Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Yardstick Frame

I'm back! I have had surgery on both hands this summer and now it's all done! I will be getting the stitches out of my left hand in a week and then I just have to build my strength back up in them. But I'm just glad it's over!

I hope all of you have been enjoying your summer. There were so many things I wanted to do on this blog this summer, but not being able to use my hands was a definite drawback. It will still be a little slow until the hands are fully healed, but at least I can type now. And take pictures. And do easy projects if I'm careful.

So the first one is a yardstick frame. It's simple and easy and you can make them for gifts or for yourselves. Start with two yardsticks. I was making mine for a 5x7" photo, so I cut my yardstick in these lengths: 4 pieces 8" long and 4 pieces 6" long.

I got my yardsticks at Lowe's and they were wider than the ones I use for measuring, that I've had for years, so you have to go by the width of your yardsticks to get the right measurements. Say you are framing a 5x7" photo. You subtract 1/2" of each measurement, giving you 41/2" and 6 1/2". Then add the width of the yardstick and cut your pieces that long. You will need 4 pieces of each measurement.

Now you will need a square, which is a tool for making sure your corners are square. You can use a protractor if you have one, or you can use an uncut piece of paper or cardstock, which should be perfectly square. Lay down your first long piece along one edge of the paper and then lay a short one along an adjacent side. Make sure they are perfectly aligned and square, then lay another long piece and short piece. Notice they make a pattern when laid right. 

Now you are ready to place the next layer. I will use the above picture as a reference. The piece at the bottom of the frame goes all the way to the corner of the square, while the piece on the left does not. It butts up next to the first piece. In your second layer, the piece on the left will go all the way down to the corner and the piece on the bottom will butt up to it.

This makes your frame strong, by overlapping all the joints on the two layers. Glue them together carefully, making sure they stay squared up. I put wax paper under them to keep any stray glue off the table. Use Elmer's Glue or wood glue, but DO NOT use school glue or hot glue. They won't hold!(This is the voice of experience talking.)

Lay a big heavy book on it to hold it in place until it dries. After the frame is glued and dried overnight, cut a piece of mat board or poster board to the back. Glue only three sides so you have a space to slide your picture into the frame.

I drilled a hole in each upper corner and tied on some jute to hang it, and added a jute bow and some buttons for decoration.

It still doesn't feel finished, but I'll leave it alone for now. When I come back to it, maybe I'll change some things. I do that sometimes. Walk away and let it rest, and then when I see it again, I know just what it needs.

Well, that's it for today. I don't know when I'll post again. I'm not keeping a schedule right now, but it will be soon. When school starts again, I'll get back to a schedule. For now, hold your head up high and don't be afraid to try new things. You can always re-do them if you need to. Love to all,

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Photo bookmarks

We made bookmarks yesterday. I saw these cute photo bookmarks all over the Internet and decided to try them with the kids. We took several photos before we got one that looked right, so I'll tell you the secret: give them a water bottle to hold and make them put their hands way down to the bottom so the bottom of the bottle doesn't show (the top will be cut off) and then make them stretch on their tippie-toes really far. If they make a face or lose their balance, that's even better! You'll see what I mean in these photos.


Hally actually has one foot in off the floor as she starts to fall over, which makes it really look like she's hanging in mid-air, while Cameron has his tongue sticking out, which makes him seem to be hanging on for dear life! And none of that was planned. I just happened to capture it in the photos.

Print out you photos. I chose a 5x7 size, but you can choose your own. Then cut the kids out. Don't leave any of the background when you cut, because that will ruin the illusion. Glue them onto cardstock and cut them out again. I left an edge of cardstock around mine so there would be a little of the bright color showing on the front. And I just used a glue stick, because the next step takes care of keeping it in place. Cover the bookmark, front and back, with clear contact paper, and cut out again, leaving a little edge of contact around the edge to keep the bookmark sealed. Punch a hole at the top of the hands and put a tassel or piece of ribbon through it, and !Voila! When you put the bookmark in a book, they look like they are hanging from the ribbon or tassel. The kids love theirs, and I bet yours will, too.

Aren't those cute? I think they would make cute little somethings to send to all the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. You could make Valentine's out of them, too. Teacher gifts, etc. etc. etc. Have fun with it. We will probably make a bunch more, using different pictures. If you make some, send me a picture and I will post it here on the blog.

Just one last thing. Crackers had to get in on the fun, too!

You can see how I made it look like the rope is around her foot. Now go take some pictures and have some fun. Crackers and I will be waiting for some photos! Love to all,