Origami Bookmarks

 

©2014 Beret Olsen

Taking a bite of Stephen King’s awesome book:  On Writing.                 ©2014 Beret Olsen

posted by Beret

Ages:  Any

Post-its! Sharpies! Tape! Paper clips! I love them all. It is hard for me to talk about office supplies without exclamation points.

But above all, I love paper.

Not the kind that piles up all over my desk, mind you. Nice paper. Paper without issues and overdue notices and undone “to do” lists on it.

I also love to fold things neatly. I am weird like that. Not surprisingly, then, I find origami to be extremely satisfying. The trouble is, once you fold a lovely flat piece of paper it becomes three dimensional. And then it is taking up a lot more space–often just sitting there saying, “Look at me, I am a crane.” So, when my daughter showed me how to make a bookmark with a few quick folds, I was quite pleased. This project doesn’t collect dust and clutter the mantel; this little item holds my place in my book. Or…I suppose I could slide it jauntily over the corner of my ebook, for extra beauty.   Continue reading

Maybe the Best Book Ever

posted by Gina

You guys. Seriously. This is the most amazing, fabulous, wonderful, crazy-pants-happy-making thing I have ever read. Or read recently. How has no one told me about this book? How did it take me almost ten months to find out about it??

Fear not, those of you who have also been in the dark, I bring you the joy, the wonder, the THIS-IS-SO-AMAZINGNG-NESS of …

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

lemon

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Book Review: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

From iwalmartimages.com.

From iwalmartimages.com.

posted by Beret

Ages: 7 to 107

This book is miraculous indeed.

It is simply worded, beautifully illustrated, and hits like a sledgehammer.

Don’t be fooled by the flowery font on the cover, the sweet pencil sketches, or the gentle cadence of the first chapter. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is not a Hallmark commercial. It is not for the faint of heart. It is the sort of book which, when read aloud, makes your child look at you sideways and say, “Why does your voice sound tight and strange?”    Continue reading

Penny Batteries Part II: A Wee Success

Wait! Is the bulb lighting? I can't tell!

Is the bulb lighting? Hard to tell. This shows a four-cell battery using pennies and zinc washers.

posted by Beret

Remember my penny battery debacle?

I decided to hunker back down in my laboratory (aka, basement) to see if I could get the darn thing to finally work. I approached the project with a new tool:  very, very low expectations. I am beginning to think that may be the secret to success in a variety of situations.      Continue reading

Daruma Dolls

posted by Gina

You know what’s fun? Goal setting. No, really – bear with me for a second. You know how you get all excited in January to do your resolution? You know those fun little color coded spreadsheets you make for yourself, with benchmarks and rewards and motivational quotes? Well, some of us do that. But I’m betting you can join me in relating to just about now, when we’ve pretty much abandoned our resolutions by the wayside.

Seeing a goal through is a rewarding experience, and – frankly – we could all use a little motivation and encouragement. And a nifty gimmick with interesting historical roots.

So let me introduce you to the Daruma Doll.

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Stupid Penny Batteries Part I: FAIL

©2014 Beret Olsen

©2014 Beret Olsen

posted by Beret

Ages:  Persons of most any age can do this project as unsuccessfully as I did.

I had such a good time making lemon batteries last year that I got VERY EXCITED when I discovered another way to make batteries out of ordinary, every day objects. Lemon batteries were awesome. Lemon batteries were easy. So why not try penny batteries? I’ll tell you.    Continue reading

Life After Harry Potter – Part Three

posted by Gina

Brace yourself, fantasy lovers – for this, the third post-Harry installment, I’m throwing a lot at you. Ready? Fabulous.

We’ve mentioned the majesty that is Jane Yolen before, so perhaps you’ve had a chance to explore the wonder that she has bestowed upon the world. If you haven’t come across Wizard’s Hall, however, now is the time.

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Pocket Flashlights!

©2014  Beret Olsen

©2014 Beret Olsen

posted by Beret

Weather systems appear to have gone haywire.

I won’t mention that it’s been unseasonably warm and sunny here, because people suffering in winter wonderland get a little huffy about that. They’ll have the last laugh when I sink into the ocean, though.

Whatever the weather, it never hurts to be prepared. Below are instructions for making an unbelievably simple flashlight that can live in your wallet/backpack/glove compartment/bedside table. You will be ready for any power outage, midnight snack emergency, or for when you drop a $20 bill in a dark movie theater. NEVER use this to illuminate the bottom of your theater seat, however. Nothing can prepare you for what lurks there.    Continue reading

Life After Harry Potter – Part Two

posted by Gina

Let’s take a moment and talk about this woman:

julie-andrews-05

Julie Andrews. Actor. Singer. Movie Star. Broadway Star. Golden Globe, Academy Award, Emmy, and Grammy Winner. Mary Poppins and Maria Von Trapp. Also … author.  Did you know?

If you’re looking for fabulous fantasy, look no further than The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles.

9780060218058

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