One of the characters in Ollie’s Ski Trip is Mrs. Thaw. She is always showing up at the wrong time, messing things up and turning beautiful slow into slush, until Jack Frost scares her away and breathes his frosty breath upon the world to return it to its winter splendor. Mrs. Thaw’s time is at the end of King Winter’s reign; she is King Winter’s cleaning lady, sweeping away the snow and preparing the world for Spring’s arrival in her carriage (pulled through the sky by white butterflies!). Throughout the winter, whenever it looks as though it is going to thaw, Ollie and his brother go outside and call:
“Mrs. Thaw, Mrs. Thaw,
Please don’t sweep our snow away!
Come again another day!”
My children have been chanting this as a warm wind blew up a couple nights ago and melted most of our snow. We went in the woods and played in the sunlit muddy puddles and the shady, cool spots still covered with snow. The creek was bubbling away with the runoff and one of the kids’ favorite things to do is stomp on the thin sheets of ice along the edge, and watch them flow downstream, melting all the way. Along the edges of the high banks, icicles hang over recesses like stalagtites guarding caves. I found just what I was looking for in a small dam of tree branches in one part of the creek; a young sapling that had been uprooted, with beautiful dried roots intact. I am planning to make an installation for the nature table with a section of the tree and its roots representing the Lower Earth, divided by a small wooden platform or round of log midway up the branch to divide it from Upper Earth. Of course the gnomes and root children will live among the roots! I’ll post photos as it progresses. With all the holiday decorations put away, the house is looking bare- so I am inspired to decorate and work on the nature table.
Here is Mrs. Thaw… standing on her puddle of slush with her wee broom of dried pine needles. I woke up early this morning inspired to make her and surprise the kids… although I didn’t end up getting her finished until after breakfast! I might rework her cloak and hood a bit in the future, and her green apron was my first attempt at handcarding different colors (white and green) together. I think I need some practice with the handcards- my results certainly didn’t come out like the ones on the Youtube tutorials I watched! Any tips on getting nice full rolags out of your carded fibers? Mine seem thin and bunchy, and I can’t seem to collect all the roving onto one card no matter how much I “tilt and grab”. But it was fun trying new techniques, and hopefully I’ve learned a thing or two for next time!
Post a link to your nature table if you like! We can all use a little inspiration this (often dreary) time of year.
(Linked up with Nicole’s Keep Calm Craft On.)