Flying Bat display

Oct
2015
19

posted by on Crafts, Holidays

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Hi

I was wanting a Halloween display to put on the hutch that divided the dining area from the living area in our great room. I wanted something that would allow us to be able to see the TV from the table. Yes, we watch the news during meals. So making the display see through was a must. Other considerations were cheap, easy, and still look good. I think I accomplished all with my Flying Bat display.

flying bat display with twig and river rocks, halloween decorations

I used a cream blanket behind so you can clearly see the display

Supplies were all found at Dollarama.

black river rocks in glass jar

1. Glass vase

2. Three packages of black/grey river rocks

close up plastic bats3. 6 Black rubber bats in various sizes (buy soft ones because you have to string them)

Note: I did try to spray paint some grey rubber bats and the paint did not adhere. So buy the colour you want to use. 

4. Cat gut

5. Darning needle

6. Tree branch from our yard

flying bat display

Putting it together was simple enough. Stick branch in vase add rocks. String bats and attached to branch. Time: half hour. Gotta like that.

Cheers

posted by on Crafts

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Boo,

I’ve been having fun making stuff for Halloween this year. I admit I might have gone a bit crazy in my buying but the mood struck and our grandson is really excited about the whole idea of everything Halloween. I’d do anything to put a smile on that boys face.

So when he saw this wreath when he arrived last Friday it was worth it. He loved it plus he got to play with the extra skeletons I had left over.

halloween wreath with driftwood and skeleton

 

This was an easy halloween project. Besides the spray painting it took ten minutes. Now that’s a project I love. Supplies were easy and cheap. The twig wreath and black spray paint I picked up at Wal-Mart, skeletons were from Michael’s as a garland set, and the twig they are sitting on I found in the yard.

skeleton halloween wreath, twigs

I sprayed the wreath black, this took the longest as the surface is well twigs so I missed areas a few times. Eventually getting it all I attached my found stick with my trusty glue gun. I did try to find one that was as level as possible.

skeleton halloween wreath, twigs

Then I added three skeletons. Again attaching with the glue gun. I kinda twisted and turned them in various posses.

skeleton halloween wreath, twigs

It’s a cute project that took a few minutes. Perfect. I love it. Its simple, not over the top and kinda elegant in a creepy halloween way.

skeleton halloween wreath, twigs

Here it is on the door but I’ve since moved it as I got more into decorating the house. Yes there is way more to come. Stay tuned.

So are you doing any Halloween decorating this year? Or Fall decorating?

Cheers

posted by on Garden & Yard, Renovations/DIY

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Hi

There’s nothing like good scrub, be it yourself or your gross, really gross deck. I was really meaning to get this done long before now. Like in the spring but truly we never had a spring day where it was either not raining or warm enough to get the job done. So now its the end of July and it’s still not done. To be honest I think the kitchen project did me in and I needed a break.

1 cleaning deck

But the other evening as I sat at the patio table I couldn’t take it one more second it had to have a scrub. So out came the massive container of deck cleaner and some cleaning supplies. Todd hooked up the hose to the pump and I was ready to tackle the gross dirty mess that is the deck.

Two summers ago I changed the deck colour. The deck when we moved here was a brown beige colour. It didn’t really go with the grey house and because it’s a big deck it stuck out like a sore thumb. So I restained it white and dark brown and I loved it. But theres a but. And that’s the trees. We have beautiful birch trees here, one hangs over the deck and roof. Its lovely, it provides shade and I love to hear the leaves blow in the wind when I’m sitting out there. However it does make a mess on the deck. Most we can clean up with a broom but there’s this green crap that clings to the rails and because I wanted white rails it looks really bad.

4 cleaning deck

 

5

After a few hours of cleaning I was done. I called it a night and got myself a much needed scrub.

2 cleaning deckThe next day was nice so I started staining the rails white. It took me a few days but its done. Oh it looks so much better.

11

12

And thats where I finished. The floor is not done yet. I went to get the stain at Kent and of course they had none of the colour I needed. Every other colour but mine. So yes the rails are done and looks so clean but the floor looks like this.

13

Project deck half done. Lets see if I can get it done before the fall along with the other summer projects that are half finished.

Cheers

posted by on On the Night Stand

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Hi

It’s been a while since I wrote anything on what I’ve read. Honestly I haven’t been reading much. Seems I go through reading spurts. Read ten books then nothing. You?

Anyway Harper Lee. Over the summer I read both of her books, To kill a Mockingbird and Go Set A Watchmen. To kill a mockingbird was required reading at some point during my schooling but for the life of me beyond the names and a hint of the storyline I couldn’t really tell you a lot. So when the news broke about Harper Lees new book I just wanted to read it again.

harper lee books covers

Picking up both books and readying myself to be entertained was the goal. I had read somewhere that the newest book Go Set A Watchmen was actually written first so I could have started with that first. I’m glad I didn’t because to be honest To Kill a Mockingbird was by far the better of the two.

Let’s start with To kill a Mockingbird. It was a great read. Published 1960 and a Pulitzer Prize winner I was engrossed after the first chapter. The story was a clear and a rewarding read. It was funny and compelling despite the heavy subjects of race inequality and rape. The story is loosely based on Harper Lees observations of her surroundings of her hometown around 1936 as a young girl, as well as true events.

Wikipedia provides you with a ton of information on Harper Lee, her style of writing, historical facts, themes etc. Often when I read a great book I’ll search out more information. It just makes the books impact more powerful for me. So I would highly recommend you do that. There are many resources; Wiki being one and sometimes Spark Notes. Just doing a google search often provides you with lots of engaging additional reading. So To kill a Mockingbird was a definite yes book for me. And I’m glad I picked it up.

Here’s a brief summery from Chapters.

The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

Now to Go Set a Watchman. God it was so disappointing for me. I don’t know if it was because I had not left enough time between readings but I really thought it was a mess. And after reading it and being so confused as to why this book was such a failure for me I again searched for more information. After all To Kill a Mockingbird was such a success and so acclaimed how could this one be so off. Turns out there are many theories and conspiracies. Truthfully I found reading about that better than the book. Turns out Go Set a Watchman is not a new book; it was actually an old draft, written when Harper Lee was still learning how to write. This means that Go Set a Watchman is not a sequel – it’s a prequel, well sort of. It is an unfinished first draft of To Kill A Mockingbird.

Here’s a summary from Goodreads

From Harper Lee comes a landmark new novel set two decades after her beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch–“Scout”–returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise’s homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchmanperfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in a painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past–a journey that can be guided only by one’s conscience.

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humor and effortless precision–a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context and new meaning to an American classic.

So the verdict is yes, yes to reading To Kill a Mockingbird and a big no to Go Set a Watchmen. But if you have to read it borrow it from the library. Don’t waste your money.

Cheers

Easy Fall Wreath

Oct
2015
05

posted by on Crafts

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Hi

So autumn is here. Long live the cosy season! Pack up the water toys and bring on the slow cooked meals and fall decorations, which truthfully is not something I did a lot of in the past. Yes, Christmas, maybe a small bit at Halloween, but generic seasonal not so much. But this year I’m ramping it up a bit on this front. To much time on my hands maybe, whatever. It keeps me busy. It keeps me sane. And it amuses Todd.

easy fall driftwood wreath
So the first thing I did this year was my simple door wreath. You can see the others I did here, here, here, and finally here. I really like this idea. It’s quick, maybe taking a half hour, and looks nice. All the makings of a great craft in my opinion. Plus it does get you in the mood to do other things if you are so inclined or just do the wreath and call it a day.

My wreath this year follows the same as the spring, summer etc. wreaths in the past. Starting with a base wreath. Mine is a driftwood one that I got from a good friend. There are many other kinds you could use just make sure it’s sturdy. Make sure it’s a material that can withhold the wear and tear of glue, hot glue and staples etc. One solid colour works best. Mine is a natural colour which I love because I want the decorations that I add to stand out.

base wreath fall driftwood

I picked up some flowery stuff at my local Dollarama. Truly they do have some great stuff. And in my area, where we have four within driving distance, I sometimes do the circuit because I find you will get different merchandise. Of course you can go anywhere from Walmart to Michael’s but I usually find what I’m looking for at the Dollarama. Let’s save some money where we can shall we.

fall wreath side view
My flowers this years are cream, red, orange, with green leaves of course. Typical fall colours. Next I just took everything apart. No cutting wire. Just slide those suckers right off the sticks. With hot glue gun plugged in I started playing around with different colour combinations and layout.

wreath on black door

I usually do my wreath in three parts. One long and two shorts, this makes the wreath visually appealing. The rule of thirds rule!

fall driftwood wreath

Once I had my flowers in place I just started lifting them and adding glue. I used to remove the flowers but found they never went back the way I had initially liked it. So set your flowers out then lift them and glue each one down. Then add in your leaves and other pieces. Easy Peasy. A simple fall wreath.

fall wreath side view

Cheers

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