Monday, September 05, 2011

Project: Name on the Wall

Had some free time to relax in the garage and knocked out a fun little project. Ya know those wood letters you get at the hobby store? They're a perennial favorite in our house. We've bought sets for each kiddo at different point and invariably they get painted some color to match the decor and hung on a wall. But, it doesn't take long to exhaust all the creative ways to display them. Horizontal, vertical, random, you get it.

This project actually found some new ground for us. I mounted them to a backboard of 1/4" MDF covered with fabric. This can create a whole lot of new possibilities for size, shape, color, pattern, etc.!

Some notes on the construction.

Letters can be hard to center vertically on a board. What you need is the overall width of the name, so...
  • Lay out the letters along a yard stick. Pick a set space for the distance from letter to letter. 
  • Use the yard stick markings to get the total length. 
  • On your backboard, draw a 'baseline' for the bottoms of the letters and mark the center point
  • Start placing the letters 1/2 the length of the name to the right of center
Attaching the letters with short wood screws is best, but knowing where to drill the holes from the back can be tough. Here is the solution:
  • With the letters laying where you want them on the backboard, trace them with a pencil
  • Remove the letters and drill small holes from the front so that you can easily locate them in the center of the letter.
  • 2 holes is plenty for any letter; you want more than one so the letters don't 'swivel.'
  • Place the letters back on the backboard (small clamps are a good idea here if possible) and pre-drill the letters through the holes in the backboard from the back - be careful of how deep you drill!
Finishing the backboard can be done in a number of ways. We used fabric glued down with Mod Podge, but contact paper, paint, wallpaper, scrapbook pages, photos ... just about anything flat can work! Obviously, you'll do this step with the letters off and reattach them afterwards. Here is the finished product in place!
The new sign installed

Monday, July 04, 2011

Born to Paddle

How fun is it to share what you love with your kids?! I can tell you: VERY! I started paddling again last year and have had a blast taking the kids along in our canoe. When I saw this junior size sit-0n-top kayak at Academy, I thought, "Wow, they could actually go kayaking with me now, too!" The tame waters around here would actually be a great place for them to learn to paddle, too.

We decided that Friday would be the maiden voyage and headed out - Isaac, Julia and I. They were excited, but I didn't know how they would do when they actually got it on the water. Boy was I surprised when we got it in the river. I put both boats on the bank and clipped them into their lifevests. I zipped up my vest and turned around expecting to spend the next half-hour helping them learn the ropes - they were already 30 yards up the river and Isaac was paddling like he'd always done it! Julia was just about as natural at it, too, when it came her turn to paddle. So much for lessons!

We headed out up river - the levels were so low that there was almost no current to paddle against. We explored as far as we could before turning around and heading back to the park area. They did awesome, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time out paddling with my kiddos. I wouldn't wish away any of these precious moments with my kids, but I relish the thought of getting out with them as they get older and taking on more and more challenging waters. So much fun now and to come!

more pics...

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Return Of The MoBlog

What is a MoBlog? A while back ... A LONG while back ... when I got my Blackberry I was excited about all the "apps" that were available. They are laughable now (is BB still around?), but at that pre-iPhone point in history they were the stuff! I was  blogging at that time and found that Blogger offered a text based service for posting a blog by mobile - a "MoBlog." I was pretty stoked. Oh if I had only known!

5 years later, I now have an Android device and have drank the koolaid of the apps market! Today he old excitement was rekindled just a bit when I found the Blogger app! I don't know if it will get my blog back up and running, but they will likely be MoBlogs if it does!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Nack And A Narnoon

There are a lot of things from the early years of my life with children that I realize now are slowly fading in my memory. So, I have decided that this would be a great place to keep those things recorded.

This afternoon, as I walked by the couch where Isaac was watching a movie with Cheryl and Julia, he asked for a snack. This reminded me of a little game we used to play. He would ask for something, and I would turn his request into a request to be tickled - a regular occurring around here.

When he was 3 or 4, he would ask, "Papa, can I have a snack and a cartoon?"

I would answer, "A Nak and a Narnoon? Sure!" I would pounce on him for a round of tickles.

His reply amidst the giggles was, "No, a SNack and a CArToon!"

I usually relented after a bit saying "OOOOh, I thought you said a Nak and a Narnoon - which means to be tickled! Sorry, I must've mis-heard you."

We had a lot of laughs this way. He was always a good sport and was today, too. This is definitely something that I do not want to forget!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

New Backpacking Buddy

This weekend, Isaac and I made our maiden voyage into the wilds on his first backpacking trip. What a hoot! With just the two of us and NO agenda, we were able to follow our every whim (Isaac tends to have a few more whims than I do at this point!) We headed to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area Saturday with our backpacks ready. Normally a one-nighter in warm weather would not require much gear at all, but with storms threatening, and Isaac not quite up to carrying a big load, I shouldered most of our gear. The upside: it was a great chance to use my backpack, which doesn't see near enough of the trail!

For the record, we were doing real backpacking. We hiked out, set up camp and carried all we needed for the 2 days. Isaac thought it was great, but he has not ever done much car-camping to compare it to, so he just thinks this is the "norm" for camping. By the end of the trip, I was convinced that he was hooked ... and that makes me happy!

Click on the slideshow for the full set of pictures...

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