Sunday, November 30, 2008

Woooo Hoooo!

Couple of bites on the truck, the one I talked to is very interested. I think we'll have it sold in no time. So cool. Then can rent a nice station wagon or van to go home. Ahhh, room. It has been snowing off & on all day. Not sticking as of 2:23pm. Supposed to snow tomorrow as well. It' nice & cold, so going to finish off soup tonight. Yum! Rob's internet is stinky today & we kept getting kicked off. :(

Worked on my usual pile 'o stuff today. (I swear it procreates overnight.) I can never seem to make the clutter disappear. There is always something I need to go through. Had a great time at Danielle's party last night. The only problem is that now, there is too much I want. I have to be good though. Trying to get the kids interested in buying something for me for Christmas ;)


Crud, it's LATE! I still have to make lunches & sat here spacing it. Have been sorting through crafts stuff. Got my stuff gone through, but got side tracked in craft supplies. Ah, sweet addictive crafts. Esp. origami. I love origami. Esp using recycled catalogs w/ purty pics. Have you ever made the chinese wishing stars? Folding Trees has a great tutorial.

I am thankful for free catalogs. I love home window shopping, esp here where there aren't many shops. I know I can look at stuff online, but I really like having something physical to hold. (Now before you feel too bad for the companies, I do occasionally buy stuff.)


Friday, November 28, 2008

fleece socks

I have been looking all over the web for a free fleece sock pattern, but can not find one w/ pattern pieces or quite what I'm looking for. I did find this... nice tutorial, no pattern though. I for one, really need a pattern. I tend to make a mess without one. As most of y'all know there is no sewing or crafting place around here. No where to buy patterns, (damn you Wal-Mart for getting rid of the sewing section.) So, I found a PDF pattern for sale on Etsy & the transaction was nice & smooth, had the pattern in my email when I woke this morning.
The computer had m in a fit again today. The desktop as I said has been having issues. The disc drive is all wonky, bu when the boys were messing w/ it, trying to fix it, they unplugged the printer from te computer. I have been going nuts today trying to figure out what is wrong w/ this thing. Really, throwing a lovely little fit, esp after buying all new inks. Then happened to notice cord was loose, tugged at it & it came right up. not connected. grr. *sigh* I'm ok now.
The weather must be bad in the dessert tonight, no contact at all from Rob & theonly reason that would happen is if his internet was down. I just hope he didn't frustrate himself too bad.
Tonight is Danielle's Pampered Chef party, So I'm looking forward to a nice evening. Iplanon relaxing when I get home, so am going to go ahead & post this. Good day one & all. :)

Late Night Updates!!!

Ok, so excited, couldn't wait. I am already getting nibbles about the truck. Yipee!!

Also, on a sad note, just found out they are canceling Pushing Daisy's & Eli Stone :(
Damn you ABC!!!

I hate computers - sometimes

Our home computer is having an epileptic fit. I have no clue what is wrong with it, I never use it. It works as our network hub & the kids use it, & that's it. I use my laptop. Can't stand to sit still at the desk. I have been a lump today. Folded some laundry & addressed the stack of boxes & a bit of computer work. Bunch of super cool shows on HGTV. I'm going to miss that channel. Ivy has her friends over tonight. Gotta let her be w/ her buds while she can. Not much to say. Peace.

I am thankful for hot & cold running water. One of those things you don't think about much, but w/ Rob being in the dessert, it makes me aware of how lucky we are to be able to take long hot showers, & give the dog a bath. She would be pretty ripe otherwise.

Have a GREAT day & ttyl

PS - finally listed the truck on craigslist, check it out & if you have any suggestions, let me know.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Drink Can Tinwork

Drink Can Tinwork

Thank you Atomic Shrimp

Soft drink cans are easily recyclable as scrap metal, but I fancied trying something a little more direct - a simplified form of tinwork.
All that's needed for this project is a strong pair of scissors, a cork-backed table mat, a pointed object (a scriber or just a ballpoint pen), a little bit of tape and some fine abrasive paper.
Plus of course an empty aluminium drink can - this one contained 'Emerge' - an energy drink containing caffeine and taurine, with a flavour and aroma that perfectly reproduces the experience of drinking something fizzy and anonymously fruity next to a public urinal.
First, I cut the can down one side, then cut carefully around the ends.
Extreme care is required here, as the edges of the thin metal are sharp and jagged.

Then I opened out the side into a flattish sheet and gave it another trim to remove the worst of the jagged points.
It's always a bit surprising how much material such an apparently small cylinder yields - I think it's just not all that easy to intuitively estimate the circumference of a circle.

I taped the metal down flat onto the cork back of a table mat, then used a piece of fine abrasive paper to remove the printing.
It isn't strictly necessary to remove the paint from the can, but it does make forming a pattern easier later on.

Then I used the scriber (and later, an ordinary ballpoint pen) to mark out a decorative pattern on the metal.
- Pressing just hard enough to crease the material, but not hard enough to puncture or score it

Once the design has been pressed into the metal, it tends to prevent it recoiling back into a cylinder - the work can be removed from the cork board.
I've decorated this one with a simple pattern consisting of geometric shapes, swirls and spirals - but obviously other designs are possible.
It may even be possible, with a little care and skill, to reproduce a picture in beaten relief style.

I cut the piece to shape with the scissors...

Then folded in the corners, to create a box shape.
Again, great care is needed here to avoid cuts from the sharp edges.

The end result is a little metal box with an embossed pattern.

Not bad for a first effort - I'd do a few things differently next time, such as leaving an extra bit on the edge and folding it over inwards, so the box doesn't have any exposed sharp edges.
It Gets Better

I found a way of getting the design to stand out in sharper relief.
I traced the entire design as normal, then (before any folding) flipped over the metal and using the same kind of embossing technique, traced around the raised pattern elements from the other side - following the inside and outside edges of all the raised elements.
Then I flipped it over and re-traced the original design once more. The result is a much clearer, bolder embossed design.

And Better...

It was also pretty simple to make the box with turned-over edges that were not so sharp - by leaving an extra tab on each side
The diagonal scored lines (marked in red) are embossed from the front surface of the work - enabling the corners to be folded inwards.
The lines scored to enable the edge flaps to be finally tucked in are marked in blue on this diagram - they're embossed from the back, like most of the other work, but I found it necessary to make them from a pair of closely-spaced parallel lines - as the thin metal tends to snap if creased into a really tight fold.

And Better Still

Finally, it's quite easy to tweak the measurements for a second box so that one fits snugly over the other.
I found that by reducing the central square region by about a quarter inch and increasing the height of the sides by a similar amount, the resulting box was just small enough to push inside the other as a base.
Remember which way up it's going to be when you're applying the designs though.

I lined my box with a little scrap of tapestry-style fabric, held in place with all-purpose glue.
Felt or velvet would also work just as well - I think it's even possible to get self-adhesive versions of these, which would probably be ideal.


I didn't get a chance to post yesterday. Even with the joint effort of me & the kids, did not get done packaging cookies for Rob & his friends until about 12:30am. So there went my determination to get the boxes mailed before Thanksgiving. One of these days I'll get organized, I can't seem to be on time for anything. Rob has a tendancy toput some things off, but he always gets us on time. Keeps me from being perpetually a day late & a dollar short. I have a small fortune in packages to send to Rob tomorrow. The pie is done, but had a small accident, looks awful but will taste great. The turkey is in the oven & the sides are ready to go, so am able to work on other things. I found Katie's blog today, super cool. The big turkey day dinner came out wonky this year. Tasty, but not picture matierial. Started the rolls too early, poor Ivy, mama set her up for failure there. Didn't mean to. The rolls rose waaaaayyyyyy to much. Sera was silly yesterday. Stole my seat, I said "scootch" & she only moved a bit to the right. Had to pick her up to move her. Silly puppy. But I think she was sleepy. Look at that face. We wen tto the commissary yesterday for a few things, & look what they had. My favorite peppermint ice cream. I was so excited, the kids started teasing me. Now that we've eaten & the kitchen is clean, Ivy & I are chilling on the couch & the boys are upstairs on the electronics. Enjoy your Thanksgiving no matter where you are & who you're with.
I'm thankful for my friends & family & their health & well being. God has truly blessed us.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm a mess

My sleep schedule is now officially a mess. The past 2 nights, when I lay down, cough the night away. I can't seem to shake this cough. It's a dry annoying cough that keeps me awake. I think I got an hour of sleep before the alarm went off. Ugh. Had a nap this morning, but I'm still beat. I need to finish the boxes for Rob so I can send them tomorrow. I have everything ready, just have to pack it up. But as it's gifts, that includes wrapping. I want to use fabric this year though to wrap, which makes it a bit more complex. The kids are off for the rest of the week. No big plans, other than the turkey. The cookies came out spectacular!Now I just have to get them out before they tempt me past endurance. I kept it simple this year for Christmas cookies: Oatmeal scotchies, (recipe on back of package of butterscotch chips - Rob's favorite,) Ginger snaps & Peanut butter cookies, (both from Betty Crocker Cookbook.) So no cut outs. Gas is down to $1.63 - flabbergasting. I finally made Ivy a red cape. As I'm always having her deliver the goodies I bake, we both felt it was only proper for her to have a cape. I used some red fleece that I had & this pattern I found online. A bit small, (due to not enough fabric,) but cute. I set beans out to soak last night, but didn't really look at the recipe. Takes 4 hours. Yikes, so I guess we'll have soup tomorrow. Hotdogs tonight. My camera is having issues, as told by this pic of a ladybug. I keep finding these ladybugs all over the house. wanted to take a close-up, but no matter what setting I tried, I could not focus on the bug :( Believe it or not, I am actually tired, so I will leave you all tonight & one of these days I'll get the tutes up on tin work. Good night, God Bless & talk to ya'll tomorrow.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Finally! Praise God! Hallelujah! Rob sent this pic from one of his buddies wives, just a few days ago. We will have housing in Bamberg on December 8th. Then the fun of a move begins. Ugh. Never had to do this on my own before. Always had Rob to take care of the details. Not looking forward to that. The timing however works out fine for us to go home for the holidays. A nice send off. I'm still hoping to sell the truck before we leave & rent something a bit roomier. I've been in a baking kind of mood. Which works well,since I need to get Robs packages sent. Yesterday I decided to make pizza dough by hand rather than in the machine. There is something therapeutic about working the dough, but you need to be up to it. I have spent ALL evening in the kitchen making cookies to send to Rob & his buddies for their Christmas presents. They can open them early, but something nice for those guys. Plus I have a ton of Girl Scout Cookies to send. The post office is going to either love or hate me. love for the money & hate for the amount of work. I wish I was more of a morning person, but I just can't seem to get going til afternoon. Then can work like a dervish until super late. Oh well. Take advantage of when I can do good work. I learned another interesting thing today. Don't keep your camera in your apron pocket when making cookies, or it ends up w/ cookie dough in all the crevasses. Not sure how, but it does. I wore my favorite fuzzy socks today. I love them , but they are about shot :( Don't know where I'll find another pair like them. I guess I need to learn how to knit my own.
#whatever: Today I am thankful for my ridiculously expensive shoes. (& for my honey for having bought them for me this summer.) They are MBT's. Therapeutic type odd shoes. I am too damn fat & my feet had been killing me when I went for longish walks. Now I can take my fat rear on daily walks minimum of 4 miles & they don't hurt. They are sooooo nice. So I may be fat, but I'm healthy. haha. (Don't get mad babe, you don't think so, but I am too fat.)

Today's Bento:
top: cream cheese dip, ritz crackers.
bottom: salad under all, piece of monterrey jack on top & tomato wedge holding penguins in place. Penguins, got the idea from some magazine, unsure which. 2 olives, cut wedge from bottom olive & put in center to hold head on, used cream cheese dip as filling, (before adding pepperoni,) pepperoni beak & dots of cream cheese for eyes. broccoli florets, zucchini & squash candy canes.
Jackies Cream Cheese dip: softened package of cream cheese, 1 small tub of sour cream, bunch of pepperoni - diced, & handful of chives, chopped. yum.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

beer can ashtray

from Instructables;
by Walrus Man

step 1: A beer can. CUT IT'S HEAD OFF. Do not cut your fingers.

step 2: Use scissors to cut vertically down the can. Making between 5 and 8 cuts works nicely.

step 3: Bend strips outward at 90 degrees! Pow!

step 4: Cut little bits off the end of the strips. This makes it nice and neat, and easier to fold together.
A quick reminder not to cut your fingers on the can. Those cuts are very thin and very nasty. AVOID!

step 5: Fold strips like so! Tuck the last one underneath the first to avoid unnecessary strip-flapping shenanigans.

step 6: THERE IS NO STEP 6
Assemble your equipment and prepare yourself for REVOLUTIONARY NEW SMOKING EXPERIENCE.

step 7: END
Don't forget to wash your hands! Ta!

Soda Can Lotus Flower

Lotus tealight made from a Tea can

List of materials:
The materials listed are for the pictured candle holder with 2 lotus tealights.
4 - tea cans (or other cans if you like)
2- tealight sized washers with an opening small enough to be held down by wood screw
1 - 1/2″ wood screw
1 - 10″ piece of scrap wood
2 - cinnamon sticks or small sticks from your backyard for feet
2 - tea lights
wood stain or paint
clear coat spray
general purpose, “strong-hold” glue
sharpie and rubbing alcohol
aluminum tape (found in the ducting section of the hardware store)
make your own pattern or download my Lotus Tealight pattern
tin snips
scissors or light duty shears
gloves to protect hands when cutting metal
hand saw
screw driver
drill and drill bit sized for your wood screw
Step 1 - Prepare cans
a. b.
c. d.
Make sure to rinse cans before cutting. Wear gloves when cutting. I store my cans in flattened sheets and have been cutting tea cans and saving them. So, I used this Guiness can for this demonstration only.
a. Use tin snips to cut through thick top part of can
b. Switch to scissors or shears and cut around top of can
c. Cut down the side, cutting along seam
d. Cut around bottom

You are left with a flat (ish) sheet and a top and bottom. Set aside or recycle top and bottom of can.
Step 2 - Cut and shape bottom layer of lotus petals
a. b.
c. d.
To cut first layer of lotus petals:a. Trace Lotus Tealight pattern onto can using a sharpie. I like to mark on the front of the can so I can get the placement that I want. The sharpie can be removed after cutting using isopropyl rubbing alcohol.
b. Use tealight to trace a circle in center of flower. This ensures your tea light will fit and gives you a guide as to how far in to cut your petals
c. Cut petals to the circle
d. Remove sharpie ink using rubbing alcohol
a. b.
To shape first layer:a. Use a pencil and straight edge on a mouse pad to emboss lines into the petals
b. Fold petals down, also pinch and shape petals until they take a pleasing shape. **Aluminum is fairly malleable and strong but if you fold and refold too many times you will break the petals off
Step 3 - Cut and shape inner layer of Lotus
a. b.
a. Mark, cut and clean the same way you did for the previous step
b. Emboss petals and fold bottom edge of petals in
c. Fold in between petals to form a circular shape, tape ends together on inside of flower using aluminum tape
Repeat for second lotus.
Step 4 - Prepare wood base
a. b.
c. d.
a. Cut scrap wood to desired length, mine was 10 inches
b. Sand edges and clean with a damp rag
c. Stain or paint as you like, spray with topcoat. I also sprayed the sticks to protect and seal them
d. Glue sticks onto bottom of base to act as feet
Step 5 - Attach flowers to base
a. b.
c. d.
To attach:
a. Puncture a hole in the center of the bottom layer of the lotus
b. Place and mark on base, using punctured hole. Drill a starter hole in wood.
c. Put flower together. Place inner layer into the bottom layer of the lotus . Next, place washer and screw into both layers of lotus flower
d. Screw into place
e. Insert a candle
Repeat for other flower

Step 6 - Display and marvel at your creation!