"Great Expectations" - not just the title of a Dickens novel! Sometimes they are what grandma entertains while assembling an afternoon of springtime crafting fun. Last year, I reason, we made an Easter basket for each member of the family. This year we'll employ the same method - paper mache - to make gifts of bangle bracelets for each of the ladies. The boys won't really be left out, either. They love painting and decorating and making things for mommy and their two year old twin sisters. Grandma will set the completed bangles aside and the kids will enjoy handing them out before Easter dinner. I smile in delight at that vision. Everybunny's gonna love this one!
So grandma lays out an inviting table of pretty pastel paint, yards and yards of coordinating ribbon, bunny stickers galore, fuzzy little chicks and a dozen or more unpainted bracelets, dry from the week before and ready to go.
Brielle makes her choice. A striking vivid blue sets the background tone and tiny twinkling jewels dance between a flutter of butterfly decals. She is delighted with it. Slaps it on her wrist and declares that she's wearing it home. That day. I sink in my chair and ask if she'd rather save it for Easter. "No, I'm taking it home. Today!" she insists.
I turn my attention to the boys. Sae is elbow deep in green and brown paint. "Camo!" he gleefully shouts, holding high his choice and basking deeply in brother's unabashed admiration. This time I'm the one who insists it goes home with him today!
Nothing prepares me for what I see next. Nick's engrossed in a bracelet covered solid black. Black. Pairs of peering wiggle eyes drip with glue and encircle the surface. "I'm wearing this one on Halloween!" he proclaims with gusto. Bree and Sae smile their heartfelt approval.
So. Great expectations. Sometimes that's as far as grandma's visions go! I realize then that it'll be me who does the painting, sticking and bejeweling if my basket-of-spangled-bangles-for-springtime is ever to be filled to brimming. But that's okay......
Would I really want grandsons who sit here like prissy princesses, painting pastel posies to perfection? (yes) Well, no! of course not!!!
Make a paper mache bangle by cutting a strip of thin cardboard (1" - 2.5" wide) to size, allowing an inch extra for overlap and padding. Tape ends together. Wrap bracelet in strips of paper towel to give shape. Tear strips of newspaper, dip in flour and water mixture the consistency of craft glue and wrap 3 layers around to cover. Allow bracelet to dry, then paint with gesso so pastel colors will show up brightly. Decorate with cute Easter goodies.