I find everyday presents inspirations for projects. Hope you enjoy my ideas.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Wooden Christmas Ornaments

I got a new toy...a Scroll Saw!!!  Something I've wanted for awhile. My daughter-in-law asked me if I could make a few things for the new babies room...(ideas she found on Pinterest).  I said sure...just need a new saw :)  How great is this thing...endless project ideas.

I made Katie's things then started in on fun things for Christmas...I did a little research online looking for  scroll saw patterns...seems its mostly old woodworking guys making creepy trivets and things...figured I could just sketch out my own designs and figure out the cutting as I went along.  It's super easy and really fun.  For the ornaments I thought starting with Christmas trees would be quick and easy.  I bought some 1/4" poplar at Home Depot and went to town.

I just traced multiple images using a template I cut out of paper...

How fun does this look? 
Once I got the hang of it I tried more complex designs...but later on that.
Once all the trees were cut out, I sanded them to smooth the edges. 
(actually the scroll saw leaves a pretty smooth edge) 

You can see the moose ornament?...that's my fancier shape
I drilled a hole at the top of each tree (for hanging...duh)
I wanted a "weathered" look to the wood and found a formula on Pinterest that sounded easy...I mixed up a STRONG cup of tea and added coffee grounds to it.  I painted it on each of the trees...stained the wood a little...not much and I was skeptical it was going to work...but the second stage worked like a charm.

Next, I mixed steel wool and vinegar in a jar and let it sit overnight.  Apparently the tea mixture mixed with the vinegar mixture "grays" the stain like old barn wood.  It's so cool...it worked.

I painted on the vinegar mix...left the room and 1/2 hour later when I returned it was quite brown and gray.
When they were dry I sanded off some highlights, tied hemp twine through the holes and I have a bunch of new Christmas ornaments.  I made a bunch more designs today...I'll share later.

By Stephanie Lynn

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New tee shirts for the grandsons

As I've shown in earlier posts...I love silkscreening...and with my "discovery" of contact paper as a stencil and the use of my cricut for cutting intricate designs and text...a whole new world has opened up.  Silkscreening is really meant to be used for multiple runs i.e. printing the same image over and over again.  I usually will just print one tee (or maybe two) but it's so easy with this method it's hardly work at all.  Kale, my 3 year old grandson has become quite the celebrity at school.  The teachers like seeing what funny shirt he'll wear next.  I wish I could claim being clever enough to come up with the sayings...I usually just pour over the internet looking for funny things to print.  Here are two that I printed yesterday.  For a tutorial on silkscreening using contact paper check out this earlier post

and some old favorites: 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Out of Africa

Well...we did it.  We went on safari to Africa...just got back 2 days ago.  We visited South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.  WHAT AN ADVENTURE.  The things we saw, the people we met...all so amazing.  The trip was to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary AND to celebrate a milestone for me...5 years POST treatment for my Stage IV colon cancer.  As I told everyone in an earlier post I was diagnosed with cancer in May '06.  Finished treatment in August of '09...sooooo 5 years since any kind of treatment and I'm still cancer free.  Yipppeeee.  Anyway...back to Africa...

We started in South Africa...toured Soweto and Johannesburg...interesting, depressing, noisy, crowded, very poor, culturally diverse, hectic...on and on and on. Visited Nelson Mandela's home, saw the apartheid museum, Desmond Tutu's home (interesting 2 Nobel Peace Prize winners are from the same street in Soweto)  I'm glad we saw it...probably don't have to go back. Next stop...Zambia, a camp called Chichele in the Luangwa River Valley.  So full of wildlife. The Zambians are happy, welcoming, kind people.  We had a great time...saw all kinds of animals.

From Chichele we headed to Zimbabwe to see Victoria Falls.  It's impressive...nature at it's best.  We took a helicopter ride over it...wow...the Zambezi River tumbling over the falls makes quite a show

From Victoria Falls (Livingstone) we drove into Botswana to the Chobe River...stayed at the Chobe Chewero Lodge. Lots of "Be Ebola Aware" signs at the border...!

From Chobe we flew in a bush plane to a great lodge on Chief's Island. Saw tons of game...some of it quite up close and personal.  Baboons and hyenas running freely through the camp...pretty unsettling but fun and exciting once you knew they weren't going to attack!!!

mama hyena and her cubs


painted (wild) dog

And my favorite...this beautiful leopard.  We watched her make a kill and devour it.  Kind of gross but fascinating at the same time.

An incredible adventure...I'm sure we'll go back...I'd love to see Kenya.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Driftwood Turtles

As promised...my turtles.  
The first one I did is hanging in the grandkids room here at the Hawaii House.

The writing below is vinyl I cut on my cricut... just peeled and stuck on the wall. I glued a little starfish at the end!

Here's the process...like in the last post, I cut a basic shape out of plywood as my base and painted it brown.  No need to be perfect...just a suggestion of shape.

Started gluing pieces of driftwood forming the various shapes of the turtle shell, fins, head and tail

I've since made 2 more turtles...they'll hang outside on the wall of Kipp's lanai.  
I'll eventually do 3 to have an odd number 

Monday, September 15, 2014

"Drift Wood" sea creatures

My latest project...outdoor sculptures.  We've all seen these....sort of east coasty driftwood things...thought it would be fun to make one for our outdoor kitchen area.  We don't really have a lot of drift wood here in Hawaii...but we have lots and lots of Kiawe trees which break limbs quite easily in the wind.  I take a shopping bag on my morning walks and collect interesting shaped pieces.

The base of my sculpture is plywood...whatever I can find dumpster diving at the construction site next door.  This piece is 3/8" I think.  I found an image of a whale I liked online.

I used the printed image as a "guide" and sketched out the whale. In the winter we have lots of whales travel up and down our coastline so I thought this image would be appropriate. Obviously the size of my whale was dictated by the size of the plywood I found.  I borrowed a saber saw from my neighbor and talked Chris into cutting out the rough shape.  A little sanding on the edges and...

and Ta Da!!!!  my whale
I painted the plywood a gray brown to hide any wood that would show through the "sticks"
Now of course, I don't have any progress pictures of actually gluing on the kiawe pieces...but I just sort of laid out a pattern that looked like the whale i.e. fins...tail...etc and used E6000 glue to adhere the individual pieces.  I used a flat landscaping stone for the eye...just glued curved pieces of wood around it to simulate his eye folds. Didn't really take long at all.  I used a large picture hanger thingy on back, hammered a nail right into the plaster and hung my "sculpture".  It's pretty heavy...I was concerned it might not like being outside during wind storms...but we've weathered some pretty severe storms and it's still hanging in there.  Here's how it looks in the BBQ area

I've done some turtles...I'll share those in my next post!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Redo of Kipp's Room

My children have grown and moved to their own houses...but we encourage them to come home as often as they'd like.  I've kept their rooms pretty much as they were in high school, not really out of nostalgia but laziness sounds a bit more honest.  Kipp and her husband Andrew visit, bringing the baby and making this grandma very happy.  The trouble has always been...sleeping arrangements were uncomfortable with twin beds in the two bedrooms.  So, I have been slowly redoing Kipp's room to accommodate Kipp's growing family.  I don't really have any "before" pictures...I'm here in Hawaii with my laptop and most old photos are on the desk top in California...but the old room isn't really the story, the new fresh beachy look is.  I started with some old old oak pieces...a small side table and a dresser, a smallish room with tan (dingy) walls, mahogany doors and windows.  The overwhelming dark of the wood and colored walls made for a dated and oppressive feel.  I kept the doors and windows the same (stripping and painting all that beautiful wood was not an option) but I did paint the walls white white white.  I got rid of the iron sleigh bed and opted for a white Pottery Barn one instead.  The rest was easy beachy blues and aquas.

Here's the little table I started with,
lots of damage to the top...

A can of spray paint, the legs are blue!

Another can of paint, the top is white! Doesn't look like it,
but the framed picture of Kipp and Andrew is painted 
with the same blue as the table base.
Notice the pineneedle basket...yep, I'm still making
them...the flowers are coffee filter flowers...yep, found the 
tutorial on Pinterest

I couldn't find a linen duvet cover I liked or in the right
shade of blue...so I made it myself.  I ordered yards and 
yards of linen online...and sewed and sewed.  Quite easy, toughest 
part is wrestling the weight of all that fabric as you sew 
really long side seams.  

This Dash and Albert rug is leftover from Ryan's makeover,
he "generously" sold it to me
I sewed some shams with leftover linen, made the 
anchor fabric with Inkodye, silkscreened the stars
on some khaki linen...

I painted the painting of the Laguna Beach lifeguard
tower...added a small oil of a Salt Creek lifeguard tower
to the left of the door...

And...that's the project so far.  One of Kipp's lifeguard
photos (she did a series) is framed and hanging
to the right of the bed.  I'm not finished yet,
but the room is coming together and much cheerier
than is used to be.