Of course I noticed the popsicle sticks, still sticky and printed with riddles, accumulating in the bottom of Ittybit's zippered lunch box, but I merely assumed it was all just evidence of faulty genetics and primary school strangeness.
My husband is a world-class packrat, you see, which serves him well as a sculptor (or so claims the definition of "Horder" in the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association and currently in its Fourth edition).
Turns out, Ittybit has had a plan since the beginning of Kindergarten; a plan that has cost her $.25 a day. When she started developing her vision last weekend I figured she was already $30 invested in procurement costs.
Her father, giving credit where credit is due, is whom she approached for assistance in building "The Most Hilarious Castle Ever."
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
Popscicle sticks. (Lots of 'em).
Scissors (If you have the strength of an ox, otherwise a small saw will work better).
Matboard or cardboard (This will be the castle base).
Glue gun (Welding won't work on this one, either).
WHAT WILL HELP
A wife who isn't hanging over your shoulder taking pictures. (Send her to the store for something useful, like beer).
WHAT YOU DO
*Plan what you'd like the castle to resemble on paper, and put drawing where you can see it. (If you are me, you might ignore this step).
*Cut a bunch of popsicle sticks so that their tops are flat, saving the rounded ends, and glue them together.
*Make walls out of flat-ended sticks as per your design.
*Glue them to the matboard so they stand straight and aren't leaning.
*To make a window, cut a piece out of popsicle stick between middle and top and re-glue the middle piece to its original stick so it looks like a shutter.
*To make a door put two "window" sticks together.
*Keep building upward until you are out of sticks. You can make floors with whole popsicle sticks if you have enough or you can make them out of mattboard.
*Decorate with tiny, foam royals.
OTHER THINGS TO FILL YOUR WEEKEND ...
Of course, if crafting isn't predicted for your weekend future, there's a few Earthy, crunchy, recycle-y kind of things you can do in the real world:
Woods Walk at Dyken Pond, Saturday, April 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 475 Dyken Pond Road, Cropsyville. Topics include woodland management, wetlands and vernal ponds. A $15 suggested donation will help fund the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance Conservation Plan. For more information, call 658-2055 or visit Dyken Pond online.
Lansingburgh Historical Society's annual book sale takes place Saturday, April 24, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine, at Melville House corner of 114th Street and First Avenue in Troy.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
Needle felting workshop with fiber artist Linda Van Alstyne at Sandlake Center for the Arts, May 2 at 1:30 p.m. Ages 10 and up. The class is free but limited to 15 participants. Call 674-2007 for more information.
The Puppet People will perform "Elephant Child" at the Troy Public Library, Lansingburgh Branch, on May 8 at 1 p.m. Free for children three and under. 274-7071