Friday, September 24, 2010

Fireplace DIY Skillz

Yesterday I showed you the pics from my Fireplace insert painting project.  Today I want to show you the before and after pics.

I forgot to take an official "before" shot of how the insert looked before I began this project.  Not that that will be a surprise to anyone here of course.  However, I do have a pic taken at a birthday party last year that shows it very nicely.  Just ignore the party decorations:


Check out how it looks now:


I love the new look (even if the lighting is poor!) Click to see the enlarged version of the pic.

Obviously I have not updated the mantle in a while.  That's on my next week's to do list, promise.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fire Place DIY

Since we moved into this house seven years ago, I've hated the way my fireplace insert looks.  It's a big ugly nasty colored brass.  Not a pretty brass, an ugly one.   Yesterday I decided to do something about it.

I had gotten out the steamer cleaner to clean the bricks on the fireplace and had to take the insert out anyway to do this.  This is the first time that I've had it pulled out and I decided that now is the perfect time to fix the color.

I took a trip to Home Depot this morning and purchased some High Heat spray paint for about $5.  DISCLAIMER: Please, if you do this kind of project, make sure you buy High Heat paint, not the regular spray paint.  I will not be responsible for your burning your house down if you don't buy the proper paint!

Here is the before:


And here is the insert after taping up the windows and applying the first coat of paint:


I picked a flat black paint because I want it to disappear in the fireplace.  It's had enough attention over the years, it doesn't need more.  It's there to insulate the house when the fireplace is not in use and that's all it should be doing, not taking away from the beauty of it's surroundings.

Tomorrow I'll show you how pretty it's going to look in the fire place!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Goody Box Incentive

Years ago I created a thing of beauty.  It's more beautiful in concept than reality.  In reality it's just a plain cardboard box.  Nothing special to look at.  It sits in the shelf in our garage and it looks just like every other box on a shelf in the garage.

The objects inside are not beautiful either.  It's the motivation that those objects provide that is a thing of beauty.  I call it, The Goody Box.

The Goody Box is filled with little toys, Pez candy dispensers, items found at consignment or yard sales, puzzles, etc.  Nothing fancy or expensive. 

It began as potty training motivation.  The Eldest was into Thomas trains back then, so I created a train track on a chart.  Every time he went he got a sticker.  Every fifth track had a star on it.  When he got to a star, he got a prize out of The Goody Box.  Worked like a charm, for him at least.  His brother is not motivated like that, but that's a whole 'nother discussion.

After a few years it morphed,  no longer used as potty training motivation, but for incentive to do chores.  This has been a truly wonderful invention and one that I'm quite proud of.  We use it for any chores that are not on their normal chores list.  The normal chores are done in order to attain a small weekly allowance.  These chores are not negotiable and are the same from week to week.  The Goody Box chores are outside of the normal realm of chores. 

Today after school both boys suddenly came to me begging for extra chores to do.   The operational word in that sentence is begging.  The Youngest dusted for me (at least every where that he could reach.) The Eldest asked to clean the toilets.  "Heck yeah!", I said, "Get to it".  What Mom in her right mind wouldn't say that? 

The Youngest chose a Toy Story Slinky Dog Pez for his collection.  The Eldest picked a Bionicle that I had bought at a children's consignment sale.  Both items cost me a dollar each. 

The Goody Box, truly an item of beauty in my home.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Space Shuttle Progress

Creating a Space Shuttle3

The Eldest and I worked on his space shuttle project again last night.  It's really starting to look like a shuttle, albeit a rough recycled one.  He was such a trooper about it.  He felt horrible yesterday, but was perfectly willing to get down on the floor with tape, newspaper and cardboard and get to working.  He was pretty funny about measuring the project to make sure it kept it's 1/40th scale.  He's very technically oriented and needs a creative nudge now and then, but he's doing very well on this project.

Creating a Space Shuttle1
There are a couple of things that we're worried about.  The cargo bay is long and narrow and has the tendency to warp out of shape.  We used tons of cardboard and tape to reinforce it out of worry that the wet newspaper that will be applied would make it go all wonky on us.  We also had a little difficulty making the back wing stabilize, but finally came up with a solution that worked.

Creating a Space Shuttle2

His father and I are really glad this thing is going to be paper mache-d and painted.   I don't think it would look to great for the kid to bring in a project made from beer boxes, do you?

Monday, September 20, 2010

More Sickness and A Good Knitting Mistake

Yet more sickness has struck at our house.  Now the Eldest has come down with a cold and has coughed himself silly all day long.  I loaded him up with cough syrup and cough drops and sent him off to school.  It's a catch-22 situation.  If he doesn't have a fever, you send him to school.  So then, he's coughing in class, infecting the other kids and disrupting the class.  Yet if he's kept home, the school police will fuss at you for him not attending.

Evidently at one point the coughing was so bad (he had run out of cough drops) that she sent him to beg for more cough drops at the office.  Which of course sent the ladies in the office scrambling for their purses to find the poor kid something to control the coughing.  Not once did I get a call by the way for more of the drops.  I'm sending a whole bag tomorrow.  Poor kid.

In knitting news, I have been knitting and got a lot done on my secret project sweater, about six inches worth during the Auburn/Clemson game (my team won).  I hate that I can't show the progress on this and how cool it's turning out, but if I want to publish it somewhere, it can't be shown.   At one point, I caught myself making a mistake in my cable chart.  It was a big uh oh moment, but then I decided that I liked it the way the cable had turned out even better and I've now changed the directions to match.  Don't you just love (in an oxymoronic kind of way) the good mistakes that knitting brings you?  For myself, I'm just thrilled to not be ripping the darn thing out again.