A blog about outdoors, food and other handy projects.
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Sunday, January 02nd, 2011
9:21 AM

And for my final Christmas post, I present to you the Christmas Hutch!! My mom and I constructed a hutch to go along with the sink and oven that we had made for Carolynne's birthday. We definitely improved our building (as you can tell from the straight shelves (unlike the oven/sink). And best of all, my niece loves it!!

I again followed plans from the lovely Ana White. Seriously, if you haven't checked out her site - you really should! She uploads a new woodworking plan almost every day! Back to the hutch, this took a bit longer to plan out, as it wasn't as simple as cut and staple. One tip that I think really helped us is that we marked the start and the end of each curve, and then used a round object to trace.

Once we had all the pieces cut, it was as simple as stapling together. To prevent the crookedness of the sink shelves, we marked where to line the shelf up on the left and right side boards. We also made the same marking on the outside to prevent stray nails. We also added two rows of cup hooks. Screwing the hooks in was annoying, but worth it - it looks so cute! I guess I got too used to the nail gun, manually screwing the hooks in seemed like a chore. And although it looks crooked in the side view (below) it really is  a level and sturdy piece of furniture. I have no doubts that it will last for many many years! *I'm pretty sure the house is crooked, it's about 100 years old*

And that's it for homemade Christmas 2010 :D Also if you have any kids that you need to buy presents for, I highly recommend Melissa and Doug - they made all of the play food you see pictured.

Saturday, January 01st, 2011
3:00 AM

The fonts are hard to see, but printed well.

I don't really have a banner for "I stole this idea, but I sort-of made it my own" - I don't think crafty fits too well. But I did want to share what I did, because it was really easy!!

Bloggers John and Sherry over at Young House Love have made their own calendars for the past two years. They also have been generous enough to share the Photoshop file so that their readers (like me!) could make their own! Here is the calendar they made for this year (can you believe it's already 2011??)!

My mother had mentioned that she really wanted to put together a black and white album of some of the pictures she has of Carolynne (my niece). I figured a calendar would be nice, as you could actually use it (and it was a bit easier to put together than an album). I found 12 pictures of mostly Carolynne (and a few of my brothers and I) and made them all black and white in Gimp (freeware Photoshop). I then resized them and added them instead of the text that YHL had done.

I then printed the pages out on regular paper, and used a paper cutter (we have one in the office) to trim the edges. The calendar is really small, but perfect for an office or some other small space. I then punched two holes on the top, so that it would be easy to hang up. Since I had just printed it on regular printer paper, the calendar was a bit floppy. I cut 2 sheets of cardstock down to size and placed them on the front and back. I then used my handy-dandy lazy-mans printer and typed out "2011 Calendar" onto Word, and traced it onto the front cardstock. I then  filled in the trace with a permanent marker.

My favorite months are April and July. I love April - because of the saying " April Showers bring May Flowers" and July, since that is Carolynne's birthday. It was really easy to put this together (since YHL did all the hard work) and I think I really made it my own and made it very personable. My mother loved it, so I think I did OK.

Here is the link to the Photoshop file that John & Sherry were so kind to share: Calendar 2011

Thursday, December 30th, 2010
7:01 PM

I had a lot of female's on my Christmas list this year, and needed to have something small that I could add to each of their gifts. I first saw the idea on Jess's blog after she made a few for Mother's Day gifts (original plan on Not Martha).  I was desperate for crafts that did not include sewing (I'm now over my fear, but while planning for presents, did the best I could to avoid it), but still were crafty and cute. These flowers fit the bill perfectly!

I had a few issues, #1 being I'm bad at art, so I was really bad at cutting uniform petals. My solution was to copy/paste the image found on the Not Martha site of the petals she had cut, increase the size until on my screen they matched up to 1.5", 1.25" and 1". I then traced the outline onto a piece of paper (I don't have a printer).

#2 was that the only fabric glue I could find was really crappy, so I ended up having to use a hot glue gun. It took me about one or two flowers to get the gluing down (it had been years since I hot glued anything), but it worked OK. The hot glue did add a lot of weight to it, and space. If you have a great fabric glue, I recommend using that. It would also save you a few burns on your finger tips (ow!).

I ended up making 4 ( I had wrapped the first one already), a purple, yellow (both with the same button center) and a turquoise and red one. The flowers are pretty time consuming, but I think they are worth it. I wanted to keep them all to myself, but that's not really the point of Christmas.

My original plan was to make more, but I wasn't able to find the time to get them all done before Christmas.

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