Saturday, January 10, 2015

How Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Spend Winter

 Waiting for the Nutcracker

Didn't quite make it to the finish!

The only way to get pictures of my kids with any cooperation: Cosplay/Pretending.  We did our Christmas Cards in a Rock Star theme. My son was Kurt Cobain (whom he doesn't know *sigh).

Gene Simmons (this pic missed her spectacularly long tongue)

 Gene in progress


Guns N' Roses 

Ziggy Stardust.  Painting a 4 year old with straight lines?  Impossible.   

Inside joke for fans of Cards Against Humanity 

St. Lucia 


So cool even the kitties snuggled together 

We totally flaked on Chanukah this year 

 Semester recitals

And now we've been sitting in pajamas trying to get a much needed break from the last frantic two months.  We'll crawl out of our Skyrim and Terry Pratchett hole soon enough. :)

Some Peg People and Peg Hogwarts

I was at a serious loss for Christmas gifts for my four year old this year until Pinterest came to the rescue.  I found this amazing idea for a Hogwarts for peg people and went a little crazy ordering a big box of pegs and searching Michael's stores for castles.  Success!  I had a wee problem with my mod podge smearing the ink from my dumpy printer, so you'll see the smears in the pictures.  Lighting in my house is awful, so they look dark but it was more apparent in the sunlight.  One of these days I'll get around to fixing that.  

I made some Harry Potter characters (Luna, Hermione, Ron, Harry, Hedwig), Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf dressed as Grandma, Santa, Some Doctor Who pegs (not all shown-10th Doctor, Rose, Cyberman, Ood), and a couple Walking Dead guys.  I'm not done creating and I've been handing more over one at a time. 

 Blurry in progress overview

 Stairs with ghosts behind them (printed and modpodged on from screenshots)

 The Great Hall


 Entrance (don't mind the splotch!)

 Gryffindor common room


Room of Requirement insert painted by my 4 year old. This slides into the Room of Requirement and holds a bunch of pegs and some little glass potions bottles.

2015 Reading Goals

I've been using Goodreads for reading challenges the past few years, and figured I'd post some goals for accountability. Last year I read 60 book, and this year my goal is 52 books but I hope to surpass that.

For some of my books, I am using parts of these two lists merged a bit to pick some titles to push myself outside of my History and Fantasy comfort zone. I've added a few other personal goals.

1. A book you've been meaning to read:

2. A book published this year:

3. A book from your childhood:

4. A book your Mom loves:

5. A book originally written in a different language:

6. A book "everyone" has read but you:

7. A book by a favorite author:

8. A book you should have read in high school:

9. A book on a current best seller list:

10. A book you own but haven't read:

11. A book made into a movie:

12. A book with a color in the title:

13. A book you started but never finished:

14. A book of poems:

15. A book based on a true story:

16. A book by an author you've never read before:

17. A book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit:

18. A book on art:

19. Every book published by one author:

20. A book starring an animal:

21. A book on writing:

22. A book written in another language:

23. A history book from a time you haven't explored:

24. A classic sci-fi or fantasy book that you somehow missed reading:

25. A book that will make me cry:

26. An audiobook picked for the narrator's beautiful voice:

27. A book from home:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Halloween: Shock, Young Maleficent, and Elsa

Three costumes, now: Shock from Nightmare Before Christmas, Young Maleficent, and Elsa from Frozen. 

The preschooler won't put up with anything uncomfortable and she made me so relieved when she picked a store costume. I knit a hat and added a yarn braid to it to keep her warm. She wore her coat and pants underneath. 

Shock's costume, well...didn't work so well. I accidentally made the hat too narrow for her head, so she couldn't wear it outside in the 20-30 mph wind. The mask is model magic with paper mâché overtop, then painted. The robes were simple. 

Maleficent, oh Maleficent. First my beautiful intricate, PERFECT horns were too darn heavy. That took me a week of work. So I got made and twisted some foil over a headband and tossed black duct tape over then. Much lighter for a 6 year old. The wings? I thought I told my kids NEVER AGAIN after the Weeping Angel wings but I was suckered into it this year. We made a wire frame with fabric base (cheap flat sheet), then hot glued like 30 cut fabric feathers on it. Oh, and leather horn wing tips. The wire wasn't strong enough, so I had to add a disguised feather dowel for her to prop up or change wing direction. I repeat, NEVER AGAIN. 

The dress was easy. I just traced a simple sleeveless dress shape on the best matching fabric I could find and added a Velcro closure. 

Beeswax lanterns take 1

This was an easy, fun project. We used this tutorial:

Then I read this one and the hints are absolutely wonderful. I highly recommend pre-inflating and pushing the bottoms down.

It turned out a lovely milk chocolate color on accident. We were running low on beeswax so we tossed all our little bits and scraps of beeswax into the double boiler. I'm happy with it now!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Halloween 2014: The Oogie Boogie Man

My son went as the Oogie Boogie from Nightmare Before Christmas. This costume was insanely easy.

We took a piece of slightly green tinted burlap, folded it in half and my son laid down on it, arms and legs spread some. I traced his body with ample space following how Oogie Boogie looks. We used hot glue to seam the edges, leaving feet and hand holes. Then we cut a hole for the head and a slit down the back. My Velcro didn't stick do well, so that ended up pinned. The hood was made with the scraps. I followed a tutorial on using wire wraps to form the eyes and mouth. We stuffed the hood with plastic bags and my son painted the dark places. He was able to bundle up underneath. 

Halloween 2014: Sally

A little bit late. But we did finish on time. Just barely.

Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas:

Snazaroo face paint is magical. But it will leak a little if your eyes fill with tears from the cold. 

After the party (minimal smudging).

She made her own costume. I slightly helped in drafting and figuring out how. She has hand dyed wool jersey leggings and arms because it was just so cold out. We had to make those last minute and a matching pair of stitched wool hands for Trick or Treating. It was really cold this year.