There's no real theme to Sinterklaas in terms of decorations and whatnot, they tend to revolve around Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet themselves, for obvious reasons I'm not a huge fan of the Zwarte Piet aspect of the holiday and it boggles me that it's still around and celebrated in the way that it is, but it is, in fact seems to be getting increasingly popular again after a bit of a lull.
ANYWAY, what I wanted to share was the more adult tradition that's grown around Sinterklaas, which is the "surprise" present. When kids get a bit older, they start making presents for each other as gags, many adults do as well (like people would do Secret Santa elsewhere). What that means is that, based on the recipient's tase or personality, the present is dressed up to look like something else, maybe a cardboard drum with crepe paper that you have to punch through to get to the real gift, or a papier mache football, or a pair of earrings dressed up to look like a box of chocolates, that kind of thing. It's a fun tradition, though in families it can get increasingly competitive to make the biggest, most realistic looking fake thing that year. A lot of kids do it in class as well. It's nice because it's mostly about the time that went into making the gift packaging, as opposed to the actual value of the gift (Sinterklaas is not a huge spending holiday, the monetary value of Sinterklaas gifts is usually very low).
How big is the room? Are there two slanted walls or just one? I'm assuming there's only one slanted wall, and three straight walls, which are out of bounds due to doors, windows and heaters, right?
Could you maybe do something like this?
Your feet don't need that much room in bed, but your head end does, so could you put your bed in with your feet toards the small slanted end, and a big (but not too tall) bookcase or cupboard that is accessible for storage on one side, and acts as a headboard for the bed on the other side? That's the only thing I can think of... I've always wanted to do this as it looks really New York lofty to me, you could have a nice lamp on the bookcase, and a plant, that sort of thing, and you could use the lamp to read by in bed, or as an accent light in the room when you're not in bed.
The main forum page usually loads for me, after a while the child pages will load as well. Individual topic pages will not load at all for me between about 10.30 and 12.30 european standard time (that would be 4.30 and 6.30 in the morning Eastern time) I get a blank screen and after 5 minutes a "Page cannot be found" message. Like I said, I'm in Europe, Holland te be precise. using a PC with IE6.
Just jumping in to add that you really shouldn't touch them at all, apart from maybe having them professionally framed. These are great WW2 antiques. I'm not quite sure what use this silk map of the world would have been, but the normal, more detailed ones of France or wherever were sewn under the lining of coats, so soldiers had an escape map in case they got lost somewhere in the countryside in a foreign country. The silk meant it wouldn't rustle and couldn't get damaged or found. Save them as the antiques they are.
I think modgepodge would be ok, but I seem to remember most national geographic maps being two sided. In other words, you'd have to scan it and print it, or else the other side will show through when you turn on the light.
It seems pretty straightforward, so i don't quite know what you're having trouble with, but just in simpler terms:
Make two pieces A and B. A has two straight ribbons coming out from one edge, which you attach with a satin stitch along the black zigzaggy line. B has two crossed ribbons coming out from one edge, which you also attach with a satin stitch along the black zigzaggy line. Then you put the pieces next to each other, with the ribbons from A laying on top of B, and the ribbons from B laying on top of A. You then attach the far end of the ribbons from A to the far edge of piece B with a satin stitch along the red zigzaggy line, and you attach the far end of the ribbons from piece B to the far edge of piece A with a satin stitch along the red zigzaggy line. And the you're done. Hope this helps.
I would just use wooden blocks. I like the idea of using plastic, but I think it would be too light. I don't think it needs to turn as well as you think it needs to turn. I think a little bit of stiffness in the turning (like reasonably tight wood on wood) will actually prove beneficial, if it moves too smoothly, and your hole isn't exactly in the centre, or there's something else throwing your blocks off balance (modpodge/a knot in the wood/a plastic seal line), the blocks will keep turning until they hit their centre of gravity. And so, when you turn it to granny's face and let go of the block, the block will spin back down to half granny/half dad. Am I making sense? A bit of friction is a plus in this one, I think, so I'd just make wooden blocks.