Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How to Make Broken Crayons New Again

There are many versions floating out there on the web on how to melt crayons to make new ones. Here's what we did one rainy day last week.

Step 1: Gather all the bits and pieces of old crayons you have lying around the house. Remove the paper from the crayons, spray a mini-muffin tin liberally with cooking spray, and place a few pieces of crayon in each muffin cup.

You can mix up the colors if you like, but Jacob preferred having them all sorted by color. He's an orderly boy.

Step 2: Place the mini-muffin tin in a preheated 250 degree oven until you see thay've all melted, about 15 minutes or so.

While waiting, you can paint:

Once melted, they should look smooth and shiny. This was taken after they'd cooled, and you can see a layer of the cooking spray on top. Hey, at least my pan was protected!

Step 3: Pop them in the freezer for a bit if you're in a rush. Once they have cooled sufficiently, turn over the muffin tin and they should fall right out.

Not only are these crayon discs perfectly sized for a toddler's hands, they are also excellent stacking blocks, according to the J-man.

Time to start coloring! I think the green one is my favorite.


Quick Takes

  • If you haven't already, purchase Eric Peters' album Chrome. It released yesterday. Listen to the title track!

  • Andrew Peterson's newest book, North! Or Be Eaten is also on store shelves. (Sequel to On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness). Look forward to a full review from Team Redd in September. Plues, we have an extra copy to giveaway!

  • Potty training in a carpeted apartment (hence, no yard to run around in without clothes on) has not been the most pleasant experience. I may wait a bit longer to continue. On a positive note, Jacob did ask to go potty last weekend while we were at a restaurant, and he succeeded!

  • Burn Notice is one of the most compelling series on television (or on DVD), despite the gratuitous swimsuit shots (which thankfully are limited). We can't stop watching! Bruce Campbell got our attention, but the characters, intriguing plots, feel-good vibe, and overarching narrative keep us watching. I'd describe it as Alias meets MacGyver with a bit of Baywatch thrown in between scenes. Definitely a show for adults, but so good. Why is it that a car chase is so much more compelling when the voiceover gives you helpful instructions?

  • Now Jacob's imaginary friends are in the form of "kids." No names, just "the kids" who like to hide behind the chair in his room. He often brings them gifts of toys. Yesterday, he said he vacuumed them up. I wonder how small they are?

  • New Sidebar

    I created a new sidebar, so even if I don't get around to posting, there's at least a snapshot of our life on the blog. Here's what's happening this week.

  • Discovered: new nature trail at local park
  • Anticipating: Pool Party
  • Viewed: Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Following: Ace of Cakes
  • Obsessed with: Burn Notice
  • Received in the Mail: North! Or Be Eaten
  • Grooving to: Chrome
  • Overheard: "My breath is short."

  • Thanks, Susanna, for the idea.


    Wednesday, August 19, 2009

    Packages from Eric Peters

    ...make me happy! This is to further complement Gaines' earlier post and encourage you in the awesomeness that is Mr. Peters' music.

    Look what arrived in the mail on Monday:

    The new album, called Chrome, releases next Tuesday, and you, too can own your very own copy by purchasing from the artist himself!

    And, of course, if that isn't enough Eric Peters goodness for you, there was this little gem that arrived a few months ago. I received a most awesome birthday present in June -- a first-edition copy of Eric's first published book Revenge of the Birds (written in 1983.

    Note the authentic retro styling. Here, Jacob was "reading" it to his giraffe. I personally like how this photo captures the groovy mushroom-patterned contact paper:

    Enjoy all things Eric Peters at his website.


    Don't Forget About Chrome

    Just a friendly reminder: Eric Peters' new album, Chrome, releases next week (8/25). Pre-orders are already shipping, but there's still time to take advantage of discounted prices through his site.

    Eric is one of the few artists from whom Team Redd will buy a new release without needing a preview. We just know it will be good. Chrome is yet another validation of this policy -- it's great! Eric's writing and vocals are as strong as ever, and Ben Shive's production skills really make this album shine. (Like chrome. Get it? Never mind.)

    If you still need to be persuaded, Eric has the song "I Will Go With You" available through his site. Good stuff.


    Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    Down by the Sea

    A collection of photos from our days at the beach near Ft. Morgan, Alabama, with Gaines' family, Aug. 5th - 9th.

    Vacations are never quite long enough and yet you always seem to need another one to recover from the first. We're back, and I'm blogging again.


    Tuesday, August 04, 2009

    Ethan's First Boo-Boo

    Well, not really. At least, I don't think it is. He does have an older brother, after all, who likes to "play" with his little sibling. But it is certainly the first visible bump that is self-inflicted.

    We were all playing in Jacob's room this morning and Ethan was rolling around on the floor as usual. He can't quite scoot yet, but he's an expert roller and can be surprisingly fast. This time, however, the closet door got in his way. He rolled over very quickly and smacked his face right into the corner of the opened door. Ouch!

    It's hard to see in the picture, but he has a line over his left eyebrow that is raised and red, which slightly reminds me of John Locke's eye from Season 1 of LOST.

    However, as you can see, he's not any worse for the wear. Despite my fuzzy picture-taking (something is wrong with my camera lens), it is quite obvious this is one happy baby!

    P.S. The poor kid just got ANOTHER tooth yesterday at not-quite six months old and the only thing that gave it away was an inability to nap. Ethan is the definition of laid-back!