tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-80881709388435200072013-11-10T19:46:39.638-07:00The Handy HausfrauThe DIY diary of a mom, wife, crafter, renovator, tinkerer, writer and generally handy gal...Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.comBlogger51125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-64629438318969813352010-11-01T14:52:00.001-06:002010-11-01T15:06:27.061-06:00Knockoff Wood Locker Cabinet + Some<div style="border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; clear: both; text-align: left;">It's been five months since I last posted.&nbsp; I haven't stopped crafting and creating&nbsp;- life just got crazy.&nbsp; Suddenly having two kids in school makes for a busy life.&nbsp; Not to worry, though.&nbsp; I get antsy when I can't make things, so there'll be new projects in the future.&nbsp; Meanwhile, would you like a look at my latest woodworking success?</div><div style="border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/TM8dQwOJNJI/AAAAAAAABJE/5Vy5A9UhbPQ/s1600/EntryFull.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" nx="true" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/TM8dQwOJNJI/AAAAAAAABJE/5Vy5A9UhbPQ/s640/EntryFull.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.handyhausfrau.com/2010/05/diy-picnic-table-from-knockoff-wood.html">You might remember how much fun I had making the picnic table</a> with plans from <a href="http://ana-white.com/">Knockoff Wood</a>.&nbsp; I was so pleased with the way that the table came out, and with my new found carpentry confidence, I figured I could tackle something a little more complicated.&nbsp; So this time, I discovered <a href="http://ana-white.com/2010/09/locker-cabinet-for-fresh-home-magazine.html">Ana's plans for the Locker Cabinet.</a>&nbsp; I loved the look of her cabinet that she created for her entryway.&nbsp; The only problem - it didn't fit exactly like I wanted it to.</div><div class="separator" style="border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; clear: both; text-align: left;">So I pulled out my trusty tape measure, my pencil and my graph paper, and set to work altering the plans and creating my own plans for two matching "closets" that would flank the ends of the locker cabinet.&nbsp; First I reworked Ana's plan to make the locker cabinet taller.&nbsp; As you can see from the photos, I have an oddly shaped window in my entryway.&nbsp; It looks out onto a sunroom that was added after the house was built.&nbsp; It's not a pretty view, and although I like the extra light in the entryway, I knew that I could cover the less-than-desirable view while still&nbsp;getting ample light from the window.</div><div class="separator" style="border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/TM8dOn4LnjI/AAAAAAAABJA/iJTVj7zJhLo/s1600/EntryFront.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" nx="true" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/TM8dOn4LnjI/AAAAAAAABJA/iJTVj7zJhLo/s640/EntryFront.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; clear: both; text-align: left;">Next, I needed two closets.&nbsp; We live in a house with no coat closet and no broom closet.&nbsp; Although the lockers solved the problem of where to put our coats, hats, boots, etc., the unit didn't solve my problem of where to put my vacuum, mops, etc.&nbsp; I was so tired of tripping on them everytime I went into the bedroom closet to change my clothes.&nbsp; So I whipped up some designs for two tall, skinny cabinets that could attach to the locker unit.&nbsp; Thanks to Ana's plans for an <a href="http://ana-white.com/2010/03/plans-not-just-the-doors-how-about-the-whole-armoire-the-favorite-bookcase-with-doors.html">armoire</a>, I was able to design some doors that I liked for the closets.&nbsp; I spent one weekend building the three pieces: one locker cabinet and two closets.&nbsp; I spent the second Saturday priming, painting and attaching the pieces together.&nbsp; With a final piece of trim across the top, the unit looked like it was designed as one.&nbsp; Don't you just love the red paint.&nbsp; The color is called Cherry Chocolate - sound yummy, doesn't it?&nbsp; It looked like pink nail polish while it was going on, but it dried to a nice dark shade of red.&nbsp; Love it!!</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/TM8dSWUgH1I/AAAAAAAABJI/97SX5Tyu90Y/s1600/EntryLocker.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" nx="true" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/TM8dSWUgH1I/AAAAAAAABJI/97SX5Tyu90Y/s640/EntryLocker.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">And here's the new closet that hides my vacuum.&nbsp; I made adjustable shelves for the closet on the other end.&nbsp; This is where I stash my extra paper towels, cleaning supplies and more.</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/TM8dUGnnfAI/AAAAAAAABJM/m_X2g1jE8Y4/s1600/EntryLockerOpen.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" nx="true" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/TM8dUGnnfAI/AAAAAAAABJM/m_X2g1jE8Y4/s640/EntryLockerOpen.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">What a rewarding way to spend a couple of weekends.&nbsp; As usual, many thanks to Ana for the inspiration!</div>Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com7tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-49500764704831258962010-06-02T23:34:00.002-06:002010-06-02T23:38:13.798-06:00Easy Photo VignettesProfessional photographers know just the right combination of lenses, light and, of course, post-processing magic to take a photo from good to amazing.&nbsp; Take this photo for example taken by my friend, Kiera.&nbsp; By the way, if you live in the Indianapolis area, I would highly <a href="http://www.kieradubach.com/">recommend you give Kiera a call</a>.&nbsp; She is, in my opinion, an amazing photographer and I can't wait for her to shoot our family photos in August.<br /><br />Anyway, see the subtle shading around the edges of the photo that helps focus the viewer's eyes on the bride and helps to further the magical effects of dusk crowding in around this beautiful bride?&nbsp; As I said above, Kiera does all this through the magic of her camera (and maybe a little help in post-processing.)<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/TAc2CBcbycI/AAAAAAAABHg/-4NEEeNPY_4/s1600/WeddingVignette.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="428" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/TAc2CBcbycI/AAAAAAAABHg/-4NEEeNPY_4/s640/WeddingVignette.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><em>Photo by <a href="http://www.kieradubach.com/">Kiera Dubach of Kiera Photo</a></em></span></div><br />I, on the other hand, don't know enough about photography (yet) to achieve this effect naturally.&nbsp; So I turn to the magic of Photoshop.&nbsp; In a few seconds, you can achieve a similar (albeit not quite as dramatic effect) with Adobe Photoshop.<br /><br />Open your chosen photo in Photoshop.&nbsp; Click "Filter." Select "Distort" and "Lens Correction."&nbsp; This will open your photo in the lens correction screen.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/TAczmbI-ffI/AAAAAAAABHI/oxa9321uNpY/s1600/Vignette.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="384" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/TAczmbI-ffI/AAAAAAAABHI/oxa9321uNpY/s640/Vignette.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br />Now you can play with the two sliders under Vignette.&nbsp; With "Amount," you can choose to create a darker vignette around the photo's edges, or a lighter effect to knock out the color on a darker photo.&nbsp; Use the "Midpoint" slider to adjust the location on the photo&nbsp;at which&nbsp;the midpoint of your Vignette falls.&nbsp; This will allow you to control the creep of the shadow - covering more (or less) photo as you desire.&nbsp; Here's a before and after comparison on a photo that I shot.&nbsp; With a little color correction and a Vignette effect, you've gone from a snapshot to an old-time picture postcard:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/TAc5rVA-DSI/AAAAAAAABHo/I4ZhzYS8bbE/s1600/VignetteSampleB+copy.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/TAc5rVA-DSI/AAAAAAAABHo/I4ZhzYS8bbE/s640/VignetteSampleB+copy.jpg" width="422" /></a></div><br />Another example focuses the viewer's attention on my&nbsp;oldest son's baby blues and serious little face:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/TAc7Uo22MQI/AAAAAAAABH4/wRT95h8KeEE/s1600/VignetteSampleC.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="322" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/TAc7Uo22MQI/AAAAAAAABH4/wRT95h8KeEE/s640/VignetteSampleC.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br />A word of warning: use this effect in moderation.&nbsp; It's easy to get crazy with visual effects and lose the beauty of the original photo.&nbsp; However, used in small doses, it can make some of your photos pop.&nbsp; Enjoy!Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-29502539704151606962010-06-01T20:36:00.001-06:002010-06-01T20:41:13.090-06:00Teacher Appreciation GiftsI spent the weekend making Teacher Appreciation gifts for my oldest to deliver at his pre-school "graduation" today.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/TAXBvhIR58I/AAAAAAAABGw/RZR9VeUexqo/s1600/Straps.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/TAXBvhIR58I/AAAAAAAABGw/RZR9VeUexqo/s640/Straps.jpg" width="498" /></a></div><br />One of his teachers has been eyeing <a href="http://www.handyhausfrau.com/2010/02/felted-knitted-totebag-glorious-stripes.html">my felted bag</a> all school year, but I didn't have the time to knit a pillowcase-sized tote and felt it before the end of the school year.&nbsp; So, I settled for cute little lunchbags for each teacher.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/TAXB8u02noI/AAAAAAAABHA/h-zBbq7heM0/s1600/Outside.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="440" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/TAXB8u02noI/AAAAAAAABHA/h-zBbq7heM0/s640/Outside.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br />I followed roughly the same pattern I modified for <a href="http://www.handyhausfrau.com/2010/04/oilcloth-lined-bag-giveaway.html">the oilcloth-lined bags in my April giveaway</a>. These bags&nbsp;above are made with canvas that I found on sale in the Walmart fabric department.&nbsp; They had quite a selection of fun canvas colors and patterns. You can barely see the red flowered pattern at the bottom of the stack of straps in the first photo.&nbsp; It's the same pattern as the black and white canvas, but with the base color being red and the flower pattern done in the white. I think this would make such a cute cover for a pair of foldable directors chairs.&nbsp; Hmmm...I'm feeling a new project coming on.&nbsp; In fact, I think my mom has a lonely pair of directors chairs hanging out in her garage that just might be due for a makeover.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/TAXB0mI4BVI/AAAAAAAABG4/rQz3ekv_OCw/s1600/Inside.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="480" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/TAXB0mI4BVI/AAAAAAAABG4/rQz3ekv_OCw/s640/Inside.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br />And, who doesn't love a surprise inside their spill-proof lunch totes?&nbsp;&nbsp; A little gingham in one and some fun polka dots in the other.&nbsp; I just can't get enough of the oilcloth!&nbsp; Most importantly, we slipped a card inside each one with the sentiment: "These bags were handmade for you with as much love as you have shown to Alex during his two years at school.&nbsp; Thank you for all that you do." A sweet and simple gift to say thanks for a job well done.Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-76734627833812064022010-05-28T08:12:00.000-06:002010-05-28T08:12:23.357-06:00DIY Wedding Flowers<div style="border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none;">I have weddings on the brain right now. Some friends of ours are getting married on July 4th weekend in Vail, CO. The bride and I have been tossing around ideas for do-it-yourself flowers for the big day.&nbsp; Here are some of the inspiration photos we've found:<br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S__MNg_GxpI/AAAAAAAABGQ/doE4vRZMbHo/s1600/3862198885_24558aa2f5.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S__MNg_GxpI/AAAAAAAABGQ/doE4vRZMbHo/s640/3862198885_24558aa2f5.jpg" width="425" /></a></div><div style="border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; text-align: center;"><em><span style="font-size: x-small;">All photography by Max Wanger</span></em></div><div style="text-align: center;"><em><span style="font-size: x-small;"></span></em></div><div style="text-align: center;"><em><span style="font-size: x-small;">All photos from </span></em><a href="http://www.oncewed.com/"><em><span style="font-size: x-small;">www.oncewed.com</span></em></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Her husband-to-be owns a family baking company that's been around for over 100 years.&nbsp; We thought it would be fun to find some vintage tins and boxes, line them with glass containers and use those as the centerpiece vases at dinner.</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">And there's something so simple and rustic about mason jars as votive holders.&nbsp; I love the way the jars light up as the night of celebration wears on.&nbsp; Reminds me of catching fireflies during summers growing up in the Midwest.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S__MnAoFKlI/AAAAAAAABGY/oiFUQlPnREs/s1600/3862199813_7c25a1c34b.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; cssfloat: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="426" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S__MnAoFKlI/AAAAAAAABGY/oiFUQlPnREs/s640/3862199813_7c25a1c34b.jpg" width="640" /></a></div>My friend wants to give each female attendee a single stem Gerbera Daisy to hold during the outdoor ceremony.&nbsp; Don't you think an arrangement like this would be stunning? Especially a bright array of reds, yellows and oranges.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S__NB3kGBcI/AAAAAAAABGg/D0QfqJHMIoA/s1600/3862979276_6264cede68.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="426" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S__NB3kGBcI/AAAAAAAABGg/D0QfqJHMIoA/s640/3862979276_6264cede68.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br />The flowers would be such a simple favor at this small wedding and make such a visual impact when grouped together on a table when guests arrive and in the hands of each guest during the wedding ceremony.&nbsp; Can you imagine the ceremony photos if each of your guests was holding a blossom?<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S__NUT7Dc6I/AAAAAAAABGo/Vpw_aayi-FA/s1600/3862197999_4c64c4c154.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="426" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S__NUT7Dc6I/AAAAAAAABGo/Vpw_aayi-FA/s640/3862197999_4c64c4c154.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br />All this wedding talk makes me nostalgic for the summer 15 years ago when I was planning my own wedding.&nbsp; So, I'll be spending the weekend brainstorming wedding ideas and finishing up the hand-sewn bags I'm making as teacher appreciation gifts for my oldest's preschool teachers.Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-5600593443712345462010-05-26T23:18:00.006-06:002010-05-26T23:45:26.650-06:00DIY Polymer Clay JewelryHave you ever used Polymer Clay?&nbsp; I never had until today, and let me tell you, it's addictive.&nbsp; Can you believe that I made this bracelet in an hour today?<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_32i2sSJ8I/AAAAAAAABFI/qvEUVcCVuQk/s1600/Swirls.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_32i2sSJ8I/AAAAAAAABFI/qvEUVcCVuQk/s640/Swirls.jpg" width="576" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">I had a 40% off coupon for Michael's Craft Store, and I used it to buy a polymer clay kit for $6.&nbsp; The kit included five colors of moldable clay, a razor blade, a plastic roller, and several jewelry supplies, including french hooks for earrings, silk cord for a necklace and wire to create bracelets.</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_32ppusVXI/AAAAAAAABFQ/Y-a8bjAaca8/s1600/Supplies.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="480" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_32ppusVXI/AAAAAAAABFQ/Y-a8bjAaca8/s640/Supplies.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br />This stuff is amazing.&nbsp; There's something therapeutic about kneading the clay in your hands.&nbsp; My favorite part is the surprise you get when you've rolled a cane and cut the first slice to see how your design came out.&nbsp; I found several websites online to give me design ideas.&nbsp; <a href="http://www.skygrazer.com/polymerclay/resources/lessonlinks.htm">This one has a fabulous list</a> of links to tutorials for creating canes and shapes. And it's fairly inexpensive to buy individual packages of clay.&nbsp; Michael's had a variety of colors.&nbsp; A package the same size as the purple clay above sold for $1.29.<br /><br />Here are two montages which show the steps I used to create several of the beads.&nbsp; Knead&nbsp;a small amount of&nbsp;clay in your hands to warm it and make it more pliable.&nbsp; Use the roller to create flat sheets on wax paper or a metal baking sheet (to prevent sticking).&nbsp; Stack three colors on top of each other.&nbsp; Roll the layers tightly into a cane.&nbsp; Lengthen the cane by rolling it to compress the layers.&nbsp; Use the razor blade to cut off thin slices.&nbsp; Waste clay (or extra clay from the ends of your cane) can be rolled into a base ball.&nbsp; Cover the base ball with the slices.&nbsp; Roll the ball until the slices create a smooth outer layer.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_320Gqut5I/AAAAAAAABFY/xGJsL_Qy8WY/s1600/SwirlComposite.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_320Gqut5I/AAAAAAAABFY/xGJsL_Qy8WY/s640/SwirlComposite.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br />I followed the same steps to create these "giraffe" spheres.&nbsp; I'm calling them giraffes because I love the way the gold and white combination mimics the skin pattern on a giraffe. A tip: once you've rolled the canes, put them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.&nbsp; They will harden slightly and won't distort or flatten as much when you apply pressure with the razor blade.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_328zZpY5I/AAAAAAAABFg/k_Hv9WG4xOU/s1600/GirrafeComposite.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_328zZpY5I/AAAAAAAABFg/k_Hv9WG4xOU/s640/GirrafeComposite.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br />Here are the beads before they went into the oven to bake and harden.&nbsp; Use a toothpick to drill holes (before baking) in each bead for stringing. A tip: hold the ball steady in the palm of your hand (to prevent fingerprints on the surface of your bead), apply pressure and twist the toothpick to drill through the clay.&nbsp; Poke the holes immediately after rolling your ball.&nbsp; As the beads sit, they become less pliable for drilling. Remove the toothpick before baking.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_33Gm6xtNI/AAAAAAAABFo/qxMhejZOjhQ/s1600/Toothpick.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="486" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_33Gm6xtNI/AAAAAAAABFo/qxMhejZOjhQ/s640/Toothpick.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br />Bake at 275 degrees F for 30 minutes.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_33Vb43DeI/AAAAAAAABFw/7vxUzw8EeC4/s1600/Baked.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_33Vb43DeI/AAAAAAAABFw/7vxUzw8EeC4/s640/Baked.jpg" width="548" /></a></div><br />Turn&nbsp;the beads several times during baking to avoid getting a flat spot where the bead rests on the baking sheet. The beads will harden even more as they cool.&nbsp; In the foreground, you can see the flat spiral beads created by taking thicker slices off the cane and drilling side-to-side through the slice with the toothpick.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_33ooGgl7I/AAAAAAAABF4/Lm8gcNiLDsU/s1600/Beads.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_33ooGgl7I/AAAAAAAABF4/Lm8gcNiLDsU/s640/Beads.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br />Then you can select complementary beads to string your jewelry.&nbsp; I used mother of pearl beads and Stretch Magic elastic jewelry cord to create this bracelet.&nbsp; The bracelet at the beginning of the post combines sterling silver beads and clear crystals with the swirl beads.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_331vI4eQI/AAAAAAAABGA/3bmL5Vw-DUA/s1600/Spheres.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_331vI4eQI/AAAAAAAABGA/3bmL5Vw-DUA/s640/Spheres.jpg" width="608" /></a></div><br />Finally, I used sterling silver beads and black jewelry wire to create the hanger through which the silk cord is strung. This pendant was created on a larger waste ball (approximately 1" in size) with slices cut from all of the different canes I made.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_34AB3bLZI/AAAAAAAABGI/54BCe1FiFp0/s1600/Necklace.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_34AB3bLZI/AAAAAAAABGI/54BCe1FiFp0/s640/Necklace.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br />To make all of this jewelry, I only used about one-third of the clay provided in the kit.&nbsp; I'm so excited to see what new designs I can create tomorrow. Do you use Polymer Clay in your crafting?&nbsp; I would love any tips or links to tutorials that you love.&nbsp;&nbsp;Be sure to send pictures of your own polymer creations to sara(at)thehandyhausfrau(dot)com.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.everythingetsy.com/?p=3309"><img src="http://www.everythingetsy.com/images/imadeit125pix.png" /></a><a href="http://somedaycrafts.blogspot.com"><img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_vk7b0eb36c8/S-Dt8w4FjkI/AAAAAAAAAKE/A5wquzXhr4g/s320/wgw+button.jpg"/></a><a href="http://somewhatsimple.blogspot.com"><img alt="giveaways" width="125" src="http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a342/stephd757/1SYS125.jpg" height="125"/></a>Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com7tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-48727041977571064032010-05-25T08:19:00.004-06:002010-05-26T23:48:26.059-06:00DIY Memory Jar :: Gift Giving on the CheapI've been waiting to post this project because the pictures are poor quality (sorry, Dad - thanks anyway for shooting them for me).&nbsp; We forgot to photograph this gift before we gave it to my parents.&nbsp; Regardless of the photo quality, the gift has been a longtime favorite of my parents.&nbsp; With Father's Day just around the corner, I thought this would make an inexpensive gift from the heart for that main man in your life or in your kids' lives. The Family Memory Jar:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S6vUA1nwHxI/AAAAAAAAAyc/JShWRb9DE3Y/s1600/Final.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" nt="true" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S6vUA1nwHxI/AAAAAAAAAyc/JShWRb9DE3Y/s640/Final.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br />My brother and I spent some time on the phone brainstorming our favorite family memories from our growing up years. We divided up the task and each spent a week jotting down 183 memories.&nbsp; I formatted them all so that each on would print out about the size of a fortune in a fortune cookie.<br /><br />Some of these were memories: "I laugh every time I think about throwing bread crumbs into Mom's inner tube so the fish would swarm to her."&nbsp; This was my brother.&nbsp; We were snorkeling one summer, and my mom didn't want to go all the way under the water.&nbsp; She was floating on an inner tube with her head poking through the center ring.&nbsp; My brother thought it would be funny to throw a bunch of bread crumbs near the inner tube so that all of the tropical fish would swarm around my mom and surprise her.&nbsp; Sounds kind of mean when I'm describing it, but it was actually really funny at the time.&nbsp; My mom kept going on and on about how she must have some special skill in attracting fish because they were all crowded around her.&nbsp; Little did she know it was thanks to the half-loaf of bread my brother was pelting her with.<br /><br />Some are just sentiments: "I'm thankful for the sound advice you've given us about parenting (and only when we asked for it!)" That one is pretty self-explanatory - and really much appreciated on both counts (the advice and the only-when solicited nature of it!)<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S6vUKiLAByI/AAAAAAAAAyk/OLdHJ-PsxPY/s1600/Strips.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="336" nt="true" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S6vUKiLAByI/AAAAAAAAAyk/OLdHJ-PsxPY/s640/Strips.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br />We cut them all out and placed them in a glass cookie jar with this label:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_vbRVcFRJI/AAAAAAAABFA/LUUkJrfHJOs/s1600/Memory+Jar+005.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="480" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_vbRVcFRJI/AAAAAAAABFA/LUUkJrfHJOs/s640/Memory+Jar+005.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">My parents chose one every day for a year and then started again the next year.&nbsp; They loved reading each of the memories that meant so much to us, and my brother and I had a great time and lots of laughs putting them all together.&nbsp; This would be a wonderful project to do with your own kids and surprise their dad on Father's Day.</div><br /><a href="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/2000/01/fathers-day-ideas.html"><img alt="SYS Teachers" width="125" src="http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a342/stephd757/ist1_10154240-father-s-day-super-da.jpg" height="125"/></a>Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com5tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-27657370946161569372010-05-23T20:53:00.003-06:002010-05-24T07:59:16.522-06:00DIY Necklace PendantToday's project was an inexpensive and easy pendant that looks great on a necklace.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_nbMh5paBI/AAAAAAAABDY/u-splEYFBak/s1600/Necklace.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_nbMh5paBI/AAAAAAAABDY/u-splEYFBak/s640/Necklace.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br />Ever since I saw <a href="http://www.diamondglaze.com/">Judikins Diamond Glaze</a> featured in a project to turn a Scrabble tile into a necklace, I've been looking for an excuse to use it.&nbsp; Diamond Glaze has become so popular, however, that it was sold out in every store that I visited.&nbsp; I found this bottle of <a href="http://rangerink.com/products/prod_inkssentials_glossy.htm">Glossy Accents by Inkssentials</a>, which is used frequently in scrapbooking for "clear, dimensional embellishment."&nbsp; I was hoping that I could achieve the same effect with this product as Diamond Glaze claims.<br /><br />I grabbed the bottle, along with some plain wooden discs and two pieces of scrapbook paper with patterns I liked:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_nbuYcU1SI/AAAAAAAABDg/Cy2_EGiplGA/s1600/Supplies.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_nbuYcU1SI/AAAAAAAABDg/Cy2_EGiplGA/s640/Supplies.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br />Here's a close-up of the wooden discs that I purchased in the jewelry section of my local Michael's.&nbsp; You can see what a bargain they are at $1.47 for 12 discs.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_nb0ckjV2I/AAAAAAAABDo/7xG6HWk4vA0/s1600/WoodenDiscs.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_nb0ckjV2I/AAAAAAAABDo/7xG6HWk4vA0/s640/WoodenDiscs.jpg" width="518" /></a></div><br />I used my drill to make a tiny hole on the top of the disc.&nbsp; Place a scrap piece of wood under your disc to anchor the disc and give you something to drill into.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_nb53-oIhI/AAAAAAAABDw/dHo-ikteo_s/s1600/Drill.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_nb53-oIhI/AAAAAAAABDw/dHo-ikteo_s/s640/Drill.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br />Here you can see two discs after they've been drilled.&nbsp; Make sure to sand off any splinters or rough edges around the hole.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_ncBqbhH7I/AAAAAAAABD4/nUxd6-Ds8eQ/s1600/HolesDrilled.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_ncBqbhH7I/AAAAAAAABD4/nUxd6-Ds8eQ/s400/HolesDrilled.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br />Next, I used a compass to draw a circle the exact size I wanted to cover the disc. I drew the circle on the scrapbook paper and cut out the shape.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_ncHhPiDiI/AAAAAAAABEA/fa7GdsbNXto/s1600/Compass.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_ncHhPiDiI/AAAAAAAABEA/fa7GdsbNXto/s640/Compass.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br />A very thin coat of ModPodge was perfect to secure the scrapbook paper to the disc.&nbsp; You won't need to seal it with a second coat on top of the paper - that's what the Glossy Accents is for.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_ncMcaCBhI/AAAAAAAABEI/jGnacEEMSJ8/s1600/Modpodge.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_ncMcaCBhI/AAAAAAAABEI/jGnacEEMSJ8/s640/Modpodge.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br />At this point, your scrapbook paper will be covering the hole that you drilled in the disc.&nbsp; I pushed four straight pins up through the back of the hole.&nbsp; This not only poked a hole in the scrapbook paper, but the pins will help keep the hole open when you coat the disc with Glossy Accents.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_ncXXx-1aI/AAAAAAAABEQ/Yz1hO4IQ-_E/s1600/Preglue.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_ncXXx-1aI/AAAAAAAABEQ/Yz1hO4IQ-_E/s640/Preglue.jpg" width="540" /></a></div><br />I used a generous amount of Glossy Accents to coat the top of the disc.&nbsp; I used the bottle's tip to draw a circle around the outside of the scrapbook paper, and then filled in the circle until I had a smooth surface. Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle.&nbsp; Shaking the bottle will result in bubbles in the project's surface.&nbsp; See that pin in the lower right of the photo?&nbsp; I ended up with two bubbles&nbsp;on my pendant, so I used the pin to work the bubbles to the edge of the Glossy Accents and "pull" them out of the tacky liquid.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_nccMf_vCI/AAAAAAAABEY/rwqfb0FiMP0/s1600/Red.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_nccMf_vCI/AAAAAAAABEY/rwqfb0FiMP0/s640/Red.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br />You will end up with a smooth milky-looking surface.&nbsp; It took around 4 hours for my pendant to be dry to the touch and the milky appearance to change to transparent.&nbsp; Here's the second pendant as it was drying.&nbsp; Be sure to place your pendants on a flat surface.&nbsp; The Glossy Accents will run to one side or the other if your project isn't perfectly flat.<br /><br />I had to support the second pendant in order to get a flat surface. The heads of the straight pins were pushing one side up in the air.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_nchAEEgyI/AAAAAAAABEg/10wNmoZgvbg/s1600/Green.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_nchAEEgyI/AAAAAAAABEg/10wNmoZgvbg/s640/Green.jpg" width="412" /></a></div><br />Once the Glossy Accents is dry, carefully pull the pins out from the back.&nbsp; This will pull any excess Glossy Accents back through the hole so that you'll have a clean surface on the front side of the pendant.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_ncm3jlOzI/AAAAAAAABEo/8RGjF7LcjxQ/s1600/Finished.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="480" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_ncm3jlOzI/AAAAAAAABEo/8RGjF7LcjxQ/s640/Finished.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br />I let the pendants dry for 24 hours to ensure that the surface was completely hardened.&nbsp; Then I created a bail with a sterling silver jump ring to hang the pendant on a chain.&nbsp; You could use the pendant as a stand alone accent or&nbsp;dress it up&nbsp;with other beads.&nbsp; This necklace has red Jasper, Buri nuts and handmade Balinese sterling silver beads.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_ncukP6SoI/AAAAAAAABEw/Nv4aTE4nlTs/s1600/Necklace.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_ncukP6SoI/AAAAAAAABEw/Nv4aTE4nlTs/s640/Necklace.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br />And now I have 10 wooden discs left.&nbsp; I'm thinking they would make great magnets for my refrigerator.&nbsp; Using the same technique as the pendants, you could create monogrammed discs.&nbsp; Hot glue a round magnet on the back, and you'd have a great way to organize the family's papers in the kitchen.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.skiptomylou.org/" ><img src="http://www.skiptomylou.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/button2.jpg" /></a> <br /><a href="http://thegirlcreative.blogspot.com/search/label/Just%20Something%20I%20Whipped%20Up" target="_blank"><img alt="The Girl Creative" src="http://i456.photobucket.com/albums/qq286/happielife32/TGC_linkyparty.png" /></a><a href="http://makingtheworldcuter.blogspot.com" target="_blank"><img border="0" alt="Making" src="http://i367.photobucket.com/albums/oo119/tiffhewlett/Crafty%20Stuff/MondayCuter.png" /></a><a href="http://sumossweetstuff.blogspot.com/" target="_blank"><img border="0" alt="Sumo Sweet Stuff" src=" http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee180/juliewuliee/Headers%202/sumo/marketyourselfcopy-1.png"/></a><a href="http://www.craftskeepmesane.blogspot.com/" target="_blank"> <img border="0" alt="Keeping It Simple" src="http://i936.photobucket.com/albums/ad206/kaysinerwt/th_DSCF63832.jpg" /></a>Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com8tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-62194639942018426562010-05-20T21:29:00.008-06:002010-05-24T08:37:28.626-06:00DIY Picnic Table from Knockoff WoodIf you <a href="http://www.twitter.com/handyhausfrau">follow me on Twitter</a>, you probably caught wind of my latest project.&nbsp; I was cursing the rains as they were threatening to ruin my perfectly timed two-day project.&nbsp; And here it is, thanks to the weather, which finally cooperated splendidly.&nbsp; My first DIY wood working project and my family's new pride and joy - the picnic table:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_XzW09CR2I/AAAAAAAABCY/7Ol90tVGx4c/s1600/Finished2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="480" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_XzW09CR2I/AAAAAAAABCY/7Ol90tVGx4c/s640/Finished2.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br />Over the past few months, I've been so inspired reading all of the plans and scrolling through hundreds of photos on Ana White's blog, <a href="http://www.knock-offwood.com/">Knockoff Wood</a>.&nbsp; I've also been desperately wanting a picnic table for dining and somewhere to park my computer while my kids are playing in their <a href="http://www.handyhausfrau.com/2010/04/diy-kiddo-clubhouse.html">new clubhouse</a>.&nbsp; I looked everywhere for an inexpensive (or even reasonably priced table), but I was finding them on Craigslist (used and far away from our home) for $90, and to buy them at a store was almost $200 in certain places.&nbsp; So, I turned to <a href="http://www.knock-offwood.com/2010/04/furniture-plans-full-size-picnic-table.html">these plans</a>, generously provided by Ana, and decided I could do-it-myself.<br /><br />The goal was to build a beautiful table that my whole family could use and to do it for as little money as possible.&nbsp; Total cost for the project was $62 and that includes stain and hardware.&nbsp; Here's the story of how it all came together.<br /><br />Here are all of my boards after I ripped (some of them - more on that later), cut, sanded and stained them. A tip: if you follow Ana's plans, draw your 30 degree angles on the table legs and your 25 degree angles on your center table supports before you cut the boards.&nbsp; She suggests cutting the boards to 33 inches and 28.5 inches respectively.&nbsp; However, if you cut the boards to length before cutting the angles, you won't have&nbsp;enough board to cut both parallel angles.&nbsp; I know this sounds complicated now, but trust me, it will all make sense when you read the plans.&nbsp; Other&nbsp;than that, Ana's plans were spot on and SO easy to follow.&nbsp; I can't wait to make another one of her projects.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_XzezRkClI/AAAAAAAABCg/PDa6RvMCRdU/s1600/Boards.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="480" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_XzezRkClI/AAAAAAAABCg/PDa6RvMCRdU/s640/Boards.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br />Then I stained all of the boards with Duckback Transparent Deck Stain in Canyon Brown.&nbsp; It runs at $16.99/per half-gallon can, and according to&nbsp;my trusty hardware store&nbsp;advisor, it will&nbsp;stain and seal my table while protecting it&nbsp;from the intense Colorado sun.&nbsp; You can see the difference between the raw pine and the stained board.&nbsp; I primarily used builder-grade pine purchased at my local hardware store, but I do have some fun (and random) reclaimed wood which I'll describe later.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_XztnZtMmI/AAAAAAAABCo/Rj5eY-7LrU4/s1600/Stained.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="480" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_XztnZtMmI/AAAAAAAABCo/Rj5eY-7LrU4/s640/Stained.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br />Here you can see the final finish.&nbsp; I love the honey tones that it brought out in the pine.&nbsp; <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_Xz2QQEB9I/AAAAAAAABCw/lsZdgzUs52E/s1600/Angled.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_Xz2QQEB9I/AAAAAAAABCw/lsZdgzUs52E/s640/Angled.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><div align="left" class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div>Remember my goal of maximizing my results while minimizing my dollars spent?&nbsp; My dad, we'll call him Grandpa Hausfrau, had a couple of VERY old 2"x10" boards lying in his garage.&nbsp; They were left from the previous owner when my parents moved into their house five years ago.&nbsp; They were in rough shape, but we saw a diamond in the rough.&nbsp; We used the table saw, ripped them down to 2"x4" size and sanded until their natural beauty shown through.&nbsp; The lower support piece (holding up the seat pieces) and the legs are the reclaimed wood.&nbsp; You can see how the stain highlighted the bumps and bruises and brings the wood back to life. You can also see the remainder of a 2"x6" that is currently supporting the table.&nbsp; The area that we chose to place the table isn't quite flat, so I still need to move some dirt to make sure the table sits level.&nbsp; Meanwhile, the board is shoring up the downhill leg.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_X0CiDCLOI/AAAAAAAABC4/ayx0PzsBSXk/s1600/Reclaimed.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_X0CiDCLOI/AAAAAAAABC4/ayx0PzsBSXk/s640/Reclaimed.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br />I learned a ton of new skills in making this project, including countersinking screws.&nbsp; See how nicely those came out on the seat? Most of these skills were due to the patience and guidance of my dad, who bit his lip when I broke not one, not two - but three of his drillbits while pre-dilling my screw holes.&nbsp; Thanks for your partnership and patience, Dad!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_X0KJjv5MI/AAAAAAAABDA/i48YNI_3w-8/s1600/Countersink.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_X0KJjv5MI/AAAAAAAABDA/i48YNI_3w-8/s640/Countersink.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br />And after two days of work - one to cut, sand and stain, and one to assemble - I have an amazing picnic table for my family and I've crossed one of the projects off <a href="http://www.handyhausfrau.com/2010/05/upcoming-projects-diy-inspiration.html">my summer to-do list</a>.&nbsp; In the background, you can see the boys' clubhouse which still needs the trim finished and painted - yet another project.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_X0T5lX85I/AAAAAAAABDI/XC30g-ZrLqg/s1600/Finished3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="480" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_X0T5lX85I/AAAAAAAABDI/XC30g-ZrLqg/s640/Finished3.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br />Finally, the amazing backdrop that we have in the new picnic area.&nbsp; We ate at the table tonight, and then sat on the rocks watching&nbsp;nine elk run through the meadow across the street and gorge themselves on grass.&nbsp; A pretty perfect day, if I do say so myself!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_X0cDN86kI/AAAAAAAABDQ/hqJpps2hdCI/s1600/Final.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" gu="true" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_X0cDN86kI/AAAAAAAABDQ/hqJpps2hdCI/s640/Final.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><br /><br /><a href="http://firefliesandjellybeans.blogspot.com/search/label/Show%20Off%20Your%20Stuff%20Party" target="_blank" border="0"><img src="http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd3/fjnorm/showoffyourstuffbutton.jpg" /></a> <br /><a href="http://www.theshabbychiccottage.net" target="_blank"><img src="http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb119/tightwadtips/TTblue.jpg" border="0" alt="Transformation Thursday"></a><br /><a href="http://www.tidymom.net"><img border="0" src="http://i88.photobucket.com/albums/k190/tidymom/my%20blog%20stuff/layout%20stuff/Imlovinit_button.png" /></a><br /><a href="http://www.decormamma.blogspot.com/" target="_blank"><img border="0" alt="Decor Mamma" src="http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx38/Decormamma/FF-button.png" /></a><a href="http://www.lovinmylovebugs.blogspot.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z78/mikerin3/Rachelle%20Czuk/featureyourselffridaybuttoncopy.png" /></a><br /><a href="http://shabbynest.blogspot.com/"><img border="0" src="http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd202/jmrammell/shabbynestbutton.png" /></a><a href="http://www.remodelaholic.com"><img border="0" src="http://i866.photobucket.com/albums/ab229/remodelaholic/RemodelaholicPartyFriday.jpg" /></a><a href="http://www.craftskeepmesane.blogspot.com/" target="_blank"> <img border="0" alt="Keeping It Simple" src="http://i936.photobucket.com/albums/ad206/kaysinerwt/th_DSCF63832.jpg" /></a><a href="http://toolsareforwomentoo.blogspot.com/" target="_blank"><img border="0" alt="toolsareforwomentoo" src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4001/4565738303_c1f085c93f_o.jpg" /></a>Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com11tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-63876173356783179632010-05-19T22:08:00.002-06:002010-05-20T07:23:40.829-06:00Gifts of LoveWe came up with a cheap, easy and meaningful project for our Mother's Day gifts to the grandmas.&nbsp; Even though Mother's Day has long passed during my technology hiatus, these would make great gifts for any holiday for any loved one who means a lot to the kids.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_SxKMY9zII/AAAAAAAABBY/3gBhYlbQn9w/s1600/Double.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_SxKMY9zII/AAAAAAAABBY/3gBhYlbQn9w/s640/Double.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br />First up, I chose the word that we wanted to use.&nbsp; I found a simple font and blew up the word to fit on an 8.5" x 11" sheet.&nbsp; Right click on the graphic below to save the full size .jpg that will fit on the same size sheet.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_SxPbuba0I/AAAAAAAABBg/GixaLOpmASI/s1600/love.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="492" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_SxPbuba0I/AAAAAAAABBg/GixaLOpmASI/s640/love.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div>Next, we gathered the supplies: kid-safe scissors, colored bond paper, glue sticks.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_SxVUsQhRI/AAAAAAAABBo/VKlB5b05cWs/s1600/Supplies.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_SxVUsQhRI/AAAAAAAABBo/VKlB5b05cWs/s640/Supplies.jpg" width="566" wt="true" /></a></div><br />I trimmed around the outline of the "Love" for the kids.&nbsp; The tight corners were still a little tough for my five-year old's cutting skills.&nbsp; FYI, you only need to cut the word out of one sheet of paper.&nbsp; We were making two gifts (one for each grandmother). Thus, the reason for two of everything.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_Sxcu3N2aI/AAAAAAAABBw/LWSEygoWIRg/s1600/Cutout.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="496" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_Sxcu3N2aI/AAAAAAAABBw/LWSEygoWIRg/s640/Cutout.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br />Meanwhile, the kids started cutting scraps of paper into small squares, triangles, rectangles - any shape that their little fingers could muster.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_SxhKC4nZI/AAAAAAAABB4/qJlVy03oQNs/s1600/Scissors.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="492" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_SxhKC4nZI/AAAAAAAABB4/qJlVy03oQNs/s640/Scissors.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br />Then they had at it, gluing the scraps into a random mosaic on a blank sheet of paper.&nbsp; Every so often, I placed the cutout "Love" sheet over the mosaic to make sure the scraps were filling in the appropriate areas.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_SxmZCgKAI/AAAAAAAABCA/GXzsAQ8rjZg/s1600/Collage.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="332" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_SxmZCgKAI/AAAAAAAABCA/GXzsAQ8rjZg/s640/Collage.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br />When the mosaic was complete, we used the glue sticks to tack the overlay onto the back sheet of the project.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_Sxt9wm5dI/AAAAAAAABCI/6DnW0iRt9po/s1600/Double.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_Sxt9wm5dI/AAAAAAAABCI/6DnW0iRt9po/s640/Double.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br />Finally, a cheap diploma frame from Walgreens.&nbsp; These were on clearance for $1.68/frame.&nbsp; I popped out the glass and applied two coats of Rustoleum's Heirloom White spray paint to the black frames.&nbsp; After I reassembled the frame, the boys signed their artwork, and we had a wonderful present.&nbsp; I happen to know that the grandmothers each have these perched on their desks at their respective houses.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_Sxzs6CaeI/AAAAAAAABCQ/lhspVHFqMkI/s1600/Final.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="432" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S_Sxzs6CaeI/AAAAAAAABCQ/lhspVHFqMkI/s640/Final.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br />A cheap present with loads of sentiment!<br /><br /><a href="http://somewhatsimple.blogspot.com"><img alt="giveaways" width="125" src="http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a342/stephd757/1SYS125.jpg" height="125"/></a>Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com8tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-70450149434200414392010-05-18T08:23:00.000-06:002010-05-18T08:23:32.509-06:00Defragmenting my LifeYou've probably been wondering what happened to The Handy Hausfrau - did I fall into my gaping craft closet and get lost among the skeins of yarn?&nbsp; Possible, but no.&nbsp; Did I pass out in the garage, overcome by spray paint fumes? Possible, but no.<br /><br />I've put myself on a two week technology hiatus.&nbsp; I defragmented my computer, backed off the 13GB of work projects that were bogging down things and making it impossible to surf the web unless I had a few free hours - which I don't.&nbsp; I also cut myself off from Facebook, Twitter, blogging and mindless surfing for the two weeks.&nbsp; Basically, in the midst of cleansing myself from technology - I'm defragmenting my life. <br /><br />And let me tell you, I've gotten a lot accomplished.&nbsp; House is clean, kids are happy, summer is planned, condo renovation planning is in full swing.&nbsp; And I have lots of projects on the books.&nbsp; So, don't give up on me.&nbsp; Two more days, and the two weeks will be complete.&nbsp; I'll be defragmented and back with more new and exciting projects.Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-24544500663212238022010-05-06T21:19:00.001-06:002010-05-06T21:55:32.217-06:00One More Mother's Day Gift @Paper PlatypusI just discovered&nbsp;a new favorite&nbsp;Etsy shop, <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/paperplatypus">The Paper Platypus</a>.&nbsp; Karen makes these amazing flowers.&nbsp; She has bouquets, boutonnieres, napkin rings, single buds, and a slew of beautiful creations - all made from paper.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S-ODqOGFuGI/AAAAAAAABA4/vpjd8A1N3qo/s1600/flowers.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S-ODqOGFuGI/AAAAAAAABA4/vpjd8A1N3qo/s640/flowers.jpg" tt="true" width="580" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S-ODvL-A9AI/AAAAAAAABBA/O1IRs2iXSv4/s1600/flowers2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="466" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S-ODvL-A9AI/AAAAAAAABBA/O1IRs2iXSv4/s640/flowers2.jpg" tt="true" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S-OD0BcZUxI/AAAAAAAABBI/MjbY8-ZpxT8/s1600/flower3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S-OD0BcZUxI/AAAAAAAABBI/MjbY8-ZpxT8/s640/flower3.jpg" tt="true" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S-OD5PMvjbI/AAAAAAAABBQ/LQ2zgp8VpQg/s1600/flowers4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S-OD5PMvjbI/AAAAAAAABBQ/LQ2zgp8VpQg/s640/flowers4.jpg" tt="true" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Can you believe that these are made of paper? Aren't they amazing.&nbsp; You can find Karen's online business <a href="http://www.diecutflowers.com/">here</a>.&nbsp; She does custom orders and consulting to make weddings, formal events or just casual gatherings even more&nbsp;beautiful.&nbsp; Check it out!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Oh, and by the way, she's having a giveaway.&nbsp; It ends on May 31st.&nbsp; I almost didn't tell you because I wanted to be selfish and give myself more chances to win.&nbsp; But it wouldn't be fair to make you miss out just because I'm drooling over the prizes! <a href="http://diecutflowers.com/blog/2010/04/22/take-two/">Here's link to the giveaway</a>.&nbsp; Maybe if you win, you can send me one of Karen's flowers as a late Mother's Day present.</div>Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-68133717690382783572010-05-05T22:06:00.000-06:002010-05-05T22:06:20.422-06:00Outdoor Canvas :: Softening the DeckWanna see what I ordered?<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S-I9aUlMKII/AAAAAAAABAg/J_0yWgPRQzI/s1600/oc1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S-I9aUlMKII/AAAAAAAABAg/J_0yWgPRQzI/s320/oc1.jpg" tt="true" /></a><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S-I9d4MT9yI/AAAAAAAABAo/EoZdZOYgW_I/s1600/oc2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S-I9d4MT9yI/AAAAAAAABAo/EoZdZOYgW_I/s320/oc2.jpg" tt="true" /></a><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S-I9hEBM7kI/AAAAAAAABAw/Wz1PzyLujX0/s1600/oc3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S-I9hEBM7kI/AAAAAAAABAw/Wz1PzyLujX0/s320/oc3.jpg" tt="true" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Jo-Ann Fabrics is having a sale right now - 50% off outdoor fabrics and canvas.&nbsp; I also had a gift card, so I couldn't pass up ordering some fun outdoor canvas that I'll use to create cushions for my porch swing, my benches and full-size and tiny-kiddo sized Adirondack chairs.&nbsp; I love the pattern names, too.&nbsp; The red print is called Imogen Cafe; the stripes are Laundry Stripe Pumpkin; and the dark brown pattern is called Angie Scroll Java.&nbsp; I'm always a little nervous ordering fabric online (you never know whether the tan stripe in the picture might look a little more green in real life), but I'm&nbsp;optimistic that these patterns will be exactly what I'm hoping for.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">I also picked up four drop cloths from Home Depot to use in my hand-stamped curtain project.&nbsp; At $9.97/ea. for a 6'x9' drop cloth, these things will be the perfect base for my hand-stamped curtain project. I'll be posting the full project once I get the curtains finished up. I'm hoping to have this week's freelance projects finished up tomorrow so that I can spend the weekend finishing up several new DIY projects I have in the works.</div>Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-69020633804989011042010-05-04T21:48:00.001-06:002010-05-04T22:43:49.180-06:00Upcoming Projects & DIY InspirationI have so many projects that I want to take on in the next few months.&nbsp; I've been feeling as though I need a virtual to-do list in order to keep track and plan my free time.&nbsp; With this in mind, I thought I would host a Link party of sorts titled Upcoming Projects &amp; DIY Inspiration.&nbsp; My portion will include links to projects that I'm hoping to complete.&nbsp;&nbsp;Any links that have the *WTM (Want To Make), *HHWTM or @HH designation, are projects in my to-do file.&nbsp; I would love for you to share your inspiration links, too. These could include links to projects that you have completed in recent weeks (especially projects that you think I might like to try out myself), or links to projects that you're hoping to undertake yourself.&nbsp; Please feel free to add as many projects as you'd like.&nbsp; I'd love to see what you've been creating (or are hoping to create.) Enjoy!&nbsp;<script src="http://www.linkytools.com/thumbnail_linky_include.aspx?id=26552" type="text/javascript"></script>Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-34976576979120635522010-05-02T09:05:00.003-06:002010-05-02T10:13:44.921-06:00DIY Hand-Stamped FabricThis is where I spend a lot of time in the summer - my deck.&nbsp; Here is where I sit: <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S92Gje6dDQI/AAAAAAAAA_Q/GSuTuXgyq0g/s1600/Sitting.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S92Gje6dDQI/AAAAAAAAA_Q/GSuTuXgyq0g/s640/Sitting.jpg" tt="true" width="640" /></a></div><br />Here is where I eat and sit in the hot tub. (Usually not at the same time!):<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S92Go6VzYPI/AAAAAAAAA_Y/tifEeZC-Kvk/s1600/Dining.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S92Go6VzYPI/AAAAAAAAA_Y/tifEeZC-Kvk/s640/Dining.jpg" tt="true" width="480" /></a></div><br />Here's the view that I have, so it's easy to see why I like to spend hours swinging and listening to the wind blow in the aspen leaves.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S92JgM4fpsI/AAAAAAAABAI/I1_lYu2nmeQ/s1600/P1000303.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S92JgM4fpsI/AAAAAAAABAI/I1_lYu2nmeQ/s640/P1000303.JPG" tt="true" width="640" /></a></div><br />It doesn't always look quite so barren on the decks - wood, wood and more wood with no color and texture to break it all up.&nbsp; But it's looking that way right now. Last summer we had to rebuild all of our decks. The house was built in 1981, and after 25 years, the decks were collapsing on the hillside.&nbsp; After investing quite a chunk of change, we're so happy with the results.&nbsp; But the project was completed just in time for the fall winds to start blowing, and then we got distracted with back-to-school and ski season.&nbsp; Needless to say, I didn't spend any time putting the finishing touches on my outdoor room.<br /><br />The biggest positive&nbsp;AND negative to this area is the south-facing arrangement.&nbsp; Sun-loving plants grow like crazy in my hanging baskets, but little people get fried from the 10-12 hours of direct sunlight per day.&nbsp; My Mother's Day present last year from the family was a giant umbrella which cranks open and closed and can be angled to block the sun.&nbsp; Boy do I love that thing!&nbsp; It doesn't, however, do anything to help poor parched porch swingers.<br /><br />But these might help.&nbsp; (No, I'm not talking about the shimmering pool or the gorgeous ocean - although those would be nice, too.) I'm talking about the outdoor curtains. Don't you love the way they soften the hard lines of the cabana and the porch posts?<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S92HiHgN5bI/AAAAAAAAA_g/ttm2ncD3thQ/s1600/outdoorcurtains2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="280" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S92HiHgN5bI/AAAAAAAAA_g/ttm2ncD3thQ/s400/outdoorcurtains2.jpg" tt="true" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.outdoorcurtains.net/"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><em>www.outdoorcurtains.net</em></span></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S92H2K82PxI/AAAAAAAAA_o/ewl5tDsH4QA/s1600/img78l.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="360" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S92H2K82PxI/AAAAAAAAA_o/ewl5tDsH4QA/s400/img78l.jpg" tt="true" width="400" /></a></div><div align="center"><a href="http://www.potterybarn.com/"><em><span style="font-size: x-small;">www.potterybarn.com</span></em></a></div><div align="center"><br /></div>BUT (isn't there always a "but"?), outdoor curtains are expensive, and I'm cheap!&nbsp; Serendipitously, Kate over at <a href="http://www.centsationalgirl.com/">Centsational Girl</a> is hosting a giveaway from Saffron Marigold. This India-based company is comprised of artisans who make these beautiful hand-stamped linens.&nbsp; I had never seen&nbsp;Saffron Marigold's&nbsp;work, and I was inspired. Check out their website, and <a href="http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2010/04/luxury-linens-giveaway/">enter Kate's giveaway while you're at it</a>.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S92IW2WAR6I/AAAAAAAAA_4/ug9aj5fb4Kk/s1600/saffronmarigold.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S92IW2WAR6I/AAAAAAAAA_4/ug9aj5fb4Kk/s400/saffronmarigold.jpg" tt="true" width="301" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.saffronmarigold.com/"><em><span style="font-size: x-small;">www.saffronmarigold.com</span></em></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S92ILK2s-QI/AAAAAAAAA_w/Z1Yx1_QB2hw/s1600/G%26P.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="332" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S92ILK2s-QI/AAAAAAAAA_w/Z1Yx1_QB2hw/s400/G%26P.jpg" tt="true" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><em><a href="http://www.galbraithandpaul.com/">http://www.galbraithandpaul.com/</a></em></span></div>I also discovered Galbraith and Paul. Liz Galbraith &amp; Ephraim Paul, are a Philadelphia-based team who make stylish hand-printed textiles of all sorts. I can think of so many places I could use these in my home.<br /><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div>BUT (again, right?), being an avid DIY'er, I started mulling around ways to combine the beauty of hand-printing with the durability and shade-providing quality of outdoor curtains.&nbsp; Could it by done?&nbsp; If Todd Oldham can do it with bed linens, why can't I do it with outdoor curtains?&nbsp; This video is my inspiration:<br /><br /><div align="center"><object height="344" width="425"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/mTGzO5op2sw&hl=en_US&fs=1&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/mTGzO5op2sw&hl=en_US&fs=1&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object></div><br />And I have this book en route from the library. The book, written by Lena Corwin, offers all sorts of tips for hand stamping, silk screening and lots of other fabric-based projects.&nbsp; I can't wait to get it.&nbsp; <a href="http://blog.lenacorwin.com/">Lena also has a blog with lots of tips and great photos</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp;Or&nbsp;you could just stop by her Brooklyn-based studio and&nbsp;sign up for one of her classes.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S92ItUxiBuI/AAAAAAAABAA/AZOjy9jsPCQ/s1600/Printing.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S92ItUxiBuI/AAAAAAAABAA/AZOjy9jsPCQ/s400/Printing.jpg" tt="true" width="366" /></a></div><br />So, I'm off to find some hardy fabric (I'm thinking that the Home Depot drop cloths I've been hearing so much about would be just right) and to rig up a hanging system.&nbsp; Then I can get to stamping.&nbsp; My goal is to have the deck finished by the end of May.&nbsp; The curtains are just the first item on a long to-do list, including painting my Adirondack chairs*, staining and sealing my porch swing* and getting all of my spring planting in order.&nbsp; Then I can enjoy a glass of this:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S92Px9MSdLI/AAAAAAAABAQ/g7TX7BZcox8/s1600/Lemonday.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S92Px9MSdLI/AAAAAAAABAQ/g7TX7BZcox8/s400/Lemonday.jpg" tt="true" width="316" /></a></div><br />*Can you believe that Grandpa Hausfrau, my dad, made my chairs and my porch swing.&nbsp; Such a handy guy!Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-19106239525211115482010-05-01T09:29:00.001-06:002010-05-02T07:29:35.001-06:00Origami Lilies for May Day<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9w7JYmNZbI/AAAAAAAAA-g/meylz9ccRi0/s1600/OrangeLily.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9w7JYmNZbI/AAAAAAAAA-g/meylz9ccRi0/s400/OrangeLily.jpg" tt="true" width="362" /></a><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9w7MmTnyoI/AAAAAAAAA-o/CyUGdzuM2yM/s1600/PinkLily.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9w7MmTnyoI/AAAAAAAAA-o/CyUGdzuM2yM/s400/PinkLily.jpg" tt="true" width="300" /></a></div><br />Happy May Day!&nbsp; These origami lilies are just something I whipped up last night to celebrate spring.&nbsp; <a href="http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-lily.html">I used this tutorial here</a>, and loved the result. I didn't have any origami (washi) paper lying around, so I used astro-bright bond paper (cut to size), and&nbsp;it worked perfectly.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9w8UGmKsnI/AAAAAAAAA-w/FNNrCHeZF98/s1600/roses.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9w8UGmKsnI/AAAAAAAAA-w/FNNrCHeZF98/s400/roses.jpg" tt="true" width="300" /></a></div><br />My first&nbsp;attempt was at making these GORGEOUS Kawasaki&nbsp;roses (can you believe those are made out of paper), but <a href="http://www.josephwu.com/Files/PDF/rose.pdf">the tutorial</a> was way beyond my folding skills, so I gave&nbsp;up that effort and resorted to the&nbsp;beginner-level lilies.&nbsp;&nbsp;Roses or lilies - doesn't matter.&nbsp; They make me happy just the same.&nbsp; <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9w9Az4kMnI/AAAAAAAAA-4/vQssGZU7wDo/s1600/Daisies.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9w9Az4kMnI/AAAAAAAAA-4/vQssGZU7wDo/s640/Daisies.jpg" tt="true" width="640" /></a></div><br />This beautiful little bouquet arrived yesterday from one of my college roommates.&nbsp; What a nice surprise in time for May Day.&nbsp; Thanks, Emily! Any attempt at paper roses made by me could never top the beauty of these yellow roses made by nature anyway.<br /><br />And finally, in sticking with the flower theme for May Day, here's a collection of photos of Dale Chihuly's stunning "Fiori di Como" at the Bellagio in Las Vegas*.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9xBKEW9ojI/AAAAAAAAA_A/wUGPeKKhH8Q/s1600/bellagio.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="488" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9xBKEW9ojI/AAAAAAAAA_A/wUGPeKKhH8Q/s640/bellagio.jpg" tt="true" width="640" /></a></div><br />My husband is in Vegas this weekend&nbsp;at a bachelor party for a college friend.&nbsp; The guys are presumably&nbsp;NOT whiling away the day staring at these gorgeous flowers, but I love to visit this amazing sculpture whenever I'm in Vegas.&nbsp; I makes me think of a whimsical undersea garden that you would find in a Dr. Seuss book.&nbsp; I've always said, that if I had all of the money in the world, I'd put a Chihuly sculpture in my home (and then hire armed guards to keep the kiddos from climbing on it!)<br /><br />With all of these flowers, I'm reminded of my husband's dear grandmother (or G-G) as she was affectionately know by her great-grandchildren. May 1st is her birthday, and she would have been 97 years old today.&nbsp; Her greatest love in life (besides her family) was flowers.&nbsp;How fitting that May Day was her birthday!&nbsp;She even took my husband to a flower arranging class when he was 9 or 10 years old.&nbsp; Every Mother's Day, my husband wakes the kids up early and takes them out into the yard to gather up spring's first wildflowers.&nbsp; I awake to my three boys arranging them in a&nbsp;TINY vase (wildflowers are still pretty sparse in early May at our altitude.) I'm so thankful for the part that this amazing woman had in making my husband the caring man that he is today.&nbsp; Happy Birthday, Florence!&nbsp; Enjoy the flowers.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9xITD69qlI/AAAAAAAAA_I/lUUqSp5fqZ8/s1600/Wildflowers.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="590" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9xITD69qlI/AAAAAAAAA_I/lUUqSp5fqZ8/s640/Wildflowers.jpg" tt="true" width="640" /></a></div><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;">* The lower&nbsp;left Chihuly sculpture is actually at the Indianapolis Children's Museum, but I had to include it anyway.</span>Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-34297474158375981332010-04-30T13:13:00.000-06:002010-04-30T13:13:10.525-06:00Mother's Day Gift from Etsy.comMy&nbsp;sweet husband got me an early Mother's Day present, and I just had to share:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9sjnQggCeI/AAAAAAAAA-A/6WkGXKd3_LY/s1600/FinalRing.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="510" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9sjnQggCeI/AAAAAAAAA-A/6WkGXKd3_LY/s640/FinalRing.jpg" tt="true" width="640" /></a></div><br />Ever since I spotted a set of stacking rings in the window of a jewelry store in Salt Lake City, I've been in love with the idea of simple rings that stack up to make a statement.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9sqFcgeeHI/AAAAAAAAA-Q/Mrv0jMLgVRA/s1600/jewelbasket_2103_156950481.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9sqFcgeeHI/AAAAAAAAA-Q/Mrv0jMLgVRA/s320/jewelbasket_2103_156950481.jpg" tt="true" /></a></div><br /><br />This was 5 years ago, and I filed that idea away in the "someday" category.&nbsp; Then one night while surfing <a href="http://etsy.com/">Etsy.com</a>, I stumbled upon this ring from <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/hmd231975?section_id=6680751">Heather Duncan</a>.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9sm6NYEuJI/AAAAAAAAA-I/H6TWVtmGoZ0/s1600/RedRings.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="340" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9sm6NYEuJI/AAAAAAAAA-I/H6TWVtmGoZ0/s640/RedRings.jpg" tt="true" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><em><span style="font-size: x-small;">Designed and created by <a href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/37917644/mothers-day-sterling-stacking-ring-set">Heather Duncan Designs</a></span></em></div><br />I love the simplicity of the design, but wasn't sure that I needed red rings.&nbsp; I started thinking how beautiful and simple this set would be as a birthstone ring(s).&nbsp; And what a wonderful Mother's Day present.&nbsp; I had an online convo with Heather and told her about my ideas.&nbsp; She selected the right stones, worked up the hammered style and handcrafted the set.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9sqKC2i4oI/AAAAAAAAA-Y/UneGEG06NTU/s1600/Stones.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="307" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9sqKC2i4oI/AAAAAAAAA-Y/UneGEG06NTU/s400/Stones.jpg" tt="true" width="400" /></a></div><br />The result is just what I wanted: simple, elegant and heartfelt.&nbsp; I have some amber (the same color as a golden topaz) for my November birthday. The blueish stone stands for Aquamarine (to symbolize my oldest son's March birthday).&nbsp; The white stone simulates Pearl or Moonstone (to symbolize my youngest son's and my husband's June birthdays).&nbsp; <br /><br />My favorite thing about it is that it's handmade by Heather.&nbsp; Etsy has spearheaded a DIY revolution, and I love checking out all of the new things that creative people are making.&nbsp; Now I just have to stop wearing it long enough so that my husband can wrap it up and give it to me next weekend.&nbsp; Do you have a favorite Mother's Day gift that you've given or received? I'd love to hear about it.Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-28768494477820329662010-04-29T15:05:00.003-06:002010-04-29T15:07:30.401-06:00Mother's Day Wish ListAfter making my <a href="http://www.handyhausfrau.com/2010/04/household-notebook-with-listplanitcom.html">June, July, August calendar yesterday for my Household Notebook</a>, I have summer on the brain.&nbsp; Picnics, hiking, lazy dinners on the deck.&nbsp; I can't wait - especially since we had three inches of snow this morning.&nbsp; Since there happens to be a holiday coming up (hint, hint - Mother's Day), I thought I've give you a look at my Mother's Day/Summer fun wish list.<br /><br />I love this <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001V9LBP2/ref=s9_simh_gw_p79_i2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;pf_rd_s=center-4&amp;pf_rd_r=1TYNBCW5W9BK86E6EV8W&amp;pf_rd_t=101&amp;pf_rd_p=470939031&amp;pf_rd_i=507846">Picnic Plus Shelby Collapsible Insulated Shopping Tote that I found on Amazon.com:</a><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9nwMe8vUvI/AAAAAAAAA9I/bFs6sVaa4K0/s1600/insulatedcooler.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9nwMe8vUvI/AAAAAAAAA9I/bFs6sVaa4K0/s320/insulatedcooler.jpg" tt="true" /></a></div><br />We have an insulated cooler, but it's seen much better days and it doesn't have this cute summery print.&nbsp; This would be perfect for our outings to the concerts at the lake.&nbsp; And what else do you need for a picnic outing to the lake?&nbsp; Somewhere to sit.&nbsp; I find myself jealously eyeing the nylon-backed blankets of others while I'm spreading out my old plaid stadium blanket and counting the minutes until the evening due starts seeping through the bottom.&nbsp; This portable picnic blanket is called the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007YDCKO/ref=s9_simh_gw_p200_i3?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;pf_rd_s=center-3&amp;pf_rd_r=1TYNBCW5W9BK86E6EV8W&amp;pf_rd_t=101&amp;pf_rd_p=470938811&amp;pf_rd_i=507846">Tuffo Water-Resistant Outdoor Blanket with Carrying Case</a>.&nbsp; I love the dot pattern, and it also comes in the fun daisy print further down:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9nwQb7MkaI/AAAAAAAAA9Q/lqi60bwj5yQ/s1600/PicnicBlanket.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9nwQb7MkaI/AAAAAAAAA9Q/lqi60bwj5yQ/s320/PicnicBlanket.jpg" tt="true" /></a><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9nwTfRYnaI/AAAAAAAAA9Y/VZeBp_4GkQ0/s1600/PicnicBlanket2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9nwTfRYnaI/AAAAAAAAA9Y/VZeBp_4GkQ0/s320/PicnicBlanket2.jpg" tt="true" /></a><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9nwg66hbzI/AAAAAAAAA9g/XPfbWpMr37g/s1600/PicnicBlanket3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9nwg66hbzI/AAAAAAAAA9g/XPfbWpMr37g/s320/PicnicBlanket3.jpg" tt="true" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Have you seen these?&nbsp; This <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002E3PM90/ref=s9_simh_gw_p79_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;pf_rd_s=center-4&amp;pf_rd_r=1TYNBCW5W9BK86E6EV8W&amp;pf_rd_t=101&amp;pf_rd_p=470939031&amp;pf_rd_i=507846">Reisenthel Germany Collapsible Bag or Market Basket</a> would be perfect for our weekly&nbsp;trips to the farmer's market.&nbsp;I think the Baroque pattern in chocolate and&nbsp;white is so elegant.</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9nwkU0aoUI/AAAAAAAAA9o/jm41sxT_7dY/s1600/Reisenthal+Market+Basket.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9nwkU0aoUI/AAAAAAAAA9o/jm41sxT_7dY/s320/Reisenthal+Market+Basket.jpg" tt="true" /></a></div><br /><br />That's it for me.&nbsp; Just a few things I'm drooling over to help kick summer off with a bang.&nbsp; How about you? What things make your summer a little bit more fun?Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-11676902017955566752010-04-28T15:04:00.000-06:002010-04-28T15:04:50.202-06:00Household Notebook with ListPlanIt.comYesterday, I finally got myself organized and created a household notebook.&nbsp; This thing is packed with lists and calendars and everything I need to at least fool myself into thinking I'm running an organized house.&nbsp; Here's the cover:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9iZ9fnGZOI/AAAAAAAAA7g/UQTNE5aLToc/s1600/Notebook.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9iZ9fnGZOI/AAAAAAAAA7g/UQTNE5aLToc/s640/Notebook.jpg" tt="true" width="510" /></a></div><br />Lately I've been seeing <a href="http://listplanit.com/">ListPlanIt.com</a> all over the digital world.&nbsp; This is a business founded by Jennifer Tankersley,&nbsp;a mom who has created hundreds of lists.&nbsp; I have been entering contests like a crazy person trying to win a subscription to List PlanIt, but to no avail.&nbsp; So I finally broke down and spent the money for my own subscription.&nbsp; Let me tell you, it was so worth it.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9icoWjEsGI/AAAAAAAAA9A/IJLXE5OSn1M/s1600/listplanitlogo.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="182" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9icoWjEsGI/AAAAAAAAA9A/IJLXE5OSn1M/s640/listplanitlogo.jpg" tt="true" width="640" /></a></div><br />Many of these lists are things that you could create on your own, but the point is, who has the time to format and create all of these things?&nbsp; And Jennifer thinks of things that you might not.&nbsp; My favorite is the 21 Meals list.&nbsp; Jennifer claims that every cook has approximately 21 meals in their regular repertoire.&nbsp; It sounds so simple, but having all of these listed in one spot with recipe locations and favorite side dishes listed next to them makes my meal planning so easy.&nbsp; I don't have to be inspired.&nbsp; I turn to 21 Meals and fill in my Weekly Meal Planning Calendar with the ideas I find.&nbsp; Love it!<br /><br />After I paid for my subscription, I needed to create a cover for my notebook.&nbsp; I found a beautiful graphic at <a href="http://pixelgirlpresents.com/">Pixelgirl Presents</a>. This website has free downloads submitted by hundreds of talented artists.&nbsp; You can use them as desktop graphics.&nbsp;&nbsp; Like these:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9iaRluFsnI/AAAAAAAAA7w/oudXi6-XS_I/s1600/vladstudio_save_the_planet_1600x1200.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9iaRluFsnI/AAAAAAAAA7w/oudXi6-XS_I/s320/vladstudio_save_the_planet_1600x1200.jpg" tt="true" /></a><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9iaXcArNaI/AAAAAAAAA74/kHCQMS2N8a8/s1600/fallleaves_1280.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9iaXcArNaI/AAAAAAAAA74/kHCQMS2N8a8/s320/fallleaves_1280.jpg" tt="true" /></a><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9iabisJ8yI/AAAAAAAAA8A/KqXcFfcemP4/s1600/Lazy_Days_by_Blackmago.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9iabisJ8yI/AAAAAAAAA8A/KqXcFfcemP4/s320/Lazy_Days_by_Blackmago.jpg" tt="true" /></a></div><br />Or as backgrounds for your iPhone. Like these:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9iaiKpKLBI/AAAAAAAAA8I/LjT2NRBVlPo/s1600/vladstudio_trombombone_320x480.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9iaiKpKLBI/AAAAAAAAA8I/LjT2NRBVlPo/s320/vladstudio_trombombone_320x480.jpg" tt="true" /></a><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9ialoakFTI/AAAAAAAAA8Q/jV7TFOV4MXs/s1600/a302_005.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9ialoakFTI/AAAAAAAAA8Q/jV7TFOV4MXs/s320/a302_005.jpg" tt="true" /></a><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9iaqxsaETI/AAAAAAAAA8Y/Yz2-SuUKTOo/s1600/vladstudio_wherejellybeansareborn_320x480.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9iaqxsaETI/AAAAAAAAA8Y/Yz2-SuUKTOo/s320/vladstudio_wherejellybeansareborn_320x480.jpg" tt="true" /></a><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9iatsNs1oI/AAAAAAAAA8g/bEjq15wXgRc/s1600/a302_011_0.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9iatsNs1oI/AAAAAAAAA8g/bEjq15wXgRc/s320/a302_011_0.jpg" tt="true" /></a></div><br />I downloaded one called <a href="http://pixelgirlpresents.com/node/1697">"Melons" by artist, David Hoe</a>,&nbsp;found a fun font for a title&nbsp;and printed it off.&nbsp; The storybook font that I found combined with the whimsical graphic makes me think of those Shel Silverstein books I used to read endlessly as a kid:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9iaBhlCWFI/AAAAAAAAA7o/SNxX9CJ09r4/s1600/Cover.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9iaBhlCWFI/AAAAAAAAA7o/SNxX9CJ09r4/s640/Cover.jpg" tt="true" width="494" /></a></div><br />Then a quick trip to <a href="http://www.staples.com/">Staples</a> provided these stylish file folders.&nbsp; At $0.69/ea they didn't break the bank, and because I cut them in half, I actually got 12 dividers for the price of six.&nbsp; I trimmed them to size and printed off labels for each of my categories: Home, Family, School/Activities, Meal Planning, Condo (our ski condo renovation project), Hobbies, Business.&nbsp; You can see I put Business on a plain old manila file folder.&nbsp; Just a way to show you, you can use simple dividers as well.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9iazelRlDI/AAAAAAAAA8o/i2nftebQiSY/s1600/Dividers.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9iazelRlDI/AAAAAAAAA8o/i2nftebQiSY/s640/Dividers.jpg" tt="true" width="480" /></a></div><br />Then I got to work filling in and printing off calendars, charts and lists from ListPlanIt.&nbsp; I felt so inspired after filling out the Weekend Activities chart and seeing the Summer Calendar.&nbsp; I put together my own Excel spreadsheet with all of our summer activities.&nbsp; My kiddos and I brainstormed last night at dinner everything we wanted to do this summer.&nbsp;We decided to have Hiking Tuesdays, Concert Wednesdays and Playdate Thursdays. When my husband gets home from his business trip, he can help us fill in the weekend activities for just family.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9ia4cjTmxI/AAAAAAAAA8w/KMn6g6AyA-k/s1600/Calendar.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9ia4cjTmxI/AAAAAAAAA8w/KMn6g6AyA-k/s640/Calendar.jpg" tt="true" width="640" /></a></div><br />Living in Colorado, we have tons of amazing hiking trails just outside our door.&nbsp; Our little town offers free concerts all summer long at the lake, and we like to throw in a few "down-the-hill" activities.&nbsp; We call anything in Denver "down-the-hill" because that's the direction we have to go to get there.&nbsp; I emailed this calendar to all of my fun mom friends.&nbsp; The result is that our family will always have weekday activities, and most likely we'll have lots of fun friends to join us.<br /><br />Meanwhile, I'm off to fill in my Blog Posts for the Month page to ensure that they'll be some exciting projects coming up at The Handy Hausfrau.Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-16457198006262672322010-04-27T10:44:00.001-06:002010-04-27T10:52:07.854-06:00My 2-Year Old is Reading?Posting has been sparse for the past few days.&nbsp; We've been busy at our house trying to get on top of projects and live life at the same time.&nbsp; My five-year old had his first tee-ball practices and game, we hit the slopes for one last weekend of skiing and I've been spring cleaning/organizing in preparation for summer fun.<br /><br />Meanwhile, I discovered this fabulous book and had to share.&nbsp; My five-year old is in his second year of preschool.&nbsp; He knows his letters and has been working on the beginning and ending sounds of words all year.&nbsp; He also loves reading - to be read to, mind you.&nbsp; He detests the idea of reading on his own.&nbsp; He hasn't admitted this, but I'm fairly certain it's because he's terrified that we'll stop reading to him if he learns to read on his own.&nbsp; But he's so ready, I thought I would try an experiment.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9cNkTtDJGI/AAAAAAAAA6w/rKXdOG23b0w/s1600/Fulllineup.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="412" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9cNkTtDJGI/AAAAAAAAA6w/rKXdOG23b0w/s640/Fulllineup.jpg" tt="true" width="640" /></a></div><br />The book that I found is called "Teach Your Child to Read in Just 10 Minutes a Day."&nbsp; Now, there are a million philosophies out there about reading, and they seem to change every year as new educators push for something else to be en vogue.&nbsp; I think whatever helps a kid learn to read is the right method for them.&nbsp; Personally, I'm a huge proponent of phonics because that's the way I learned to read, and I think it provides the foundation for discovering new words once you've learned the sounds and concepts.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9cNrRDRmbI/AAAAAAAAA64/e_OiiL0YC-E/s1600/BookCover.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9cNrRDRmbI/AAAAAAAAA64/e_OiiL0YC-E/s400/BookCover.jpg" tt="true" width="261" /></a></div>This book is billed as a "simplified phonic reading program."&nbsp; The part that I loved about Ledson's philosophy is that you don't need a lot of fancy supplies or tools and he stresses that the most important thing is to keep it fun.&nbsp; They didn't have the book in our library system, so I resorted to buying it.&nbsp; It was listed at $22 on Amazon.com, but I downloaded it for $8.99 on Kindle or the Kindle app for iPhone.&nbsp; I won't go into too much detail here (you can read the book if you're interested).&nbsp; I will tell you that I've been doing this program with my kids for 4 days and my oldest son IS READING!&nbsp; Not just the words in the program, but words in other books, words on street signs, words on cereal boxes.<br /><br />The supplies were simple.&nbsp; I used a stack of printer paper and a box of old business card that have an outdated cell phone number on them.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9cN01LmvdI/AAAAAAAAA7A/6eRrAZrNS-Q/s1600/BusinessCards.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9cN01LmvdI/AAAAAAAAA7A/6eRrAZrNS-Q/s640/BusinessCards.jpg" tt="true" width="480" /></a></div><br />Here's the stack of all of the words and sounds that my oldest is reading. The business cards are a great size because I can throw them in my purse and take them with us when we go places.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9cN7vWdeDI/AAAAAAAAA7I/smllwTxJ1PM/s1600/Stack.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9cN7vWdeDI/AAAAAAAAA7I/smllwTxJ1PM/s640/Stack.jpg" tt="true" width="640" /></a></div><br />Ledson has a philosophy about when to introduce lowercase letters.&nbsp; You start with uppercase letters and ease into words with all lowercase or a combination of upper and lowercase. Here's a smattering of words in different sizes.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9cOBrMUVwI/AAAAAAAAA7Q/GQSIF0_4CbQ/s1600/Fan.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="344" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9cOBrMUVwI/AAAAAAAAA7Q/GQSIF0_4CbQ/s640/Fan.jpg" tt="true" width="640" /></a></div><br />The part that my kids love?&nbsp; We cut an egg carton in half and set it out on a piece of cardboard.&nbsp; Each egg cup gets filled with a little treat.&nbsp; We're using chocolate chips, cheddar goldfish crackers and peanuts.&nbsp; They also love peppermint M&amp;Ms.&nbsp; You can use whatever snacks you'd like.&nbsp; I don't feel guilty because my kids are only eating chocolate chips on every third word.&nbsp; The important thing is that the kids love the little snacks and ask all day long when we can play the "Food Game" again.&nbsp; It's not the "Reading Game" - that would be too much like work.&nbsp; It's the Food Game!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9cOKP0CWnI/AAAAAAAAA7Y/2wgn6UgOeY0/s1600/Closeup.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S9cOKP0CWnI/AAAAAAAAA7Y/2wgn6UgOeY0/s640/Closeup.jpg" tt="true" width="640" /></a></div><br />Using food is only a small part of the different reading activities.&nbsp; Again, check out the book if you're interested in the full run-down.&nbsp; My kids love all of the activities - but especially the "Food Game."&nbsp; Notice I'm saying kids (plural).&nbsp; I started the program with my 5-year old, but of course, the 2-year old wanted to join in.&nbsp; He is also reading.&nbsp; Not quite as many words as his brother.&nbsp; Once we started adding in lots of vowel and consonant sounds, he started to get more confused, but he loves playing along and often shouts out "Pup" or "Dad" before his older brother can finish sounding out the word.<br /><br />It's been a fun afternoon activity, and I can't tell you how excited the oldest was last night when I pulled out Dr. Seuss'&nbsp;"Hop on Pop" before bed and he read multiple sentences in the book - even ones with words he hasn't learned.&nbsp; Something clicked - thanks to the magic of phonics and peppermint M&amp;Ms - and the world of reading has just started opening up in his mind.Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-28032300725671369042010-04-21T21:37:00.000-06:002010-04-21T21:37:49.645-06:00Chickens at 8000 Feet?<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8-8qG2CjvI/AAAAAAAAA5o/3_lwU4tH62Y/s1600/Chicken4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8-8qG2CjvI/AAAAAAAAA5o/3_lwU4tH62Y/s640/Chicken4.jpg" width="480" wt="true" /></a></div><br />We spent our spring break visiting with my brother's family in North Carolina.&nbsp; Some of their dear friends have chickens.&nbsp; The friends were away for the week, and my brother and his family were in charge of collecting the eggs and feeding/watering the chickens.<br /><br />I have to admit - I loved the chickens!&nbsp; First of all, they were beautiful birds.&nbsp; Secondly, I loved the educational opportunities that raising chickens presents for my kids.&nbsp; You have to understand that I'm a homeschooling parent trapped in a public schooling body.&nbsp; My kids go to public school, and I love everything about their experience.&nbsp; At the same time, I'm always excited by opportunities to supplement their education when they don't know they're being taught.<br /><br />I think raising chickens would be an amazing educational experience - not to mention how much I (and my neighbors) would enjoy having fresh eggs to eat.<br /><br />Check out how rapt my kids were with the chickens.&nbsp; I couldn't tear my youngest away from the coop:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8-9BuD4zdI/AAAAAAAAA5w/mrQqtcujRqk/s1600/Chicken2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8-9BuD4zdI/AAAAAAAAA5w/mrQqtcujRqk/s640/Chicken2.jpg" width="480" wt="true" /></a></div><br />Here's my sister-in-law holding holding my youngest while he reaches in to search for an egg.&nbsp; He managed to find one and crush it minutes later in his less-than-gentle 2-year-old hands (but that's beside the point.)<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8-9YcelsYI/AAAAAAAAA54/zrY0mekfq8U/s1600/Chicken3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8-9YcelsYI/AAAAAAAAA54/zrY0mekfq8U/s640/Chicken3.jpg" width="480" wt="true" /></a></div><br />And here's my brother doing a dance to guide the chickens back to their coop.&nbsp; My brother brought a whole new meaning to the term "chicken dance."<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8-9iGbkE9I/AAAAAAAAA6A/OluBeZhqKl0/s1600/Chickens.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8-9iGbkE9I/AAAAAAAAA6A/OluBeZhqKl0/s640/Chickens.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br />Here's the catch.&nbsp; We live in a semi-rural area at an elevation of 8000 feet.&nbsp; I have two major questions.&nbsp; How do I keep the chickens from freezing during our many&nbsp;sub-zero nights (without bringing them into my house)? And, how do I keep the fox, mountain lion and bear&nbsp;(which we see regularly) from eating my chickens.&nbsp; These are the questions that have prevented me from getting my own egg-laying creatures.<br /><br />In honor of Earth Day, I've been reading several books about simplifying and "greening up" my life.&nbsp; These are both great reads which I highly recommend.&nbsp; <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8-93DyZbZI/AAAAAAAAA6I/D1NzZdarmts/s1600/ruralrenaissance.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8-93DyZbZI/AAAAAAAAA6I/D1NzZdarmts/s320/ruralrenaissance.jpg" width="266" wt="true" /></a><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8--zi_iUrI/AAAAAAAAA6Q/IBtYUht6mWM/s1600/putyourlife.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8--zi_iUrI/AAAAAAAAA6Q/IBtYUht6mWM/s320/putyourlife.jpg" wt="true" /></a></div><em>Rural Renaissance</em> provides lots of suggestion about utilizing wind power, growing your own food and raising livestock.&nbsp; <em>Put Your Life on&nbsp;a Diet</em> presents more of a minimalist approach to life in a rural setting - Greg Johnson, the author, gave up his 2,000-sqaure foot home and built a 140-square foot room in which he lives.&nbsp; Both of these books have wonderful suggestions for living a simpler life.&nbsp; However, neither one provides much insight as to how to keep my potential houseguests, the chickens, alive in our wild mountain community.&nbsp; <br /><br />Do any of you raise livestock? Any suggestions for maintaining the chickens' quality of life at altitude?Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-25865076842212625462010-04-20T07:57:00.000-06:002010-04-20T07:57:15.203-06:00Fabric Covered Composition NotebookI never go anywhere without a notebook.&nbsp; Being a writer and a journalist (I know those things sound the same, but they're not most of the time) I can't exist without a notebook.&nbsp; I'm constantly scribbling down quotes from a source for a story or jotting down ideas that come to me for my fiction.&nbsp; I think it also goes back to when I read "Harriet the Spy" as a kid.&nbsp; I loved the fact that Harriet never went anywhere without a notebook.&nbsp; I'm not a junior detective, but writers are nosy by nature, so I guess by some definitions, I am a detective.&nbsp; The junior is questionable at this age, though.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S80p4xZrVuI/AAAAAAAAA4w/iorTRx05IBg/s1600/Fabric.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S80p4xZrVuI/AAAAAAAAA4w/iorTRx05IBg/s640/Fabric.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br />Those old-school composition notebooks are the perfect size to fit into a bag or my purse and streamlined so that I'm not unwrapping a mangled metal spiral from everything I own.&nbsp; They are not, however, the most attractive alternative. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S80qDxmm56I/AAAAAAAAA44/naUiGUQDpiY/s1600/notebook.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S80qDxmm56I/AAAAAAAAA44/naUiGUQDpiY/s640/notebook.jpg" width="480" wt="true" /></a></div><br />Admittedly, they've tried to liven up the original black-and-white design, but the orange-and-black cow print isn't really my favorite either.&nbsp; With a few minutes, some patience during drying time and some extra fabric, you can have a cute notebook to carry around on all of your junior detective adventures.<br /><br />Here's what I started with:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S80qIND0UzI/AAAAAAAAA5A/gVLtOvxUkUs/s1600/supplies.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S80qIND0UzI/AAAAAAAAA5A/gVLtOvxUkUs/s640/supplies.jpg" width="480" wt="true" /></a></div><br />I found this fabric in the remnant bin at Jo-Ann fabric when I was <a href="http://www.handyhausfrau.com/2010/04/dollar-store-diy-dishcloth-beachbag.html">hunting for grosgrain ribbon for the Dishcloth Beach Bag last week</a>.&nbsp; Fabric stores tend to overwhelm me - too many choices in one spot and antsy kiddos that don't allow for leisurely browsing.&nbsp; But the remnant bin is ALWAYS my friend.&nbsp; I discover colors and patterns that I may never have pulled off the rack myself, but I end up loving them.&nbsp; And with mostly small cuts, I can spend $1.29 (like I did for this floral pattern) and not break the bank for my experiments.<br /><br />Doesn't it make you think of an Asian woodcut?&nbsp; I love the delicate pink and the bright pops of red. First step was to iron the wrinkles out of the fabric.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S80qQO4c90I/AAAAAAAAA5I/HvMeY3TPOyM/s1600/pattern.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S80qQO4c90I/AAAAAAAAA5I/HvMeY3TPOyM/s640/pattern.jpg" width="480" wt="true" /></a></div><br />With many fabrics, you could apply them directly to the notebook, but my fabric was extremely thin and the orange-and-black cow would be peeking through.&nbsp; So I cut two pieces of plain white bond paper (printer paper) to the exact size of the notebook's covers.&nbsp; I applied a thin layer of ModPodge and waited until it was tacky.&nbsp; This helps reduce bubbles in your paper or fabric.&nbsp; If you lay your paper down while the ModPodge is still very wet, your papers will tend to bubble and pucker.&nbsp; Wait a few extra minutes until the surface is tacky, and you'll save yourself a lot of frustration.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S80qWFku9dI/AAAAAAAAA5Q/yMjhIIny2xk/s1600/modpodge.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S80qWFku9dI/AAAAAAAAA5Q/yMjhIIny2xk/s640/modpodge.jpg" width="526" wt="true" /></a></div><br />Here you can see the white paper applied to the front cover.&nbsp; I&nbsp;put the notebook on the fabric and trimmed a piece to the approximate size of the notebook.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S80qblF-ZFI/AAAAAAAAA5Y/cIXIJSyU3yk/s1600/whitecut.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S80qblF-ZFI/AAAAAAAAA5Y/cIXIJSyU3yk/s640/whitecut.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br />Then I used the ModPodge again and&nbsp;applied the fabric directly onto the white paper.&nbsp; Work slowly and smooth as you go.&nbsp; Fold the straight edge of the fabric under the tiniest bit and but it up against the black tape on the notebook.&nbsp; This will give you a clean edge.&nbsp; You can always go back and apply a strip of black electrical tape to cover the raw edge if it shows through. In the case of this notebook, folding the extra under worked fine. Wrap the outer edge of the fabric over to the inside of the cover and use ModPodge to seal it down.<br /><br />After the fabric dries, apply a layer of ModPodge to seal the fabric on the outside of the notebook.&nbsp; To maintain the soft feel of the fabric, you can skip this step, but I like to seal the fabric with a second coat.<br /><br />Then I found this extra piece of 12"x12" scrapbook paper.&nbsp; Trim to size so that it will cover the raw edges that you wrapped around to the inside.&nbsp; Use ModPodge to attach the paper:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S80qhRBnF_I/AAAAAAAAA5g/YpqfY7YjyfU/s1600/Lining.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S80qhRBnF_I/AAAAAAAAA5g/YpqfY7YjyfU/s640/Lining.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br />Here's the final product.&nbsp; A simple project that makes me smile everytime I pull it out of my bag to write down my super-secret spy notes!&nbsp; Tee-hee.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S80p4xZrVuI/AAAAAAAAA4w/iorTRx05IBg/s1600/Fabric.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S80p4xZrVuI/AAAAAAAAA4w/iorTRx05IBg/s640/Fabric.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div>Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com5tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-12159058527991633402010-04-19T21:39:00.000-06:002010-04-19T21:39:01.036-06:00Oilcloth-Lined Bag Giveaway WinnersI'm pleased to announce the winners of the Oilcloth-Lined Shoulder Bag giveaway.&nbsp; Thank you to all who entered, and stay tuned for an upcoming giveaway next month.&nbsp; <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S80e5aNGPpI/AAAAAAAAA4o/uPHQzk_T_eA/s1600/purses.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S80e5aNGPpI/AAAAAAAAA4o/uPHQzk_T_eA/s640/purses.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br />Meanwhile, the winners were selected using Random.org. The first winner is Heather who blogs at <a href="http://tsosiebunch.blogspot.com/">Tsosie and Peterson Bunch</a>. Heather has a super cute blog design and blogs about the life and times of her family. Check out her cute video of her daughter learning to ride a two-wheel bike with no training wheels. Wish I could wean my just-turned-five-year old off of his training wheels.<br /><br />Winner #2 is Honey at <a href="http://mondorfment.blogspot.com/">Mondorfment</a>. Mondorfment stands for Mon(tessori)(Wal)dorf(Attach)ment Parenting.&nbsp; Honey is the mother of three kiddos and posts all kinds of great homeschooling and parenting tips. Hop on over and check out her blog.<br /><br />Thanks to all who entered the contest, and enjoy your bags, girls!Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-72162810373532342582010-04-15T08:31:00.001-06:002010-04-15T17:55:59.957-06:00Sample Fabric from Spoonflower.comHave you ever dreamed of creating your own fabrics like the ones created by <a href="http://howaboutorange.blogspot.com/">Jessica at How About Orange</a>? (I love her fabrics.)&nbsp;And I absolutely&nbsp;LOVE the way <a href="http://knockoffwood.blogspot.com/">Ana at Knockoff Wood</a> uses Jessica's fabrics in her sample plans. I think those two girls should team up to create some custom furniture of their own - it would sell like hotcakes.<br /><br />A few months ago, I surfed over to <a href="http://www.spoonflower.com/">Spoonflower Fabrics</a> and tried my hand at creating my own swatches:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8PgJb3SVfI/AAAAAAAAA1E/v-WgNrPbcsM/s1600/Spoonflower1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="468" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8PgJb3SVfI/AAAAAAAAA1E/v-WgNrPbcsM/s640/Spoonflower1.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br />Spoonflower was having a one-day trial to create two free swatches.&nbsp; On non-deal days, their swatches are $5/ea., so still reasonably priced.&nbsp; I experimented with two different fabrics.&nbsp; <br /><br />The first&nbsp;was printed on Organic Cotton Sateen which sells for&nbsp;$27/yard. I use these tags in my sewing projects that I give as gifts.&nbsp; Monkey Do Designs came about several years ago when I was in the heart of toddler-hood with both kiddos (at 5 and almost 3 years old, I guess I'm still in the heart of it!).&nbsp; On long car trips (we take several cross-country trips a year to visit family in the Midwest) I would hop between the carseats, strap on the seatbelt and commence with soothing and entertaining.&nbsp; We joke that Mommy is "playing trained monkey" again.&nbsp; Dance Mommy monkey, sing Mommy monkey...anything to make the miles go faster!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8PgQjglJcI/AAAAAAAAA1M/sU5mtHtlFfQ/s1600/Spoonflower2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8PgQjglJcI/AAAAAAAAA1M/sU5mtHtlFfQ/s640/Spoonflower2.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br />Monkey Do Designs was born.&nbsp; Get it? Monkey See, Monkey Do.&nbsp; It was fun to see this little logo printed on something so official. Now I just cut them out and sew them into the seams of bags and bibs that I create.<br /><br />This second pattern was nothing more than an experiment in fun.&nbsp; I love the colors of the sunset - deep reds, rusty oranges and golden yellows.&nbsp; Reminds me of Tuscany or watching the sunset over the canyons of the Southwest.&nbsp; I created this stripe pattern in Adobe Illustrator and threw in the white lollipops/trees for some visual interest.&nbsp; The colors didn't print true to my design.&nbsp; These are much more bright than I intended, but I can't complain since this was a free experiement.&nbsp; I printed this on Upholstery Weight Cotton Twill which sells for $32/yard.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8PgWPRM8MI/AAAAAAAAA1U/9rwY3lq89lY/s1600/Spoonflower3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8PgWPRM8MI/AAAAAAAAA1U/9rwY3lq89lY/s640/Spoonflower3.jpg" width="480" wt="true" /></a></div><br />Wouldn't it make a cute tote bag for that little girl in your life who is the embodiment of the word "firecracker"?&nbsp;If you'd like to create your own fabric, head on over to <a href="http://www.spoonflower.com/">Spoonflower</a>:<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8ciK5yZuSI/AAAAAAAAA4g/4_mqBSq0KxI/s1600/home_collage-small.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="492" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8ciK5yZuSI/AAAAAAAAA4g/4_mqBSq0KxI/s640/home_collage-small.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div>They also have some beautiful fabrics created by their customers which are available for purchase by the general public.&nbsp; Don't-cha just love the lollipop flower change purse?&nbsp; What's your favorite?Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-69591384377027758612010-04-13T15:01:00.003-06:002010-04-13T19:41:05.251-06:00Dollar Store DIY Dishcloth Beachbag<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8TLSi6a44I/AAAAAAAAA3U/g9XHwJR_TVM/s1600/FinishedBag.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8TLSi6a44I/AAAAAAAAA3U/g9XHwJR_TVM/s640/FinishedBag.jpg" width="472" wt="true" /></a></div><br />Many of the responses to <a href="http://www.handyhausfrau.com/2010/04/oilcloth-lined-bag-giveaway.html">my oilcloth-lined bag giveaway </a>have included comments about taking the bags to the beach.&nbsp; Reading these comments left me dreaming of whiling away the hours on some sandy beach with a thick book and a cold drink.&nbsp; These daydreams have been an ever-present thought the last few days.&nbsp; So, it's no surprise that when I passed the dishtowel section at Dollar Tree yesterday,&nbsp;I immediately had a vision of a&nbsp;cheap and easy bag to sling over my shoulder and carry my flips flops and beachtowels.<br /><br />I knew that these green and blue microfiber cloths would be perfect for a washable beach bag that could handle getting doused on the deck of a speedboat, too.&nbsp; Then I spotted these waffle-weave dishtowels with the striped trim.&nbsp; All those blues and greens, bright oranges and yellow took my snow-weary brain straight to Mexico.&nbsp;Of course, I couldn't tell how big any of the cloths were without tearing the tags off right there in the store, so I figured I would take my chances.&nbsp; Total spent: $4.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8TLaZATTPI/AAAAAAAAA3c/iuRig-Vc9lA/s1600/Supplies.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8TLaZATTPI/AAAAAAAAA3c/iuRig-Vc9lA/s640/Supplies.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br />I ran next door to Jo-Ann Fabric and found this adorable polka-dotted grosgrain ribbon for $3.50/roll. What whimsical handles this ribbon would make! And I had a gift card left from my birthday.&nbsp; Total spent at Jo-Ann: $0 (and I found some adorable fabric in the remnant bin - stay tuned for the cute projects I have planned for those.)<br /><br />I got everything home and measured each towel. The microfiber cloths were 14"x14" and the dishtowels were considerably larger.&nbsp; Using my rotary cutter, I cut off the striped trim on each dishtowel.&nbsp; The width of this determined how much of each microfiber towel I would use.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8TLlaikNeI/AAAAAAAAA3k/D3x9yfvO6ys/s1600/Trim.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8TLlaikNeI/AAAAAAAAA3k/D3x9yfvO6ys/s640/Trim.jpg" width="480" wt="true" /></a></div><br />I pinned the waffle-weave trim to a blue microfiber cloth and stitched it with right sides facing up.&nbsp; Don't worry about rough edges, because the top edge will be folded in when you turn the lined bag inside out. Then I determined the amount of green microfiber cloth I wanted for my bag's base.&nbsp; I pinned right sides together and sewed across to make one long piece of fabric.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8TLuFc65TI/AAAAAAAAA3s/r2IT0iG66Ao/s1600/Pieces.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8TLuFc65TI/AAAAAAAAA3s/r2IT0iG66Ao/s640/Pieces.jpg" width="480" wt="true" /></a></div><br />When placing the striped trim, I used the finished edge of the dishtowel for the bottom edge of the trim.&nbsp; Consequently, I just needed to top stitch this finished edge carefully to&nbsp;complete the top of the bag.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8TL2s2_uwI/AAAAAAAAA30/Rt22NnNOles/s1600/Topstitch.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8TL2s2_uwI/AAAAAAAAA30/Rt22NnNOles/s640/Topstitch.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br />Here's one finished side of the outer part of the bag.&nbsp; I made an identical panel for the other side.&nbsp; And finally, I cut one 2.5" square out of each bottom corner.&nbsp;&nbsp;These were&nbsp;used to create the bag's square bottom. The total finished panel was 14" wide x 22" tall.&nbsp; I used the remainder of the waffle-weave dishtowels to create two panels that would make up the inside lining of the bag.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8TMArndBUI/AAAAAAAAA38/aWYn7RE5GyQ/s1600/Outer.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="602" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8TMArndBUI/AAAAAAAAA38/aWYn7RE5GyQ/s640/Outer.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br />Next, I cut two 24" long pieces of the grosgrain ribbon.&nbsp; I positioned the ribbon 2" from the side of each panel with the right sides together.&nbsp; Double stitch these to make sure they are securely attached.&nbsp; Again, don't worry about raw edges on the ribbon, as&nbsp;they will be sewn into the final seam when the bag's lining is attached.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8TMIjt7bcI/AAAAAAAAA4E/wIPUKGcpSlk/s1600/Ribbons.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8TMIjt7bcI/AAAAAAAAA4E/wIPUKGcpSlk/s640/Ribbons.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br />Finally, I sewed the outer panels to each other, the inner panels to each other and attached the two sections together.&nbsp; For more detail on each of these steps, <a href="http://patterns.jordynnmackenzie.com/">take a look at this pattern by Jordynn Mackenzie</a>.&nbsp; It's the same pattern that I used for the oilcloth-lined shoulder bags. Although, I adapted the pattern a great deal for my own needs with the beachbag, Jordynn's pattern provides the basics to make creating a lined bag easy to understand.<br /><br />Here's the final product once it was turned right-side out. The best part? The bag is completely machine washable and dryable and soaks up water from damp towels and beach toys.&nbsp; Heck, you could even use it as a towel if you needed to.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8TMRKtERlI/AAAAAAAAA4M/W0Zexk-DPVk/s1600/Empty.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8TMRKtERlI/AAAAAAAAA4M/W0Zexk-DPVk/s640/Empty.jpg" width="516" wt="true" /></a></div><br />Here it is stuffed and ready for my trip to Mexico.&nbsp; Now I just have buy the plane tickets, save the money, convince my husband and find the time.&nbsp; Maybe I'll just take a quick trip to the pool instead!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8TMYSNZ7aI/AAAAAAAAA4U/ej0xrg2nATY/s1600/FinishedBag.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8TMYSNZ7aI/AAAAAAAAA4U/ej0xrg2nATY/s640/FinishedBag.jpg" width="472" wt="true" /></a></div><br />Don't forget that the <a href="http://www.handyhausfrau.com/2010/04/oilcloth-lined-bag-giveaway.html">givewaway to win one of the oilcloth-lined shoulder bags</a> ends on Thursday. <a href="http://www.handyhausfrau.com/2010/04/oilcloth-lined-bag-giveaway.html">Click here for details on how to enter.</a>&nbsp; Happy sewing!<br /><br /><a href="http://www.frugaldesigner.com/" target="_blank"><img border="5" src="http://www.frugaldesigner.com/widget7.jpg"/></a>Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-8088170938843520007.post-29078748967427833452010-04-12T23:52:00.006-06:002010-04-13T00:24:36.316-06:00The Gift of Chickens :: Heifer International<div style="border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8QG2_gYmkI/AAAAAAAAA3M/I0NBvSUPtcU/s1600/CoverZZZZ.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; cssfloat: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8QG2_gYmkI/AAAAAAAAA3M/I0NBvSUPtcU/s640/CoverZZZZ.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a>Several years ago, my brother and I made a pact that we would stop buying cheap plastic toys for each other's children at the holidays.&nbsp;We agreed that we would&nbsp;organize toy swaps for&nbsp;the cousins&nbsp;at the holidays; if we purchased gifts, they would be second hand toys, games, etc.; and we would donate to at least one charity on their behalf every year.</div><div style="border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none;"><br /></div><div style="border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none;">The pact wasn't to deny our kids of fun (or toys), but to reduce our families' spending as well as teach our kids that they could still find joy in playing with&nbsp;used toys.&nbsp; We also wanted to cut down on the number of new toys that would eventually find their way to landfills due to our respective families.&nbsp; The toy swaps went well - I found my old Barbie dolls in my parents' attic, and my nieces were thrilled.&nbsp; My brother found a set of child-sized doctor scrubs that his girls never played with, and my oldest son now insists on wearing&nbsp;them to preschool at least once a week.</div><div style="border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none;"><br /></div>The charitable giving didn't go quite as smoothly.&nbsp; Although we felt good about contributing to worthy causes on behalf of our children, our 6, 4 and 2 year olds struggled with grasping such an intangible concept.&nbsp; One thing all of the cousins have in common is a love of reading.&nbsp;&nbsp;Aware of our families' love of stories, I realized that I could drive home the point of the charitable gifts while giving my nieces something they would enjoy.<br /><br />With a half-hour worth of research, and some quicky design thanks to Microsoft clipart, I put together a book that brought our gift to life for my nieces.<br /><br />Our family&nbsp;donated money on my nieces' behalf to purchase a flock of chickens through <a href="http://www.heifer.org/site/c.edJRKQNiFiG/b.183217/">Heifer International</a>.&nbsp; Heifer does a great job providing informational materials for gift givers and receivers alike, but few of these materials are geared toward young children.&nbsp;&nbsp; I chose two locations to which the chickens might be donated and created a short story about those who might be helped.&nbsp; Here's the result:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8P0-Q1ATiI/AAAAAAAAA2E/BdM4VPDVq_I/s1600/ZZZZ1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8P0-Q1ATiI/AAAAAAAAA2E/BdM4VPDVq_I/s640/ZZZZ1.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br />Thanks to the internet, I could track down country flags, popular surnames and short phrases in the native languages of the potential chicken recipients.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8P1a8zEvaI/AAAAAAAAA2M/e2dUpgNiQWE/s1600/ZZZZ2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8P1a8zEvaI/AAAAAAAAA2M/e2dUpgNiQWE/s640/ZZZZ2.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br />I kept the text clean and simple so that one day, my nieces might read much of the book themselves.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8P3YnNp7eI/AAAAAAAAA2U/9uYJv2tPzmY/s1600/ZZZZ3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8P3YnNp7eI/AAAAAAAAA2U/9uYJv2tPzmY/s640/ZZZZ3.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br />It was my hope that the girls might understand the impact that these dollars could have across the world.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8P3d3WpLzI/AAAAAAAAA2c/W9UvrP3MVFg/s1600/ZZZZ4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8P3d3WpLzI/AAAAAAAAA2c/W9UvrP3MVFg/s640/ZZZZ4.jpg" width="638" wt="true" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8P3h7rchgI/AAAAAAAAA2k/oLCj1xCzO1g/s1600/ZZZZ5.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8P3h7rchgI/AAAAAAAAA2k/oLCj1xCzO1g/s640/ZZZZ5.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8P3muXpMFI/AAAAAAAAA2s/eb4wTzC6e0M/s1600/ZZZZ6.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8P3muXpMFI/AAAAAAAAA2s/eb4wTzC6e0M/s640/ZZZZ6.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8P3v-mkX1I/AAAAAAAAA20/npIZfxAHLY8/s1600/ZZZZ7.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8P3v-mkX1I/AAAAAAAAA20/npIZfxAHLY8/s640/ZZZZ7.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8P35OHKx5I/AAAAAAAAA28/wIaB87f1bmE/s1600/ZZZZ8.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8P35OHKx5I/AAAAAAAAA28/wIaB87f1bmE/s640/ZZZZ8.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8P4BfB56YI/AAAAAAAAA3E/jBJ1z-KtDF4/s1600/BackZZZZ.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7DcCxo_FL2w/S8P4BfB56YI/AAAAAAAAA3E/jBJ1z-KtDF4/s640/BackZZZZ.jpg" width="640" wt="true" /></a></div><br />I had the book printed at a local copy shop and stitched it together with thread. The girls loved the book, and my own boys have enjoyed reading the story at our house, as well.&nbsp;With a little extra time and thought, we were able to make the meaning of giving come to life for the little people in our own lives.<br /><br /><a href="http://asoftplace.net/"><img border="0" alt="DIY Day @ ASPTL" src="http://i534.photobucket.com/albums/ee349/GDest07/Kimba/kimbaDIY125.png" title="DIY Day @ ASPTL"/></a><a href="http://www.sillylittlesparrow.com" target="_blank"><img border="0" alt="" src="http://i468.photobucket.com/albums/rr41/yipeeleah/tootyourhorn-1.jpg"/></a><a href=" http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/ww81/jsikes2163/shoppingbagpic2.jpg" border="0" alt=" http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com/" /></a><a href="http://thegirlcreative.blogspot.com/search/label/Just%20Something%20I%20Whipped%20Up" target="_blank"><img alt="The Girl Creative" src="http://i456.photobucket.com/albums/qq286/happielife32/TGC_linkyparty.png" /></a>Sarahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17932876544283747361noreply@blogger.com1