Friday, March 22, 2013

The Great Houdini Escape Necklace

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This Sunday, March 24, would have been Harry Houdini's 139th birthday!


He lived a really fascinating life, his career starting as early as 9 years 
old, as a trapeze artist in the circus.
He went on to become a magician, taking the name Harry Houdini as his stage name.
He became the great escape artist, without using "smoke and mirrors" to trick the 
He would calm himself into a meditative state to concentrate on freeing himself, along with his ability to regurgitate a key, and dislocate his arm, he could escape anything.

His death, contrary to what movies may have led us to believe, was not in any escape act. He died from peritonitis  from a ruptured appendix, after surgery trying to correct it.
 His appendix was ruptured when a college student caught him off
guard and punched him in the stomach, (before he could brace himself) after hearing the claims Houdini could withstand any blow to the abdomen. 
You can read more here, and all over the internet for more information on him.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What is in Ms. Marple's Desk?


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“I’m afraid that I have a tendency always to believe the worst. Not a nice trait, but so often justified by subsequent events.”
-          Ms. Jane Marple

Friday, March 15, 2013

Little Clover Clips- for St. Patricks Day

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You can make your own luck...or lucky charm this St. Patrick's Day, with these cute 
Four leaf clover clips.

You can clip a note to them, as a holiday surprise..clip to a treat from 
a leprechaun. Or even stand the clip upright, and use as a place card holder.

These are really simple to make. In fact my kids came up with the idea, when I let them play
around with a bag of random wooden shapes and some Popsicle sticks.

 I used a regular, wooden clothespin, and then I had
a bag of irregular wooden shapes, you can find at most craft stores.
Pick out 1 star, and 4 little hearts, the same size.
The star will be your base, add glue to this, and attach the petals
to the glue on the base. 
 All points toward the center.

 Then allow your clover petals to dry.
You can attach these clovers to anything...when my kids made these, they
attached them to popsicle sticks, and we displayed them in our plants.
 Then attatch to your clothes pin....the end that pinches things...not the 
end you press on.

Then wait for it to dry. They look pretty cute natural wood color, but 
I liked the green for the holiday, adding a little gold glitter paint over the final coat.

Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Tiny Cryptozoology Worlds

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Cryptozoology, broken down literally, means the study of hidden animals. Some of the legends of  Cryptozoology include the Sasquatch (Big Foot), the Yeti, and the Loch Ness Monster! There are so many more creatures that can be included in this category,(and oh, we may get to those too!)  but these guys always hold my attention.

So, how appropriate to take these "hidden creatures", and create your own little hidden worlds for them, small enough to carry in your pocket.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Three Little Birds Mobile

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I have a third grade daughter who is a big worrier. I love to play her the Bob Marley song Three Little Birds and try to get her to think positive. I was making some cute little birds this week, with Easter in mind, when I thought about putting three of them together to make a mobile inspired by the song. 
You probably have heard Three Little Birds a million times. It's the one that goes,

"Don't worry about a thing!
Every little thing gonna be all right. Don't worry about a thing"
"'Cause every little thing gonna be all right."

Rose up this mornin',
Smiled with the risin' sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin' sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin', "This is my message to you-ou-ou:"

So, these instructions may be followed so that you might make a mobile of your own to bring some good vibes to your home, or you may just want to make some of the birds to stand alone. They are really adorable and pretty easy to make. Also remember that white doves are an Easter symbol so you could make these using cotton balls and have them for an Easter centerpiece or Easter basket gift.

  • plastic Easter eggs (any size) or real eggs, emptied out
  • wool roving or cotton balls
  • craft glue
  • beads for eyes
  • yellow paper for feet and beaks
  • fishing line and stick for mobiles
First, find some old plastic Easter eggs or empty out some real eggs. Wrap some fishing line around your egg and tape it down with masking tape if you plan on hanging it. The top egg needs to have string coming out of the top and off the bottom. the other two need to have string hanging off of the top.

Next, glue some wool onto your egg. Spread it out as thin as possible and you can always fill in the gaps later. You do not want to just swaddle it it in a huge mass of wool or it will not be little and cute any longer. I was too lazy to do this but you could paint the egg the color of the roving ahaead of time so that the bright color definitely won't show through. If you ever wanted to know what it is is like to be tarred and feathered you will enjoy this part of the project. You will wind up with little bits of wool stuck all over your hands. I was covering three eggs so I just did small areas of all three and let them dry and then covered more of the eggs later. This made it a little less sticky and messy.

Make a head for your bird by rolling wool in your hands with some glue. glue on eyes and a paper beak. Attach the head to your bird.

Make wings for your birds by folding decorative paper in half and cutting out something that looks roughly like this.

 The tail is made from accordion-folded paper stapled at one end and glued onto the bird.

After everything is dry you can assemble the mobile. I used a nice straight piece of birch twig. You could also use a dowel. Or, you could hang all three from a coat hanger or an embroidery hoop.