Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Iron Craft #26- Camp Craft

This week we are rolling out the debut of Grandma's new blog, Grandmabees Corner. If you want to know what Grandma made for her camp craft check it out here.

During the summer we are all about camp crafts. So this weeks Iron Craft challenge was right up our alley. The Things attend one of the 3 days camps that I manage each summer and I think without fail they do at least one craft a day. So I headed out to camp one day to catch Thing 2 in action.

Thing 2 @ camp

He was working on making a huge ball out of model magic. I am not sure exactly what the purpose of this was but it was super hero week so he must have been making some super hero weapon.
Super Ball by Thing 2 Foil painting by Thing 2
He also came home one day with this painting on tinfoil. Only at camp.

For me, I have memories of making macrame plant hangers and faux leather candle holders out of masking tape and shoe polish. I looked up macrame plant hangers and realized I did not remember all the knots and I did not have the time to figure it out this week. And I knew that I did not have a need for the candle holder ( sorry mom, I think I made of ton of those years ago and you probably did not have a "need" for it either). I decided to head out to camp and see what I could find. I settled on making a pot holder with loops and a weaving loom.

Potholder in progress

Pot holder

Since this week's theme at camp is "Party in the USA" I went with the theme and made it red, white and blue.

We are excited here as dad is coming home today and will be with us for the 4th of July. Happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Challenge #25- Scan this....

So by now most folks have seen the little square boxes in ads and around that are black and white and pixelated. They are known as QRcodes and lead you to all kinds of stuff. This week for Iron Craft the challenge was to use them in a project. I have to admit when I first read the challenge I was not inspired. I have scanned them with my phone, even downloading the App last summer at the Smithsonian so Thing 2 could scan everything in the Natural History Museum. But, I was blank on ideas.

I asked Andy what he thought I should do and he said he had an idea for a shirt that has the code on the back that leads to a new website about the project he is currently working on. So I took that idea and went for it. The front is the name of his firm in Arabic and the back is the QR code that takes you to here.

Front of t-shirt QR Code
Andy has spent much of the past 3 years working on this project. He has spent a lot of time in Cairo, Beirut and India prior to his long stint in Saudi Arabia. He is helping to design and build the world's largest university for women. It is a pretty amazing project, especially since it is in Saudi Arabia.

While at Kathy's house the other day Thing 2 was really intrigued by the needle work she was doing. He originally said he was not going to do a project this week but that afternoon he asked if he could do one in cross stitch. So with a little help from Kathy we got him started and he finished in record time a sign for the door of his room.

His QR code does not lead to a website it tells you his nickname at camp.

Thing 2's QR code Thing 2's door hanger
His nickname is GIR who is from Invader Zim

Thing 1 decided right away that he wanted to do his QRcode with Legos. What a prefect thing. We found a website Pictobrick that will take any photograph and tell you how to make the image out of Legos. It even tells you how many of each color. So off to the Lego store to buy 263 1 x2 white pieces we went. It also required us to sort through the thousands and thousands of Legos we had for some single pieces. His came out super cool and leads to the Lego website.

Lego QR code

Until next week.....

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Iron Craft #24- Something for him

Once again I have been done in this week and have not completed my project. These 2 weeks of the year are the busiest for me at work. I normally work part-time except for the past 2 weeks....3 day camps, 100 staff and hundreds of swimming lessons did me in- everything started this week and things should level off- I HOPE!!!

Thing 1 has a really cool project in the works for his dad but since dad reads this we are not putting the pictures here before dad sees it. I promise to show it once he sees it when he is back in the US in July.

At least Grandma keep up our end of the bargain this week.

Mom decided to do a new "Cool Scarf" for Grandpa.

Grandpa wearing his scarf

She and a friend had made about 500 of these for our troops in Afghanistan as a part of Treats for Troops, and Grandpa said he wanted one. They are great for golfing, yard work, or just keeping cool on those hot days. The scarf uses polyacrylamide crystals. She found them at Lowe's in the garden center under the name "Soil Moist". These crystals absorb water and then slowly evaporate which produces a cooling effect when worn around the neck or forehead. They can be used over and over. She has sent the directions for anyone interested in making one.

Directions for making Cool Scarf

Important: Use only 100% cotton fabric (camouflage colors such as gray, tan or kaki for Troops-fabric with any polyester content will melt and could cause great harm)

Cut fabric strips 44 inches long by 4 inches wide. (I use a rotary cutter)

Fold fabric strip with right sides together length wise.

Sew down length (using a ½ inch seam allowance) until approximately 10 inches from end.
Leave a 2 inch opening in the seam and then continue sewing until you reach the end of the strip.

Sew the ends closed (using a ½ inch seam allowance).
Turn the tube right side out and press.

Scarf before filling

Measure 12 1/2 inches from the end without the opening. Sew across the short way and back stitch. This creates one tie end.

Place 1 level teaspoon (do not use more than this) of “polyacrylamide” crystals into the opening. (I use a tube with a funnel to make this task easier)


Sew across the end with the opening 12 ½ inches from the end. The opening will now be in the other tie end, creating a pocket of crystals in the middle.

Stitch the opening closed.

The finished scarf will have 3 sections: the two ends for tying and the middle will contain the crystals.

Directions for use: Soak the scarf in cool water for 15-20 minutes or until crystals turn to gel. The scarf will absorb 200 times its weight in water. Worn around the neck or as a headband, the cool scarf provides all-day relief from the heat through evaporation. Note: The scarf can be re-hydrated many times for continued use.

Scarf soaking Full scarf
Important Note: Due to the nature of the crystals attracting any moisture, I package them in snack size zip-lock bags.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Iron Craft #23- You Are Here

This week the challenge on Iron Craft was to do something with maps. That challenge is wide open. Grandma was the first to complete her crafts this week. She writes

When we travel, we like to play games in the evening. Rummikub is the game of choice this year. As the box is too big for travel, I found some map fabric ( the only choice in the store) and made a bag so I can tuck it in my tote or suitcase.

Iron Craft 23 Iron Craft 23

Also, when we made our last trip to North Carolina, the car console was full of receipts. I found a small file for receipts at Office Depot and covered it with map paper which I covered with Contact. No more scattered receipts!

Iron Craft 23 Iron Craft 23

The Things and I along with dad were going to take a map of the world and use pins to mark all the places we have traveled. We bought the supplies but have not be able to put it together. To much catching up to do with dad only here for a week. Seems like I am going to need to post a whole post with all the projects we need to finish.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Iron Craft #22 part 2- Al Fresco with Things

This week for the Iron Craft challenge the theme was centered around picnics. The 3 of us all had an idea of what we wanted to make.

I decided to try making candles for the patio. This was something that I had never done before. I bought some soy wax, wicks and used some canning jars Kathy gave me. To color our candles Thing 2 picked out some crayons and we used shavings.
Iron Craft #22 Iron Craft #22

Iron Craft #22

I like how the colors turned out but I can definitely tell that there is more involved in making the candles than just melting the wax. Something to try again as I have more wax left.

Iron Craft #22

Thing 2 decided to use his sewing skills again. Each summer we love to go camping as a family. I have all of the silverware we use for camping in a plastic bag. Thing 2 made a bag to hold the silverware and put a stamp on the bag.

Iron Craft #22

He is becoming quite the sewer.

Iron Craft #22

Thing 1 is not quite done with his project as I type this up. He is making a napkin holder to use outside. What better use for the box of popsicle sticks we have sitting around. He ran into problems in figuring out how to keep the napkins from blowing around. Knowing him he will work on it until he gets it right.

Until next week, and who knows maybe we can get dad to help us with the project since he will be home.

Iron Craft #22 part 1- Al Fresco with Guest blogger Grandma

Memorial Day and picnics for Grandpa and I have been celebrated the last few years at Jenny's brother's beach house on Cape Hatteras on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Iron Craft #22

This year was no different. A seashell craft was the order of the day so Sophie, Gwyn and I went to work.
Iron Craft #22

After returning from the beach, the twins drew what they saw and did.

Iron Craft #22 Iron Craft #22 Iron Craft #22
And at the end of the day, Buggy shows how we all feel!

Iron Craft #22
I will be back home next week and waiting for the next Iron Craft.