I finally tackled an easy project that I’ve long wanted to do: soap carving. I figured that Halloween would be a perfect time, with ghosts, skulls, and skeletons providing the perfect inspiration for my white slab of Dove soap.
You really don’t need much at all to get started with your own soap creations, just grab a bar of soap and some clay sculpting tools (orangewood sticks used for manicures are said to work well, but I didn’t have any on hand).
I learned that it is extremely important to go slow, removing just a little bit of soap at a time, in order to prevent breaking. Some people sketch out their ideas on paper and then use the template to score the designs directly onto the soap. You can also use a vice to hold the soap and a coping saw to cut out the basic shape. I didn’t try either technique, choosing instead to forego proper planning and simply jump right in.
It didn’t turn out so bad considering I was making it up as I went along. If you keep the original soap box and repackage the finished project, perhaps adding some wrapping paper and a bow, your handmade piece of art could make a great gift for that special someone. If you make your own soap carvings, send me a picture of your finished products and I’ll post them!
My daughter was thrilled to pick up a “unicorn” for a whopping fifty cents at a yard sale this weekend. Wasting no time, I felt it my fatherly duty to explain to my her that, without a horn, it was technically just a pretty white horse.
My daughter was having none of it. Meanwhile, I realized this to be a parenting blunder that could have easily been avoided if I’d just kept my stupid mouth shut. Next, just to seal my fate, I arranged a quick check of the Barbie of Swan Lake DVD cover, which further confirmed my daughter’s worst fear: Daddy was right. She had, in fact, bought just another pretty white horse.
There was no need to fear, however, because I’d already devised a plan to get myself out of this predicament and to make all parties happy. I had a stash of polymer clay sitting in the craft drawer for several months now, without an ounce inspiration for how to use it. A few globs of clay, a small screw, and fifteen minutes in the oven, and Amera was born (If my memory serves me right, the unicorn in the Barbie movie was named Lila. Not that it matters – I’m partial to Amera).
I love to play with my food, which is why the CHEETOS MIX-UPS and Life of Dad Show art contest was right up my alley. The grand prize is a trip to the 2014 Dad 2.0 summit in Houston!
Since I already have a history with food art, I wanted to make sure to up the ante by putting more time and effort into this project than I did for my Sweet Tooth candy art from last year. After all was said and done, I think it turned out pretty well.
Here is the official contest page on Life of Dad, where you can see all of the entries. There really are a ton of awesome submissions. A winner should be announced in approximately one week. In the meantime, go ahead check out the other nifty entries, and please feel free to comment on my Cheesy Chester Cheetah. Don’t forget keep your cheesy fingers crossed – I’d love to win a trip to hang out with other cool dads at the 2014 Dad 2.0 summit!
For St. Patty’s Day this year, each of our kids will have to follow a rainbow to their very own Pot O’ Gold! I purchased rainbow-colored crepe streamer from Party City ($1.99) as well as some chocolate gold coins ($.99 per bag plus some additional colored ones at $.10 a piece). Each of the little laddies will have their own rainbow, which they’ll have to follow throughout the house in order to find their Pot O’ Gold.
You can buy little plastic pots or even use small cooking pots if you’d like, but we opted to make our own paper mache pots. We’ve been working steadily on several other paper mache projects, so I just added in a balloon for my daughter to practice on. Once dry, we cut it in half, added legs, painted and glittered them, and voila. She’ll be surprised to see what their paper mache project was actually intended for, and even more surprised to find the edible treasure inside!
Today we have an old toy toaster and a broken kiddie cup. The toaster is solid upper body material, while the cup lid looks like it may make a good helmet. The kitty is already wary of this whole situation, which, on a side note, reminds me of a fun game that we play on the iPad called Robot Wants Kitty.
Robot Part Roundup #2
Robot Part Roundup #1
Is it weird that I started saving toilet paper and paper towel tubes without having the slightest idea what to do with them? I guess that must make me either a brilliant artist, a hoarder, or an impoverished Martha Stewart. Or, perhaps, all of the above.
The Doctor Who scarf project from Knits for Nerds is finished! Seven hundred and seventy-four rows of knitting later!
It is roughly ten feet, or, a four-year old girl, plus a two-year old boy, plus a medium-sized beagle/boxer doggy long.
It feels great to have finished this project, and I’m so glad that I tackled it, even though It was pretty a serious project for a first-time knitter. Now I have a new skill in my arsenal, not to mention a very warm neck, or even a makeshift rope in case of an emergency. While I don’t have any other knitting projects on the horizon, I’m certain that I will knit something else at some point in the future. In the meantime, I have the rest of winter to wear my handmade Doctor Who scarf as a badge of pride.
Knits for Nerds: Update #3
Knits for Nerds: Update #2
Knits for Nerds: Update #1
Knits for Nerds: The Prequel
I keep a supply of nuts and a container of Sunsweet Ones (individually wrapped prunes) on my desk for grazing throughout the day. I know how this sounds, and to give you a balanced picture, let it also be known that I have been on a quest for the perfect hot dog and hamburger for quite a few years now. I like to balance working out with pigging out.
Anyway, I recently finished off the last prune and found myself staring at the empty canister, wondering what I could use it for. It had definite potential to be repurposed for something else… Robot part? Shaker? Drumstick holder? All viable uses. What about a look and find tube? Bingo! It would make a perfect look and find tube! Really, you can use any plastic container that you wish, such as a soda bottle.
I consulted with my wife about dying rice for the filler, sine she had recently died pasta for another project. I used her technique and it worked out great.
The tube held two cups of rice with a little room to spare, so I divided that into five ziploc bags, adding about a teaspoon of rubbing alcohol and about four drops of food coloring to each bag. Then I let my daughter shake them to her heart’s content. We spread out the rice on a foil lined pan and left it out to dry while we played outside in the snow.
Later that day, I looked around for tiny items to hide in te tube. I thought about putting little miniature people and animals in it, but I didn’t want to have run out and purchase anything since I had already made everything else from what was readily available. My list of found treasures is below. I mixed them with the rice and dumped it all into the tube, using super-glued to seal it. I’d also recommend some packing tape on the lid. This is one toy we do not want to break in the car!
- Saxophone lapel pin
- Pink Pez
- Blue M&M
- Brown M&M
- Mini green M&M
- Flintstone vitamin
- Cocoa dusted almond
- Broken red crayon
- Goldfish cracker
- Red bead
- Pair of googly eyes
- Pencil eraser
- Black pen cap
- Red paperclip
- Drywall screw
- Match stick
- Yellow paperclip
- Hair clip
- Large nut
- Small nut
- Dog treat
- Pen spring
- Tiny yellow hair band
- Blue gem
When my kids get board of finding item from this lists I’ll cut open the container, throw in some different tiny treasures, and seal it back up in a new container. You can also take a picture of all the items so your kids can know exactly what they are searching for (I wish I would have thought of the BEFORE I sealed the lid).