Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hanging Mirror

I have made a decorative hanging mirror that we can take with when we go camping. It started out as a $1 mirror from Dollar Tree, with a thin, gold, plastic frame.

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Today, I added dabs of alcohol ink to the frame and sprayed it with clear coat. Then painted a black frame inside the real frame, using black nail polish and added some scrapbook stickers for extra embellishment.

This caterpillar completely approved of my color choices and came to visit while everything was drying.

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The final touch, was using Super Glue to attach two long pieces of ribbon to the back of the mirror.

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After looking at this picture, I decided that the gold frame needed a little more copper color, so that it would match the steampunk stickers, so that has now been done.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Old Fashion Milk Bottles

I have seen this idea in several places, that the Starbucks frappuccino bottles look like old fashion milk bottles, but I only just recently tried it for myself.

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The labels are easy to peel off. I read one source that said to use nail polish remover to clean off the expiration date and any remaining glue, but I found that Lysol wipes also work. Then the bottles can be washed by hand or they can go in a dish washer.

What I hadn't read anywhere, was that normal straws are two short to use with these bottles. Special long straws, made for soda bottles, have to be used. The straws I used came from this Etsy dealer:

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Afternoon snack on the porch:

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Monday, March 24, 2014

World War 1 History Unit

We have been focusing on the 20th Century for Blaze's history lessons this year. We are currently learning about the Great Depression, but we spent quite a bit of time learning about World War 1.

The causes of WW1:

We read the following two novels:

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When Christmas Comes Again was about a young military telephone operator during the war. After the Dancing Days was about a girl dealing with the loss of a beloved uncle during the war and the injured and deformed soldiers who returned to the United States after the war.

Blaze was particularly interested in aviation during WW1. We found a simple model of the Red Baron's  plane that Blaze was able to assemble without help, at a local hobby shop.

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We watched two movies about German pilots,  The Blue Max and The Red Baron, along with some short documentaries about WW1 planes on YouTube.

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We then focused our attention on trench warfare.

We also watched War Horse.

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Blaze used a shoe box to make a diorama of a WW1 trench with American soldiers. The soldiers were paper dolls that were originally printed in 1918 and can be found here. We didn't use the paper stands for the dolls, but instead glued them onto 1-inch wooded blocks, so they wouldn't tip over so easily.

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To give the shoe box diorama a real "hole in the ground" look, Blaze painted the entire box with school glue and sprinkled it with dirt.

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After the glue was dry, I sprayed the whole thing with clear coat, so the dirt wouldn't fall off.

The sandbags were made from Crayola Model Magic.

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The culmination of all of our WW1 studies was Blaze's display for the Tallahassee Homeschool Group's International (Social Studies) Fair.

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Here is a recipe for the donuts that were passed out by the Salvation Army to soldiers during WW1:

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Homeschool International (Social Studies) Fair

The Tallahassee Homeschool Group hosted their annual social studies fair at the main library yesterday.

Blaze chose World War 1 as his subject.

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The other children chose very diverse subjects, but they all did a fantastic job.

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Many of the children also chose to do oral presentations and Power Point slide shows.

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Because this group is all ages, we have many small children who began to get fidgety after a few presentations. Luckily, there was a clever parent who led everyone in a few yoga exercises, as a short intermission.

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Then, back to the show.

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The real sign of a focused and confident public speaker, is when she can smoothly deliver her talk, even when her little brother is dancing around on stage.

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Irish Festival

We missed Tallahassee's St. Patrick's Day parade today, but we did make it downtown for part of the Irish Festival. We took the 3 year old, that I babysit for, with us and she had the best time, dancing in front of the bands, playing with hula hoops and balloons, and riding on DH's shoulders.

The band at the end of the second video is Krooked Kilts. They have a facebook page that can be found here:

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Mission San Luis Military Muster

Yesterday, we went to the Mission San Luis.

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We took the 3 year old I baby sit for.

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It was a good day to visit the Mission, because there were demonstrations of the cannon being shot and various guns.

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One of Blaze's friends from the homeschool group was in a play, in the roll of Lord Feast.

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It's a comical play from 1496.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Fabric Covered Trivets

The cork trivets that I purchased from World Market seemed kind of thin to me, so I came up with the idea of stacking two of them and upholstering the top one with fabric that I had left over from other projects.

I started by tracing around the trivet and then around something a bit bigger than the trivet (in this case, a plastic plate with a Tonka Truck picture in the middle of it).

I then cut around the larger circle and cut triangles out around the larger circle, being careful not to cut all the way to the smaller circle. It is important to leave a space equal to the thickness of the trivet, between the point of each triangle and the smaller circle.

I used Mod Podge, applied with a foam sponge brush to attach the fabric to the trivet.

I, also, used the Mod Podge to attach two cork trivets to each other.

After the Mod Podge was thoroughly dry (overnight), I sprayed the fabric with 3 applications of semi-gloss clear coat.

The finished trivets:

Crafty Crow