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A Harley project…

So, my darling husband has a most prized posession (as most people do) that he washes and shines and buffs and…  well, he takes very good care of it.  His first Harley Davidson motorcycle.  He was so excited when, after many years of debt and debate :D, we had the means for him to purchase his bike.

He’s had it just over a year now and loves taking it out whenever he can — even is he gets caught in a torrential downpour (so weird)! He has changed many things on the bike to “customize” it to his liking (changing the gas tank size; changing out the saddle bags — many, many times *sigh*; changing handlebars; and the list goes on and on).  There were so many changes made but there was still one thing he had some frustration that he just didn’t want to have to change.  The shifter.  When my husband wore light-colored shoes (which he often does since his workboots are tan), the shifter would put a black mark on the toe of his left shoe when upshifting.  Tsk tsk tsk.  That just won’t do.

This problem was just a silly little thing and there was a solution to be had by buying a “shift lever sock” online which cost about $10 plus shipping cost.  I honestly have no idea how much shipping is because when my husband showed me this and said he wanted to buy it, I said “Hey, I can totally make that!”

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:

http://www.amazon.com/RYDER-CLIPS-RUBBER-SHIFT-BLACK/dp/B0064RJ252/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339105230&sr=8-1

Ok, so basically this thing is made out of a rubbery-type material to avoid slipping… and it has to be stretchy to get it onto the gear shifter as well as not mark your shoes with black marks… and you want to make sure it stays put so you don’t end up losing it as your driving down the road.

So, I’ve got the idea and I thought, that material looks like those drink koozie things you get in the dollar section at Michael’s (or for free when you go to festivals and store grand openings :D).  I totally had one in a bag (forgotten until deciding to do this project) that I had gotten from the PX at their grand opening!  Score!  Free shifter sock coming up!!

Basically I just measured the circumference of the shifter as well as the length of both the “L” shaped parts that the sock would fit over.

So, then all that was left to do was cut the koozie and sew it together in an “L” shape.

Here is it all finished!

It was super easy and my husband is very happy with it.

An upclose look.

Til next time…

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Homemade…

So, for a long time, one of my very good friends has been making her own Laundry soap and telling me how super easy it is to make and how it just lasts forever!  Also…  how much cheaper it is than buying the laundry soap from the store but works just as good — if not, better!  Now, I’m all about doing something that costs less and is super easy so I decided I might give it a try!  Well, when she described the process it sounded a little bit time-consuming and it was also made in big bulk.  I don’t have a ton of extra storage room at my house, so I decided that I’d just try to make something else (something on a smaller scale) so I started my google search and I was off…

http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-dishwasher-detergent-soap/

So, I started googling and quickly decided that something natural WOULD be great since it is better than harsh chemicals for the environment and also my family.  When I found this website, I also googled reviews from people who used it to see what they thought.  I quickly saw that most people were amazed at how easy this recipe was for both  making it as well as using it day-to-day.

Once I decided to DIY my own dishwasher soap, I had to come up with an airtight container.  So, I just bought (one last time!) a container of those dishwasher gel packs.  They come in a plastic container that is clear with a green, plastic lid.  Perfect! So once I ran out of those little gel pack thingy’s (I guess that’s my go to technical word for most everything), I got out my supplies and got to work!

STEP 1

First things first, is make sure you have all the ingredients.  I knew that I already had everything because I went out and bought it all long before I ran out of gel packs.  Okay, so get all your ingredients out…

You’re gonna need:

1 cup washing soda

1 cup borax

1/2 cup salt

1/2 cup citric acid

**Where to find your supplies**:    I found both the washing soda and the borax at Walmart in the laundry isle.  The salt — in the salt isle LOL.  And the citric acid was a bit trickier.  I looked and looked in the cleaning supplies and finally just ended up buying some packets of unsweetened lemonade to make up my 1/2 cup of citric acid.  They were pretty cheap but you have to use several packets to get to the 1/2 cup mark.  My husband found actual citric acid at Lowe’s so I’m pretty sure when I need to make another batch, I’ll head over there and buy it from there.

STEP 2:

Mix all ingredients together.  Now, I read on the above website that in order to avoid clumping, you can just add a little bit of rice to the mixture (I don’t really like that idea, but you can try whatever you like — let me know if that works and how it works if you try that) or you can  Add 1/2 tsp. citric acid separately to each dishwasher load rather than adding it to the detergent when you’re making it.  I usually just make it all at once and deal with the clumps — it’s really not all that clumpy anyway.

STEP 3:

I just mix my ingredients directly in the plastic container I’m going to keep it in, so there’s really not another step :D.  You just use 1 Tablespoon of your mixture per load of dishes.

*Just a little something to remember…

When your rinsing agent runs out, instead of buying that blue jet dry stuff, just put in distilled white vinegar.  Fill it right up and it will make your glasses and plastics sparkle!  Trust me!  We have a slight issue with hard water and it even worked on our hard water spots!  I honestly couldn’t believe how easy this was and how clean and clear my dishes were.  I’m pretty sure I’ll never go back to buying dishwasher soap from the store :D.  Also, another plus is that this one batch will last you at least a couple of months (and that’s doing a load of dishes daily — we have a lot of people living in this household and usually need to wash a load everyday).

So, I hope you try to make your own Dishwasher soap and really enjoy it (I know your dishes will!!) so happy DIY’ing and til next time…

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Mother’s Day revisited

So, my last post was what the little bits and I did for Mother’s Day — and those cute pots were just adorable.  Plus, we had a lot of fun making them.

Image

So these, pots were for my Mom 😀

and when they were done, we made another one for

my Grandma — that one had all 3 LB’s collaged on it.

And apparently, I forgot to get a snapshot of that one

(I will HAVE to get better at taking pictures of crafts!)

Anyway, I also wanted to do something for my Mom that is special and crafty.

On Mom’s Day, I made some charms of my kids to wear on a necklace.  It was super easy and turned out oh so cute that I decided it would make the perfect present for my mom as well!

I originally got this idea from this DIY project:

http://twelvecraftstillchristmas.blogspot.com/2010/10/stuff-your-stockings-tile-pendant.html

Now that I had the idea of what I wanted to do, I searched to find the right tutorial for me.

the tutorial for the one above can be found at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDKk5Xb52Wo

So, I watched it (like any good student would do :D), and set out to buy my crafting supplies!

Woohoo!

Unfortunately, when I got to the store, they didn’t have quite what I was looking for.

I eventually found some square glass tiles, but they were bumpy and hard to see through, so I also bought these

circular stickers in the scrapbooking section.

I took the circles (which are stickers) and printed out the pictures I wanted to use (thumbnail size),

And stuck the stickers onto the front and back of my picture. Then I squeezed the bale into the plasticky circle

Making sure the pointy parts stuck through the plastic.

All that was left was to add the necklace

Ok, so this one is the one I made for my mom with all the LB’s in it :D.

My mom loved her new necklace and it I had a lot of fun making it too!

Til next time…

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Mother’s Day

This year for Mother’s Day I decided to get the Little Bit’s together and make a cute craft for my mom.  I had an idea I’d seen a while back that was so super cute on http://homemade.tipjunkie.com/mod-podge-photo-flower-pots/.  Tipjunkie.com is truly one of my favorite bloggy sites!  So many creative people giving their ideas and their how-to’s so you can do it too!  It’s…   Awesome!

Anyway, I had already decided on a gardening-type theme since my mom has a very green thumb and really enjoys tending to her flowers and her garden.  I’ve always wanted to be able to nurture plants and grow beautiful flowers just like her.  It’s just been in the last few years that’s she’s started teaching me all she knows about flower-growing and my flowerbeds are extremely thankful to my mom, as am I.

Now, I know what you’re thinking — Mother’s Day was a couple weeks ago!  Well, I didn’t get to bring her gifts to her until we went for a visit recently and I know what a faithful reader she is of my blog 🙂 so I didn’t want to ruin the surprise for her.  So, you see why I couldn’t post these pics until now.  Right?

Ok, so on to the Mother’s Day gift.   I really wanted my Little Bits involved to make it even more special for them as well as for her.  They love a good craft project 😀 — just like their Mama :D.  I found the tutorial (above) online a while back and kept it in my “idea folder” for a while now just waiting for the perfect opportunity to pull it out and craft away!  Enter Mother’s Day and BINGO, the perfect opportunity! Yay!

My kids LOVE to paint so we picked up some sponge brushes, some white (outdoor) latex paint along with a few terracotta pots and got started!

We started out cleaning the pots and the trays that go underneath just to get all the dirt and anything off that might leave bumps under the paint.  Then we all donned our painting clothes and got started!  We ended up having to do several layers of paint just because the terracotta seemed to suck up the first few layers we put on.  I think we ended up with 4 or 5 layers but I really don’t remember because I was just eager to get to the mod-podging part!

But, the kids liked the painting part the best.  They always love to paint something.  LB3 usually likes to paint herself more than her artwork, so we have some improvement on this project from the last one.

LB2 is my most artistic Little Bit so she was all over the painting of the pots!  Can you tell she was having fun? LOL

The kiddos were a little over the whole painting thing (all those coats of paint were very time consuming) so we all took

a breather while the pots and the plates dried.

 

 

 

 

Once the pots were all dried, and the mod-podging was set to begin, I set the little bits off to watch a movie so I could get my craft on!

So, I had the music on and the craftiness flowing and forgot to take pics until I was all done.  Ummm, so, the process was liek this:

Once the paint was all dry, I printed off pics that I took while the LB’s were painting and printed them out on regular printer paper in black and white.

I did different sizes so it would look like a sort of collage, and painted them on the pots with mod-podge.  A little underneath each picture and then I smoothed it out with a little bit of mod-podge on top of each picture.   Each picture only took a layer of mod-podge with a few touch up layers for any of the pictures that started to peel.  Then they had to sit and dry for several hours.  Once they were all dried, a few layers of clear-coat spray paint had to be applied to all the pots and all the plates.  Then that had to sit and dry overnight.  Once I finished the last layer of clear-coat, I waited about 24 hours for it to dry completely.

 

They turned out so cute!  I was really pleased with the end results and all the hard work was worth it.

As you can see, there was a pot for LB1, one for LB2 and one for LB3.  They were pretty excited to have

a personalized gift from each of them to give to their Grandma for Mother’s Day.

 

 

After all the work (really it was so much fun making them and the anitcipation of how they would turn out was really fun as well, so the work wasn’t bad at all :D) and all the waiting (and waiting, and waiting), I decided the add a little pop of color with a pretty pink ribbon around the top of each pot (secured by a little dot from my trusty glue gun) and tied in a pretty pink (well, that IS my mom’s favorite color) bow!

Then all the Little Bit’s helped add some soil and a couple of pretty flowers in each pot to make a special personalized  gift for Grandma!  Oh they’re just so colorful and pretty!!

 So, we were finally able to make it down and take our pretty flowers to Grandma’s over Memorial Day

Weekend and it was a lot of fun too!

Hope you all had a great Mother’s Day and a great Memorial Day!

Til next time…

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