steam punk project

Gavin and his friends love the steam punk aesthetic. Steam punk is a genre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. It is also a style of design and fashion that combines historical elements with anachronistic technological features inspired by science fiction. The latter is what we’re talking about here.

So, Gavin’s friends’ birthday was coming and he wanted to make something special so we brainstormed and came up with the idea of transforming a toy dart gun into a steampunk toy dart gun. We looked up some approaches and went shopping. This is what he chose to work with:


We also picked up a couple at the thrift shop to make sure we didn’t run into trouble with just one to work with. Next he sanded them all over to look more used.

We also spent time at the local thrift shop looking for additions to accessorize with. We came home with a toy with plastic crystals and a small sewing machine which the kids took apart for pieces.

Then we spray painted the dart guns black.

After that he rubbed on metallic paints in different areas to make the surfaces look like old metal.


Then we added some bits and pieces from the sewing machine and some other items we scavenged to add to the effect.

All three turned out pretty great but especially the one he added to and gave to his friend.


Lilah also made a special something for the birthday friend whose favorite animal is a fox. I didn’t get a picture of the cute critter before it was taken to it’s new home but the felted fox is already on top of our friend’s dresser in a place of honor! She’s got plans to work on more soon so I’ll be sure to capture pictures of those.

I love supporting these two in their creative endeavors!




Busy, busy, busy

We’ve been so busy and I haven’t been documenting as much because of the holiday season but here’s a glimpse of things we’ve been doing.

We made a wreath.

Gavin’s been knitting after Lilah finished her hat on the loom that’s their size.  She’s very proud of her first knitting project.

Lilah and I have been sewing the cutest owl stuffed animal/pillow for her brother.


We’ve been doing lots of reading.  We started a new book: Prairie School by Lois Lenski.  It follows a family in South Dakota in 1950 and is a really enjoyable exploration of how life in the 50’s in rural America was both similar and different to our current experiences.


Gavin made some gorgeous perler bead decorations and we hot glued them on barrettes for his sister.


We’ve been cuddling up watching movies since the kids have been feeling a bit sick this week;  Spirited Away, Harry Potter, Castle In the Sky.

Soon we’ll be celebrating Christmas with family, Solstice with the four of us and more Christmas with more family in Washington so blogging will be on hold for a while.



The kids set up a lego restaurant with dishes, tables, customers and a menu.


We watched a crew clean our street and then cover the cracks with tar.  I asked the kids why they thought they cleaned the street first.  Lilah said, “To get rid of the dirt”. Gavin added, “Because it wouldn’t stick with the dirt on it”.  Then we talked about what happens if water from snow gets in cracks in the road and then freezes (and expands).

We worked on some Makit plate designs for holiday gifts.  They will make plates with the designs the kids draw and color.  The ones from years past are some of our favorite plates to use around here!  Gavin drew an owl with wind, tornado, crown and jewels.  Lilah drew several cats.  They both have a particular interest in those animals right now, which is fun.

Gavin and I solved a sudoku puzzle with his Chocolate Fixx set while Lilah was still working on her drawings.

When she finished we played a game of Magic The Gathering.  It’s a very complicated game and not really something Lilah can grasp fully, or even Gavin for that matter, but they enjoy playing it at the stage they are at now and it has so much to think about: math, strategy, order of phases in your turn, lots of new vocabulary, art on the cards.

Lilah and I drove over to her gymnastics class



while Gavin stayed home and built a lego spaceship and watched an episode of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.