Month: February 2014

d.i.y. Porch Chair Swing

Posted on Updated on

Make Your Own Chair Swing

This project was the first one Mr. Matrimony and I did together that I hoped someday to have on a blog. Again, I wasn’t sure of how the whole bloggie thingie worked, so I don’t have the greatest pictures of the step-by-step. The ones I do have were put together on Photo Grid. I had to go back and “un-grid” them to show them singly. The result is less than perfect. Like MUCH less than perfect. The “during” pictures are fuzzy from being re-gridded, unfocused, and taken with a shoddy camera. However, to me, it’s amazing I have anything at all to work with! As I’ve warned you before, if you are looking for perfection, you’re on the wrong blog!

Come to my blog for inspiration and pointers.
I’m ADHD, not OCD
(or any other letters of the alphabet.)

Speaking of inspiration, here is mine for this project…
chair swing
I found this idea on Pinterest. I do not know who the original Pinner is. When I went to find out, the Pin was just plastered all over Pinterest. It’s a very popular Pin! So, if you know who the original Pinner is, please let me know and I will give them credit.

For us, here’s how this particular venture in repurposing began…
Mr. Matrimony was getting ready to light the bonfire burn-pile.
It.
Was.
HUGE.

Like, giNORmous!

Right when I happened to look over, he was holding a perfectly good broken chair seat and getting ready to toss it on top of the pile. The BURN pile! Really… who does that???
I yelled, “WAIT!”
Surprised, he looked at me and said, “What?”
I told him not to throw that perfectly good broken chair seat away.
He said, “Sweetie… we are not saving junk.”
I said, “It isn’t junk…. Sweetie. It’s the beginning of a chair swing we’re going to make for my blog.”
He flatly replied, “First, you don’t have a blog. Second, I’m not building a swing. Third, you don’t have a blog.”
I quickly responded, “First, I will. Second, YOU aren’t. WE are. And third, I will.”
He just shook his head, handed me the chair part, and mumbled something about how he knew he was going to be roped into making a swing.

Well, let me just say right now…
1) I have a blog.
2) WE did make a swing… together.
3) I HAVE A BLOG

To his surprise (and mine!), Mr. Matrimony actually had a good time helping me. He was able to teach me a few things he knew about carpentry, help me set up props for pictures, and he liked the finished project. We both had fun and agreed we would do more projects together. He even bought me a camera for Christmas to encourage me with my blog!

Mr. Matrimony really is the best

Kelly and Heather Sweethearts
Awwwww…….

Alrighty. Here’s what you’ll need.

Chair Swing2

Tools~

  • Drill with a big ol’ bit for a big ol’ rope
  • Screws
  • I don’t remember everything we used (it was last summer), but I’m sure you can gather things as you go along. I did *smile*

Materials~

  • Chair seat (You can use most any kind, I reckon. They are everywhere!)
  • Two 2×4 pieces of lumber that are 4 inches longer than the widest part of the chair seat. We got lucky and found a cull piece that had been treated for outdoor use. If you will be using your swing out in the elements, I’d say pre-treated would be a must. Ours will be hanging under a roof, so I’d feel safe using untreated 2x4s that have been painted.
  • Wood glue
  • Spray paint (and primer, if you want to use it)
  • Twine ~ I used green hemp, and some sort of yellow nylon-ish stuff. This is just for looks, so strength is not a factor. Use it to wrap around the rope when you’re done tying the knots.
  • Screws for attaching the chair seat to the 2x4s
  • Two super heavy duty “eye” bolts. If you aren’t sure of what size to get, ask a pro at the store. (These aren’t needed if you are wrapping your rope around whatever you are hanging it from, ie: tree limb)
  • VERY THICK rope (This part is expensive… We spent about 25 bucks on ours!) At the hardware store we bought ours at, there was a guide next to each size of rope that told how much weight it holds per foot. Also, we needed enough to loop around itself at the top, for the knot. Mr. Matrimony did the math. Here’s what I think of math…

Math

I know…. SQUIRREL!
(But super funny squirrel, huh???)

The first thing to do is CLEAN that chair! Almost all perfectly good broken chairs have not been treated as such. They’ve most likely been tossed out on the side of the road, forgotten in the basement, or found in a gully (I don’t know why, I ran out of places). That kind of treatment will make a perfectly good broken chair dirty. So clean it. This is not a part I skimp on. I once bought a birdcage for .08 cents at the auction (it was with a pile of junk I got for a few bucks and that was the average). The birdcage was SO cute and I had a plethora of ideas for it. Before I knew what I was doing, I was spray painting it! Mind you, in “cleaning” it, I’d only gone over it with a rag for a brief moment. When I was done painting the birdcage, I proudly hung it up in the window. A little while later, I was walking by, and something (actually, a bunch of somethings) moving in the light caught my eye. It was hair.
Cat hair.
A LOT of cat hair.
*smh* (shaking my head)
Nowwwww, I know why they didn’t need the birdcage anymore!
So, I learned the lesson of cleaning things (including sanding when needed) before I begin painting.
So clean that chair!
And sand it. Have you ever hand a big ol’ splinter in your bum cheek? No? Neither have I, but once (in middle school) in fun, I pushed my friend Susan over on the bench in PE, so I could sit next to her and she fell on the floor SCA-REAM-ING! She hand a 3 inch (I kid you not) splinter in her bum cheek.
OUCH.

Sand that chair, okay?

Now Paint. You may even want to paint your chair when you’re finished assembling it, cause it undoubtedly will need touch-up paint from getting moved around so much…. ours did! I chose to paint my first AND do touch-up because it’s hard to get paint in every little crevice after I’ve assembled pieces, such as the support boards. As you can see, I didn’t paint the part of the wood that connects to the chair, because I’m cheap. Everything else, I painted. When a person is actually swinging at most any height, the bottom of the chair can be seen. Oh, and I didn’t use primer. I am probably going to change my color scheme (cause that’s what I do) so why bother? Because, you might say, it makes the paint go on more evenly! No argument here. Again, I’m just cheap. By all means, do things the right way. I did mine the right now way.

Chair Swing 4

When the paint is dry (like really dry, not ADHD dry), turn the chair upside-down, and lay the boards on the bottom of the seat (which is now the top?) where you want them and mark the edges, so you can apply the glue to the bottom of the chair.  Put the boards on the glue and screw them in place.  Pre-measure your screws so the first person to sit down does not get the point.  Do You?  lol… (that was Mr. Matrimony’s joke. Funny boy)

Don’t skimp on the glue!

A Carpenter friend of Mr. Matrimony once told him that the screws or nails are only used to hold materials together until the glue dries. The glue will be stronger than the wood when it is dry.
A note while we are on the topic of glue… If you look closely at the back of our chair, where it connects to the seat, you can see a little teeny tiny bit of natural wood. With use, the chair has started to separate. We are going to add more glue to the holes the dowels go in by using a syringe. Please use common sense! If your chair isn’t sturdy, make it so! If you can’t, don’t use it for people to sit in… swing, or otherwise!

Chair Swing3

Chair Swing1

Weaving the rope…

You may want to use a different method of weaving your rope through your chair. If yours has arms, you might thread the rope through them. With ours, we centered the holes between the sides of the chair and the end of the boards. Mr. Matrimony did say that the way the inspiration chair was “roped” may not work if someone leans back. He thought weaving the rope through the back of the chair would be sturdy. If you don’t think your chair is sturdy, don’t use it as a swing! Before you even sit in it, make sure it’s strong enough for human use. To leave the most possible strength we could in the rope, we used one continuous piece. It took a couple of tries to get it “just so”, but when it was finished, we felt it was safe.

Chair Swing Knot

When I sit in our chair, it does feel very sturdy. I can actually swing in it! It’s great!!!

Fisherman's Knot

Mr. Matrimony used a “Fisherman’s Knot” for our swing. He thinks it’s the best because as the knots pull on each other, they add strength to both knots, from both ends of the rope. You might want to search the internet to find which knot will be best for where your chair will be. If you are tying it around a tree limb, for instance, you may want a different type of knot. I would ask someone at the hardware store. They really are a wealth of information.

Pip
Pippaloo, enjoying the new swing

You should know…
When I write out my directions, I’m not the most technical thinking person. What you read, and even what you see in my pictures may not make any sense at all! My point is, if I can do it, YOU CAN TOO!!! Just give it a go! Don’t let lack of expertize hold you back. What’s the worst that will happen? You’ll have a really cute chair swing no one can sit in? Fine! Make this one a planter and start over. Just give it a go. Be BOLD!

The hardest part about crafting is starting.

How many Pinterest Boards are you going to fill up with ideas before you actually DO them? I even started a board I titled, “Pinterest Ideas I Actually Did!” I challenge you to start one too. Please share with me when you do!

wpid-PhotoGrid_1393344459392.jpg

Advertisements

5 Ingredient Green Chili Chicken Wrap (less than 300 calories!)

Posted on Updated on

wpid-PhotoGrid_1392779223926.jpg

Recently, my daughter-in-law has been concerned about my eating habits. I don’t have a very good history when it comes to dieting. I’m not too good at being healthy about it. Plus, my history of yo-yo dieting is very discouraging. This time, I’m not dieting. I’m eating less, and eating healthy, with high hopes, the weight will stay off.

This girl loves me, so she offers up alternative (healthy & low fat/calories) recipes she knows I can’t resist. The things she suggests that I’ve made, or have had that she’s made, are so delicious I can’t even tell ya! When we’re on the phone, most of the time, I’m salivating just thinking about what I can make next. Poor girl. She does a lot of repeating.
The other day, she was sharing about some chicken enchiladas she had made.

They.

Sounded.

Wonderful!

While she was talking, I was thinking of how I had all of the ingredients to make them that night. I wasn’t sure my tastebuds could wait that long though. That was distressing. Then the corner of my mind hears her say something about chicken wraps with barbeque sauce.

Wait! What? Barbecue Sauce??? Diets don’t need to suck?
Yay =o)

My wheels started turning even more! (Bless her heart, she knows how many squirrels I see and she’s so patient with me). As soon as we hung up, I pulled everything out of the fridge to make BOTH. Only, I couldn’t get the thought of green chili somethings out of my mind. So, I came up with these wraps.

OMGosh.

You won’t believe how delicious they are! And completely easy! And HEALTHY! It’s crazy. I don’t know where my brain was all these years with my icky dieting routines. I’m a smart girl. I should have known this! I guess God just knew I needed this girl in my life to set me straight.

Some things to be aware of…
1)Usually, I don’t measure my ingredients. In the spirit of caloric awareness, I did with these wraps.
2) Watch the calories on the wraps. They can be super high (like, over 200!)
3) I used white chicken breast meat. My son slow cooked it like half a day in just a little water and a touch of extra virgin olive oil
4) If you like sauce, as I do, add more taco sauce, not cream cheese. The difference in calories is huge!
5)I used salad mix. Recently, we switched to Romaine mix. There is just SO much more healthy stuff in it than there is in iceberg. I wasn’t sure I’d like it, but I really do)
6)Beings I’m a whimp (my idea of mild salsa is ketchup with some cilantro on it), I used mild sauce. But please, feel free to set your wrap on fire.

Here’s what you’ll need…
*1 Wrap
* 1/3 Cup Shredded Chicken Breast (or just finely chopped is fine)
*1 Tablespoon Cream Cheese (I used reduced fat with chive and onion)
*1-2 Tablespoons Green Taco Sauce (green enchilada sauce would be perfect too!)
*Lettuce or salad mix (as much as will fit!)

After spreading the cream cheese, taco sauce, and chicken on the wrap, I heated it all in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. I added the lettuce mix afterwards. Then, I wrapped it all up, like this….

1293cce1d9c4e027cf8c7e08fb74b968[1]

I’m so sorry there are no pictures of the walk-through. There were, but this newbie blogger deleted them. Unintentionally on-purpose even.

Ugh.

At least I learned a valuable lesson… just because you can see your pictures on the web, doesn’t mean you don’t need them in your blog file.
Also, don’t erase them from everywhere just because you want to tidy up your computer files.

Check.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy these as much as I did! I’m hungry now. Guess what’s for lunch =o)

d.i.y. Doggie Snack Jar (from gallon pickle jar)

Posted on Updated on

Doggie Snacks 20We have more than a couple spoiled mutts! You might recognize a couple of them…

(If you don’t care about the WHY of my creating this doggie treat jar, skip ahead. But really, they are SO CUTE and it would be just sad if you skipped them. Just sayin)

Boola Portrait with Bow
Boola’s official World’s Ugliest Dog Contest portrait from 2012

Boola is half hairless something (either Chinese Crested or Xoloitscuintle [Mexican Hairless] and half terrier. Mr. Matrimony had her when we got married. Her original name was Bella…. because she is beautiful. That is probably why she was a shut-out at the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest two years in a row! Will 2014 be her year? We shall see!

Crazy Quilt Boola
Carzy Dog Wrapped in a Crazy Quilt!

The shock that Himisaboo was awarded Third Place in the Mutt Category at the 2013 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest has settled down a bit… but we still question the WHY.I mean, look at him! He is truly a beautiful mutt! We think his mohawk and fantastic personality got him through the door. He was quite popular at the contest! Both dogs have been in the international press in video, picture, and print. Google their names, and “World’s Ugliest Dog” and you’ll see what I mean!

Isaboo with his 3rd place Ribbon at the 2013 World's Ugliest Dog Contest
Isaboo with his 3rd place Ribbon at the 2013 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest

1389674074137

Himisaboo made his debut to our family when Mr. Matrimony and I were married. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones smitten, as Boola and my Oskar were head-over-heels in love as well! That means Himisaboo is half hairless something and half wiener dog! Oskar has been with me about 10 years. He is always into something, which I think has aged him. He’s still such a cutie though! Check out those ears…

Flying Nun much?
Flying Nun much?

The last of our “other kids” is Pippi. That’s short for Pipsqueak. She has many names though… Pippaloo, Pipmiester General, PipPip. She is even a breast cancer survivor and has had a double quadruple radical mastectomy. After that we started calling her the Pippi with no Nippi and Nipless Pipless. She looks sweet, and she is.

But don’t let that fool you….
Pippi is The Boss.
The Queen.
The Ruler of All who Abide in Her Dwelling.
Seriously.

DSC00298

Now that you see how awesome my dogs are, you understand why they need a super cute Doggie Snack Jar. So without further ado, onto the tutorial!

First, I understand these jars can be expensive. Even at WalMart, they’re spendy. I was blessed to find a plethora of various shapes and sizes of canning jars under the house in the crawl space. Actually it wasn’t technically me who found them. It was my son. He gallantly went searching for them through cobwebs, rodent nests, and who-knows-whats when Mr. Matrimony spotted them through a hole in the basement wall. There were literally dozens!
You can find them though. Try going to some of your local gas stations or convenience stores. They often have big jars holding pickles, boiled eggs, and other what-nots. I’d take a gander and see if they might hold them for you. Also, try yard sales, thrift stores, and good ol’ dumpster diving! If you MUST purchase one new, try going to the website of the company (ie: Ball or Mason) and see if you can print out a coupon.
Something else that can be a little expensive is the frosted paint spray. Every time, and I mean without exception, I am at a hardware store, I check the clearance aisle in the paint section. They often have spray paint in the “Oops” pile. Check them out and stock up when you can. Also, I often locate a manager and ask if they might go even lower on the price. You would be shocked at how often they say yes!
The same goes for stickers and ribbon. I found these in the dollar section at a craft store. You know, they have them up by the registers or the fabric cutting table. They know we’ll be milling about… waiting.

And waiting…
Then we buy stuff.

DSC01269
What you will need…
A gallon jar with a lid
Household tape
Wide clear tape
Spray paint
Newspaper
Glue gun
Scissors
Ribbon
Alphabet stickers (make sure they are cut out directly around each letter, as an outline, and not loosely surrounding each letter)

NOTE: Before you start, make sure your jar is super clean and completely dry!

Feel free to use a tape measure, level, or any other implement for my projects. I usually don’t. I’m too impatient, and too ADHD. Mr. Matrimony and I have a saying in our home…
If you want it done RIGHT, ask him. If you want it done NOW ask me.
It may not be done RIGHT, but it’ll be done RIGHT NOW.”

If you’re a perfectionist, you may only want to visit my blog for inspiration and not necessarily directions.
Is that wrong? I’m just being honest. No one ever accused my of saying too little.

Sorry, SQUIRREL.

Before you begin with the jar, spray paint the very clean and dry lid. Set it aside to dry.

Doggie Snacks 11

Doggie Snacks 12

Next, place a section of tape across your jar as a guide for you letter lay-out. Add a second piece of tape to the place you want the other word.
DSC01255

This tape is only used as a guide, so you don’t need to attach firmly.

Doggie Snacks 1

Make sure to press down firmly on the stickers so there are no gaps for frost paint to slip into!

(My tape was over the hangy-down part of some of the letters. I just waited to really press down on the letters until after I lifted the tape.)

Doggie Snacks 2

I used shipping tape to attach the newspaper to my jar so the epoxy wouldn’t go everywhere. It worked out great as a straight edge as well!

Again, use leveling implements if you feel you need to. I eyeballed it.

Doggie Snacks 3

My frosted paint directions say to leave it be for 30 minutes to dry, but 24 hours until it is completely dry. Make sure to follow the directions on the kind you have. Don’t be afraid of it. It’s super easy. If it’s your first time with it, do a few practices sweeps on something else.

Doggie Snacks 4I found using tweezers with a sharp edge worked perfectly to remove the stickers. Just make sure when you are taking the stickers off, you don’t scratch the etching spray. Even when dry, it can scratch fairly easily.

Doggie Snacks 21

You can leave it as it is if you like a more simple look. I’ve had this Puppy Love ribbon (.99 cents at JonAnn Fabrics) laying around forever and decided I’d used it up.

Doggie Snacks 9Make sure to cut your ribbon at an angle so it won’t fray.

I only used 4 dots of glue for each piece of ribbon on the jar. One each on the front, sides, and back.

Doggie Snacks 8

Mr. Matrimony saw the picture below and of the top left-hand section said, “What is that???”
I told him it’s my glue gun.
He said it looks awful.

I take pride it that. It means I’m using it!

Doggie Snacks 13

I folded the ribbon under at the end to hide the raw edge.

Doggie Snacks 7

This is the part I put on the outside

Doggie Snacks 6

Next I put another ribbon under the label area.

I added a little of the ribbon to the lid.

Tadaaaaa!

DSC01350

Super simple.

Why not use various sizes and make canisters for you kitchen staples?
Enjoy!