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Archive for the ‘Making Stuff’ Category

One suggestion offered by Bee’s teacher, regarding some early preschool separation anxiety, was to make a necklace with our pictures on it, that she can bring to school and look at when she is feeling sad.  So this morning we made one.

A Bottle Cap Necklace – it came out well, and more importantly it helped lead to Bee proudly announcing that she had a better day – and that she expects the next day to be even better (twenty times better, to be specific).  A huge relief for all of us!

Here are some pictures – it is an easy project, and only took about 20 minutes to make.

Ingredients: One bottle cap, some Modge Podge, an assemblage of pictures set to fit into the cap (about a one inch diameter), some beads (or charms, etc), and some string (or fancier material).

1- assemble the pictures (I used Photoshop – but collage would have been fine)

2- poke two holes in the top edge of the bottle cap (with a hammer and nail)

3- sand the sharp parts around these holes (the cap ridge itself wasn’t sharp)

4- Modge Podge the photo into the cap

5- string it all together with some beads

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This sounds interesting.  Mac or PC friendly.

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from their site:

About Kidos

Kidos is a revolutionary new platform for children’s learning and entertainment. Our free and easy download allows a child to use her parents’ computer as if it were her own! No more having to worry about files being accidentally deleted, settings being changed or kids closing the browser by mistake. No more cries of “Mommy!” every time he clicks the “back” button by mistake or the internet connection is slow.

Our secure, child-friendly and lightly animated interface lets children easily use all sorts of media: games, books, learning modules, music, video, and art. Best of all, it works on either a Mac or PC and…it’s free! You can also easily add your own music, art, photos, and video!

We’re busy aggregating the best children’s media from all over the world. Want to help your child learn a foreign language? You’ve come to the right place!

Kidos is currently in private beta. To take part in the soon to be released public beta, please sign up and we’ll notify you soon!

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Finally – the finished Dogwood Tree Nursery Mural!

We chose a calm subject with a soft palate (matching the crib set) – wanting to do a tree with birds or butterflies or blossoms that drift dreamily off of the tree.  I thought a dogwood was ideal, because it’s a big bouquet of blossoms in spring time – I cheated by making it a few different colors (and by including insects that aren’t mature in spring).

None of the white represents clouds, it was frustrating to me when people thought they did – even so, they seemed to like it well enough.

There are three messages painted into the mural – I think you can see two of them in these photos.  I’ll make a game of it – by waiting until a later post to reveal what they are.  You can point them out in the comments if you want to (I may not publish the comments).

Here is the drawing I started with.  The vertical line represents the corner, the horizontal line represents the height of the top of the crib.

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I’m cool with anyone swiping this plan from the site.  I’d be happy to know there are others who did this in their homes (I’ll share your pics/links here, if you like).  I taped this drawing onto the first page of the journal I’ve started for the baby.

Here are the links to previous posts, showing the steps I took:

1. Tree

2. Color Areas

3. Petal Detailing

Here is a photo of the final result.

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You can’t quite appreciate parts of it from this photo – butterflies drift around the room, and hover over the changing table.

Here are detail shots.

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To get into a little more detail, for those of you who like to think way too much about otherwise simple things –

Butterflies are a little bit of a remembrance of the pregnancy we lost (as symbols of memory, transformation, etc), as well as friends and family who have died – but mostly, for this mural’s purposes they are just butterflies – soft little living petals in peaceful surroundings.

Dragonflies are symbols of creativity, among other things (you can’t see the dragonfly very well in these pics).  I painted dragonflies in Bee’s original nursery mural – as well as in the new one I’m making for her.

Green Grasshoppers symbolizes new beginnings, concepts of youth, rejuvenation, sentimentality, nature, adventure, growth, health and good fortune.

The Dogwood is said to be a symbol of love undiminished by adversity (which could be handy for our adjustment to a second child).

• The two birds together, are like Mom and I proudly perched over the crib.  The solo bird directly over the crib is like Bee – who will have an important relationship with her sister (if all goes well), longer than we will.

I don’t believe in anything supernatural – but I am interested in ascribed meanings and mythology (as natural facets of brain function).

I hope you enjoy it!  Let me know if you can read the ‘hidden’ messages.

I’ll be showing Bee’s new murals on the site, soon.  It was important for us to celebrate her as well at this time of changes in our family!  She and I have been having ‘painting parties’ while I do her walls.

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With our second child doing a daily impression of a sack full of badgers – a very pregnant Mom still mustered the patience and energy to make a new quilt for her.  Take a look.

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Bee made a ‘welcome kitties’ card for someone we know who recently adopted two new kittens.  The card accompanied a few little catnip toys.  I love her drawing, esp. the legs, the tilt of the head, the facial details, the loose-but-deliberate gestural qualities…

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edited to add:  This is the mural about 2/3 complete – – sorry to be spacing out updates like this.  I’ll be posting the finished piece soon, and will embed links in these ‘update’ posts to lead to the finished piece.  We’re really happy with the final result.  Next step is redoing Bee’s room – something special for her amid all the special goings-on for the new baby.

click here to see the post showing the final results

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You might remember this puppet theater.  We put it to use as a lemonade stand for the first time, and it was a great experience.

Bee shopped for lemons, sugar, cups, ice and a pitcher with me.  I emphasized how much these individual things cost – but much of that went unregistered (except that it may not have, with Bee – there is usually more retention than you think).  Then she helped make the lemonade – squeezing some lemons herself.

We hauled everything up to the top of the driveway (which you may also remember), and set up shop.  Oh, and we made signs – four wooden ones, three of which I hung at nearby intersections, and one for the stand itself.

We had two sizes of cups (9oz. and 16oz.) with two prices (50¢ and $1).  People only bought the $1 cups – so we will nix the small cups in the future.  Once they heard it was real homemade lemonade, our customers eagerly bought the larger size.

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We live a little off the beaten path – but did better than I thought we might.  We sold 8 cups (a gallon).  Bee was so happy and excited throughout the entire experience.  She also gleefully explained to her customers that half of her profits were going to be donated to help the kitties up for adoption at a local pet store.  This helped her cause and earned her so much approval, that this part of the project (initially an afterthought) became something she was very interested in and proud of.

Lemonade Recipe

6 Lemons

6 Cups of Water

1 Cup of Sugar

Ice

Juice the lemons, and pour the juice, water and sugar into a One Gallon pitcher.  Stir until the sugar dissolves.  Fill the pitcher the rest of the way with ice.  Add ice to cups before pouring – otherwise the lemonade will taste too strong (until all the ice melts in the pitcher).

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