Monday, August 14, 2017

IGGPPCamp 2017! Finger-Weave Bracelets

Every year I participate in the IGGPPCamp through and this year I not only did the Jell-O Aquarium and led a My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away Twitter Watch-Along, but I tried to do my best making a finger-weaving friendship bracelet video.


Friday, August 11, 2017

5 Fandom Friday: Gateway Fandoms That Made Me Who I Am Today

I haven't done these in a long time, but I know the ladies who were running them became a bit busy. Look and my blog and tell me I don't understand that.

Essentially 5 Fandom Friday was a day to celebrate 5 things about being a fan! This was originally done by The Nerdy Girl blog. Since it took me so long to get into them, I figured I'd start from the very beginning and try to keep up on Fridays.

So let's get things started!

Gateway Fandoms That Made Me Who I Am Today

1. The X-Files
I was that kid who snuck into their basement on Sunday night to watch The X-Files or hide in my room. I "wasn't supposed to" watch stuff like that. Finally my dad watched some with me and that was really cool, but I loved The X-Files. I even got to comics and I hid them in the draw next to my bed. It fed all my needs and love of Sci-Fi/Supernatural/Paranormal. You could even credit this for helping to formulate my love of ghosts and zombies and whatnot! Amazing! I want to believe.... and I do.

2. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
I read this as a Sophmore in High School and it blew my mind! I think it was, honestly, my first real exposure to Sci-Fi reading! I had already read Fantasy and Fantasy is cool, but there is just something about Sci-Fi that I love without question. So much so that I've created a Sci-Fi reading unit for my sixth graders. It makes me the happiest when I'm reading Sci-Fi. I even have "Ender" engraved on the inside of my class ring.

3. Settlers of Catan
Our friend Jim brought this game out one day and I was completely hooked. So much so that I think I bugged him and my husband with how much I wanted to play it. It was just the coolest thing ever! The new got into Pandemic and Hero Quest and now my husband and I are gamers and we own over 300 games. Thanks Settlers!

4. Star Wars
You know this is where it all started! One of the first geeky movies I remember watching as a kid and I was from the 80s! We had the toys and everything! Star Wars permeated my life and kept me open to that type of sci-fi/fantasy and really created my love of geekdom. Moving forward I was addicted to Labyrinth and Adventures in Babysitting and Indiana Jones and other Spielberg awesomeness. I had so much to geek for!I could probably even credit it with keeping me open to amazing things like Mystery Science Theater 3000 when I was a kid! I loved it and it still permeates my adulthood today! Shockingly, I'd say Star Trek, but I wasn't really allowed to watch Star Trek and/or I didn't understand what it was as a kid. I remember one of the times I sat down to watch it at my parent's friend's house, my parents made fun of it and said to turn it off. I dunno. But for some reason Star Wars as alright and I am thankful for that!

5. Super Mario Bros
My brother and I each got $50 for Christmas. We pooled our money to buy a Nintendo Game System. Now, my brother had a tendency to take it over more than I did, but I loved my time on it and I loved playing Super Mario Bros. I've played almost all the games, but not things like Mario Cart. SMB was honestly my gateway to gaming and now we've introduced it to my daughter, but she prefers the Lego games more than SMB. Sad, but true... but she's REALLY good at gaming. I'm working on all the convoluted new expectations of using a controller. Man oh man.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

IGGPPC Camp Activity: Jell-O Aquarium

Jell-O Aquariums are all the rage right now, especially since it's summer and something young and old alike can enjoy! I streamline the activity, because there are so many variables that can make it fail. Talk about trial and error on my end. I essentially had to get rid of the gravel at the bottom, because it always turned a horrible color. So let's get started with what I finally settled on.

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Measuring Cup
  • Something to Mix With
  • Water
  • Something to Boil Water with
  • Wide-Mouthed Jar (or clear plastic cup... smaller is better and you'll make more than one)
  • Blue Jell-O mix (can't find this? see below)
  • Gummy sea creatures (Swedish Fish, Gummy Octopuses, Sharks, or other aquatic animals)
  • Something to break the surface of the Jell-O/Gelatin
  • Whipped Cream (optional)
Not Using Jell-O?
  • Gelatin Packets
  • Raspberry Extract 
  • Blue Food Coloring
  • Stevia
  • Electric Whisk

Directions for Using Jell-O
1. Following the directions on the Jell-O box (you'll need the bowl, measuring cup, the Jell-O mix, something to boil water with and water).
2. Pour into your jar(s) or cup(s).
3. Chill until you are ready to serve (the color from the fish will bleed into your Jell-O if you do it too early).

If you have some like-colored or candy you're sure won't bleed, try it out!
4. Take a butterknife or knife or something else and gently break the surface of the Jell-O an slip in your gummy sea life! You can put them up along the side or in the middle. Depending on how deep your jar is, you could probably get some on the bottom.
5. Then decorate as you wish! Whipped cream for waves or fishing jumping out of the water, etc.

Note: The Jell-O is a bit darker than I'd like, but it tastes better and is easier to work with.

Directions for Using Gelatin
1. Follow the directions on the box for making Gelatin. Mine said boil 3 cups of water and keep one cold. Then pour your 4 packets of gelatin into the cold water for 1 minute to firm up.
2. Once the water is boiling, add it to the cold water gelatin. Then use an electric whisk for 5 minutes.
3. Once hat is done, at 2 drops of blue food coloring, 8 drops of Stevia, and a TBSP of Raspberry Extract.
4. Gently whisk together and then pour into the jar. 
5. Put the jar in the fridge and let it set until you are ready to serve.
6. Before you serve, use something to gently create a slit in the gelatin. Then take your favorite aquatic gummies and carefully push them down into the gelatin.
7. You can put whipped cream on top to create waves or add any of your favorite things to the jar. 

Note: The Gelatin doesn't taste as good, but the color is preferable so you can see everything easily. You have more freedom to play around and really make it your own, but I found it to be much more tedious. I also could not put candy in before it set like the Jell-O.

Don't forget to take pictures and hashtag them #IGGPPC and #IGGPPCAMP for Twitter and Instagram! Or @IGGPPCAMP on Twitter!