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Too Much time on my hands: July 2011

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Too Much time on my hands

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Too Much time on my hands: July 2011

Friday, July 29

Inspire Me- Kids Step Stools

  It's baby central around here with all of our friends! I am working on an ABC wall for Cristen and Eric and I decided to make a cute step stool for little Courtney Sue up in Bozeman with Mikey and Jana. 

I found a great unfinished solid wood piece and needed some ideas of what to do with it. Here are some of my favorite projects and inspirations I pinned to my nursery board on Pinterest!











So many directions to go! I need to finish this before we head to Montana for our visit in August, and I will be sure to share before I leave!

Click HERE for my finished project!

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Thursday, July 28

Earth Day Thursday- Grow Box Update

  Well, I think we can call my grow boxes a success.

These crazy tomato trees are taller than me!

Like a big success, the tomato jungle is over 5 ft tall and growing every day.

Like our faux grass? More about that another day.

The only problem with these boxes is that my tomatoes grew at lightening speed and the plants in the back were dwarfed in minutes and many are gone. So for next year I will plant the back first and let those cukes, snap peas, and beans start climbing the trellis prior to planting the tomatoes.

I have to fill the tubs every few days and it is SO nice not being out there 2 times each day watering.

My friend taught me how to spot and clip back some of the non tomato producing stems. Hard to believe this is what's left after extreme haircuts all the way around. 

These biggies are all my grape tomatoes , poor planning on my part. The regular tomatoes were placed in pots and are now 1/4 of the size of their grow box buddies.  These two plants were purchased at the same time, were replanted in the same soil, and were the same size. They have been sitting next to each other for 2 months now and the difference is incredible. 

Now, my new concern is that there have been about 300 green tomatoes on those plants for a WHILE and I am afraid they will never turn red.

Some web sites have told me extreme heat can prevent ripening and we have had over 95 degrees every day for a while now. So, fingers crossed that's the problem and we will still get tons of juicy tomatoes.

Well, if I can stop my 2 year old from picking the green ones, he just can't control himself. If any master gardeners out there have suggestions for me please leave me a comment!

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Tuesday, July 26

Beach Cottage Sign

When we were back east in June, my Aunt Karen handed over the keys to her house on the bay in Virginia and let my family and parents stay for a few days. We had a fantastic time and I wanted to find a way to say thank you.

I thought it would be fun to make something beachy, since I live in Denver and never get to make anything beachy.

I started with a solid wood sign I found at my fave thrift store for $1.89. It said "Home is Where the Heart is" and had lots of flowers and country stuff all over it. Just not my thing, but a great piece of wood and a nice shape to start my transformation.

I sanded, primed, and painted it with two coats of a creamy white.

Then I added 2 coats of a lovely soft blue.

A-Ha, my favorite part, the sander. I went after it and roughed that thing up good!

Since I was going for a weathered look, I decided to use Citra-Solv to transfer the saying onto the sign. I did some experimenting and have more info on Citra-Solv transfers  here.

I used Open Office to create the saying I wanted for the sign (cottage by the sea) and then printed out the reverse image and had my husband copy it for me at work (SHH, don't tell).  An ink jet printer copy will not transfer, so definitely use a copier or laser printer and don't forget to reverse the image!

Next, I just taped the copy upside down and applied the Citra-Solv concentrate in a thick layer. Depending on your surface, too much will bleed, and not enough will not transfer, so you need to be careful. It really depends on the finish on the wood you are transferring to. The rougher the finish the easier time I have had. A shiny finish will bleed more and the ink will rub off.

Then I used my brush to rub and burnish the ink onto my sign. I lift and check as I go to make sure everything is coming off clearly.

Yeah, that's what I'm talking about people!

Next, I grabbed my faux glaze and tinted it with a medium walnut wood stain. I painted it on and rubbed it off in certain places. I just had fun finding the worn out look I was going for.

I added these simple hooks to each end.

Then I grabbed floral wire and attached it to small Ball jars like so...

Then I threw in some sand I stole from the kids sandbox and votives from my stash.

And hung it on my wall for a photo shoot!

I almost wish I could keep it....

it look so nice right here...

but I don't have  a beach house...

or live remotely close to a beach....

so I said goodby and mailed it off to my sweet Aunt.

Hope she loves it, if not I will take it back and dream about a beach house!

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Friday, July 22

Blog Design Lust- Stretch and Center

Stretch and Center
Hmmm, no I am not talking about a Yoga pose.
 I am talking about stretching your template and centering your header.

So I have been looking, playing, experimenting, with a way to get my template to stretch. Of course there are stretch blogger templates you can buy, but I was determined to do it on my own.

Now, you can go into the old blogger templates and get the stretch minima, but then you are limited with other design aspects such as changing post title font and color and other junk like that. So that was not working for me. So after many failures, I found something that actually worked!


All I know is this worked for me....finally....after trying a zillion codes from a bajillion blogger "help" articles. I about fell off my chair when it actually worked.  Head over to Tweak My Blogger and there are CSS codes for all of the existing newer templates (except for Etheral). You will enter this code under the advanced tab of template designer

After you stretch your template your header will be off center. You can make it bigger to fit the space or you can center it . This little tip is from graphics fairy, but I will save you the trouble of watching the video. However, if you have never played with the HTML of your blog before, you may want to watch it. And remember to back up your HTML code of your current template in case you muck it up and need to start over. We don't need your whole blog gone forever do we?

Find this code in your template (it is around the middle or just after)


or my template has this code:

 ABOVE it paste this code:

width: 648px;
margin: auto;

Where it says 648 px you will need to change it to the actual width of your own header.

And now your header is centered on your wide template!
I hope it works for you and I save you some time.

FYI-the reason I was searching is because I changed my blog....again....I know, I don't even want to hear the lecture.


Wednesday, July 20

Party in a Box

  I am in full blown create my Etsy shop mode. It's like a sweatshop around here....
well not really, but I have been busy!

This is my current favorite project

Birthday Extravaganza Party in a Box
Girl Style

Party in a Box is my plan to create all of the decorations needed for setting up a super cute party. The boxes will be pretty similar, but each will have unique twists and touches.


Cupcake Wrappers and Toppers

Display Sticks - for photos and messages

Blank Labels- for food and treats

Tissue Poms

Goodie Bag Toppers

This is just so fun and bright. My daughter was super sad when I told her it wasn't for us to keep. I guess that's a good sign!

One day I will be ready, the shop will be ready, and I will be sure to let you all know!

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Tuesday, July 19

Sisal Hanging Lamp

  I wanted, so badly, a hanging lamp in my office. However, we have no ceiling fixture, and my redo is for under $100 and I had almost given up when I saw this...

and this...

Um, I can make papier mach paste, I have yarn, hemp, sisal, I have a bouncy ball from Dollar Tree , and I found a hanging lamp kit at World Market for $9.99.

Hanging lamp here I come!

I whipped together some water, cornstarch, glue, and salt (no measuring-I live on the edge).

I put that whole (half used up) roll of sisal in my gloppy  paste.

 I rolled it around and made sure all the goop got inside the roll and soaked in well. Then, I wound the sisal around my ball.

This was so easy, the sisal just unwound from the middle of the roll so nicely!
(Things seldom work out so easily for me and my hair brained schemes)

I ended up wasting a lot of sisal, I needed much less than I had anticipated.

Then, I let it dry (took about 2 days to get REALLY dry and hard)

Finally, I got to cut the hole, pull out the ball,

and get my fixture (with light bulb attached) in there nice and snug.

I wove some jute around the opening of the shade and tied it to the fixture.

I wound a bunch more around the whole top of the fixture to give it a more finished look.

I hung her up in the corner next to my book page wall art and book page lamp!

So terribly cute and natural.

The texture is great.

It looks super cool at night!

I am pretty impressed with how nicely it turned it out considering there wasn't much of a plan to start with.

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