Nov. 4th, 2012 11:10 am
anastasiav: (Default)

Originally uploaded by anastasiav

Some day, having the ability to make Star Wars Pajama Pants for your kid is all it takes to make you the Hero Mom.

anastasiav: (Default)
To keep my house from being over-run with candles, I've opened an Etsy shop where you can purchase some of the decorated candles I've been making. I put some of the "general public" designs up first; more SCA-centric designs to come soon-ish.

Here's the link: Chandler & Kemp
(The name means absoloutely nothing, by the way. I just wanted something with the word "Chandler" in it, and the second part sort of fit well.)

Tell your friends, if you want.
anastasiav: (Default)
I found this candle craft on pinterest, and decided to give it a try.

Gather your tools: Any picture, printed on tissue paper. A pillar candle. A heat gun.

Gather your supplies

Heat Gun

Getting the image printed on the tissue is the hardest part. You tape the tissue to stiff paper (I had to iron it first to get it totally flat), and then print it. Plan on printing it a few times.

Then pin the image to the candle, and use the heat gun to gently melt the wax under the image. I found this was super easy - just hold the heat gun about six inches away and keep it moving. You know you're doing it right when the image looks a little damp, like dew has settled on it.

Finshed Candle

The finished candle has the tissue paper image imbedded right into the wax. I have a plan to transfer some of my own photos to candles for holiday gifts (I think my mom might like this photo on a white candle), but I'm digging this Halloween candle as well.

I'll be interested to see how they burn. I hope the tissue doesn't catch fire as the pillar burns down.
Finished Candle
anastasiav: (Default)
So, I made this:


About a week ago, a parent brought in a handmade paper box with four stamped tealights in it, which sort of made me say "Huh. I can do that."

Shortly thereafter, I ran across this blog post which described how to make wax "tarts" (basically scented candles without wicks) using silicone baking molds. "Huh," I thought again, "what good are candles with no wicks."

So I read a bunch, bought some cheap molds, and got to work.


Because this was a test, I didn't worry much about the wax temp, which is why the candles are sort of mottled. But the basic idea was that I melted some wax, poured it into the six-chamber silicone mold, and used some makeshift wick pins (actually wooden dowels) to set the wick holes. We fiddled a lot with making a jig to get the wick pins to stay in directly after the wax was poured, only to discover that doesn't work. What does work is to wait until the candles have cooled for about 30 - 45 minuets (so the wax is about the texture of slightly melted ice cream) and then insert the pins. Then you let them cool overnight, remove the pins, and stick in the wicks. (I used pre-primed and tabbed wicks, but going forward I will prime and tab my own wicks - much cheaper!)


The box is just your standard origami paper box, stiffened with some hidden 120 lb cardstock and otherwise made from standard scrap-booking paper. I added some scrap-booking stickers to the top, but I'm not very impressed with them.

So, anyway, this technique works, and I have a feeling I'll be doing some candles for holiday gifts. Hope people like candles!
anastasiav: (Byz Lady)
Two notes:

Justin did an amazing job reading this, really hitting the meaning of
the text exactly.

Marcus was Ivan's squire. Of Ivan's five squires, he now has one
Pelican, one Laurel, and one Knight. Through the generous flexibility
of the Crown, we were allowed to send Marcus to vigil from Saturday
court, and then hold his vigil and ceremony by candle-light on the
battlefield. This is a reproduction of what we did when Ivan was
knighted, and it really did go just exactly as we imagined it.

I still have not seen the scroll; it was done by the entire
Malagentian scribal community, including a portrait of Marcus by
Mistress Carolyne.

Here's the text:

Unto all who view the present letters, I, Kenric of Warwick, King,
Prince, and Knight, together with my faithful and well-beloved wife
Avelina, Queen and Baroness, for ourselves and in the name of our
heirs, Edward, Earl, Knight, Prince, and defender of Tir Mara, who
stands together with Thyra, Princess of Tir Mara, in perpetuity,

read more inside )
anastasiav: (Default)

Jedi at Breakfast
Originally uploaded by anastasiav

Sometime in the past few weeks E has rediscovered the Jedi robe I made him for Halloween, and now wears it around the house at all sorts of odd moments. It's 100% wool, so I have to think he's melting in it, but he doesn't seem to mind.

In other news, the Mad Science Space Camp we signed him up for months ago called us yesterday to say that he's the only kid who signed up for the camp after-care, so they're not going to offer after-care..... which means we'll need to pull him out of camp, since it's impossible for either of us to pick him up when camp gets done at 3 pm. He's very, very disappointed, as am I. It seems crazy to me that he's the only kid who needs after care, but on the other hand perhaps all the kids who need after care are going to different camps (he's at camp at the Y most of the rest of the summer for this very reason).

anastasiav: (Default)
Yesterday, I impulsively took the day off work (I actually warned them the day before) and decided that we would celebrate the first day of summer vacation for E by going to the beach.


It was a perfect day. I mean perfect. Perfect sky, perfect water temp, perfect air temp.

Beach Construction

One of the best things about this particular beach is that there is a freshwater steam that runs down onto the sand and into the ocean. Every time we're there, all the kids are trying to use rocks and driftwood and whatnot to try and build a dam to stop up the stream.

Beach Building Crew

They rarely succeed, of course, but they make new friends and work and play together. It is fascinating to watch the kids drift away from the project and then new kids drift in to pick things up where the prior kids left off.

Yes, a perfect day. Tonight we go to the Drive-in to see Brave and The Avengers. Summer has officially begun.
anastasiav: (Byz Lady)
To all and singular to whom these presents come from His Excellency Rowen Cloteworthy, Brigantia Principal Herald, greetings. Whereas their majesties Kenric and Avelina do firmly order that this memorial shall be issued under their hand and seal, in order that we should duly establish and record under lawful authority that one Zelda of Hadchester, gentlewoman, in recognition of her good service to Their shire of Hadchester and her care in the keeping of Their accounts, hath been awarded the right to bear Arms, namely: (space for ams) as are deemed suitable to be borne and used by her with their due and proper difference and accord to the laws of arms. Issued this 16th day of June upon the occasion of the Palio and the choosing of the Equestrian Champions in our Barony of Stonemarche.


Jun. 6th, 2012 07:17 pm
anastasiav: (Default)
"And when he died, I suddenly realized I wasn’t crying for him at all, but for the things he did. I cried because he would never do them again, he would never carve another piece of wood or help us raise doves and pigeons in the backyard or play the violin the way he did, or tell us jokes the way he did. He was part of us and when he died, all the actions stopped dead and there was no one to do them the way he did. He was individual. He was an important man. I’ve never gotten over his death. Often I think what wonderful carvings never came to birth because he died. How many jokes are missing from the world, and how many homing pigeons untouched by his hands? He shaped the world. He did things to the world. The world was bankrupted of ten million fine actions the night he passed on."

-- Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
anastasiav: (Default)

Off to School
Originally uploaded by anastasiav

Just wanted to let you know that we're all ok here. Nothing much to report. I'm still reading, and I'll write something when I have something to write.

The child, he continues to grow.

anastasiav: (Sam I Am)
Work just went through a big purge of books (we get many donated books) and I snagged a couple that looked particularly terrific. I was very excited about this one, published in 1966:

The Troll Music (cover)

It's a story about a band of musicians who refuse to play for a Troll in the middle of the night, so he enchants their instruments, making them play only animal sounds. Terrific illustrations, and an engaging story all about working together and not judging people by their appearance, until I got to this page:

The Troll Music (Illustrations)

See, isn't it beautiful? Too bad the problem of the Troll is solved through the judicious application of a little casual domestic violence:

The Troll Music (inside text)

I'm sure we'll still read it (and talk about it), but there was definitely the sound of a needle scratching across the record when I got to that page.
anastasiav: (Default)
E has lost his first tooth!

Unfortunately, it came out while he was asleep and we're pretty sure he swallowed it (in any case, we can't find it). He's mildly disappointed that the tooth fairy did not come last night, but we've assured him that she'll come tonight.

I think it's interesting that the tooth he lost first was the tooth he got first. And it makes me remember this tiny boy with his two tiny adorable bottom teeth. How fast the time goes....
anastasiav: (Byz Lady)
Text by me, then fixed by Mistress Alys:

Gregor and Kiena, by divine providence king and queen of these Eastern lands, and of Tir Mara Crowned Sovereigns, to all people base or noble to whom these presents shall come, send greeting.

These letters are to let you understand that, upon receipt of sufficient testimony of the good life and gentle bearing of Eva Woderose, artisan, and upon our further examination of her and her good works and sterling reputation, it is ordered and decreed that for the better increase of learning and knowledge in our Kingdom and not only for this but as it is and always has been our noble and sworn duty to strive to kindle in the hearts of our subjects the imitation of virtue and nobleness, even so that the same has been, and yet is continually observed, to the end that such as have done commendable service to their Crown and country, not only in time of war but at other times and other places, may both receive due honor in their lives and also in the rolls of history such as are maintained by our Kingdom and by all our brother sovereigns throughout creation, thus do we by these presents ordain, create, erect, make and appoint the foresaid Eva as a companion of our Order of the Laurel to the intent that she thereby may be more able to serve well in her vocation at all times and in diverse places and particularly charging that she may instruct those who will be taught the principals of her art reverently and with great care, at whatever times and places she may find most mete and convenient, not only binding her to observe her duties to her Crown and Country according to those ancient oaths and traditions of our lands, but to also further enjoin her to ensure that all those duties, and every one of them, shall be observed and kept according to her ennobled station as hath been customary since most ancient times.

In sign and token of this our will we do ratify, confirm and bestow upon her the right to display arms by letters Patent in the manner and form following, Gules, on a bend sinister between two wolves couchant argent, three roses proper, at such times and in such places at her liberty and pleasure according to the law of arms to use and enjoy forever. It is further ordered and decree that for a more certain and true keeping of the records of this our most just and ardent desire and command that a memorial of this act be made or set forth on paper in order that a record of our decree may be prudently kept. Thus do we set our hand and sign manual to these letters on the 4th day of February in the forty-sixth year of the Society.

Text based on about a half-dozen period sources; cites available on request.
anastasiav: (Default)
Josh is home sick today.

Peas on the Vine!
This is a photo of some peas I'm growing inside our house.

2012 Christmas Tree Burn
This is a photo of my Christmas tree on fire at Jenn's annual tree burn. It was, by far, the most spectacular tree of the night (partly because it was the largest).

Inchmark: a craft blog

America's Test Kitchen now has a Tumblr blog and it's quite good.

I really love these home made treats in a 'sealed' tin can and am considering doing them as E's Valentine's Day thing-to-take-to-school.

Handmade by Mother is a blog that showcases (and mocks) some very ... er ... interesting vintage knitting and crochet patterns.

The Fine Rolls of Henry III
"A fine in the reign of King Henry III (1216–1272) was an agreement to pay the king a sum of money for a specified concession. The rolls on which the fines were recorded provide the earliest systematic evidence of what people and institutions across society wanted from the king and he was prepared to give. They open a large window onto the politics, government, economy and society of England in the hinge period between the establishment of Magna Carta at the start of Henry’s reign and the parliamentary state which was emerging at its end. This Project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, makes the rolls freely available to a wide audience while at the same time, in the Fine of the Month feature, providing regular comment on their historical interest."
anastasiav: (Default)
I didn't get any books for Christmas -- possibly a first -- so I placed an order on Amazon and got A. Weir's life of Mary Boleyn and this awesome looking book about the murder of James Garfield.

Today I made two pans of rice krispie squares using peppermint marshmallows to make Peppermint Bark Rice Krispie treats. (I only topped them with drizzled chocolate, not the chocolate + white + crushed up peppermints in the photo. That's overkill.) They're really an alarming pink color, but the flavor is remarkably subtle. I don't mind them.

E has been kicking my ass at Uno. He's very proud of himself, too.

We're hosting a "late Christmas Eve" party (aka "chosen family Christmas") on New Year's Eve ... which I just realized today is Saturday, not Sunday. Oops. I have more to do tomorrow than I thought.

My grown-indoors peas (ok they might be beans, I forget, but I'm pretty sure they're peas) plants have produced .... a single snap pea (which looks pretty good, actually). There are also three more blossoms that might turn into peas in the future. Too bad the radishes just sit there all leafy and refuse to produce any actual radishes bulbs. (I also got seven great tomato seedlings, but I let them die because they ended up being too needy.)

Twinnings cold-brewed iced tea is the bomb. Super duper easy. Easiest iced tea ever.
anastasiav: (Default)
Actually, that's a big lie: the Christmas rush is in full swing at my house. I spent the weekend baking and cooking (although not getting as much done as I'd hoped). Today is more cooking (candied walnuts, hopefully rice krispie treats), finishing the name on a stocking, and hopefully a few bibs.

Actually our house is quite full of holiday cheer.

On thing is making me a little sad, though, and that's watching a tradition fade away in real time. We've all known for a while that Christmas cards are on their way out, but this year (ironically enough, the year I picked to actually hand-make my cards) it's measurable. The store where we normally buy our cards went from four big displays last year down to one medium-sized display this year, and our living room card display only shows 8 cards right at the moment. (Last year we got 46 cards - I keep them and turn them into gift tags the following year, so I have a good count.) We sent pretty much the same number -- around 40 -- because I love cards and I find them to be an important part of "getting into the holiday" for me. I'm not unsurprised by the demise of cards in general, but it's fascinating to see it in such stark terms.
anastasiav: (Default)
It has been crazy busy in my life over the past week or so. I feel like the "how many days until Christmas" is actually the timer on a bomb set to go off in my kitchen.

The tree is up. Today I have to take all the boxes and things back down to the basement, and try to straighten up.

I went to a professional networking event this morning for training folks that was actually amazingly good. I just spent an hour sending out follow up emails to people I met there.

E is his usual amazing, charming self. He's very, very excited about the tree.

I've started a new project. Shhh. You an see it here. This is a project I've been dreaming of for at least five years. I find it somewhat hard to believe that it actually exists in a physical form.
anastasiav: (Default)

Return of the Jedi
Originally uploaded by anastasiav

E requested an Obi-wan Kenobi costume for Halloween, and asked that his dad come along as Qui-gon Jinn. So that's what we did.

anastasiav: (Default)

Peas and Tomatos
Originally uploaded by anastasiav

I started some veggies a couple of weeks ago - the radishes sprouted almost immediately and are currently in two window boxes. These are the peas (which are almost ready to transplant) and the tomatoes. The green peppers never sprouted at all. It's all just an experiment, of course, to see what, if anything, I can grow indoors.

There is a great job that I'm very qualified for posted at our local FOX tv affiliate. I'm very conflicted about what to do about this.

I'm feeling a little better today, but we couldn't walk to school because it's pouring rain here. E was quite disappointed.

I'm astonished how much tidier my house is. I mean, I shouldn't be, because getting the house straightened up was a goal (and there are still rooms that have Oh! such a long way to go ... particularly the sewing/computer room) but this has impressed on me how important it is to just do a little bit of work on it every day. (I know that this is adult 101 stuff...)

Still super tired from the cough. Need to post out two more resumes today, then take a shower, go to the store, stop at the Y and drop of my SIM chip, and pick up the E from school. Oh yeah, and finish his Halloween costume in there somewhere.

Being unemployed is really busy.

anastasiav: (Default)
I'm working on E's baby book, and have discovered we have no photos at all of him from his first Christmas. Video, yes. No photos at all. I could take stills from the video, but it's kind of family/whole room format, so not really any good shots. (We do have plenty of photos of him from our wedding, which was on Dec 23rd, but it's not exactly the same thing.) Also, I only have two photos of him for the entire month of February, 2007.

We were going to walk to school today, and then he changed his mind an said he didn't want to walk. Ok. But then he changed his mind again and got very angry when I told him he would need to take the bus because there was now not enough time to walk. A lesson learned? I will walk him home from school, so we won't miss our walk entirely.
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