Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lamps in Toyland: Completed

Remember that toy lamp I was working on (inspired by this one on Pinterest by Ryan McElhinney)? Well it's all finished up now and in its spot in the front living room (which is mainly the kids' playroom).

Here is where we left off with it:

And our final lamp:

Remember, if you want to give this one a try there are instructions here.

Join us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap up party!

Monday, August 29, 2011

The evolution of our game closet

In our house we have so many board games that there is an entire (full) closet dedicated to them. But really I need that closet for blankets so they have to get out of there. I would have mutiny getting rid of any of them so another solution was in order.

Here is the game closet in all of its original glory (nice, right? haha).

And it got a whole lot worse before it got better...

Much worse... That box on the left has no less than the pieces of 5 different games in there all mixed up. Boo for having to sort.

But after a couple hours of work it now all fits nicely in the hutch. A few of the boxes now contain only the game boards (and which boards are where is labeled on the side of the boxes) and the pieces for the games are in labeled zip lock baggies in the drawer. The other game pieces are in jars on display (idea for that from here) in the top.

The kids really like the new solution, mostly because if they can see it they are more likely to remember it's there/play with it. I certainly like to encourage board games over the TV (which I let them watch too much of) so this will hopefully bring some nice changes.

I've added a few more items to the hutch, mostly my elephants and the ugliest cookie jar ever (and I love it SO much! There's a lot of history to that jar).

I still have a few more holes to fill in but this project is certainly starting to look like it actually belongs here. There are still 4 games that are not in this cabinet but I have other plans for those, hopefully to be wrapped up soon.

Any fun organizing projects going on at your house?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lamps in Toyland

The completed lamp is now here.

What can you make from a $2.99 Goodwill lamp and $8.56 in toys? Why not a lamp!? I saw this really cool lamp a few months back and filed it in my mind under "Wow!". Last night as I was walking around Goodwill I looked at a bag of random toys and thought maybe it was doable. I picked up 3 bags of miscellaneous toys and a cheap ugly lamp (that needed a good scrubbing) and then stopped on the way home for 4 bottles of super glue and a can of primer.

The glue I used is Loctite Super Glue Gel Control (4 bottles). I've never used it before but it was recommended by the guy at Home Depot for this project because it wasn't so runny. It was PERFECT! Not runny, didn't cover anywhere I didn't want it to, it's NOT stuck all over my hands and it filled a couple of small gaps to hold it all together nicely. (I do not get any product compensations or anything, I just really love the Gel Control glue they make)

To make assembly easier a few of my little plastic friends had to lose their tails (poor things) and several had to lose the little plastic bases that help them stand up. The snake got shortened as well. The rest of the pile here is pieces of my 59 cent dinosaur. I cut a big fat hole in the middle of him so he would fit around the lamp and stick out to the front and back. I figured that would give me a nice base to build on.

Here is the pre-primered structure of it.

This really isn't a hard project, just a little time consuming. I spent 3 or 4 hours last night chopping up pieces, trying out arrangements and gluing. To give you an idea, here is the order in which I did the big pieces. The big dino was first (with a hole cut to fit around the lamp) and glued really well. Then a couple toys on the sides (gray robot and orange dino) I wanted a few pieces to stick out so I had toy #4 (that gold robot) with flat feet on the big dino and glued his flexible hand to the lamp base like he was leaning out. Pirate filled in the front space and Wolverines stance was perfect for the other side, etc. Just keep trying and you'll find a toy that's the perfect fit (most of these took a while to place, hence the 3 or 4 hours of assembly). After you get all the big pieces on then you go back and fill in with the little ones to cover your holes up.

Another side shot:

After giving it a little while for the glue to fully set (it recommends at least 5 minutes) I took it out to the garage and hit it with the primer.

A few close ups:

Project Costs:
$2.99 Lamp
$8.56 Toys
$12.06 Super Glue (Walmart is about a dollar cheaper per bottle than Home Depot on this)
$3.77 Can of primer

$27.38 Total (I already have the top coat paint and sealer left over from another project. If you don't then add about $5.00 to the project total)

Tonight I will hit it with the spray paint and then it will need some dry brushing for a little dimension and a sealer. I'll post pics as soon as I can! (The completed lamp is now here.)

Domestically Speaking HookingupwithHoH Todays Creative Blog

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dee Wright Observatory

On the second day of camping my older sister and I took our kids out to the Dee Wright Observatory which is just a short drive from Sisters, Oregon. From there you can see two of the Three Sisters, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington and several of the major buttes and landmarks. It was a beautiful clear day and perfect for the views.

The building was made from the lava rocks at the site and the "castle look" got the kids excited to play Save the Princess and other sword fighting games. They all had a good time playing here.

Up on the top there is a dial to tell you which direction to look for each sight, how far and how tall they are.

The view for the North and Middle Sisters is always my favorite.

In the lower room of the observatory it's also fun to check the patterns of the water stains on the ceiling. It's not exactly one of the attractions but I think it's very cool.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sahalie Falls

From Wednesday to Sunday the kids and I went camping in Oregon with my sisters and their families. On Thursday morning I took my kids down to Sahalie Falls and followed part of the trail down towards Koosah Falls (which we didn't quite make it to as the kids were wearing out).

This is beautiful Sahalie Falls from the viewpoint. There were several lovely rainbows when we got there in the morning.

This is from the viewpoint above the falls. This rainbow was actually a double but the second was faint and a little harder to catch.

From the waterfall we followed the lower trail towards Koosah Falls for a bit.

The boys LOVED this staircase and we spent a little extra time as they went up and down it. Erin stood with me and just watched as she was worried about falling off and into the river.

In a nice easy spot I freaked Erin out a bit when I went off the trail for a better picture and she was sure I'd fall in which would somehow make her fall in even though she stayed on the trail. I told her to look on the bright side: at least I wasn't standing in the river for the picture like my Dad used to when I was a kid. :)

Later in the week we took the kids out to the Dee Wright Observatory near Sisters, OR and then to Scout lake for a little swimming and hiking along the Metolious River and I'll have more pictures to come. I neglected to bring my camera to the lake but I do somewhere have a childhood picture from when my mom was about my age from that lake. I'll have to see if I can dig it up somewhere.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Craigslist Score Refinished

It's almost done! I bought this baby a couple weeks ago and I've been chipping away at the project in between work, kids, camping, etc. All of one's time seems to disapear in the summer but it gets done eventually. It's still missing two doors that I'm finishing up in the garage and I still haven't decided if I'm going to stencil the back but otherwise it's looking good.

If you remember I started with this off of Craigslist. She was $60 and had a few scratches and dings and whatnot needing repairs and some paint. (Awesome quality Craigslist picture here).

I started sanding her down in the driveway the same weekend I brought her home (yes it's a girl). I could have tried to sand in the garage but as you can see that's a bit of a tight space in this picture with that never ending project list hiding in there.

For the hardware I gave it a good scrub and a few coats of ORB paint to match the ginormous light fixture in my living room (that I still have yet to post, shame on me). I didn't make a full tutorial on how I painted the cabinet (sand, prime, paint, poly) because there are lots of them (I like this one) so I hope you'll forgive me for that.

Finally my bowl has a home where it fits. I bought this at TJ Maxx a couple years ago because I thought it was just beautiful but the size and shape don't lend themselves to easy display and it's always stuffed into some akward spot where I hope the kids won't break it. When it's laid down as a bowl the bottom is really skinny and tips easy and to make matters worse it was, of course, holding my glass ball collection which gave me a heart attack anytime the kids messed with it. Now it can be pretty and safe behind a pair of doors. Whew!

I'm hoping I'll finish the doors tomorrow and hang them on Wed. night and then I can fill the cabinet in a bit with some of my pretties. What's your opinion on stenciling the back? If you did it do you have a favorite pattern or color you'd play with?

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Crayons in an Oven

Young House Love had a great idea to use something we had pinned on Pinterest and actually do it. I am a Pinterest addict and have gotten a few things done but this is one of my favorites so far.

Inspired by Pinterest, I decided to try melting some crayons. According to Crayola the melting temp is somewhere around 135 Fahrenheit (give or take 10 degrees) but other sources have pointed out that different brands can vary slightly in melting times/temps.

The basic process I used is that I bought some foam core board ($2.40) and a box of 48 Crayola crayons ($2.37) and some "extra strong" Elmer's glue (new this year I guess and a little sturdier than regular Elmer's). For the large one I cut the foam board in half and then glued the crayons down along the top. The other half I later cut up into 3 pieces because the girls wanted to try it and we raided the crayon stash. One of theirs is also done with Crayola, 2 with an off brand.

I thought a hair dryer might not be hot enough so, not having a torch handy, I just went for the oven. On my counter I conveniently have 6 pots I have not planted yet and I figured they would probably be oven safe so I used them to prop up one end so the picture would be directional. Underneath at the bottom I also placed some tinfoil to catch drips (unless you hate the pan DO NOT skip this) and made sure it was curled a little so none would escape. I played with temperatures around 300 Fahrenheit (give or take 20 depending on which one I was doing). If you try this then when you take it out of the oven remember that, of course, it's all very hot and don't touch. The wax (even what is on the tinfoil) is still hot and in some cases still very liquid. So use extreme caution.

The not-Crayola brand definitely melted differently. It was less of a smooth melt and more solid blob like maybe the shells weren't as tight? In any case it was still good because it made each a little different from the next.

The crayons leave a darker mark around where they are from moisture/wax so next time I may have to try this on something like wood and see if I can lessen the appearance of that. Also, in all 4 cases, it was a very smooth melt and not as chunky/candlewax like as I would have hoped. So next time I may try for the torch. I think if I melt only at Crayon level (and not all over like the oven does) then I might be able to get a more drippy effect.

And here is what we ended up with this time around:

Have you been inspired by Pinterest to try a project? What are you working on?

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