Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bean Has a NEW Home! Join us!

Bean the monkey has found a new home! 

Thanks to my many blogger buddies, I found the inspiration to get my own domain name! 

You can find us (and some new sneak peeks!) at! I hope to see you all there!

OR, if you prefer JUST to watch the videos, you can find us on Bean's youtube Channel.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Final Touches & Thoughts. We Film TOMORROW!!

Ready for their Close Up!

Abyni and Bean are ready for their Premier on Monday Morning!  Get READY!!

Thoughts on scheduling:
We'll try to film all the weeks' webisodes on Saturdays and Sundays.
Paris will edit one webisode each day for school.
I plan to have posts ready to go a week ahead and schedule them out to give us some wiggle room if we get behind.

This is our beginning plan:
Mondays: Story Time with Bean
Tuesday: Play Day with Bean & Paris
Wednesday: Singing Time with Bean & Abyni
Thursday: Let's Learn Something New with Bean & Paris
Friday: Fun Friday! Surprise with Special Guest or Science Fun

Bean the monkey has found a new home! 

Thanks to my many blogger buddies, I found the inspiration to get my own domain name! 

You can find us (and some new sneak peeks!)! I hope to see you all there!

OR, if you prefer JUST to watch the videos, you can find us on Bean's youtube Channel.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Set Work: Building, Day 2

Set Work:  Day 2, Finishing Up

Before vs. After

My wonderful, awesome hubby helping me out.  Again.  On one of his few days off.
He's going to take the canvas I painted yesterday and put it on the wall (we rent, so we're not allowed to paint the walls, or they'd already be that color!:)

I hung the frames that the girls and I painted, along with a painting done by Abyni on stretched canvas.  I'm getting ready to add some more of the kids artwork that we've had on our walls for YEARS that my husband refuses to let me take down because he loves those particular drawings/paintings so much.

I plan to have the kids who watch the show send me some new paintings/pictures to hang in my empty frames as well as switching out some of the pictures that are already there.  Ugh.  Its going to drive me nuts.  I'm going to have to switch out the blue frame for a green one.  I didn't realize just HOW MUCH blue is on that wall!

Abyni and Bean hanging out on set.

And here is (most of) my family playing games in the evening while the "set" is compacted to the side for daily living.  Yay!  It all works!

Question of the Day:
Do you play family games with your kids?  What is your favorite family game and why?

Mine is Catch Phrase.  I'm not sure if I actually love the game, or the fact that my 15 yer old son is so hilarious at it.  He uses 'phrases' that he insists are idioms and he always gets them slightly wrong so no one can guess what he's trying to say.  It results in hilarity unlike anything I've seen during our family game nights (and that is saying a LOT!)

See you Tomorrow when I show you my plan for the show debut:)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Set Work! Painting Day 1

Thanks to bizarrely WARM weather, we took a couple of days from puppet making to work on outside painting projects for the 'set' (Ie: my living room).  

I'll get back to the final touches on the monkey Bean on Wednesday after finishing up on the set.

Since we live in a rental house, I can't paint the walls.  My mom came to the rescue with a bunch wooden frames that she bought super cheap and a huge roll of primed canvas.

Next came my favorite living room colors from our old house:
I call these my Monsters, Inc Colors:

Painting with my daughter Abyni

And Paris, who thought it was too cold outside

Oh wait, mom was right, it IS warm enough outside!:)

This canvas is the start of the wall covering that will take over one wall of the set:

Ta Da!!  It is BEAUTIFUL!!

Question of the Day:

What do you most enjoy doing with your child(ren)?

I read a comment once about mom's at the park, sitting in their cars instead of playing with their kids.  It made me realize (again) that I don't "play" with my kids.  I never did.  My husband did.  He loved blocks, trains and Legos as much as the kids.  Before we had boys, I got more than one photo of him with clip on earrings, shawls and beads on as he let our daughter dress him up for tea.  He was always the one in the pool with the kids, racing around the park... I was the teacher.  I cooked with them, did arts and crafts with them.  Since we homeschool, I taught them most of their subjects.

I don't think that there is a wrong or right, really.  We both bonded and connected with our kids the way that worked for us.  What's your style?  Do you "play" or "create"?  Do you make projects together or just have fun just to have fun?  Do you clean together (definitely not my gift!)

Let me know!  I love hearing about other parents perspective on things like these!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Are you Ready? I have a SURPRISE FOR YOU!

We did a practice run today, and the camera NEEDS the lighting.  My 13 year old Paris uses the same camera to do makeup tutorial and other random videos upstairs in front of the window and its fine.  Something also got messed up with the settings and I can't figure it out.  I'm SO frustrated!!

However, even though this isn't very good quality, you can at least hear the monkey's voice and get the general idea of where we're heading.  We needed a practice run so that I could see what all we needed to edit besides just the lighting.  I also forgot to use our good quality microphone, too:(  However, my lights should be here tomorrow and I will adjust the sound/just use our good mic.

If you're interested in meeting Bean, here is a short "Happy Birthday" thing we just did (its not scripted or anything, just the girls and I making a happy birthday for their grandma:)

So, what did you think?  Did you like it?  Were your kids intrigued?  I obviously need some more practice, but I think I'm getting better!

Thank you for watching and don't forget to leave requests for Bean to give your child a shout out!  Just leave your child's name (and age if you want) in the comments!

Bean got his Hair Done!:) aka Making the Monkey Purple

Bean got his Hair Done!:)

Well, after all of the drama of making the puppet... my husband notes, "Oh yeah, remember how on any movie set we've been on, they say "NO WHITE" because it makes filming & lighting so much harder?"

My evil look gave him pause sweet, questioning look made him think, "Oh, I guess I should have thought of that before now, huh?"

Um, yeah.

Oh well, I am nothing if not an expert on fixing mistakes after the fact.

Thankfully, we had dye leftover from before Christmas when we died a giant white gorilla.  Phew.  Who thought you'd be reading THAT sentence today?

I poured the dye into a bowl and used paintbrushes to paint the dye on.  I was careful not to get any on the other purple parts:

Then to rub off the excess with an old cloth

Careful!  (This is not my strong suit, just fyi)

Ta Da!  Slightly less white!

Okay, fess up, have you ever dyed your hair a fabulous color like purple?  
I used to have purple AND pink... but most of the time it was just pink & white.  Don't worry, I was in my 30s, so I wasn't being all rebellious:)

If not, you can at least comment on how fabulous my hair looks:) This was a really good hair day:)


Bean the monkey has found a new home! 

Thanks to my many blogger buddies, I found the inspiration to get my own domain name! 

You can find us (and some new sneak peeks!)! I hope to see you all there!

OR, if you prefer JUST to watch the videos, you can find us on Bean's youtube Channel.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Puppet Making Bonus Post: Finding the Bean

Finding my "Vision" Character

I was visualizing something sort of like this:

Okay, guys, this was SO much harder than I thought it'd be!  This poor little monkey had three or four face-lifts before I finally found the right one!  My girls literally couldn't watch the process of me cutting into the monkey.

I would wake up in the middle of the night stressing about the fact that I couldn't find 'my' bean, or I would wake up with a wonderful idea.

That STILL wasn't "it".

Remember, we started with this basic shape from the pattern.  I needed to make it more monkey like.  I wanted cute cheeks, purple around the eyes... and those were my BIGGEST challenges.

One of my earlier incarnations (that my daughter most definitely DID NOT LIKE!)

I tried making just the eye/brow area separately.

I was mostly happy with this idea, and did end up using a modified version in the end... but I was still wanting CHEEKS.

The poor thing looks a little... scary.  


I finally ended up tearing the whole brow plate off and redoing it.  I also used foam blocks that I cut into half spheres for the cheeks.  I was so incredibly excited once I saw the actual 'real' Bean coming through, that I didn't stop to take hardly ANY pictures... until he looked like THIS:

And, yes, in case you noticed, I AM having some issues with gender.  I guess I should figure it out eventually.  I feel like Bean is a boy (even though he's got the 'character' from my girly girl!) but those EYELASHES.  I guess boys have eyelashes, too:)

Okay.  I think that's settled, so here is the official announcement

It's a Boy!

Tune in tomorrow for the upcoming show schedule and a SNEAK PEEK!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lights, Camera, Action! Technical Things

So, its getting closer!  
First drawing of Bean by my daughter Paris.
How excited are WE???

We got ready to start filming and realized that our house is just TOO dark.  We already knew the lighting in this house is bad, but I hadn't realized HOW bad it would be when it came to filming.

Placed my order for a lighting kit yesterday afternoon for only $60.00!

Now keep in mind that I have no illusions (or budget right now) of thinking myself a professional photographer/film maker.  I am a wildly creative person with some amazingly talented actors in my life.  I want to get it online, and I don't believe in waiting "until everything is perfect" before stepping out to try something new.

When it comes to trying new things, things I had never even THOUGHT of trying, my philosophy is never, "But what if I can't do it right?" or "But what if I get it wrong?" 

but more of, "Why not give it a try?"

What is the worst that could happen?  Failure?  Never.  A learning experience for how to do things differently next time?  Perhaps.

If you're never making any mistakes in life, then you likely aren't taking any chances.

We are using our little old video camera that we bought back when we did "Alice in Wonderland" at our local community theater and our 9 year old daughter got the lead role.  This camera has seen SO many plays!  Even ones that I wrote, produces and directed alongside my husband and with my kids (we like to work together as a family).  

Its just a SONY DCR-SR300
But it has led to so many DVD sales from plays, I've certain it has paid for itself!
One of my favorite clips from a play I wrote called "Rapunzel's Story"

Its kind of hard to hear, but it is a VERY funny clip, if I do say so myself.  I was inspired at the time by Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" with the 'Hero' of the play insulting the beautiful and snobbish, hateful 'Rapunzel'.

Off we go!  I'll post some blooper footage every weekend for you to laugh at, so keep visiting!

Do you have any personal funny youtube clips?  Leave me a link to your favorites in the comments!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Puppet Making Series 5/5: Arms, Legs & Tail!

Arms, Legs & Tail!

Oh my word.  I was AWFUL about taking photos during this part!  I don't know if I was just distracted or in a hurry to finish.  Knowing me, it was a little, or rather a lot of BOTH!  Forgive me for this slightly scattered post.  I will soon be on such a roll... that... holy cow.  I just forgot what I was going to say.  I need to stop thinking when I type!

This was what the kids called "Zombie Monkey"

I cut out the feet pattern pieces...

And then added monkey "toes"

The arms, legs and tail were all basically long rectangles that I sewed up length wise.  The legs flared a little bit at the bottom, but that was it.  Pretty basic, really, so I guess that's why I didn't think to take pictures.

 Boy, did the hands look weird before they were stuffed!

I stuffed the feet with batting...after having to start over when I sewed the feet on wrong:(

After they were stuffed, I had to tuck the ends of the fabric in and pin it to hopefully make it so that when I stitched the feet up, they weren't all lumpy!

We used a wire hanger to slide inside the tail.  We tried other wire, but it was SO heavy.  And the hanger actually bends easier, too.

 Here is my hubby demonstrating the poseable hands he made me.  He's so proud:)

Um... no, honey.  This is a children's puppet.

I took the poseable hands and hand stitched them onto a white "sleeve". 
I used some of this rolled up like a pinwheel and hot glued the edges to slide into the arm and leg "sleeves" for a little bit of padding, and to help them stay a little more firm/in shape.

I then hand sewed the arms and legs onto the body!

Ta Da!!!

Come back next week to see how we made the set and finished up with this adorable little monkey!

I'll also be posting about the scheduling and filming of the show... and maybe even a SNEAK PEEK!