Monday, November 11, 2013

Papa Day!!!!

IIIIIIIIIIT'S PAPA DAY!!!!  Quickly becoming my favorite holiday of the year!

(Background: Papa was inducted into the Army on November 11.  He never worked a November 11th in his life and he passed away on November 11th. It's Veterans' Day, but for us, it is THIS Veteran's day.)

But Meghan,  how do I celebrate Papa Day?

1) Say, "Time to make the donuts!" instead of "Alright, time to go to work."

2) Eat a jelly donut.  Or a fried bologna sandwich. Or a steak well-done. 

3) Go to a dive and order a Bud heavy - short.  Bonus points if your bar serves 10 oz.

4) Don't call it a dive.  Call it a beer joint. (Beeah joint) Bonus points if your beeah joint is named Sully's.  

5) Go to Christmas Tree Shop and buy knick-knacks.  Affix your knick-knacks to your shelf with double-sided tape for easy dusting.

6) Buy a talking door-hanging, like a singing Santa wreath, to "scare the sh*t out of the old ladies" living in your building.

7) Go fishing. Catch nothing. 

8)  Stomp both feet really fast when you laugh. Or, stomp both feet AND your cane when you laugh.

9) Let all your friends believe that you're 10 years younger than you are.  

"They said, 'Artie, how old are you? 64?' And who am I to tell them that they're wrong?!" - Papa

10) Buy the messiest Christmas supplies available, like tinsel and spray snow, because your grandkids (and you) think it's fun.

11)  Watch a war movie marathon on AMC.   If General Patton comes onscreen, casually mention that time that you met him. 

Happy Papa Day, y'all!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Not even kidding.

Hey guys.  Remember in that chevron headboard post when I joked I wore that outfit in middle school?

The universe works in mysterious ways.  

These photos showed up at work this week.  

Oooooh, yeah.  That's me.  I apparently forgot to mention the butterfly clips attached to the shirt that were also the key to "style for dayzzzz". 

Oh baby, it's a close up. That's right, folks.  First month of blogging and I'm already sharing middle school pictures.  Where do we go from here?

These pics are from a show we did in a summer camp. It is believed to be the summer before 9th grade. For real.  It was School House Rock: LIVE!  You bet I know the words to the Preamble to the Constitution.

Apparently I actually wore Keds. Not running shoes.

Did I mention they showed up at work?  And that I work in an elementary school?  "Mrs. P, your legs are so ashy!"

No, children, they're glistening.

If it's on a canvas, it's art. BOOM.

And here's a blurry picture of that art. 

Here's a less blurry picture of the center one.  It's the lyrics to our wedding song.

I used this marker.  And my own handwriting.  Elementary school teacher skillz right there. (Actually, no.  People don't teach handwriting anymore, y'all.  Womp womp.)

I'm thinking I should maybe brush it with some gold, too? We'll see.

Here's the one on the left.  I used, like 6 more materials to make this one.  Multiple paints and scrapbook papers.

I was inspired by this punch.  YOU look at it and not be inspired.

And I went to Michael's and spent an inordinate amount of time in the scrapbook paper aisle deciding on the four types of paper you see there.

I spent about 0.4 seconds deciding on the two metallic paints shown below.  I picked it up so fast, it probably looked like I was stealing it.  I've had the white paint since about 2006. 

Now... hold this picture in your brain....

... because I also used that paint on this one. 
It was a really complicated process.  Squirt paint on canvas, brush vertically.  Try real hard not to slop it on the floor.  I used a paintbrush that I bought in one of those "All of the Paintbrush Types x2 for like $4.99" packs, in case you're wondering.  It really doesn't matter.  You could probably use a credit card.

This was the punch that inspired this one.  I think I bought it for wedding invitations?  But I don't think I used it?  I should blog about making our wedding invitations 3 years ago?

I laid out all the punched pieces on the canvas (in this case with the plastic wrap on it) to decide on a pattern.  Then took a picture (below) because I was sure to forget what it looked like.  I started using a glue gun, then could find the pack of glue sticks, then used Modge Podge to attach them.  Turns out that was the better choice anyway.  No ugly strings, no bumps, wicked fast drying time. 

 You're not going to believe the price breakdown.

Paint (x2): $1.99 each, so $4
Canvases: $18/2 pack, so $27
Paper: between $0.79 and $1.50, so we'll say $6
Total: $37

Come ooonnnnn.  $37??? No one with an iPhone pays full price at a craft store! 

Everything was at least 20% off.  I got a 5 pack of canvases on sale for $18, then had a 40% off coupon, so it was $11 for 5.  

Grand total, less than $12.  For ART.  Cuz it's on a canvas, y'all.  (Two/too many y'alls in one post?)

So, tell me about your doodles on canvas that you call art.  Or other things you call art.  Also be sure to tell me how long you decide on your craft supplies and the years in which you purchased them.  For realz.  I'm all ears eyes.  (God, I love the strikeout option.)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Chevron Weathered Headboard

I made our headboard.  It's chevron and weathered and I love it more than any other object in our house apartment.

Be warned:  this is not a project for your first time at the woodworking rodeo.  I had the guidance of my dad, who has many qualifications that I do not.
  1. He is an engineer who designs things to keep planes in the air on a daily basis.
  2. He has accumulated 30 years worth of power tools.
  3. He's built a deck and a porch and a grandfather's clock and step stools that have our names like puzzle pieces inside and...
  4. His father has built and repaired furniture for a living for the last 30+ years.
So here's more eye candy before the how-to.

Ignore the pillowcases. They're on my list to burn.


Here's how it went.

Step 1: Plan and go buy materials.

Go to parents' house because they have a woodshop and I have a ~750 sq ft apartment.  Brainstorm with Super Chief Engineer Dad (This will be important later.  Also, yes, that's pretty much what's on his business card.)  Make a list, then forget the list at home and ask mom to send pic, please.  Love iPhones even more than you already did.

 The list was:

  • 71 feet of 1x4s
  • 16 feet of 1x2s
  • 6 feet of 1x3s
  • 2 legs (we ended up getting a 10' 2x4 cut in half)
  • stain (Minwax Dark Walnut)
  • Nails (dark ones)

All accomplished for $94.  Obviously that included some scrap at the end, because they don't sell wood in factors of 71.

Step 2:  Make the frame

We made lap joints using the 1x2s.   The frame was 64"x34". 

First, we sort of shaved out a 2" section halfway through the wood on each end by making multiple cuts with the power saw raised up.

Side note: As you admire my woodworking outfit, realize, like I did, that we dressed like this on purpose in middle school.  Huge Tshirt, flared jeans, messy bun, sneakers.  Styyyyle for days.

Then, we used a chisel to flatten it out.

Check and chisel some more, check and sand it down. We wound up with four labeled joints like this.

They fit together like this.

Liberally applied some Elmer's Wood Glue and clamped together like so:

That's a scrap piece to avoid any denting on the front of the frame.  It turns out it wasn't necessary.

Step 3: Add support slats

These are vertical pieces that we glued and nailed in.  They're also 34" long and they're 12" apart. (This picture was taken two steps later, and it's on top of plywood and the slats are horizontal, but you, brilliant reader, you already figured that out.)

Step 4: Cut the chevron pieces

 We needed 24 pieces that were cut on a 45 degree angle 14 3/8" long.

We measured and cut a pilot piece, then used a piece of plywood as a guide and clamped it on the end of the saw table at the appointed length.

The saw pulled and slid when the wood was cut on the diagonal.  Dad cut these pieces because, in addition to his above qualifications, he also has superior arm strength.

When we placed them the first time, they didn't fit. 

See how in this picture, all the points touch the top and bottom of the frame?  The first time, there was a gap on one side of about 3/4".  This is where my trigonometry was too rusty and it was reeeeeally helpful to have an engineer on the case.  It turns out, each piece was 1/40" too long.  ONE FORTIETH OF AN INCH. Soooo we re-cut, and ta-dah! Fit.

We measured and cut the rest of the pieces individually.  It basically involved lining up the pilot piece in the space, marking it, then cutting. For similar pieces, we were able to use the first as a template, but we did have to make adjustments.

Importante! As we took the pieces out for the next step, we labeled them "like an Excel spreadsheet" - A1, A2, A3... B1, B2, B3... etc.

Step 5: Weather the wood

We tested a lot of methods on scrap wood.   Young House Love has a great tutorial here

We settled on two methods: 

1.  Burning the wood.  

Dad bought this blow torch for a plumbing project and used it for all of 3 minutes, so he was delighted that it was being used again.  It's about $20.

2.  Rounding out the long edges using a hammer

John sanded the edges, but I found this went much faster and looked more uneven, which I liked.

Step 6: Glue and nail all the pieces in

There are no pictures of this process because it took three people and all three had wood glue covered hands. Tim, my brother, helped.  (Shout out!)  It was a race against the clock.  We pretended we were on Chopped.  Even though there was no food.  Or judges... I pretended we were on Chopped.

Here's how we prepared:

Stacked all the pieces in numeric order.
Laid out 3 hammers and put the box of nails on the floor.
Took deep breaths.  
It was really intense, y'all.

Here were the assignments:

Tim: Pour glue along all of the slats, left to right.
Dad: Follow with a paintbrush to spread out the glue.
Meg: Follow with the pieces and slide them into place.

All together!: Nail in each piece to the slat as fast as you can with two nails at each end.  

There were no nails at the very ends of the headboard, but relax, because those pieces are still attached in the middle.


Step 7: Even out burning and stain

Oh wait!  In the meantime, we added the piece at the top.  It was a non-event.  Cut the 1x3 to 65" so it hangs off  1/2" on each side and side all the edges so you don't cut yo'self!  Glue and nail into the slats from the top.

The legs were detached for easier transport.  We countersunk the holes in the legs to bolt them at the top and bottom of the headboard.  Then, we drilled holes in the legs when we got it to my apartment to attach it to the metal frame.

Step 8: Admire

So, are you ready to take it on?!  Are you now intimidated to take on chevron furniture?  Have you enjoyed some family bonding over woodworking recently?  Do tell!

IKEA RAST revamp

Bought an IKEA dresser.  It's this one.

Painted it.  Behr ultra pure white semi-gloss.  (3 coats)

Penciled on a guide for the circles using a Pyrex cover marked off with painters tape.

 Used these upholstery tacks.  It's true.  Everything I've ever read about upholstery tacks was true.  They bend like willows.  So I made pilot holes with a regular nail.  Went in like pushpins!  Sometimes!  Sometimes the wood was too hard, so I cut down the nails with wire cutters (I'm not that beefy.  You can do it.) so they were actually the literal size of actual pushpins.  Then they went in like pushpins! 

Screwed in handles.  Chose clear because I was afraid anything else in the middle of those circles would looks like boobs.  Now you can't unsee that.  Sorry!

Dresser was $35 + supplies were $16 = $51 total

Chalkable Martini Glasses

My brother is the easiest person in the world to find/buy/make gifts for.  He's the fancier version of myself. And the man loves to host parties. 

So, for Christmas I made those chalkboard glasses that are ubiquitous on Pinterest...and Steve-ified them.

Martini glasses and champagne flutes because that's what he needed.  The champagne flutes have a chalkable strip around the side.  The martini glasses have a chalkable base.
More appealing when precariously perched?

White chalkboard paint for colored chalk.  (I also found chalk markers?!?  I'll let you know if they work.)  You can write your name to keep track of your glass.  (Update!  They work unless you're having a really awesome party!  The kind where you slosh your drink down the side of your glass repeatedly!)
So hard to photograph.  Pilled black sweatshirt had to do.  Ew?

And a swirly twirly gumdrops dot pattern.

Chalk up the bases.
Allegedly dishwasher-safe!

Fabric Marker Onesie

I went to a baby shower for my first friend to have a baby on purpose.  In addition to that indubitable honor, they have also earned the title of Most Will Power of Any Couple In the Last Decade because they went all 9 months without finding out if it was a boy or a girl.  I didn't realize what an accomplishment this was (see first sentence).  But apparently, this is just not done anymore.  Ooohhhh the instant gratification of our society - or some grouchy grandparent addage like that.  

Anyway, back to the gift.  In-utero, the baby's nickname was Squirt. So I wanted a onesie that had Squirt from Nemo on it.  Doesn't exist. 

Made it.  Ready? Go.

Put the pic inside a DVD case.

Dressed the DVD case in a onesie.  Used fabric markers to trace it onto the onesie.

Outlined it because it looked stupid without an outline.
Ironed the back 'cuz that's what the package said.

Eventually, baby the size of a DVD case wore it.