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Saturday
Apr182015

Women in Science (STEAM) Posters | a collage by Hydrogene

In this post I mention S.T.E.A.M. several times. If you aren't familiar with S.T.E.A.M. then get with the times and read up on it. You can start here.

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Original artwork by Hydrogene

If you are like me and think these posters are cool, then I think you are cool too.

When I saw all of the artwork done by the artist Hydrogene it was very hard to pick just one piece of her work. (You can view her full portfolio here.)

I eventually picked nine of my favorites and ordered them as 5"x7" cards. When they arrived I used a paper cutter to separate the artwork (like mini-posters) and I saved the other part of the card for a different project.

Waste not, want not.

The wood they are placed on is a table top I found in our alley. It had no legs; it was just this decent piece of table waiting to be re-purposed. I told it, "thank you, table. Let's put you to good use."

I sanded it.

I wiped it down.

I painted it from some of the leftover paint from the DIY Mason Jar Organizer.

And then I got out the Mod Podge.

This was my very first time using Mod Podge (decoupage). I had glanced through tutorials before and just thought I knew what I was doing.

I didn't.

It was a bit of a project fail.

I didn't smooth out each card after putting Mod Podge on the back and squishing them to the table.

So they bubbled up.

OOPS.

Yeah....

I had actually spent some money on buying all these cards and I really didn't want to call this project a wash. I went ahead and let the Mod Podge dry the full 72 hours required and took to the internet for some help.

A kindergarten teacher in a Mom Group I'm a part of suggested that I put very heavy books on top of the bubbled up pieces and leave it for a few days.

Genius.

It really did work out quite nicely. I used outdoor Mod Podge and my brother, Rich, helped me hang this in the back play yard.

The girls talk about it, point to it, ask about it, and make connections to it often. 

They know about Sally Ride and astronauts. Cora can recognize binary, so we have talked about Grace Hopper. Eric has introduced Cora to code so she pointed out the "data" when looking at Ada Lovelace's poster.

We have talked about chemicals which led to a discussion about Rachel Carson and water quality and the other day, after reading The Watcher, Cora was thrilled to see Jane Goodall's face leap out at her in profile facing one of her chimpanzees.

I'm so happy to have this adorning our home.

I'm happy to have their chalk scribbles adorning our home too.

Plus, it makes a great photo back drop for when I get to hang out with friends who are in S.T.E.A.M. fields in real life.

For example, this is me with my friend Kaye. But officially....Dr. Kaye Sweetser, APR+M is a leading researcher in digital public relations, investigating how organizations form and maintain relationships with their key target publics through social media tools. Oh, when she is not wearing a lab coat or in classroom, you can find her serving as a public affairs officer in the US Navy Reserve. She's an associate professor at SDSU and I'm damn proud to call her a friend.

She sails too.

My girls are lucky to grow up knowing some really incredible women. 

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Dear Hydrogene, if you read this, I love your work. If you ever do a poster of the Lyra Constellation, I'll be your first customer. Thank you for focusing on women in S.T.E.A.M. 

Friday
Apr172015

This Moment ~ She Still Needs "Up-Up's"

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

This Moment is via SouleMama

Wednesday
Apr152015

Waste Not, Want Not | Use up broken Crayon pieces

We go through an exorbitant amount of Crayons. It's a small price to pay for a childhood full of art and color.

Still. All those broken pieces! Years ago, on my friend Cindy's blog, I saw her melt Crayons to make new ones. I found this genius and it eternally cemented Cindy's creativity into my mind forever. I resolved to do the same with my kids one day.

And a few weeks ago, we got started.

Don't let this photo above fool you. It took forever to get to the organized beauty you see above. I didn't take any pictures of it, but for about two days prior, Cora worked diligently at peeling the labels off of all the broken Crayons. She eventually did it and then we sorted by color and I chopped each color set into similar sizes.

At last her hard work paid off and she was able to start creating.

Each girl mixed the colors differently and each was equally proud of the way they set up their trays.

I haven't gone into the details on how to do this yourself because there are already fifty billion tutorials on Pinterest just waiting for you to read them.

Going into the oven. (I set the oven at 175 degrees F and cooked them for about 25-30 minutes).

And coming out of the oven. Look at that melty goodness!

I popped them into the freezer to harden.

Yes. That is our freezer.

After eight years of living without a freezer, I still can't get the hang of how to use one.

SWEET, right?

We made this batch of DIY crayons as gifts for Wes and Miles for Easter. Cora sorted them into the cans I made as gifts as well.

I used Mod Podge on cans I had saved and Cora helped me pick out fabric for cans for Ella, Gray, and each the boys.

I can't get enough of the fabric covered cans. I'm going to make so many more. They appeal to my sense of order and also, how cool to have completely unique storage containers!

And the best part? We still have a ton of Crayon bits to make some more. Cheerio!

Monday
Apr132015

DIY Fabric Easter Bags

I included a few photos of the bags I made for Cora and Lyra in my Easter 2015 post here. I've finished a third one so I thought I'd share all three finished products.

Ta da! They are Goldilocks style, with a small one, a slightly bigger one, and then a large one.

I used this image as inspiration and then hand drew my own pattern.

I made the littlest bag first and then expanded the pattern by about an inch and a half for each proceeding bag.

The littlest bag was for Lyra.

The exterior fabric is from a kitchen towel I bought at Target. I was so enamored with the towel that I put it in my fabric stash instead of the kitchen.

I forgot to take a close up shot of the interior but you can sort of see it in the photo below. It's just a nice, soft, yellow fabric with white flowers.

Cora's basket is the mid-sized one. I used some fabric a friend had passed on from her stash and carefully positioned that rocking pink bird in prominence on the front.

The interior fabric is from scraps I had from the bench I made for Mele last fall. The pink is from the piping I handmade for it.

More photos of the bench can be found here.

Oh to have trimmed that one tiny thread sticking out there on the left. The perfectionist in me cries out in protest. The realist in me refuses to get off the couch to take another photo.

Sometimes. Sometimes I dream about fabric.

True story.

Oooh, you can see the interior fabric in the fruit basket pretty well in that photo.

Isn't it cute how they stair-step in sizes?

Being nautically-minded, the biggest basket is my favorite.

The fabric is remnants from the home-dec weight fabric I bought to make a mattress cover for our bed. I was going to link you to the blog post I wrote about our DIY bed but realized I never did write that post.

So, soon. Soon.

I.can't.even. with this lining fabric. Just look at that buttery-pale yellow & white stripe with the little beach terns trailing their prints behind them in the sand.

You may have noticed that I used a zig-zag stitch on the trim for all these baskets. 

Since I knew that the girls were going to be banging their bags around to kingdom-come, and because I want these to actually be used in real life instead of sitting on a shelf somewhere just looking pretty, I opted for zig-zag over straight stitch.

The former will do a perfect job of going the distance and keeping all the layers of the bag (exterior fabric, interfacing, lining fabric, interfacing, & bias tape) together.

The starfish bag is going out in the mail as a birthday present for a friend. I can't say who because that would ruin the surprise.

Also, here is Lyra just doing her thing.

Ta-ta for now!  

Tuesday
Apr072015

Support SB 277 TODAY | #Vaccines Work

Tomorrow Senate Bill 277 (SB 277) will go to the Senate Health Committee for hearing. The public can attend this meeting and voice their support. If you can't make it to Sacramento tomorrow, do not worry, you can still call the nine members of the committee and voice your support by phone.

These calls are quick. A staffer in the Senator's office will pick up the phone and you can tell them you are in support of the bill. Staff keeps track of who calls to show their support. BE HEARD. Voice your support. It is time to be a silent majority no longer. Here is a direct link to the nine members of the Health Committee, I've also listed them directly here:

Need a script for when you call? 

"Hi, I'm calling in support of Senate Bill 277. Can you share my support with the Senator? Thank you!"

It's that easy. (I timed it. It took me four minutes to make the nine calls of support.)

  1. Senator Ed Hernandez (916) 651-4022
  2. Senator Carol Liu (916) 651-4025
  3. Senator Loni Hancock (916) 651-4009
  4. Senator Connie Leyva (916) 651-4020
  5. Senator Bob Huff (916) 651-4029
  6. Senator Andy Vidak (916) 651-4014
  7. Senator Janet Nguyen (916) 651-4034
  8. Senator Bill Monning (916) 651-4017
  9. Senator Richard Roth (916) 651-4031

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Call today. I know it can be nerve wracking to make phone calls, especially for the younger generation who is so used to emails and texting. Your call will make a difference and it isn't hard to do.

Want to send emails instead? Here you go!

Thank you!

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Want more info?

Senate Bill 277 (Pan / Allen) will remove the Personal Belief Exemption (PBE) option from the school and child care enrollment requirements. It will also require schools to publicly provide information about their immunization rates. Removing the PBE will help protect the most vulnerable, including babies too young to be immunized and people who are immunocompromised, from the risks associated with contracting these vaccine preventable diseases. It will also protect the community at large from increased outbreaks of vaccine-preventable disease.

You can read the full language of the bill here and find more advocacy and information at the California Immunization Coalition. I urge to join the CIC to stay up to date on the passage of the bill.

Curious about how legislation works in California? Check out this page on the lifecycle of a bill.

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Science-denier comments will be deleted from my blog and my social media pages. I will not let my corner of the internet be a forum to voice your harmful (and inaccurate) beliefs.

 

#VaccinesWork  #WeAreTheHerd #ScienceIsCool