Wednesday, September 14, 2011

kid project: growing sugar crystals

My kids are on a crystal kick such as the world hasn't seen since the early 90's.  Theirs runs more towards the cheaper plastic sort, but nonetheless just as crazed.  I thought I'd show them some real crystals.  They aren't too impressed by small ones we found in rocks, so I thought perhaps we could make some bigger ones.

Fortunately a while ago I scored a sweet Goodwill find of "How Science Works" and bequeathed it to my oldest filled with fantasies of doing science projects together and being that cool sort of Mom.  Then I got all nerdy and explained it all before we did it.

this is how:

1- we heated up water and slowly dissolved sugar into it until it wouldn't dissolve any more, and then we should have added a tiny bit more water so that all of the sugar would have dissolved and not acted as seed crystals all over the bottom of the jar.   ..and added blue food coloring

...BTW, this is AFTER the solution has sat and been poured out.

2- we poured the super saturated hot sugar water/syrup into a jar and hung a rough string (we used hemp because it was laying around, you could use yarn) into the jar (not touching the sides or bottom) 

3- waited.  Patience isn't a strong point in children, but they held off for two whole days while we were growing a seed crystal. 

3- we took the largest seed crystal (that Lucy didn't eat) from off of the rough string and tied it to a nylon string (fishing line works) and hung it from newly resaturated sugar solution. 

And then whilst on vacation, we grew bigger ones.

Saved the biggest ones in cool origami-sticker boxes, and happily ate the rest. 

They taste like little naked nerds. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

On patched jeans and other atrocities

I can't decide if this makes me a nice, loving and clever Mom, or a total dork Mom (or probably both).  But I am really bored with jeans being rendered useless after a month because my kids are.. well, kids.  Their knees are constantly hitting pavement, trees, carpet, furniture, gravel, you name it and surrendering their thread count.  I hate waste, and not so much in the trendy, crunchy, reduce your carbon footprint kind of way, but a deep mental aneurysm sort of way.  Call me cheap, or a tight wad, whatever you want, because its true.  But just don't throw something salvageable away in front of me.  I'm probably only saved from serious hoarding by the fact that I'm not a big shopper.  All mental issues aside though, I've officially declared war on the pesky lower appendage ventilation duct.  In honor of the weather starting to cool off I pulled out last years leg wear in all its tattered glory.  And then got busy.

Trying out new ideas all in the name of erring on the clever-mom I-did-this-on-purpose side as opposed to the point-and-laugh-at-the-dork-kid look.

now there are
Since discovering HeatNBond *cough, stupid name I am now re-in-love with appliqué.  And no, I am not being paid for giving them a blog shout out.  And since I was in a blog stupor at the time of the frantic baby-sewing, there are no pictures of said appliqué-love.
all two of them

I also recently started working as a sewing assistant for the incredibly talented fabric/pattern designer/artist  Sandi Henderson.  So I've matriculated back to some sewing projects, having sewing on the brain, but my Ted book illustrations are still forthcoming.