Made by hands, expressed from the heart.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Kawaii Cookies.

Other treasures I brought from Japan were these cute stamps I found at the 100 yen (1 dollar) store. Lucky I also found these animal faces at, if you want to order. Click here for the link. .
The faces are actually tofu stamps, but since I was making cookies at this time, I decided to try.
I found a good recipe of cookies here: All Recipes.
For the shape of the cookies I used my regular cookie cutters I got at the craft store.
The animal faces print very well after you dust in flour.
But the Japanese letters (hiragana) were a real challenge. Because first you have to find the tiny letters in the middle of all of them, then you have to arrange backwards in order to stamp in the correct way.

I ended up writing many cookies upside down, backwards or using the wrong characters.
Here one fail: to write cat is ねこ(neko), but I ended up writing れこ (reko), which does not mean anything. And one more thing, the こ is upside down. <
So for the next one I made an extra effort to write correctly. It was not easy.
Then finally this one took me a long time to get it right. It says うれしい (happy).
So I decided the bear stamps are much easier to work with.
But everyone was happy with the mistakes. Because they got to eat the misspelled cookies before I took pictures, out of the oven.
Hopefully I will be better next time.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017 Party

Now I am a few hours after the solar eclipse and I can show how my solar projector worked. My cardboard and reading glasses solar projector did not disappoint and we followed the Sun get covered by the Moon for the whole time.
From the beginning at 1:23PM.

Get gradually bigger as time went on.
Until it got the maximum coverage in our area at 2:44PM.
All the excitement came together with my eclipse of the heart cake.
Cookies with brigadeiro (condensed milk and chocolate dessert from Brazil).
Sunny D, Sun chips, Sunkist, star rice krispies.
And all the other food the could not relate to the theme but the kids like to eat.
I don't remember ever seeing an eclipse in my life, probably because it has always been cloudy in the past.
But today just when the Sun, the Moon and the point on Earth were we stand aligned, we had clear skies. And we had a chance to be together and celebrate with our kids.
And that does not happen all the time.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017

Today is August 19, 2017 and we are approaching the Great American Eclipse 2017. For the crazy people making a big deal out of this, join me to prepare a party for this great event.
First, protection glasses are needed to avoid damaging your eyes forever if you really want to look at the eclipse. You need to make sure they are approved by the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers, and you can check the list on this link. They also say to check if they have an ISO number on the glasses to make sure they are real. I imagine there is really no more time to order online, but there are a lot of stores selling them (we saw them at Lowes).
Another way to watch the eclipse is using a Solar Viewer that projects the image of the Sun in a piece of paper. I followed the instructions on how to make it following T.R. Richardson's, from the 
College of Charleston 
Department of Physics and Astronomy. The link with the instructions is here.
Using his instructions, I popped a +1 lenses from reading glasses from the Dollar Store and made this contraption to project the Sun in white paper.
It is not looking very pretty, but I hope it works.
We are planning some food for the party, so I made signs to name each dish. These I will try to use round food, like meatballs, doughnut holes, cookies, round bread.

If you want to print these signs, just go to my link here: food signs 1, food signs 2, food signs 3 .
This sign I really don't know where to use, but I wrote it anyway. Maybe it can be the name of the party or the song we have to sing (the sign to print is with the page "food 3").
I made a sign to place on the table that the kids can help decorate. You can download here: Great Eclipse.
I saw this idea looking for space parties and I thought it was cute. Little favor bags with Milky Way and Orbitz gum (I couldn't find Eclipse gums). The link to print is here and the kids can also color.
I also made signs so we can hold to take pictures during the eclipse (I printed all in different colors construction paper).
The pages to print are here: Mooned and Date.
I made a little time sheet so we know when to run outside. Before that we will watch the livestream on the Science Channel or on the NASA website.
If you live in NY and want to follow this page, here is the link: NY Time. I wrote 72% but it may vary according to different sources. The little arrows and angle signs I made it by hand, because I don't know how to make it in the computer.
And I printed maps to follow the path of the eclipse throughout the country and little pinhole projectors shaped like the country and the state. Both you can find on the NASA website: pinhole projectors and map.
NASA's website have a ton of information, activities and ideas for the eclipse, so be sure to check:
Even though we are not on the path of total eclipse, it will be fun to follow the trail on TV and have a great part of the sun covered.
We can't wait.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Mini Candy Shop.

This is another kit that I bought in Tokyo.
But this kit also involved a lot of cutting, measuring, painting before I even could start to assemble the parts. Plus the instructions are all in Japanese, so I had to do a lot of guessing too.
Like making this little door took me all morning to figure out the pieces and putting together.
This little table was also a lot of work to figure out how to cut the pieces, the measurements, but in the end it looks pretty. cute.

The sliding door was not suppose to slide, but I found a way to make them slide and make more real.
The final piece finally came out very nice.
And I just love the details in the store.
I love my little candy shop.