Thursday, December 22, 2011

Our Trash is Katherine's Treasure

Paul is telling Katherine about our weekend plans. "Uncle Stu is coming over this weekend with his pickup truck.  We're going to the dump.  Would you like to ride with us?"

"What are we going to get?" asks Katherine.

"No, honey, we're not getting anything.  We're getting rid of some old scraps and junk," Paul explains.

"But Dad," Katherine protests.  "What if we see something that's very useful?"

loading up Uncle Stu's truck

Katherine is very crafty and extremely creative.  Trouble is, with this combination of talents, everything is potentially useful.  Where I see a lone sock on the dryer, Katherine sees the body of a puppet.  Recently she used one to make a snowman (named Hanes, of course.)

Last month she came home from school holding a giant wall clock.  "Look what I found in the trash--someone threw away a perfectly good broken clock!" she exclaimed excitedly.  Sure enough, she set it up downstairs where she plays school with her dolls.  Soon, telling time is integrated into the lessons. 

While I dream of cleaning out all my closets, Katherine is bringing home the latest treasure from her "dumpster diving" forays.  Sometimes, I am busted when she finds something in our own trash.

Katherine: Hey, what's this Dumdum wrapper doing in the trash?  Mom!  I told you I was saving those.

Me: Oops, sorry.  I forgot.  (Forgot to take the trash out before you came home!)

Katherine's reputation for resourceful craft projects has spread with family and friends.  So I get phone calls such as this: "I've been cleaning out my basement and I have some fabric scraps.  I thought Katherine would like them."  Or this: "I found a box of art supplies that we aren't using.  I thought of Katherine..."

They are right, of course.  With a few scissor snips and a glue gun, the fabric scraps were transformed into camping kits for her dolls--complete with matching sleeping bags.  The latest box of craft supplies has been an invaluable source of inspiration as she constructs handmade Christmas gifts for friends and family. 

To encourage her hobby, I set up a table and some storage baskets in our laundry room so Katherine can have her own craft area.  Little by little, the table is covered with paper scraps, stamp pads, Popsicle sticks and string.  Soon the table's surface is completely hidden.  Refusing to surrender to the confines of an imposed boundary, her artistic workspace spreads to the coffee table in the playroom, the carpet of her bedroom and even the kitchen. 

The aftermath of Katherine's whirlwind of projects sometimes overwhelms her.  A creative genius does not have time to clean as she goes, you understand.  This is when I step in to restore order.  Today I spent the morning replacing glue caps, folding tissue paper and sweeping up piles of glitter.   Katherine is happy to have all her supplies organized--now they are easy to find for the next inspiration.  Now that the basement is put back together, I'm off to the grocery store.  Katherine came home yesterday with several Styrofoam trays and empty milk cartons. 

"Mom, do we have graham crackers and icing?  I bet we can decorate these to look like gingerbread houses."

Katherine and her snowman Hanes

1 comment:

  1. I think Katherine is a genius!!! SUPOER creative people make the world happier!