Thursday, September 13, 2012

Headboard bench

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Remember this post? Well here is the finished project.
Miss Kaylyn painted it a wonderful red. I love red! And this just looks amazing!
Now her sweet sis has in mind for us to make one for her.
Of course I still need to make one for myself too. That will have to wait until our deck is on, I don't have anywhere to put it right now.
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pallet Patio Furniture

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Earlier this summer I made these for my friend.
She desperately wanted some patio furniture. I had several pallets just begging to be transformed into something wonderful. 
I simply cut each one in half and added some industrial casters.
Top them with some beautiful cushions and you get some lovely furniture.
Perfect for enjoying the sun with friends on the deck.

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Americana banner

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I absolutely LOVE it when my sister comes down to visit.
Sometimes we shop.
Sometimes we play.
This last visit we crafted.
She is as crafty as I's in our genes, just meet our mom!
So my sis happened upon a blog that had these great fabric banners. She read where they could be purchased in a kit. When she clicked on the link she was surprised to find it was a craft shop near her. She made a visit, picked up a couple of kits and set them aside for our crafty visits. They were great. They came together so well and fast. I love how it adds to my decor. Just simple strips of fabric tied around a rope....Easy Peasy!

 Now if I can remember the store she told me a bout I will link to it. For now you all get to drool over the great banner we created.
Don't mind the pictures. I am still figuring out my new camera. ;-)
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Sunday, September 9, 2012

School lunch vs Home lunch

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It's the old question every mother figures out each school year right?
Do I pay for school lunch or make sack lunches.
Now if you have a nasty school lunch it will be a no-brainer but what if your school lunch is one of the good ones. You know that still makes the rolls from scratch on site.
That makes your mouth water smelling the chocolate chip cookies baking around 10:00!
Well, we are lucky enough to have one of those school lunches. I occassionally will go have lunch with my boys and have always been pleased with what they had. It reminded me of my own yummy school lunch. Yes, mine was yummy and almost everyone ate it! We had the best head cook!!!
Anyway, back to today....
A few years ago I figured the cost of sending my boys with sack lunches. Now you have to realize that my boys don't just eat a PB&J and a bag of chips.
They need meat and cheese sandwiches.
And fruit.
And a vegi stick.
And a treat.
And any other goodie they can talk mom into.
Bottom boys eat more than the average school child.
With my frugal skills to the test I figured I could, coupons in hand, supply a nice, healthy and filling sack lunch for under $1.50. That became my guide. Anymore than that and it was a no go. In Idaho, we had sack lunches everyday.
But here we had a yummy hot meal each day that was only $1.60.
I made the decision to go with it.
Now the price went up $1.65 but more importantly my oldest is in Jr High. Apparently (I haven't eated there yet) they have much more to be desired than the elementary. It is also more money, $1.95. That meant fixing a lunch for dear hubby and 1 of 4 boys.
After making a trip to Costco, sans coupons this time, I sat down to re-figure my cost of lunches. Here is what I found out.
Generally I can fix a nice lunch for under $1. Not too bad!
I don't send juices, just a nice water bottle. Here is the breakdown for you....
Yogurts:          $0.46
Lunch meat:    $0.12
Cheese:           $0.18
Peanut Butter: $0.07
Bread              $0.17
Banana            $0.18
Pudding          $0.22
Mini Carrots   $0.24
1/2 peach        $0.34
Fruit cups       $0.42
Rice crispies   $0.20
Cummy Bears  $0.16
Goldfish          $0.15

I can my own jam from our berries so I didn't figure the cost of jam. This just gave me an estimate of how much lunches are costing us.
Each item that came bulk I packaged into snack size bag and placed in either a "side dish" bin or a "dessert" bin. The boys pick one from each, then add a couple of things from the fridge and they are good to go. It's great for the mornings mom has been up all night working and doesn't have the strength for anything.
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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Tunics for cub scouts....

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A while back I wanted to make a simple tunic for each of my cub scouts to go with out knight theme. I had 20 to make so they really needed to be BASIC. Here is what I came up with. Just in case you are as crazy as I.
  Each tunic was 1/2 a yard. I use basic 45 wide muslin. It's cheap and had the right feel.
Thankfully my son was helpful enough to let me measure and test the measurements on him.
Once they were all cut to rectangles I needed to cut a neck hole. Once again I just guess on what looked about right then held it up to my 10 yr old. I think I left about 4 inches on each shoulder.
I didn't want the fabric to fray out so a simple stitch down each side fixed that.

Add another stitch around the neck......
And VOILA! A nice pile of scout tunics. Sorry, I should have gotten a picture of my son with it on. They are opened at the top to slip over the head then open down the sides. Tunics were generally secured with a belt of some sort.
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Friday, September 7, 2012

How to trellis a grapevine

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When I planted my grapevine it was the beginning of a new gardening adventure. In Idaho it was simply too cold most of the time to grow grapes. Mom and dad never grew them. Dear grandpa, who had the greenest thumb around, never grew them. My farming uncle never grew them. After generations of gardeners and farmers I never thought to grow them my self either. Further south and closer to the warm desert however is a different story. I am learning to grow things that I couldn't before. Our grapevine is loaded with grapes. Imagine my delight....then concern....when I saw the branches loaded with bundles of green grapes but they are also getting quite heavy. I didn't realize they would be so heavy. I needed to get the vines trellised somehow. By now the folks at Home Depot know me, my 4 boys, and my dear hubby quite well. It's like another craft store, yep, I am addicted. Anyway, I bought a couple of fan trellis'. Stuck 'em in the ground on each side of the vine and stood back to admire my ingenuity.... Only problem, it didn't look so ingenious. In fact it didn't work too well to hold those heavy vines at all. Time to do some research. Gotta love google. After watching a couple of tutorials this is what I did....
We cemented 2 4x4 posts in the ground about 6 feet apart. Sometimes that sandy soil is nice.
I wanted the posted to be level or slightly below the top of the fence. That meant digging a 2 foot deep hole.
My grapevine is at the end of my raspberries so I will be able to use the post to trellis my raspberries as well. Double duty! ;-)
I measured about 6 inches down from the top for the 1st wire line. Then another 2 feet from that for the 2nd wire line. The goal is to get the branches to trellis to the side at a comfortable height for harvesting. Predrilling the holes helped to screw in the hook. I used a slightly smaller drill bit. Then a pair of pliers to help gript he hook.
Then just twist until there's no threads left poking out of the board.
Now, I needed a way to adjust the tension on the wire without restringing it each year. This doo-dad was just the thing.
A turnbuckle eye/hook.
Now just to get the wire then I can share the rest of the plan. For now, get your posts in the ground so the cement can set. ;-)
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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Camping privacy

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Do you ever have those moments that surprise even yourself. You know the "ah-ha!" moments that make you just smile to yourself...inspite of yourself? Well I do...did...this last weekend while we were camping.
We have a lovely popup camper. It's small but just right for our clan. We work well with it. It pulls oh so nicely and doesn't add too much to the gas cost. We have used it a lot. The only problem starting to creep up was a bit of privacy. Oh, you can close the curtains to the outside or even climb on the bed and close the inside curtains for some privacy but who wants to do that for the couple of minutes it takes to change into swimsuits. With 6 of us taking turns 1 at a time got to be a bit of a bother as well.
See it is all nice and open. Great for letting the outdoors "in". But....
(please don't mind the mess! I was camping with 5 boys, yes have sympathy for me ;-p)
This is where my pea-sized brain started to work. What could I do?
Now you may have heard about my of command hooks.
 I use them all over.
What if I used them to hook a sheet or something up?
I wouldn't have to take them down.
They are light.
What about a curtain....or a Shower Curtain!!! They already have slits for the hooks.
VOILA!!! My ah-ha moment!
See no more wide open spaces in the camper. Now a couple of people can change in private without crawling on the beds. Very important to my ever growing 12 almost 13 yr old.
My boys were amazed! Yeah, mom has her moments. It worked lovely!
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