Monday, September 25, 2017

Making More Floral Crowns~

I've been making more floral crowns, and we have a tutorial for this activity, if you would like to make one, too. In the tutorial, we were using fabric flowers, but all the same principles and supplies apply. If you can't get to a floral wholesaler, look around your own garden, and I've had wonderful luck finding seasonal blossoms in plentiful bouquets at Trader Joe's.

Maria and I presented Amira with a Happy Thirteenth Birthday Crown of chrysanthemums and whimsical craspedia.

As described in the tutorial, the supplies you'll need are simple and few... 1/4" wide green, waterproof floral tape, 22 gauge green paddle wire, and a cutter. You can add ribbons, too.

I easily made three floral crowns from one floral bouquet from Trader Joe's... these crowns don't have flowers in a complete circle, but are more like a headband. Maria wore hers to the Viking Festival.

Ever since making them for Maria's school promotion, and sharing one with her garden teacher, I have continued making one as hostess gifts for my friends.

This one went to Linda, and with the chamomile it smelled lovely.

Yanina's was inspired by the sneak peek of her table setting she shared on Instagram... colorful, and artistic.

Our grade school graduate, and her misty blue crown. Those dried so beautifully, the crown is hanging in our entryway.

Someday, I would love to bring this hands-on activity to a Maker Faire and share it with everyone... I hope you will enjoy a chance to make your own floral crowns.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Meet the Artist

In Dubious Battle an eleven panel, oil painting by artist Shelley Reed.

"Through a large oil painting on a paper grid Reed will allow the viewer to step into the creation of her black and white world, to exist among its painted inhabitants. She will use art historical imagery that is sometimes pastoral and at times aggressive, creating an environment that feels “vaguely familiar, a bit dangerous, and fully relevant to today.”"

Shelley Reed's paintings can be seen in Boston, New York, Chicago, and now, Southern California, while she is an Artist-in-Residence at Lux Institute.

A unique and enjoyable part of the Artist-in-Residence program is the chance to meet the artist, see them working at their art, and to ask questions. This experience is wonderful for personal engagement, and opportunity to relate to the art with its creator. We were interested to learn that Shelley Reed was painting in oil directly on paper, without gesso. She described the quality and properties of the Arches paper, and that she enjoyed how the paper behaves with the oil paints.

Shelley Reed will be giving a Studio Talk, October 5th.

We would like to thank Shelley Reed for the generous and inspiring way she engaged with Maria, Alex, and Bambi; she went above and beyond in her interactions with us, in sharing her experiences, insights, and helpful criticism. As Maker Faire exhibitors, and in our community outreach, we know how much time and energy it can take to engage with the public. We enjoy exhibiting, talking about our interests, and yours, and when someone, like Shelley Reed, makes time to share and personally relate with us, we are especially appreciative. Thank you, as well, to Lux Institute for hosting this inspired program: Artist-In-Residence is marvelous.

(Benevolent Order of Makers is a school, this year... while Maria is homeschooling, we are calling ourselves the Benevolent Order of Makers STEAM Education Academy, or something like that. Really, it's all a pretty natural extension of our regular activities, but with some extra pomp and flare, because that's amusing to us.)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Our September Mini Make

Ruth, Bex, Ido, and Spencer~

A few times a year we throw open the barn doors and invite everyone in for a day of making and sharing. This time we wanted to welcome our cousin Landon into the mix... he's got designs and plans for making a folding knife, and Alex is mentoring him on this project. Seems we couldn't stop at knife making, so we invited other makers over, and Lisa arrived with a taco salad banquet, then we found ourselves getting a cheese making lesson. It's our love of making, of STEAM education activities and advocacy, that gets these things rolling, but it's our fun and generous friends that turn an idea into an unforgettable event.

Leo, Amira, Maria, and Adrian for a round of DnD~

Magic the Gathering at the next table over, with Lucas, Alex J, Max, and Corey... always room for one more!

Have we met? Yes... Ido, Leslie, William, Paul, and Simon... lots of supplies and ideas already gathering steam.

Say 'hello' to Ido's little friend. Junkcade and BOoM Nerds are at it again... with a little Arduino magic, Tony Manero is going to light up the disco floor.

Here is Landon, our newest BOoM Nerd. I couldn't keep up with all of the tinkering, experimenting, sandblasting, plasma-cutting fun Landon and Alex were having.

Two certified welders, and one eager apprentice. Our group works on the idea that anyone can become proficient at a task, and then pass those skills along. So, no matter your age, in any project or activity, you are either a mentor or a student. Peer teaching, engagement, sharing... by encouraging everyone to participate as students, and as teachers, we increase our resources, build confidence, and accomplish more making. Collaboration, and cooperation, make for fantastic skill building experiences.

Ido, Lily, Matt, and Natalie visited the hens and goats, for fun, and to talk about coop and run design and construction... we have loads of experience with that, and we are happy to share.

Paul, and Geoff checking out something Simon is in to.

Ido, Paul, and Matt~

A little research for the dance floor...

Lucas and Max bring Paul M, visiting from Wisconsin, to the table for an MTG introduction.

And Leslie brings Bex, Adrian, Amira, Maria, and Leo to the kitchen for a mozzarella making introduction. All (clean) hands on the curd!

Landon, mixing in the salt, before we add the boiling water.

Leslie was our expert on this project, and we all marveled at how magical it was seeing the cheese suddenly happen. Making mozzarella was easy, fun, delicious. I wouldn't have guessed we could do it so quickly, simply, and I am glad Leslie shared the curd, and her skills. This needs to be a regular activity.

And what do you do with all that cheese? You top your pizza! For this we had Lisa and Leslie to make dough, and Tim to build a beautiful pizza. This was just about the time Michael came by to check on Leo, and he had a fresh harvest of tomatoes from Grace's garden... just happened. What a fortuitous arrival.

And on the porch... electronics, soldering, Arduino, and Tony Manero.

And also... Tim, William, Alex, and Bex... with paper mâché for a cosplay mask.

Like I said, Always room for one more.

Amira, Leslie, Lisa, and Tim... pizza's out of the oven! This was round 2 for good eating. Lisa fed us all lunch, too. Cooking is some of the best making there is!

Everyone was on hand to appreciate this make project!

Want to see Tony Manero do his Saturday Night Fever disco? Check out BOoMNerds on Instagram!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Make Space

This is everything... friends, and play, and robots, home, sharing, comforts, resources, opportunities, engagement. We are the Benevolent Order of Makers, and we love science, technology, engineering, art, math, music, tinkering, learning, mentoring, and making plans to do more.