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Posted by on Dec 17, 2015 | 0 comments

World Peace Paper Mâché Ornaments

World Peace Paper Mâché Ornaments

I love making holiday ornaments by hand and this year was no exception. My daughter Nadja’s Montessori school had the opportunity to decorate one of the Del Ray Christmas trees, so we chose to make paper mâché ornaments in the theme of world peace. To make enough for an entire tree took days, but you could easily make one or a few in a couple of hours. To make the ornaments, we blew up a balloon to the size we wanted, tied it off, and then used Mod Podge to layer strips of newspaper all over the balloon. We made a mix of small and large ornaments. When the balloon was completely covered with newspaper and a generous coating of Mod Podge, we set it in a small pot to dry in front of a portable heater. (If you do this, be careful not to put the balloon too close to the heat or the balloon will expand and bulge through the newspaper.) After this first layer dried, we started...

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Posted by on Dec 1, 2015 | 2 comments

The Science of Bubble Making

The Science of Bubble Making

In our last post, we celebrated the beauty of bubbles and introduced a family in Alexandria – Scott, Eva and their son Noah – who enjoy a hobby of making really big, iridescent, long-lasting bubbles. Today, we share Scott’s recipe (some serious chemistry at work) and his DIY bubble wand designs, which you can easily make at home yourself. Here is Scott using his handmade wand and bubble solution on one of his many bubble-making outings around town… Let’s start with the bubble solution. Making the solution can be a bit technical, Scott admits. He uses 2.5 gram measuring tins and a scale. (Scott is happy to talk about his recipe or answer questions you may have on the steps – you can ask in the comments at the end of the post.) He gets his supplies at Educational Innovations, teacher supply store, and organizes the ingredients in one big plastic tub. Scott showed us how to make this bubble solution recipe during our visit. Note that he prefers...

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Posted by on Nov 24, 2015 | 0 comments

The Art of Bubble Making

The Art of Bubble Making

When we set up our bubble making booth at Family Field Fest last month, little did we know the bubble enthusiasts we would meet. At one point during the day of bubble wand crafting, a boy named Noah stopped by carrying his own handmade wand and a container of solution. He soon became the life of the party wowing everyone with his DIY bubble wand and amazing, beautiful, and huge bubbles. When his parents Scott and Eva strolled up, we got to talking about all things bubbles and made a date to learn more about their family’s bubble-making hobby. During his free time, Scott makes his own solution and wands. On family outings, he brings along a wand or two and some solution and makes giant bubbles at different locations. He especially enjoys seeing people smile, he told us, and bringing out the kid in adults. When we visited him, our kids had the best time making and chasing bubbles. Noah showed us how to make a bubble within...

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Posted by on Jul 9, 2015 | 0 comments

A Coloring Book Club for Grown-Ups

A Coloring Book Club for Grown-Ups

After seeing all of the press lately about the growing popularity of meditative coloring, and remembering how much I loved coloring as a child, I decided to start a coloring club in Del Ray. This is one of the New York Times articles about a coloring book designer and her best-selling books, one of which I’m working through myself. Coloring is gaining popularity as a way to unwind and quiet our minds as we focus solely on filling in the black-and-white lined drawings with color little by little. At our first club gathering, three of us met up at Emma’s Espresso and Wine Bar. After ordering our beverage of choice, we spread out on a couple of tables, made idle chat, and colored to our heart’s content. I found it just as enjoyable and relaxing as I had hoped. It was fun to see the different styles of coloring books. As well as the medium everyone chose – colored pencils and markers mainly. These coloring book pages are quite...

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Posted by on Jun 17, 2015 | 1 comment

Sara and Aaron’s Handmade Wedding

Sara and Aaron’s Handmade Wedding

When Sara first told me about her DIY wedding ideas last summer, I couldn’t wait to see the decorations in person. While documenting their big day as their wedding photographer in Madison, WI over Memorial Day weekend, I captured photographs of every item she and Aaron, as well as friends and family, made lovingly by hand. Here are Sara and Aaron soon after their engagement in a photo taken by their engagement photographer. Sara’s sister-in-law designed the wedding programs. She used a font that mimics the look of a manual typewriter, complete with mistakes (see the Recessional song title). As one of the reception decorations, Sara’s friend made a wedding bunting to hang along the tents on the outdoor patio, and even installed them with help from her husband. The handmade decorations that took the most time and effort were by far the more than 100 paper flowers that Sara started making a year in advance. She even asked her florist to design her fresh cut flower bouquet to...

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