February 26, 2013

Preschool Class Craft #3: A Very Preschool Pirate's Chest

Yup, you guessed it, I did it again.  I willingly volunteered to build something awesome and hand print another batch of kids all for the sake of helping raise some money for preschool.  This year it was for Colton, where in year's past it was for Maben.

You can check out the previous finished crafts here and here.

I searched high and low for inspiration.  I probably spent as much time trolling for inspiration as I did building it.  I hate creative block.  But, when it struck me, that was it, I knew what I was doing.  I saw a hand print pirate.  A PIRATE!!!  How awesome.  BTW, saw it over here.  Colton's hand print pirate pictured below.

After that inspiration struck, I started to look for plans (or figure out my own) to build a pirate's treasure chest.  My awesome husband came to the rescue with a magazine called, "Quick-and-Easy Woodworking Projects," from Wood Magazine; issue from 2006.  I was sold!

The build wasn't hard, parts of it were rather tedious (cutting all those slats for the lid).  I mostly followed the directions and didn't screw up anything that I couldn't fix.  The directions were written well, I just am more of a picture person.  I follow directions much better when it's step by step pictures vs. written word.

Anyways, without further ado I present to you, A Very Preschool Pirate's Chest!!!

The teacher's and kid's names have been blurred out for their privacy.

The finished dimensions were approximately 35 inches wide by 22 inches tall and 22 inches deep. 

A big thanks goes out to the mom and teachers who helped me hand print a bunch of three-year-old children.

Another thanks to Amanda over at Handprint and Footprint Art for the inspiration.

Sharing this over at:
So You Think You're Crafty: I'm Crafty Party #35 
Sawdust Girl: Sawdust Throwdown 
Tatertots and Jello:  Weekend Wrap Up Party

February 19, 2013

Pixel Party: Faberge

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is amazing!  Not only does it have the best Paleontology Hall and the stunning Cockrell Butterfly Center, but it hosts Pixel Parties.  I'm sure you don't know what that is, but on occasion, they put word out and invite photographers to show up and check out an exhibit after hours. 

I got in on this last one, the temporary Faberge exhibit.  One word.  STUNNING!  All us photographers were given 2 hours to photograph as much as we wanted.  I could have spent another 2.  There were so many tiny, beautiful trinkets, all with such intricate details that you had to stare.  I plan on giving you a brief glimpse of my walk through.  If you are in the Houston area while this is here, it's well worth the visit.

Tiara: By Faberge Workmaster August Holmstrom

Statuette: By Faberge Workmaster Mikhail Perkhin

Opera Glasses: By Faberge

Bonbonniere Eggs: By Faberge workmaster Mikhail Perkhin

Kelch Rocaille Egg: By Faberge workmaster Mikhail Perkhin

Parrot: By Faberge workmaster Mikhail Perkhin
Brooch: By Faberge workmaster Oscar Pihl

Scent Bottle: By Faberge
Pendant: By Faberge

Cloisonne Egg: By  workmaster Ivan Khlebnikov
Cloisonne Egg: By Faberge workmaster Feodor Ruckert
Bell Push: By Faberge workmaster Viktor Aarne

I had to show off the tiara again.  So pretty and sparkly.  I'm not a girly girl, but wouldn't mind sporting this for a night. 

I'm sure the thing that surprises you about my post (and surprised me at the exhibit) is that there weren't more eggs.  There were quite a few, but I had no idea the amount of jewelry, cigarette cases, cufflinks, pins, picture frames, statuettes, etc there was.  Seriously amazing exhibit and hope that at least a few of my readers will get the chance to see it.  Please let me know if you get to go.

I also cannot wait to go to another Pixel Party.  Thank you Houston Museum of Natural Science for an amazing night.

February 15, 2013

Artists Collaborating

For Valentine's Day, I decided that Maben and I needed to collaborate to make my husband's gift.  Maben has taken an interest in drawing.  He comes home with a lot of paper from school, covered in drawings of stick people depicting our family or Star Wars and lots of Angry Bird scenes.  I know most of these will find their way to the recycle bin, but I really wanted to save at least one.

So, I had Maben draw a picture of daddy and write out daddy as well.  He is growing up too fast, it's no longer daddy, just dad.

I took his drawing and glued it to a sheet of copper and cut it out with a jewelers saw.  I mounted it to a scrap block of zebra wood (oops, I meant marble wood) and now there stands, "Dad."  

It turned out amazing!!!  I have immortalized my husband through Maben's 5 year old eyes.  I can't think of anything more perfect.

I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day and leave you with one of my all time favorite quotes.

February 14, 2013

February 11, 2013

Update on DIY Bird Feeder

I've been wanting to write this post for a while as I have received many, MANY, questions regarding my most popular post from my blog.  I figured I would address as many as I can remember.  You can find the tutorial for this bird feeder here.

Q:  What kinds of birds will it attract? 

A:  I have seen sparrows, cardinals, blue jays, wrens, woodpeckers, chickadees and doves.  The type of bird you will attract depends on the type of feed you use, your location and the time of year.  I change my feed almost every time I fill it. 

Q:  Will it attract squirrels? 

A:  Yes, but they have not been much of a problem for me.  The size of my upper plate makes it difficult for them to get into the bowl.  They typically slide off and fall.  A few times of that and they stopped trying, that was until the lawn mower got parked close enough for them to jump from the handle of the lawn mower into the bowl.  I moved the lawn mower.  On occasion they will scavenge on the ground, but the doves and blue jays like to attack the squirrels.  It's pretty awesome.

Since it's fairly squirrel proof, I am not making squirrels obese.  (Seriously been accused of that, it makes me laugh).

Q:  Will it attract rats and mice? 

A:  I'm sure it could, but that also depends on if they have areas to nest.  The feral cat population and the fact that I have two dogs has made sure that rats and mice have not been a problem.

Q:  Does the type of drill bit matter?

A:  YES!!!  If you are doing this to ceramic plates, you need a specialty bit to cut through glass/ceramic.  If you are cutting through plastic or melamine (mine was done with melamine) a standard HSS drill bit will do.  Please use my trick and place a block of wood underneath to help with blow out/chip out. 

Q:  Do you need drainage holes? 

A:  I haven't needed them.  My bird feeder is under a covered porch.

Q:  Do the birds poop in the bowl?  How often do you have to clean the bowl?

A:  In my experience, not yet.  I have only taken down the feeder twice to clean it.  They keep it fairly tidy.  More often than anything, I need to tip the bowl over to get rid of some of the seed husks, if I forget, the sparrows are more than happy to throw them out, then I just need to sweep them up off the porch.

Q:  Will this stop birds from migrating?  Will it make them dependent on the feeder?

A:  NO!  There is a great Q&A from the experts themselves over at Cornell University's Ornithology Department about those very questions and others.  They even do a backyard bird count to track birds every year.  Check out Project Feeder Watch.

Q:  What is the downside of having the feeder?

A:  The birds like to hang out on my patio table and they do poop on that and the chairs.  We eat outside so infrequently that I thoroughly wash the chairs and ta ble (and disinfect it) before eating off of it.  You know what though?  They still pooped on the table and chairs before the bird feeder, it just happens more frequently now. 

Q:  What do you like most about your bird feeder?

A:  I love my little Carolina Wren that comes to inform me when the feeder in empty.  I get some pretty loud chirps right at my kitchen window in the morning when the feeder is empty.  The wren will even watch me do the dishes sometimes.  It's really neat.

If I inspired you to create a bowl and plate bird feeder I would love to see photos of it!  I would love to feature your bird feeder with your name and a link to your blog (if you have one).  You can e-mail me.  erin.morey@gmail.com

Also, did I miss any of your questions?  Leave them in the comments below and if there are enough, I will do another Q&A post.   Thanks for all your love for my bird feeder!  I love it and hope you created one and love it too!

February 1, 2013

January Best

I mentioned earlier that I still wanted to show off my photography, but I am going to wrap up each month with my best photos of that month.  I hope you enjoy my January at a glimpse.

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