Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Project Me: Fight Stress with Coloring. Have You Tried It?

One of my friends has a tote bag that says, “I knit so I don’t kill people.” I can relate.

To part about relaxing or recharging through a creative project, not the part about knitting.  I don’t know how.

I suppose that’s one of the reasons adult coloring books are so popular.  You don’t need a garage full of fancy tools or lessons to de-stress by coloring. All you need is a couple of bucks for a coloring book and some crayons (Environmental Working Group has a a list of safe non toxic crayons here) or colored pencils and you’re good to go.



I haven’t colored since I don’t know when. One evening when I was looking for something to do, I spied the coloring page Zulily.com put on the back of the Thank You card that came with my last order in the To Recycle pile by the back door.

I decided to give it a go.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Whimsical and Recycled DIY Flamingo Garden Decor

I have a weird love hate relationship with outdoor garden d├ęcor and yard art. I’d love to add a few whimsical pieces to my garden for color that doesn’t die (like our landscaping always does.) The problem is I hate for my garden tchotchkes to be the same as everyone else.


Pin me!

I’ve been looking on and off for unusual garden decorations all summer. I found a few to poke fun at like the free range garden Yeti we found in Amish country but nothing we really wanted in our yard full time. Or in the case of Sasquatch and lawn gnomes, something which is commonly stolen because it is ridiculous.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

How to Repair a Crumbling Dry Stack Garden Border

Husband and I finally got several days without rain in a row to repair and landscape the front yard – again. I think this is Landscape 4.0 of our promised “easy to care for landscaping’ that keeps dying and makes us sing the condo blues.

But at least I got the name of this blog out of the deal. So there’s that.



We were so sad when the harsh winter killed our lavender bushes.We spent many cool summer evenings chilling on the porch and watching the biggest bees you’ve ever seen flit and play amongst the flowers. The on demand organic lavender is something I miss too.

We tilled the soil in the front flower beds and planted lavender instead of traditional evergreen bushes. Next I turned my attention to the crumbling brick garden border.


Why Your Dry Stack Brick or Stone Garden Border is Falling Over and How to Fix It

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Ant Killer Caution: Ant Pesticides Can Kill Plants Too

With the rainiest summer in history (sorry drought stricken folks) everyone I has had an ant problem this summer.

Apparently this year’s ant colonies are particularly devious and tenacious because even after following all the steps in my post How to get Rid of Ants in a Pet and Kid Safe Natural Way some of those little jerks found a way back into my house, although not as many as before.


 Pin this post for reference!

The last straw came when the concrete ants bit me because they though I was standing too close to the pot of chocolate mint they use as a summer party pad on my patio.  We’ve been doing our own thing on the patio for years without bothering each other until now. What’s up with that ants? Why won’t you let us use the grill without annoying ant bites?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Quick Craft: Make a Portable Phone Charger Case

I  love photography. My phone has a good camera and I’m not shy about whipping it out to document the beautiful, fun, or surprising things that cross my path in any given monument. Unfortunately, using the camera so often kills my phone battery. I started carrying a portable phone charger or two in my bag or backpack when Husband and I go on one of our adventures.

My quick phone charger holder makes a great gift. 
You should pin this post for gift giving season!


I quickly realized I need some sort of phone charger holder or case to store the charger and the cord together.  Why are the things you need to grab quickly always in the deepest darkest corners of your bag or purse and take ages of rooting around to find? It’s some sort of purse conspiracy I tell ya.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Why You Should Never Center a Design on a DIY Project

t is amazing how a few brushstrokes of paint can totally transform a piece of old furniture. By merely changing the color, you can make what started as junk in the trash into a whimsical piece people fight over in an artist’s shop. Even more so if you are talented enough to add decorative paint elements to the piece.


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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

How to Add Weights and Tape to a Color Guard Flag

After getting such a positive response from my How to Pad and Tape a Color Guard Rifle and How to Make Color Guard Swing Flags tutorials I decided to make it a series. The last piece of equipment in my DIY Color Guard series is also my first love since my newbie flag corps days in middle school –  the flag!
 
Do you want to toss a color guard  flag so high it touches the sky?

You can if add weights to each end of the flag pole.


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 While we are at it, let’s add Cheaters (also called Thirds, or Cheater Tape) to the pole too. Adding Cheaters to the flag pole is an excellent cleaning tool to ensure the guard members’ hands are in the same position.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

How to Make Color Guard Swing Flags

This year, one of my band association’s members choreographed an epic swing flag routine to Pompeii (a song I like to begin with) for a group exhibition performance at the Drum Corps International World Championships. DCI asked our community band association to perform to let the corps kids know they don't have to give up music once they age out of drum corps at 21. Bucket List moment!

Our color guard choreographer put an instructional video up on YouTube so the guard members can rehearse on our own in our respective states before we meet for the performance later this year.


Pin this post for reference! 
I feel stronger and more graceful than I really am when I spin. It is good exercise too.


This way we won't have much work to clean when we meet two days before the show to rehearse together. Yes, it is as crazy and insane as it sounds to put together a pep band show of  5 routines with only 8 hours of rehearsal but luckily we’re all disciplined adults so it works when the umbrella organization has a country wide group performance made from performers from our member bands.

Rehearsing at home is no big deal except the group with the practice swing flags are using theirs this season and lives in New York. The group with the performance swing flags are using theirs and lives in Florida.

I better get a pair of swing flags for me in Ohio then, huh?



What is a Swing Flag?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

How to Appear Confident When You Don't Feel Confident


When I need a boost of confidence or a push out of my comfort zone in an unfamiliar situation music is my secret weapon.  For example, a power ballad running through my head is all I need to change my mindset and body language to become a confident pack leader in a dog training situation.

When I doubted my ability to relearn how to play my high school instrument, my community band mates pushed me to try playing what I can and wouldn't let me give up on myself. Many of them are teachers and it just goes to show teachers never turn Teacher Mode off. Thank you teacher friends!




Spinning double swing flag routine makes me feel like I'm flying.
! I'll teach you how to make swing flags in a later post.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Pistachio Screen Door

They may not be as energy efficient but I can't help but wish my HOA allowed us to add wood screen doors on our houses. I spent many, many summers in houses and summer camp cabins that had wood doors that opened with a "SPRONG!" and closed with a mighty "TWAK!"

Followed by a shout, "DON'T SLAM THE SCREEN DOOR!"

To this day I still think springy screen doors need to be closed with a TWAK!

"SPRONG!" "TWAK!" remind me of happy summers.

And mosquito bites as big as my head.

But I digress.



Sprongy screen doors scream SUMMER!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Yetis are Real I Have Proof!

Husband and I spent a day in Ohio Amish country.

We found Sasquatch.




Absolute 100% proof that Garden Yetis exist! 

Husband wouldn't let me take him home. He said we should let Bigfoot stay free range.

The new landscaping plans are totally ruined.

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