Thursday, April 17, 2014

Another Something Useful

Note: This is a guest post by Gary, because he only realized after he finished that he wasn't logged in to his own account.
 
Hey! I build lots of useful things. Like this bunk bed.

We've been talking for a while on how the arrangements are going to be when baby Cora comes. We also would like the idea of having the option of having sleepovers in Peri's room. The answer was a bunk bed. A bunk bed we could make ourselves.

I've been following a woodworker named Matthias Wandel for about a year now, and among his more interesting projects, he has published plans for more practical works. We found his bunk bed plans and ran with them. Naomi did all of the material calculations, layout, and markup while I did all the cutting, drilling, and assembly. This worked out to three weekend trips to Grandma's, which Peri didn't mind at all.

My mom wasn't too sure about the whole operation until she saw it dry-fitted in the basement before we took it home. I think she liked it, and I sure do like it. We still have a long way to go with it, like sanding, sanding, rounding over the hard edges, filling some gaps, sanding, and painting, but it's a great addition to our home. And really, the only one who needs to like it really, really likes it. Behold:

video



Sunday, March 30, 2014

Gary Built Something Useful!

In all fairness, he builds lots of useful things.

Sooooooo, it's been a while since we posted anything. We've been busy doing a bunch of things, but I've not had the motivation for doing a blog post in a while. Oh well, life and all that.

But! We're having some family over for a week-long visit in just 6 days, and we're really excited to get our apartment in some semblance of order so it won't be completely trashed when our relatives leave. Not that they are the type to trash things, it just happens when you have a lot of people in a small, small space. We've been wanting to organize stuff for a while, but this visit has been the major push to purge a bunch of crap that's been lying around and also find systems that will be easy to maintain while they are here and after they leave. We've already done a little in the living room and it has been a LIFESAVER. It is so much easier to clean up and it takes way more time for things to get really dirty, so for someone who is a lazy cleaner like me, it has been awesome!

We are really really excited about the thing Gary made today though! We don't have a lot of seating just now, especially in the kitchen. We are going to have 9 people in our house for a week, so we need more seats for everyone to sit at the kitchen table.

Gary was over at his mum's house doing some basement work for her, and he decided to make a bench out of some "reclaimed" wood from her basement stairway to ease some of our seating woes. He just put in new stair runners, so he had all these 2x10 boards lying about just waiting to be put together into something new.

Funny thing is, when he brought it home, as excited as we were to have a bench for peeps to sit on, we won't be using it for seating forever, so I had the idea that when we were done with it, we could use it as shoe storage in our entry.

We had shoe storage already, but it looked like this:



It was just a stopgap to give us a definitive place to put shoes, not really a method that we thought was going to work. It is what it is, and what it is, is a box turned on it's end with some shoes stuck haphazardly in to it. It's rather underwhelming.

But now we have this!



We have a shoe bench! Peri insists that her shoes go on top. It has plenty of room for our shoes on the bottom shelves (or shelf and floor I guess), and then guests can put their shoes on top. Gary's bike is actually mounted to the wall right above this, so it's not really a place where we can sit and put our shoes on.

I don't really like the bike there, but there is literally no other place where it could possibly go, so I live with it. It's saving us money for Gary to go to work on bike instead of by train, and he's really, really jazzed to be getting 16 miles of exercise every day, so I deal with it.

So now we still don't have seating in our kitchen, but Gary plans to make another bench just like this one to go in our kitchen, and we'll never be lacking kitchen seating or shoe storage again.

The End.



Friday, February 14, 2014

Some Crafty Things

So Peri really really loves to craft and do artsy things, so we try to do something crafty a few times every week. A lot of times it's just Peri getting out the Elmer's glue and going to town making "glue art." I don't know why, but she really enjoys putting beads of glue on paper. She gets really focused and makes puddles and lines and is very precise in where she puts things. Just recently she started getting into the crafty bag and pulling out pom poms to stick to her glue art after she makes it. It's really cool for Gary and I to watch her be independently creative.

It's been a while since we've done a blog post, so I'll just go through some of the crafts we've made, even though a few of them are from earlier than Thanksgiving. Oh well.

Just after we moved into our apartment, Peri saw some cool My Little Pony fleece at JoAnn's and wouldn't leave the store without it. We got enough for her to make a pillowcase, and she adores it. She helped me make it by sitting on my lap and taking out the pins while I sewed. She just loves to watch the sewing machine go, and I'm looking forward to the time when I can teach her to do some actual sewing on the machine!

In all it's fuzzy glory.

The first thing she did was use it as a spring board.

With pretty good success.

Here she is "enjoying" it on Daddy's office chair.
For Thanksgiving we made a couple of hats, based on my nostalgia of 2nd grade when we totally made paper costumes for pilgrims and Indians. I remember I was really jazzed about wearing them to the dinner table on Thanksgiving, but nobody else wanted to wear them. Boooooo!

It fits!
Feathers are cool!
However she was only excited to wear it for 2.8 seconds. I guess maybe paper feathers aren't as cool as I once thought they were.




We also made a pilgrim hat, and she wore it for a while, but considering she has no idea what it is or what it's for, it didn't get much attention after the fist time it fell off her head. She's more interested in getting pictures taken of her than anything at this point. 
 

Yaaaaay. What is this mom?
I think it turned out pretty cool. I'd wear it.
Around Christmas time, she received a graham cracker house kit from our ward Christmas party to take home and assemble. We had a great time putting it together, and it turned out pretty awesome!

Peri mostly enjoyed the eating a sucker while we worked part.
Tada!

If you are wondering what she's doing with the sucker, she's trying to dip it in whatever stray icing she can find on the house. She liked the icing better as dipping sauce than as mortar.
A bit more recently, Peri begged me for a craft to do (as she often does), and I went to the Pinterest board for ideas. Peri was quite taken with this one and since I had a bunch of buttons in Peri's favorite colors lying around, I said why not? I only have the one crappy phone picture of it to post, so just know that it is shinier and way more awesome in real life. We put it in a frame and will hang it somewhere someday. That's how much I like it. I drew the tree, Peri got to decide where to put the buttons, and I applied the hot glue for her. She's got a good sense of aesthetics I think. She even put some buttons on top of other buttons for that 3D effect! Awesome!

Button tree!
Peri has a whole wall full of crafts and pictures she's made, and we keep adding to it weekly. I have no doubt she'll have her whole room plastered with her artwork in no time. Her favorite thing is adding a new piece to her gallery. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

New Ultrasound Frames for the New Year!

So now that we're more or less settled in one place, I have the time and inclination to get back to doing something that I really liked to do: my ultrasound frames!

I started making ultrasound frames after I gave one as a gift to a friend of mine for her baby shower. A lot of people liked it and it was great fun to make, so I just thought, why not more? So I opened an Etsy shop and started putting things there. I even sold a few!

Then life got in the way and I had to stop and close my shop for a while. It was a real bummer.

But as I said, now that we're settled I can make more! And the icing on the cake is that my husband bought me a Silhouette Cameo and I can cut them out on that and they turn out really crisp and pretty! They make me really happy! I still draw them freehand, but cutting them out is much easier, and I can make multiples of the same one much easier than I used to be able to.

These are the ones I've got done so far:




They are all really simple and similar to one another, but I have plans to make some that are more complicated later on.

Something I think is really cool about them though, is since I draw them myself, they can be endlessly customized. I can make them look like someone, or change the colors, the size, the layout, the caption... you name it! 

One thing I didn't count on though... even with the cutting machine, they are a lot of work to make! Drawing simple ones like these are no problem, but I have to trace them into a cutting file afterward, and that takes quite a bit of time. Then I have to find fonts that fit in the caption bubbles that will cut easily on the Cameo... It's been a bit of a process trying to figure it all out. I will figure it all out though, and then I'll have lots of fabulous frames! And even if I don't end up selling them, they make great gifts, so I'll never lack for presents for my pregnant friends!

Aaaaaand if anyone is interested, you can see them at my Etsy store!