June 26, 2012

Photo 366 #26

Summertime brings vacations and road trips.  I took my first real road trip with the kids this past week.  While my husband was away on a business trip, the kids and I took off from Houston to Nebraska.  It was also so Clark Griswold of me to show my kids the, "World's Largest Ball of Twine."  I love the weird, wacky and sometimes crazy pieces of history you can find in the United States.

June 19 - Maben sporting his, "rock star," glasses.  Anytime he puts them on, he has to bring out his guitar.  

June 20 - I wish I could remember the name of this plant.  I just picked it up at the nursery and planted in near a tree in our back yard.

June 21 - Let the road trip begin!  Beautiful landscape somewhere between Houston and Dallas.

June 22 - Greetings from, "The World's Largest Ball of Twine!"  It's real and it's located in Cawker City, Kansas. 

June 23 - The real reason I went on this completely insane road trip (1650 miles round trip taken in 5 days).  This is my grandfather and here he is with his wife Erlene at his 90th birthday party!!!  Happy Birthday Grandpa!

June 24 - Welcome to the Geographical Center of the Continental United States!  Located just outside of Lebannon, Kansas.

June 25 - Finally, back in Texas!  We are so happy, until I have to explain to the kids how many more hours on the road until we get back home.

So, what's the craziest, weirdest or wackiest thing you have found in your travels?  The Ball of Twine definitely cracks my top ten!

June 25, 2012

SYTYC: Week 1

As you all know, I made it through a audition week.  This means I'm an official So You Think You're Crafty crafter.  YAY!  I have a button of honor and everything! 


This is week one and the theme is Scrappy Crafts, the projects have been posted.  Go check it out and I hope you vote for mine! 

June 19, 2012

Photo 366 #25

Summer has greeted us this year in a much kinder fashion than last year.  We have had some afternoon showers, temperatures where you can actually enjoy the weather outside.  Last year was such a stark difference than this year.  Last year it was super hot, lots of record breaking days and a record drought.  I didn't enjoy being outside very often, but this year it has been different and I am thankful for it.

June 12 - Bang!  Animal knows how to play dead.

June 13 - Another beautiful pincushion flower from my garden.  I love these flowers.  So cool.

June 14 - This pair of Inca doves have been frequenting my backyard for the past few months.  I'm normally not a big fan of doves, but these ones I find rather beautiful and fun to watch.  They seem like such a loving pair.

June 15 - I told the boys that we were getting ready to go play in the water.  Well, Colton jumped the gun while I was getting ready and when I came in the bathroom he said, "I play in the water!"  My whole bathroom was covered!!!  I just had to laugh and grab the camera.

June 16 - Saw this skipper at the local garden center while shopping for plants. 

June 17 - Happy Father's Day!  My boys enjoying some family time at the pool.  One of the only pics I got of all the boys that day.

June 18 - Such a beautiful sunset.  I looked outside and saw that glow...the glow that I knew a great sunset was happening.  I ran upstairs to shoot a few photos of it.

June 18, 2012

Continuous Shooting and Animation

Yesterday the whole family went to the pool.  Maben got brave enough to jump in the water all by himself.  I wanted to capture it so I decided I would do continuous frame shooting (so long as I hold down the shutter button, it would continue to shoot photos).  I chose this because I didn't want to have to try and time it.  Trying to get the best capture of a kid jumping in the water with one shot is hard.  This makes it easy.  Then I googled a how-to make an animation in photoshop.  Once I get more comfortable doing this, I will give my own tutorial, in the meantime, I am still learning.  Hope you enjoy my first animation.

June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

I want to say Happy Father's Day to my husband.  He is a great husband and a great father.  The kids look up to him so much that they enjoy doing manual labor, so long as it's by daddy's side. 

The kids love to wrestle with daddy, prefer to read books with daddy, play baseball with daddy and just be boys together.

And now, just a few of my favorite daddy moments captured on film.  Oh, these all just make my heart sing.  They are in no particular order.

Matt, I hope you enjoyed the scroll down memory lane.  I cannot wait to witness more daddy moments and hope that I can capture some of those on film too!  Happy Father's Day!!!

June 14, 2012

DIY Bird Feeder

I am so excited to be competing in So You Think You're Crafty and even more excited and honored that my audition craft took first place.  Now, I am going to show you how to make your own.

There isn't a whole lot of supplies that you need for this. 

  • Drill and standard drill bit (if you are choosing to use a melamine bowl and plate like I did) 
If you want to use ceramic or porcelain bowls and plates, buy a drill bit designed to drill them
  • Bowl and Plate (mine came from Target at less than $2 each)
  • Large carriage bolt, I used 10"x 5/8"
I would have used an eye bolt if I found one of the size I needed, but I didn't, so I couldn't
  • Three washers that will fit your bolt
  • Three nuts that will fit your bolt
  • Glue (I like to use CA glue)
  • If you use a carriage bolt like myself, you will also need some nylon cord
The trickiest part of making the bird feeder is drilling your holes.  Plastic has a tendancy to crack, chip and break.  I will show you how to avoid that.  Take a block of scrap wood and place it directly under where you are drilling. 

Even with the block of wood, because the bowl and plate isn't perfectly flat, you might have a bit of chipping, but that shouldn't be a problem.  You are just trying to avoid cracking the plate or having a large blow out.

See, even mine chipped.  Not a big deal, it won't be seen.  Once you drill the holes in the center of your bowl and plate, it's time to assemble your piece.

Place a washer on your bolt and then bring your bolt up through the bottom part of your bowl.

It will be very wobbly, so you will need to sandwich the washers around the bowl with glue.  The order goes, washer, glue, bowl, glue, washer.

Then you will take a nut and thread it a few inches down.  Your plate will sit directly on top of this nut.

Place your plate on the nut, then thread another nut so that the plate sits between the two.  Hand tighten them so your plate doesn't move, but not so hard that you crack the plate.

Then place another washer and another nut on your bolt.  This step is only necessary if you used a carriage bolt like I did.  If you found a large eye bolt, your assembly will be in reverse.

I will show you the the reason for the stacking of the nuts and washers on the top.  Did you ever do make lanyard keychains/bracelets out of the plastic cord as a kid?  I hope so, because that is how you are going to make your loop.  So, cut yourself two pieces of nylon cord about 2 feet long each.

First, tie a simple overhand knot (the first knot you make when tying a shoe) with each piece of cord.  Make sure the knot is around the middle of the cord.

Then you start doing a lanyard knot (technically called a crown sinnet knot) over the top of the washer, but make sure your overhand knot stays tight while doing so.  If you aren't comfortable with your overhand knot, glue it before proceeding to your crown sinnet knot. 

I found a great animation on how to do the crown sinnet knot...so if you don't understand how to do it, please visit Animated Knots by Grog to check it out.

Once you have created a few inches of the crown sinnet knot, take two strands of cord and make some loops like so.  You will then take your two remaining strands of cord and tie an overhand knot around the base of your loops.

Pull it very tight.  You don't want it to come loose.  Then, cut the excess cord off.  Cut close to the base of your knot

You will need to burn the ends of your nylon cord.  This will cause it to melt and expand a little.  This will make sure your cord doesn't unravel and your knots won't come out.  The above photo shows burned cord ends on the right, and unburned ones on the left. 

All you have left to do is go fill your bowl with bird seed, hang it outside and wait to see what feathery friends come to visit.  It took less than a day for my first feathery friend to discover the new bird feeder.  Once that happened, I've had regular visitors ever since!

I hope you create your own bird feeder.  I would love to see pics of any you make!  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Sharing this over at:
Momnivore's Dilemma - Creative Juice  
Sew Many Ways - Sew Darn Crafty 
Not Just a Housewife - Show Me What Ya Got

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