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I received a sample of the BLU Notebook to review and I am so excited to show you what Trevor and I made! First, a little bit about BLU. It is the first sketchbook made from blueprint paper, perfect for everything from designing your dream home to doodling. (Or, in our case, designing your dream museum and completing a history project!) It measures 8.25" x 11" and has a durable cardboard cover and a lay-flat spiral binding. There are 50 acid-free pages with a 10:1" grid within a half-inch square grid.
Our BLU arrived the day Trevor was assigned a large project for his history class. He needed to design a 3-room Medieval Asia History Museum with at least five display cases in each of the rooms. He had to make one floor plan for the entire museum, plus individual floor plans for each room, marked with the path for an audio tour that he would record. What perfect timing for a notebook of blueprint paper to show up, right when Trevor needed to make floor plans!
Trevor grabbed a bunch of Glaze pens and started to figure out the layout for his museum. He color-coded different parts as he designed. As you can see, the colors pop against the blueprint paper.
I couldn't let Trevor have all the fun, so I designed my own museum as a way to test out the BLU Notebook. Except instead of Medieval Asia, my museum would be about rabbits! I prefer to draw in color pencil rather than gel pen, so I grabbed four different brands of white and tested them. Prismacolor was the clear winner. Crayola and Prang were acceptable, but not great. And you can barely make out the FaberCastell, written above Prismacolor.
Trevor's assignment had to be done on plain white paper, so he used the light box to trace the floor plans he done in BLU. It made it so easy.
Meanwhile, I mapped out everything I wanted to include in my rabbit-themed museum.
Unlike Trevor, I didn't do individual floor plans for each room, nor did I make an audio tour. Instead, you get to read all about my museum.
When you enter the Rabbit Education Museum, the first room you come to has displays about the biology and distribution of rabbits and an introduction to other species of lagomorphs. A large wall display shows the evolution of rabbits over the past 10 million years, while a separate exhibit shows mammal taxonomy.
The second room focuses on rabbit anatomy. Here we learn about the teeth that rabbits must continually grind down, the powerful legs that allow them to jump many times their body length, their near-360° vision, and the muscles that work in conjunction with their ears to allow them to detect the smallest of noises. Interactive displays let visitors 'try on' rabbit hearing and vision, construct a model rabbit skeleton, and see how rabbits' teeth are uniquely designed for their diet. An engaging video game shows guests why a rabbit (a prey animal), would have a bright white tail that seemingly would help predators spot it.
The third room is all about the benefits of house rabbits to both humans and the rabbits themselves. Displays teach about the proper care and feeding of rabbits, the bonds that they build with their human families, and many tips and tricks to having the best possible lives for rabbits and their human caregivers. This room also features a Play Zone where young children can play rabbit-themed games, try on rabbit costumes, crawl through tunnels, and even make toys to take home to their house rabbits.
There are two doors leading from the final room of the museum. Guests can go to the gift shop (stocked with gifts for humans and the rabbits they've left at home) and exit, or they can continue outside through the double doors. The first outdoor area features rabbit statues and other large artwork. Pass through a double set of curtains and you'll enter a large grassy area. The resident rabbits, all of which are adoptable to loving homes, roam freely in this area. Volunteers monitor their safety and help match animals to prospective owners. This area is surrounded by low raised beds, in which grow a wide variety of rabbit-safe foods. The rabbits are welcome to hop up there and browse the buffet as they wish.
If a rabbit needs a break from people or does not want to be outside for some reason, he or she can crawl through the three small tubes (much too small for humans) to enter the Rabbit Haven. This is a comfortable room with lots of places where rabbits can nap, play, or lounge in a climate-controlled area that is away from human hands.
Next to the Rabbit Haven is a veterinary facility that serves only rabbits. The staff cares for the adoptable rabbits housed at the Rabbit Education Museum, but also sees patients. The entrance to the vet office is separate from the museum entrance.
Where would this fabulous museum be located? Right here in my neck of the woods in Northern California, of course! I want to be able to visit often, after all. Now who would like to fund it? Anyone? Hello?
Thanks to the people at BLU Notebook for the sample and for inspiring me to design a museum I would love to visit one day!