Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik Sculpt Starter Kit (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)

In my opinion one can never have too many art supplies. My momma raised me right. A home is not a home without a ridiculous amount of books OR art supplies. I’m always anxious to add more fun products to the mix. For the past few weeks we have been playing (and reviewing) the Rigid Wrap and CellulClay Quik-Sculpting Kit from ACTÍVA Products.

Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit

We received:

Two rolls of Rigid Wrap plaster cloth
8 ounces of CelluClay
Instructions for 12 craft projects
Included as an option for with project ideas was an eBook (FREE), ACTÍVA Products' Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS .

Before I share a few of our projects, I do need to tell you this. I am NOT that Mom who is afraid of making a mess. It’s the preschool and kindergarten teacher in me. I think it’s good for kids who have those icky, tactile experiences. However…if you are one that stresses over a messy craft project THIS product might just save your life. As it is, I LOVED it.

One of the best things about this kit was that it required me to simple add water. That’s it! Of course, to finish the projects we brought out the paint, but there were not special ingredients or recipes for me to dig up.

So what is this wonder product, you ask?

The Rigid Wrap looks like a roll of bandages. It is coated in plaster. All you need to is to cut it in whatever shape or length you want it and soak it warm water. Then you apply it to whatever surface or form you wish. It does dry quickly, which makes it perfect for those grand paper mache projects. Think piñata or super volcano.

CelluClay is dry and powdery. You add water to create your desired consistency. You can also add glitter or sand to make it real fun. It takes a little longer than the Rigid Wrap to dry, but you can obviously make more substantial sculptures with it.

We played around with both products, but I have to tell you that the Rigid Wrap was my absolute favorite. It is almost addicting. Pretty soon I was looking for things to wrap. As a result, the projects I am going to share with you today both are made from the Rigid Wrap.

Josiah and I first looked through the eBook. There are a lot of fun projects, but Josiah decided he wanted to make beads. This was SOOOO simple. He cut off strips of the Rigid Wrap, soaked them in warm water and wrapped them around a straw. We let them dry overnight, but we could have easily added another layer within 15 or 30 minutes.

The next day he painted the beads. If I had dug around a little better in my craft supplies, I probably could have come up with a better choice of string.

Here is a few others that we have had yet to string.

So. My project was to be a take on the piece of cake (rhyming!) we found in the eBook.

 I have a cake pedestal sitting on an old dresser in my dining room that mostly sits empty…unless I’ve baked a cake to put in it. I decided I wanted to make a mini-layer cake to display year round.

I used the Rigid Wrap over styrofoam discs I found at the Dollar Tree. Easy as pie (or cake). It dried hard and sturdy. I tried to use the CelluClay to form frosting, but I didn’t care for the look. Instead I used some dimensional paint to create the designs and painted over the whole thing with some pearl acrylic paint.

I also decided not to decorate the top with anything that was permanent so I could change it out seasonally. 

While I decided to use the yellow flowers on top for now, I also tried red roses. I think this will be so cute for Valentine's Day! 

SO. MUCH. FUN.  The Rigid Wrap provided protection and the sturdiness that something like my cake needs. I'm trying cupcakes next! 

There are so many cool things to make with this product. I found the eBook to full of great ideas. And super appropriate for the homeschool crowd.  How fun would this sarcophagus be to make while studying Ancient Egypt? You can also make masks...anybody else thinking helmets and swords? 

You need to add this to your list of Homeschool Supplies for the coming year! 

You can connect with ACTÍVA Products via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner below to read more reviews.

Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit {ACTÍVA Products Reviews}
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Friday, July 21, 2017

Cousin Camp: Chocolate Covered Crickets and More!

It's Thursday night. 

And if it's Thursday night it must be time for me to post some more Cousin Camp pictures.

You're welcome. 

Before I get started I need to tell you that I did about almost nothing today. I DID get my dishwasher loaded. I DID make supper. I DID work on project. Remember all that writing and laundry I complained about not doing? 

I DID NOT do any of it. Tomorrow Josiah and The Muffin are going to the Indianapolis Speedway for the day so I plan to pretend to some more of something. 

Don't you just appreciate an unproductive weekend? 

Moving on...

 Tonight we are going to focus on the most controversial part of every Cousin Camp. 

The Strange Food Taste Test. 

Yes. We are those people who made this poor baby eat Octopus back in 2014 during our Pirates of Raccoon Road Cousin Camp. 

And last year. Those poor children had to eat things like Dragon's Zits. 

Does this child look abused? I don't think so. This child is PRECIOUS.

 So here how it went down this year. We strive every year to find new and weird things to try. Some might be harmless...for example those candy wafers we placed in bucket #3. 

This year there was chocolate covered crickets (oh yes), preserved duck eggs, dehydrated squid, seaweed sheets (actually a favorite) and pickled herring. 

Never fear, our Cousins are a sturdy lot. 

I separated all of our goodies into tropical themed dishes (complete with a paper umbrella) and numbered each one. The Cousins then drew a number in order of their birth and took a taste of that coordinating goodie.  

 I believe we made the rounds 3 or 4 times. 

Cousin #1 kept a water jug close. 

I think she was fine. NOBODY passed out. 

Cousin #2 (twin of Cousin #1) took it all in stride...and I believe showed us a bit in his teeth. 

Finger Licking Good! 

I do remember that Cousin #3 ate a chocolate-covered cricket during his first round.

Oh yes. You can't phase Cousin #3. This was the best reaction we got from him. He was NOT moved by all the crunchy bits. 

Now this is my bundle of joy...Cousin #4. I don't remember what he had to eat. 

But I am sitting directly to his left. He is giving me quite the look. "AND THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN?" We basically ignore Josiah's food choices. Eating biscuits and gravy any place other than The Dairy Queen and our house is a big adventure for him. 

You can see that Cousin #5 drew the persevered duck egg. 


WE ARE MONSTERS! Don't feel sorry for this Cousin. She always asks if she can have the leftover octopus. 

Cousin #6 is generally less adventurous. 

Poor baby. Notice that cup? We are always prepared. Oh Jesus, help me. 

Are those tears? There is no crying in the annual Cousin Camp Strange Food Taste Test! 

You will be pleased to know that the girl made it through ALL THREE ROUNDS! She survived. She did not, however, ask for any leftovers. 😂

For such a dainty girl, Cousin #7 is extremely competitive. This girl would make herself choke down a TOAD. A TOAD! (note to self: consider TOADS for next year). 

She was also heard to ask, "Do I have cricket legs between my teeth?" 

Cousin #8...who has grown up from that baby you saw chugging down the octopus leg in the picture at the front of the post...can hang with the best of them. And she looks so cute doing it. If this girl can eat dehydrated squid....Pull up your big girl drawers people. Suck it up! 

Before you call in DFS let me assure you that these children's parents know perfectly well what we put their children through. AND they encourage it. After all, we are the family who has been known to have hot sauce competitions. Smoked duck is a traditional part of our Thanksgiving dinner (the baby up above BEGS for it) and my mom's pantry sometimes resembles an exotic food market. 

So that's it for tonight. That's all she wrote. I'll be back soon with more pics!  Night, my friends! 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cousin Camp Castaways - Give Me Shelter

Shew. What a day. Or should I say what a night?

Last night I had an "at home" sleep study. What this means is that they send you home with a machine that provides a sleep study. The reason I am doing it at home is long and drawn out...filled with trips and turns and frankly, it EXHAUSTS me. 

Speaking of exhausting...I do have sleep apnea and have used a CPAP machine for 10 years. Sleeping without one was miserable. Josiah said he heard me snoring last night..."BAD snoring," he said. 


Tonight The Muffin and I are on the couch (surprise, surprise). We are watching an old movie on Netflix. I need to be doing some heavy duty writing/laundry/closet cleaning, but instead I have been looking through Cousin Camp pictures. 

My mom got that Cousin Camp picture DVD in the mail to me and I am going to share with you some of my favorites. Remember those days I use to give you a "play by play" of what happened daily at Cousin Camp?

GURRL! That is not going to happen this year. If you want to relieve my glory days you can, of course, look back at all the posts marked 'cousin camp'....knock yourself out. 

I do apologize for what is about to happen next. I am going to start throwing random pictures at you with commentary. As always, I do apologize if you aren't related to these children and wonder why you are spending your weekend looking at strange kids (and I mean that with all my heart). 

I am going to take mercy on you and do a few different posts. I know you need to make time for other stuff...like sleeping and the like. 

For all of those who follow my blog regularly, you might remember that I did post a preliminary Cousin Camp picture post last week (was it last week?). I mentioned the premise of our Cousin Camp adventure this year. 8 Travelers set out on a 3-hour boat tour. They were swept up in a storm and landed on a mysterious island. They have to spend the week completing challenges to get off the island. 

Generally, I come up with characters for all the Cousin Campers...complete with a back story and name tailored to each kiddo. I did use a Hawaiian name generator at the last minute, but that was RIDICULOUS (and I don't mean that in a good way). The kids decided to name each other and themselves, but like any good aunt and Cousin Camp director I did not write any of their clever names down. 

I mean really...

Who can forget Sir. Rufus Burtwhistle...Wacky inventor. Or Professor Jones Looneydig a famed archaeologist with some controversial theories.....among them that Darth Vader played for the Minnesota Vikings. Or Beau Trickelbank an Olympic athlete who possibly won his Olympic Silver by tossing an Eggo Waffle. (Mystery at Raccoon Manor, Cousin Camp 2015)

Then there are these beauties...Lady Lulu Popplewell,  Miss  Cordelia Honeybun, Miss Prentiss Nightingale  (lion tamer extraordinaire), Pippa Claypot  and Clementine Dainty. Beautiful girls all! 

Before moving on, I do need to share these. Thanks to Photo Shop and my talented, Momma. These are a hoot! We made these posters as part of the backstory during the Mystery at Raccoon Manor. 

I mean really 😂😂😂

Or how about these brave (and lovely) knights. (Cousin Camp Knights Quest 2016)

Maerwynn Stareyes the Sparkly,  Katrain Forestfriend the Serene and Alyeth Silverleaf the Nimble...SO MUCH FUN! 

and one of my favorites....

Plunderin' Stubby Sharkbait (oohaha). Wanted for having shifty eyes, poisoning the King's Fish and impersonating a flautist.  (The Pirates of Racoon Road 2015)

Sigh. Good times. 

But enough of that...let's move on. 

One of the first challenges was to create a shelter with items found in their "survival bucket" and from around the "island." Thank goodness Papa is a hoarder of random and strange things. 

The boys first thought that they would prop heavy logs up against a tree (tee-pee style). Yup. Sounds like  a disaster waiting to happen. Ama gently suggested another route. The boys quickly decided that Ama knows her business and found another location and went to work. 

I am not going to even begin to identify some of that stuff. 

The girls also quickly settled on their location. And took a bit longer to iron their ideas out. Aren't they cute in their tropical tourist garb?  

The boys got extra points for the practicality of their structure. They worked good together. We didn't suggest they spend the night in their shelter. Now that would have been a challenge! 

The girls got points for the "homey" feel of their shelter. Every island shelter needs living room furniture in my opinion. 

I need to tell you that a storm blew in that night and it also rained and rained (and rained) the following day...which was also July 4. The Shelters, well, you know what happened to them. 

Before I leave you, I also need to tell you about Garfield the Cat. I mentioned him in my previous Cousin Camp post. He's something else. He basically appropriated this cup for his very own. Garfield also spent time and care trying to dig up a humongous rock from the girls' shelter area. He was helping, I'm sure. Mom took a cute video of him working away, but I can't seem to load it. 

So, my friends. That's all I have for now. Plus, the old movie is over and I have a book that I MUST read. You know how that is. It's calling my name. I'll be back soon to share a few more pictures.

Aka Lady Prunella Tambling Goggin (Mystery at Raccoon Manor, Cousin Camp 2015)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Doctor Aviation (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)

The Muffin (who is also my husband) happens to be a veteran of the United States Air Force. He wasn’t a pilot, but did order parts for those big aircraft. He has always been able to identify different kinds of planes and such…which I suppose happens when your job in the Air Force is to keep them in parts. As a result, our family has always had a fondness for air planes. Not that any of us are frequent flyers…but when I was given a chance to review a 6-month Aviation Course from Doctor Aviation I jumped at the chance.
Doctor Aviation

The Doctor Aviation Course is an online subscription that consists of video lessons, guided notes and other activities. Doctor Aviation is also known as Daryl Smith. This bright fella attended the Air Force Academy in Colorado when he was 18. He also served as an instructor and research pilot with the Air Force during the Star Wars Program era. Needless to say, Doctor Aviation knows his stuff.

The course is intended for High School aged kiddos and adults, but can be used with a variety of age groups (with some modifications). A BIG plus for us is that it can be used for a High School credit course. How fun and awesome is that!

You, of course, will need a trusty internet connection and a way to listen and view the lessons. I didn’t have to install anything special on my computer to make the videos run. There are Guided Notes and other activities to download and print off, but even those aren’t lengthy…which will save your ink.
The course contains the following:

Session 1 Course Overview: The Aviation System

I. The Aircraft

Session 2 The Major Components of an Airplane

Session 3 Axes and Forces

Session 4 Why an Aircraft Flies: The Secret of Airfoils and Lift

Session 5 Why an Aircraft Turns, Pitches and Slides: The Flight Controls

II. Air Traffic Control

Session 6 How We See an Aircraft Miles Away: The Secrets of Radar

Session 7 The Air Traffic Cops: How Air Traffic Control Works

III. Maintenance

Session 8 Keep ‘Em Flying: Aircraft Maintenance – Propeller Engines

Session 9 Keep ‘Em Flying: Aircraft Maintenance – Jet Engines

IV. Airfield Operations

Session 10 The City in and of Itself: Running a Large Airport

Session 11 The Small Airport and Running an FBO

V. The Aircraft II

Session 12 Flying in the Clear and Not so Clear Air: VMC and IMC

Session 13 Important Pilot Instruments – Attitude Indicator

Session 14 Important Pilot Instruments – Airspeed Indicator

Session 15 Other Aviation Ships: Gliders, Helicopters, Airships

Each Session is divided into 3 sections.

Technical Trivia
Notable Aviators
Legendary Aircrafts and Events

I mentioned the Guided Notes before. These come as a PDF download. There is also an additional PDF, “Learn More.” The Learn More guide provides recommendations for books, videos links, hands-on activities, research and writing assignments. I love adding this sort of supplemental material to any subject so this was great for us. There ARE tests and further instructions if using the course for a High School Credit.

My Thoughts

This course is SO MUCH FUN! Doctor Aviation brought to light some fascinating information. And aviation is just plain cool. We found the videos to be informative and easy to listen to. Josiah is dyslexic and I worried about all the technical jargon, but the Guided Notes section was easier to follow along than I anticipated.

The “Learn More” Activities vary with each lesson, but they feature activities and links to provide the student with a complete experience. I thought they were a great mixture of fun and educational. Here are a few extension activities from Session 6.

Research the Battle of Britain and how the Chain Home was expanded during this period of time. The British used several strategies to hold off the Germans.

Do research on the comic strip L’il Abner and the Skonk Works. Try to determine when the comic strip ran and who were the main characters.

Research the Cuban Missile Crisis and the role of the U-2.

It was interesting to hear some about some of the pioneers of aviation and real life aviators. Doctor Aviation also has a blog. Recently, he had quite a bit to say about the Amelia Earhart documentary. He had some insightful and interesting comments. There are several posts concerning the documentary so check them out!

Doctor Aviation is a great course for anyone interested in flight and those who fly! You don't have to be a homeschooler!

You can connect with Doctor Aviation via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner for more reviews.

Aviation Course {Doctor Aviation Reviews}
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