Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Blanket Fort a Month: April '14

As much as we wanted to, Silkworm and I didn't get to build a fancy fort this month. It is, however, our favorite fort to date. Prior to this one, we hadn't used chairs in any of our forts, but we used one on either side of this fort to hold the blankets out to the side. Not only did they give the fort a cute shape, but it was nice to have the sheets off the sides of the bed so we could move the comforter around without fear of ripping the fort down, which was a problem with February's fort. Thus, we'll definitely be keeping chairs in mind for future designs.

A good night's sleep happened here last night, as well as some planning for our next camping trip in May this morning. We're thinking of playing cards when I get home from work later this evening, and of course we'll have to let the ratties out to play.

For May, we've got ideas for a blanket fort con mucho pillows, if we can gather enough (I've only got two in my room and I have no clue if we've got more spare ones hiding away somewhere).

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Wrapped Wire Word Necklace

After playing around with our new thick aluminum wire for making crowns a bit ago, Silkworm and I had a little leftover, and when a project idea came to mind, we thought we might as well make use of it. Unfortunately, the first wire word was nibbled at by the ratties and ruined, but we loved the project so much that we ended up buying more wire just to make another word!

Contrary to popular belief, you don't need anything fancy to bend wire into presentable--even beautiful--cursive letters. As long as it's a malleable metal such as aluminum, your fingers and/or a pair of pliers will work just fine. Try it out for yourself!

Thick malleable wire
Wire cutters
Chain necklace

Step One: Depending on the length of your name, measure a piece of wire and don't cut it just yet, just in case it's too short.

Step Two: Bend a loop at the start of your wire with your pliers.

Step Three: Paint the wire with glue.

Step Four: Wrap the wire with embroidery thread. Don't worry if the thread gets a little bit of glue on the sides that show; it'll dry clear. You don't have to glue the thread to the wire, but it helps it stay in place.

Step Five: Bend the length of wire into the shape of your name in cursive. Make use of any objects you have around that could help you get the shapes of certain letters you need to make (i.e. wrap the wire around a knitting needle for an "O").

Step Six: Bend a loop at the end of your wire with your pliers and finally cut the wire.

Step Seven: Add jump rings to the loops at each end of the wire name.

Step Eight: Attach the wire name pendant to a chain necklace using the jump rings.

- Try not to use words that have letters in them that you'd need to pick up your pencil for to make the right mark if you were writing them. You won't be able to mimic that with wire so easily!
- You can make a two or three word phrase by making a shorter necklace for the first word, a longer necklace for the second word, and so on.

Word Ideas:
- Wow
- Courage
- Bravery
- Magic
- Marvelous
- Wander
- Peak
- [Insert your name here]

Let us know if you make one for yourself and what word you choose!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend Camping

Camping was so magical, we forgot Silkworm had magic powers because they didn't disturb us once. We didn't stay the night on both nights because we weren't as prepared to do so as we thought and it was rather chilly, but it was gorgeously sunny and warm during the day.

We visited Mars--the wide open cracked mud field that smells like clay that my brother and I dubbed "Mars" when we were very little--so many times we lost count, and we found so many places we want to explore next time when I have more energy (I had such a long work week this week that it made me a bit lazy!). It was just like what I dreamed being in a place I felt comfortable biking around in would be and I wish we lived there all year long so we could wake up and bike to the beach or Mars to have breakfast picnics.

All the sun flares on Mars are (unbelievably) real.

We saw a couple ospreys soaring around the nest across the bay.

One of the various textures of Mars.

We roasted apples over this fire once it died down and oh my gosh, they were heavenly.

The sunset on Mars.

We also used a disposable camera whilst we were there, but the photos aren't anything special. I'm not sure what happened, but I guess I must not have been holding the camera right with every shot because some are very oddly cropped and not at all what I intended to photograph. Nonetheless, we scanned those last night and we'll post them on Tumblr later.

Our next camping trip is scheduled for May at a different campground, but I'm sure we'll be back here this summer, too--and boy, do we have plans.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Raising Sensitive Plants: Take 2, Day 30

He's alive!

It looks like Plucky is gonna be just fine after the recent flood. Silkworm and I are delighted to see our little guy fighting for survival like the brave warrior his name says he is!

On a relevant note, Silkworm and I have been sprouting snap peas and string beans the past couple days and we planted the peas earlier today. We're gonna try our best to grow them indoors and see what happens, though the seed packets warn us it's not recommended. People grow peas and beans indoors all the time, though, so why shouldn't we give it a shot?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Camping Badges

We've got a reservation at a campground this weekend, and ever since we made it in January, Silkworm and I haven't been able to calm down about it. Silkworm's never been camping before, and I haven't been for a couple years, so I'm thrilled to finally get to go myself and show him what it's like. We're also dedicating the trip to celebrating Silkworm's birthday and our anniversary of meeting each other, which was April 15th. We already wrote our to-do list earlier this month, and to keep us busy today, we've created a set of badges for proudly announcing our ordinary yet important camping victories.

It'll almost be like playing Premonition Bingo, but with every happening, we get to add a badge to my jacket rather than crossing something off on a Bingo board. They're simple successes, like building a fire or seeing a deer, but what's camping without little things like that?

If you want to make your own badges, whether for camping or for something completely different, our tutorial is just down below!

1 sturdy fabric (denim, etc.)
1 other solid color fabric (preferably a light neutral color)
Embroidery needle
Embroidery thread
Sewing needle
Sewing thread

Step One: Cut a circle out of the sturdy fabric as big as you want your patch to be.

Step Two: Cut a slightly smaller circle out of the other fabric so that when placed on top of the sturdy fabric circle, there is a small border of sturdy fabric around the other fabric.

Step Three: Thread your embroidery needle and stitch the smaller circle onto the larger circle all the way around the edges. You could use any kind of stitch you want for this (we used traditional blanket stitches). Tie a knot toward the back of your badge and cut off any extra thread.

Step Four: Thread your sewing needle and embroider words and things onto your badge. Try not to pull the threads too tight or your badge will ripple up.

Alternatively, if you have an embroidery hoop, it's a lot easier to start by securing your solid color fabric onto the hoop, marking up the size of the circle you want to cut out for your badge, and then embroidering words and things inside the circle. Afterwards, you'd cut out the circle and finish the badge by sewing it onto your sturdy fabric and stitching around the edges.

- Use Velcro on your badges to make it easy to add and remove them from a certain piece of clothing.
- Sketch your embroidery on your badge in pencil before embroidering it.

I'm sure, by the time we fall asleep on day one, my jacket (and Silkworm's vest, if I get to making him one) will be covered in badges.