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.

Another Week of Cutesy the Elf 2021

Cutesy the Elf continues to find new ways to surprise us each morning. My favorite thing he has done this year is to get breakfast ready for Boogs.

Cutesy bunched up aluminum foil into a tube and used hot glue to keep the Fruit Loops in place.

Cutesy brought some yummy hot cocoa.

Cutesy created a workout corner. He was using resistance bands and his own dumbbell and barbell weights. 
Cutesy brought a balance challenge. You have to balance the cardboard strip on top of a tp roll tube and then build the cup tree on top of it.
Decorating with pom poms was harder than it looked. One false move and the entire thing could fall over.
Daddy pulled out a tape measure to find the exact center of the cardboard piece before he started his tree.
Cutesy reminded Boogs that he should give these unopened Tinkercrate Kits to someone who will use them. They are from a monthly subscription box gift he received 6 or 7 years ago. Boogs was never interested in them. We have found them a good home with a kiddo who will enjoy them.

What has your elf been up to?

If you want to see over 200 other visits from Cutesy, you can find them on his Pinterest board HERE.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Homecoming 2021

 Homecoming 2021

Boogs is now a sophmore in high school. He has been friends with Z since they were in preschool together. Z asked Boogs to go to her school's homecoming dance. Boogs and I met up with Z and her mom at the prayer garden on the grounds of the church where they went to preschool. It was so cute. They were both nervous. These are all the pics I go that day:

They had a great time and I had fun crafting for Homecoming week.

I made a mum for Z to wear to school on the day of the homecoming game.

Then I tried my best to make a proper corsage. I think it turned out great and cost one fourth of what the flower shop wanted to charge. (Just ignore my old, wrinkly hand :-)

Boogs and Z had a great time at the dance. I had fun learning a new crafting skill.