CLAY TIME.

Look at me changing things up a bit. Believe it or not, we don’t only eat. Say what? Truth. Sometimes we create non-edible stuff.

Since my babe was born, I wanted to print her feet in clay. Now that she is 7 months old, I wish I would have done it sooner. Now, her feet seem so big to me. They are so soft and dimpled, and she fits most of her moccasins which once seemed ginormous. But in a few months, her chubby 7 month old feet will seem teeny tiny. And I will miss them.

I did this a couple of weeks ago. The results looked like my 3 year-old nephew painted it with his pre-school class. Which would be awesome, if he had painted it. But he didn’t. I did. I wanted it to look a little less like blue tempra paint and more like a pretty-memory keeping-project. Ya know msayin’? To boot, I tried using an egg yolk glaze. I left it on a shelf. The cat ate it. Okay, he didn’t eat it., entirely. But he licked it, a lot, and left it scratched up. I was mad at him. But secretly not mad at all. So we tried it again. Beauty success. Perfectly imperfect.

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footprints

I wanted to use ochre to paint it. And I really wanted to use egg yolk. I learned of it from an ochre workshop in France a few years ago, pre living-with-my-man, pre baby-in-my-belly. When the little French man began his explanation and asked if anyone wanted to try seprating the egg yolk from the white. I stood up and said, “Can I use my hands?”. He was grossed out. My class was grossed out. I was loooooving it. To explain ochre a little bit. It’s basically a mineral, a natural earth pigment that has been used as paint for a really long time. Like maybe 300 000 years. It was one of my favourite parts of the trip. I bought myself a little wooden crate with six different colours to bring home. (Which only took me a good 45 minutes to pick out. So many beautiful colours…) I have been saving them for something special. This project was the first time I used them. When I bought them, I would have never thought that I would be opening them up to paint my daughter’s footprints. Life is pretty neat, hey?

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While I was at it, I also made a clay banner for Brett. Brett, he’s my guy, my lover guy, my favourite guy, my baby’s daddy guy, he’s a good guy. I made a clay banner of a Kurt Vonnegut saying, “Poo-tee-weet”, which essentially means, “So it goes…”. Not having read any Kurt Vonnegut myself, it’s a saying that has been drilled into my brain since I met my man. Sometimes I have to be reminded to just let things be and to let things go. And clay banners are wicked awesome.

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So here you are. A winter project. Get your clay on.

Clay Banner & Clay Baby Memories

Supplies:
– air dry clay
– ¼ cup all purpose flour
– paint
– hot glue gun sticks
– clear nail polish
– metalic Sharpie markers

Materials:
– letter cookie cutters
– paintbrush
– glass water
– parchment paper
– rolling pin
– drying rack
– hot glue gun
– twine
– one small baby sized human

Directions for banner:
1. Roll out the clay onto parchment paper with a rolling pin.
2. Dip cookie cutters into flour and then press into clay.
3. Pop them out as delicately as possible.
4. Let clay dry.
5. Paint.
6. Let dry.
7. Paint with clear nail polish.
8. Let dry.
9. Glue twine to back of letters.
10. Hang. Tadah.

Directions for baby footprints:
1. Roll out the clay onto parchment paper with a rolling pin.
2. Form into whatever shape you dig.
3. Wet fingers and smooth out clay real nice.
4. Pick up baby and press feet into clay, with gentle pressure, and pretty quickly.
5. Remove baby.
6. Congratulate babe for having adorable footprints and for being so good at crafts.
7. Give small book to child to occupy them as you finish up.
8. Dip a finger or two in water and smooth out any imperfections.
9. Let dry.
10. Paint. Or glaze. Or nothing.
11. Place on mantel, or somewhere where it will be adored.

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