archive dig: springtime projects.

March 30, 2021

It’s spring break here in New York. Childcare is in short supply, the need for low-stakes projects to keep kids occupied is high, the springtime impulse to clean out and start fresh and pay a daily visit the nursery is here in full force. In the spirit of taking advantage of things we already have, I thought I would rummage around in the archives to revisit past projects and see what might be fun to tackle this week. Hopefully some of these things offers a bit of inspiration for you, too!

Things to make:

If egg gathering is in your future this week, consider making your own sturdy basket. I followed Rose’s instructions for a structured macrame basket, cutting slightly shorter lengths of wire and adding an extra group of four wires to the width to make a short and squat basket perfect for my short and squat egg collectors. If you’ve got kids in your midst who are eager to help, paper maché baskets are a little messier but a lot more manageable for small hands, plus you can make them look like eggs!

The wind has been wild in the city this week. Make a pinwheel from recycled paper and if you’ve got an inquisitive wind watcher in your fam, may I suggest my mom’s new book?

Batch-dyeing hardboiled eggs in long soaks of dye made from turmeric, red cabbage, beets, or other grocery store dye stuffs is one of my favorite things to do this time of year. It takes a bit of patience to wait for the soak, but it’s largely hands-off with cheery rewards.

Take advantage of the leftover dye and soak it up pastel-colored spice sacks and string for wrapping up cheerful parcels. (Or hand kites!)

Things to grow:

Microgreens: We’ve been taking a daily harvest of microgreens from our windowsill planter. They’re packed with nutrition, sure, but they’re also just so beautiful sprinkled over pasta or eggs or anything at all that you’re eating. Ditto, pansies. And lilacs.

Seeds: If you’ve got eggs on the menu in the coming days, consider rinsing out your shells, filling them up with soil and adding a layer of wheatgrass (or any other seeds you’d like to start).

What’s better than growing something new from the tender green hearts of a lettuce you’ve already eaten? A kitchen scrap garden is especially good if you need some immediate greenery to add to your sill.

Things to offer:

If your household looks anything like mine, it’s likely inundated with kid artwork this week. Put it to use by turning scrap art into something else functional, like these recycled watercolor matchbook notebooks. Easter baskets stuffed with matchbook notebooks could never be wrong. (Ditto stationery sets.)

Clean out a closet and post your culled items to your neighborhood Buy Nothing Project (or elsewhere!). (If you don’t have the time to make a basket of your own—understandable!—our neighborhood group has had lots of basket posts in the past week, so it might be worth taking a look at yours before buying new!).

If this week means special holiday gathering or meal making, consider stocking up on extra groceries, or prep an extra portion to add to a community fridge near you.

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  • Reply Jamie March 30, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    The soup looks delicious. Love all of these ideas.

  • Reply Paula March 31, 2021 at 5:36 am

    So lovely. I will definately be doing a couple of these creative projects with my son. Thanks for the inspiration! (:

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