Thursday, May 27, 2010

Could You Stop Over and Cut My Jeans?

You know you have a friend when the answer is yes, without any further questioning. 

I bought the above jeans at the Industrial Park (See link for full story).  They were long.  I knew all I'd have to do was cut them off at the bottom, and replicate the frayed look. 

So, my friend Juniper stopped over and I stood on a chair and she carefully cut the bottom of my jeans off, inch by half an inch until they were just right.  Just in case you are wondering, no guy will ever understand any of this.  (Why did you buy them if they were too long?, Those jeans have holes in them, you seriously bought those?, What are you doing?, Why do you need a friend?, Can't you just cut them off yourself? Why do you need my sander?)

After you've had your friend cut them just so, take some sandpaper and rough up the ragged seam so that it matches the rest of your jeans!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What is it With Bread Ties?

I find these on my counter all of the time.  I can't seem to throw them away.  I'm really not sure why.  I think it's a distant childhood memory.  Something like this: "Don't throw that away, honey, we can ALWAYS use those."  I'm not sure what to use them for.  I have a junk drawer with far too many of them.

I have used them to tie plants to trellises.  That's the only thing I can think of.  Sometimes I think they'd be good to tie cords, like cell phone chargers, into bundles, but rubber bands work way better. 

Do you have the same problem?  What do you re-use the bread ties for?  Was this just my family that couldn't throw them away?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Painting Your Cement Bird Bath Leaf

I have gotten such a great response to my bird bath leaves.  I thought I'd go ahead and paint one.  This is an optional step, but painting your leaf can make it look more realistic, and it will more readily match your garden decor.

Start with some acrylic paint.  You'll just need a dab (about half of the amount of toothpaste that you'd use).  Then add about 1/4 cup of water to the paint and stir.  If the wash is too dark, just add more water, too light, add more paint.  You get the idea.

I painted mine layer upon layer of a lime green and then some yellow on top.  Layering is the key to great results.  You can't mess this up, so keep adding color.

Once you're reached the desired color, let the paint dry, and then brush on some cement sealer to hold the color.  The sealer will make your leaf a bit shiny, so it looks like it's been freshly rained upon.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cement Birdbath Tutorial : Made with Skunk Cabbage

When I told my Mom and my Mother In Law that their Mother's Day gifts were made out of cement and skunk cabbage, they both had the same quizzical look.

A friend of mine had shared the "recipe" for making these beautiful bird baths, and the kids and I made them for the grandmothers.  
The technique is called "sandcasting". Here's what you'll need:

Sand, trash bags, a mixing container, cement (the non-rocky kind, preferably quick-dry), rubber gloves,a large leaf, such as skunk cabbage,  paint and sealer are optional.

First, lay out your plastic bag as a work surface.  You'll want to do this in a flat area, preferably outside. Keep in mind that you'll need to leave it there for a bit while the cement cures, so don't make it on the same table where you expect to eat dinner in an hour.

Mound the sand in a general leaf shape, with a higher mound near the largest part of the leaf.  Make it a shallowish and natural shape. Your goal here is to provide a surface to support the cement while it is drying. 

Next, layer another trash bag over the cement. (Make sure there are no seams).  Then lay your large leaf over the sand form upside down. Now, mix the cement with your hands, using the rubber gloves.  I got the "just add water" quick dry cement. You'll want the cement to be the consistency of cake batter.  Start smoothing a thin layer of cement over the leaf, then, layer the cement on until the whole leaf is covered by at least 1/2 an inch of cement. Take the cement right up to the edges of the leaf.  If you'd like, use something flat, like the bottom a bucket, to make a flat spot on the top of the cement (this will later serve as a flat spot for resting your birdbath). 

When the cement is dry, flip your creation, peel the leaf out of the cement.  You'll be left with this beautiful, natural leaf shape that will hold just enough water for a bird to splash around in.

If you'd like, you can paint your leaf with acrylic paints, and seal it with cement protectant.

I'm participating in:


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Here's What I Don't Want

I completely escaped the whole 'breakfast in bed for Mom on Mother's Day' experience today.  Due to crazy sport schedules, and late nights that led to sleepovers, I only have one snuggly bug 5 year old this morning.  He's happy to have cheerios and watch cartoons, and let me snuggle with him.  Ahhh, this is bliss.

I'm so glad that I don't have to endure the whole giant, crummy, bad coffee and eternal waiting breakfast in bed this year.  I'm just not a good enough actress to pull that off.  I tried last year, and the kids thought I didn't like the blueberry pancakes (which, I didn't, I have NEVER liked blueberry pancakes), but that wasn't the reason for my acting job.  I just don't like pretending to enjoy a giant breakfast that is making my bed crummy and sticky.  I'm a coffee for breakfast kind of girl.  And then breakfast, maybe at 10 am, and that would be some oatmeal or a simple bowl of cereal. 

I hope you are having a wonderful mother's day, whatever you are doing today!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

You Are Going to Need Some Skunk Cabbage and Some Cement

Yes, You heard me right.  If you happen to be at Home Depot, be sure to pick up some cement, and meet me back here soon!  You are going to love this project! I promise!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Historic Photos of Washington, D.C. and Niagra Falls

Since my Dad's death, I have been going through some very old photographs that have been at the farm  forever.  My Great Grandfather was a pretty accomplished hobbyist photographer.  He held many jobs in his lifetime but, one of his favorites was a job with the Santa Fe Railroad.  Dad thought he was a ticket agent.  One of the incredible perks of a job like that was that he got to travel anywhere on the Santa Fe for free. 
These photographs were taken on original glass slides in the late 1800's, or early 1900's.   

I'm pretty sure the above(and below) were taken in Washington, D.C. I can't imagine how the above photograph was taken. Do you see the Washington Memorial in the background? How was it taken from this height? 

Does anyone know what this monument is?

I think maybe this is the train station.

Can you see these ladies in their long skirts, and the men in their suits and hats?  I think this was taken at Niagra Falls.

There is nothing written on the backs of any of them.  It's a reminder to me to write even faintly the date, and who is in the photo, and where it was taken.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Baby Doll Tunic Transformed

I had recently purchased this baby doll tunic for my 12 year old.  I just loved it.  I think it was the cabbage rose detail.  My daughter tried it on, and it was just all wrong.  The top was too bunchy, it made her look too busty.  And, overall it was too short.  It neither looked like a tunic or a shirt. It was just off.

My daugher was taking it off, and I realized that it would make a great skirt!  So, I sewed around the elastic that was at the chest.

And then I cut the top away from the bottom.

Like so.

Just look at this darling skirt!  It looks terrific with just a white t-shirt. Very J Crew-ish.

I had fabric left over from the top, and I found these hair clips in my sewing basket.

So, I mimiced the cabbage rose with a bit of the strap of the tunic.  I used a basting stitch and pulled the thread so it bunched just right. 

What a sweet little hair clip that matches the skirt exactly.  She might even wear this one!

I'm submitting this project for Hope Studios Teach Me Stuff Tuesday!


Monday, May 3, 2010

Going on a Treasure Hunt

I went on a Treasure Hunt this week.  Juniper was on a tear, needing something special.  She was sure that she'd find it at the city's architectural salvage place.  It's called Constuction Junction.  They've got lots of amazing things .  Let me share a few: 

Look at this ceiling tin!  I see loads of possibility here.  The edges are sharp, and everything is mostly pretty dirty, and there are signs warning of lead paint, but let's just look past that, and see only potential.

Look at these great burlap coffee sacks.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with mine, but I'll enjoy researching some possibilities.  And, by the way, since when is coffee from Germany?

Here's Juniper digging for her own $1.50 worth of project fun.

How about some paint, Dude!

And where ever would you find a wax cast of a menorah? I bet you couldn't find one if you were looking.

And because I took my little guy, I came home with $2.25 worth of stuff that I could easily find in my garage, or recycle bin.  But, he had fun gathering all of this treasure for himself, he wants to build a rocket out of it.  The plans are all laid out in his head.

I need some ideas on what to do with the burlap.  Do you have any?