Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How to Make Lace-like Stepping Stones

lacestones15.JPGWhen I found fifteen square stepping stones buried beneath the soil from
a checkerboard garden project of mine from years ago, it reminded me of
the wonderful creative things I used to do when I worked at home. The gardens were
beautiful, things were in bloom, and weeds were in short supply.

While strolling through a second-hand store, I happened upon a vinyl doily
for a mere fifty cents. Meh, I thought. Went home, plopped it on the dining
room table and sort of forgot about it. A few mornings later, hubby and I were
having coffee at the table. Where I sat, I could see where the plain stepping
stones were. My gaze shifted to the doily, then to hubby, and then...
a Eureka moment arrived!

Put on your work duds and let's make something nice for the yard!

lace21.JPGMaterial needed:
Stepping stones - Choose a stone color that is in contrast to your paint color A lace doily, or better yet, a vinyl / rubber doily (See step 6 for other options) Outdoor / Exterior Spray paint - You'll want the paint to stand out. Choose lighter or darker than your stone Outdoor / Exterior Clear spray sealer A large piece of cardboard. Even poster board will work just fine. A pen, pencil, heck, even a crayon will work A pair of scissors or a serrated knife. A scrub brush A source of water (bucket of, or garden hose) One can of spray paint is typically enough to spray six or seven stones.
Take into consideration the size of your stone, and the amount of paint
required to cover the areas without 'lace'. While paper doilies are available,
they would not be a wise choice, as the slightest breeze or even the spray
of the paint would move the doily around.

Though most doilies are crocheted, it is easy to find vinyl table covers, place mats
and other items to use. Please don't use an heirloom treasure your grandmother
made by hand! Be sure to choose one that will give a pleasing result with a lot of
coverage. If you have a large project in mind, consider table covers by the yard, which
are found in many box stores.

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Wheat Bu�uelos

P1030554.JPGThis is more of a new years treat, but since I was making tortillas, I figured I could make a few buñuelos.  The difference between wheat tortillas and buñuelos is that the buñuelos are pan fried and sprinkled with sugar.  Buñuelos are perfect when you are craving something lightly sweet.


1/4 cup of sugar 1 tbs of cinamon (mix these up in a shaker) 4 cups of wheat flour 1 cup of coconut oil 1 1/2 cups of warm water 1/2 tbs of salt P1030519.JPGUsing a pastry blender mix the flour, salt, and coconut oil evenly.  This will create a mixture that looks like brown sugar.


4 cups of wheat flour 1 cup of coconut oil 1/2 tbs of salt

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How to Make a Loom & Weave a Fabric Scarf

IMG_6770.JPGThis weaving tutorial may take you back to second grade, but it also opens up a world of possibilities. Using this same method and different sizes, you can weave potholders, washcloths, scarves, small rugs, etc. I didn't purchase anything to make this woven scarf. I recycled some leftovers, including the wood and fabrics, then went to town with my idea!

Materials Needed:
Leftover fabrics (preferably lightweight and flexible) Scissors or pinking sheers (if you don't want to tear fabric strips) 10-14 1 1/2"-2" nails 2x4x8 wooden board 60-70' of strong yarn A note about the fabric. For the scarf to be comfortable, the fabric should be soft and flexible. You'll notice that I used very thin cottons and chiffon. Recycled t-shirt yarn is great in this project due to it's softness and pliability -- plus, it's casual and fun to use! See pics for a girl's scarf I did incorporating recycled t-shirt strips. 

A note about the yarn. The yarn is going to show a little between the fabrics, especially the solid fabrics, so you have a choice of either using one that blends in or using one that stands out. Make it part of your design. Regardless, your yarn should be long and strong. :)

IMG_5950.JPGMaking a weaving loom is super easy! Take your board and lay it across a long table or even on the floor. Hammer 5-7 nails, in a row, across each short end of the board. You can space out the nails about 1-2"-1" or just eyeball it. Perfection is not required here. And, the more nails you use, the wider your scarf will become (and the more fabric and yarn you will need).

I did 5 nails at each end.

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Easy DC Motor Controller

Here are the parts you'll need. All of them should be available at your local RadioShack or hobby store.

(1) DC motor

(4) MOSFET transistors. I used the IRF540N, but any N-channel MOSFET will do.
(4) Diodes

(2) NPN bipolar transistors. I used the BC548.

(2) PNP bipolar transistors. I used the BC327.

(4) 2200 ohm resistors (red-red-red)

(4) 10K ohm resistors (brown-black-orange)

Some jumper wires and a breadboard, if desired

The resistor values are not critical. Values that are fairly close will most likely work fine. Also, If you are confused about the pins on your transistors, take a look at this wonderful reference sheet from Adafruit:

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PVC Trellis

IMG-20120720-00010.jpgAn easy to make, inexpensive, weather resistant Trellis that can hold two standard planter boxes.
The pictures with the flowers are ones that my wife and I made last summer. We like Morning Glory's so it is perfect for them,  other flowers (Impatiens)can be planted to add some colour while waiting for the Morning Glory's to climb.
We left the Trellis's out over winter and they survived without any damage or cracks. The PVC electrical conduit that we used is also sun light resistant so it's good for out door use.
The ones we made last year were attached to the railing of our deck, the one I'll build here will have feet so that it could be used on a balcony or freestanding just about anywhere.PVCtrellis 002.jpg1- six foot length of 2 X 6, I used pressure treated, but use what you can get.
1- 1/2" ID x 10 foot length PVC electrical conduit.
20 feet of para cord.
4 - hose clamps
9 - 3" #10 wood screws for feet.
25 feet of light cord/string.

A power drill,
7/8 inch power auger bit,
A hand or power saw,
A carpenter's square,
A 5/16" nut driver or wrench to tighten the hose clamps,

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Turn Your Records Into Wall Art with A Simple Strip of J-Trim

Turn Your Records Into Wall Art with A Simple Strip of J-Trim

Records don't just hold music—those album covers and sleeves are often beautiful artwork, and that artwork deserves to be seen. Unfortunately, many record-as-art projects can damage your walls, or hurt your records. This method does neither, and is flexible enough that you can change your wall art whenever you want.

Album covers can make beautiful art, and this method is an affordable way to get those records (or at least their sleeves) out of your bookshelf and up on the wall. Plus, the J-Trim used here is less than $10 for way more than you'll need ($7 for 12 feet, in this case). Plus, if you have painted walls, you can paint the J-Trim to match. The example in the photo above is a little blurry, but you can see more examples in the link below. Just draw out where you want the J-Trim, make sure it's straight, mount the J-Trim to your wall with a pair of screws, and you're done. It's not the most gorgeous setup as-is, but we're willing to bet you could class it up a little with some paint or clever trimming.

We've shown you how to build a vinyl art wall before. While using L-hooks screwed into the wall is a little less conspicuous than this method from reader Ryan, who used some inexpensive J-Trim to accomplish the same goal, this method makes it a little easier to remove the albums you're tired of looking at and slide in new ones, and also doesn't risk damaging your albums by resting them on hooks. Of course, if you have more to spend or want to put your albums behind glass, you can also pick up album frames at your local department store or even at IKEA.

Mounting Vinyl Records on My Wall | Shred Rexx's DIY Corner