Monday, January 3, 2022

Last Christmas 2021 Post

I finally got to make my Christmas Tree Appetizer. The base was a 9 inch styrofoam cone from Michael's Craft Store. I wrapped it in Saran Wrap then added Herbs de Provence and garlic powder to cream cheese and spread that over the plastic wrap. The cream cheese and toothpicks held the food in place. There were green, black, and kalamata olives, tri-colored cherry tomatoes, salami, proscuitto, capocollo, cheese stars, and rosemary sprigs. After I took this picture, I added several types of crackers surrounding the base of the tree. It was delicious!

We continued our annual tradition of watching Elf on Christmas Eve. Boogs wore his Elf onesie for the viewing.

Cutesy the Elf went back home to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. He left behind a little friend for Boogs to take care of until he returns next year, a little crocheted hedgehog.

Boogs thought it was pretty cute.

We had a quiet day with just the three of us. We played cards, pool, darts, ate too much junk, and watched another movie. 

On Boxing Day, we had friends come over for a full Christmas dinner. No one could resist trying Cutesy's cup stacking balance challenge. We played a fun card game and had a great time.

My parents came over the next day. My dad spent quite a bit of time with the cup balancing challenge. 

It was a really quiet holiday break. We missed traveling to Canada to see my husband's family. Hopefully, we will get to see them next year.

Cutest Little Crocheted Armadillo

I am part of a beginner crochet group on Facebook. One of the other members posted a picture of the armadillo she made her son for Christmas. It was so cute that I had to get the pattern and make one. The pattern is called Anton The Armadillo by CB Fiberworks. The pattern cost $5 on Etsy. 

I'm from Texas and we see a lot of armadillos around here. I liked the pattern but knew I needed to give my armadillo a pointy type nose and different ears. Here is what he looks like without his shell.

My friend gave me a bunch of yarn this summer and one skein had perfect colors for an armadillo shell.
I am a slow crocheter. It took me about 10 hours over three days to make this little guy. We did not get a chance to travel during the holiday break so it was nice to have a fun project to work on.
The most amazing part of this pattern is the armadillo can roll up into a ball inside its shell. How cute is that!?! Don't you just love it?

School starts back up tomorrow. I don't have a project on my crochet hook right now. (Well, I still have not made a head for the dog I started in July. But, I'm not counting that.) I used a Joann Store gift card to order 9 skeins of yarn so I can make my first sweater. I am impatiently waiting for that yarn to arrive. Wish me luck on that project. I also ordered a needle felting kit. I have never tried needle felting. I promised a friend I would try to needle felt a honey badger for her. Yikes, another project where I will be out of my ability zone.

What crafting projects are you working on right now? 

Friday, December 24, 2021

Makeway Marble Run With Cutesy the Elf 2021

Cutesy opened the Makeway Marble Run package that was delivered yesterday. He put together a marble run to ring a bell. The sign next to him said, "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets their wings. Can you make a new way to ring the bell?

Makeway was a Kickstarter project started early in 2020. I was an early backer. I thought the Makeway kit would be great for my STEAM Shop classroom. Originally, the kit was supposed to be delivered in September 2020. The manufacturing process was completely disrupted by Covid 19 shutdowns, border closings, and worker shortages. There were 32 email updates sent out during the waiting process for the kit. Makeway sent out the basic packages without add-ons to as many backers as they could as quickly as they could. They started delivering to North America first. I am still waiting for my add-on light kit package. Unfortunately, I have changed jobs and no longer have a STEAM Shop classroom. So, I let our elf set it up for Boogs to use.
As soon as he saw it, Boogs set the marble in motion to see it ring the bell. It took a few minutes to figure out how to reset it to make it work again.
Then, Boogs set up a different marble run using some other components from the kit. He planned for it to ring two bells.

Here is the first marble run Boogs put together. I am sure he will be creating many more.
National Geographic partnered with Makeway and there are now kits available at Target and other stores. I used an oil pan that I bought at an auto store as our surface for the magnets. I like that the oil pan is big, light weight, and portable so I can move it around the house or take it to my classroom.

I'm sure we will spend many hours configuring new runs. We have not yet taken everything out of the packages. Boogs immediately put up the cannon. It gets hit by a marble and then launches another marble on its opposite side. There are various interchangable tracks - some are straight, some curved, some flexible, and some are shaped like stairs. I am excited to try the ball lifts. The kit also has bells, gates, levers, launchers, cannons, catapults, and spinners. I can't wait to see how the light expansion add-on items work, hopefully those will arrive soon.

The only negative thing I have discovered about it so far (after only one day with it) is that the pieces are plastic and feel like they might break if not gently handled. The kit came with a 14+ label on it. It did not indicate that age limit when I first ordered it.  I don't know if my elementary students will be careful enough with it to keep the pieces from breaking. My students won't have a problem configuring various runs. I feel like the age on it is because of the fragility of the pieces. Boogs and I will have to play around with it some more to decide. Overall, I am happy with this marble run, it is a lot of fun. Even if I only use it at home, I am happy I purchased it.

Here is a link to a Youtube video about Makeway. 

Crochet Pieces I've Been Working On

I started crocheting last February. Here are some things I have made since I lasted posted my crochet pieces in July. Except for the ornaments, these have been requests by people actually willing to pay me to create them. Apparently, the mistakes I made in them came across as "having character". I really enjoy having new and challenging projects to work on.

This little puppy was made with velvet yarn. It is really slippery to work with. The kiddo that received it, snuggles with it each night when she goes to sleep.

A friend requested an Alligator Loki for her son. I tried my best.

I was asked to try and make a cat based off of this beautiful animal. It did not turn out like I wanted it to. After this picture was taken, I added eyelids to change the shape of the eyes and whiskers. That made it look a bit less like a Dr. Seuss character. This was the first time I had to brush out acrylic yarn to make it look like fur. Whew, that took FOREVER!

My principal asked if I could make her daughter a purple cat. It turned out much smaller than I expected.

I still have not finished this dog. I love the way the body turned out. The legs are a bit wonky but still okay. I have made the head at least three times. I can't get it quite right. For now, I have set it aside and will someday go back and finish it. I gave the person who asked for a dog, a cute little beagle instead of this one.

Another request for a purple cat. This one was made with velvet yarn and turned out twice as big as the other purple cat.

Instead of Christmas cards, this year I made ornament cards for my teaching team.
My aunt saw these ornaments posted on my facebook page and asked if I could make and send her a few. Hobby Lobby has so many cute Christmas themed buttons. These came together quickly.

The person who asked for the black cat, asked if I could make a caracal for her other kiddo. I told her I would try my best. I made one and HATED it.
So, I started over and tried again. I think they are both a bit sad. She still bought them.
This is a picture her son drew of a caracal.

I made a hedgehog for Boogs for Christmas. I think our elf is going to leave it for him on Christmas morning. The yarn is a little too dark to look like Nebraska, our pet hedgehog. I think it turned out cute.

Right now, I am almost finished making an Exorcist doll. It looks HORRIBLE and not much like it should, but it is a jokey Christmas gift for a friend. The green yarn is supposed to look like projectile vomit. So gross, but I bet it will get a good laugh.

Next, I want to try and make a cardigan sweater. I am not very good at following a pattern. I lose count and just start winging it. Thinking about trying to make sleeves come out an even length seems a bit intimidating.

Have you been crocheting, knitting, or crafting anything lately? 

Feeling A Little Christmasy

We have been off of school for almost a week. Unfortunately, we are unable to go visit my in-laws like we usually do this time of year. So far, we have been having a very quiet break.

I have been doing quite a bit of crocheting. 

Boogs and Daddy are practically the same height this year.

We have been having lots of family pool tournaments. 

It was even chilly enough to use the fireplace. The fireplace program on Netflix looked and sounded better than our fire. So, we had that turned on, too.

We have been playing around with some of the activities Cutesy the Elf has bought us.

We have been going on a few walks to enjoy the beautiful Texas sunshine.

80 degrees in December does not feel very Christmasy.

We drove to Marble Falls to see the Walkway of Lights. It was a nice way to spend the evening.