Friday, April 22, 2016

Did it myself! Cell phone case tutorial

So we were shopping at the Disney Store on Tuesday and I found this beauty…/…/ but it only comes for the iPhone. I have an Android. So today we went shopping for stuff to make it with! We found gear die cuts and gold paper (originally gift bags). Had a blast cutting out all the gears.:D freaked out the kid because her cutter didn't like it much. oops, she needed a new plate anyway. ;)

 Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures of the steps for you.  But I should be able to explain it...I hope.

Items I needed:

clear cell phone case for my phone.  I found this easily by googling my cell phone brand.  The only problem I had is that the site selling the case did not indicate that the case I bought wasn't entirely clear.  There is part of the case that is cloudy.  However, for this it doesn't matter much as you can still see the design and from a distance the cloudy part isn't noticeable.

background paper.  Since the original design that I was copying from Disney is white, I just used scrap white paper.  The thinner the paper, the better as there is some bending required.  If you have white wrapping paper that works really well.

the gears.  We found these Tim Holtz gear dies at our local craft store and I had a coupon.  My daughter already owns a die press although we did need to improvise getting the thickness correct (there is an adapter you can buy, but we just used an embossing folder).
I wanted to copy the gold foil look and since we couldn't find gold foil scrap booking paper we bought some gold foil gift bags instead.  They were thinner and worked better.  gold foil wrapping paper would have also worked for this.
The dies have tiny holes on the back to help remove the cut paper.  We gently pushed the paper out of the dies with pins.

the rabbit.  My daughter actually already had the rabbit stamp (go figure!) so all we needed was the gold ink stamp pad.  It took a few tries to get that right but practice makes perfect.

Now for the assembly!  First I popped off the back cover of my cell phone and traced it onto some thicker paper to make a template that we saved to make other cell phone case inserts.  (actually, my daughter popped her cover off to make the template.)  Traced the template onto the white paper and carefully cut it out, using an exacto blade for the cut outs for the camera, flash & speaker.

Carefully arranged the gears to see where everything would go, but don't attach yet as the rabbit stamp goes on first.  Stamped the rabbit and then glued down the gears.  Let everything dry with some weight on it so it is flat.

Then place the new cover over the back cover of the phone and place the clear case on.

Finished phone case

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Update on Constant Snoopervision Required

When I posted  I had assumed that my dryer wasn't working because of a broken belt.  I mean it sure sounded like the belt had broken...there was a slapping sound at first and then the drum stopped spinning.

However, when hubby took the dryer apart he realized that the belt was just fine... the problem was that, oh gosh, I don't even know what you would call the part...let's see if I can describe it.  The drum of the dryer sits on rollers on the bottom and then has an axle of sorts connected to the back of the dryer.  This axle looks very similar to an artificial hip joint. 

Here's a picture of the actual part and they call it a shaft.  (go figure!)

470053-1-S-Frigidaire-5303931781        -ShaftWhat broke was the ball from the shaft.  No idea why it sounded like a broken belt.  ???

So I searched for our favorite local appliance parts online and discovered that they are no longer in business.  *SOB!*  I had to order the part online.  Not a huge deal, but we had a trip planned for my daughter's 18th birthday and wanted to have clean clothes for that.

Luckily even though FedEx Smartpost tried to give me heart failure by leaving my order in the truck for 24 hours just two hours away from my house and pushing back the delivery day by those same 24 hours...we did get the part in time and hubby was able to get it installed in about an hour & a half.

Of course our snoopervisor had to check out the package (she checks all packages coming into and out of the house now) and keep a close eye on all work.  All work was approved by the snoopervisor!

I now have a running dryer!  YAY!  Not bad for a dryer that is going to be 24 years old this summer.  note: we have not had to replace anything on the washer in all of those years.  Going out on a limb of speculation here, but I assume that part of why we have had to replace some of the parts on our dryer are because the washer & dryer were in storage for 20 months back in 1999-2001.  Or those parts were never meant to last this long.

At any rate I am so glad that we have these well built old machines.  I am just bummed that all the kitchen appliances are not so well built and instead of just replacing a part when they go down, we have to get new ones.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Stop and enjoy the real world around you!

On the second day of our 3 day trip to Disneyland I noticed the following article online and shared it on my Facebook. 

note: I did this from our hotel room...NOT while actually in the park. 

I shared it because I also noticed how many people were at the park but not really experiencing the park.  More than half the adults and several kids too were all busy with their cellphones instead of enjoying their vacation.

Now I can understand checking on your phone while waiting in the lines...especially if you were waiting for a character visit that wasn't even going to start for 15 minutes or can only take so many pictures of the very cute duckies.  (btw: we got to see 2 clutches of baby ducks while there!) 

But come on've paid a bunch of money for this trip...enjoy it!!!


Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Reinforcements Needed

I've kept a garden in the lower portion of my yard since we moved into this house in 2001.  The back yard has a slope that is somewhat contained by two retaining walls.  The upper wall is about 15 feet from the back porch to give you somewhat of an area to enjoy the then slopes down to the far left corner where a second wall is and then that area was never sodded and just kept as a garden.  This has worked out well for us and every year I've managed to get something to grow there.

Over the past few years I've had to put up a fence around this area because my dog likes to help herself to the garden.  If there are carrots, she'll dig one up for a snack.  I knew that tossing my egg shells in the garden was a risk, but the fence was in pretty good shape and it was winter so I didn't think too much about it...

until yesterday

Lately Lilly who used to be happy sleeping in her bedroom until I got up each morning (for the most part) has started asking hubby to let her out.  She has now been getting a small breakfast (hubby always gives her 3 pieces of his cereal) and goes outside each morning.  However, she hasn't been a good girl about it and usually keeps hubby from leaving for work on time.

Yesterday, I heard the back door slam open and shut a few times and then heard the utility room sink.  When I got up I discovered that Lilly was locked in her bedroom (aka my laundry room with the utility sink).  The sink still had very dirty water in the bottom.  So now I knew why I heard the sink...someone had dirty paws.

When I got to my computer there was a note from hubby explaining the situation to me...Somedoggy had gotten into the garden.  sigh!

I had been planning on reinforcements to the garden for a while because the neighbor's bird feeder has attracted the squirrels who think that the garden must be for them and they eat all they can find.  What I originally wanted to do was put a hoop house over the garden.  However, hubby has been pretty dead set against this idea.  He doesn't care for the look of it and hasn't been all that supportive of my gardening efforts because he doesn't like vegetables so he doesn't see the point.  There is also the problem that the retaining wall isn't exactly square and there are other obstacles that would need to be addressed.

While searching online for solutions to my pest problems I realized that I still had some 1/2" hardware cloth from our old rabbit pen that had been recycled...some of it never used at all.  So my plan was to put the rabbit fence around the garden.  Then I could use my bird netting across the top of the garden to keep the critters out.

Unfortunately, I did not know exactly how much hardware cloth I actually had and how much I actually needed.  There wasn't enough to put hardware cloth on all 4 sides of the garden like I wanted.  I was only able to put the fence on two sides.  However, this works to keep the dog out of the garden as the sides I wasn't able to fence in with the rabbit fence are the back which has our 6ft yard fence and then the remaining side has blocked access and I put up my old plastic fencing as a temporary fence until I can get more hardware cloth.  Now I just need to go take some measurements to see how much more I need.

While I am at it, I want to try planting potatoes in containers this year.  I've been watching gardening videos and having containers for the potatoes appeals because when it is time to harvest...all you have to do is dump out the container and sift through the dirt.  The dirt can be reused and the potatoes don't get damaged from a shovel or pitch fork.  Cool!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Constant Snoopervision Required

Hey everyone!  I know it has been a long time.  Busy, lazy, just couldn't think of anything, etc...

Lilly my dog will be 14 this year and over the past few months we have noticed some changes in her behavior.  First is that her leg that she had surgery on in 2012 is bugging her more frequently.  She limps almost every day and she has a much harder time getting up the stairs and up from a nap also.

We've also noticed that she is losing her hearing.  She uses this to her advantage when she is outside and getting into trouble (by barking at the neighbor dogs) is easy to not come when called if she can't hear.  sigh!

As part of her hearing loss she has started following me around.  Wherever I am, she has to follow.  If I leave while she is napping she goes into panic mode searching for where I might have run off to.  That brings us to yesterday...

Yesterday was laundry day.  When I got to the first load to be dried I discovered that the drum belt on my dryer had no dryer.  That meant that I needed to hang all of our clothes to dry.  After living here for almost 15 years we've had dryer issues before so I have back up ready...and I use it for other purposes.  One of my drying areas is in my basement.  There are 4 support poles that I have drying lines tied to.  So I took my first load to the basement to dry there.  and Lilly followed.

Lilly likes the basement.  It is nice and cool and there are lots of things to snoopervise there as she isn't allowed there on a regular basis.  The problem of course is climbing the stairs back to the main floor.  She made it fairly easily.

For my second load I had several sweaters so I wanted them to hang outside as long as possible...we were expecting bad weather after noon.  So I grabbed a clothes rack that I have and set up outside to hang the clothes...Lilly followed.

For my final load I was in the laundry room putting everything on hangers to join the 2nd load on the outdoor rack.  But I had gotten up for it while Lilly was asleep.  She woke, didn't see me and started searching.  I could hear her (her nails need trimming) and I tried to holler to let her know where I was.  But she didn't hear me and she went down the stairs to the basement.  Poor puppy! 

Over the course of the day she went downstairs 3 times.  After that I just started blocking the stairs to keep her from going down.  She didn't seem all that bothered by it.

A few days ago Lilly woke from her nap and for some odd reason didn't notice that I was right here at my computer (just like when she fell asleep) and she started searching the house for me.  When she couldn't find me anywhere she tried to determine if I was upstairs (she isn't allowed up there) and I was watching her from my chair here.  I think she felt rather silly.  Poor puppy!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

PSA: Don't kill wildlife with your trash

Recently my cousin was walking on the beach and discovered this
Luckily the ocean had tossed this trash up on the beach and he could dispose of it properly before it could be confused as a shrimp or other food by the sea life.  My cousin had no idea what this thing was...only that it could be dangerous to wild life.
Later his girl friend found what product this plastic top was from.
Please do not buy this product.  Or if you must (I'll keep my judgement to myself) at least make sure that the entire package is disposed of (or recycled) properly and not tossed onto the ground.


Monday, February 15, 2016


We started looking into the Early Colleges program that is offered through our school district.  Basically it is a high school that also offers college classes through the local community college, but some of the classes are taught in the high school building (main ones like English & Math classes.)

In order to take the college classes DD had to take a test to see if she was ready to take college classes.  She did awesome on the English part of the test and scored just 6 points off the max score.

Unfortunately since we haven't really focused on math classes much (the major she wants doesn't require math) she didn't score well enough in that area for college level classes in math.

And this particular school felt that she couldn't handle the course load if she took the college the decided she wasn't allowed to.

Well the only reason we wanted the school was to get the college English classes.

Seeing as they didn't think she could do it (even though I signed a waiver that if she didn't pass the class with a c or above I would pay for the class), we decided that this wasn't the program for DD.

We're now looking at other options.  I've got my eye on a good should work out.

Hacking the laundry

It is once again laundry day at my house and I thought that I would share with you all my tips for making laundry day a bit easier on me...feel free to add your own in the comments.

Sorting the laundry.
Kiddo has a 3 laundry sack sorter.  One for whites, one for colors and one for her jeans.  She puts her delicates on the bottom.  Hubby & I have 3 plastic laundry baskets...same idea.  As we take off our dirty laundry, we all self sort our items.

they go into those mesh laundry bags (like the ones in the sorter link above) and get tossed in with the rest of the load.  No hand washing here.  Once the load is done the bag is easily found and those items can then...
Hang Delicates to air dry.
This house came with a laundry drying bar in the laundry room, but that is more for items you hang on clothes hangers.  So I had hubby (could have done it myself, but he complains less if I let him do it) help me install a clothes line in the laundry room for hanging up the delicates.  the heat of the dryer in the laundry room keeps it more arid in there so items are usually dry by the time I finish the last load (I wash the delicates in the first load to facilitate this!)

DIY laundry detergent  I started using this recipe a few years ago and I will never go back to buying name brand detergent again.  This recipe is way cheaper, last so much longer and gets our clothes so much cleaner.  I mean why would you ever pay for all that filler in the name brand stuff?  I don't put in the fragrance stuff as my family doesn't like it...they prefer the smell of the regular ingredients.

DIY dryer balls  I made up a batch of dryer balls.  I'm pretty sure that I blogged about them here before.  While I was felting them, they sort of imploded...or exploded?  anyway, it was a mess because I had forgot the important step of stuffing them into old hose before trying to felt them.  So I rewound them, stuffed them into the hose and then just left them in the hose.  They're still in the hose today, but it's not looking so good.  I figure once the hose totally dies the balls will hold up on their own for a long time.  Now I set the dryer for the sensor setting and the clothes get dry faster because they're getting fluffed up more.

DIY "dryer sheets"
even though the dryer balls are supposed to eliminate the static, here they just don't.  So I did this  I didn't cut the sponges, I bought a six pack of smaller sponges and used a smaller container so the sponges all stand up on end (makes rotating easier)  I did notice that this method would leave an oily residue on our clothes, so I tossed an old wash cloth over the sponge (I put the sponge in first, then the wash cloth, then our clothes with the dryer balls).  Now all the extra oils are soaked up by the wash cloth and the clothes are static free.

In the summer I hang the clothes up outside when I can.  Unfortunately that isn't much here.

oops, not done yet...  Only I don't even do that much when folding the shirts.  I lay the tshirts out flat.  Pick up a shirt at the first folding line, fold the shirt in half and then tuck the other fold line as I'm setting the shirt on the pile.  Hubby isn't a fan of this method (since it isn't the way his mom did it) so he refolds his shirts, but he doesn't dare say anything about the way I do it, lest he wash his own clothes.  bwahaha!