Saturday, August 26, 2017

26~ Masked Ball

Alex and Bambi made costumes, including masks, and props, for the Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade. From the Masquerade website... "Costumes fitting our theme are required. Imaginative costumes highly recommended." They were designing, sewing, sculpting, cutting, gluing, painting, researching, and happily anticipating this moment, and the event ahead, for days and days.

Sewn into the fabric of Bambi's dress are tiny LEDs that light up and twinkle, like fireflies.

Costumes and props are finished, they have their forms and driving directions... so off they go!

Here are some glimpses of the making of costumes, masks, and other details... and if you like sewing, design, art, robots, cosplay, STEAM education, electronics, programming, 3D printing, CNC routing, woodworking, metalworking, all kinds of making, please follow BOoMNerds on Instagram! Thank you.

Alex is always carrying around one, or more, sketchbooks. And they are full of concepts, designs, tests, ideas, and beautiful art.

His masks begin in a sketchbook, then move into plaster, which he can use to build a custom fit. Then comes sculpting the modeling in clay, in this case, so he can vacuum-form the actual mask.

The texture of the vacuum-formed plastic has a great effect, so Alex didn't bother sanding it, and went straight to the paint.

A lot of testing and experimenting went into the wings. These, Alex modeled after the wings of a cicada, and he hand-cut them from foamcore... the same handy material William used to make Prince Phillip's shield for the Sleeping Beauty musical.

Drying rack... which happens to be a box William is constructing for one of his skeletons, but that's another story.

These are Bambi's finished wings! Alex is testing them for placement on her dress. Bambi designed and made her dress. We need more pictures... I want to show, between all the layers of tulle in her skirt, the fireflies!

Alex designed his outfit, too, and he and William sewed it.

Also out of Alex's sketchbook and research, came the designs for this prop sword. Alex handed his drawings over to William who modeled 11 separate parts, including this handle and pommel, in 3D Studio Max, MudBox, and MeshMixer (Autodesk, whenever you would like to sponsor our club, Benevolent Order of Makers, we would be honored.) The parts were 3D printed from William's renderings, glued together, sanded, and painted. The cool part... it's a handle, with a jewel glued on, and a scabbard, but there is no actual sword. It was made to safely pass through security without alarming anyone. A thorough prop prop.

Alex twisted the wire detail to go around the glass jewel, and finished the prop by wrapping Pearl cotton around the handle and a section of the scabbard. You can also see the sash William sewed.

This is the beautiful mask Bambi made. I love the floating jewels. There are more parts, more details... and we're still cleaning up! The creativity is wonderful, but the collaboration is what really excites me. It's exciting, too, to hear them talk about how much they learn with each new project, and how much it inspires them for the next project.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Friday, August 25, 2017

25~ However You Say It...

It's happening... all those passionfruit that we saw ripening? They are dropping, which means we are eating lilikoi, sharing lilikoi, and making lilikoi curd! Do you say "curd" or "butter?" I say, "Aloha, that's delicious! Lilikoi, passionfruit, tropical heaven in an egg... it's strange and wonderful, and makes a phenomenal spread-butter-curd. I made the big batch recipe, from Drizzle & Drip, and I have no regrets. A perfect treat to bring for sharing at our Hollywood Bowl~Pink Martini picnic, a perfect way to honor our homegrown fruit, and farm fresh eggs... yes, I can see what a lucky duck I am. *quack-quack-quack*

Hey, local friends... would you like me to share some of our good luck with you?

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

24~ Manicure Exchange

Delia and Maria gave each other manicures. A little something extra special for our weekend plans.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

23~Waning Summer, Full Days

This is the first week of school for Max, and an easy entry into back-to-school routines for Maria. Grandma is in town, there are projects everywhere! I didn't even try to tidy, conceal, or corral all of the parts, tools, bits, paints, threads, motors, materials flying around our DIY home, so my Mommy got a full dose of Us! To say things have been hectic is a rather comic understatement. Alex is recovering from an infection. Everyone is getting dental overhauls. The city cut the water for maintenance... what day was that, again?? Oh! And the eclipse! Maybe that wasn't actually major part of the fullness of our days, but I used it, frequently, to excuse my shortcomings and missteps, all day Monday. I don't know. Likely, this wasn't any crazier a week than another, and even more likely most people do more, and accomplish more, and say less, than I... but I still feel ready for relief.

Alex and Bambi are going to a masquerade, and have been making costumes and props. William is helping, too.
I made another floral crown, which was pure fun, I admit, and even more fun to share with a friend, when she hosted Mom's Night Out.
Goats. And chickens... there's always a little busyness, there.
Max's new school and loads to do to get that ball in the right court and rolling, but lo! He's on track and moving forward!
Mom fed us her yummy quiches, and I think we are managing to squeeze in some fun in between running around times... plus we have a really special thing in store for us this weekend. *wink wink*

Pfffttt... this all reads as silly, because once the errands, appointments, strategizing, hoop-leaping and fire dousing are done, and recorded, it just looks like a list. A life list. But, I tell yeah, it's been a bit much!

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

22~ That Haircut When Maria was Almost a Teen

This morning three blog comments appeared for moderation, and they were from Maria. "Mommy, I love this! I decided to look back at some of your older posts. It's really fun," she wrote, as she was going through the archives. She left comments here, and there, then we talked about trips, and memories, things we've done, family we miss, times we have enjoyed. Together we scrolled through more old posts, and some were pointless, silly, but what we most enjoyed were the reminders of laughter, of activities, engagement, touchstones, moments of connection with loved ones, rites of passage. I frequently question my motivation for blogging, and sometimes others question it for me... I won't try to justify what I do here for them, but for us... blogging has been many things which are mostly good, including a means of sharing news, reflecting on views, ideas, hopes, and concerns, recording events and experiences, and engaging with the world. We've made friends, and kept memories, marked passages. It's been a means of expressing myself, even of learning new skills, and exploring my beliefs, and dreams... those are some of the grander ideals I've kept and enjoyed, but fundamentally, I like the moments... a haircut, a bus ride, the flowers we grew, the gift we received, the scare we overcame, the cats, chickens, laughs. All of these details, and seemingly small events fill our days, our lives, and I am happy to recall, at least, some of them. I do, probably, overshare, sometimes, but I hope no has ever been hurt, or offended by my ramblings and reflections, and for the record... I do not 'obsessively throw everything on these pages,' not about us, not about anyone. Believe me, there is a great deal left unsaid, and none of it is compulsory reading... so, gosh. Anyway, I loved Maria's comments, and her appreciation of what Chickenblog holds, because it's what I do... I write, and take pictures, and share ideas, and reflect, and express, and ultimately it's just a story of us, for us, and no story is worth much without contact and connection, so there's some of that, too.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Monday, August 21, 2017

21~ An Eclipse

We've enjoyed some lovely eclipses, and we were even featured on the subject of eclipses, at Make. This time our friend Stacy had some extra viewing lenses to share with us, and I was passing those around all over town, "Have you seen the eclipse? You have to see it! I was turning heads wherever I went... hahaha. Thank you, Stacy!. And like that time in San Mateo, at Bay Area Maker Faire, it was wonderful to see the event, and even more fun to share the experience. Whether looking up, or watching the crescent shadows... an eclipse can be an awe-mazing sight to behold, which is why I am already thinking of the next one in North America, and ten others, all over the world.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

20~ Cats, and Trains

Maria was a house sitter, and kitty caretaker for a few days. Meet, Masacchio. Momo. We were always greeted with nose kisses and his sweet, beguiling expressions. Collect the mail, a little kibble, a little wet food, open the slider to let in the breeze, love on kitty. It was an easy job, a happy one, too.

And we went to the train station, watched a long freight pull in, slowly. Then Grandma Boo's train arrived from Union Station, where she's been visiting cousins, Julie and Becky, and Liz and Kai. While we waited, Maria and I wistfully discussed hopping on board a Coast Starlight, again, and going north, again, to Albany, and Portland, and Florence, and Bandon, through forests, over rivers, again. We like to tell a story of a mother and daughter who board a train with their cat... and all of the dear and silly things that could happen aboard a train with a cat.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.