Monday, June 30, 2014

1111 Posts - Happy Four Years and Counting

I am taking a holiday. Today, by posting this post, I have 1,111 posts on my blog. I have more than than in my line up as I have many drafts that haven't come to being finished and posted but actual posts that have been posted, today is the day. 

I had a very long week at camp and got some type of sore throat that woke me every hour at night and I was so swollen from the hot sun and junk food as I can't eat most of the food they served as it had some gluten product in it. I was up to use the bathroom many times as well as the sore throat. 

I am using the day for a sick day as well as a holiday. I can't believe I have been writing this blog for over four years. I would never have guessed I would have kept it going so long. 

I find it interesting that once or twice, I have started writing a post I already posted about but had forgotten. What happens more often, is that I think I have posted about something and then never actually post because I can't remember if I "thought" about posting about it or actually did post about it. The other problem I have is that I will sometimes take pictures to post about something but then get busy and then I take the pictures off the camera and forget that I never blogged about the event. 

Looking through my drafts on here, I have several from a long time ago I may just post. It is weird how quickly time goes and I move on to the next thing forgetting that I never blogged about some events. 

Anyway, I haven't slept well all week with camp and will post about it later as I am suffering from "Sititus" at the moment. Here is the original post about that.

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Wishing Well, Crank, Rope and Bucket - Making it Work

I spent four hours one night trying to make the handle crank. I could make it look cute but I couldn't get the screw to stop stripping inside the dowel etc. 

I took an old rake handle and cut it to be the bar where the rope winds. I took a tinker toy jumbo part to make the handle shaft piece from the dowel to the knob that turns it. I had a spare wooden handle knob for a desk or closet door that I used for the crank. 

I drilled a hole in the side wood and then screwed a long screw into the rake handle but they kept stripping as I would turn the crank with the weight of the rope on it.

The other issue I had was if I drilled the holes large enough in the side wood, the dowel could fall out. 

I gave up after the four hours and went to my neighbor who has a wood working shop and I should have gone to him first. He drilled out the center of the wooden rake handle on both edges and stuck a 1/2 inch dowel inside and glued it in. 

He made it long enough on both sides to fit through the side wood. This only works if you can remove the side wood which I could because it was held in by the wires so I just untwisted the wires and pulled the wood out enough so I could slide the dowels through the side wood. I did use 1/2 in drill bit or just one size up so that the dowel could fit easily and turn easily but not be really loose. 

He then used a small screw to fasten the dowel inside the edge of the tinker toy piece that I used as the crank shaft. 

Be sure to make the one side of the 1/2 inch dowel long enough that when you crank the crank, you aren't hitting the garbage can lid. We measured how long I wanted the handle out from the side wood pieces and cut it there. 

He also drilled a hole in the center of the wood for the rope to fit through so that I could tie a knot and the rope would crank up and down as the handle did. 

The pictures at the top are from what I tried before he got a hold of it so hopefully, you can understand what I am saying. I meant to take a video of it before I packed it so I could show more in detail but it is already pulled apart and ready for camp so perhaps I can add that later.

Anyway, after I pulled the rope through, I didn't want a big knot so I just looped it over itself. The bucket rest just on the bottom of the can when the rope is down and fully extended. I tied the bucket on with a knot. I shared that you can use an ice bucket as well painted like a wooden bucket but I liked this little pail I found at a second hand store better. 

The bottom pictures are what he did and you can clearly see the smaller dowel used. If we used the same sized dowel for the entire thing, there wouldn't be anything to keep it in the sides. This way works GREAT and everyone one that has seen it starts cranking it. It is just a part of nature that we need to manipulate things in our environment.

Once you have the handle on and the crank is working, there is the issue of keeping the bucket up. 

We are using this as a mail box so I wanted to have it stay up while they are putting the mail in and taking it out. I also like the look of the little pail hanging so I pulled a plastic door handle from some project I had and pulled a plastic clamp out of the salvage trays of scrap screws etc and screwed the handle onto the outside of the side wood. To keep the handle from sliding off, I put a washer on the bottom edge and used a screw to hold it on so that it wouldn't slip out of the plastic clamp. 

Now, if the pail is down, the handle lays flat along the side of the wood supports on the outside and when the pail is up, I pull the handle out and it holds the crank and knob in place so that the little pail stays up. I think you can see it clearly enough in the pictures. 

I also want to put one of the "build-a-bear" voice recording push buttons on the top with a "push here" sign and record someone singing, "I'm wishing for the one I love, to write me today." in the tune of "I'm wishing" from the movie "Snow White." It should be fun for the girls to be able to push that. Another way for them to manipulate the environment. That would bring in several of the senses which kids enjoy. 

I will hopefully get some good pictures of everything at camp so I can share them with you. It sure has been fun to be able to be creative and come up with some great ideas for camp. I hope the girls enjoy what was created as many of the projects were lots of work.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wishing Well - Painting and Decorating It

I have painted my bathroom in the past to look like a stone garden wall. Click here to see that post.

I figured if I could paint that to look like a real garden wall, I could paint a garbage can to look like a wishing well of stone. 

I took shades of brown, grey, silver and red and made them into stones. 

Basically, you can make any shape stone you wish but the trick is to leave a little bit of the black showing in the corners so it looks like mortar as you would never be able to get the rocks exactly tight, there is always some space in the edges. 

So, you just start painting different shapes and colors and be careful to not angle them all one direction. Keep making them odd shapes and don't work next to each other. 

I do one here and one there in the same color so I don't have to work with that color again after I am done, there is a rock here and a space and a rock there and as I work with different colors, I fill in the spaces. 

First do one color solid. While that color dries, I use another color to make more rocks. Once the first rocks color is dry, I will use the first color mixed with a little white to highlight the rock and make it have dimension. You can then add a little black to the color and go around the edges making it look a bit shaded.

You can see here the colors I used to make the rock wall. You can also see in the picture that some are more muted than others and some I got tired and really let the highlighted section go more streaked but I wanted to get it done. 

To avoid the streak look and make it more blended, keep the brush or sponge moist. I didn't and that is why it looks like a skunk stripe instead of more highlighted and muted. I like the look more when I kept it wet and do more of a sponge technique like on the grey ones. 

It isn't going to hurt anything to just mess around and try different techniques or color types. You can always paint over it and make it look different if you don't like what you have done. 

I showed you in the top pictures how I drilled holes through the garbage can and lid so I could attach the wooden sides of the well and once it is drilled, you push wire through the outside and twist them on the inside to keep the wood in place and to keep the lid on the well. 

You can see in the pictures how I twisted the wire on the inside of the wood and you can see on the outside how I painted a "rock" over the outside of the wire making it match a bit better. 

Just keep painting more rocks and mixing in white or black to make the rocks lighter or darker until you have the entire thing filled in. It doesn't matter if some of the rocks are smaller or odd shaped as you can see. 

Once you have the entire thing painted, you can decorate it. I had ivy from a project in the girls room a few years ago so I figured i would attach that and make it look like a wet well would with things growing on it. I did show you both sides of the garbage can so you could see how even though the one side goes in some and the other side has wheels, you can't really tell by the way it is painted.

I didn't use anything to attach the ivy to the can. I just twisted it around the things using the wires already on the can from where I attached the boards. I tucked in the ivy to the wire and twisted it around the wood and the handle etc. I poked the smaller pieces into the lower drilled wire holes as you can see if you look closely. 
I was thrilled to find some dragon fly lights that worked on batteries at the dollar store. They glow blue/white and I figured there would be dragonflies anywhere there is water so I bought them. 

I just wrapped them around the ivy and hung the little battery pack on the inside edge and wanted to show you how it looked at night. We are at girls camp for several nights so I wanted the girls to have some fun lights to guide them to our cabin at night. I have some flickering candles but I thought the well being lit up would make it fun. 

I also wanted to show you the bucket I didn't decide to use. I bought this ice bucket and was going to paint it like a wooden pail but found the other one I liked better but in case you are making one and can't find a wooden looking bucket, just know you can use an ice bucket painted like wood. 

Check out my blog tomorrow where I show you how to make the bucket actually go up and down in a working way. I knew the girls would probably want to crank it up and down so I figure, it is worth showing you as it took me awhile to figure it out. 

I am really pleased with how it is working out. I'll have to get some pictures of the girls using it at camp. I think it will be a hit as our camp mailbox.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Making a Wishing Well From a Garbage Can

As you know if you read this blog much, we are doing "Snow White" for our camp this year. Each different church girls group makes a "mail box" for the girls to write cute notes to each other. They then place the notes in the units mailbox for their friends and family.

When thinking of a cute "mailbox" for "Snow White" theme, I thought a wishing well where they could crank a basket up and down to deliver the mail would be fun. 

I asked around to see if anyone in our area had a wooden yard wishing well but the more I thought about it and drove around town looking at them, they were always weathered and falling apart and didn't look like the rock wishing well in the movie and I didn't want to have to transport that and spiders in my car. It wouldn't be easy to take down and I worried it would be heavy as well. 

As I pondered on it, I thought perhaps I could make one out of a garbage can. I drew up a little sketch of what I thought I could do with one and went to buy one. 

I did look online for "garbage can wishing well" to see what came up or had been done to make wishing wells before and there were only a few and they were wedding one's in white but I was looking more for a real looking well. 
I found some wood looking contact paper and covered the lid with it to make it look like a wooden shingled top on the well. It stuck quite well but you could always use brown duct / duck tape on the inside if it didn't stick well.

I then found some wood grain looking fake leather stuff. I figured I could use old wood but thought the wood grain would match the top a bit better. I took some of the old slats from the benches I used for the wedding, (See a post about that here) and wrapped the wood grain fabric around them and used a staple gun to hold the fabric onto the side posts.
I drilled holes into the bottom sides of the garbage can the size of the width of the wooden slates. I did the same at the top of the can and on the edges of the lid to hold the wooden slats into place.

I like the powershot staple gun as it goes with gravity and I don't have to use my hand to compress it but I can just use my weight to push it down.

I got some ivy and a bucket at the second hand store. I actually bought an ice bucket and was going to cover it with the wood grain contact paper but figured the other one I found was cuter as far as buckets go so I decided to use that one.

I will write more about this and show more details on how I put it together on my next post but for now, I am having a bout of "Sititus" and dragged all day. Finally realized I wasn't taking my iron pills. I couldn't get anything done today as I kept ending up on the couch and finally I just took an hour nap as I couldn't take it anymore. It would be nice to get feeling  better.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

In God We Trust - Even While Gardening

I don't remember where I was the other day when I saw this picture framed. I LOVED that we have a stamp somewhere that reminds us that we should "Trust in God." 
I took a picture with my phone and all of these pictures in this post were taken with my phone so the quality is a bit lacking but you will get the idea anyway as if you read this blog much, you will know where the post is going already. 
The other day, I was working on edging the lawn. For some reason, I don't have much luck with edgers. I realized that most people don't have much luck with edgers. 
I was feeling frustrated with mine as I have to stop every two feet and release more line, it takes me about five hours to edge the entire yard. 
This isn't ideal but if I have something going on and want a nicely edged yard, that is what it takes. 

I have tried many types over the years and electric vs gas, it doesn't make much difference. The gas one leaked all the time and eventually the thing broke down. 

The electric one works but it has some type of auto feed that has never worked and the bottom snaps on verses screw on and I have had to replace the snap part already and have only had it one season. 

Anyway, I was edging for Princess Four's graduation weekend as Princess Three brought her boyfriend home for the first time and Princess One and crew were coming as well as my dad and his wife. 
I started edging and what did I find to my surprise???  Coin, after coin, after coin.... It was like Christmas while edging. I just kept finding coins in the edge of the grass. I found five larger coins in all. 

My guess is someone pulled out their keys and some coins came in the process and all rolled to different places on both sides of the walk. 

It was great fun to find them as I worked. I was lazy and didn't want to go into the house while working to get the camera so I took them on my cell and that is why the pictures are smaller. 

However, you can clearly see the coins in the grass and sidewalk edge. I took this last one of the coins once I brought them inside. They do look a bit worse for the wear being outside in the grass all winter.

It doesn't matter how bad they look or the wear on them as I am always grateful for them as they are a constant reminder for me to continually trust in God. Just  like this picture of the postage stamp suggests, I think I will take them up on it and try to remember to always TRUST in GOD!

Monday, June 23, 2014

In a Little People House - Happy Birthday Princess Two

We weren't around Princess Two when it was her birthday. Everyone was in the middle of finishing up school and graduations etc so we didn't have a party or do anything. 

Since then, I have sent her a few gifts but we never actually sang and did the birthday thing so when she was coming home for a weekend, we decided to decorate for her. 

We got out the crepe paper and banner and blew up some balloons for her and as she came in the house, we started singing.

You can see she was surprised by our doing this as it isn't near her birthday but I think she liked it. 

I was also excited that I was able to find a Fisher Price "Little People House." 

This was Princess Two's favorite toy when she was little. She would play with it for hours and would feed her little people and talk with them. I have a video of her talking to the people and playing with the house. 

Interestingly enough, her favorite book was the book, "In a People House" By  Dr. Seuss. She would read the book to her "little People." 

I got rid of many of the toys they had as children which upset a few Princesses as they wanted several of them but I hadn't learned to ask them all if they wanted something before getting rid of it. 

So, when we were going through the toys and picking numbers to see who got what, Princess One ended up with the little people house and figures. (Here is a link to how we do our inheritance to keep things fair.)

I know my siblings ended up with ours that I had as a child as I didn't live in the state when my parent's home was cleaned out so I don't have any toys of mine that I had as a child.

Perhaps that is why I didn't hold onto all their toys. Anyway, Princess Two was a bit sad she didn't end up with that toy but she got some others that she wanted so I kept in mind that she was looking for one. 

I found one at a second hand store the other day and figured it was worth the price for her to have it. It didn't have all the original furniture and people but I had some I had collected over the years and hoped I would find another house eventually. So, I had an extra car and beds etc. 

I think she looks happy with her little people birthday gift. I am sure at some point she will have a use for it. 

Happy Late Birthday Princess Number 2. Hope all the extra birthday days you have had this year were WONDERFUL! LOVE you and am proud of the Princess you have become!