Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Birthday to daughter Laura

Today is another special day, (and I don't mean because it's Hallowe'en)... my daughter Laura turns 18 today!

It's hard to believe how quickly those 18 years went... Laura was born on Hallowe'en in the morning.   I woke up just after 7am and fed my dogs and realized with the sharp pains I was getting that perhaps I should head to the hospital. Since my baby was due the next day, I quickly dressed my two sons and off we went to the hospital.

There was no time to wait in the pre-birthing room, the baby was coming fast, I quickly had to fill out some forms and then went into the delivery room. When the doctor announced a birth time of 7:30, I said it can't be, I left the house at that time! In fact it was, back in 1993, the Sunday morning of the clocks changing for Daylight savings time and I had forgotten that.  So Laura was born about an hour after I left the house.

She came home the next day... here's a photo of Laura only one day old with her older brothers Daniel, 6, and Bryan 2 1/2.

I enjoyed so much being at stay-at-home mother and watching my children grow.  I miss my little babies more than I can say. And now my baby is 18.
This is her Hallowe'en hippie costume she wore on Friday to the school dance:

When she was young, Laura suffered from something called Selective Mutism, a mostly unknown condition.  SM is the result of anxiety and children with it appear very, very shy to the point of not being able to speak at all in public.  Laura could only speak to other children and her parents from age 3 until 10. She had some school counselling and help to overcome the mutism.

Many doctors do not have any knowledge of Selective Mutism, so if you know a child that shows the symptoms of appearing shy but completely shutting down in public, please contact me as I run a Selective Mutism Support Group and I can help you get the child on the right track.

Laura appears in school plays and wants to be an actress, she's come a long way and we are very proud of her.
Happy Birthday, Laura!

Love, mum xoxo

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Today Celebrating our 7th Anniversary

I don't often post about things other than my woodworking, but today is a special day, and so is tomorrow, so I'm posting family topics two days in a row.

I "followed my heart" out of a bad situation in 1997 and eventually met the love of my life, Eric.

Eric and I got married 7 years ago today.  In attendance were my three children, a wedding officiant and a photographer.  It was the most wonderful day, everything was perfect!

Of course the children are now looking different than they did that day 7 years ago, so I treasure the photos of them (Daniel, Laura & Bryan)

Don't forget to always...
        follow your heart

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Projects for a Very Special Wedding

My husband's nephew, Justin announced his engagement last year.  I offered my services to make anything related to woodworking to his beautiful bride-to-be, Rebecca.

After considering things and doing some searches online, Rebecca decided she wanted some signs as well as cake stands and flower stands.

Rebecca wanted three signs, which I made from pine. She was going for a country look and "crackled" paint. I glued three or four boards edge to edge to make each sign.  I stained the boards with my rusty water (steel wool and vinegar) technique so that the white paint would have something a bit darker to show through the cracks than the light coloured pine would.

I put quite a thick layer of crackle medium all over the signs and then I painted with white outdoor house paint over that and crossed my fingers that the crackles would look nice.  You really can't redo it, and the paint must go on in one coat without going back over it.

One sign was to have their names and wedding date, the second was a copy of something she found online saying "Happily Ever After Starts Here," and the third was for a seating plan.  The first two signs were 20" high x 32" long and the third was 22" high x 32" long.

I planned and printed out the lettering on my computer to the correct size and then using carbon paper, traced the letters and corner swirls onto the boards. I hand painted everything with black craft paint.

Here is a close up of the Justin & Rebecca sign:

and a close up of the Happily Ever After...

Here are the finished signs at my home a few weeks before the wedding:

Rebecca wanted a Seating Plan sign with the same font and corner decorations and a space for her to attach lists of each table with the names of who would be seated there:

As for the other decor, Rebecca decided on log slices that would sit in the middle of each table with a mason jar full of flowers on it.  My husband, Eric's, chain saw died so we ended up buying a new chain saw and Eric cut  about 25 slices off a large log we got with our winter firewood order.

Here are some of them stacked in my workshop:

One last thing she wanted was two cake stands made out of logs, which I don't have a photo of before the wedding, but will show those with the wedding photos. They are log slices glued to a length of log for the base.

Last Saturday Justin and Rebecca were married in a beautiful ceremony and I was so proud to see my signs as part of the decor. The bride thanked me in her speech and I was so touched I got teary eyed!

The sign with the couples names was at the reception in the foyer:

The Happily Ever After sign was in the church entranceway and also at the reception afterwards.
Unfortunately I didn't get a close up of the Seating Plan, which you can see here on the right.  Rebecca did a great job with the way she attached the names to the board, so pretty with different black edged papers.

This isn't the greatest photo but shows the log slices under the flower jars as well as a mini-sign in front of the bride and groom:

Here are the cake stands, Rebecca made the cakes as well as the cupcakes:

and here's the beautiful bride and her mother cutting one of the cakes:

Sending best wishes for a happy and healthy life together to the newlyweds, Justin & Rebecca!

It was a pleasure to be able to contribute to your lovely wedding.

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Old Crate Side with Horse Image

Here's what I made the other day with some scraps. It's supposed to look like the side of an old crate.

I used three pine boards for the base and two thinner ones for the side slats.  The side slats are nailed on with tacks.  I purposely did not predrill, and that created some cracks where the tacks went in.

The graphic came from The Graphics Fairy where Karen shares hundreds of free images.  It had a white background on which I dabbed on some rusty water (steel wool and vinegar) with a paint brush. The image was cut where the boards meet and then put on with Mod Podge glue.

I drilled two holes in the top for my twisted twine hanger which I showed how to make in a  previous post here

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Making Thicker Twine - Tips #2

Do you ever find that you need some twine thicker than what you already have?
I make my own twine thicker (try saying that 3 times) and it's easy to do, here's how:

Here's my regular type twine, much too thin to use for hanging any thing

Figure out how long you need your FINISHED length to be.
Multiply by two and add a few inches for your cutting length and cut three or more pieces of twine to that determined length.
(example I needed about 16 inches so I went with 3 pieces at 36" cut length)

Unfortunately my photo of the next step was blurred, so I'll just explain it.
Hold the three twine pieces together and firmly with one hand holding each end and as far apart as you can keep them so that the twine is tight.  Twist the twine tightly (if you are right-handed twist between your right thumb and index finger) and keep twisting and twisting until you don't think you can twist any more.

By eye, figure out approximately where the middle is of your twisted twine.  Keeping the whole thing taut, put that either around a nail, or a door knob or anything that can hold the middle for a few seconds. Don't let go or the twist will come undone. Your twine will then be doubled with the middle over the door knob and the twisted cut ends all in your hand.

Carefully take the end off the door knob and holding the cut ends only let the thing twist itself together.  It will just do that on it's own.

You can neaten it up a bit, but it will remain all twisted upon itself and won't come undone.

The next photo shows the difference between the original twine and the thicker twine:

You get a nice thick twine that can be used for a handle, a sign hanger, or whatever!
Here's a sneak peak of what I used it for, you can see the completed project here

I've used it before on the tops of my wood buoys you can see here

Hopefully this helps someone else make some twine!

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