School Projects

Fun Projects

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hand Prints

On Saturday, while Daddy was gone, I mixed up a batch of cement and poured it into molds so that the kids could make "Hand print Stepping Stones" for my garden.

I had a little left over, so I rigged up a make-shift mold and used the last of the cement.

I guess I should have asked some better questions about cement, because I didn't realize before I mixed it that plain old cement would be so chunky. It made the hand prints a little hard to see, so we added some acrylic paint.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's Hard To Call This a Project!

Ian has been bugging me for a while to take the training wheels off his bike (yes, I know it's pink - he'll be fine). I will admit that I was putting it off because I didn't want to have to spend hours pushing him around the driveway as he learned to balance. It was a project I wasn't very excited about. In the end, though, it had to be done. As it turns out, I didn't have to DO anything. I gave him one push and that was it. He used the side of the van for a while, to get himself going, and then he was done even with that help. As of the time of typing, I have seen him ride one handed and also pop very small wheelies. I guess balance is not something he has a problem with.
On the same day that Ian learned to go without training wheels, Brynn FINALLY figured out how to pedal her Big Wheel. Again, I didn't have to do anything! She immediatly requested that her training wheels be removed. Sorry kid, that won't work out.
There were a few minor mishaps - mostly of a traffic jam nature - but no catastrophic injuries.
And not to be outdown by her older siblings, Blair learned that her walker MOVED - all by herself! So, now all the Kolstes have wheels.
Less then a week later, the wheels had to be upgraded.
The training wheels went back on the pink bike and Brynn's ability to pedal was put to a new test. The training wheels came off a larger bike we had for Ian and now he can go even faster. The problem is that his feet barely reach the ground, so riding this bike is a bit more of a kamikazi mission.
Somehow, I see a lot of band-aid projects in my future.

Monday, July 25, 2011

At Long Last

Well, I think it took me about two weeks - which is a rather outrageous length of time - but I finally finished the purse I've been complaining about.

Overall I like it. It is the size I wanted and the straps are just about the perfect length.

I'm really happy, because this was really just a trial run with this pattern. I have had my eye on some "looks like leather" fabric at JoAnn's, but it was a little pricey for a risky attempt. I will be modifying a few things, however. In the bottom of the bag there is a piece of cardboard to keep the bottom of the bag flat and open. Since the pattern has the cardboard floating freely, it doesn't stay where it is supposed to very well. I'll be changing that, as well as the way that the straps attach. But really, who cares about such technical details? Here's another view of the bag instead:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What To Do In a Heat Wave

If you are my kid and you get hit with a heat wave, your fill your backpacks with tea party food and prepare to go off on safari.

If you are me, you haul out all your landscaping gear and get to work. After all, heat stroke isn't a big deal when flowers are on the line.

I didn't really have a choice though, if I didn't want all this bounty to go to waste: One of Aaron's co-workers was thinning out his garden, and asked if I wanted anything. Of course I said yes, but that was before Wisconsin turned into Death Valley. But, since the heat is here to stay for a while, I had to get the stuff into the ground fast or suffer the brown and dried out consequences. I can't wait to see it all in bloom next year - it will make all the sweat (and bug spray dripping into the eyes) worthwhile.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sewing In Place

I know this is a little hard to see (stupid digital camera wouldn't focus properly), but this is a very small ant dragging a very large bee. It was quite a struggle, but the ant did make progress. Very......slow.....progress.
This past week, I have felt like this ant. I've been trying to sew a new tote bag, since my favorite carry-all lost the fight to a broken ink pen. However, this week has been so full of things to do, and even my prized work period (a.k.a. "naptime") has been so full of interruptions, that I feel like I am sewing in place. But, like the ant, I am making very....slow...progress.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Finding Faces

In the past few days, Ian has been finding faces in inanimate objects. For example, yesterday he spotted a smiley face in front windshield and grill of a little yellow scooter. He's got a very active imagination, that boy. However, I think he might be rubbing off on me, because this morning I saw my sewing machine giving me a very mournful look.
I brought my sewing machine up from it's basement resting place because I had several mending projects that needed attention, as well as some ideas rattling around in my head to make some little bags and pouches using scraps. But first a day, then several days, and then a whole week passed without me taking the cover off of the machine. I think it felt betrayed.
When naptime arrived, I couldn't stand the guilt any longer, so I pulled out the machine and got to work.
Project #1:
Change the hem on this pair of shorts that just never looked right.
Project #2:
Turn my favorite pair of jeans into (hopefully) my favorite pair of shorts.
I also fixed a dart that came undone in a skirt, but I didn't take a picture of that. I dislike making darts in the first place, so remaking it was not a pleasant 10 minutes.
I think my sewing machine is smiling again - but you'll have to check with Ian.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Paint and Clay

Wow, the last few days have been crazy! We had a great time with family during the 4th of July weekend - playing games, eating WAY too much food, watching parades and getting full of sand while watching fireworks on the beach. I loved every minute of it. But before all those festivities consumed my time, I did manage to do a little projecting last week. In my previous post, I documented my discovery of oven-hardening clay. Since I wasn't very impressed with my creations, the next day I decided to play around with the finished products and see what else I could do with them.
Step 1: apply paint
Step 2: Wipe paint back off.
The metallic paint was the most fun, because even after I wiped it off the top, it left a slight gleam behind, that just slightly changed the color of the clay.
I see lots of clay in my future. But for now, my sewing machine awaits! (If I can find it under the pile of laundry that is demanding attention first.)