Saturday, April 14, 2018

M is for Marble Maze

Man, oh, man, I've had it SO together (especially for fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants me) for the A to Z Challenge this year. I've had several posts written for weeks, and if the post wasn't written, at least the project was completed and documented with photographs, and I've been pretty proud of myself, but that's over and now I'm going to have to hustle.

I packed a few supplies to take to the lake house with me this weekend so I could get out from behind the 8-ball, but I still needed a few items, so we planned to stop at Walmart as we got to town (it's a 2 hour drive from home to the lake house). We were watching the sky and the forecast, as our unseasonably warm weather was about to meet up with some unseasonably cold weather and possibly bring us some very seasonable severe weather, and sure enough, a tornado warning was issued just to the east of where we currently were on the highway, and we drove through some heavy wind and rain. The big question at that point was, do we go on to the house and wait for all the storms to blow over, or do we go ahead and stop at Walmart and get it over with?

We opted to go ahead and stop, since it was barely sprinkling by the time we got to the exit, but as we got out of the car, the clouds opened up and poured on us, making us run like idiots across the parking lot and to the doors, and we were no less wet than if we had just walked normally. Once inside, we separated to get our errands done as quickly as possible so we could get home, and I was in the craft aisle, picking out paint, when my tornado app went off on my phone at the same time as an announcement came over the intercom telling everyone a tornado warning had been issued and everyone needed to go to the back of the store. (FYI - we take tornado warnings VERY SERIOUSLY around here, especially after one-third of our town was blown away by one in 2011). I texted both of my kids to let them know we were in a warning and where we were, just in case, then headed to the back of the store, where I promptly lost cell service (at least that let me know we were, indeed, fairly well distanced from doors or windows), and my husband got there shortly thereafter.

We waited with all the other shoppers back in Layaway, near the restrooms and the backroom with the giant walk-in coolers and freezers (all good places to take cover, if necessary), until we finally got the all clear and got to resume our errands, a little shaken but safe (there was some tornado damage about 20 miles to the east, but nothing where we were).

I wasn't much in the mood to complete a Pinterest project once we got to the house after all that, so I waited until this morning to be crafty. This is what I had found to make:

I cut down a cardboard box and drew the course as close to what I saw in the pin as I could (I'm no engineer, after all):

I used hot glue to stick down the beads that were the walls of the maze. My beads weren't as pretty and colorful as the ones in the pin, but they were what I had on hand and I've already spent what seems to be thousands of dollars on supplies for the Challenge so far, so ugly beads it is. The pinner used fun foam shapes kind of as bumpers, so I did it, too, because, again, I'm no engineer.

It only took me about 20 minutes to glue everything on, and it was ready to go, except I didn't have a marble, and that's a pretty integral part of a marble maze. I searched drawers and checked games and still couldn't find a marble anywhere in the lake house, so it was going to take yet another trip to the store. My husband wanted needed something electronic from Walmart and dropped me off at Michael's craft store, where I discovered they did not sell marbles. I had to text my husband and ask him to get them.

Got home and gave it a try. Success! 

It's a fun rainy day project for kids, and the kids that are engineery could even draw their own course. It's also a good way to use up odd beads, but keep in mind that if you lose your marbles don't have any marbles and have to get some, you'll have to buy an entire bag of them, because, contrary to what my husband thought, NO, YOU CANNOT BUY JUST ONE MARBLE AND JUST GET THE WHOLE DAMN BAG!

Pinterest win!


  1. What an interesting story - loved all the cyclone (as we call them) drama - I can't even imagine what that would be like (or to lose half your town to one!) We get them in the far North of Australia but none where we are. Very cute marble maze too - your determination to have something for your "M" post is admirable!

    Leanne |
    M for Make It Happen

    1. Being in a Walmart during a tornado warning is nothing I'd wish on anyone. Well, being ANYWHERE in a tornado. But I took one for the team and got my marbles!

  2. That marble maze is amazing activity. Nice creativity! :)
    - Jui Positive Cookies

  3. That is a TERRIFIC idea!
    (And I'm glad that it wasn't a super-involved one for you - sounds like you needed a reasonably easy win.)

  4. I am so glad that everything turned out okay with the tornado warning. That's so scary. Good for you for forging ahead with your maze project. I could see this as being a fun one for kids. Weekends In Maine

    1. Tornado season is not a fun one. The worst part is they can pop up ANY time of year, if the weather conditions are just right. At least I got my project done!

  5. This was quite a story, and a scary one to begin with! We take tornadoes very seriously in these parts too. I am so glad you escaped injury and damage and made it safely to the lake house. This project looks like fun, and it looks doable. Not being able to find one marble in the house is the story of my life when I need some small but essential object, and it's a 25 minute trip to town! This pin was definitely a win, and I'm betting you and your hubby were playing with it once it was finished! It harkens back to the much simpler days of our childhood. :-)

    1. Nothing like living in Tornado Alley, is there? My uncle, who was REALLY an engineer, made a maze game for his kids when they were young. It had dials on the side that twisted and it was super cool.