Camping and Crafting

Two of my favorite things to do — camping and crafting.

And when I can do them together, I’ve hit the jackpot.

In most of the country, folks only have the summer months to enjoy the outdoors, but here in sunny F L A, we have all year. So, what’s normally just a summer activity for most, is a 12-month long pursuit that’s been a stand out for me my whole life — camping.

Whether it was Girl Scout camp or church camp or camping in my backyard with my friends, camping has always been a great experience. There’s just nothing like the great outdoors, birds singing, crickets chittering, or the way the light filters luminescently through lazy green leaves before landing on you, swimming, kayaking, and telling spooky stories around a campfire with the chocolaty goodness of s’mores oozing out onto your hands and lap. Camping is just a great way to take a break from the normal hustle and bustle of everyday life.

When you’re camping, you can be completely disconnected — not worrying about the latest political antics or how super star so-and-so wore it wrong. When you’re camping, you just pause; you breathe. And regardless of the work involved, when I come home from a camping trip, I always feel more relaxed.

I’m guessing that one reason for that is that I usually use my camping trip as an opportunity to catch up on some small craft projects. Where other people might read or even catch up on some sleep, I craft.

Camping is synonymous with relaxation to me.

We just ended a 30-day “Store and Use” deal at one of the KOA campgrounds here in Florida where you can story your camper on your campsite for 30 days and use it on weekends. The campground is only a 45-minute drive from our home, so we pack up and go on Fridays after work and stay until late Sunday afternoon. It’s nice not to have to trailer our camper back and forth.

This past weekend, I took a couple of projects with me to work on in the afternoon. Truth be told, our “waterfront” campsite overlooked a beautiful golf course (not what you’d imagine at a campground), so it was the perfect spot for gettin’ my creativity on.

My two projects were transforming a house shaped frame into a house of succulents and transforming a wooden frame into a bejeweled masterpiece that will frame a picture of my honey and me.

First up are the succulents.

Supplies:

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four of the wooden house shaped frames, plastic succulents, small piece of dry foam, glue gun, and possibly wire clippers.

The house shaped frames were $1 each at Dollar Tree. I already had the plastic succulents, but you can also buy them at Dollar Tree, as well as the dry foam. This is a very simple project that will only take you about a half hour to complete one of the succulent houses, but I do not recommend it for children because of the use of the hot glue gun.

First thing, pull the bottom off of one of the frames and glue it onto the other frame of the same size.

I made two of these, so I did this to both of them. It creates a wall to hold the dry foam and plastic succulents.

Cut a small piece of the dry foam and insert into the bottom of each of the two house shaped frames. Then begin placing the succulents in place using the hot glue gun and holding them in place until they are secure.

Before you know it, you’re done. I filled mine in with moss that I pulled off of the oak tree I was sitting under. When you do that, you need to kill off any wildlife that might be living in the moss (I call them moss mites.). Put the moss into a ziplock bag and nuke it for about 10 seconds. Remove the moss from the plastic bag and let it cool, then fluff it up.

Cute. Right?  Well, the next one is even cuter.

For this next project, I was inspired by my monthly Crafting Sistas group. Something very similar to this was one of our monthly craft projects and now I’ve created my version.

Supplies:

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A wooden frame, old costume jewelry, hot glue gun, wire clippers.

The frame was $1 at Michael’s and the jewelry is a bunch of stuff I had laying around that I no longer wear. While this is an easy project, it is time-consuming. This frame took me about an hour and a half to complete.

The first thing you have to do is remove the backs off of all of the jewelry.

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Honestly this is the hardest part of the project. From this point forward it will be smooth sailing.

Next, begin placing the jewelry pieces around the frame and then glue into place when you’re happy with the placement.

Just keep gluing until you’ve got the frame covered.

Viola’ — you’re done with this one, too!

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Don’t even try to tell me this isn’t beautiful.

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I love it!

Read on and you’ll see a list of reasons why camping is so blooming great; why I love camping so much.

 

  1. Camping provides the perfect opportunity to clear your mind. In our world of constant over-stimulation, it has become something of a necessity for me to get away from it all.
  2. To me, there are many ways to define adventure; from sky diving to hiking Montana. But when it comes to camping, it’s always more than an adventure, it’s seeking the path less followed.
  3. It’s simply the lovely reminiscence of childhood memories.
  4. Don’t turn your vacation into a military operation, but know that everything pulls together much better with teamwork. My husband and I make a great team.
  5. I can’t help it, the inner Girl Scout in me likes to have her campsite looking just so. I can’t help it. The organized side of my brain – my OCD – doesn’t take any time off. And, in all truth, it warms my heart more than it should. It’s always the small things that get me the most: a neatly swept campsite, blankets and pillows layed out just so, a colorful umbrella to shade us. But it’s not just my OCD tendencies that keep me smiling. I love the sound of a crackling campfire, the smell that comes after you light a match, and most of all, the feel of fresh air on my face and mussing my hair.
  6. Family time.
  7. Eat amazing food. Okay, I don’t know that any of the food is actually amazing, but what is it about being outdoors that makes everything taste fabulous?
  8. Letting go of the “devices.” Yikes. I’m guilty. And when I’m having a fabulous time, I want to share it with everyone; thinking they all care. But they don’t. So, cut it off. You’ll definitely feel lost without it to start with, but it’s surprising how little you miss it once you get used to it, and most things can wait.
  9. There’s nothing like star gazing to totally remove you from the worries of everyday life. For the past two weekends, my husband and I tried to find Jupiter and its moons, but instead, caught a glimpse of the International Space Station crossing the sky.
  10. And finally, with all the action of camping, you can’t help but create lasting and happy memories that you’ll carry with you forever.

With more to come.

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