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Posts Tagged ‘DIY projects’

IMG_0275 Book Stack -T What do the books laying around your home reveal about you? Plenty. Are you a romantic, a gardener, a do-it-yourself-type of person? Looking at this short stack of my books, can you tell that I read books about history, like to cook, love dogs, collect books just for their titles and don’t like to clean my house, worship well-written classics, pretend that I can read French, and search for nuggets of wisdom?

#1 – Characteristics of Book Lovers
19 Things Only Book Lovers Will Understand This week a friend and I found we shared similar tendencies when we are around books, such as in libraries and book stores. Both of us lovingly run fingers down book spines and both of us enjoy feeling the heft of books in our hands. Odd you say? I think you would be surprised how many other book lovers do the same things. Check out the 19 Things Only Book Lovers Will Understand and see if you recognize any of the traits in yourself or in someone you know.

#2 – Searching For A Book?
Searching For Old Books If there’s an old book or a book out of print that you really want to get your hands on, consider searching for it on AddALL. I searched for several books on the site and within 20 seconds pages of sources appeared. You can also search AddALL for other things such as books in print and ebooks.

#3 – Ikea Versus Apple
While on the subjects of books, this Ikea ad is just too tongue-in-cheek for me not to share it:

#4 – DIY Creative Chandeliers
29 Magnificent Chandeliers Made Out of Crazy things To all the people who think, “What if . . . ,” please don’t ever stop thinking that way. The world needs your creative and outside-the-box way of looking at things. To that point here are 29 Magnificent Chandeliers Made Out of Crazy Things. Some are made from pages of books, plastic bottles, waxed paper, zip ties, etc. These projects would be even better, if they are fashioned out of re-purposed goods.

#5 – Reading Outside the Box
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
Haruki Murakami

Now go and spread joy!

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Phalaenopsis Orchid Image A miracle happened. A magnificent flower blossomed under the care of a person who has two brown thumbs. Yes, that person is me. Several years ago a friend gave me an orchid for my birthday. Acknowledging my inability to keep plants alive, she said something to the effect, “It’s pretty to look at now.” I believe in miracles, because not believing in them would mean I have no hope. Despite witnessing the orchid’s flowerless years, I always hoped it would bloom again. Knowing what little care I give to it, it’s a miracle to me that this plant has flowers at all and that, in itself, gives me hope that it will bloom again. Hope and miracles perpetuate each other.

#1 – 21 Questions About Yourself
Marcel Proust When I want to get to know a person better, I ask him questions. Following that logic, why not ask questions of myself to, perhaps, learn something from my answers? French writer Marcel Proust answered a questionnaire in a friend’s confession book, a type of autograph book popular in the late nineteenth century. The questions and subsequent answers were meant to reveal one’s innermost thoughts. Selecting questions from a Proust Questionnaire on Wikipedia and from Marta Randall’s Proust’s Character Questionnaire, I present you with 21 questions to answer about yourself. By answering honestly, you might learn something new.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
2. When and where were you the most happiest?
3. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
4. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
5. Where would you like to live?
6. What is your favorite journey?
7. What is your most treasured possession?
8. What is your greatest extravagance?
9. What is your most marked characteristic?
10. Which talent would you most like to have?
11. What is it that you most dislike?
12. What is your greatest fear?
13. If not yourself, who would you be?
14. What is your greatest regret?
15. On what occasions do you lie?
16. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
17. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
18. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
19. What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
20. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
21. What is your motto?

#2 – Light Up Your World
Easy Mason Jar Luminaries Here’s a project that will have you saying, “Why didn’t I think of that!” Buy new mason jars or, even better, repurpose glass jars you already have sitting in a kitchen cabinet and cover them with glass “pebbles.” The easy instructions are here.

#3 – Keeping Avocados Green
Keeping avocados fresh and green This isn’t a miracle, but if it works, it’s a great kitchen tip. According to The Kitchn, the best way to keep avocados fresh and green is to store the cut avocado in an airtight container with a chunk of onion. Put the lid on the container and place it in the refrigerator. I plan on testing this tip out this weekend. Have any of you had success with this method?

#4 – Avoid The Lines
Lines at the Eifel tower Wouldn’t it be a miracle if you could just walk up to the Eiffel Tower and get to the top of it immediately without having to wait in line? For those of you who are planning vacations right now to a major tourist destination, this article How to Beat The Queues At The World’s Busiest Attractions may be of help.

#5 – Miracles Happen Everyday
Miracles happen everyday, change your perception of what a miracle is and you’ll see them all around you.
Jon Bon Jovi

Now go and spread joy!

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A Rose Called Heaven A near-leafless rose stem, cut from its mother bush, sits alone in a jar of water on a cold window sill. Even though the words “Don’t Forgetta” are embossed on the jar, time passes with little attention paid to it or to its contents. Despite its forlorn situation, a feeling of anticipation and hope permeates the air that surrounds it. Eventually hope blossoms into joy, when tender new growth appears on the stem. The cutting came from a rosebush named Heaven. Come spring, when the sky is brilliantly blue and the warm sun welcomes new growth, this stem, this little piece of Heaven, will be lovingly planted and looked after. My little dog Romeo will finally be a part of Heaven. The end of one thing becomes the beginning of another.

The New Year brings promises of new beginnings, but we should not forget those same promises are ours every single day. Every morning when we wake up, there is hope. Each new day showers us with gifts of fresh starts and endless possibilities. The quality of our lives and that of others are determined by the choices and decisions we make each day. Hope, promise, and a new beginning exists every day, not just at the beginning of the year.

#1 – Prayer of Intention
Prayer of Intention A few years ago a friend gave me a note card with a simple prayer printed on it. I keep it on my bathroom mirror, so that I can be reminded of the promise within me and the blessing of each new day.

Prayer of Intention

I welcome this day and give thanks for all of the gifts and the blessings that I am, that I give, and that I receive.

I am filled with grace, joy and possibility. I celebrate, embrace and bless this life and my place in it.

#2 – Traveling in 2014
11 Places To Go In 2014 If it’s your intention to do some traveling this year, you might want to check out CNN’s 11 Places to Go in 2014. Travel to Iceland to see what NASA scientists predict as “the most spectacular display for the the next decade” of Northern Lights. If you’re the athletic type, New Zealand might be the place for you to visit. The 2,500-kilometer Nga Haerenga cycle trail will be completed this year.

#3 – What To Do With Christmas Trees
10 Uses for Your Dead Christmas Tree Now that Christmas has passed, what do you plan to do with your dried out Christmas tree? Throw it in the trash? I hope not. From This Old House Magazine comes this article on 10 Uses for Your Dead Christmas Tree.

#4 – New Upcycling Ideas for the New Year
Paint Chip Clock Why stop at re-purposing your Christmas tree? Start the New Year off with the mindset of upcyling as many things as you can. To help you get started, here are 200 Upcycling Ideas That Will Blow Your Mind.

#5 – A New Beginning
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
Seneca

Happy New Year! Now go and spread joy!

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T-Shirt Scarves

I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.

Edward Everett Hale

This quote resonates in my heart and propels me to find ways to help others. A few weeks ago, I hit upon an idea that not only helps others, but helps planet Earth as well. I am but one person, but I am one person who can make scarves for the homeless out of clean and gently-worn t-shirts. To some people scarves are fashion accessories that lend a splash of color to stylish outfits, but for the homeless scarves are necessities to help them survive the bitter cold. My goal is to make 100 scarves from donated t-shirts that otherwise would be discarded and distribute them to the homeless via a local homeless shelter. I will continue to make scarves for the homeless as long as I keep receiving t-shirt donations.

You are but one person, but you, too, can help. Follow the easy directions below to make scarves and call your local homeless shelters to find out the best way to distribute your scarves.

HOW TO MAKE T-SHIRT SCARVES

YOU WILL NEED
T-shirts, the larger the shirt, the longer the scarf loops will be
Sharp scissors or rotary cutter
Cutting mat, if using a rotary cutter
Yardstick

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Lay the t-shirt down on a flat surface. Smooth fabric and make sure bottom and sleeve hems are even.

2. Cut the bottom hem off. T-Shirt Scarf Instructions

3. Starting at the bottom of the shirt (on the right side of the photo), cut 3/4-inch strips from side to side on the shirt (bottom to top in this photo). Do not cut through the last inch. Stop cutting rows when you get to the sleeves. T-Shirt Scarf Instructions

4. When you reach the sleeves, cut shirt completely from side to side. T-Shirt Scarf Instructions

5. At this point you should have a series of loops attached by a “spine.”T-shirt Scarf Instructions

6. Thread the spine through your arm and pull each loop to make the fabric curl. T-Shirt Scarf Instructions

7. With the remaining shirt, cut a strip out of it and pull it to make it curl. Tie a knot at each end. T-Shirt Scarf Instructions

8. Gather the spine in one hand. T-Shirt Scarf Instructions

9. Using the small knotted strip, tie a knot around the gathered spine.
T-Shirt Scarf Instructions

10. Et voilà, you have a t-shirt scarf! DIY T-Shirt Scarf

Now go and spread joy!

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Ruca and Friends Herd Golden Retriever What happens when a group of Corgis meet for a play date in the park? They run around, they sniff each other, and they herd. One time they herded a Golden Retriever right to the top of a picnic table. As their owners called them back, I imagine these little mighty-mites thought to themselves, “Aw, come on, we were just doing what comes naturally!”

#1 – Extremely Unnatural
Trolltunga Rock Extreme kayaking at Victoria Falls? No, I don’t think so. Jumping on the Trolltunga Rock in Norway? Maybe. Honestly, high-adventure risk-taking doesn’t comes naturally to me, but I can certainly live vicariously through these 23 Photos That Will Make Your Stomach Drop.

#2 – Fold The Page
Folded Book Art by Luciana Frigerio I hold books in high regard, so folding back their pages wouldn’t be something I’d do. As a matter of fact, I often chastise my husband for folding back pages to mark his place, instead of using bookmarks. When I saw the Folded Book Art of Luciana Frigerio, my first thought was “She’s folding pages!” and my second thought was “How does she do that amazing work?”

#3 – Thinking Outside the Box
Clever Ideas For some people, thinking outside the box just comes naturally. Here are clever ideas from people who think like that. How about turning an old TV console into a dog bed? Or what about mixing Elmer’s glue with food coloring and painting it on glass to achieve the look of sea glass?

#4 – More Than Just a Rescued Dog
We’ve all heard stories about dogs rescuing people. This story, however, is made more heartwarming by the fact that a dog that nobody wanted because of his disabilities, proved his worth and rescued his family from a devastating fire. Watch the extraordinary story of A Handicapped Rescued Dog Returns the Favor. Be patient, this page takes time to load.

#5 – Life Is A Ride
Life is truly a ride. We’re all strapped in and no one can stop it. When the doctor slaps your behind, he’s ripping your ticket and away you go. As you make each passage from youth to adulthood to maturity, sometimes you put your arms up and scream, sometimes you just hang on to that bar in front of you. But the ride is the thing. I think the most you can hope for at the end of life is that your hair is messed, you’re out of breath, and you didn’t throw up.

Jerry Seinfeld

Have a wonderful weekend!

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What's Stuck On Your Stucco?What’s stuck to your stucco? Possibly, a lot more than you think. My stucco patio overhang has been a pit stop for praying mantises, dragon flies, pipevine swallowtail caterpillars and their chrysalises, and even an injured squirrel. Whenever I walk out my back door, I always look around to see what interesting critters might be stuck to my stucco!

#1 – Swirling Paint
When my brain gets stuck on overload, I give it permission to rest and play for a little while. I like to give it a break by doing mindless, yet creative things. One way I do that is to create instantly-gratifying art or what I call art-for-the-moment on my computer. The best part about art like this is that it’s not around long enough for anyone to judge it — not even myself! There are many sites where you can paint or draw computer-generated designs. Here’s one I found today. It’s super easy to do: you just move your computer mouse around to create swirls of colored patterns. You can experiment with three different “trails” or versions.

#2 – Cinder Block Projects
Cinder Block Centerpiece When I was a college student, all my friends made bookshelves out of cinder blocks and planks of wood. Well, cinder blocks and concrete, in general, have come a long way in versatility. Take a look at the projects shown in Rethinking Concrete – 5 Cinder Block DIY Projects and 12 Awesome Concrete and Cinder Block Outdoor DIY Projects!.

#3 – Common Cooking Mistakes
Sometimes cooks are stuck with a culinary problem and need a quick fix to avoid a disaster. According to Cooking Light’s article The Most Common Cooking Mistakes, “A creative cook can often cook her way out of a kitchen error, but the smart cook aims to prevent such creativity from being necessary.” Yes, a little knowledge can prevent big mistakes. I liked looking at the photos of “good” versus “bad” examples and reading the helpful tips. Want to know the best way to keep guacamole green? Check out tip #43.

#4 – Playing With Food

Food Art by Hong Yi

Red Cabbage Marchesa Salad by Hong Yi

Artists like to think outside of the box. For a month, Malaysian artist Hong Yi did that by playing with her food. For her project 31 Days of Creativity With Food, Hong sliced, boiled, chopped, stirred, etc. to create her artwork. Picasso’s quote, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up,” inspired her to “see joy and fun in ordinary everyday items that I come across, and to paint and create objects as I feel and imagine them, not just as I see them.”

#5 – Don’t Get Stuck In The Box
“They say to think within the box, but it’s funny how those in the box never go anywhere, where those outside it, get to see the world.”
Anthony Liccione

Enjoy your weekend!

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Superman Romeo With his blue cape flipped up, Romeo is just a dog wearing a “cone of shame.” But, with the help of his creative mom, when he wears his blue cape flipped down, he becomes Super Dog — because that’s exactly what he is to his family. To his dismay, he must wear his cape everyday, ever since a chondrosarcoma tumor in his nose became his kryptonite. By taking him for daily radiation treatments, Romeo’s family hopes to help him regain his powers. Like Superman, Romeo must go through darkness before he can see light again. He endures the drives to the veterinary hospital, the shaving of his muzzle, the change in his feeding schedule, the side-effects of the radiation, and the wooziness from general anesthesia and drugs, but, like any superhero, he could use some plain old luck.

#1 – Use your Brain and Feed a Hungry Person
With a little luck and some smarts, you can play a game that helps feed people around the world. More specifically, answer questions in Humanities, Math, Foreign Languages, Human Anatomy, English, Chemistry, Geography, and SAT Test Preparation and for every correct answer you get, Freerice donates 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program. Check out the website to test how smart you are and to learn how your answers could help feed starving people.

#2 – Creative Typography
Here’s a different take on creative writing — how about creatively writing words? Ji Lee, designer and former creative director of Google and currently the creative energy at Facebook, challenges us to “Create an image out of a word, using only the letters in the word itself without adding any extra elements.” Watch this video to see some of his extremely creative examples:

#3 – Ingenious Stuff to Make
A basketball purse, a cutlery clock, and a broom-head pencil holder are some of the ingenious DIY projects that can be found on 7 Ingenious DIY Designs You Can Make At Home.

#4 – Be Lighter
With summer just a couple of months away, it’s time to get in shape for bathing suit and short season. That also means it’s time to think about those little things called calories. Here’s an infographic with everything you need to know about calories:

#5 – Light From Within
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

This weekend, light up from within by helping someone in need!

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