Saturday, February 21, 2015

More Artistic Interruptions of the Mind

Last week I showed you a couple of the distractions that I have been working on recently. Now, here are a couple more. The school at which I volunteer has an fundraising auction every year. Each homeroom class comes up with a project. And I have been also teaching art and have the students there working on projects as well. Last week, I revealed the Hand-carved Minion Soap set and the painted country glass set. This week, the other two projects from my art students!

The first project is an amazing chess set made by three of my students. I went to the hardware store and just grabbed a bunch of random nuts and bolts and told them to create a creative chess set. After working with them for a few class periods, they had figured out what else they needed and exactly what they wanted the chess set to look like. Then, they made all of their pieces, super glued them together and spray painted one set gold.

The chess board took a bit more creativity as they wanted it to be metal to go with the pieces, but they really wanted it to have a drawer to hold the pieces. They settled on a Keurig K-cup drawer, made to go under the Keurig coffee machine. They marked off the squares, spray painted them gold and Ta Da ...  A gorgeous Nuts & Bolts Chess Set!






I can't wait to see how it does at the auction!

I have a group of foreign exchange students from China in my class as well. They had several choices of projects to work on, but decided that they were going to make a traditional Chinese Mahjongg Set. This was a massive undertaking as they had 136 tiles to create. They chose to go with a wooden tile so they could wood burn the intricate designs. We got the wood pieces made from a listing on Etsy and then the kids set to the task. Each piece of wood needed to be sanded to give a softer feel and curved edge. Then the drawings were done and then finally, the wood burning was started. Luckily we were able to find a woodburning stamp for the circles to make the look clean. While it did take a bit longer than expected, the results were nothing short of amazing!


After the tiles were done, we had to figure an easy way for the game to be transported. Off to the craft store!! Currently there is always a large selection of giant empty books at all of the craft stores, and I have always thought they were very cool! So, I bought the biggest one I could find and it actually fit the tiles perfectly!


Absolutely awesome! I am very proud of all of my art class projects! I am looking forward to see how well they do at the auction, but even if they didn't make any money, I couldn't be happier with the hard work of my students!



Sunday, February 8, 2015

Artistic Interruptions of the Mind

Recently, there are have been a high number of things distracting me from what I was considering my most important goals. However, I am now looking at all of these distractions and thought that you might just be interested in seeing what I have been up to. So, over the next couple of weeks I will let you all take a glimpse at what is going on in my head!

I volunteer teaching art at a small local high school. The school has a fundraising auction every February. I also am a class parent for the junior class. So, combining all of those, I am going to end up contributing at least 5 projects for the auction. In this article, I will tell you about two of these beautiful projects.

The first project is a beautiful glass set that a group of art students painted. It comes with a carafe and four mason jars with lids and straws. The students created patterns  of dots and lines and swirls to make the glass look festive and ready for summer fun!



The next project was done by a group of international students from South Korea. We took a large batch of Ivory soap bars and started sculpting away. At first, it was just for practice and play and fun. But, as we continued on, I encouraged them to find a design they could all agree on so they could make a batch of soap for the auction. 

Their final decision was to make a batch of soap in the shape of Despicable Me Minions. They turned out great! Hopefully they will bring in some money for the fundraiser. I am not sure that I could actually use them because they are so cute!






I think both projects turned out fabulously! In a few days I will show you the other two, larger projects from my art class: a chess set, and a mahjong set!

Well now you know a couple of things that have been on my mind and plate, just wait to you see the rest! 


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fun4theBrain - In the Works - September Edition

Wow! The beginning few weeks of school have gone by like a flash of lightening. I can't believe we are about to start the last week of September already! It is already time to start thinking about Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. But, before we get all caught up in the holiday fun, let me get you caught up on what has been happening around here.

In the last month, two polls have been taken to allow you to choose which school and which library would be in the next game. Those have been chosen and created and so have a great bunch of monster cars. This new game Monster Car Wash is going to be so much fun. We have had ideas of all sorts of things, from having a monster lick the car clean to having the whole thing done with one monster. In the end, I wanted to try to get as many monsters into this game as possible, but still showcasing each monster. So, each monster in this game will have a specific task to help with the car wash. It is going to be so much fun.

I believe this game will have longer game play than many of the other games in Murb. But, hopefully, that will keep your interest and allow you to have even more fun! Get ready, Monster Car Wash should be ready to play by the middle of October!!

Wanna check out some of the monster cars created for this game.....

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fun4theBrain - In the Works!

Hello everyone! It has been awhile since I have posted but wanted to let you all know what I have in the works for the site. I am going to try to create a weekly post letting you know what games, changes, or upgrades I have on the way for Fun4theBrain.com. Maybe you will even get to see some sneak peeks of what is coming.

Before I start with the update, I will begin with an apology of sorts. I am extremely ADD and because of that, I constantly have new and great ideas floating in my head that distract me from my other great ideas that I have started. I love my ADD and try to write down all of my great ideas so that one day I can get back to them. So, if one week in the In the Works post I talk about doing one project, but switch to a different one the next week, I hope you can be forgiving. I love what I do, and when you do, it is hard to not keep dreaming and planning new things. Perhaps some day in the future, I will be able to afford to hire someone to take more of my ideas to completion. For now, it is just me and my daughter working on the site, so it may be a little chaotic, but that is how I work! :o)

OK... onto the update.

Currently I am working on additional games for Murb. I still have about 10 monsters that are going to be featured in upcoming games. The next game I have planned will feature five monsters: Sasha, Flibber Jibber, Goalie, Arabella, and Tessie, the two-headed teacher! This game will take place in the not-yet-built Elementary School. Here is the storyline:

The Murb Library is in the process of being built, but they do not yet have enough books to fill the shelves. So, the Tessie, the two-headed teacher, from the Murb Elementary School next door is organizing a huge fundraiser for the library. It is going to be a Monster Car Wash!! Tessie is planning the event, Sasha is in charge of marketing, and Flibber Jibber, Goalie, and Arabella, are in charge of washing the cars. And who knows which other monsters will be seen driving their cars into the Monster Car Wash!? We need to reach our goal for donations in order for the library to open, so, the better and faster the car is washed, the better the donations!

For this game, there is a lot of art work that needs to be done and quite a bit of coding. Soon you will see some of the sketches I have come up with for the school and library. By next week, I hope to have them completed, as well as be able to show you some of the sketches for the monster cars that will be getting washed!

Well, I will keep you posted on the game. I am also quite busy trying to figure how to get my games onto the iPad for the classrooms who will be using the iPads exclusively soon. That is a major undertaking!

I will write more later. :o)

Hey everyone, it is time now to vote on which school is your favorite. Check out the poll at http://www.fun4thebrain.com.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Here Comes the Boom Movie Review

by Derek
- 17 year old male

Every now and then a movie comes along that hits on all levels. "Here Comes the Boom" delivers exactly what the title promises, a movie that packs a punch.

Here comes the boom tells the story of Scott Voss(Kevin James) , a middle-aged teacher who used take his job seriously, but now has fragmented into the role of a teacher that just doesn't care. This seems to be the case with every teacher except one, Marty Streb (Henry Winkler). Marty is the music teacher at the school, but he is over come with grief when the school announces their plans to cut the music budget due to insufficient school funds. When all hope seems lost, and when Marty's unemployment seemed imminent, Scott Voss steps up to the plate. In order to keep music class in the school budget, he needs to raise $48,000.

Later, Scott goes to a friend's house to watch an MMA match. When one of the competitors loses, Scott finds out that he made ten grand for the loss. Scott then decides that he will compete in a series of MMA fights to raise the money to save the music class. Plenty of tender moments of hilarity ensue; but what do you expect when Kevin James and Henry Winkler get together.

The major moral theme in this movie is setting an example by being a leader. Scott takes it upon himself to help a friend that is in trouble; even if that means going out of his comfort zone to do so.

Content wise this movie isn't like most. It's hard to find quality entertainment for the whole family, but this picture certainly has what it takes. The only thing that isn't exactly family friendly in this film would be the fight scenes. While they are considered violence, there are no guns, explosives, or kid violence at all.

Fun4theBrain Ratings
Approved for all 12+
Drugs and Alcohol: 1/10
       beer and wine consumed but not to excess
Sex and Nudity: 2/10
       one kiss on cheek, one kiss through cage, and one image of an obviously naked made who is completely covered by a musical instrument
Violence: 4/10
       several fight scenes, some with blood, all taking place in a structured environment
Language: 2/10
      OG/OMG - 2, H - 2, A - 2
 




Monday, February 18, 2013

Changes are Coming!!

Hey all! It has been a long time since I have posted anything to the Fun4theBrain blog. I really struggle trying to figure out exactly what I am supposed to be posting. Do I write a blog for other people making games for children? Or do I write a blog that will help people with children who need to learn their math facts? Or am I supposed to be writing about everything and anything that comes to mind? I have no idea what the actual best answer is for that question.

My friends and family know that I am all about entertainment and education. I like to spend time reading and learning, but I also truly love to schedule in an all-nighter where my daughter and I can stay up through the night playing some sort of video game or watching a marathon of silly movies. Each movie I watch and every game that I play, in one way or another, inspire me and show up in small ways in the games that I create. For example, the math game Farm Freakout came about after a short obsession with certain farming games on Facebook. Once you go to sleep after farming and taking care of your animals, the mind comes up with wonderful and exciting ways to incorporate animals and farming into an educational game.

So, now we get to the change. My blog is going to be making a slight shift, well, maybe a large shift since I have not posted anything in a very long time. In the future, my blog is going to be more about what I am up to during my week. Sometimes, that might mean a movie or game review, or an inside peak of what is coming up in the next game or mobile app on which I am working. It could also mean the announcement about a new contest for Murb or some new drawing tutorials.

I truly hope that you will find the upcoming changes refreshing and fun. My goal is to make the game and movie reviews in a way that parents will be able to know both what is appropriate for their kids as well as what would be fun for a date night. I hope you enjoy the upcoming posts!
-Natasha


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chubz's day at the Jersey Shore!

It’s been said that due to my lovely orange tan and big tuft of hair that I would fit in nicely at the Jersey Shore.   So I thought…why not give it a try!  Let me just say, they were right!  I loved it there!  I had my favorite food….PIZZA and enjoyed a chocolate covered frozen banana.  Yumm!

Next,  the beach…I mean shore.  I think I could just sit back and relax all day at the shore, feeling the warm sun on my fur and listening to the waves.  Although I should be careful, don’t want to become too orange!  It was a great time.



Where have you gone?  Do you have any stories and pictures?  I’d love to hear about the fun times you have had.