Counting the Days

by Stefani on 5-August-2008

My kids are forever dreaming up these wonderful schemes and then coming to me with pleading eyes to help them turn those ideas into reality.

"Can you sew me a punching bag mama?"
"Could you make me a Samurai sword? Not a fake one, but a real one?"
"Can we make a three level tree house with an elevator and a big screen TV?"
"Can we open a candy store?"

So when my guy asked if we could make some kind of calendar for his room, I thought maybe this was one project we could really see to fruition.

He wanted it to be "kinda like an advent calendar, with stuff you get to add or take away everyday"

He's gone through lots of prototypes and drawings, and he says that this one is "almost right." It's at least good enough to share with you, he tells me, but he wants you to know that the one in his head is "way cooler."


Counting Days

His Calendar

We used shrinky dinks for the months and days. I lettered and he drew in the decorations. Later, he got the idea to make special pieces for birthdays, holidays and special events like sleepovers.

I think it's really neat, but he's only mildly impressed.

Remember what that felt like as a kid… to have these big ideas, BIG dreams, but to not have the skills or the equipment or know how to see it through?

I have that feeling a lot.


Anyhow, the calendar in his head involves a big cross section of a tree trunk, stained and ornately carved around the edges. There would be fancy hooks, and on those hooks would be smaller cross sections of tree trunk, that number the days.

On the back of those numbered pieces, there would be carved birds and flowers and all kinds of "natural things." You would turn the numbers over as the days went by, to reveal the neat carving on the back.

Oh this boy is ambitious! And, a really neat kid, if I do say so myself 🙂

Speaking of neat… I'm so proud to announce that Grandfather has opened his workshop!
If you're looking for fun ways to engage young minds, you should pop on over to the shop and see what Grandfather and the gang are up to!
Alissa August 5, 2008 at 8:45 pm

Oh wow- I want the calendar that he dreamed up with the tree trunk and whatnot.

Nancy August 5, 2008 at 8:51 pm

Gotta share that I just TONIGHT saw bags of cross sections of branches at United Art & Education. They varied in size and none were more than 3″ in diameter. I filed the idea away and thought they had a lot of promise for use as bases for things that might not stand alone, etc. Wonder if your guy could drill holes in them and use them for his dream calendar…

molly Bridle August 5, 2008 at 9:17 pm

What a great idea! I might have to steal his idea and make one for Gracie. She’s currently feeling the need to “X” out every day as it passes on her calendar; I’m sure she’d love to have even more control over how she counts the passing days.

-and how cool that the grandfather has opened up shop!

molly August 5, 2008 at 9:26 pm

this is so good. it’s hard sometimes…all the ideas they come up with and how many of them get turned down. how exciting to see something come together like this. And I agree with the others, put me in line for the tree cross section calendar. that is an awesome idea!

Kathi D August 5, 2008 at 9:31 pm

I live with those impossible schemes and dreams in my head ALL THE TIME! Some I do manage to work out, but others just taunt me.

Kathi D August 5, 2008 at 9:32 pm

The tree trunk calendar idea is AWESOME.

YayaOrchid August 5, 2008 at 10:03 pm

Your kids are so lucky to have you for a Mom! That is such a neat calendar. Can’t wait to see what you’ll create next!

Linn August 5, 2008 at 10:07 pm

Wow. Grand ambitions are so difficult…amazing and problematic at the same time. That description in his head sounds great, though. It makes me want to learn to whittle someday.

Amy August 5, 2008 at 10:56 pm

Great calendar! and I am so excited to know that SHRINY DINKS still exist!!! Talk about a fun childhood memory!

Speaking of those – you are helping your kids create many good ones. It’s inspiring, thanks for sharing.

Amy August 6, 2008 at 4:11 am

Can’t wait to see what Grandfather has in store.

Thanks for sharing that great project. I think you’re all pretty neat!

SpiderWomanKnits August 6, 2008 at 5:45 am

The calendar is such a great idea! What a vivid imagination your son has. His idea sounds so cool.

I checked out your pops blog. So.Cool. I wish my dad had the computer skills to share in this manner. I love that he is doing this. Fantastic.

Dallas August 6, 2008 at 5:46 am

That’s a pretty cool calendar. And even more neat is the wood block one your son imagined. That would be very cool.

elissa August 6, 2008 at 5:49 am

oh, i SO feel for him. i really do! i think this is at least HALF the story of my life. the reality never quite living up to what i have in my head. the trick is being able to appreciate the reality, even when it isn’t quite what was dreamed about… am i right? (and for what it is worth, i think that calendar is LOVELY. clean, simple and sweetly modern) and pass on to grandfather that i think there will be a whole lot of future engineers who will appreciate his easy projects…. that blog is tagged for daddy and the boys!

Katherine August 6, 2008 at 6:10 am

Just FABULOUS! : )

Sarah August 6, 2008 at 6:51 am

Sounds like a very nice (and expensive) calendar! 🙂

Regina August 6, 2008 at 6:54 am

When I was little my grand ambition was to open a candy store on the moon – I guess I truly am a product of the space age.

Candy store never happened…

That is a cool calendar – love the shrinky dink idea!

Katie August 6, 2008 at 7:14 am

Both calanders are WAY cool~but I think the wooden one would totally take the cake!

My oldest son would be inclinded to make a very detailed calander from wood just like that too.

What a great imagination!

Lisa Clarke August 6, 2008 at 7:47 am

What, you mean you can’t carve ornate motifs into wood?! How disappointing 😉

Thanks for the link to Grandfather’s Workshop. I sent it to my mom, who I think might enjoy doing things like that with her four grandsons.

nicole August 6, 2008 at 8:55 am

awesome idea in my lowly opinion! i think you did great even if no one else does ! lol!!

judy August 6, 2008 at 10:01 am

Introduce this child to polymer clay and he can make his own decorated markers. He can impress real leaves, bugs, any nature texture he wishes before baking and write the number on the other side. A small circle cutter will cut it out and a toaster oven will bake it. Any number of sources on the web for inspiration: Polymer Clay Central will get him started. Beware! Addicting!

Mandy August 6, 2008 at 10:19 am

My dad bought me a “wood burner tool” when I was about 10 and I had high hopes of making beautiful wodden things for my mother. I made one keychain. I think his idea is genius and the calendar looks awesome!

I cannot wait to go see Grandfather’s Workshop!

The Mommy August 6, 2008 at 12:00 pm

That calender is looking really spiffy! I love the shrinky dinks! I can’t wait to see his finished product….he IS ambitious!

Kristi August 6, 2008 at 12:21 pm

great job L, Keep it up and journal about it so when you can carve it you can remember the details!! I think it is a great idea~

Mearaid August 6, 2008 at 4:38 pm

The calendar is cool however your discription of his idea is really genius I would really love to see it come to fruition.

wesleyjeanne August 7, 2008 at 7:05 am

Wow, that calendar in his head sounds stunning!

Not that yours isn’t lovely…

MJ August 7, 2008 at 9:03 am

What creativity and imagination! You’ve got quite a wonderful set of boys!

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