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20 St. Patrick's Inspired Crochet Projects

20 StPatricks Day Crochet Projects20 Crocheted Project Ideas for St. Patrick's Day. From amigurmi and dolls to scarves and hats, there is something for everyone on this list!
You guys! I just can’t stop crocheting.. I am becoming OBSESSED.  I now carry a ball of yarn and a hook with me everywhere I go:

A spare minute sitting in the carpool line? Crochet
At the doctor’s office waiting room:  Crochet.
Watching soccer practice: Crochet.

I haven’t been working on anything earth shattering.  Just little amigurumi mostly. Patterns that I make up as I go (since dealing with a pattern when you are only getting a few rows or stitches in at a time is a pain!)

I’ve been scouring Ravelry and Pinterest for ideas fo St. Patrick’s day and wanted to share some of my favorites!  I am not sure I’ll make any of these designs exactly, but I’m getting some great ideas for my own designs:

DIY Floating Acrylic Frames with Perforated Metal Accents

Floating frame on fireplace mantel
Don’t you love it when a hare-brained idea just happens to work out? You know what I mean: you get that vision in your head and you aren’t sure it is going to work, but when it does, it is AWESOME!  Well, that is how I feel about the simple project I’m sharing today: These Plexiglass and Sheet Metal DIY Floating Frames. 
DIY floating frame with metal accents
I have always wanted to make some floating frames, but I didn’t want them to be completely transparent, I wanted them to have some sort of detail, and that is exactly what I got by adding a sheet of perforated sheet metal to the mix.
DIY plexiglass and metal floating frame
I love that you still get that district “framed” feel to your art, but it is still transparent, so you can see the wall color behind it, and you still get the floating frame vibe. DIY industrial style floating frame
Of course, a plain sheet metal and plexiglass floating frame is can be quite industrial looking, so to soften it up more for my aesthetic, I mounted one inside of an old wooden mail tray I had, and I suddenly had the perfect yin and yang of industrial and rustic.
Make this pretty and modern floating frame. With perforated sheet metal and plexiglass, you can get a clean geometric look, or make it more rustic with the additional of reclaimed wood accents. Such a quick and easy project and a great way to display printables!
And once the frame was mounted inside of the tray, I no longer needed a way to display it.  DESKTOP FLOATING FRAMES! I love it! I am pretty sure I’m going to find a home for them in my sewing room.
Do more of what you love DIY floating frame


I am so thrilled with just how great this project turned out, especially for as easy as it was.
DIY Floating Frames Supply List:
- 11x14 Sheet of plexiglass or framing plastic
I purchased anti-glare plaskolite sheets from Home Depot, but there are lots of options available online, including thicker, less flexible plexiglass sheets
30 mm Standoff Hardware
 -M-D Perforated Metal Sheets (12x24)M-D Hobby & Craft have a bajillion designs and metal choices. I used the the Aluminum Union Jack pattern for this since it matched the chrome finish of the standoff hardware.  The 12 inch sheets are EXACTLY 11 inches wide when you cut off the border, which is perfect for the 11x14 sheet of plexiglass.
-Craft Tin Snips You may also want to wear leather gloves since the cut metal can be sharp.
- Course Sanding Block
- Drill or Drill Press
- 3/8th inch Forstner bit
-Artwork to display (if you need ideas, I have TONS of printables that would be perfect!)
-Wall Mounting hardware
The standoff hardware is designed to be hung on the wall with screws. But I actually hung mine with heavy duty mounting squares so it could be permanent or removable.

Perforated Sheet Metal DIY frame project
Tutorial:
I first cut down the aluminum sheet to the exact size of the 11x14 sheet of plexiglass, and I used my sanding block to smooth off the sharp cut edges.  (The aluminum is pretty thin and will bend, so make sure you support the metal on a flat surface and only sand the very edge.)
Cutting performated decorative metal sheets for photo frame
Next I marked where I wanted my four standoffs (the hardware that holds the frame away from the wall) would be placed on my plexiglass sheet (make sure to leave enough room for your artwork in the middle!)
Tip: Don’t remove the protective sheet from the plexiglass until the VERY LAST STEP. 
Marking plexiglass for standoff frame
Carefully supporting the plexiglass on a piece of scrap wood (otherwise it will bend and crack) drill through it on your four marks.
Drilling through plexiglass for photo frameI drilled the plexiglass first and then used it those four holes as my template to drill through the metal.  I used clamps to keep the plastic and the metal sheet lined up exactly. The plastic helps hold the aluminum down.

The sheet metal wants to kick out since the drill bit doesn’t catch evenly, so be really careful on this step.
Drilling through sheet metal and plexiglass for floating frame
If you are really daring you could sandwich both the metal and plexiglass and drill through them both at the same time.
Luckily if the hole is a little ugly it won’t matter, there is a decent amount of overhand with the mounting hardware to cover up any rough edges.
Standoff hardware for DIY floating frames
Now it is time to sandwich your metal sheet, your artwork and the plexiglass and then push the screws on the standoffs through.
Floating frame from plexi and sheet metal
Tip: If you are mounting on the wall with screws, I would put all the hardware ON your artwork, put them up on the all, mark where each screw will go and then take them apart to attach them. Dont’ try to mount the hardware to the wall first and then line it up with your artwork.
I even tried mounting mine inside a wooden tray, and I loved it so much!
Make this pretty and modern floating frame. With perforated sheet metal and plexiglass, you can get a clean geometric look, or make it more rustic with the additional of reclaimed wood accents. Such a quick and easy project and a great way to display printables!
The whole process only took me about 20 minutes and it looks a lot more complicated than that.  Don’t you love it when that happens?
This project was part of this month’s Power Tool Challenge, featuring these other amazing bloggers and their projects.  Don’t miss THIS COLLECTION OF OTHER FRAMES AND ARTWORK DISPLAY IDEAS:
The DIY Village - DIY Wood Shim Picture Frame
My Repurposed Life - Printable Pallet Frame
Refresh Restyle - How to Make a Photo Display
 
Make this pretty and modern floating frame. With perforated sheet metal and plexiglass, you can get a clean geometric look, or make it more rustic with the additional of reclaimed wood accents. Such a quick and easy project and a great way to display printables!

15 Woodworking Easter Projects

12 Woodworking Easter projects
15 Easy DIY woodworking projects perfect for easter. Get out those power tools and whip up one of these wood projects just in time for the Easter Bunny!
With the completion of my most recent build I've been really fired up about building projects lately.  And since the next big holiday right now is Easter I've been on the hunt for fun DIY building project ideas I could use.

This isn't a new idea for me, I've done woodworking Easter projects before, ike my scrap wood Easter egg I made for last year’s Easter mantel

But I wanted to get some new ideas, so I went on a mission to find other woodworking and building projects with the Easter theme and you won’t believe what I found!

If you want to get out into the garage and use some power tools, these 15 Easter projects should be some real inspiration!


Shameless Plug: If you are looking for a group of other female woodworkers (which can be less intimidating and condescending than some of the large male dominated Facebook woodworking groups) I recently set one up that you are welcome to join. 
Woman woodworkers

Surviving Disney With Toddlers: What To Pack for Your Day At The Parks

What to bring to disney with kids2
What to pack for a toddler at Disney2I am so excited by today’s post because that means a DISNEY trip is in our future!  For spring break this year we are surprising the kids with a trip down to Southern California for a few days at Disneyland.   This will be Josh’s first trip down there and we are so excited about it!

First Trip to Disneyland Personalized Tote Bag2

When we head down at spring break, the girls will be 6 and 10, which are great ages for Disney, and the baby will almost be three.  I know a lot of people think it is too much of a hassle to take toddlers and preschoolers to Disney, but we think the opposite.   We have taken both of the girls to Disney when they were under the age of 5 and the trips have always been wonderful.  At that age, the magic of Disney is even more MAGICAL.  The entire line of Disney parks really does cater to kids of all ages.. even toddlers and preschoolers.

Little kids love meeting the characters and taking in the sights. The other thing that I really love is that the rides geared towards younger kids, as well as many of the characters (like Winnie the Pooh or Eeyore) always have shorter lines.  Not to mention that many of the rides (like the Jungle Cruise or Pirates of the Caribbean) are great for adults but have no height restrictions, which means the entire family can ride.   Disneyland has a list of height requirements for each of the rides and you can see how few rides are actually off limits to the little guys!

Toddler with personalized Disney Tote bag2
The key to a drama-free trip with preschoolers is being prepared. One of the biggest things you can do is expect anything.  Chances are that not everything will go as planned.  You may end up waiting in a line longer than you expected, someone will spill their Dole Whip, or trip and skin a knee while running over to see Lightening McQueen.  Things happen (even at Disney) and in order to keep everyone on track you want to be prepared in order to prevent little things from becoming big disasters.

To ensure that everything goes smoothly I pack a bag for each of the kids for their time in the parks.  It isn’t as important with the older kids, but for the toddler I find most of these things are essential.
What to bring to disney with kids2

Here is what I include:

Stroller/Ribbon:  Bringing your own is my preference (since we always drive down it is easy to bring our own) but if that isn’t possible, there are strollers for rent.  The problem with rented strollers is that they all look the same.  In either case you will want to tie a ribbon or something around the handle to make it easy to find amongst the crowd.  Sometimes cast members will move and arrange strollers, so it may not be where you left it.  It is much easier to pick out a ribbon in a sea of stroller handles.

Water Bottle: You can get water for free at the parks (from soda fountain locations or from drinking fountains near the rest rooms).  Instead of constantly being begged for a drink, I keep the kids bottles full of cold water.

Sunscreen: Even in the winter, you can get a sunburn from the Southern California (or Florida) sun.  This is always a good thing to pack.

Diapers/Wipes: Even if your child is potty trained a change of underwear is a good idea.  Accidents happen, (especially if you get caught in a long line) and having a pair is always better than not.
What to bring to disney with toddlerChange of clothes: I pack an extra pair of socks, pants, short sleeve and long sleeve shirt and sweatshirt.  Depending on the time of year the weather can go from warm to cool.  Having clothing you can layer is a great idea.  Plus, if a slice of pizza ends up splattered on the front, your child won't have to wear a dirty shirt for the rest of the day.

Towel: I bring a towel instead of a blanket since it does double duty.  If the baby falls asleep in the stroller I can use it for shade, if they get wet on a water ride, they can get dried off, if they want to sit on the ground while waiting in line or at one of the shows, they can sit on the towel.  If it gets cold they can use it as a blanket.

Tattoo (or permanent marker): Nothing will make your heart sink faster than losing sight of your child at a crowded amusement park.  Rest assured that Disney parks have AMAZING protocols in place for lost children.  But to make it easier on the cast members (and give you piece of mind) you may want to get a child contact information tattoo.. or just write your cell phone number on your child's arm in permanent marker, especially if they are too young to know their own phone number. (You can remove the writing at the end of the trip with nail polish remover)

Autograph Book: Often kids will get scared when meeting costumed characters for the first time.   Having an autograph book is a good way to of give them a chance to connect with the character without having to hug or touch them.  My kids like to just hand over the book and let them sign.  it is less scary than having a giant mouse give them a hug.  Especially If your older kids have autograph books, you want to make you have one for your preschooler… even if they don’t want to meet characters.  You may also want to include a few crayons in your bag, so they can color in the book on their own.
What to bring to disneyland2

1st Aid Kit/BandAids: Disney does have first aid stations in the park, but for simple ‘owies’ like skinned knees or little cuts (even imaginary ones) you won’t want to trek across the park to find one.  Having bandaids in your diaper bag can quickly fix the ouch!

Snacks: Nothing makes a cranky toddler happier than a handful of fish crackers or fruit snacks.  You want to pack things that are easy to eat, and tend to be okay in the heat unless you also want to bring a small soft-sided cooler.  I tend to just bring things like pretzels or crackers and avoid the need to keep them cool.

Books: Giving the kids distractions while waiting in ride lines or for meal service is important to preventing meltdowns.

Souvenirs: Disney can be overwhelming to a toddler since they will want to get their hands on everything they see.  Store after store filled with surprises and treats that they will want RIGHT THAT SECOND. Unlike older children who more easily understand “we will get something later” smaller kids don’t understand delayed gratification.  That is why I tend to pack a few small souvenirs for every day of the trip. Not only is this a great way to encourage and reward good behavior, it is also a fun distraction.  The other benefits of bringing your own vs. buying souvenirs in the park is getting exactly the characters your kids want.  If your child loves Tow-Mater, but you are in the middle of Princess territory it may be tough to find the exact souvenir you are hoping for.  Having small toys picked out and hidden away in your bag  (to pull out as a surprise) is a great trick, plus you will save a few bucks.  It is easy to say ‘no' to the souvenir stand when you know you have a hidden surprise in the bag!

Medications: (If necessary) If your child takes any medicines during the day, don’t forget to bring them!

Rain Jacket or Parka: (Optional) Check the weather forecast for the day.. Even if it only calls for a 10% chance of rain, you would rather have some protection from the rain than not!
Packing Books for Disneyland trip2


And if you are looking for other tips and tricks for Disney.. make sure you don't miss these previous posts:

Mickey Bokeh for Night Photography:


Modern Industrial Concrete Easter Eggs

Concrete easter eggsHow to make concrete easter eggs with plastic eggs as molds for the masonry cement. The perfect mix of modern and whimsical! AND EASY TO DO!
Ever since getting back from Haven last year I have been slightly obsessed with concrete.  There were these guys there from Buddy Rhodes and they did some of the most Ah-Maz-Ing concrete work. They specialized in countertops, but some of their art pieces and furniture were so fantastic I haven’ stopped thinking about it since then.

 I have done a little (mostly utilitarian) concrete work of my own, but nothing that was just for the sake of being pretty.

Until today.

Since I have (clearly) been on a plastic Easter Egg kick this week, it would not surprise anyone to know I used the plastic eggs a mold to create concrete easter eggs:How to make concrete easter eggs with plastic eggs as molds for the masonry cement. The perfect mix of modern and whimsical! AND EASY TO DO!
And I am so stoked with how this project came out, that I am definitely going to work with concrete more often. I LOVE it!

The process is a little messy, but really fun. And it goes surprisingly fast.

Creativity Unleashed 210


Creativity Unleashed Graphic
Welcome to the Creativity Unleashed Link party.

I’ve joined Jessi from Practically Functional, Jacque from The DIY Village, Jocie from One Project Closer, Amy from Her Tool Belt, and Mindi from My Love 2 Create as hostesses for this party.


Three Dimensional Textured Easter Eggs With Hot Glue

Easter comes early this year.  And so I thought it was about time to get working on my annual tradition of transforming plastic eggs.  It has become one of those things I love doing every year. Seeing all the fun variations I can make out of dollar store eggs.  (Like this, this, this, this and this)

And this year I’ve started off by really thinking outside the box.  These monochromatic textured eggs are clean and modern. The polar opposite of the brightly colored cheesy plastic basket filler they started out as.  They almost look like plaster or concrete.   But they aren’t.

So how did I get them to look like this?

The answer is “Hot Glue and Spray Paint!”

Free Printable Snake School Valentines

Printable school valentines with plastic snakesFree printable dollar store snake school valentines
It is that time of year again.. SCHOOL VALENTINE TIME!  And once again, I'm hitting the dollar store to find affordable bulk trinkets that will make good Valentine SWAG!

This year my four year old picked out these little plastic snakes.  (Since nothing says "I love you" like a poisonous viper!)

Puzzle Piece Expandable Cutting Boards and Serving Trays

A set of puzzle piece shaped cutting boards that combine together to form one large cutting board, or seperated can be used individually as serving trays with built in wine glass holders.jpg
A set of puzzle piece shaped cutting boards that combine together to form one large cutting board, or seperated can be used individually as serving trays with built in wine glass holdersFor a relatively new woodworker, there aren’t many projects that come out better than you expect. You typically  have a vision, and your final project is close, but never perfect.  This is NOT one of those projects.  I am just so excited with how this set of cutting boards came out, I’m just pleased as punch with it!

It is a set of puzzle shaped mini-cutting boards (I used maple) that assemble together to form one large cutting board:
Puzzle piece cutting and serving boardBut the fun part is that any individual mini-cutting board can be used as a serving tray, and the notch in the puzzle piece shape can be used to hold a wine glass!  ISN’T THAT GENIUS!?
Puzzle cutting board with wine holder

'I Need My Emotional Support Wine' Cross Stitch Pattern

Funny wine cross stitchCross stitch pattern for funny wine
I recently jumped back into cross stitch since I have found it to be a great outlet to get some your sarcasm out.
Funny wine cross stitch
There are a lot of hilarious and sarcastic patterns available out there, and I wanted to design some of my own.
When I heard about the recent “Emotional Support Peacock” episode, I knew I wanted to snark on the ridiculous of it all, and how what I personally really need I some Emotional Support WINE!

How to Etch Glass Drinking Glasses

Dilly Dilly Beer MugHow to etch glassware video tutorial. Includes a FREE Dilly Dilly stencil file to make your own beer steins
One of my most popular tutorials is “How To Etch Glass” where I demonstrated the etching process in a photo tutorial.  I field DOZENS of questions about the process every month.  In that post I use a vinegar bottle (turned soap dispenser) as my sample project.
So I followed up that original post with another one and this time etched mugs for Father’s day.

But I am still getting questions about all the steps, and most of these could be readily answered by just watching the entire process from start to finish.
 
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