On A Rainy Day

By: Audrey Levinson

Picture this, you’re at camp enjoying some family time surrounded by nature. There are so many things to do, all of them relaxing and away from the hubbub of daily routine life and stress. That’s right there is no stress to be found. You do things with people you love like taking a walk in the woods or swimming in the nearest water hole. Vacations what a wonderful idea! The last time I was in this euphoric place I stayed in a rustic cabin with my husband and some friends on Cayuga Lake. It’s exciting to just be in tune with nature and not to know what you might find as you explore your surroundings. It has pioneer roots, and that’s all you think about. What will we do when we wake up early in the morning to see the sun shining into the window, the birds chirping happily away? You wake up and stretch, yawn and make yourself that first cup of camp coffee. Taking a sip of warmth you look outside to see what your day will be all about, In Upstate NY, as most know it can be a lovely warm sunny day one day and revert to early spring the next day (a bit cooler, windier, rainy), The weather changes here as often as you change your underwear. So, it’s best to be prepared for more than those perfect days.

There are some easy ways to prepare for inside days before you leave. I understand that there are many places where you may not have Internet connections. Depending on if you do or do not make a difference. If you don’t have the Internet, then I would jot down in a notebook some items that look interesting for you and the family to enjoy inside. Many of these items can be found on Pinterest. Once on Pinterest, search for ”camp art projects,” “nature art,” “kids nature art projects,” “doodles,” “DIY” or anything else you can think of that you’d like to try. There is one idea that I have wowed people with which is marbleizing paper is of minimal cost and easy way to create.

Here’s what you need:

1. white paper, a clean styrofoam tray, cheap shaving cream, watercolor set or food coloring, some playing cards that don’t matter anymore, a thin stick (bamboo skewer, toothpicks), a paintbrush and water.

Here’s what you do:

2. Cover the Styrofoam tray with shaving cream.

3. Use a card to smooth it out.

4. Drop color on top of the shaving cream in lots of places, don’t be afraid to use the paintbrush to swoosh it around but don’t paint down deep into the shaving cream. Keep the color on the surface.

5. Using a thin stick, next begin mixing the color either in a swirling motion or move the stick across the shaving cream until you reach the end of the tray.

6. Place the paper over your design and gently pat it down.

7. Lift the paper up, you will have the shaving cream on the paper. Use a card to scrape the shaving cream off. You will see a beautiful marbleized design underneath that is instantly dry as soon as you remove the shaving cream!

If you Google book making or watch it on youtube, you can, then use your paper for the cover of a nature walk book. Now you can take blank pages to press flowers or leaf rubbings and create your own book. Anything is possible. This makes a lovely journal as well. Watercolor is inexpensive and easy to travel with.

Even setting up a vase of flowers you’ve collected in the woods is a great way to paint a memory. Just using your imagination can take care of hours and hours of whining and boredom of what to do on a rainy, cold day. Some of the hot projects during the day are coloring books for grown-ups (or kids), making slime, Jewelry making using beads, and rock paintings to name a few. There are many craft kits you can buy that would make any rainy day easier to deal with.

So, instead of my usual interesting artist of the month I wanted to give you some really fun ideas and suggestions about how to find what you love to do IN ART over the summer.