Sunday, August 10, 2014

My Doll Project Runway - S13E03 - The Past Inspiring the Future of Fashion

This week the designers looked at where they were and what they were wearing 20 years ago in 1994 when Marie Claire published their first issue. They were asked to take a memory and use it to create a look for 20 years in the future, something the 2034 Marie Claire girl would wear.

So my 1994 memory is the "Video Toaster." I was a senior in high school and very absorbed in TV/Film production and the Video Toaster was the hot new tool on the market for making amazing graphics... Weird Al's video Money for Nothin' was made with the video taoster, hardly impressive by today's standards but back then it was the top of the line. Pixar used something similar to create Toy Story and it changed movies forever.

So for my look I thought about how technology is revolutionizing fashion, specifically in regards to the digital printer. Unfortunately I don't have a digital printer yet (but donations are welcome) so I had to improvise. I paired that with an updated version of the overall shorts that were all the rage in the 1990s and tried to give them a Fifth Element feel (90s movie set in the future). 

Brodie said this is his favorite look so far. What do you think? Are we in or are we out?

My Doll Project Runway - S13E02 - Unconventional at the Movies

Tim Gunn took the Project Runway designers to the movies in this episode where they grabbed what they could from a pile of movie making and viewing materials. They were then divided into teams and told to make a cohesive collection of looks from the stuff they had gathered.

Here's what we came up with:

Brodie's look is made with gaffers tape, video tape and a popcorn box. Gotta tell you, I kind of want those capris. And I totally dig the fez even if I think Nina might tell him to edit it.




Here's my look. Her dress is made from a couple of popcorn boxes, gaffers tape and video tape. I used pieces of the deconstructed video cassette to make her hair accessory and purse which is clear to represent the transparency in the lives if celebrities. 




The two looks together:

What do you think? Are we in or out? Is our collection cohesive enough? 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

My Doll Project Runway - S13E01 - Start of Spring Collection

Back for a new season of Project Runway! Brodie and I are excited to be doing the Doll Project Runway challenge again. We will try to post pics as soon as possible but with work and homeschool, sometimes we get a little behind (so please bare with us). Your feedback always helps fuel or creativity so please comment, like, share, subscribe and all that good stuff :) 

So in the Season 13 Premier the designers were tasked to design a look from a mystery box of fabrics that represents the spring collection you would show at fashion week. We didn't have the exact same fabrics so we tried to pull together something close, imagine this in the blue jersey and bright floral print from the workroom. 

We came up with a hoodie inspired romper. 


Perfect for springtime when the weather is changing.

It has a deep front pockets like a hoodie but the open back of a flirty dress.

My favorite part is we included a shelf in the front of the romper so no need to worry about finding a bra with the open back.

Versatile for riding with the top up or down!

We also made a reversible beach bag inspired by the shape of a hoodie pocket. 

So what do you think? Let us know in the comments below. Are we in or are we out?

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Science is Sweet - How to Make Cell Pie

We're studying cell structure in our 5th grade science section right now. Rather than simply drawing another diagram we decided it would be pretty sweet to make a pie that illustrates the parts in a simple animal/plant cell.

We didn't just glop stuff in there though, we studied the characteristics of the elements in the cell and tried to find ingredients with similar properties that would still be pretty tasty if mixed together in a pie.

Here's the list of ingredients we came up with:

Brodie might have a Mitochondrion in his mouth in this picture.

We added everything together and the results were pretty sweet! 

One tip, if you decide to try this at home, make sure the whipped cream is super stiff or all of the organelles will sink right in to the cytosol. If it's too soft, stick it in the freezer for a few minutes before you begin. 

In our homeschool nothing's handed to you, so here are some links if you want to find out more about the physical characteristics of all the parts of the cell. 
  1. Nucleolus – Cherry 
  2. Nucleus – Jello
  3. Ribosome – Sprinkles
  4. Vesicle – Jelly beans
  5. Endoplasmic Reticulum  
    1. Smooth – Hot Fudge
    2. Rough – Hot Fudge with Sprinkles
  6. Golgi Apparatus – Strawberry Jelly
  7. Cytoskeleton – Pirouline Cookies
  8. Mitochondrion – Candy Orange Slices
  9. Vacuole – Peanut M&M
  10. Cytoplasm (Cytosol)  –  Whipped Cream
  11. Lysosome – Gushers Fruit Snacks
  12. Centrosome – Twizzlers
  13. Cell Membrane – Graham Cracker Crust
Can you guess why we chose these ingredients? Would you have picked something different?  Let us know in the comments below!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pranks for Kids with Aspergers to Pull Off on April Fool's Day

April Fool’s Day can be quite a confusing holiday for kids with Asperger’s Syndrome. The very nature of the celebration is to breech the social protocol they are already struggling to understand. It’s a fine line for kids who get caught up on technicalities to try to distinguish between pranks performed on April 1st and the bullying they are warned to be wary of the other 364 days of the year. However, I’ve found that helping my Aspie son learn how to dish it as well as take it has been more rewarding than shutting him off to the whole experience.

Pulling a prank on April Fool’s Day is a lesson in empathy for Aspie kids. It’s easy for them to get frustrated or confused if they only experience the observance as a target. Planning a creative prank and then effectively implementing it lets them know how it feels to be the prank-er instead of just the prank-ee. Offering an insight into why other kids are pulling pranks helps them understand pranks on April Fool’s Day are not meant to be taken as personal attack, but are an effort to include them in a celebration observed by the community.

Because it’s pretty hard to prank yourself, there is no point in celebrating April Fool’s Day alone. It is a social holiday so encouraging kids to participate, even if it’s pulling just one prank, shows them it’s ok to get a little silly and join in cultural experiences no matter how impractical they may appear. It might take a couple of attempts before they understand pranking someone doesn’t mean just annoying them but it’s an opportunity to show off how clever they can be which makes most Aspies I’ve me thrive.

Need some inspiration? Here are 4 practical ideas for Aspie prankstes to pull on their families this April Fool’s Day. They all pass my son’s “comfort level” test, meaning he would feel comfortable doing them because they are not meant to hurt any ones feelings and they don’t do any physical damage to people, places or things.
  1. Say what? – Make eye contact with your sister from across the room. When you know she is looking whisper the words, “I love juice.” She won’t be able to hear you but reading your lips it will look like you are saying, “I love you!”
  2. Half Baked – Use a brown marker to write the letter “E” all over a piece of paper. Place the paper in a metal baking tin and cover with aluminum foil. Tell your mom you made brownies and try not to laugh too hard when she discover the brown E’s you left for her aren’t what she expected.
  3. Sneaky Feet – While no one is looking, place a 12 inch ruler inside your dad’s shoe. When he goes to put it on say, “Stop! There’s already a foot in there!”
  4. Play Pals – Cut the letter “U” out of construction paper and slide it in the cover of a book. Tell your brother, “I don’t feel like reading. I want to play with you all day.” Then pull the paper U out of the book and walk away playing with it.
This are just a few suggestions to get you started. Let us know in the comments below what wonderful pranks you pull off this April Fool’s Day!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Buildings' Bases a Homeschool Lesson with Legos

For our lesson today we wondered which base would support the biggest building. We used Legos to explore this idea. As a constant we only built on base patterns consisting of four dots. We learned these are called TETRIMINOS. In other words, shapes composed of four cubes connected orthogonally. 

Can you guess which one of our favorite video games was inspired by tetriminos? Find the answer here...

The first thing we had to do was find the Legos we would need to build our towers and LOTS of them since we figured they would be pretty tall. Big thanks to Bing for helping us find the bricks we needed. 

Next we started building. We tried to make our first tower on the table but found it too hard to reach the top after a certain point so we moved the experiment down to the floor. In order to figure out the height limitations, we stacked the bricks as high as possible until we couldn't balance it anymore and the tower fell over 3 times. 

Square Base: 105 Bricks Tall

Line Base: 72 Bricks Tall

Corner Base: 129 Bricks Tall

Z Shaped Base: 103 Bricks Tall

It took a lot of concentration not to knock the towers over just by adding more Legos.

There were moments when we had to hold our breath to make sure nothing shook.

It was totally worth the effort when we topped our previous record. (Even the minifigs were excited!)

Sometimes it was frustrating but we had to remember that the point of the experiment was to make the towers topple so we could record the data.

In the end our initial hypothesis was correct an the Corner Shaped Base made the tallest tower when we stacked it up against the competition. However, we learned there were other factors that might influence the outcome if the experiment was repeated. Things like; how often you switch the pattern of the bricks in the Corner and Z Shaped Bases can affect the integrity of the structure, it's easier to add lines in chunks rather than one at a time upon nearing the top of the tower, and when dogs walk by it almost always falls over. 

This was a really fun experiment and we encourage you to
please try this at home!

P.S. As an unintended side effect, we also learned about perspective in photography. This tetrimino is stacked on more than 100 bricks even though it appears to be on big Lego.