Saturday, April 5, 2014

Do you wanna build a snowman? Or fly our kite around the hall?

Or both?

Olaf kite

So even though we were disappointed when the Blossom Kite Festival in DC got rained out ("rain"? There was snow!) last weekend, my family (and the neighbor's kid) still managed to have our own mini kite festival at a nearby field. There were even a few other people there flying kites today! But I think we were the only ones with homemade kites. :( When I was in elementary school, the school used to have a Kite Day where people were supposed to make and bring in their own kites, but I guess that's not a thing anymore.

My Frozen-mania continues unabated! Of course I made an Elsa kite! Elsa was tricky at first, kept trying to escape (it was pretty windy for us... an unsteady, gusty 10 mph). It was the first time I made a hexagonal kite (required for the snowflake! I HATE when people make non-hexagonal snowflakes). I found out that the ornamental cane/reeds I used for the spars were way too weak. Ideally, I'd use bamboo, but it takes tooooo looong for me to whittle them down into skinny, even sticks. Wooden dowels are too heavy and stiff in my opinion. So since I initially rigged it up with the string tied to the outside of the spars, I had the "inside-out umbrella" problem, even though I did have a string tied across the horizontal spar to make a bow. This was ok in still/slight breeze conditions, but fell apart as soon as there was wind. I ended up having to stab the kite through the center to re-rig it so the main stresses weren't coming from the edges.

Elsa was still flighty and prone to panic attacks, where she'd suddenly spin out of control if the wind was too strong, but as long as I let her go a bit, then used the power of love... err...

Elsa kite in the air

She's flying! Yes! That was a relief. I wasn't sure beforehand if she would.

I didn't know about the Olaf kite, either, as that was the first time I made a sled kite. I think the proportions were off a bit, but...

Olaf kite in the air

Olaf likes flying, too! But then the wind blew him to bits, just like in the movie, except in real life I don't have any sorcery to make him repair himself magically. I should have expected that, from our experience with the creeper (the Minecraft monster) kite we made last year. My daughter cut out and glued on a hundred "pixels" (10x10 creeper face)... it was depressing to watch them blowing away. Note to self: use stronger glue! Also, white plastic trash bags are insufficiently opaque. (But wooden dowels are fine for this type of kite, as long as you fasten them on securely.)

Looking back at my old posts, I see that we had bad weather the two previous years I posted about it. I guess the sunny years, I was having too much fun outside to sit at my computer and type in my blog. This time, I'm not even pretending to be working on a piece of writing. I'll just throw up one last picture as a distraction! Snooowflake... look at the shiny snoooowflaaaaaake...

Elsa kite

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