Friday, January 28, 2011

Foolish Friday

Knock Knock !
Who's there ?
Lionel who ?
Lionel bite you if you put your head in its mouth !

Lion origami that Caleb made

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How To: Make a window fan shade

My son has one of those half moon shaped windows in his room. Custom blinds for these things are very expensive. The best option I found was something called a Redi Shade you can buy at Lowes or other places for 20 something dollars and cut to size, but it comes in basic white and needs to be stuck down with velcro. This window is better uncovered in winter so that light and warmth come into the room, but in summer the sun just beats in due to a western exposure. I wanted something I can remove in winter and replace in summer without dealing with adhesive velcro strips.

This window is 22 inches high and 46 inches wide so it's not a perfect semi-circle. And the arch is something like 6 ft so I knew I needed a long piece of paper to make a fan for it. Rolls of wall paper were not wide enough. I went to a teaching supply store and got a roll of 48 inch by 12 ft paper that is used to cover bulletin boards. This one has a cloud design, but they had many colors and patterns. This cost about $8.50. It also comes in different sized rolls both larger and smaller.

At a building supply store I bought two wooden slats 1 1/2 inches wide by 2 ft long for $1 each and painted them to match. These attach to the ends of the fan to weigh it down and hold it in place in the window. These were cut to just under 22 inches and I drilled a hole in one end for a ribbon to go through later.

The roll of paper is long and wants to roll back up so you need to weigh it down to work with it. I cut 5 inches off the width so that when folded in half it would be just under the 22 inches (height of the window).

I found I couldn't work on a tabletop to fold the 12 foot roll in half (so that the finished fan would be double sided) because it kept wanting to roll up. I needed a long stretch of floor to work. 

Live and learn: it would have been MUCH easier to work with a single thickness instead of double. Also, I should have used double sided tape and sealed all three open edges before trying to fold it into a fan. If I did it again I would definitely not fold it, but only use one layer of paper.

I used my quilting ruler and a bone folder to impress guide lines every 2 inches so that I could fold it evenly. This took a long time! I didn't want to use a pencil since I wanted this to be double sided.

I used white glue to stick the wooden slats to the ends of the fan.

I used a hole punch and stick on hole reinforcements to make a path to string ribbon through to gather the fan. The ribbon also went through the holes that I drilled in the wooden slats.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Foolish Friday

Knock Knock !
Who's there ?
Sadie who ?
Sadie Pledge of Allegiance.

I'm volunteering for the art docent program at my son's elementary school. The kids just completed this project in the style of Henri Rousseau making "naive" art pieces that demonstrate foreground, middle ground and background.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Have you seen these?

I guess I'm behind the times, but I didn't know about these little things until we had an energy audit done by the gas company recently. They are little foam pads that you place inside the outlets on your exterior walls to insulate them. I just purchased a pack of 6 for $1.97 at Lowes. The energy auditor said they would pay for themselves in no time with energy savings. Find them with the weather striping and insulating supplies at your hardware store. They also have them to fit light switch plates.

The exterior walls of your home should be completely filled with insulation, but the outlet box itself takes up most of the wall space leaving very little insulation between it and the outside wall. Also, if you have sheet insulation instead of blow-in insulation in the exterior walls it's very likely the installer didn't get the little spaces around the outlet filled in very well. On a cold day feel the outlet cover and then the wall beside it. If there is even a little difference in the temperature you are loosing heat (or air conditioning) through the outlet. On the day we had our energy audit, despite the fact we have nice blown-in insulation in the walls, there was nearly a 10 degree difference in the temperature of the outlet and the wall right next to it. All these little "holes in the envelope" suck the warmth right out of your home through conductivity even if they aren't drafty. Most rooms have at least one outlet on every exterior wall. Some of my rooms have several.

These inexpensive foam pads can help quite a bit and only take a minute to install. Who doesn't want to save money on their heating and cooling bills for years to come?

Just remove the outlet cover with a regular screw driver, place the foam pad inside and replace the cover. You will normally just install these in exterior walls unless you know that wiring for interior wall outlets goes through an uninsulated attic space (through a garage or above attic insulation) which can conduct heat or cold temps through the conduits to your outlet.

While you are at it, be sure and check the insulation on your attic hatch. You can loose 10% of heat in your home through a non (or poorly) insulated attic hatch. That's a lot of money and it's an easy fix anyone can make for $5-10.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

NEW items!

The color of these beads is truly beautiful and would be amazing on anyone with cocoa/chocolate skin color, but pretty on anyone with cool skin tones as well.

Cocoa Rose necklace
Cocoa Rose bracelet
Link both pieces together to form a longer necklace!

Monday, January 17, 2011

NEW item!

When I was in Beijing, I went to the outdoor market and haggled for several carved jade pendants. This adorable Chinese dog pendant with carved clouds over it is one of them. I got the pearls in the same trip at the pearl market. I think this is a stunning piece and perfect for any dog lover.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Red Berries Earrings
Normally $13.50.  This week $9.50.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Foolish Friday

Knock Knock !
Who's There ?
Shell Who ?
Shell be comin' 'round the mountain when she comes . . .

Caleb's origami shell

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Organizing: Great way to save your paint

This is a tip I learned from my brother who is a house painter by trade. When he is done painting for a client he pours some of the the leftover paint into a plastic water bottle, puts a little water on top (for water based paints) to seal the paint and keep it from drying out and replaces the lid. His clients can easily pour off a little paint for touch ups. They love it.

I've done almost the same thing re-using a 50 oz Seventh Generation laundry soap bottle. The labels are easy to remove and I'm left with a sturdy bottle that will hold a little less than half a gallon. It has a wide mouth to make it easy to pour the paint in (I didn't even need a funnel) and to stir it later. It has a removable pour spout which should be very convenient when I need the paint again. Like most detergent bottles it has slits around the bottom of the pour spout so the excess paint will drain back into the bottle when it's poured. I poured in a little water to seal the top like my brother does.

Label the bottle very clearly. You can dab a little of the paint on so you can see the color just like they do at the paint store. Then be sure and label it with the brand of paint, the exact type of paint base it is and the exact formula for tinting the paint in case you ever need more. Be sure and get all those details right because one brand's Interior Satin will not be the same as another brand's and each brand has it's standard and premium and various other bases that are all different and will tint differently.

I can now store all those half-used up gallons of paint in less than half the space I did before and they are all ready when I need them.

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Items!

Matching 18 inch peacock baroque freshwater pearl necklace set and 8" bracelet. Hand-knotted by me on a double strand of black silk thread. Beautiful iridescence!

Peacock pearl bracelet

Peacock pearl necklace set

I have used the same style clasp on both the necklace and bracelet so that you can link them together to make a long necklace if you choose.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Foolish Friday

Knock knock !
Who's there ?
Plane who ?
Plane dumb won't save you !

Caleb says this is his drawing of a plane that has never been seen before.