Monday, August 25, 2014

Completed Costumes for Dragon*Con

Except for proper shaving, DH's War Doctor costume is complete.

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My costumes for Saturday and Sunday are also ready.

For Saturday:

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Victorian schoolmarm, Miss Frizzle, for Sunday:

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Final Wakulla Springs Day of the Summer

The Tallahassee Homeschool Group has had some wonderful programs at Wakulla Springs this summer, but today was the last one for this year. The theme was nature art.

Blaze and I arrived about a hour early, so we found a nearby trail and took a walk.

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The children were shown both impressionistic and realistic nature art, before going for a hike to collect materials to draw.

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This was the display that Blaze brought back:

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All of these programs end with the children being able to go swimming. Since public school started at the beginning of the week, this was the quietest I've ever seen the swimming area. It was a good day for cold spring water, too, since it was 95 degrees.

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There were three manatees playing and eating near the swimming area.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Finishing Up Our World War 2 History Unit

We didn't really take a summer break, we just had shorter school weeks, doing lessons Monday-Wednesday. Last Wednesday, we finished up our history unit on World War II.

We read all of the book, World War II for Kids.

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We did several of the activities in the book, such as making a field ration box and eating only what was in it for a day.

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We also started some seeds and started sprouting a potato for a small "victory garden".

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DH and Blaze spent two nights watching the movie Patton. This was something that DH really wanted to do with Blaze, because his father had taken him to see Patton in the movie theater.

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The BBC had a couple of good programs about what people on the home front were going through during the war.

BBC 2's Wartime Farm series:

Now, on to the 1950's!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Working on The War Doctor, Tesla, and Ms. Frizzle

Dragon*Con is only 30 days away and costume creation is a major topic around our house right now.

DH is working his ability to grow facial hair into both of his new costume ideas. First, he plans to be The War Doctor, John Hurt's character from the 50th anniversary of Dr. Who special.

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The costume is still a work in progress, but it's coming along nicely.

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Then the goatee will be shaved off, so he can be Nikola Tesla the following day.

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There are no pictures, yet, of what the Tesla costume will look like. I still need to see if I can get his hair to behave like that.

The Tesla costume was inspired by a new costume that I'm working on, Victorian schoolmarm, Miss Frizzle, the steampunk version of The Magic School Bus' Ms. Frizzle, which also takes advantage of my natural hair type. My dress is going to reflect the latest subject that Miss Frizzles class is studying, alternating current electricity.

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Victorian era Miss Frizzle will be taking her class aboard the Magic School Train (Blaze let me paint a toy train he had).

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The fabric I ordered for my dress has not arrived, but the Beanie Baby of Liz, Ms. Frizzle's lizard should be in today's mail.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Tallahassee Homeschool Group's Service Project

Today was the Tallahassee Homeschool Group's service project at Wakulla Springs State Park. Ranger Jackie Turner gave a short, impromptu lesson about local and introduced insects

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and then talked about the importance of keeping the park clean for the wildlife. The parents and children were all given gloves and plastic bags and spent about an hour cleaning up the picnic area.

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So excited about finding trash!

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After doing a great job of cleaning and getting all hot and sweaty, the children were able to go swim in the spring.

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A manatee was swimming very close to that platform.

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Costume Updates

Blaze has been growing out of all his old clothes, so we're working on some steampunk wardrobe updates before Dragon*Con.

The striped pants that he wore with his Tesla Ranger costume are too tight. Even cutting two pieces out of the waistband only lengthened their life by one wearing.

Blaze helped spray paint stripes onto a new pair, which are gray and black striped, instead of brown and black like the last pair.

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I guess the Telsa Ranger is being retired, at least for now, because Blaze asked for me to make a gray hatband for the top hat not the cowboy hat.

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Speaking of "growing out of clothes," this coat is not going to fit much longer. It's getting tight in the shoulders.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Blaze's New Prop: The Victorian Smart Phone

Once upon a time, this was enough to keep Blaze happy while we waited in long lines at Dragon*Con,:

but my iPod is now obsolete and won't play any of the newer games that Blaze wants, and he has become nearly inseparable from his Kindle Fire. It's time to build something new: a backpack that will hold the Kindle and reflect the teenager that Blaze is becoming.

This is the Intelligent Mobile Telephonic Devise, a Victorian smart phone.

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We started with an unfinished wooden box from the craft store.

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Blaze helped with the wood stain and painting.

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Kitsu helped, too.

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The "speaker horn" started off as a child's tin party horn that I painted with brass Liquid Leaf. I removed the noise making part of the horn before painting, so unfortunately, we still have that for the children to play with.

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The "Retro Phone Handset" was supposed to plug into a cell phone, but it does work with mine. We have discovered that it can be used like a set of headphones for the Kindle, though.

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Black velvet lined interior with a pocket that holds a cloth placemat and a holder for a thermos, so that refreshments can be had wherever they are desired. There is plenty of extra room inside to pack a lunch. There is also an emergency bow tie.

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The padded back, to make it more comfortable to carry. Pillow stuffing, covered with black vinyl.

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The straps are two matching belts from Goodwill (they had an entire rack of identical belts, so finding two that matched was not as hard as I feared it would be). There was originally a reflective silver stripe down the middle of each belt, but I painted over the stripe with the same brass colored Liquid Leaf that we used on the PVC pipe and some of the other pieces.

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Crafty Crow