Monday, November 24, 2014

Old Shoes Made New Again

We have a shoe repair shop in our town, and even though I've lived here for years, I've never been there. Maybe I should pay them a visit. I like the idea of repairing my old shoes rather than buying new ones. (This shop is in the U.K., but I imagine that the old fashioned shoe repair shops are still around in a number of places. Have you ever been to one)?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Wooden Crate Tables to Buy or Make

I have a thing for tables (unfortunately, no place to put any more of them, but still I like to look). They rank second only to bookshelves on my favorite furniture list. Lately, I've been looking at tables made from upcycled wooden crates.

Like this one from an Etsy store:
Upcycled Wooden crate table

Or this one:
Wooden Crate Coffee Table

Those can be bought already made (and there are several versions available on Etsy), but someone who has the time, a few tools (a very few tools) and a little bit of skill can make their own using these instructions. Or here are some alternate instructions. And here's a video if you prefer. He made the crates, but they can be bought for about $10 each at hardware stores or, if you're lucky, you might pick up some used ones for free or close to free. This video is a bit long, so if you don't want to listen to the intro, move ahead to about 1:59, which is where the instructions begin. This is a project even I could do, and I'm not particularly skilled with a hammer and nails. (Note: in most of the instructions I saw, they stained or painted the crates first. The video below was still unfinished wood at the end, but his instructions were clear and easy to follow). There are variations. Some, like this video used a piece of plywood for the base, some used 1x2s to make a frame. Some used legs, but most used casters on the bottom (which I liked. They're easy, and you can roll the table around). 

I'll bet that making furniture really gives a person a sense of accomplishment!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

More Gift Wrap Ideas

These days I seem to be stuck on gift wrapping and DIY furniture ideas (more on that later). Here are a couple of cute and easy to do ideas for holiday wrapping/giving. The image below of the really pretty pillow boxes references templates that can be purchased from an Etsy store.

101 Printable Pillow Boxes
Printable Pillow Box Templates

But you can also go to The ¢entsible Life, where Tonya Staab will show you how to make some very pretty ones from paper towel/toilet paper rolls, scrapbook paper and Mod Podge.

Another idea I love is from the Aunt Peaches site. She dresses up used aluminum foil boxes and uses them to gift holiday cookies. What a fantastic idea! There are more images and instructions on her site, so if you're a baker, this is a fun find. 

 Cookie gift boxes

Lastly, here's a tutorial on how to make a gift box out of playing cards:


Monday, November 17, 2014

In a Pinch, Make a Table from Cardboard

I know someone who, due to the nature of their job, moves around a lot. They travel light, so furnishing an apartment gets to be an issue. This video on cardboard furniture by designer Adrian Candela might alleviate some of that problem. I'm sure that these could be dressed up with some cloth remnants or a tablecloth.

He has a link to download the instructions for the nightstand on his website. 

For more ideas on cardboard furniture, try this page from Instructables, one of my favorite sites.

Have fun envisioning new ways to repurpose cardboard and other materials into furniture!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Book Title Dilemma

About a week ago, I was informed that the rights to two of my books would be reverting to me. What that means is that I'm free to distribute them myself as ebooks or I can create new print versions or both. Either way, the books (both long out of print) will be available again in internet bookstores once I edit them, clean them up and republish them.

Here's my dilemma. I'm not overly fond of the titles of either of the books. I know that I'll do an edit and cleanup of both and I may (or may not) update them so that they're more current (bringing the technology up to date at the very least). I'll purchase new covers for both books, but...I can't decide whether I should retitle them or not.

One of them is currently called Morning Beauty, Midnight Beast and the other is Angel Eyes. Although they're both single title romances, the titles don't actually scream romance, in my opinion. But changing the titles means explaining in the books' online descriptions that these books have changed titles. I don't want to anger any readers who have already read the book and think they're getting something completely new. (Note: I did this with The Wish List, which was formerly titled The Daddy List and so far no one has complained, but I'm not sure I should make a habit of it).

It's a dilemma, but a happy one. I'm thrilled to be able to reissue the books and make them available again. Any thoughts on those old titles?

American and Australian Words

As someone pointed out in the comments section of this video, the Australian terms are pretty much the same ones a person would hear in England. Another person felt that the man in the video was using incorrect terminology (their explanation was that he was using lower class versus structured English). I don't know if that's true, but they're such a cute couple, and I enjoyed the fun.

If anyone wishes to add any corrections (or chime in on whether these are correct or not), that would be awesome.

Have a fantastic day!


Friday, November 14, 2014

Sainsbury's Official Christmas Ad

Thanks to my friend Julie Hilton Steele for sharing this. It's been all over (many viewers) but is worth repeating. And if you haven't seen it yet, get your handkerchiefs ready.

Have a wonderful day! 


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Holiday Gift Wrapping

I have a bad habit of leaving my gift wrapping until the last week before the holidays, but I do like looking at new ways of doing things, and sometimes that means a bit of advance planning. Here are some different ways to wrap presents. In this first video, I especially like the cute little packages made using recycled toilet paper rolls, scrap booking paper and cellophane, but the paper bags are cute, too (I might consider substituting a homemade snowflake for the doily).

I'm including this because I like the music and the coffee cup idea in the middle (also, using cupcake papers as decoration was rather cute).

Lastly, these ideas were perhaps a bit pricey, but I really liked the last idea, so I'm including it here:

Christmas is still weeks away, but I think I'll start saving toilet paper rolls and hunting down paper bags and pretty coffee cups.

Have a great day!


It's Bird Day!

I have a lot of friends and relatives who are bird watchers/lovers. Here's a parrot who channels Matthew McConaughey (although he--the parrot, that is--sounds more like someone's grandmother to me):

(By the way, I saw Interstellar in an IMAX theater yesterday--one of the big ones, not the newer ones--and it was impressive).

And this lyrebird sounds as if it's shooting a machine gun:

I'm not very good at identifying birds by their calls, but I find them interesting.

Have a fantastic day!


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Into the Woods Coming in December

Back in the 80's public broadcasting aired a showing of the original broadway cast in Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods (which is available on DVD and can also be watched via streaming video on Amazon, Netflix and no doubt other places). It's a play that intertwines many fairy tales, and Bernadette Peters was superb as the original witch. Here's the intro to that version (sorry, no Bernadette Peters in this part).

In fact, some of the original cast will be reuniting according to this Wall Street Journal article (which notes that Kim Crosby (who played Cinderella) and Robert Westenberg (her prince) are married now. Here Westenberg as Prince Charming, and Chuck Wagner (Rapunzel's prince) argue over whose situation is worse.

On Christmas, the new Hollywood version will be out with an all-star cast (Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, James Corden, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Christine Baranski, Tracey Ullman and more). Here's the latest trailer:

As someone who always loved fairy tales, I can't wait.

Have a wonderful day!

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