Friday, August 29, 2008

Fantastic Contraption

This game is addicting! But it's kind of educational and involves problem it's okay right? :)

These are my designs I figured out for two of the harder levels...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Move That Bus!!!" (The Big Reveal), I bet some of you have been waiting for a post to follow up on my Mother-Daughter bonding adventure with Mom to Geneva to see a glimpse of Extreme Makeover:Home Edition. I did end up going on Monday for the reveal. I was by myself, but with SO many people there, that was probably a good thing, because I didn't have to worry about losing anyone while pressing through the crowd.
It was a LONG day. The big reveal was supposed to be at 2:00, and I wanted to get there early enough to get a good spot. So I dropped my husband off at work around 9:30 and after gassing up my car and grabbing some sunscreen and a bag of chips at Walmart, I got on the road by 10:00...which meant that I got to Geneva around 11:00...3 hours before the scheduled reveal. I was very glad I didn't get lost, since unlike Mom, I don't have a GPS system in my car (my husband has one on his phone that we use when we go on trips). But my Mapquest directions got me there okay...but once I started hitting the roadblocks around the street the house was on, I had to get creative to find a decent parking spot in the neighborhood that was within walking distance. I got a spot fairly close, but they had the sidewalk blocked off to non-residents and I had to walk around the block to get to the spectator area. The security guards were very nice though.

So, here was the house when I finally got there.

It was gorgeous! I found it hard to imagine that last time I'd been there that the area where the house was had been a pile of rubble and contruction equipment. My favorite part was the boxing ring weathervane...the father had been running a boxing gym out of his barn/garage, and of course they built him a whole new one in addition to the house! I can't wait to see the show air in November so I can see the inside of it!

I found out that it's funny when you're on location when they're shooting a show like this. They did a lot of shots beforehand...before the family was even there. They did a bunch of crowd shots (I can't tell you how many times they had us chant "Move that bus!" and cheer), they did shots of the limo coming down the road (without the family inside), they did shots of the bus moving...all of this WAY before the actual reveal to the family. I told some older ladies when they looked confused that the crew probably want to get all these shots beforehand, because when the family was actually there, they'll want to be able to focus all the cameras on the family's reaction. Plus I think it gave the crowd something to do while they were waiting. The crew even provided us with free bottles of Vitamin Water. How nice of them! They gave us so much, I ended up with 3 bottles because no one else behind me would take any more!

There were a LOT more people there than I had expected to be there 3 hours early. Actually, I wasn't sure what to expect...but I had this crazy idea I'd be able to find a good spot to hunker down and sit, reading on my blanket. Yeah right! Maybe further down the street! I couldn't even get to the spot in front of the tree Mom and I had been on Wednesday...although I got pretty close. And no sitting down. I was on my feet for about 5-6 hours!

I did finally get to see Ty Pennington (the only "celebrity" from the show I recognize since I haven't followed it for a few seasons). I got some pictures of him, but they're all from far away and most of them are pretty blurry (Do you know how hard it is to keep a camera steady when you're at full 12x zoom and holding the camera as high as you can above your head?). I think Ty is the most popular person from the show, but he was the one who came out the least. Whenever he came out, it was never for a long time. He's like a butterfly! And you could always tell when he came out because of all the screaming. Maybe it was all the screaming girls that always scared him off!

When they finally brought the family in around 4:00 to really "Move that bus!" it was crazy. The crowd was really pressing and you could barely see anything from where I was (and at the height I'm at). Most of the shots of the family I got were just lucky (again, the camera over the head tecnique)

I'll have to figure out how to upload my video to YouTube.
*UPDATE: I've uploaded the video to my Facebook.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wednesday's Adventure

I guess it's time to tell you all about the adventre Mom and I had on Wednesday.
She'd emailed me earlier in the day telling me about the house in Geneva that was being redone/rebuilt by the TV show "Extreme Makeover:Home Edition". CJ and I used to watch that show every Sunday night at a friend's house back when we were dating...(and cried almost every episode).

Anyway, Geneva is only about an hour away from us, so after some previous commitments both of us had, Mom came and picked me up and off we went! The first security guard we came across while we were trying to find somewhere to park told us that the set had been "closed to spectators" since noon, since so many people had shown up. But it was about 4:00, and Mom and I had come too far to just turn around and go home without seeing anything. We figured that most of the people that had been there at noon had left since then. So she found a place on a neighborhood street to park and we walked one or two blocks over to where the action was. There were people there, but there wasn't a whole ton of them.

"Hey, can we take a picture of the back of your shirt?" The guy acted like he didn't hear us, but cooly obliged and nonchalantly turned his back to us so I could get this shot.

The house was completely demolished by the time we got there. It had been a 150 year old house, and I guess at 1:00, it had still been standing. "A team of hundreds of workers and volunteers will completely remodel (if not tear down) the house in just seven days." Yeah, they completely tore it down. The big "move that bus!" reveal is Monday at 2:00pm. I'm going because my mom can't...she's in the Adirondacks for the week.

As a daughter of a man whose main career has been in security (security police in the Air Force and currently works for ADT), I thought it was interesting when I noticed that EM:HE had their own security guys that travel with them.

We didn't see Ty Pennington, but we did see this guy...who I guess is a designer. Mom was making fun of me because I didn't know who he was. Come on!'s been a while since I've seen the show!

After a couple hours of watching (and hoping to see Ty), we headed into the town and browsed an antique shop, then drove for a bit and found a little resturaunt. There was a very pretty colored sunset sky on the way home.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

EVERYONE is on Facebook!

I caved in and joined Facebook yesterday. My initial excuse is that I did it in order to have more exposure for my Etsy site.

Holy crap...EVERYONE is on Facebook! Through cross referencing my friends' friends, I've seen names of people from way back in the day who I haven't seen or talked to in years. Super-duper-uber-nostalgia. And some of these people who, back in the day were young kids I knew, have grown up...and some of them are married and have kids. It's crazy!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cute Fabric Dollhouse and UK terms!

I just had to do a shout-out/promo post for a blog I came across via the Craft: blog...UK Lass in US . I originally went to check out a tutorial for this cute-as-a-button fabric dollhouse . It looks like it would be a challenge (at least for me), but I would love to make some of these and give them away as Christmas gifts. Hmmm...I wonder if I could figure out how to make a castle one for boys? Although she shows that the house could be modified into a barn...a barn is pretty masculine right?

Anyway...the thing that might keep me coming back to her blog is her daily UK English to US English I learned the UK slang term "knackered" and "cream crackered", which both mean "tired", "worn out", or "exhausted" . I just might end up slipping "knackered" into my vocabulary. I've already been known to use the term "dodgey" (meaning "not in good condition" in "I've got a dodgey knee" or "That table looks kind of dodgey". Brits, correct me if I'm wrong!).

I'm such a wannabe Brit! But can you blame me?'s in my blood! Most of my ancestors were from the UK...I am Scotch-Irish, English, Welsh...with some Swiss and German in there too. But I feel like a UK girl (or "lass"!) at heart. And I'd love to see the UK someday. I get jealous of my hubby since he's been to London and actually has friends there. And my brother has been to Ireland.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Renn Faire inOhio 2008! (Part 2)

More pictures from the Faire! These first pictures are from my Sis-in-law.
(that's lemonade I'm drinking, by the way!)
This cool (even if slightly creepy) tribal looking Wolf guy is "Lifer", one of my Bro-in-law's friends that came with them.
I guess Mom did dress up! least for this picture Sis took.
I took these pictures during an actobatics/fire-breathing show called "En Flambe"
This picture is one Sis took. She had a better angle than I did with my pictures (although mine have more flames!). I think this could be a good contender for the photo contest!
CJ and I saw this Rickshaw guy earlier in the day and thought maybe we'd take a ride later. Then when we were ready to take a ride before we left the Faire, we couldn't find him! We finally did track him down and he was very nice...and quite strong if he can pull the two of us around in a heavy wooden cart! We felt like a real Lord and Lady riding around the faire in style. Some actors even bowed and cutseyed to us as we passed...calling us "my lord" and "my lady". I wish I'd gotten a picture of us in the rickshaw, but I was enjoying the experience. So this picture I took was from the parade will have to suffice.

One thing I thought was really cool about this Faire's parade was that it included representatives from the vendors and not just the actors. Here's a representative from a shop purveying items made from alpaca wool.

Speaking of animals...I was delighted to find that this Faire lets people bring their dogs! (something that the Sterling Faire prohibits) It made me wish I could snatch my parents' dog, King, and bring him with us! Can't you just see the Scottish Lord & Lady Sinclair with a big Rottweiler?

Next Renn Fest from the Joust! (I'm just waiting to be sent one more picture)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Renn Faire in Ohio 2008!

I'm back! It's so good to be home! Our visit to Ohio ended up being longer than initially expected. We were planning on coming home on Sunday, but had to stay until Tuesday in order to go to CJ's grandfather's funeral.
But anyway, as promised, here are stories and pictures from the Faire!

We went to the Great Lakes Medeval Faire (not to be confused with the Ohio Rennaisance Festival ...which I would like to go to sometime). Beautiful weather for this one! No rain! And it wasn't too terribly hot either.

CJ's whole family came with us...his parents, his sister and her daughters, and his brother and his fiance' and her kids. And everyone dressed up but Mom. Momwas going to, but she needs kidney dialysis 3 times a week, and sometimes her arm bleeds, and she was worried if her arm bled that it would get on the dress I was going to lend her. I brought my whole arsenal of clothes for people to borrow. Dad wore a burgandy men's shirt, and I let my sister-in-law pick out what she wanted to wear out of all my "gypsy clothes". The girls each had "Lord of the Rings" dresses their mom had ordered from the internet.

We actually found a lady who had the adult-sized version of T's "Arwen" dress who looked like she could be Arwen herself (ears and all!).

I'd seen "Arwen" a couple times during the day, but T wasn't with me whenever I saw her. When we did track her down to get a picture of her and T together, she was very sweet and gave T an "elfin stone" out of her basket.

I'm not sure if she worked at the Faire or not! That was the one thing about this Faire, was that it was hard to know who were the actors. Sterling's actors are very obvious and outgoing and very interactive with the guests. This faire's actors are a lot more low-key. And there were so many people dressed up, it was hard to tell who might be the actors and who were guests!

When CJ and I had broken off from the rest of the family to browse the shops by ourselves, I was saying I wanted a parasol as my souvenir this year, and CJ said he wanted a hat ("With a wide brim and a big feather. Like the one Sean Connery's character has in Highlander."). But we were scouring the different shops couldn't find either item we wanted. And then, as luck would have it, we found both of them in the same shop!

I call it his "Ramierez Hat". Doesn't he look good?

When we met back up with the family, my nieces loved my parasol and each wanted one as their one souvenir of the day, so we walked with them back to the shop. M, the younger one, got the last red parasol (the others were white like mine, and black). The parasols we got were silk instead of paper, so they're more durable. They had paper ones for a cheaper price that had prettier designs, but they looked very fragile, and one was already torn.

By the way...M's crown of flowers was mine when I was T's age. My mom bought it for me on my very first visit to the Sterling festival and I wore it when I dressed up the next year. I have a picture of myself somewhere wearing it that year. I'll scan and post it if I find it.
And T, the older one, saw some feathered fans and decided she wanted one of those instead. But M was still nice enough to let her sister take a picture with her parasol...

...and she let her grandma (my mother-in-law) borrow it too, since Mom doesn't do too well in the sun. A great time was had by all. Too bad I only get to go to these in the summer. Well...if I check this website...they do have some in the spring and fall. It's just a matter of finding one that's not too far away.
My sis-in-law is supposed to be sending me pictures she took, so I'll post some of those whenever I get them. I do know there is one of T getting her hand kissed by one of the knights that was in the joust. I wasn't there for that so I'll have to get the whole story from my sis.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Busy Monstermaking (sorry no pictures!)

I've been on a major monster-making kick this week. I've done 5 monsters in the last two days and have more that are in the works.

Sorry for the lack of camera's battery needs charging and I've been so busy actually making the monsters and cleaning my house and getting ready for the Ohio Renn Fest this weekend, I haven't stopped to have a good photo shoot for my new monsters. Plus at least 3 of them need hand sewing that I haven't done yet.

I'll update soon!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sterling Renn Fest 2008

CJ and I went to the Sterling Rennaisance Festival on Saturday.
It was fun, as always...despite the rain. We could hear thunder rumbling most of the morning. Right at the end of the 12:00 Mud Show, it started pouring rain.

CJ and I walked through the Faire with a thin blanket over our heads (which soaked through in no time) and finally found shelter in a drum and flute shop. All the other shops we'd passed were already packed with people also seeking shelter from the rain.

The owners of the shop started playing their instuments in order to provide some entertainment while we all were waiting for the rain to let up. Then the lady asked if anyone played drums, and CJ raised his hand, and she gave him a drum, gave another lady a shaker, and handed me a tambourine and we had a regular medeval celtic tribal jam session.

Some of the actors that passed on the street even started dancing. One actor accused the shop owner of being a witch and that our music had brought on the rain (the music was rather rain-dance sounding) We replied that we were merely trying to entertain ourselves and maybe drive the rain away!
It was the high point of what could have been quite a bummer. When the rain finally let up, CJ and I thanked the shop owners for letting us take shelter there and play their instuments, and then went out to the car to change into dry clothes. I was a little bummed, since being in costume at the festival is half the fun for me. It's the one time a year I get to wear my wedding dress again! Here's a picture of me from last year (I didn't get any pictures of myself this year)
Well, there's always this upcoming weekend. We're going to Ohio to a Renn Fest, which CJ's whole family is coming with us to!

The shirt CJ changed into was his TARDIS shirt...which 2 different groups of people recognized and commented on!