Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Boys vs. Girls

Somehow, when I was growing up and envisioning what it would be like to be a Mom, I always pictured girl stuff. Y’know, tea parties, stuffed animals, Barbies, lunch, shopping, getting our nails/hair/makeup done.

I did NOT, however, picture spending my entire holiday weekend doing experiments from something called the “Disgusting Science Kit.” Yes, that is the actual name. The other kit choices were “Magic Science”, a volcano experiment, a fossil dig kit and a marine science kit. But no, MY kid wants disgusting…and the disgusting-er, the better.

And what is “Disgusting Science” you ask? (Well, okay, I’m just assuming you’re asking because, of course, I’m going to tell you anyway. Hey, I had to LIVE it. You just have to read about it!) According to the lovely illustrations on the kit box, Disgusting Science involves:

1. Growing your own germs – cultures taken from various places on the kid’s body
2. Making fake snot
3. Simulating farts
4. Making fake blood and scabs
5. I drew the line at this experiment and we didn’t do it. A mom can only take so much!

So, we brewed up our own petri dish cultures and took swabs from four places on the kid: mouth, fingers, toes and underarms. I now have 4 dishes growing – er – well, I don’t know what that stuff is (and I don’t want to know) but it’s growing. And it is DEFINITELY disgusting.

*Note: showing the kid visual evidence of what is actually living on his fingers and toes has NOT in any way stopped his need to get them as filthy as possible and then stick them in his mouth. Sigh.

For the snot (plain gelatin and green food coloring) we had a choice of following the directions for “normal” or “extra chunky.” I’ll let you guess which one my kid picked.

Fake blood and scabs (see above paragraph about snot except change the food coloring to red).

And then there was the fart experiment. Which was really putting yeast and sugar and water and bread into a Ziploc and then watching it fill up with CO2 as a result of the yeast’s…um…byproducts.

My 6 year old son’s comment on this particular experiment: “Well, THAT was anticlimactic. I’m going to watch ‘Spongebob.’”

And yes, he really does talk like that.

Other gems from him this week include:

“You roll the dice, you pay the price.” Apparently, he has been hanging out with a Vegas mob boss or something.

And then there’s possibly my favorite joke of all time:

“What do you get when you cross a chicken with a poodle?”

Wait for it……………………..

“A cock-a-poodle-doo.”

I know, I’m his mom and I have to find (almost) everything he does unbearably cute, but c’mon…that is the BEST JOKE EVER.

And how am I going to relate all this to beads, you ask? ‘Cuz you KNOW you’re thinking “what the heck is she rambling about all this icky stuff for?” But watch me as I make the magic happen.

Well, as we were standing in the store looking at the various kits and I was trying (in vain) to interest him in ANY OTHER POSSIBLE CHOICE that would NOT involve me in making snot and farts, I ended up making a bargain that if I did his gross science thing, he would have to do an art project with me.

Because the kid HATES art. Here I have an entire crap…er…craft room full of every imaginable type of craft (I came to beading late by way of needlework, then general crafts and painting, and then rubber stamping) supply on the planet and I thought for sure we’d have fun with some of it, but he has basically zero interest. Actually, I think most of it is just not wanting to sit still that long because he has used my stamps…for about 2 seconds at a time…to tattoo himself and his clothes.

So anyway, he agreed. And I had just the project in mind. Tee Hee (evil Mommy laugh).

When I bought my stash of vintage Lucite flowers at the OC Bead Society Show last month, I bought a couple of strings of plain white, frosted flowers. Everything else is pastels, red or orange. I decided this palette was kind of limiting and started wondering if I could come up with a way to get other colors. About the same time, I came across an ad or article or something for Ranger Alcohol Inks and how they are permanent on hard surfaces such as plastic.


I bought some bottles of the ink in regular colors and also in silver and gold. The kid and I tested them on some glossy paper by painting with them, but neither of us was overwhelmed with the results.

Then I tried painting a flower with a color and a little bit of gold highlighting on top. Still just so-so.

So then we started just dripping them on the paper – a color plus a metallic together and wow…was there a totally cool reaction! The metallics and the regular colors sort of “fizz” and push each other around to make really neat designs.

I got out more of the Lucite flowers and the kid and I went to work drip-dropping all over them.

Here was the first test with just gold (and the flower is actually a super-pale pink):

Not sure if it was just the bottles I bought or if this is a product issue, but there was a much better reaction with the gold plus a color than with the silver. It just didn’t seem to “fizz” and react with the other inks quite as well.

I tried two different sizes of flowers, too:

The pansy shape didn't seem to lend itself to the ink flowing freely as well as the bigger flower shape did:

And I actually think the kid’s turned out the best of all:

He was a little freer with mixing colors than I was. Big surprise

I took these pictures right after the inks dried. I’ve since sprayed all the flowers with a glossy spray varnish and they look fantastic and are not sticky at all. I’m planning to get some small round resin beads and dye them to match the flowers so I can create some complete necklaces.

So, there you have it. My disgusting, yet still artsy, weekend.



Almost Precious said...

Too cute ! Never understood why kids seem to be drawn to those disgusting things but they are, or at least until they grow out of it. Which is around 12 years old for girls...for boys, well some get over it around 18 and some never get over it !!! :)
Great look on the flowers, makes some almost look like vintage, heirlooms. Anna

Ruralrose said...

Great post! You can sure spin a yarn, is always great to hear true life motherhood stories. You have put your finger on exactly why i love your bead designs - they are girlie girl - fanciful like pixies made them, just looking at them makes me feel 6 again and joyous - thanks for sharing, peace for all

AJ said...

I'm not a fan of lucite, but I love the colors you achieved with those inks! So cool!

And congratulations on raising a kid who is already saying words like "anticlimactic." He may be into gross things, but he's also clearly a smart cookie.

Silver Parrot said...

AP - Thank you. Glad you liked the story and the flowers.

Silver Parrot said...

Rural - thank you :-)

Silver Parrot said...

AJ - I was never a fan, either, until I saw some finished jewelry samples at the OC Bead Society show and got inspired. I've been going nuts with it ever since...including creating my own colors which I think expands the potential design possibilities HUGELY. I can't wait to take that scarlet/gold flower and put it with some brass and garnets and maybe pearls and see what I come up with :-)

And yes - the kid is smart. Sometimes it's kinda scary how smart LOL!

Mellisa - Chinook Jewelry said...

Well, my "day job" is in a middle school so I'm fully entertained by the punchline of the joke! I'll be using it next week :) Not sure which would frighten me more from a 6 yr old: anticlimactic or you roll the dice you pay the price! Either way it seems that your hands are going to be full! Put him back in the lucite sweatshop-he does great work!

Silver Parrot said...

Thanks, Mellisa. Good idea - I may just do that!