Showing posts with label inspiration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inspiration. Show all posts

Monday, January 7, 2013

DIY coat hanger iPad stand

A couple of months back, hubby's sister generously gave us an iPad.  It's sleek and gorgeous and we love using it.  Hubby especially likes using it to watch videos when he rides his bike in our apartment.  But, he's never quite sure how to hold it up so that he can ride and watch at the same time.

Well, hubby, look no further.  A couple of nights ago I took matters into my own crapty hands.  After a quick search online, I was able to make iPad stand using a coat hanger and my bare muscles.

Yes!  It's true.  And you can do it too!  Learn how by watching this awesome CNET video.

In case you don't believe me, here's a photo showing that my coat hanger stand actually does work.

Holding an iPad vertically is no small feat!

Ok... so you're probably thinking... this is too good to be true.

Well, the stand does work.

But, I do have one small disclaimer.  My crapted stand looks a bit.... well... take a look for yourself:


 I know what you're thinking.  It looks like a piece of wire bent by a deranged person.... and I totally agree.  But, I just can't deny the facts.  Ugly as this thing is, it does its job and costs nothing to make.

It's as strong as it is ugly.

 So what do you think?  Amazing?  Or amazingly ugly?

Monday, December 31, 2012

How to make heart (and other) shaped bokeh Christmas lights

Ever wanted to make different shaped bokeh Christmas lights?  Inspired by our Christmas snowmen-light sunglasses, I thought I'd try my hand at making our Christmas lights look heart shaped.  And then, once I figured out how to do that, I had to make some other shapes as well...

How to Make Different Shaped Bokeh Photos

how to take heart, cat, star, arrow and different shaped bokeh photos
Heart, star, cat, and arrow shaped Christmas lights

Keep reading to see how I made different shaped bokeh!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Landfill Orchestra

I don't usually post on the weekends, but I had to load this video up.  It's beautiful and hopeful and inspiring.

Landfill Harmonic film teaser from Landfill Harmonic on Vimeo.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Tulip Time Pt 3- Quilts

I was lucky enough to visit the Holland Area Arts Council and see their quilts on display.  Each quilt was so beautifully made.  What gorgeous and vibrant colors!  What creative designs!  What intricate top stitching!  As I oohed and ahhed over each quilt, I snapped a ton of photos and Baby Chuck fell asleep.  (I don't think he's a quilt lover quite yet.)

Oh to own one of these lovely works of art.  I imagine their bright colors must bring lots of cheer on those cold and grey Michigan mornings.   Here are my five favorite quilts from the show: 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Five funny food pictures

(1)  Jelly Bean Art
Kristen Cumings recreated famous paintings like The Mona Lisa, Starry Night, and Girl with a Pearl Earring using only jelly beans.  Each tasty work of art took about 50-60 hours of work.  Even though onlookers may feel tempted to take a lick (or a bite), they really shouldn't.  Cumings used spray adhesive to stick jelly beans onto a canvas and coated the entire canvas with acrylic.  [seen on Foodiggity]

(2) "Made in America" skillets  
I love Michigan.  I also love eating.  A Michigan shaped cast iron skillet seems like a nice way to celebrate both loves.  [seen on Foodiggity]

(3) Lickable lift
Remember that scene in Charlie and the Chocolate factory where everyone gets to lick wallpaper?  Well, it's no longer a dream.  The world's first Lickable lift was installed in London about a month ago.  Its walls are covered with a little over a thousand Jaffa cookies.  Worried about germs?  Don't be.  Once a person has licked a cookie, a bell boy removes it from the wall.  [seen on Foodiggity]


(4) Candy Bike
I'm sure any 5-year-old... or 31-year-old girl would love this sweet ride, created by Brooklyn-based artist Britta Hope. [seen on Foodiggity]

(5) Sausage recorder
Adam Niklewicz created this Polish sausage recorder that even plays sweet music!  Can you imagine hubby playing this instrument in church?  [seen on Foodiggity]

Monday, May 7, 2012

Birthday reflections

Last week I celebrated my 31st birthday. 

I don't know about you, but there's something about birthdays and New Years that makes me feel reflective.  Maybe you feel it too?  I find myself thinking about who I am and where I am and what I'm doing.  And then I dream about who I want to be, and where I want to be, and what I want to be doing in the future.

I'm currently reading Parker Palmer's book, Let Your Life Speak.  Here's one of my favorite passages so far:

"Our deepest calling is to grow into our own authentic self-hood, whether or not it conforms to some image of who we ought to be.  As we do so, we will not only find the joy that every human seeks-we will also find our path of authentic service in the world.  True vocation joins self and service, as Frederick Buechner asserts when he defines vocation as 'the place where your deep gladness meets the world's deep need.'"

I'm not sure where that meeting place is, but I'm going to try to spend this year finding it.

Hope you had a good weekend! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Big dreams, tiny living

As we prepare for our move back East, hubby and I have been hit with a large dose of reality.  It's fun to dream about cute Tudor style homes in Westchester (drool) or cool Manhattan apartments with exposed brick walls (double drool.)  However, these dreams cost money-a lot of money.  It's really quite daunting when you think of the amount of money.  Oy, I feel my knees getting wobbly from just the thought.  

To choose the right type of housing, we're trying to distinguish between our needs and wants.  Just how much space do we really need?  Do we need that third bedroom?  Does Baby Chuck have to go to a school system that's ranked "8"?  Would he be just fine attending a "7" (or a "6" for that matter)?  Is a washer/dryer unit in the apartment a luxury or a necessity?  Oy.  Despite hours of conversation and going back and forth, I'm still unsure of where or how we'll live.  However, I am sure that we could live in a smaller space if we thought outside of the box.  Some people are doing amazingly creative things with their very small spaces.  Here's one example that I find particularly inspiring:

Now we just need to find that 320-square-foot home and we're all set.  Just kidding....or am I?  Muah ha ha ha ha ha.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Shoe Series 2: Is it time to admit de-feet?

If you read my previous post, you'll know that hubby and I attempted a novel shoe stretching method.  We poured water into a pair of shoes, placed them in the freezer, and hoped that the shoes would stretch as the water froze. 

After storing the shoes overnight in the freezer, we moved onto steps 4, 5, and 6.  Here's what we did:

Step 4:
* Tried pulling out bags
* Realized that the bags really were stuck inside
* Let shoes defrost in sink
* Twiddled our thumbs and waited

Step 5:
* Pulled out our miniature ice feet
* Made our miniature ice feet dance
* Tried on shoes

Step 6: 
*  Realized that the shoes were still too tight
Debated whether to repeat the whole process again
*  Decided to try again
*  Repeated the process again
*  Placed the shoes in the freezer for three days

After we took out the shoes hubby let them dry out because a bit of  water leaked out of the bags.  Eek.  Once the shoes were dry, he tried them on and....

they were STILL too tight.

Should we admit defeat?  (Or in this case de-feet?  Har har har.)  Well, not quite yet... we still have a few more tricks up our sleeves... 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Shoe Series 1: Are those shoes in your freezer?

Answer:  Yes.  I'll explain

About a year ago hubby purchased a pair of shoes at the thrift store.  They were a tad too small, but we got them anyway because they were a good price.  So far he's worn them just a couple of times but they always end up pinching his feet.  He's tried using shoe stretchers, but they've still remained just a tad too small.  

We were going to donate them until a new idea came to me.  A couple of nights ago, I went on a YouTube-watching frenzy and came upon this video showing a clever gal using ice to stretch shoes.  A light bulb appeared over my head.  It was a crazy idea, but it just might work.

Before you place me into your mental box marked "crazy people to avoid," hear me out.  Water expands as it freezes, right? Living in Michigan, we've seen those huge potholes in the road.  Aren't they partially caused by water freezing inside the cracks in the road?  Let's harness the power of ice for good instead of evil! 

Let's recap:

Step 1: 
*  Find a cute pair of shoes at the thrift store
*  Cringe because they're a tad too small
*  Walk around the store with too-small shoes on
*  Mentally debate whether you should purchase the shoes or not
*  Walk around the store again
*  Convince yourself that they aren't that tight
*  Convince yourself that you can lose weight in your feet
*  Purchase shoes anyway because they're less than 10 bucks

Step 2: 
Look for food storage bags that don't have holes in them
*  Realize that you don't own large enough food storage bags
*  Debate whether you should purchase large food storage bags
*  Feel cheap
*  Decide to use grocery store bags instead
*  Look through your hoard of ancient grocery bags
*  Finally find two that don't have holes in them
*  Mentally curse when you realize that you just ripped one bag
*  Find another bag that doesn't have a hole in it
*  Place bags in shoes
*  Pour water into shoes
*  Cringe because you just poured water into your shoes
*  Gather courage and remind yourself that the shoes were less than 10 bucks

Step 3:
*  Place shoes in freezer
*  Make sure that water will not seep out
*  Double check that the water will not seep out
*  Convince your wife repeatedly that the water will not seep out
*  Cringe because you just placed shoes next to your frozen baby food
*  Triple check that the water will not seep out
*  Close the door and wait for the water to freeze 

Have you done this before?  Have you heard of anyone doing this before?  Did it turn our well?

I'll let you know how it all turns out.  We're currently on Step 4:  defrosting the shoes in our sink...

Click here to find out what happens next!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Itty bitty robot musicians

They're uber cute. Watch them play the James Bond theme.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Don't... jump?

I love Leandro Erlich's whimsical art installation.  How fun would it be to try it out?   

B√Ętiment, Leandro Erlich au 104 by Palagret

First seen here

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Yes Virginia letter

I recently got the chance to read that famous Christmas letter and response.  I enjoyed reading it so much that I posted it down below (with my favorite bits highlighted in green.)  Virginia's letter is just so sweet and the editor's response is so eloquent and touching.  Does anyone write like this anymore?

Virginia's letter:
DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in THE SUN it's so." Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


Editor's response:
VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Your love keeps them warm

When Baby Chuck was born, the nurses put a blue and white knitted hat on him.  (Seen here.)  Every baby born at our hospital receives one of these hand knit lovelies.  They're all donated by a group of kind and talented elderly ladies. 

Last week we visited a craft fair and found ourselves drawn to a display of colorful knitted hats.  The elderly lady behind the display was particularly keen to talk to us when she saw Baby Chuck snoozing in his carrier.  After a couple minutes of chatting, we found out that she was one of the ladies who knitted the hats!  I was so pleased to meet her that I asked for her photograph. 

I love that blue and white hat.  I love that these women cared enough to make and donate hats.  And I'm so happy that we got a chance to meet her and say "thank you."

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Calling all shoe people

 Kobi Levi's shoes make my Target Converses turn green with envy. 

Coffee, anyone?

Be careful not to slip on that banana peel!

Ma'am, please take off your weapons.  No boarding the plane with these babies. 

Wheeeeeee!  Wear these and you'll be the sexiest mama at the playground.

Monday, November 28, 2011

From trash to art

I often find myself saving plastic containers with the intention of using them for some project later on.  Last week I was introduced to Eric Barclay's artwork (via Foodiggity) and now I'm starting to see containers in a new light.  (Images taken from Eric Barclay's blog.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

I don't like a cappella...

I love it.

What can I say? I have a big ol' soft spot in my heart for a cappella music.  Maybe that's why I love watching NBC's The Sing-Off?  I love hearing the group's clever arrangements, the talented singer's blending their voices, and the range of sounds that humans can make.

Friday, November 11, 2011

What do 288,000 jelly beans look like?

After watching this video I couldn't stop smiling (and salivating.)
Who knew you could be so creative with jelly beans?

Special thanks to Alice for sending me this video!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dressing for oneself

I love seeing women dressed in uninhibited and creative ways. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Virtual art gallery

I can't believe how quickly time is flying by.  My niece is no longer in preschool!  She's now in elementary school and making beautiful artwork.

What lovely colors!

Perhaps one day she will be a famous painter like Kadinsky?  (And a chef on the side!)

(Frame borrowed from here)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Trip list

If you were to travel across the country, what would you bring?  Toothpaste?  Underwear?  Socks?  While visiting hubby at work the other day I spotted this list posted on one of the student worker's walls:

I imagine this cross-country traveler to be one active and sassy girl. :)