Archive for October, 2007

Tools for Pumpkin Carving

Tools for carving R2.

The tools I used to carve R2 included wood gouges, hole cutters, an awl and a keyhole saw. The scraper made taking off the skin very easy. Annabel picked this set up for me a couple years ago. R2 took about an hour of carving. He’s lit by an LED headlamp. I’ll try traditional candlelight tonight, but I don’t think it will be bright enough to shine through his body. The R2 reference came from one of my favorite movie art books “From Star Wars to Indiana Jones, The Best of the Lucasfilm Archives” by Mark Cotta Vaz and Sinjin Hata.

R2-D2 Jack-o’-lantern

Uncle Owen, what about that one?

Tonight we carved pumpkins. We have a nice set of tools including child safe saws. Everyone is responsible for their own Jack-o’-lantern. Nettie made a cat. Peabody made a happy face. I carved our favorite little R2 unit. It was inspired by this cool Dalek. Some more pictures of our R2 pumpkin are up on Flickr. Costumes are all done. We’re ready for tomorrow!

Egyptologist Costume

Nettie as Emily Sands

I am interested in Egyptology, so for Halloween, I am going to be a Victorian Egyptologist. We found the Pith Helmet at an estate sale. I sewed the linen skirt from some fabric that was originally intended for a chair.

Jet Costume Coming Together

Peabody’s jet comes together.

Peabody finally decided on a jet for his Halloween costume. Good thing we kept the stash of cardboard handy. Yesterday we assembled the basic shape based on a wooden model he got for his birthday. Then Peabody painted it with gray acrylic and added some markings: a sun, moon, star and a flag. We still have to add a pie pan engine and straps to hold it onto his shoulders. Swim goggles and a scarf will finish off his outfit.

Out of Season Library Swap

Peabody’s read soon box.

We keep our out of season clothes, sleeping bags, my game collection and a few boxes of books in the cubby behind our bedroom armoire. Every few months I take out some of the boxed up kids’ books and swap them with ones we’ve gotten tired of reading. For Peabody, it’s like finding lost treasures. He spent the afternoon putting them in piles of “read soon” and “read later.”

A List of Weekend Adventures

Nettie’s Pith Helmet.

It’s not even Friday and I’m already thinking about the busy weekend ahead. Our favorite game store is having their 6th anniversary party. Peabody has requested an excursion “into the hills.” Both kids need their annual picture with the pumpkins at the market. And Halloween costumes need to be assembled. Nettie is going to be a Victorian explorer. Peabody still isn’t sure what he’s going to be (chef, jet, giraffe) but we’ve been saving the cardboard for whatever he might throw at us.

Happy Birthday Peabody

Peabody adds more sand to his green turtle cake.

Peabody turned five today. Although he was stuck at home with a sore throat, he still felt well enough to design and decorate his birthday cake. After spreading on green mint frosting he placed sea turtles and graham cracker sand on the top. As Annabel says, we take our cakes seriously.

Peabody’s Turn to Cook

 Peabody check his order.

It was a hot day today, so no one had much interest in thinking about or making dinner. Except for Peabody. He decided to make us sandwiches. While he went around collecting orders (written on an index card in his own code), I set out the turkey, mustard, cheese, pickles and bread. He asked me to leave while he assembled the sandwiches. In just a few minutes, he proudly brought our dinner into the living room. Tomorrow it’s our turn to cook for him.

Aunt Beast Costume

Nettie’s Aunt Beast costume for literature class.

At school my literature group is reading “A Wrinkle in Time,” which is, in my opinion, one of the greatest books ever written. Our assignment is to make a costume of a character in the book, not tell anyone but our teacher who we are, and come dressed as your character on the day of the lesson. I chose Aunt Beast, a creature on the planet of Ixchel. We got a gray sweatshirt, turned it backwards, added an extra pair of sleeves, and sewed on tentacles. We put the sweatshirt backwards because Aunt Beast doesn’t have a face, and it worked out perfectly. Ready for tomorrow!

In the Isolation Booth

Isolation booth cards’ secrets are hidden.

This morning we headed over to a nearby estate sale with Annabel’s parents. As we appproached, Peabody had second thoughts, so he and I took my father-in-law for a tour of the neighborhood. We regrouped at home. Annabel brought back a great chair. Nettie had found a green Pith Helmet…a perfect addition to her Victorian explorer Halloween costume. Since I didn’t have a chance to go to the sale, Nettie took me back. We picked up a blue scarab bead and a dozen Topps Isolation Booth cards for $1. The cards were printed by Topps in the late 1950’s. The booth shown on the card is similar to the one used in The $64,000 Question. Each card has a trivia question whose answer is revealed by placing red cellophane over the back. In the future, Nettie and I will post some of them here and see if the answers have changed in 50 years.