Challenging the Dixie Cup Tower Record on RecordSetter.com

My daughter and I currently hold the world record for largest Dixie cup tower on RecordSetter.com. We unseated the previous record holder of 91 cups by stacking a 136 cup tower, only to blast it apart with our Nerf arsenal.  There are all sorts of records on RecordSetter.com, from the very serious to the downright bizarre. Examples include most catches juggling four balls while swimming, and most fiery bricks broken with one bare hand in 30 seconds while playing an electric guitar.

Anyone can create and upload a new record or challenge a current record. So what are you waiting for? Set your own record, or if you’d like, break ours!

Barbie Birthday Party Photobooth

Barbie Photobooth

My daughter’s birthday is just around the corner, and we’re making all the preparations for a Barbie-themed party. Party planning for girls of kindergarten age not being my specialty, my wife assigned me the task of building a Barbie toy box to be used as a photo booth. I love playing with cardboard, so this was a perfect task for me. In what was clearly a matter of fate, my neighbors had just bought a patio set and were discarding a huge cardboard box in their weekly trash pile. Upon closer look, it turned out to be three-ply cardboard. This is a cardboard aficionado’s dream come true! We’re talking cardboard that is quite possibly sturdier than the body of my compact car, and certainly far superior to the flimsy, run-of-the-mill cardboard that my son used to build this couch bridge.

Using two of my favorite tools, a jigsaw and a hot glue gun, I cut and refolded the box into a suitable shape and size. I finished it with some spray paint, taped some wrapping paper for the background, and cut out and glued some letters. Voila! An afternoon of work and now we’re open for business.

A Bird’s-Eye View: Scuttlecam

scuttlecamThe kids love to visit the seagulls that congregate in a local strip mall parking lot during fall and winter months. This year, we’re getting ready early, and we’ve concocted a crazy plan to get a much closer look at the seagulls without the threat of being pooped on or pecked at.
We made a paper mache seagull, attached it to the chassis of an old R/C car, and outfitted it with a small keychain camera. We aptly named our goofy creation the Scuttlecam, after the famously wacky seagull from The Little Mermaid.

Scuttle body Scuttle body2

Only a half-dozen or so seagulls were around for our first test run of the Scuttlecam, but we were still able to have some great fun and capture some video.

The seagulls definitely took an interest in the Scuttlecam. They were weary at first, but after a few minutes they seemed to warm up. As more and more seagulls arrive this fall, it should be even easier for the Scuttlecam to blend right into the crowd and get some great undercover video!

PA Cigar Box Festival at the York Emporium

IMG_6316We finally had the chance to attend the annual Pennsylvania Cigar Box Guitar Festival at the York Emporium, a fantastic used bookstore and curiosity shop. While the weather wasn’t the best, we still were able to see some amazingly hand-crafted cigar box guitars and hear some live music. Check out the Facebook page for more photos as well as video. I didn’t come home with a cigar box guitar, but that’s only because I’m hoping to make my own someday soon.

IMG_6319 IMG_6318 IMG_6312 IMG_6308

We mainly came for the cigar box guitars, but made it a point to browse inside, too. While it’s super tough to browse a book store with two young, rambunctious kids, I was able to buy enough time to pick something out from a huge pile of old, digest-sized pulp science fiction magazines. I chose a copy of Fantastic from October, 1955, and I’m excited to read it.Fantastic IMG_6331 IMG_6325

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.