Thursday, August 29, 2013

Stop Smoking

Yes, it's a bad habit that I have. I want to quit, using willpower only. So I keep trying to remind myself of all the reasons I want to quit. When I'm craving a cigarette though, it's hard to remember. So here's what I decided to do. Using my little box I made in this post, I keep my pack in the bottom, with reminder cards on top. These cards are about the size of a business card and have my reminders printed on each one.
Here are what my cards say:
It ruins your sense of taste and smell
Ashes all over the tables and computer
You could be saving money for a computer (or other item)
It causes bad breath
It hurts your throat and lungs
It makes your voice scratchy
1 pack=$3.50 7 packs a week=$24.50 $98/month $1274/year (adjust to your own cig prices and how many a week you smoke)
It makes a bad impression on others
It harms those around me, especially my children
It stains your teeth, fingernails, walls, mirrors, everywhere
It is a useless habit that has NO benefits
The smell clings to your clothes and skin
It can make you dizzy and give you a headache
It gives you less air to exercise or play with your kids
Having to go outside to smoke in the heat, snow, rain, etc
It makes books and crafts unsellable

Feel free to change these up to reminders that work well for you.

Now, the trick is to force yourself to read EACH card as you make your way down to the pack of cigarettes in the box. Chances are, after reading several of these reminders, you are going to remember why you don't really need that cigarette after all. So far this has been working for me. Just remember, you have GOOD reasons to not smoke, so remind yourself before EVERY cigarette why you don't want to light it up.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Business Card Box

I had some leftover plastic canvas after finishing my Tardis Dock Box, so I decided to make another small project. I decided to make a little box to hold all those business cards that my husband and I seem to collect. I used a credit card to size the bottom, and made a pattern of 2x4 squares. Construction was similar to the Tardis Dock Box. First, I stitched the pattern onto the plastic canvas before cutting them out.
I stitched the side pieces to the bottom and lid, and then stitched up the corners, and around top/bottom edges.
This was a fairly quick and simple project, and looks nice completed.

TARDIS Docking Box

This is my completed box, designed to hold my phone while it is plugged in to charge. I based this heavily on this link from Ravelry. I didn't have felt except for one piece of black, so I decided to stitch the pattern onto the plastic canvas. I also modiefied the pattern slightly to fit the pattern and my phone. First I drew out the stitch pattern.
I quickly realized that the count for stitches didn't equal the count for boxes to cut out of the plastic canvas. So add 1 to the measurements to cut out. I actually stitched my patterns onto the canvas before cutting them out. Good thing because I had to adjust the side pieces to make the box "taller" to fit my phone. Here's a few pics of my pieces stitched before cutting out.
Next, I cut out all the pieces and trimmed the edges.
Using the pieces themselves as templates, I cut out a piece of black felt for each plastic canvas piece. Then I used black yarn to start putting it all together. I started with the bottom, attaching the sides all around. Then I did the corners and top edges except for the edge where the lid would attach. I attached the lid last, and went around the edge of it as I went.
And my Dock Box is complete!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Homemade Drum Shade Chandelier

My homemade drum shade. Here's a quick step by step guide for how I put this together...
First, gathering supplies. I used two backer boards from my son's bunk bed bookcase/headboard. These were quite bendy, and about the right height. I also had an old chandelier I wanted to use for this project. I also grabbed a couple bungee cords, some duct tape, and Material to cover it with. Next...
I used the bungee cords to hold the boards in a rough circle shape around the chandelier so I could get the size/shape correct. Then...
I taped the edges of the boards together to make it smooth. Do not use the tape sparingly. Use as much as you want/need. After taping...
remove the bungee cords. Make sure the tape looks like it is holding. Cover it...
I used a olive/khaki colored piece of vinyl I'd used previously. There was enough leftover for this project. At this point, I really should have lined the inside with another piece of vinyl, but alas, I didn't. That's ok.. I have a plan for that. Now I need to hang this off the chandelier. Let's insert some grommets. First,
knock out the holes in the sides. These can be wherever you need them to line it up properly with your chandelier.
Insert Grommets.
Run wire through the grommets.
Make sure it all balances. I had to run wire both directions to make sure it would hang steady and straight. And you're done! (Except for the wiring)
Eventually (hopefully very soon) I will cover the bottom of the shade with a bit of sheer curtain material. Just something so you can't look up into it and see the ugly wood inside. To me this sounds simpler than trying to line the inside with vinyl now that it's all wired up to hang.

Dining Room Make-over Part 2

Yeah, I know... there's no post titled Part 1. But it was the boring stuff of basic cleaning, so I left it out. Part 2 involved washing the walls and baseboards, as well as the window blind. I used vinegar and water (half and half) in a spray bottle to mist the wall, and a rag to wipe it off. Got most of the finger marks, stray bits of food?, and other stuff, leaving the walls if not perfect, at least good enough for a coat of paint. For the window blind, I soaked it in a tub with water and vinegar, then lightly scrubbed each little slat with a dish brush. Tedious, but easy enough. Then I used a couple broomsticks propped across the top of the shower curtain rod and edge of tub against wall to hang up the blind to drip dry. Looks like a brand new room! (Almost) So I picked out the colors I want to use. Olive Khaki (green) for the walls, and Leather Brown for the trim, and details. (More on those details later) For now, here's a look at my inspiration:

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Closet Makeover

So I decided to make over my closet in the dining room. It was a catch-all for everything in the house. Vacuum, kids coloring books and toys, lightbulbs, trashbags, etc, etc. It was a hot mess.
I started by completely emptying the closet. Then I added shelves down one side, moved the upper shelf back, and hammered nails to hang my broom, mop, etc.
Much better. :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

My homemade Lightbox

So I wanted to make a lightbox to take some pictures of stuff I want to post online to sell. I've seen many ideas out there on how to make them cheaply and easily, but I still didn't have all of the stuff to make it, and I also wanted to be able to store it away easily. First I gathered my supplies. A collapsible mesh basket that has seen better days. Some metal hair clips. Parchment paper. Lamps and lightbulbs. and an old poster calendar. (the back of it was white, instead of buying posterboard)
I tore off pieces of the parchment paper and used the hair clips to fasten them to the edges of the mesh hamper/basket.
The calendar was too wide to fit down inside the hamper...
So I cut off a strip for it to fit inside widthwise, and run up the back a bit.
Here is my completed "lightbox"
To show the difference a lightbox makes, here's a brass elephant figurine in lightbox without lights turned on.
And here's the same elephant with lights turned on.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

It's been awhile since I last checked in. Lots of things have been going on. I am now officially a Domestic Engineer. I am able to work from home, spend time with my children, and still manage the household budget. Two of my sisters have joined me in this job field, and we are looking to make it a success. July is DeCluttering Month! We are going through every room in our house and decluttering all the unnecessary junk from our homes. This will make it a little easier to keep our rooms clean, and streamline how our homes look. Without all that junk cluttering up everything, it should look a lot nicer. However, this is leaving me with a lot of things I need to get rid of. Some items will just be tossed, others I feel I could sell and get a bit of money from. I do plan to have a big Yard Sale the second weekend of October, and maybe before then if all goes well. Second weekend of October coincides with the Civil War Reenactment at the State Park a mile away, so there is usually a lot of traffic, and therefore no need to advertise! That's usually a very good weekend to have a yard sale. But that's many weeks away and hopefully the decluttering will be done by the end of this month, so a yard sale or two before then might be good. August is "Make Your House a Home" I have a lot of projects planned, including redecorating several rooms of my house. A sneak preview... Laundry Room/Office - Doctor Who themed Dining Room - repainted, family tree mural, new light fixture, new window treatment Bedroom - repainted Pantry - turned into a craft room, painted, decorated, organized Hallway - big open area turned into a play area for kids, painted, organized, decorated Kitchen - cabinets stripped, repainted, walls painted, maybe countertops painted... Wow, just realized how ambitious I'm being. LOL. Wish me luck!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ta-Da! Alyssa's Room DONE!

Okay, so I'm calling it done. I still want to get some lights behind a curtain hung up behind the little bench, a hammock chair in the corner, and some kind of curtain door in the closet, but the room is otherwise DONE!

Here are the pictures.






We stapled some sheets up to the ceiling rafters, because they were bare. Alyssa did not like sleeping downstairs because she was worried about spiders. Now she will know her room is sealed in and she won't have to worry about spiders anymore.
I made the canopy over her bed using a hula hoop and four panels of sheer white curtains. The light fixture is a simple candlestick lamp and lampshade from Dollar General, screwed upside down to a ceiling rafter and plugged into the original light socket.
I painted all the furniture white, and free-handed the flowers and butterfly mural on the wall.
Turned out nice, don't you think?