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Yearly Archive2016

Eyelet Reinforcments

The theater company had ten vests which laced up the front.  They were made with 1/4 inch eyelets. Over time and use, the eyelets became loose and began to fall out.  The costumer asked me if there was a way to repair the vests.

Then I had an idea. Remember when your 3 ring school notebook paper tore out?   You got these little sticky ring reinforcements to fix the hole.

notebook paper

Memorial Day

It is memorial day.

I am starting a project for an acquaintance of mine for whom this is a special day, with mixed emotions of pride and sorrow.
I am dedicating this post and project to Army 1st Lt. David T. Wright II, and his parents Tim and Michele.

The project is a custom turned Pepper Mill. I have a design in my head, but it will likely change as the wood speaks to me.   I am putting up a preliminary post and will update it as the project progresses. The temperature here is over 100 degrees today in the shop, so work has been intermittent!


Building a simple kite

Many people love the idea of building their own kites.

  • Pros:
    When you make your own kite, you control the size, shape, and quality of the build.
    The kite is sure to bring you many years of enjoyment.
    You can customize the color, design, and flight characteristics of the kite.
  • Cons:
    You can buy a cheaply made kite for a few dollars.
    You can fly it for a day or two, and if it gets caught in a tree, you are not out the expense of the well built kite.


You will need a supply house which can provide quality materials for your kites. You can make kites out of paper, Garbage bags, Tyvec or other fabrics.  I make my kites out of Rip Stop Nylon. It is easy to work with, resists tearing, often includes UV protection to avoid color fading, and is very light. Most quality kites are made out of Rip Stop Nylon. Many artistic kites are made of paper.

I can recommend a good place to start your shopping. Goodwinds in Mount Vernon, Washington State, has many of the supplies you will need. I have no affiliation with this company, I have used them to obtain many items I use in kite construction. I have found their products to be top notch.

You will first need to determine the size of your kite. Remember, bigger kites pull harder, and require more strength to handle. For children, a smaller kite may be better. We can use an example of a simple diamond kite, called an Eddy.

An Eddy kite can fly with no tail, but one can be added if desired.

The basic design is 36″ tall and 36″ wide.   The two wooden or graphite spars cross at right angles.   You can make the kite 100cm x 100cm, if you would like your kite a bit bigger, or size it down to 30 inches x 30 inches for children.  For 36 inch or 1 meter kites, use 5/16″ ramen dowel, for 30 inch kites, you may use 1/4 inch dowel spars. I have shown the 30 inch kite below, with optional 36″ or 1 meter dimensions in parentheses.


Make a Wish!

A wishing well to dress up an ugly swimming pool pump motor.  We have a little stone waterfall which runs by a re-circulation pump. I wanted to make something to match the mood of the pond like area.  I started using some rough cut redwood fencing panels. I planed them smooth.


Pepper Mill

I love fresh ground pepper. Especially from a home made pepper mill. We decided to make a pepper mill from cherry and walnut woods. The design is achieved by layering alternating planks of light and dark wood, then cutting them on a slant.


Badge-A-Minit with Silhouette Cameo

I have a closet full of Badge A Minit parts and a couple of presses. I don’t make many because I dislike cutting out the little circles. I have one of their circle cutters. It is inaccurate, cuts up the designs, and sometimes my fingers. So I was thinking, they sell a cutting machine for $229 that only cuts circles. Ah Ha! My Silhouette Cameo will print and cut the circles a sheet at a time! And it costs about the same, but does so much more!


Don’t get me wrong, Making the badges and buttons is fun. But watching the Cameo make the designs is over the top!
And the Badge A Minit starter kit is very reasonable.



What if you fly?

This is such a powerful verse. The author is Erin Hanson from Brisbane Australia. I bought the cut file from The Hungry JPEG. as part of their Craftalicious bundle Vol.2.  I made this shirt for my daughter for teacher’s day 2016. I would have preferred midnight blue on the powder blue, but alas, I only had black.


Video Tutorial, Owl cut design.

Watch this video which takes you step by step to create a cute owl Print and Cut design. The video is about 12 minutes.  Because you make it, you have all rights and use privileges. Use it for personal or commercial purposes.  Use this technique to make other designs. For some reason, YouTube rendered the first 10 seconds a little fuzzy, but then it gets clear. My original was clear throughout.

Anglo Saxon Lyre

A student I know was very interested in making a Jouhikko. Mind you, I had no idea what a Jouhikko is, or was?  So I looked it up on Wikipedia.

It is apparently a musical instrument of antiquity, a sort of stringed lyre. It makes the type of sounds associated with Fjord music.  If you like, you can hear what it sounds like now and in past centuries!  We studied plans and history. It was VERY cold in the shop, so we got the Scandinavian spirit! She only had a couple weeks to make the item, so I did a trial run with a similar instrument. The Anglo Saxon Lyre is a strummed or plucked lyre, not a bowed instrument.


Crazy Cat Lady

I used a design kindly provided for download by Aki over at Minted Strawberry Blog. It was my first HTV project. The Glitter Vinyl from Silhouette cut easily. I did have a pretty new blade.

Crazy Catlady T shirt