Tuesday, November 29, 2011

the Pallet project

Holli - "Mom, we're going to do a project from Pinterest over Thanksgiving"
Me - "Can't we just do nothing?"
Holli - "No"

Then about a week before she came home I saw my neighbor had a pallet laying next to his truck.
I asked him if he could get us 3 more.
In the mean time Holli came home and Kirby, Holli and I ran some errands including a fabric store in North Raleigh.  I just wanted to stop there 'for a minute' to get some feather pillow inserts.
An hour and a half later we had a huge piece of foam 80"x27"x5" and some fabric for making pillows for Holli's future Pallet sofa!
We also saw a couple pallets outside of the store and asked if we could have them. They said yes and we loaded them in the car.

We quickly learned that pallets are different sizes and we needed four to match pretty well.
Our new find did not match the one from my neighbor.
Holli and Kirby took a little trip in the car around town looking for more pallets. They traded their original pallets for some that would more closely match each other.
Is that stealing?
I think it's trading.

Now the 4 pallets needed to be cut down to size.
We just happen to have builders working on our screened porch ceiling. So of course Holli got them to cut our pallets!


We started small by making a couple pillows first. 

Then we moved on to covering the big piece of foam.
The challenge was getting it ON the foam!
It took a team of three.
Thanks Amanda S!


At this point we loaded the 4 pallets in the car
along with the foam cushion
and the 2 new pillows
and headed back to Nashville.

At Holli's house we finished the pallets with six 3" locking swivel casters
and a few metal plates to hold it all together.
A little drilling then nuts and washers and bolts

The pallet boards are all different sizes
so the center caster had to move in a row.

The finished product!

Those crates at the end were a nice little discovery while Holli and Kirby were on their pallet hunt.

Thanks to Pinterest and the blog
for the great idea!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

sometimes you've just gotta change it up a bit

Looking through Pottery Barn catalogs and Ballard Design I always stop on those hallway organizing units. I want one but I actually already have one. I know, it makes no sense.
My back hall had a built in cabinet that was painted white.
I even designed it, but that was 18 years ago.
Behind those large doors were plenty of hooks holding jackets and bags.  There were stacks of beach towels and what turned out to be 7 pairs of Kirby's old shoes!  How did that happen? How did Kirby move to Colorado and leave 7 pairs of shoes?
Behind the top doors were light bulbs, batteries and flashlights, even coloring books and crayons. I suppose if I just cleaned it out and organized it a bit it would have been fine. But, it just wasn't the look I wanted anymore.
So I came up with a plan and hired a friend who has amazing woodworking skills.
First he took out the old cabinet.

Then he tried to 'slip' the new built-in in its place.
That took some unexpected extra work but Ray was a trooper and pulled it off with a smile!
This house isn't exactly 'square'!

it's in!
and now it's black
just like all the pieces in the catalogs!

And now it has baskets and hooks and jackets and light bulbs. It has coloring books and crayons and batteries and towels.  Now it even has mittens and hats just in case it ever snows!

 The beach towels look so much better rolled up
thanks for the idea Holli!

And if you've got little ones, we're ready for you with crayons and coloring books and other trips down memory lane.
Thanks Ray for your craftsmanship.
Thanks Jeff for painting and being on board with the change.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

not just for girls

If you're a boy and you want to impress your girlfriend, I've got the perfect project for you!
My oldest son who is 29 and lives in SC came to visit for a weekend in July.  Much to my disbelief, he wanted to make a headband for his girlfriend who is working in Colorado.
He did all the Google research on the type and size and I had him 'shop' in my huge fabric supply right here in my studio.
We used this Between The Lines blog post as our guide.
While reading the directions, Daniel saw that the headband shown was made for a child so we adjusted our measurements, but not by much.

We cut the large piece (the main part of the headband) 
5 inches x 17 inches
We cut the smaller piece (the part that covers the elastic)
6cm x 20cm
and the piece of wide elastic 
12cm long
YES
that is correct
we used inches AND centimeters
the blog is French!

And as long as we were going to make one girl happy, why not two?
so we made one for Holli as well.
I gave direction
Daniel did the sewing and pressing
When the project was complete he headed straight to the big screen to catch what he had missed in the Womens World Cup
no worries here that he's changing his hobbies from sports to sewing
but it sure was fun for a day!

 Holli's is pink and gray
Katie's is green and blue
 Daniel pulling the elastic through its sleeve
It took me awhile to figure out the directions for this part because I had a hard time telling the difference between the right and wrong side of the fabric in the original blog photos. 
I think this photo will help me with future headbands

 the man at the machine!

 the finished product
I folded the widest part in a little for this look
and sent a surprise photo/text message to Holli

maybe I'll get photos of the girls one day...

Blog update
Daniel, Katie and the headband!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Let the Feast Begin!

"Let the feast begin!", said Dumbledore.  The golden plates and goblets before them filled suddenly with food and drink.
-Book Three

One of the most joyous and wonderful aspects of life at Hogwarts is the magical meals.  How fitting that I should finish reading my June book today The Gospel According to Harry Potter by Connie Neal, just as I am about to pack for a week of Young Life camp at SharpTop Cove in North Georgia.
The meals will seem magical there too.
We will sit down in a great Dining Hall and high school kids from all over the country serving as Work Crew, will suddenly appear with the most delicious food for us to eat.
It will be magical like that three times a day for seven days.
We will watch as hundreds of high school kids arrive by the bus load for "the best week of their lives"
They will climb walls, slide down giant water slides, "blob" someone in the lake, go on a hike, play in a volleyball tournament, challenge themselves on the ropes course and hear the Gospel.  Not the Gospel according to Harry Potter, but the Gospel according to the Bible.

As for my choice in reading The Gospel According to Harry Potter this month...
I challenge fellow Christians who are critics of the Harry Potter books to really take a look at them.  As with most critics, their opinion is formed on hearsay and ignorance.  Most of the critics have not even taken the time to read the story.  Interestingly there is a strong parallel with critics of the Gospel in the Bible as well.  
Many people have rejected or neglected the Gospel without even reading it or seeking out the truth.
I'm so glad that I was open to both!  Just like Harry we live in a time when the battle between evil and good is growing.  Our best weapon is to know which side we are on and seek that truth.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Gospel According to Harry Potter


Just as I suspected I would be, I am behind in my "read a book a month" goal.  I got behind on the third Chronicles of Narnia book which was my April book.  I just didn't take time out to read in any big chunks, therefore the book seemed slow and boring.  That's what happens when you only read for 10 minutes in bed!

So, how does this tie into Harry Potter you ask?  Somehow I think you should be able to tie anything to Harry Potter.  Why do I like everything Harry Potter?  I think it's because it is something our entire family gets excited about.  It's something that ties us together and it's all in fun.  I think we first got hooked when Kirby was in about 6th grade and now he's through college.  So everyone has grown into adults with Harry Potter and we are still entertained by it.  We even went to the theme park as a family last December!  more on that later...
Anyway, when I was visiting Holli earlier this month in Nashville I was browsing through her book shelves and saw this book,
The Gospel According to Harry Potter.  She said she had picked it up at the used books store.  She said I could borrow it so it went straight in my suitcase.  It was back in Cary when I picked it up to read it that I noticed it was the Leader's Guide for Group Study.  As much as I think that would be fun I couldn't imagine who would want to be in my little Harry Potter/Bible group study so I read it anyway.
The guide is really short but there are many scriptures to look up in the Bible as you go along.  I really enjoyed it.  I don't think I actually learned anything new.  I already know right from wrong, good from evil.  But now I really want to read the full book, The Gospel According to Harry Potter.
Today there WILL be a trip to the public library to pick up that book.  That will be my June book, yikes!  It's already June 18th, so probably gonna have to fall into July.  Oh well, I'm reading and that's what counts.

Now for the craft part of my crafty/reading blog:
Last summer I talked Jeff into a trip for the 5 of us to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios, Orlando.  We wanted to surprise the kids so I created three invitations to send out with the big news!  We mailed them in October so they would all have plenty of time to let us know if the dates worked with their busy schedules.  They were shocked and awed just as I had hoped!  Here's a few photos of the process of making the invitations.
The sound modules came from an online source.  I recorded The Harry Potter Theme music so that when they opened the left side of the invitation the music would begin to play.  My sister Carol gave me the idea to add the music.

The letter part of the invitation was based on the letter that Harry received when he was accepted to Hogwarts
Lots of friends gave me ideas.  My friend Leeann's husband Brandon suggested I use red sealing wax for authenticity
You Tube was my friend for making the sealing wax a success on the first try!
Ta Dah!
Yes, even the outside of the Priority Mail box had to have a HP feel.  I downloaded the HP font for free and blew up this owl and scroll image from Google Images.  With a little pass through PhotoShop...it was ready for the Owl Post!
Here we are 6 months ago 12-19-10 at The Hogwarts Express!
 Hogsmeade! right in the middle of central Florida, USA!
And here is the original photo I took in The Owl Post just because I loved this stack of books and knew it would come in handy one day!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

crafty in Nashville

So I've been spending time with Holli in Nashville this week.
One entire week.
Tuesday to Tuesday.
Bliss.

We've shopped, dined, run errands, exercised, and shopped a little more.
Holli worked too.  She is getting ready to take kids to camp and there is plenty to do in preparation for "the best week of their lives". 
But, since this was sold to me as "the best week of my life" we've been on the go for days, building up to Holli's 26th birthday.
There is so much to see and do in Nashville and we have so much fun together.

But let's face it, for Holli and I nothing is as fun as our craft time together.  Holli had saved an idea from a blog and we spent her birthday afternoon on our Book Page Wreath.  We started out by stopping by a used book store to pick up a book from the free pile.  This is a very inexpensive craft project. 

In addition to a couple books
you need a foam wreath
some brown craft paint is nice
a glue gun
and lots of glue sticks!

The project could be finished in an afternoon but we started late in the day, stopped for snacks and birthday dinner out, and even made cupcakes.  So our wreath wasn't finished until after church the next day.

Here's a few photos we took along the way but, if you want the real directions to do this yourself please refer to the original blog.  She even has a video that we thought was helpful.
 aging the edge of the pages with a little brown paint
 starting the ring of rolled pages on the back of the wreath

 the completed back
 working on the first row from the front
 lots of variation in rolling the paper
sometimes in an S, sometimes loosely, sometimes not
 looking good but still a ways to go!
 finished!
or
was it
that we were out of glue sticks?!
 the original instructions said to glue a piece of ribbon to the back to use as a hanger.  I didn't trust that so we stuck a piece of wire around the wreath and twisted it.
much better!
 the end

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Check THAT off my list Holli!

Daniel graduated from high school over 10 years ago so it was finally time to paint his Cary Imp Green walls a different color!

One of the walls has a floor to ceiling world map and I think the whole family wanted to keep it that way.  Holli and I are always brainstorming decorating ideas.  We came up with a great way to incorporate the world map while still making the bedroom a welcoming place for Daniel to "come home" to and friends and family to feel comfortable in.  
We decided that since we have all been blessed with trips outside the United States, we could print photos of those adventures and hang them on the wall.  Black and white photos in black frames.  So many ideas, so much to do to make the ideas a realty!

So, a few weeks ago Jeff painted the other three walls a color called Bagel.  Then last Saturday when it was so beautiful outside, I took on the task of converting an antique door into a head board.  
 I scrubbed it.
I scraped it.
 I even found the brass door knob plate under all that paint.
 I got down to the wood in some spots and kept two shades of cream and some white visible in other spots.
 I found a can of green paint called Twig in the garage.
perfect.
I mixed it with some glaze and painted it on.
I rubbed it off.
Within minutes I was sanding some areas to reveal the wood beneath again.
I love how the green mixes with the dark wood.
a nice surprise.
Jeff and I used the existing hinges to hang the door on the wall.
SUCCESS!

Really, the only thing missing from this project was Holli.
We're a great project team.
Just like my mom and I used to be.
In fact, I inherited my 'you can do anything' attitude from my mom and dad. And I'm happy to pass it on.

I also like to surprise people and check things off my list.
So Holli,
SURPRISE!
check the painting and the headboard off the list.
I hope you're pleased.
Next up...the photos in the frames.
not to mention
 the lamp
the rug
the windows
the quilt
baby steps....baby steps...

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