Wednesday, October 1, 2014

De-gnoming the Garden Bean Bag Toss Game

Daughter and her cousin enjoyed the Harry Potter party last year so much they requested to have one again this year.  Yay!  Hogwarts 2nd year it is!  We have a lot of planning and crafting to do before November!  We've got games and many many new creatures and objects to recreate.  Here is one project that is probably my favorite so far.

Bean Bag Garden Gnomes!

We made a total of eight gnomes for a "De-gnoming the Garden" bean bag toss game.  There is one large 12' tall one and seven smaller 10" ones.  Four with and three without acrylic eyes that I started putting on them before realizing they will most likely get scratched up when tossed.

Students (Players) will have to hunt down a gnome; tag it; and toss it over a fence (maybe into hoops) for a possible combined Herbology/Care of Magical Creatures Class.  We may have two different versions of the game.  One on timing and one for accuracy that will earn house points.  Students will get extra points for finding the largest gnome ("Arthur")  Yes, we decided to name them all after the Weasleys since they are the ones that introduced de-gnoming to us at the Burrow in the "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets".

Arthur and Bill

Charlie and Percy

Ron and and the smallest one, Ginny

Didn't get good close ups of Fred and George.

I tried to alter the pattern to appear more like the gnome illustration in the "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" book.  About 10" tall with a potato-shaped head.  Couldn't figure out how to make hairy or horned feet, yet.  :)

While we were getting the pattern figured out, we made a couple prototypes.  Not knowing what else to do with them, we decided to paint them as golden gnome angels for our Christmas tree.  (Fred and George painted a gnome that bit one of them in "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" book.)

Looks like Fred getting ready to sneak back into the garden!  Bad gnome!  :)

Working on some Witch BOO'ts that I hope to have listed on Etsy this week.  Just finishing up some details and the poems for them.  I'll post when they are available.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

New Witch BOO'ts for 2014 painted by J.Moore of Creepy Creations!

Not only is this pair the first witch BOO'ts finished this year, they are the first matching set of small boots, as well as the first collaboration with my sister, Jamie Moore of Creepy Creations.  My mom and I sculpted this small set for Jamie to paint for a commission.  I then helped put some finishing touches on them.


There are two scenes that mirror each other on each boot.  One side is of a witch holding a spider in front of a cat.

The other is a graveyard scene with an owl in a tree and a cat sitting on a tombstone.

For this set I added brass eyelets to the lace holes, which I don't normally do.  It's difficult to get them in those tight spots and tough on my hands.  (You probably won't see these eyelets on many of my pieces.)  I then tea stained some tiny lace for the lacing trying to match the antique white of the moons.  The ends of the laces were wrapped in masking tape and dipped in a metallic gold fabric paint to make them look like metal tips.  I couldn't find a gold to match the eyelets, so I mixed black with the bright gold.  It ended up a pleasantly close match.

Jamie is planning to paint some more witch BOO'ts in the future.  We've been talking of doing more collaborative work together.  So, keep an eye on her Etsy shop, Creepy Creations.  You may see a large boot, another small pair, or even an adorable ornament size we're working on.  Can't wait to see how they turn out.

I also hope to have a pair of small Witch BOO'ts and a shoe available in my own shop this week.  Just need to do some finishing touches.  Wish me luck!  I'll post here on my blog when I do.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

DIY Roller Skate LED Lights - Quick and Simple for $2


I hadn't been roller skating in quite a few years.  I'd really forgotten how much fun it can be...and good exercise.  So, we decided to start going more often with the daughter.  We even found a classic pair of roller skates for $10 at the local thrift store!  But, they were looking pretty plain jane.  I wanted to dress them up a bit.  I wanted to paint them!  Alas, the daughter didn't want me to.  Pom poms?!!  Nope. Daughter wasn't having that either.  She did let me change out the white lacings for black metallic ones from a pair of boots she grew out of.  And, we agreed I could add lights!  Woo hoo!  LIGHTS!

I've seen some kids with those light up wheels, so I did a google search.  Some shops want as much as $50 for light up wheels! thanks.  Our plain black ones will be fine for now.  :(  Then, I found some invention that mounts under the shoe between the wheels.  They were pretty cool looking and cheaper than the wheels, but they required somewhat complex installation of the LED strip and a battery pack.  Besides, it looks a bit dangerous with the wires and stuff that could fall and get caught in the wheels.  Eventually, I gave up my search keeping the idea in the back of my mind.  Surely there is a more affordable and less dangerous way.

And, there was!  How simple?!  (Okay, it doesn't look like much in the pic, but turn out the lights and you got a party under your skates! WOOT! WOOT!)

Do you recognize it?  We have a friend we see at many evening events who frequently is wearing, and even kindly gives out, the flashy rubber LED rings.  (She must buy those things in bulk or something!)  One time she gave me one that I wore for about 5 minutes before it started driving me crazy with all the bright blinking.  My eyes were drawn to it like a deer in headlights.  I could hardly socialize or walk for that matter.  I had to shut it off.  I'd take it home for the daughter.  Later, it occurred to me that perhaps we could use this rubber ring on her skates.  I found more of them at the party store for $1 each.  Thank you party store!

I'd originally just intended to weave it in the laces or wrap it around the rubber toe stop in front.  But, it was still rather bright and distracting looking down (and at our skill level we do a LOT of looking down).  So, I wanted to mount it under the skate out of site but still visible lighting the ground under the skate.  So, I found that it's possible to stretch it over the truck part (forgive me for not knowing correct terminology)  without getting in the way of the wheels.  There is a piece that sticks out that is not connected to the axel thingy, so with a little squishing and pulling you can get it between them.  And, being rubber, it doesn't slip or easily budge.    I suppose you could put a 2nd ring in the back in the opposite direction, too.  Being easily removable, you can even use these on rentals.  Then, you just give the back of the rings a squeeze to turn them on.  And.....YOU'RE READY TO ROLL!!