Friday, January 25, 2013

Plans For A DIY Exercise Bike Stand

Thank you to so many of you who emailed me about plans for the DIY Exercise Bike Stand.  I apologize that it has taken me so long to get the measurements to you, but they are finally here!
The wood was purchased at Home Depot and the bike pegs were purchased at Walmart in the bike section. 
The bike we used for this project is a 24" 12 speed bike (I'm a shorty).  I used the hardest gear while riding, but this set-up does not allow you to really get much resistance (for building muscle).  It was great for getting my legs moving after some nerve damage.  I also wanted to burn calories and get my heart rate up and this did the trick. 
If you have any questions, just shoot me an email.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Do You Know About MedicAlert Bracelets?

This past summer, Hubs and I went on a wonderful hike.  I promised you I would write about the MedicAlert bracelet I wore while hiking.
It is important that I have medical information available at all times in case of an emergency.  I researched different types of medical alert companies and felt that Medic Alert was the best organization for me and my family. I like that they are a nonprofit organization and  I can update my information at any time.
If something were to happen to me while I was running errands, emergency personnel could look on my bracelet and find out the 3 most important medical issues I have (I'm allergic to sulfa drugs, I've had a kidney transplant, and I am immune suppressed).  There is also a toll free number for them to call to find out what medications I am taking, who my doctors are, and who to contact in case of an emergency. 
I am always wearing one of my bracelets - even when I'm in my own yard or house because emergencies can happen anywhere. 
I ordered 2 bracelets when I signed up with MedicAlert.  One that was practical and form fitting (the one picture above) to wear while gardening, hiking, or working on messy projects.  I didn't want to have a bracelet that could get caught on branches, tools, or other things.
The other bracelet I ordered was a faux pearl bracelet that had a removable tag.  I figured that pearls go with everything (I know this because I'm from the South).  After wearing it every day for months, there came a fateful day. . .
The cotton string just couldn't hold up to my abuse.  I knew I could fix it, but I had to get some more pearls and findings.   When the bracelet broke, I lost some of them and didn't have any in my stash of craft stuff that was the same size. 
So, not wanting to be unaccessorized. . .
I made one with black and clear beads that I had on hand. 
Then I went out and bought some more beads and findings. . .
I just couldn't stop.  They were so fun to make. . .
Here's another one.
And one in red.
Oh, yeah, I did get around to making another pearl one.  I added some mini pearls that I had in my craft bin.  Did you know that pearls go with everything?
A girl can never have too many accessories. 
I asked a friend who is a firefighter/EMT about my bracelet.  I wanted to make sure that emergency personnel would not mistake the bracelet for just a piece of jewelry but would be able to recognize it as an alert bracelet.  He assured me that it would be found but told me that the best thing to do is to have a piece of paper with all of my medical issues and medications in my wallet.  He also said it is wish to let your loved ones and those you work with know where your piece of paper is. 
Anyone who has a medical condition such as diabetes, allergies, hypertension etc. should have some sort of medical alert/contact system - even if it's just that piece of paper in your wallet.  You never know when it could save your life.
For those interested in making your own bracelets, I'll be posting a tutorial soon.  I've also seen some bracelets at Cracker Barrel that are meant to be used with a watch face, but they would work just fine with a Medic Alert tag.   

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wrensday: Growing Greens Undercover

We've been eating greens from our garden all winter long.
  How have we managed that? 
 By gardening undercover.
We're growing spinach, lettuce, pok choy,  swiss chard, collards, and kale.  You can see that some of our lettuce has gone to seed because it has been such a warm winter for us here in southeast Virginia.
We simply planted the veggies in October and covered them with floating row covers that were stretched over hoops made with pvc pipes.
The edges of the covers are weighed down with bricks around the edges.   No watering, no weeding, no fertilizing. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pearls and Pistols

This may offend some of you.  If you think it might offend you, please click to another post and read something else.  Thank you very much.
This past weekend I did something that I never thought I would do.
  I shot a handgun - while wearing pearls. 
Yup, pearls and pistols.
My Christmas gift from my son was "a date to do whatever I wanted to do".  I decided that I wanted my son to teach me how to shoot a handgun.  It's something he is trained in and is very good at.  I wanted to peek into his world and spend some time with him.  So, off we went to the gun range on a drizzly Saturday morning.
I had to get over my fear of loud noises, guns in general, and unfamiliar surroundings. 
My son made me learn how to load the gun, how to shoot it, and every single safety precaution to take with the gun and the gun range.  *On a side note - I was having a very good hair day!
I was a pretty good shot and had a chance to shoot several different kinds of handguns.   I've decided the 22 is my favorite.
Yup, that's my bulls-eye! 
Hubs came along too - after all, we needed a photographer!  He was able to get in a little bit of practice. 
More instruction was needed. Our son is so smart!  *Could my son have any more things wedged into his jean's waistband?
So here are my lessons for the day:
1.  Spend time in your children's world - you'll learn a lot.
2.  Enjoy a good hair day - they don't come along every day.
3.  Be thankful we still have the right to carry and use a gun if we choose to do so.
4.  You're never too old to learn something new.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Ruffled Items In The Etsy Shop

I've been having a great time upcycling skirts into fun things to sell in my Etsy shop.
First, this beautiful pillow was upcycled from a teen skirt.
This ballet bag was upcycled from a little girl's skirt.
This bag sold a few minutes after I added it to the shop.  I'm mailing it off  to a sweet little 3 year old who lives a few states away.  It was made from a tutu and lined with a cute cherry fabric.
This cute purse is the perfect size to take to that fun theme park that everyone is visiting right now.  Doesn't it remind you of a certain mouse?

Friday, January 4, 2013

How To Make A Firefighter Costume For Your Child

In mid December our preschool went to the Children's museum in Portsmouth, VA.  My grandfellas, who attend the school, had a great time.  Their favorite area was the mock fire station, complete with Firefighter costumes. 
I decided right then that the boys would be getting firefighter costumes for Christmas even though we had already purchased  gifts for them. 
I looked online to quickly order some but was very disappointed to find that they were cheaply made or too expensive to purchase for short term use by two growing boys.
I checked around the web and found a few ideas for making my own.  Here's the results.

I took a few pics at school today to get some close-up shots. First,  I found some dark colored shirts/jackets at the thrift store and went to work.
I used a size 5 kids fabric raincoat for the younger grandson's jacket and a modified women's naval uniform shirt for the older one's jacket.  I hemmed the uniform shirt and shortened the sleeves to help it fit better.
I used yellow duck tape around the bottom, middle, and sleeves as well as reflector tape on top to form the stripes.  I also used iron on letters for their last names and iron on flag patches.  I bought everything at Walmart.
The boys were really excited on Christmas morning.
It was a fun project to work on and I think they'll enjoy wearing their fireman jackets for several months.  (My Father-in-law loved seeing the boys play on Christmas morning)

Speaking of Firefighters, I like to teach my grandfellas and my students at the preschool to stop and pray everytime they hear sirens.  Just today, we stopped what we were doing in class, and prayed for the safety of the emergency workers and the people they were helping.  My 3 year old students are very eager to pray for our community helpers.