work magic on the tiny splatters all over the floor and cabinets. But, I think the worst thing in the world to clean up has to be melted crayon wax...out of an oven. I scraped, wiped, scraped and wiped. I tore through two whole rolls of paper towels.

Once things were pretty much cleaned up, we started back at the beginning. The saddest part was, we had already used all of the old, nasty crayons. But, so mommy could get back on the horse, we sacraficed a box of brand new Crayola crayons. The wrappers came off so much easier (I actually got a small glimpse of what Pukey enjoys about picking the paper off of new crayons). And they quickly became broken little stubs arranged in the muffin tin again. Back in the warm oven, we gleefully watched the crayons melt one more time. This time, as I pulled them out, I was REALLY careful and Princess stood far back away from me. I guess she learns quickly. I placed them on the counter successfully, avoiding another kitchen crayon massacre. Huge sigh of relief. I felt good. Project Accomplished. (I think Princess was happy too, but this project became entirely about me back at "NOOOOOOOOOooooooooo!").

So here is my final review of Scribble Art Cookies: It is a great activity to do with your child. It is fun to make something new out of something old. Just be REALLY careful when you pull the mini muffin tin out of the oven. I don't think my oven will ever be the same. I still have mysterious dripping wax that appears everytime I turn it on and I think my baked goods carry a faint Crayola flavor.


  • I have done this project before and instead of sacrificing a muffin tin. I use the metallic muffin wrappers. The new crayons will peel right off of their wrappers.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 6/14/2006 10:46:00 AM  

  • You inspired me so I thought I'd try. It went fairly smoothe, my girls LOVED it, but the paper was a ##%!!@$& to get off!!! Ended up using a VERY sharp knife (adults only please) and just cutting down the crayon. The paper comes off magically that way. Pukey must be a very determined little girl....or OCD :) Thanks for the fun idea for the day!
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 6/14/2006 02:18:00 PM  

  • Oh Carrie, I had no idea what a pivotal role the Pukester and I played in this adventure. You're welcome. For the record, I would have come downstairs when I heard the "NOOOOOOOOOOOO" and the "ARGHHHHH" if you still ived here...and for sure Pukey would have helped with the paper part, for the record, I think she has grown out of that wonderful habit...would you like me to send you a 64-pack by way of repayment?
    posted by Blogger Kage at 6/14/2006 03:58:00 PM  

  • Aaak! That stinks!! Ok, so my recent "something splattered all over" experience in a nutshell:

    Fruit in the blender to make smoothies, added yogurt. (Thanks for the inspiration last summer, Zinone.) I turn to the freezer to get more fruit. Dd (3years old) reaches up and hits the correct two buttons (supposed to be more child proof than one--right!) to turn the blender on!! It ROARS the way blenders do and I SCREAM!!! I look over to see fruit FLYING everywhere. My scream then freaks dd out, who totally screams and continues to bawl for a long long time. I ran over, shut it off, and comforted her. Dh ran in white in the face--I told him she was ok and no fingers were chopped off.

    Lucky for me, cleaning up hanging, splattered fruit was easier than WAX!!! I'm totally impressed you went along and did it again.

    A "crock pot" version of the project is to put such crayons (broken up plenty small) in tiny waxy dixie cups and sit them in the sun on a hot day then peel away the paper cup.
    posted by Blogger Katie at 6/14/2006 04:18:00 PM  

  • I can't beleive you did it again. I can't beleive it! I would have crawled into a corner and stayed there mumbling to myself the rest of the day. Hats off to you!
    posted by Blogger Tracy M at 6/14/2006 11:14:00 PM  

  • Kage, I know you would have totally had my back on this one. And I know my oven would not still have it's mysterious wax drip if you would have been around to help me clean it up.

    You can keep the new box of crayons idea for my next birthday present!

    Katie and Anon- I like those alternative. Both sound like they could have helped my avert the disaster.

    Tracy M -- I just would not be defeated by my first art project of the summer. Or by my own clumsiness.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 6/15/2006 10:02:00 AM  

  • You are such a good example of doing fun things with Pumpkin... I think that is her code name. I can't wait to try this with tiny dancer... that is my new code name. He he.
    posted by Blogger Zinone at 6/16/2006 07:13:00 AM  

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