Sunday, April 29, 2012

DIY Dog Tie Out

We're lucky enough to have a fully fenced back yard for our dog to run in, but sometimes we need the gate open or don't want the dog into something, so I designed a tie out system to keep her out of trouble.

- two fence posts that are securely in the ground
- a length of strong aircraft cable that will reach between the posts
- 2 eye hooks
- 2 cable clamps
- 2 cable tighteners
- 2 quick links or carrabiners
- 1 short length of chain or cable, or a chain dog leash
- tools

1. Screw the eye hooks into the fence posts, facing each other. Make sure they are at a height that will allow the dog to lay down comfortably, but high enough that you don't have to dig it out of the snowbank or mow around it or whatever.

2. Attach the tighteners to the eye hooks.

3. Attach the cable to the tighteners. Tighten it as much as you can.

4. Secure the short chain to the cable with one of the links/carrabiners. Put the other link on the other end of the chain (use this to attach it to the dog's collar). DONE!

The dog can be clipped to the cable quickly and can have the full length of the yard to move, without the risk of getting wrapped around something. In my yard the dog can get from the sun to the shade.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Candy Wrapper Pouch

I saw this fantastic tutorial at Punkin Patterns and knew I would have to try it. I used two Skittles wrappers that I covered with clear mactac rather than iron-on vinyl and it worked fairly well.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Stanley Cup Party

Even though my team didn't make the playoffs this year, there's always next year. Until then, I can still dream about the Stanley Cup party I'll throw, and I'll share my ideas with you in case your team is still in the running (or you'd like to dream about next season too).

Serving bowls: silver like the Cup
Platters/trays: glass to look like ice
Coasters: pucks or circles of black felt/foam

For decorations, use temporary hooks, like 3M Command hooks, and coat hangers to display jerseys, banners, and flags on your walls. Add your team's logo to things with stickers or print it out and glue or tape it on. Ribbon can also be tied around things to add color.

You can label cups or wine glasses with player names/numbers so that guests can tell them apart. You can also cover or replace the labels on bottles to look like jerseys.

For activities and games, I recommend keeping actual hockey or street hockey OUTSIDE to avoid damaging things in your house. Air/table hockey would be appropriate, and there are lots of hockey trivia games and NHL themed board games like Monopoly.

Many things are available in your team colors: table cloths, napkins, plates, cups, streamers, drinks, Jello, icing for cookies/cupcakes, candies... For other snacks/flavors, I've been thinking by color:

- strawberries
- raspberries
- red licorice
- salsa
- watermelon
- tomatoes
- red delicious apples
- garlic sausage, pepperoni sticks
- cherries
- cranberry
- ketchup chips

- cheddar cheese
- cheesies
- cheese nachos
- carrot sticks
- cantaloupe
- crackers
- chips
- orange slices
- peach

- chips
- golden delicious apples
- yellow pears
- crackers
- bananas
- lemon
- nachos
- buttered popcorn

- pickles
- melon
- broccoli
- celery
- green apples
- green grapes
- lime
- kiwi
- guacamole/avocado
- mint

- blueberries
- blue raspberry
- bubblegum
- blue cheese

- saskatoons
- red/purple grapes
- black cherry

- black licorice
- dark and milk chocolate
- chocolate pudding
- chocolate cake
- chocolate ice cream
- Oreos
- pretzels

- vanilla ice cream
- whipped cream
- mozza cheese
- white chocolate
- popcorn
- crackers
- chips
- white cake
- cheesecake
- nachos

Don't forget to decorate your garbage can with the opposing team's colors and logo. ;-)

Friday, April 13, 2012

DIY Chocolate Kiss and Cookie Acorns

There are a tonne of "recipes" for these on the internet, so I'm not going to go into great detail on these cute little treats, but I had fun making them and wanted to share them. Basically you melt some chocolate (in a double boiler or in the microwave) and use it to stick an unwrapped chocolate "kiss" onto a small cookie, then to stick a chocolate chip on the other side of the cookie, and voila - tasty little acorns!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Modifying Solar Lights

I was given two little dragonfly solar lights a couple years ago and I love them to pieces (I love dragonflies), but they are on stakes that are meant to go into the ground, which doesn't work when you have a dog that insists on chewing everything she can reach. I had used twist-ties to secure them up in my tree, but the wind blows them crooked all the time and the twist-ties break. This evening I used my drill and drilled a hole into one of the dead branches on the tree and stuck the stake into the hole - voila! The light is still high enough that I don't think the dog will bother it (although I did put a piece of wire fence around it just in case), the ugly stump now serves a purpose, and the light will be easier to see and get more charging sunlight once the leaves are on the tree than it did before. Now I just have to decide whether I'll risk doing the same thing with my second light in my tree in the front yard - I'm a bit worried that someone might walk away with my light if I do...

I've previously modified other solar lights to get them up off the ground. They are little lanterns that were meant to hang from hooks that were poked in the ground, but instead I hung them from "quick-links" (used for joining chains) and eye-hooks that I screwed horizontally into the top ends of my fence posts. They work great for lighting up the path still, but we don't have to mow around them or worry about the dog eating them. And they won't blow off in the wind because of the eye-hooks and "quick-links" rather than just hooks.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Happy Keyboard

I am DEFINITELY trying this: Happy Keyboard. I think I will do it with some packing tape transfers. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Origami Easter Flowers

I just folded an origami sunflower with blue paper and put a 2" square photo of my son in the center to send as a thank you for an Easter present. It's super cute and easy. Here is the link to the pattern again: Origami Sunflower.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Origami Flowers

I found this cute origami sunflower pattern the other day and had to try it. I used a 6" square of yellow origami paper and a 2" square of brown for each flower. These are also cute in other colors, and I think they would be adorable with a photo in the center.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Showers Bring May Flowers

It's raining here this morning, which should get rid of the last of our snow and hopefully clean things up and "green" things up as well. I'm hoping to get more rocks arranged in our yard this summer. We did a stone path from the house to the garage, which really cut down on the spring mud. I'd like to do along the back of the house, where nothing really grows anyway, to stop the dog from digging and cover some of the barren clay. It's a lot of work, since we use "found" rocks, not nice even purchased ones, but I love how it looks when it's done.