Thursday, January 24, 2013

Neville's Remembrall

In case you don't know what a remembrall is, it is a clear glass ball that fills with red smoke when you have forgotten something.  Neville receives one as a gift from his grandmother in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.  It immediately turns red, prompting Neville's quote in the above photo.
Photo found here
I have had the idea for making this for at least a year, but I couldn't find a suitable material for the gold trim.  A little while ago, I just happened to find the perfect ribbon.

Instructions aren't really needed.  I stuffed small pieces of gauzy red ribbon into a clear glass Christmas ornament and carefully glued the gold ribbon around the ball.
That's it!

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Superhero capes for super kids!

My cousin's 3-year-old little boy uses his bathrobe as a superhero cape.  I am of the opinion that every child should have a superhero cape.  My 14 year old daughter even has one, and has had it for years! Sadly, my 19 year old doesn't want one.
When I found out that my super small cousin didn't have a real cape, I decided to remedy that situation.  And while I was at it, I made one for his 1½ -year-old sidekick, um, I mean sister, and one for the very littlest cousin.
I started by picking up some fleece in colours that I thought would be good for budding superheroes.
 Then I got my cousin to tell me the measurement of her children from about the back of a t-shirt collar to the floor and I used that measurement (minus just a little) to get the  length of my capes.  I wanted them to be almost floor length so they could use them for quite a while.
Don't look too, too close.  I took this picture after the capes were almost done. 
That is why you can see the collar detail.
Sometimes I forget to document my progress.
I sewed their initials onto the back of the cape and added a little colour to the collar.
I also sewed a little piece of velcro to the collar with the soft side facing their skin so they won't get scratched.  I want the capes to be able to tear away easily if the kids get them caught on something.  That is why they do not tie closed.
Then it was on to the tiniest of our superheroes! He is just barely one year old and I thought a cape like his slightly older cousins might be a little dangerous for him.  I also didn't think his initial on the back would look like an initial, so I painted the front.
First I designed my stencil on the computer and printed it out.  I laid that over a piece of freezer paper and cut my design out.
I had to be sure to save the "holes" from the letters p, e, O and the second e.
The arrow is pointing at the "holes" from the letters.
Then I ironed the stencil onto the shirt. Being very, very careful to place those holes I saved in the correct spot.  Then I used my fabric paint and painted my stencil, forgetting to take pictures, of course.  The next morning, I peeled my stencil off the shirt and heat-set my paint (as the instructions on the bottle tell me to) 
Then I sewed the soft side of some velcro to the shoulders of the shirt, cut out a cape shaped piece of fleece and sewed the matching side of the velcro to the shoulders of the cape!
This active three-year-old LOVED his cape!  His sister...not so much.  She didn't hate it, I just don't think she really cares at the moment.  I can live with that.  But that is why I have no pictures of her.
I didn't get a picture of Super Owen because he wasn't wearing an outfit that allowed for changing his shirt, but his Dad sent me this picture the next day!  Well, without the mustachioed happy face... 
I'd say that the capes were a success.  :)
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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Come to the Dark Side, We have ... ... CHOCOLATE!

Yeah, I know he isn't perfect.  But he's still very cool!!!!
Dark chocolate, of course!
My oldest daughter gave me this super cool Darth Vader ice cube tray for Christmas.  And it creates these super cool Darth Vader ice cubes!
Coolest ice cubes in the galaxy!
I have tried about half a dozen different ways to try to get clear ice and have only come close once.  So I switched to chocolate.
Unfortunately, my chocolate is a little on the old side.  I know, how does that even happen!?  Who know that old chocolate doesn't melt well?  Not me, that is for sure.  So all the chocolate you see in this photo was scrapped.  :( 
The next batch didn't melt much better, but at least it was workable.  And tastes fine.  That is the most important part.
My youngest has been saving her Ring Pop rings, at my request, for a project just like this.  They have been thoroughly washed, but I boiled them for a few minutes just to be sure.  
All of my ingredients and materials on a tray.
When my chocolate melts properly, I just boil a little pot of water on the stove, remove it from the heat and place my Pyrex measuring cup in the pot and let the chocolate melt, stirring occasionally.  Sometimes I have to reheat my water. Normally, it melts to a very smooth, pourable consistency.  Not today.  It was a smooth, spoonable consistancy.  So that is what I worked with.  The second time.
Here is the mold, all ready to go.
After I spooned the chocolate into the molds I tapped it on the tray several times hoping to get all the air bubbles out and trying to get chocolate into all the nooks and crannies of the mold.  This would have worked really well if the chocolate had melted better!
Once I was pretty sure I had gotten all the bubbles out that I could, I placed my rings.  Then waited. And waited.  And put the mold in the fridge and waited some more.
When they had set, they popped out of the mold quite easily!  Several imperfections, but who cares!  Next time they will be much better.  I am sure of that.
My youngest has already done quality control testing and gave me a thumbs up.
So, I went from having the coolest ice in the galaxy to having the coolest ring pops in the galaxy!
Now, I just need more chocolate.....
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