Guest Post: My Dog

Sugar the dog enjoys being regularly featured for entertainment, but today she has something serious to share: How to Live With Musicians (and Still Love Them).

How to Make Your Own “Glass Slipper”

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Cinderella has a special place in my heart.  Besides my love of the fairy tale, I had purchased some Disney nursery bedding for my upcoming first baby (17 years ago! sniff sniff), and Disney sent a bonus special edition DVD of Cinderella.

So, just in time before Cinderella hits theaters, I wanted to show you this craft that came about quite by accident.

True to the premise of The Secret Life of Book Club, I wanted to try something new… chocolate sculptures! But when we arrived at the class, we found the teacher had cancelled after discovering the supplies were too expensive. Instead, we were offered a class on Packaging Tape Sculptures.

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After we got over the weird factor, we discovered it’s quite cool. The only supplies you need are: packaging tape, plastic wrap, scissors, and…. something to sculpt.

Since we were quite unprepared, I decided to sculpt my new shoes. (Pictured: My daughter’s shoe. With adult preparation, children ten and up should be able to do this craft.) And, in the end, I had myself a glass slipper…which FIT!

There’s just enough Cinderella in me that I fell in love with the novelty of the craft, and I had to recreate it with my daughter and friends. And sure, while you can’t walk around in this “glass slipper” it’s still fun to model (in stockings if you plan to use it for something else) and you can fill it with: marbles, ponytail holders or if doing a theme party… wrapped candy and treats!

So find yourself a shoe and prep:

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Pull out a six-inch strip of plastic wrap and cut it into three or four sections. (You will repeat as necessary during the craft)

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Cut the packaging tape into one-inch strips. Attach them to the bottom edge of the table and counter taking care that they hang down instead of cling to the underside of your table. Pre-cut as much as possible…and then cut some more. Once a table or counter is decked out in the stuff, keep the tape handy in case you need more.

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Begin wrapping the clingy stuff around the shoe… ONLY the OUTSIDE of it.  The goal is for one single coat of plastic wrap to go all around the shoe (again not inside of it). Make sure every inch is covered. Overlapping a little is fine, but don’t make double layers. Essentially the purpose of this step is to make sure the packaging tape doesn’t touch the shoe.

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See the bow? If you have any little extras to the shoe, place the wrap OVER it. You’ll see why soon.

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Now it’s time to grab the strips of packaging tape. Tape over every centimeter of wrap until the outside is covered with tape. (even the bottom of the shoe)

Once every bit of plastic wrap is covered with tape (and hopefully getting quite stiff but still flexible) carefully slide the plastic shell off the shoe. Start with the heel. Work slowly and carefully until the shell of the shoe is removed. You have a glass slipper, but you’re not done.

Tape the INSIDE of your plastic wrap shoe, until the shoe is stiff and covered both inside and out in packaging tape. Besides, if you want to fill it with stuff, you want to cover up anything that had touched the original shoe. Tape it and tape some more just to be sure!  (The kids in attendance never tired of adding tape as long as I kept it flowing.)

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Place the “glass slipper” on a pillow like the Duke and try it on! OR….

IMG_3509Find another use! Or both. (I personally still like the candy idea… ) Can’t wait for the new Cinderella!

 

Cabin Fever Cure

Does your crew own Nerf gun(s)?  If so, keep reading.

Step 1. Let the kids develop their “targets” using toys they already have or–my personal favorite–make LEGO targets. The making of said targets kept my crew busy for half an hour. They had a blast.

IMG_1197Step 2. You’re going to have to make the stairs (or another area of the house) off limits for the next hour.

Step 3. Make the rules, both safety/procedural rules and game rules. We had many different variations. At the bottom of the stairs, we placed painter’s tape. No one was allowed to step over the tape as they tried to “shoot” the targets.

First round: they worked their way up the stairs. You got docked points for hitting a target not in your level.

Second round: hit everything EXCEPT the good guys i.e. Iron Man, Buzz, Woody, etc.

Third round: Timed free for all. How fast can you get them all down?

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Step Four: Clean up. Reward your dart/disc hunters with hot chocolate.

Step Five: (Optional) Turn two chairs or couches in the living room into forts, turn on soundtrack music like Bourne Identity and give them ten minutes shoot at each other. I recommend safety glasses for all involved. Repeat Step Four.

 

Family Narrative Experiment

IMG_0106Recently I read an article on how children who know their family tree and the history and stories behind it, are more confident.  Looking for some more information, I found this NY Times article and decided to conduct my own little experiment.

So, that night, I took aside the youngest and started the conversation by telling her about an important historical figure from each side of the family. One, from her dad’s side, had a part in helping George Washington in the Revolutionary War by sneaking gun powder in beer barrels past the enemy to the troops.

Another, from my side, was part of the first Thanksgiving on record. We talked about doing what was right even when it was hard amongst other things.

She smiled and ate it up, but didn’t have any follow up questions and didn’t bring it back up for a couple days.

Until . . . a friend came over.  From the bottom of the stairs I could hear her talking to her friend. “I learned some really cool family history this weekend. A guy from my family won World War I because he knew that people would die without beer or guns.”

When I stopped laughing, I relayed the true story.

But I consider my experiment a success . . . except, maybe we should repeat it over, and over, and over again.