Origami Socks?

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I just completed these socks for my daughter today. I worked on them in the mornings while folks were still sleeping. They are really cool because I crocheted them totally flat from this pattern. When that was done, I stitched them up and voila!- socks that fit! A very nice thing about the pattern is that you make it using measurements of the foot, so no trying on is necessary (or even possible until you are done). You also don’t need stitch markers as you work things back and forth in rectangular shapes for the majority of the sock 🙂

I used striping yarn so that added a bit of fiddlyness to them, but it wasn’t much extra work to make them match.

Here are the action shots:
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Games

Have I ever mentioned that my family loves playing games?
This vacation was filled with them!

I took a bunch of our games out of their boxes and packed them all up together in one small cardboard box for travel…I fit 20 games in it 🙂

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In addition, the kids took their DS stuff.

The most played of our games were Coloretto, Ticket to Ride, Fluxx, Flapdoodle, Frog Juice, Apples to Apples, Pick Picknic, Rat A Tat Cat, Doodle Dice, Blokus, and Pickomino. And, of course, Scribblenauts for the DS. People also played a good bit of regular card games like Euchre and Canasta. It was fun to get to play so many games with the kids and their cousins.

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Fort Fisher Aquarium

Today, we split off from the large group and headed to the aquarium with just our immediate family plus my cousin. She and my daughter have been joined at the hip for days, so we thought they would enjoy it together.

Not much has changed since the last time we went (2 years ago). It was still a neat place to visit and I am glad we made the extra effort to get out there again.

We started off in the swamp area checking out the turtles and alligators.
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This guy is an albino alligator which is rare because when the young alligators can’t blend in with their surroundings, they get eaten more easily.

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One of these cute, little guys got flipped on his back, but as we watched, he was able to flip himself back over.

Next, we checked out the touch tank.
The touch tank was great! We got to touch hermit crabs, anemones, sea stars, urchins, and horseshoe crabs. We also learned that the horseshoe crab, beyond living for almost the past half a billion years, has blue blood due to the copper in its blood instead of iron like ours. My son thought that was pretty cool as he had just been telling me the same fact about octopus, squid, and cuttlefish blood. Horseshoe crab blood is important to us as it is used in medical testing to make sure that samples are not contaminated with bacteria (link).

Underside of a horseshoe crab:
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Big hermit crab:
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We moved on and spent lots of time staring at the big tank and watching the ray, sharks, eels, and other animals.

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We sat through the diver talk this time and the kids came up with some good questions for him. My son learned that it wasn’t a baby hammerhead shark in the tank (as hammerheads are dangerous), but instead a full grown bonnethead shark.

*Now that I am home and able to look it up, it appears that the bonnethead is of the same genus as all hammerhead sharks. It is one of the nine species with that shape of head.

After the large tank, we checked out some of the non-living samples like baleen and part of a spinal chord from a whale.

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Then came more interesting animals like the octopus and the jellyfish. Some of the jellies changed colors as time went by, going through the color spectrum.

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We finished up our trip with a visit to the gift store to buy new stuffties and then took a lap around the outside exhibits where we saw some birds and turtles.

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Here are the kids posing with their new stuffties…they are named Vanilla (the seal), Chocolate (the otter), and Orea (the snake).

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Spring Clamp Bag

My daughter and her friend have been making lots of forts lately using our blankets and sheets, chairs, her bunkbed, and lots of….

TAPE.
Which. Sticks. To. Everything. And. Doesn’t. Easily. Come. Off.

Enter my solution…a bunch of spring clamps in 2 different sizes to secure all the layers.
They needed a home.
Here is my latest bag- a lined drawstring bag with cute clamps on the outside 🙂
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Finished another UFO (unfinished object)

I ran out of steam last year while working on my daughter’s socks when the yarn for the second sock ran out before it completed the last repeat.

I decided to use some of the leftover yarn from my recent socks to finish up the heels and ribbing on her pair. It came out pretty well although this yarn was much thinner so the heel is a little sparse on yarn. I am hoping a few washes will fuzz them up and fill it in…

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Science Thursday

We met up with some friends to explore the Natural History Museum this week and ended up staying for almost 4 hours.

Have you ever noticed that Hawaii is right smack in the middle of nowhere? How in the world did people on ships ever find it?

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Crystals.
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Necessary prehistoric bones shot.
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Posing with the bear statue before moving on to check out all the living animals.
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Otters.
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We got to check out the music exhibit and play around with sound.
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Then we headed to the Discovery Room downstairs.

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Can you find the Beetle?
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There were a few little jokes like this hidden around the museum and also a new scavenger hunt with items to search for as we explored.

Geocaching Close to Home

My husband got a brand new fancy phone for work recently and while we were planning for our upcoming vacation, I asked him if he could put a geocaching application on it. We took it to downtown Bedford tonight to test it out against my Geomate Jr.

We ran into a little bit of trouble finding parking as we didn’t know there would be a live Polka band playing on the square, LOL. After we figured out where to head, both GPS units worked perfectly and we easily found the cache 🙂

Both kids eagerly picked out their loot- a handmade domino for my son and a little flocked kitty for my daughter.

It was nice to have J. come along as he is usually at work when we geocache.

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I Spy Beanbags

I received all my lovely I-Spy fabrics from the trade I was in! The kids are excited for me to start on their quilts 🙂

I did decide to do one smaller project first…a gift for my niece and nephew.
Beanbags!

My kids love our beanbags for games and battles and I thought I would add a little to these by making them alphabet AND I-Spy.

I printed the letters of the alphabet onto neutral fabrics using fabric dye. Then I paired them with an I-Spy fabric for that letter and sewed them up! They have rice filling because I like the way it feels. Here they are:

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There are 13 pairs of colors.
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A carrying bag is in the works, but I am waiting on snap pliers because both my husband and my daughter are insisting that that a snap for closure is the right finishing touch. (And I really don’t mind projects that are a great excuse to buy a new tool)

ETA: I finished the carrying bag and funny enough, it looked better without the snap…
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More Socks!

We recently had a new “Hobby Lobby” open in a nearby town and I was itching to go look at their yarn. So today, the kids and I had a great afternoon together hitting a “Steak and Shake” on the way and then checking it out. My daughter picked out some yarn for socks for her and I bought 2 skeins, thinking I might make a pair for me and a pair for her.

I started with mine.
I am using the pattern “Easy Does It” from the book “Crocheted Socks! 16 Fun to Stitch Patterns”. The pattern is pretty simple and I learned how to do a new stitch, which I love. It is a foundation dc, which makes chaining unecessary! It is also nice and stretchy, which is good as these are top-down socks 🙂

I had some trouble at one point as there was a knot in the yarn and it took several rows in each sock before I realize that the pattern had reversed in the sock with the knotted yarn. They had tied on a new yarn with the stipes going in the other direction! I decided to rip it back, re-roll the yarn, and try to match up the stripe pattern so the socks would match. Let’s just say that I wasn’t very happy with the yarn company! After that, it was pretty smooth sailing. This is the first time I tried a flap heel, so that was kinda neat. The instructions for after the heel were not written correctly, but that was easy enough to figure out, so I assumed what should have been written and they have been looking good. I am almost to the point where I can start decreasing for the toes 🙂

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