My nephews sometimes come over in the summer for a few days during a week and while they are here we often make things. Sometimes we build boats, robots or masks out of bits of wood and nails. Sometimes we build cardboard armor and weapons. Sometimes we paint and sew stuffies.
Last week we built elastic band propelled cars and extending grabbers.
We built the grabbers from broad flat Popsicle sticks and brads, finishing off the grabber heads with painted foam core. They were quite easy to build but the brads would sometime come apart and the expanding scissor action would come apart.
The elastic propelled cars we build from old CDs, juice lids, BBQ skewers, cardboard tubes and small foam shapes as well as elastics. Our first attempt failed and we discovered that it was too light. Our next design had more weight to it and worked great. Once we had them working, paint and foam stickers were added to make the cars look fabulous.
This years Hallowe'en challenge was to make a costume for a character from the game Undertale named Gaster.
My daughter loves this game and wanted to come up with a costume for this character. I am always up for a costume challenge.
The costume was pretty simple except for the face and hands. We needed to make a mask out of paper clay that would still allow her to see through.
My mother gave me a totally amazing present for my birthday. A digital piano. I grew up playing piano and gave it up when I was a teenager. Recently with my own kids I have gotten back into music and taught myself ukulele and guitar. Now with this amazing new digital piano I can refresh my piano skills. I was so excited to start playing that it sat for 3 months on my long coffee table where I played it from sitting on the couch getting a sore backed from the awkward position.
It was time to get to work in the shop and build a piano bench for it. Here is my result. It is not the best built but it was made with what I had on hand and at the perfect size and height to fit the piano and myself.
I am so excited to start playing again!
I've often used glass floral beads to make eyes for various clay or sculpture projects but never for a photography project.
I found some large glass beads at our local dollar store and then painted up a few sets of eyes in different colours and styles (mammalian or reptilian). Then while out on a hike with my family we went looking for unique features in the forest where we could place a set of eyes and give nature a face.
It became a really fun outing, hiking and seeing some beautiful landscapes while also searching out the finer details that could be given nature a face. I think we'll keep a set of eyes in our camping supplies so that we can do this again on our next hike.
October is Hallowe'en maker month. It was a month of madness that tested my newfound sewing skills to the maximum. First off my twins decided to go as Finn and Fiona (Finn's female equivalent from an opposite reality) from the TV show Adventure Time. I quickly found an online tutorial and pattern for making a Finn hat. Fiona's hat though was move curved and had bigger ears than the Finn hat so I altered the Finn pattern to create a new pattern for Fiona. The trickiest part was figuring out how to wire form the ears so that they remained standing upright. It took two tries for me to get it working right. I was quite happy with the results. For these costumes I also had a make green backpacks for either of them, the sword of their choice (Finn chose the regular sword and Fiona chose the Wish Star Sword) both of which I made using some ideas I found online and then altered to use materials I had on hand. Fiona's skirt I also made using an old T-shirt I cut down to make into a pencil skirt.
The kids were thrilled with their costumes and the Adventure Time theme caught on at school with two of their friends wanting to be characters from the show as well. I went back to my sewing machine this time to make a Jake the Dog and Cake the Cat hats for their friends costumes. I started with the same idea as the Finn hats but modified the patterns to create the final look. The four of them looked fantastic in their final costumes and worthy of any Adventure Time cosplay party.
Next challenge was for my husband and my son costumes. They both wanted to be Clown Sharks, inspired by the Youtube Rhett and Link Clown Shark video. There was no online patterns available for this. There wasn't even some homemade costumes ideas to help point me in the right direction. Lucky for me I had a small shark costume already that I had picked up used a few years back that was usable for my son. There wasn't a huge selection of shark costumes for my husband though so I decided to make it from scratch...well almost scratch. I found a gray fleece sweater in the local thrift store and using a gray fleece blanket of the same colour created a huge shark head that I could sew onto the sweater. The shoes I made out of an old pair of boots with paper and duct tape. The two of them looked spectacular in their costumes and I was pleased o how they turned out.
My own costume was supposed to be something along the lines of a Cheshire cat but my mask ended up looking way scarier than I had intended and I switched up my idea to make myself into The Deadly Black Catshark. I made a cat hat (along the lines of all the other hats I had made) and a scary mask using polymer clay glued to a plastic form. It was hard to see in the mask and super hot but it was fun to create regardless of how little time I was actually able to wear the mask.
Since Hallowe'en fell on a Saturday we decided to throw an Hallowe'en party for our neighbors and friends. We turned out basement into a haunted house and decorated the front lawn with ghosts and tombstones. The tombstones were fun to make, using polystyrene sheets, acrylic paint and spray paint. The two ghost we created were made of packing tape modeled on my kids who willingly sat while I wrapped them in parts with tape. With the lights and cheese clothes added, they looked quite amazing. The Hallowe'en costumes and décor are all packed away now with the exception of the jars of human heads. think I will keep them on my shelf as book ends.
Here is a catalog of my creative adventures and experiments