Things have been rough; my employment insurance still hasn’t come because of a mistake my former employer made on a form. Our car gave out while we were driving and is only half-fixed now. Then I got word that one of my cats, whom I had to send four hours away to stay with friends temporarily due to our emergency move, needs to be put down. I’m devastated that I can’t even go visit, to see her one last time, and am afraid what effect this will have on my other beloved kitty.
Through all this I’m trying to remain positive, and focus on ways to get by. We have the food bank and temporary shelter, so I’m not in actual danger. But this holiday season, which we call Moosemas, will be a different one for many reasons. Firstly, because this is the first holiday after I have cut off my whole family (due to their abuse and toxic hostility). The idea of “Christmas” holds nothing but emptiness and troubling memories for me. So I am trying to celebrate Moosemas with Willow in a new and spiritual way, through pagan-themed crafts.
If anyone has ideas for celebrating nature and winter, please share them. Kid crafts or adult projects are both appreciated!
One thing I would like to share is this: a recipe for cold porcelain clay. It is insanely cheap and easy and lovely to work with, and is air-drying. I can’t bake clay where I am now, so I tried this alternative and I love it.
Cold Porcelain Recipe:
one cup white glue
one cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice (for a “preservative”….I happened to have a real preservative on hand so I used that, but lemon juice should be okay if the dough is properly stored.)
Add all the ingredients together and stir into a paste. Then microwave for about 20 seconds, take it out, stir, and microwave for another 20 seconds, take it out and stir…and repeat until you notice the paste forming up into more dough-like lumps. Don’t overcook, though! Best to stop when you get the lumps. Now lotion up your hands so the dough won’t stick and knead the paste until it cools all the way down. This could take 15 minutes, but if it’s forming a ball you’re on the right track. You might need to add more cornstarch to get it to form up, but be careful not to add too much.
When it is cool and formed, wrap it up in cling-wrap and stick it in the fridge. Best to let it “rest” for about 24 hours. Then it’s ready for sculpting! If left uncovered for 24 hours it will harden up, but complete drying will likely take another day or two. This clay dries rock-hard and somewhat translucent, and has a very smooth finish. You can store unused dough in an air-tight container or even freeze it.
Here is a picture of the dough, and an unfinished owl skull project: