Sunday, May 31, 2009

Maker Faire 2009 at San Mateo

I have wanted to go to Maker Faire - a two-day, family-friendly event to MAKE, create, learn, invent, CRAFT, recycle, think, play and be inspired by celebrating arts, crafts, engineering, food, music, science and technology - since I first heard about it last year. Luckily, it was in the cards for me to go this year, so my husband and I loaded up the monkey boys bright and early yesterday morning and drove 3 hours to San Mateo. We arrived about 10:30am, picked up our pre-paid tickets at will-call, and spent the day enjoying the creative, quirky, inventive atmosphere that is Maker Faire. It was like, tech-geek meets Steampunk meets indie crafter meets retro toy land meets 'refashion' and recycling artisans. It was amazing. . . . .and all my senses took it in. There were shooting flames and shooting diet Pepsi with Mentos. There were rockets launched into the air, a locomotive engine sounding off on a regular basis, giant metal wings spinning, musicians, the scent of delicious foods wafting through the air - which, by the way, was a cool, breezy 65 degrees. Best of all, most of it was hands-on, interactive playtime. You didn't have to walk too far to catch a glimpse of cupcakes on wheels, crazy modes of colorful transportation, or a devotee of Steampunk in full costume. Here is a jeep covered in Lego's, and you are encouraged to pick some Lego's and add to it. And there was also this marker-covered car and a candy-covered bike.Here is a picture of my favorite thing at Maker Faire -these incredibly huge metal wings that actually rotate in a full circle. I wanted to bring them home to my backyard. They were breathtaking!
Lunch break! I have to show pictures of us (or, at least my kids) eating food. It was quite yummy!
Here is the work of a bead artist who was demonstrating her lampwork bead-making abilities.
Take a look at these incredible structures - this one looks like giant cotton balls, and its base was designed to look like extra large bird talons.
(Have you noticed that I AM NOT IN ONE OF THESE PICTURES?! I am so use to taking the pictures that I forget to get in them. My boys will have no idea what their mother looked like when they were growing up. I am going to have to work on that!)
Here is our rocket building adventure. First, you buy the easy to assemble kit, sit down and put it together (they had helpers there to help the tech-challenged folks) and then take it over to a launch site near the parking lot where you can detonate your rocket. How cool is that!
Check out the Steampunk presence that was at Maker Faire. If you go to Etsy you'll see the kind of crafting that represents this culture. The jewelry was made from old clock parts, buttons, vintage ephemera, old bottles, gathered findings and fabrics, etc. Just all kinds of interesting vintage inspirations. Everyone was very gracious and let me take pictures of them.

We had a great, great family day! We will definitely be back to Maker Faire again!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Company Picnic

Well, I didn't win the flat screen TV and I didn't win at BINGO. And you know what? I had a fabulous time at the company picnic! My boys played in the bounce house and we ate hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream bars and even churros. My youngest son did win at BINGO. My husband and I got to visit with some of my work friends and just relax. Here are some pictures:

The Company Picnic

I'm listening to Johnny Cash sing Ring of Fire, as I work my way through my afternoon emails. No, I am not at home. I am at work. Johnny is wrapping up and Sheryl Crow is now singing about having fun until the sun comes up over Santa Monica Blvd. Let me explain....Tonight is our company picnic. My desk is right by the back door that looks out to our rec park. Mind you, I am in my cube at my desk so I don't actually 'look' out at the grassy slopes beyond the door. But today is a nice California day - it will reach about 80-something degrees - and so the door is open to let the breeze in. Preparations are in full throttle to get the rec yard ready for our employees and their families to descend on the place, anticipating food, fun and prizes. The music has been playing on a loop since about 10am this morning and I am really enjoying it. This is the first time that we've had our company picnic right here in our own backyard. It's a perfect early summer evening for it. This is how I see it: a little Johnny, me winning one of the flat screen TV's, me becoming extremely happy! Wish me luck!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

Mother's Day. Sunday. A day of rest................we talked about getting up early and heading to a favorite breakfast restaurant to have a special Mother's Day breakfast before heading off to church. Instead, we decided to hurry and get ready for the early service at church so we could have the whole day to spend at Bass Lake. We got home from church by 10:30am and changed into our play clothes. I grabbed the boys swim shorts and some towels, some sunscreen and the ice chest. We stopped at a sandwich shop and bought enough food to have a nice picnic lunch at the lake. We got up the mountain by noon and were enjoying our picnic soon enough at an empty table tucked beneath huge pine trees with a nice view of the lake. There was a gentle breeze and it carried one of my favorite scents in the world - the smell of a campfire. It was so relaxing to sit at a wooden table, laughing with my family, eating sandwiches. listening to the wind, smelling the pines. It was perfect! When we finished eating it was time for the boys to put on their shorts and play in the lake. They found some local kids playing with a log, and before long they were all friends.
It's funny how much fun a group of kids can have with a log!

Here's my honey and me, hiding from the sun under my umbrella. I am way too pink to get a tan!
At the end of the day, as we packed up all our stuff, including treasures like some perfect skipping rocks and some little bits of driftwood, my oldest son said to me, "Mom, it seems like it was kid's day because we got to play in the lake." I smiled and told him that mothers take great pleasure in seeing their children happy and playing. So for me it was a perfect Mother's Day.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Inspired At Home

Inspired At Home is a blog talk radio program hosted by creativity experts Tiffany Windsor and Julianna Hudgins. This creative lifestyle program treats listeners to this lively duo's ideas including creative tips, project ideas, product reviews and creative lifestyle interviews.
On May 3, their will be guest interviews with Kathy Cano-Murillo aka the Crafty Chica who will share her new book Crafty Chica's Guide to Artful Sewing: Fabu-Low-Sew Ideas for the Everyday Crafter and Joan Fee will share her new Guide to Shrink-Plastic eBook. OMG! Does it get any craftier than that? Tune in and be inspired!

Mother's Day Workshops

Mother's Day is just around the corner and you are probably already being bombarded by retailers trying to sell you products that will help you celebrate mom. Let me say this, as a mom I prefer to receive gifts from the heart rather than gifts from the store. A handmade card from one of my sons says so much more to me than a standard greeting card. Let's face it, Mother's Day is about emotion and sentiment and honoring the one person in the world who thinks your handmade stuff is priceless! Why not make your mom something fabulous? Michael's is offering FREE workshops to help you do just that. C'mon, all you have to do is spend a little time and effort to make your mom smile this Mother's Day.

Flu Fashion

I don't even know what to say about this. I guess if you have to wear a face mask to protect yourself from the swine flu then you might as well be stylish. Who would think a possible pandemic would spark the need to create a fashion statement? OK, I am going to (somewhat) shamelessly suggest you make your own mask using Tulip products. Why not personalize your flu gear even further? Add some crystals, paint and even appliques if you so desire..........go all out, make a statement, make a mask, make it your own and wear it in good health.


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