First, I tried cooking frozen Lima beans to see what they would look/feel like once they cooled/dried. Not pretty. Not craft project worthy. They would probably have grown mold on them by day 5.
I then went on the hunt for dried Lima beans. Giant didn't have them. Safeway didn't have them. I thought for sure Whole Foods would have them, but no luck. FINALLY I found some at My Organic Market. I brought them home, pulled out my blue spray paint and drop cloth and went to town.
I decided that the blue beans would be a cute "vase filler" for a few stalks of bamboo - and the project would take no time at all to pull together. Winner.
I bought my stalks, bought my vase and set up in the kitchen for what I thought would be a super easy project. I filled the vase halfway with the blue Lima beans, "planted" the bamboo and then filled the rest of the space with beans and water. It looked awesome and I checked the project off my list.
A few hours later I was admiring my work, and noticed that the paint was starting to chip off some of the beans. A tad frustrated, I figured that would happen a little bit since I didn't put a sealant on the paint. Oh well, still looked cute. I put the vase up in the nursery.
The next day I went into the nursery and found a bunch of blue Lima beans on the floor. At first I thought "Fraaaaaank" - b/c he's nosey, and has been especially curious of the baby's new room and toys. Then I looked at the vase and it was like all of the Lima beans had channeled the Incredible Hulk. The beans were growing and expanding and busting out of their blue shells. I was so confused, and then this college graduate had the lightbulb moment she should have had 3 days before - I was working with REAL beans that were used by 99.9% of the population for FOOD in soups and stews and normal recipes. When you add water to dried beans they are going to SOAK UP the water and expand.
Luckily I found a compromise - once I hacked the bamboo to freedom, the second round of this project consisted of re-filling the vase with marbles, and then putting that vase in a larger vase of DRY blue Lima beans. Not my brightest moment.