The Wand of Polymera: A Polymer Clay Fairy Wand

Wand I helped my daughter make a magical fairy wand from polymer clay. All of its power comes from the pommel, a magical stone which was looted from Clover’s underwater castle.

Clover's Castle

Clover’s Castle

The handle features a hand impression that only fits my daughter’s exact grip, ensuring that only she could wield its awesome power.

wand 3The wand performed superbly right out of the gate. It had no problem transforming a pile of sticks into an enchanted fairy house.

wand2 fairy house sidefairy houseIn the meantime, little brother made a snowman with his own magical stone and chunk of clay. He’s still waiting for it to come to life.

The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 11, The Original Stash

The Adventures of Sprowkey is part of a series following the whereabouts of a trackable geocaching item. Actual locations and events surrounding this trackable item form the basis for a fictional narrative, creating a unique and interactive geocaching experience. For more background on this series, see the first installment of The Adventures of Sprowkey. 

Sprowkey plane

After a long winter holed up indoors, many citizens enthusiastically await the warmer weather and new foliage of spring. As they begin spending more time outdoors, this creates the perfect opportunity for field agents to run missions under an abundance of cover, which also explains why spring and summer months are the most active seasons for agents and cachers. Deciding to lay low through much of this valuable time was a frustrating, yet necessary decision for Sprowkey.

His gut told him that a number of “friendly” agents may not have been so friendly after all. How could any competent agent accidentally put Sprowkey so far off course, moving him from Phoenix all the way to the far reaches of the eastern coast and seriously jeopardizing his mission? No, someone was purposely sabotaging Sprowkey, and there was no other recourse but to lose him like a loose tooth.

Fortunately, Sprowkey  knew he could be trusted in the hands of long-time colleagues and friends, Agents Ma & Pa.  They managed to pick him up in late May without being followed and planned to hide out until they had a solid plan that would get Sprowkey out of this predicament and back into action on the west coast.

The Plan

Ma & Pa would see that Sprowkey safely makes it to the rendezvous, a secure transport hub for high level operatives called the IL/WI State Line Transfer Terminal. Agent Riskguy would meet Sprowkey here, and rather than continuing on the obvious western course, they would travel southeast to The Palms Hotel in Florida, a move intended to confuse and befuddle enemy spies. It is here that Sprowkey would finally meet the legendary Agent CBX25, who would see him through the riskiest part of the plan. CBX25 is the James Bond of the geo-world. He is given only the most high-profile missions, and not only does he accomplish them with ease, he does so in style. CBX25 would make several stops in the southeast to test the waters and shake off any lingering enemy spies before flying across country.

sprowkey map

I’m happy to report that the plan went off without a hitch! Sprowkey and CBX25 are in the sky, while enemy agents are scrambling on the wrong side of the country to pick up his trail again. CBX25 was so ahead of the opposition that he had plenty of time to show Sprowkey around before taking to the sky. First they visited the World of Coca-Cola and the top of Stone Mountain, both in Atlanta.c5b87477-4823-43ec-92ec-8ada9cba730a

Stone Mtn.

Finally, they made the pilgrimage to the very first cache location, the place where it all began!

First Geocache Site

Upon landing, CBX25 will mine his network of connections on the west coast to get him in the right hands and back on track. Until then, stay tuned for the next installment of the Adventures of Sprowkey!

Sprowkey plane

 Total miles traveled: 20674

Previously: The Adventures of Sprowkey: Chapter 10, Mooser’s

 

Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles Roundup

sewer drainIn just under a week, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fans young and old will be shellin’ out hard-earned dough to see the newest take on the green team. I know of at least one local mega-fan in particular, who will be headed to the theater in total turtle style.TMNT Party wagonI interviewed Dan in early 2013 about his sweet TMNT party wagon, at a time when any news about a movie reboot was little more than rumor. By that time, the new cartoon series was already a hit, and I couldn’t help but notice toy stores struggling to keep TMNT merchandise in stock (see my old post, Playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles like a Boss). For better or for worse, it’s finally time to hit the sewers!

Rock Hunting for Cabbage Head Quartz

Cabbage Head QuartzI always thought it’d be fun to take the kids on a hunting expedition for fossils, trilobites, geodes, or other cool rocks, but never had a clue where to look or how to get started. It was just happenstance that I spotted a FalconGuides Rockhounding book at the library. I started flipping through it immediately upon returning home, and was excited to find a site of interest in my hometown. I grabbed some gear and loaded the family into the car to join me in some impromptu rock hunting before dinner. We were looking for cabbage head quartz, which turned out to be ripe for the picking, because everyone had found at least one specimen in under twenty minutes! The rocks have a really unique circular pattern that look like flowers, or cabbage heads. Now that our first hunt was a success, we’re excited to plan another expedition soon to add some other neat rocks to our collection. It’s amazing what sort of new wonders are lurking just around the corner, waiting to be discovered. The trick is to be curious about the world around you. There’s always more to learn and discover, no matter where you live!

Cabbage Head Quartz2

Breakfast “Hot Dogs” for #NationalHotDogDay

Faux Hot DogAre you prepared for National Hot Dog Day, this Wednesday, July 23rd? We sure are! While serious hot dog aficionados will have lunch and/or dinner covered, only the most hardcore fanatics would consider breakfast as part of the festivities. Frankly, we’re not THAT hardcore–but we’re close. Here’s our way of kicking off weeny day with a winning breakfast. Just cook up some pancakes in a rectangular shape (the bun), drop on a slice of bacon (the frank), and top with scrambled eggs (the mustard). Top it off however you’d like (maple syrup and chili sauce are optional), eat as is, or fold it up just like a real hot dog.Faux Hot Dog2

Faux Hot Dog3

The Mysterious Skull: Case Closed

 

Racoon

In June, I posted pictures of a small animal skull that my kids found in a playground next to a wooded field. Still wondering what kind of animal it had belonged to, I posted the question on Ask Metafilter, and within a few hours the overwhelming consensus was that it had once belonged to a raccoon. Someone also pointed out that it was seriously gnawed on by another animal, as proved by the scratch marks that I hadn’t even noticed. Another case solved by the internets!skull 1skull 2 skull 3