Weather Balloon in the Works

Unfortunately the weather balloon has been put on hold as the end of the year and summer activities have kept us busier than normal. We hope to get back to it before the end of the summer. Also hope to catch up with the blog and post some more of the cool stuff the kids have been working on.

payload rings

payload rings

We just finished cutting out the body of the balloon using foam and nichrome wire.  First the inside was cut out and then the outside, making rings that we will glue together to have an Orion shaped Capsule.

hollowing out the body

hollowing out the body

Balloon Capsule (hollow)

Balloon Capsule (hollow)


Our latest project is building a weather balloon.  We are still in the early stages of planning and ordering parts but will add more information as progress is made.

Lots of Pots

It has been a blast to watch the kids throw pots on the pottery wheel.  The best part is the watching the progress.  The failures and flops have taught them that not everything comes easily and some things require patience and practice, and it’s ok to mess up!  They have made so much progress and are truly proud of the pots and other creations that have made it through the process.  We are still taking pictures of everything and plan to update the website as we can with the many wonderful creations.  IMG_2664 IMG_2615
IMG_6629     IMG_6639  IMG_6634

Spool Yarn Unicorn

IMG_4319Spool yarn crafts bring back memories of years ago with my grandmother.  It was incredibly fun to see our 9 year old just as enthusiastic about making the long spool braids as I once did as a kid.  She had the idea to make a unicorn by wrapping her braid around styrofoam eggs.  Sewing the head and body together gives extra support and durability.  The legs and arms were made by placing pipe cleaners inside the braids to give some support.  Making the pipe cleaner a little longer than the braid help secure it by pushing it into the styrofoam egg.  Faux fur for the mane and tail, felt ears, goggly eyes and a pipe cleaner for the horn brought the unicorn to life.

A tip for anyone interested in making this project, make a longer braid than you think.  If possible wrap it around your object before removing it from your spool to make sure it is long enough.  Additionally craft styrofoam glue worked much better than regular old Elmer’s.  Happy Spooling!


Girl-Made American Girl Doll Bunk Beds

These bunk beds were made out of a recycled pallet and some fence posts, by our then 8 and 12 year old girls.  They even sewed bedding for them and made trinkets for the shelves they installed.  Learning to use the jigsaw was a highlight as well as the belt sander.  They thought they were going to paint it originally, but the natural wood looked so pretty they went for the more rustic look. 100_2708 100_2714

Pallet Bike Rack


Inspired by the clutter of bikes in our garage, our (at the time) 12 year old made this durable bike rack out of a recycled pallet and some scraps.  Cut and sanded, with a simple stand that holds it upright, it has been truly appreciated and holds 6 bikes.   It’s hard to believe we allowed the bikes to be stored any other way.

Got branches?

This monstrous thing is built to carry branches that have been trimmed along the mountainside above our home.  We have been actively mitigating and looking for a way to make the hauling/loading and reloading easier.  Made with old bike parts and some 1x1s.

Our 13 year old and his grandpa had the idea to then make a “hitch” for it to be pulled behind the Honda Odyssey that we have.  This makes the hauling and unloading so much more fun!


Pottery Wheel Now Complete

A project that has been long in the works is our pottery wheel.  The idea started years ago (maybe more than 10?).  The making started at least a year ago, probably more.  Now it is finished, up and running, and well worth the wait.  Seeing the delight in the eyes of those who squished their fingers, in the moist clay as it spun around and around was a magnificent site to see.  Within the first day we had a shelf full of wonders, to be turned into something, once trimmed and fired.