Tag Archive | Amazon

Haku… The Process of Making a Dragon

So first and foremost… I got the most amazing idea and pattern off of DeviantArt thanks to Aphid777. Check her out, her patterns are not tested and often leave a lot of wiggle room, but if you are ready for a challenge and an amazing result – she is the best! Small-ish Haku can be found HERE, her profile link is HERE

Spirited Away is one of my all time FAVOURITE movies. And Haku one of my favourite dragons. So when I came across this gem on my random look through the artist’s fiber art, well I knew I HAD TO make one of my own (with Ken’s amazing help).

First off my supplies… I used Caron Simply Soft brand yarn and stills from the movie to pick my colours. I used white, blue mint, blackberry and soft pink. IMG_20170521_142549_579

For detail work Ken used roving wool from a variety pack we purchased off of Amazon. You really do not need much for this sort of detail work. The process he used is called felting. 

For the actual structure of the dragon we purchased 12 GA solid white insulated wire from Menards. We wanted to be sure the dragon could be shaped without snapping the wire and hold form. 

For whiskers and horns we used wrapped in DMC floss color matched from pictures and super glue for ends. (E6000 would work too, except we couldn’t find ours).

For stuffing I used the usual fluffy stuff you buy at Joann’s Polyfil.

I had Ken cut and double our body wire. We went longer than suggested so we could cut as needed. The length we used was around 62 inches… 31 inches when doubled over.IMG_20170521_142549_580

I did not place the wire in the body until I had crocheted a bit down the length, going around the wire once it was in the piece was one of the more annoying processes of the project.20170524_234055

I also varied my amount of stitches to meet the bottom center of the piece from what the artist did. Again this is all eye balling and personal preference. I found that once my head was formed putting a stitch marker on the top of the nose of Haku made it easier to eye ball my return to center.

The trick was to consistently add stuffing without over stuffing, but a long stick was quite helpful. 

Once you crocheted to the near end of the tail it was time to trim my end and cover it in electrical tape to avoid a sharp bit poking through. Then PATIENTLY decreasing until you tie off and finish.

The belly is an easy one piece. If I make this again I would consider making the entire structure longer (mostly for fun with posing) and that would change count. But her pattern was easy to read.

Ears are a quick process. Legs took more work. We used a single piece of wire threaded through the body to each leg for our assembly. And did not poke our wire through the side of the leg as indicated.20170708_174309

Feet were added after, easy enough. (and obviously legs and feet were AFTER mane, but you get the idea)

The mane and fluff at the end of the tail was hooked in like when you are hooking a rug. I made sure to face all my knots toward the front of the body and to keep them close to center. Eyeballing and what you like is key. Lengths do not matter, as once they are in you take a cat brush and brush them until they are fluffy and then trim. 

Before brushing

Before brushing

20170717_142120Message_1500517039610Ken felted in our details and BANG dragon! I am super pleased with the side view though we feel we need to work on our eyes to better get the front view. Though front on loses the body so… not the view I want anyway! 

And there you have it…. HAKU! Into the local county fair he went. (Like the next day after completion. Nothing like JUST meeting a deadline). End result – first place in crochet, storybook characters! Not bad! 20170728_194459

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Happy Canada Day!

July 1st is our yearly opportunity to be very visible and very Canadian. This year was a little different… Emanuel was still away at the Scout Camp with his friend Aidan until the evening. So we did our usual photo shoot with a twist.20170701_094925

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There was a meet up with our homeschool friends for some swimming or club (kid’s choice) with Nate and Bella as well. 20170701_105006

We TRIED to head to the zoo but apparently it was the day to go. So instead we turned around and headed to our favourite beach. Since the weather was a little on the cool side and cloudy it wasn’t packed. We didn’t spend much time in the water but really enjoyed the sand.

With Maple the Leaf

With Maple the Leaf

20170701_13072020170701_13300120170701_13370520170701_131403After the beach it was home for showers and then off to collect our absent Canadian. On the way there we stopped at our 3rd Tim Hortons so far. This one is rather close to the Novak’s house. I actually meet what I assume is an owner of one of the franchise. After a lovely conversation about the new stores and my coming from Canada to Minnesota he comped us 40 Tim Bits!!! So I left that store with 80 Tim Bits, an Ice Cap and a wonderful experience.IMG_20170701_162643_194

Snoopy!

Snoopy!

After a visit with the family and delivery of their Canadian goodies it was off to McDonald’s (Echo’s request after the aborted trip to the zoo).20170701_185250

We rounded off our Canada Day with a table of Canadian sweets. Ken made traditional and mint Nanaimo Bars (we had to order the custard powder off Amazon), Maple Cookies sent by a friend, and Tim Bits. Not bad! Next year buttertarts?IMG_20170701_211904_989

We redid our group photos on the 2nd to get a full group shot.20170702_095901

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Not bad for a Canada Day that wasn’t able to be celebrated IN Canada.20170701_095149

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The Boston Tea Party… Resources

After working our way forward from the Declaration of Independence to the abolishing of slavery we went back to the near beginning of it all with The Boston Tea Party. This was a Trinity’s choice topic. She had heard about it in passing and was very interested in finding out why “so much yummy tea was wasted.” Yup, my frugal little girl was quite put out by what she saw as an avoidable waste. “Why didn’t they just take it home, or tell them to take it back?”

So we based our unit on the DVD series Liberty’s Kids. It often goes on sale on Amazon. This 40 episode series is a great way to look at the events leading up to US independence. We actually plan to watch all the episodes over time and continue our biographies based on each featured person from history. We found a form sheet for our biographies thanks to Template.net. They have varying levels of difficulty and format to chose from. We specifically chose THIS ONE.

There was a nice selection of books to choose from at our local library.

We found a free lap book set up thanks to Homeschool Helper Online HERE. I used Liberty’s Kids worksheets as well at StarMaterials.com HERE.

For more helpful suggestions check out More Than A Homeschool Mom HERE, Teachers Pay Teachers free resource HERE and HERE. The site Mrs. Nussbaum has a reading comprehension sheet HERE

Hopefully this will help anyone else who is working on such an interesting topic, my big suggestion is GET THE DVD! The Liberty’s Kids is interesting and fun. 20170626_134110

One of our mini biographies.

One of our mini biographies.

Helpful worksheet. If I have not linked all that I use, a quick google search is awesome.

Helpful worksheet. If I have not linked all that I use, a quick google search is awesome.