Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mosquito Crafts

FDPG had a terrible reaction to a mosquito bite on the weekend. She got bit above her eyebrow and it swelled so bad I actually called the nurse hotline. I spent about 15 minutes answering questions that I know were meant as a way of ascertaining what the problem was, but they made me feel like such a crap parent ("No, her immunizations are not up to date. No, she's never had a tetanus shot. No, she's never had an eye exam."). After mentioning TETANUS once too many times, the nurse finally admitted that no, it probably wasn't tetanus and yes, it probably was a severe reaction to the mosquito bite (runs in the family). But those eyes of hers were only getting more swollen, to the point that some rude member of the family compared her to a Klingon. After kicking someone in the shins, I broke down and bought some CM (conventional medicine) to help her with the itching and swelling, because the homeopathic bottle I had was empty and the store I usually go to buy such things was closed because it was too early in the morning but the conventional drug store was open and oh boy but that FDPG didn't look very good (gosh, I must live for complicated drama, mustn't I?). The nice pharmacist at the drug store said that the Benadryl would either make her hyper or make her drowsy. These sorts of things usually make me drowsy but somehow I had the very distinct sense that this stuff would turn FDPG into a whirling dervish, just because I live for complicated drama.

And I was right.

Thirty minutes after taking the medication she began bouncing and leaping on couches, which wasn't such a great idea considering her eyes were almost swelled shut, so I put the kibosh on such antics and told her to settle down a bit. Which also wasn't such a great idea because there was all that irritating lovely manic energy and no place to turn it loose.

So out came the craft kits.

People give FDPG a lot of these kits. She has candle making kits, jewelry making kits, origami kits, paper making kits, super science kits, desk set kits, clock making kits...you get the idea. Things well-meaning adults get for their busy little bee relatives. Busy little bees like FDPG. But even she can only do so much before some of them start piling up.

This time we got out the Flower Press Kit. We opened it up. We surveyed the things it came with:

a pair of tweezers
a nifty mini hole punch that FDPG spent a lot of time exclaiming over
some little plastic pots of acrylic paint
some positively horrible paint brushes
some ribbons and beads and a squashed purple fabric flower
two wooden covers
some bolts and wing nuts
some octagonal paper
some octagonal cardboard

While the wooden covers and the cardboard were very cool, the rest of the stuff was not very inspiring. It was, dare I admit, rather on the dull side. Not for the first time did I curse the Clever Clogs who developed that thing known as the Cheap Plastic Kiddie Brush. They drive me nuts. I don't expect professional sable artist brushes, but jeez, these things shed like mad, the bristles stick out and make a mess of the paint, and they never absorb the paint properly. I always throw these brushes out when we get them. I hate 'em.

(gosh, sheila, don't hold back, tell us how you really feel)

We stared for a while, FDPG and I, wondering what to make of these things, while inwardly I was worrying about FDPG's ability to paint with half-closed eyes. Then I was hit with a sudden burst of inspiration, because not only do people give FDPG a lot of kits, they also give her a lot of Ethnic Bead kits and Glittery Item kits and Interesting Paper kits. And we don't always use everything in those kits. We have a lot of what I have labelled Accumulated Leftover Craft Items in boxes and ziplock baggies in a cupboard as a result. Periodically I think "Interesting Garden Art!" when I look at them, but for the most part they sit in their boxes and bags in the cupboard. So I hauled out a couple of those boxes and bags. We perused. We sifted. We poked. And eventually we had all the things for FDPG's Flower Press. Then, since FDPG's eyes weren't working so well, I arranged and glued and kept her apprised of events as they progressed: "Now we glue on the African beads. Do you want the purple flowered ribbon or the red striped ribbon? Where should the beads go?" And so on. Until we were finished.

Here is how it looked when we were done. I think it is a nice example of FDPG's penchant for odd colour combinations, fake-vintage garden labels, and big weird looking beads. It's a very tactile object, too: no one can pass by it without stroking it.

And inside it are a whole bunch of squashed flowers from the garden, things to remember a sad, sore day on the couch by.


Suji said...

Phweeewit (that's Suji trying to wolf whistle). Very, very pretty piece of work. Gosh, you guys are so artistic, even with FDPG's one eye closed. Please give her many, many get well hugs from us.

sheila said...

Hey! We're leaving comments on each other's blog at the same time! Only your typing is better than mine. I made a mistake on yours...sigh.

Suji said...

It didn't read like a mistake :) It read like "What the..." which is one of DS's current favorite expressions :) Really, if I were to be physically close to that craft piece I wouldn't be able to resist stroking it either :) I have so many plans "for when we move" and one of them is to do some crafts like these. Such pretty colors!

Hope her swelling has subsided somewhat!

sheila said...

Phew. I never check my writing and frequently think "WHY did I not check that!" afterwards. Glad it sounded more cool than it really was...

Thanks, Suji, her eyes are pretty much back to normal. Sure was yucky there for a while though. I hate it when my kids are sick. Gives me the willies.