December 1, 2012

Xtreme Xmas Crafting

I just had an inadvertent xtreme xmas crafting incident, party of one. What's xtreme xmas crafting? Here's a taste of party invitations from days of yore.
Don't think of the "XXX" as a film rating. The wildest it ever got was perhaps the most appropriately themed hostess gift ever, the John Waters Christmas album. Perhaps a PG-13; R-rated, tops. And what's with the "Xtreme" bit? Well, get together a bunch of adults - about half of whom are visual artists - add food, booze, hot glue, and a large supply of children's crafting items (think pipe cleaners, clothes pins, pom-poms, cheap acrylic paint sets, school glue, popsicle sticks, safety scissors, acrylic felt, sequins, etc) and things can get interesting. Like the clothespin reindeer with 3 eyes and pom-pom breasts. 

But I digress. My own extreme crafting foible occurred in the kitchen. I admit it, it was Laurie in the kitchen with a saucepan. Unlike Clue, thankfully, no one died. I did give myself a whopper of a headache, though. A saucepan of glycerin boileth over. The vapor from it hung in the air and simply would not disperse. Even with a very cold cross breeze through the open kitchen windows. When Hubbers the chemistry professor returned home, I learned that the glycerol compound that comprises glycerin is the same compound used in automotive anti-freeze. Ever drive behind a vehicle burning anti-freeze? Not pleasant.

Had I kept the 2 parts water, 1 part glycerin mixture in the saucepan on low heat and simmered it gently for 10 minutes as instructed, both the headache and the chemistry lesson would have been avoided. But the stovetop wouldn't have received a spattering of glycerin that rubbed around the surface rather than mopped up. I now have a soft, smooth, supple stovetop, thank you very much. So, no lasting harm done. And I did have enough glycerin mixture left over for my original purpose, to preserve the red berries on cut branches of honeysuckle.

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