fledge capable of flying, from Middle English flegge, from Old English -flycge; akin to Old High German flucki capable of flying,
Old English flEogan to fly -- more at FLY
intransitive verb, of a young bird : to acquire the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity

Monday, September 20, 2010

Heads up!

It's getting to be Halloween time. So, I thought today I would pull out some of Jack's past costumes made from bicycle helmets. I came up with this idea many years ago and like the idea, because it is a lot of effect for the effort. Essentially, you get a great big head. And great big heads are awesome for costumes. The bicycle helmet works nicely, because it fits snugly with a chin strap. Plus, it has ventilation holes leading into a layer of Styrofoam, into which you can anchor things.

The drawbacks with this kind of costume are that the headpiece can become heavy if you load it up too much. So keep the building materials lightweight. The other drawback, is that the child's vision is obscured, so he will need a little extra supervision during treat-or-treating. The headpiece can become a bit cumbersome, so keep in mind your child's tolerance level.

This was a viper fish/angler fish. Probably a species not yet discovered.

I rigged this with little lights along the back, tail and into the hanging lure.

This was a Cyclops.
Here, you can see the underside. I can't think of many blogs that offer you a chance to look up a hairy Cylcops nose. The teeth are made of a modeling plastic (Fimo). Before baking, I inserted toothpicks into the tops of each tooth. I then stuck the toothpicks up into Styrofoam to anchor them. Alas, all that Halloween candy lead to some tooth loss for our Cyclops along the way and he only has two teeth remaining. The helmet is concealed with faux fur cut into shaggy strips.

And a dragon! The snout for this dragon and the nose for the Cyclops were made by carving pieces of Styrofoam with a paring knife and then moulding and glueing felt around the carving. On the dragon snout, I used a Sharpie pen to add shadow and detail. Dragons must eat less candy, because he still has all his teeth! Feathers add detail to the crown and expression to the eyes. The helmet is covered here in probably an old bed sheet spray painted and cut into strips.

So, that's the heads up!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pregnancy of the Day!

(No, no, no. Heavens no. Don't get excited. Not me. Me? Llama. Just wait for it.)

We are back to school. And I do feel qualified to say "we" and include myself among the back-to-schoolers. I 'm stressing about correctly filled-out agenda books and papers correctly labeled and lists of supplies: Protractor, ruler, glue stick, two different colors of sticky notes, three different colors of highlighters, 100 notecards, six white mice and a pumpkin... Jack started a new school this year. And while it can't be the grooviest thing to be the new kid during the middle year of middle school, his "I hate school" comments can so far only be traced to the 50 problems of Algebra every night and the "Pregunta del diá" ("Mom, what does 'Pregunta del diá' mean?" It's a latinate language, honey, so: "Pregnancy of the day"...). Soy una experta de idioma! Me? Llama. Me llama mama. And I am proud of that boy.

And it's soccer season and my chance to don an obnoxious yellow shirt. Soy una árbitra! Well, I have a flag and a patch and the shirt, so I am entrusted with officiating and execution of the FIFA laws. Laws, not rules. Laaaaws. Well, assistant referee. For which certain Advanced referees are inclined to quiz me--out of the blue--thusly: "Nancy, if, during a goal kick, the ball is caught by a strange wind and does not go forward into the field of play, but goes directly backward, what is the call?" Seriously? What is the call? If the laws of physics are no longer to be relied upon? The call is 9-1-1, because I am on a field with 22 youngsters in the middle of a tornado. That's the call. "Nancy, name all the different kinds of restarts and how they are performed." And so it goes...

I submitted a Whip Up post and dear Kathreen posted it yesterday. Boy, I can tell I haven't written much lately, because, yeah, it's another brain dump. But go have a read, if you like. I've included a little free e-book at the end to make a newsboy cap. Like the one up there at the top of this post.

The article tries to explain how serious crafting can be honest résumé fodder. And I reveal that as much as I am a "business woman," I'm not in it for the money ('cause there ain't that much). I am richly rewarded, on the other hand, with feelings of contributing, accomplishment, community and family. I also have a bounty of richness in the friendships that I have formed. I recently had a little exchange with Lola Nova. Oh what treasures! I am not a huge fan of shopping. I look through a mall and think: There's nothing special here. There's nothing with a history or a patina of love and use. There's nothing here that anybody made for me. Quite a different story with things of a handmade nature, wouldn't you say?

Many of Lola Nova's treasures have quickly found their homes in our home and daily lives. It warms my heart to come across them. I will photograph them as I see them. Things like...

...this shopper!

(The Trader Joe dudes are tired of hearing that somebody made the bag for me. So what.)

...And this gnarly orange "Big Wednesday" poster for the Jack Habitat. Goes Perfect, no?

...And the Rock On Monkey! Like Rock On Monkey.

The handmade pencil case is off to school right now. I'll save that for another post. And the homemade marmalade? Well, at least one jar for sure won't be able to make it to the next post, because it has not lasted long enough to photograph...

Have a beautiful day!


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