Thursday, June 11, 2015

Measuring Spoon Chalk Board Display

I've been wanting to do this project for several years. I received several cool sets of measuring spoons in bridal showers, and have inherited several sets from special people. I knew I wanted to display this special heritage in a special way. I've just never been in the right place or had a right feeling idea. With our new home came both the place AND the idea. I wanted them to hang on the cabinet face perpendicular to where we were planning to hang the generations of rolling pins. I also wanted them on a board or rack that could be removed (No holes in the cabinetry. I don't care if we own it.) I decided a thing board would be good and that it would need to be framed as to "class it up." Framed chalk boards are all the rage and the chalk board idea carried appeal because then I could label the sets of spoons AND come up with a doodley changeable quote.  First the frame:
Michaels was having a 40% off frames sale. AND there was a 15%off already on sale frames coupon. Double bam. The helpful sales accociate helped me locate some that might work with my dimensions. I picked two options with mats hoping that the rom for a mat would give more room for wood. Luke voted for the more simple one, and I knew if I went for the fancy one and didn't have enough room, I'd get the loathsome "told you so."

Upon entry to Michaels, my first question was "Where is chalkboard vinyl?" I'm not fond of waiting for paint to dry these days  and I saw a Pinterest tutorial where they just dropped the vinyl in the frame. Done and done. Sign me up. Several secret employee walkie talkie conversations later and I was looking at Cricut chalk board vinyl and then the manager came hustling over and handed me this product and says, I just used this. You want this. It's awesome. Sold. I used my 50% off coupon. 

Where are the chalk pens? This one worked pretty well. There's totally a learning curve. 
I had some of these L Hooks from a previous project. 
Last but not least I got 12 lb Velcro command strips for hanging my creation hole free. Yaaaaay!
This piece of pretty1/4 inch plywood was left in our garage. I think they used it for cutting things on with a razor. I just needed it as a base for my hooks to screw into. I tried cutting it with a razor blade. No go. Luke ended up hitting it with the circular saw. Thanks to the frame, a rough cut was fine. 
It did no want to fit in the frame with the back. I took it out front to hammer the edges to hopefully make them thinner and a better fit. I worked. Luke helped me stick the surprisingly not so sticky vinyl on (the key part may have been that this vinyl isnrepositionable) and squeeze the layers into the frame like when I put on skinny jeans. Here are a few of the layouts I contemplated. 
We settled on the last one so I'd have room for a quote. I marked my drill spots with pencil utilizing a handy dandy wilt ruler. Love these things. 
I used my smallest drill bit and sunk it pretty far into the holster to keep myself from drilling too deep. 
The pencil marks rubbed off okay enough and once I "seasoned" the chalk board it was a non issue. 
In went the hooks and row one was done. 
On the second row I went ahead and put my straight line in and then measured my points. I liked this method best. In retrospect I should have put all my lines on before putting hooks in but I was kind of still experimenting. 
Once the hooks were in I seasoned the board. I rubbed the chalk on it.  
Then I rubbed it in with a dry paper towel.  
I drew light lines in chalk to give me guides for my lettering. Then I used a chalk pen for my actual lettering. I'd seen warnings online about some chalk tearing the vinyl. Be warned. Once the chalk pen had dried I was able to rub the guidelines in with my dry paper towel. 
I followed the command strip mounting instructions and voila!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Listening Caddy

I know a girl who uses a listening device to help her hear. The primary speaker wears a microphone and she has a device that she can adjust the volume on with ear buds delivering the sound directly to her ears. I noticed that she was losing a lot of time getting the ear buds out, untangling them and putting them in her ears. Also, her device doesn't have a clip or a way to keep it on her person if she's not wearing pockets.
I was inspired to create this so that she could have a pouch for the device, a way to prevent cord tangling, and keep her ear buds easily accessible. When she's not listening the elastic bands hold the cords in place and keep them from getting tangled. When she's ready to put the ear buds in, she can do so quickly. Additionally the whole unit can be put on and taken off quickly. 

I made two sizes of pouch. One for her smaller device and one for her larger back up.

The pouches can be changed between the strap easily with snaps. I stitched the elastic bands in place with embroidery floss to keep them from sliding down the strap.

It has occured to me that this would also be a great accessory for an iPod for kids (or adults) during travel. Or MAYBE even an iPhone 6 plus that's too big to fit in a pocket!
If you decide to make anything similar, please share tips and tricks!

Monday, March 23, 2015

PGM Spring Break 2015- Preperations

Luke is working with Professional Golf Management students now. That's the program you go through to become a Golf Pro. We had the idea to take some interested students with us on a trip down the West coast to check out some of the golf and see some sights they might not normally get a chance to see!
This was the flyer with the "rough" plan, though it changed a bit by the time the actual trip came. I was in charge of food on the trip. We opted to plan for at least one meal out a day, with snacks and peanut butter jelly sandwiches to supplement. We, and the college students were doing our best to make this big trip on a budget. To save money, we planned to do some car camping as well to save money on hotels. Upon marrying Luke (and getting to know his and his brothers eating habits), I quickly realized that guys can sit down and eat an entire container of anything in minutes. To help the guys coming on the trip pace themselves with snacks, I pre-portioned the food items.
Our special food needs included: dairy free, raisin free, and dairy & raisin free.

Snack bags included animal crackers from Costco (dairy free), goldfish, pretzels (dairy free), Nutrigrain bars, two kinds of nature valley bars, oatmeal packets, pepperoni sticks, snickerdoodles (home made, with a dairy free batch), and chocolate chip cookies. 
I took pictures of the serving size and calories just in case any of the guys objected to the quantity of snacks in their food bags. For the record, none of them objected and they seemed pretty happy with the snacks. 

I cut the pepperoni sticks in half so that they'd last longer and fit in snack bags. I put the bags in another bag to help prevent food flavor melding.

Just about all of us prefer no almonds. Rather than spend more money on trail mix that was pre-made AND had almonds, I opted to make my own. We purchased raisins from Costco, and M&M's, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and cashews from WinCo's bulk bins. 
As I portioned all the snacks, I divided them into bags labeled by food needs. I went with individual bags so that each person could pick what they wanted at the time. Also, then they were in charge of rationing their own food and it wasn't on me! 
Having ribbon in every color left from our wedding came in mega handy. Luke stapled a piece of ribbon in every color to the bag and then the guys didn't have to look for names or writing they could just find the bag with their color. We didn't do this early enough but I intended to give each person matching colors of skinny ribbon to tie to all their bags and gear. Next time I guess. 
I also packed a first aid kit.  
It contained gauze, a large pill container with a variety of medicine (Zertec, Benedryl, Ibuprofen, Tylenol PM, Tylenol) labeled with dosage, tums, one of those snap cold packs, band-aids, Neosporin, medical tape, the stretchy medical wrap, gloves, hand sanitizer, tweezers, maxi pads (2). I planned that the pads could double as bleeding stoppers and their traditional function, and that the self sticking medical wrap could be for keeping pressure on wounds, holding an ice pack in place, and a temporary ace bandage. 

We kept camping gear and the first aid kit in one box. The goldfish box contained "fire things.'  Starters, smores supplies, a lighter, hangers for smores sticks.
For each car I put together a bundle of ziplock bags for smelly trash (apple core, banana peel, etc.), 9 grocery store bags (one for each day to unload trash), mints (for carsickness or staying awake until the next rest-stop) and a pack of tissues with an emergency hand wipe taped on in case the nose blow gets messy. 
It rolls up nicely for convenient storage in the glove box. 
Our sandwich supplies went in a tub that traveled in our trunk for quick and easy access. This way I could make sandwiches as they were finishing up their rounds of golf.  
We got three jugs of water and asked that each person on the trip bring a water bottle that they could refill.  
We opted to only get enough water, fruit and bread for the first half of the trip and decided that I could make a grocery run if  needed. This turned out to be a good thing as guys on a spring break trip aren't all that into things that are "good for them."  
 We brought paper towel plates, sandwich bags for when I pre-made sandwiches, one trash bag for each day, and I stuck the plastic silverware in Costco size peanut butter jars that I cleaned and saved for opportune moments like this.
All packed up and ready to go! I put the bread in a tub because it was structured. The fruit and such went into my Deluxe Utility Tote from Christa's Thirty-One shop. I liked this because as things emptied out I could consolidate and the tote could flatten out. 
The people were divided between two cars. We towed the cute little U-Haul trailer with our Subaru. Not gonna lie the car rode pretty low, and may have scraped the ground more than was good, but it was just right for hauling all the golf bags and camping gear.
All posts related to this trip will be labeled: PGM Spring Break 2014

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sheep To Sweater-Complete

This project began back in June of 2013 when my Great Uncle Doc procured the most fantastic of sheep fleece for me from Texas.
This, mixed with my friend Mary enabling me to spin meant I was going to embark on the projects of all projects. I was going to begin the journey from Sheep to Sweater.
I began spinning the fleece in June 2014. I spun for two weeks SOLID and got enough yarn to begin the "Anne's Sweater." A book that was a gift from Mary S. as she knows my love for Anne with an E.
I started, and re-started the "Anne's Sweater" pattern in August. 
 I knit on it with my dear friends in Garden City, and as we moved to Moscow.
This feels big. 
 Its my knitting thesis.
 It marks my ability to complete the whole process of knitting.
Did I mention it has pockets? As I was committing to the iPhone 6 Plus (a super sized smart phone) I made sure that it would fit in this sweater first. Priorities eh? Rachel taught me about tacking some grosgrain ribbon into the band to keep it from stretching too much and getting too long and frumpy.  
It also marks my ability to blend patterns as I stuck this fabulous cable from a hot water bottle cover into the back of the sweater.

This sweater is warm. and fabulous and its story is a great one of love, family and friends.
It makes me so happy!

Fabulous Photos Courtesy of the ever so obliging husband Luke!
For previous posts on the sheep to sweater project see: