Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Tea Bag Rocket

I saw this project for the first time about a week ago, but it was only today that we had time to try it ourselves.

It's very simple. Starting with a fresh, dry tea bag, not a used one, cut the top (the stapled part) off the bag and empty out the tea. Open the bag up, so that it forms a tube. set it on a fire-safe surface and light the top edge on fire. Just before the tube has burned down completely, it will shoot up into the air.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Sunday in St. Augustine

The entrance to the city:

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The Mission Nombre De Dios Museum is fairly new, so this was our first time visiting.

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The casket of Pedro Menendez de Aviles, the Spanish explorer who founded St. Augustine:

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Sea turtle:

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Our last stop in St. Augustine, before heading home, was the beach at Surfside Park. It's free and not as crowded as some of the other beaches.

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The Kings Head British Pub

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We just returned from a mini-vacation to St.Augustine. Friday was our 6th wedding anniversary, so we celebrated with a three-day weekend in the city we had visited for our honeymoon. This, also, was the weekend that the Cowford Steampunk Society had their outing to the Kings Head British Pub in St. Augustine. So, Saturday afternoon, Blaze, DH, and I dressed up and went out to tea with a wonderful group of steampunk people.

There was an antique store right next to the pub, which was fun to wander around as we were waiting for everyone else to arrive. We even ran into some people we knew there.

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The Kings Head British Pub:

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The food was very good!

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The company was good, too.

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Time to head back to the hotel,

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 to get a little swimming in, before walking down to St. George Street.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Growing Up Steampunk / Five Years of Steampunk Fandom

I realized yesterday, after taking pictures of Blaze in his latest steampunk costume, that this was the 5th year that we had done an autumn photo shoot of Blaze in a new steampunk costume.

It was early September of 2009, when Blaze was 8 years old, that he heard the song "Airship Pirate" by Abney Park for the first time and asked me if he could be an airship pirate for Halloween. That request resulted in these pictures being taken shortly before Halloween that year.

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By the following year, he had discovered the movie Steamboy and he wanted to be Ray Steam for Halloween.

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When he was 10, he asked if he could be a steampunk cowboy. As far as I know, he had never seen anything like that, he just thought it would be cool. We watched Wild Wild West and looked at the artwork of Cheyenne Wright, then came up with the Tesla Ranger costume. We also followed Robert Brown's video directions for painting stripes onto solid colored pants.

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Last year's photo shoot had nothing to do with a Halloween costume, since he had decided he wanted to be a red ninja for Halloween, but was instead prompted by a story that his oldest sister had written about the airship pirates. The idea of the pirates throwing a garden party, in an attempt to fit in with their respectable neighbors, seemed like a fun idea. Also, Blaze had a new vest with matching tie from the vintage store in St. Augustine. Blaze (the story character) really enjoys things that go "boom!" and can't help showing off for the guests.

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This year, we took our pictures earlier than usual, because I thought it would be nice if Blaze had one new costume to wear to Dragon*Con (Labor Day weekend). This is the inventor's costume:

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Crafty Crow