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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Address Me As Ms. DIY, If You Please

Just a little project I completed today.
I’ve had these cut out for about a month now, but just waiting for the weather to be warm enough to apply. I bought this vinyl off Ebay and it is supposed to be sign vinyl, so we’ll see how it lasts outdoors. It very little protected under the eaves, and it will get direct sun for part of the day, as well as rain. This will be a good test to see if I want to do something bigger outdoors.

I washed the area and prepped it with alcohol before applying the vinyl. It seems to have adhered very well.
Here’s  the full effect:
It doesn’t look like it, because of the slight angle of the picture, but it is centered under the light fixture.        
I think it looks pretty nice.
Now I just have to wash the rest of the siding and maybe repaint those light fixtures.

Have A Nice Afternoon!
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Sew Many Ways
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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Garden Work….. Finally! A New Flower Bed

The weather has finally been warm enough and dry enough, that I could do some garden work. Not vegetable gardening yet, too cold for that. My tomato plants are still in the make shift greenhouse I fashioned out of hay bales, cattle panels and tarps. Seems to be working ok, but it would be nice to get the plants in the ground.
The garden work I’m referring to is a new flower bed that’s going in the front yard. I worked about 2 hrs. on it yesterday and about 1 1/2 hrs. today.
This is what I have done so far:
 IMG_0778 IMG_0779 
I’m not sure if you can tell, but the lawn is on a slope here. That figures into my bed perfectly.
The first day, I collected the flat rock that will be the border of the bed, laid out the bed, and dug about 1/4 of the sod out. That was enough for one day, since I’m “old”. J/K, the fact is that’s about all my injured leg could handle for one day. the good news is all that stretching  should help my leg to heal faster.
Today, I finished digging out the rest of the sod. I had five loads of sod that I dug out.
And what did I do with all that sod, you ask? I dumped it in a low area in front of the shed that always fills with water when it rains. It would be a great place for a rain garden, but it’s also an area where the guys tend to park a lot of the farm equipment during the summer months.  Oh, how I would love a rain garden though. Maybe someday, if we ever move to a different home for retirement.
 IMG_0781 IMG_0782 IMG_0783 
So here’s my inspiration for what I envision for the new flower bed:
I found this pic on Pinterest. I already have a milk can I can use and I plan to put my metal bed frame planter bench in the vignette also, as soon as I have it built. For the “spilled milk”, I bought some Dusty Miller plants. Hopefully, they will be white enough. The finishing touch will be a tea cup bird feeder.
On another garden related matter, I transplanted some ferns I got from a friend’s property. I transplanted some last year and they came through the winter fine, so I got some more this year. Believe it or not, these ferns were only as tall as the short ones in the pic, just a few days ago (those are the ones I transplanted last year). They seem to grow about 2'” every day!
They are a pretty tough fern. If you look closely at the pic on the bottom below, you’ll see some green coming in an otherwise dead looking plant, as in the pic on the top.

The Autumn Fern I bought from Menards last year, on the other hand does look like it has bit the dust. In a cursory inspection, I could not find any signs of returning growth. The label states that there is a 1 year guarantee, so I’ll have to hunt up my receipt and check it out. I don’t know if I have to take the dead plant back or if I just need the receipt. I will have to call and find out.
 IMG_0787 IMG_0788
Have A Great Evening!

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Silent Auction Donation

I made another bird feeder to donate to the Church’s silent auction they are having in conjunction with their chicken dinner, this coming Sunday.
I really love the cup on this one. It is a Holstein print on the outside and bright yellow on the inside. I believe it was intended as an ice cream cup, because on the bottom, it said made especially for Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. After I got it all done, I liked it so much that I kinda wanted to keep it for myself. Oh, well, if I want it, I’ll just have to bid on it and try to win it. I’m not sure I’ll ever find a cup like that again.
I did a couple of things differently with this one. First, I used clear epoxy for the whole thing. I just feel a 2-
part epoxy will be stronger than a 1-part glue. We’ll see. The other thing I did differently was to cut the copper pipe to a point, after I hammered a flat end on it, with a hacksaw. Hopefully it will poke into the ground easier this way; although, the other way worked ok.
I included a small bag of birdseed and a card with instructions on how to assemble this. Believe it or not, there is a right way to do this. You do not want to put it together and then push it into the ground. You risk breaking the dishes. Also, you do not want to twist the feeder on the post, because if you are using glue, it will loosen the bond. The best thing is to get it into the position you want and slide it on straight. If it’s not quite where you want it, take it off and start again. Trust me, a little caution will save you repairs.
Have a
Mootiful Day!
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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Planter Bench Design

I bought an old metal bed at an auction, this past weekend. 
My plans  are to make a planter bench out of it.
Here's my design for how I imagine it to look:

Whadda think?


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother’s Day Gift


Here’s what I made for my MIL for Mother’s Day:
IMG_0747It’s a sugar bowl  bird feeder/waterer

Here’s a closer pic
I got the inspiration here from a teacup bird feeder tutorial.

I could not find any teacup/saucer combinations I liked, so I went with a sugar bowl. I actually like this better. It has a bigger area for water than a teacup and I could use a bigger plate and spoon that would not look out of place if using a smaller teacup.

Basically, this is how I made it.
1) Plan this for several days in advance, because you need to have the glue cure.
2) Find a nice sugar bowl, plate, and spoon. either of your own or from a thrift store or garage sale.  Mine were matching, but you could certainly do coordinating or even contrasting colors.
IMG_0749           Even my spoon had a rose on it to match the plate.

3) You need to sand around the bottom of the sugar bowl, the bottom of the spoon and the 2 coordinating areas on the plate where they will both sit to roughen it up so the glue will adhere well. I didn’t take pics of the sanding process, but I think it is self explanatory. Just be sure to sand quite a lot of the glaze off.
4) Glue the bowl and spoon to the plate using E-6000 glue. This is some strong glue that is waterproof. Follow the directions on the package. It takes about 24 hrs. to cure before you can flip it over and do the backside.
5) After the glue has cured for a day, turn the  feeder over and glue a 1/2” copper cap in the middle of the plate. Again the surface of both the plate and the cap need to be roughened up with sand paper. Make sure to apply a generous amount of glue to the plate and cap, because the cap is usually convex, so you need to make sure it is going to be held over the entire cap.

Original way.... didn't work out so well.
** UPDATE **
5) It was not sturdy enough with the E-6000 and just that small area to apply glue to. One twist with my husbands strong hands and it wanted to move too easily. This is what we did to reinforce  the cap and make a larger surface for adhesive. My husband soldered a fender washer to the top of the cap and then filed it to roughen the surface and make it even. Meanwhile, I scraped off the glue from the bottom of the plate and sanded a larger area to accommodate the fender washer size. This time around, I glued it with waterproof epoxy. It dried to a light amber color , but that's ok, since it's underneath and won't be seen. After curing for 24 hrs., it's solid and not going anywhere.
New improved version with a fender washer soldered to the cap
               I didn’t even bother to remove the entire tag, since it will be on the bottom and not show.

6) In the meantime; while you wait for this glue on the bottom to cure. You can prepare the stake. This is made from a 36” piece of 1/2” copper tubing. I bought a 10’ piece at the hardware store because I plan to make one of theses for myself as well, but I saw you could get these in 5’ sections also, which were more expensive/ft. Personally, I think I might like more than one of these in my yard. Cut the tubing with a pipe cutter if you have one, or a hacksaw. Sand around one end of the tubing as far as the cap will go on, so that the cap will slide on easily. These are very tight fitting; after all, they are made to hold water. On the other end, hammer the tubing flat , to make a “knife edge”  to poke into the ground easier.

7) Stick the pipe into the ground about a foot. Once the glue has cured on the back of the plate, you can turn it over, slip it onto the pipe, and fill the bowl with water and put some bird food on the plate.

Here's the bird feeder in my in-laws front yard with bird seed and water.

This is the card I made to go along with her gift:
IMG_0753The envelope I made last year out of a heavy magazine cover.

Here’s a closer look at the card. It is a “Do Not Disturb” hanger for the door.
IMG_0751 I got the inspiration here.

Happy Mother’s
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Fine Craft Guild


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Baby Shower Gifts

I attended a baby shower a couple of weeks ago. The mom-to-be likes frogs, so I tailored my homemade gifts to go with that theme.
Hooter Hider
I pretty much followed the tutorial here, except I used a metal fastener and I always double seam, to make sure the seams are not going to rip apart easily.
Frog Hat and Booties
For the booties, I used my standby Best Crochet Slippers pattern, but adjusted the pattern to make them smaller, by using a smaller hook, only one strand of yarn, and less rows.
For the hat, I followed the pattern here, except I did the eyes a little different and I used 1/4” ribbon instead of yarn for the contrasting edge.
Burp Cloths
This is the tutorial I followed, roughly. Mine had a more rounded shape on the ends.  To achieve this, I used a dinner plate to trace a pattern of 2 circles, then joined the circles with an inside arc. I used bar towels for the absorbent backside.
Ribbon Tab Toy
IMG_0708 IMG_0707
Here’s what I did:
1) I basically just traced a circle with a dinner plate onto 2 fabrics, 1 cotton and the other fleece and cut them out.
2) Cut various lengths  of ribbons ranging 2-4”.
3) Fold the ribbon strips in half and pin them between the the 2 circles of fabric right sides together, ribbons in toward the middle. 
4) Sew around the edge of the circle with a 14” seam, leaving about a 3-4” opening for turning, (leave out 1 ribbon until after it is turned and stuffed). I always double seam, to make sure the seam is sturdy. Turn it right side out.
5) Wrap a large bell , or several small bells, with poly batting. Put about 1/3 of the batting in through the opening, then put in the wrapped bells and finish stuffing with poly batting.
6) Slip stitch the opening closed along with the last ribbon.
Pacifier Leash
IMG_0706Follow the tutorial here 
Closet Dividers
For these, I made a template out of cardboard, traced them, and cut the shapes out of foam board. I covered them with contact paper and used acrylic craft paint to color around the edges. I cut out the letters on my Silhouette, applied them, and Bob’s your uncle. Easy Peasy!
Froggy Bank
IMG_0713 IMG_0715 IMG_0718 IMG_0720
I made this bank from a recycled coffee container. It was decaf, since that’s the kind that comes in green.
Here’s what I did:
1) Removed the label with Acetone. They do not make paper labels anymore, but paint them on, so it is a little more difficult to get a label free surface.
2) Clean the container up real well. I place newspapers inside to get rid of the coffee smell. Most of it was gone the next day
3) I cut out the frog and phrases on my Silhouette, but you could easily draw these on with a permanent marker.
4) Cut a slot in the top. I made a frog face (with no mouth) on my Silhouette and placed it so the slot is the mouth and the ears stand up on the edge. I left the backing off on the vinyl behind the ears so they would not stick to the container.
The irony of this is that the container came from the mom-to-be in question!  In fact she asked me what I was doing with it. I told  her I couldn’t tell her and she left it at that.
Gift Bag
All these goodies went into the gift bag I decorated with a frog.
 Have A Hoppin’ Good Day!
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Monday, May 2, 2011


A few weeks ago  we celebrated my Mother-in-law and Father-in-law’s 60th wedding anniversary. Each child’s (of theirs) family was asked to contribute some type of wall decoration, poster, pics, etc., to decorate the church cafeteria, which was where the affair was held.  This post is a long time coming, because I was waiting for nice clear pics from the photographer that was there that day. Unfortunately, either the pics of the tree did not turn out or she forgot to take them, so I’m stuck with my usual point and shoot camera pics.
This was our contribution:
What I did was to make hearts on my Silhouette. For the children, of which there are 8, I started each branch with the child’s and spouse’s name and the year of their marriage in another heart at the bottom. Next on the branch came the child’s children (grandchildren),  followed by their children (great-grandchildren). For these it was just the grandchild’s name and spouse (if applicable) and just the great-grandchildren’s name on hearts after each of their parents.
IMG_0669  IMG_0669
I used an online poster maker, Block Posters, to make an image of a tree trunk, which I cut out from black poster board and placed the branches starting from it in a willow tree type shape. Here it is laid out on the living room floor to check for size and composition.
Across the top of the trunk I put the cut out phrase “All Because Two People Fell In Love” on a gold ribbon.
Under the ribbon; the tree trunk is attached, with thumbtacks, to a cork strip that runs across that short section of wall in the church cafeteria. That was a pretty sweet way to put it up. Luckily, nobody else needed that much space, so I could use it.
For the anniversary couple, I made a B&W copy of their wedding photo and placed it in a heart which I cut out of wood print contact paper. The two intertwined hearts at the bottom contain their names and date of their wedding.
I took these pics the day before the event when we set up for the party, so I don’t have a final pic of the Family Tree. What I added was a large Black Heart at the center top  with  60th Anniversary and the date of the party, just because I felt it needed something in that space up there. I think it turned out rather well and I got numerous compliments on it.
I left the backing on the hearts and just cut out the main part, so that we could just attach them with some double sided carpet tape and each sibling could take their family’s branch home with them to do as they pleased. I plan to make some sort of framed picture with our family’s hearts.
Have A Lovely Day!

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