Friday, February 08, 2013

Going home


Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

     -- Isaiah 40:31
Good-night, Mom.
Have clarity once again.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Amazing girls!

I know I have been AWOL lately - things got really hairy here last semester what with the effects of Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent power outages and the increased demands from my students. Having said that, I just needed to pop in here to say how proud I am of Neatnik's Girl Scout troop.

The girls received their cookie order forms this week (yes, it is cookie season already). Sometimes people want to support the scouts but don't like the cookies (or can't eat them - people with diabetes or gluten-intolerance). Those folks can donate a box of cookies to the troop. This year, the girls unanimously voted to send all donated boxes of cookies to a local food bank which is supporting the vicitms of Sandy. The food banks in the area are very depleted due to the increased demand of the past autumn and early winter.

Many kudos to Neatnik's troop!

Monday, September 24, 2012


I removed my acorn garland from the old front porch and installed it up above our new front door.

Acorns, pine cones, and even some
dried oak leaves on driftwood, too
Guess I am not the only one who uses acorns for décor.

Have you ever used acorns for decorating?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Three is a magic number*

I loved my two mason jar lamps so much that I made a third one for the master bedroom. Got to get my money's worth out of the outrageously expensive diamond-tipped drill bit, after all!

I picked up a pretty ugly lamp from a garage sale a while back. Paid two dollars for it and it included the shade. Well, the shade was way too big to use on a quart-sized mason jar lamp so I decided that I would find an alternate shade solution. A bag of clear, white, and frosted glass decorating stones set me back about a buck and a half at goodwill but I still didn't have a shade. Today, I discovered a ReStore and while there I found a small, brown basket that had traces of the green of our bedroom paint on it. Can you say 50¢? I sure could! Thinking outside the box, erm, basket, baby!

I turned the basket over, marked out the center and drilled a ¼" hole to accommodate the finial's bolt. To be honest, I also needed to apply a wee bit of glue and pressure since the bottom of the basket was slightly separated in one corner.

Here is my completed lamp which cost me all of four dollars and a bit of my time and ingenuity.

Please to forgive my late night
indoor flash photography

Love how the light peeks through like stars
Ready to make your own mason jar lamps yet? They really are easy once you get the hang of the drill bit and so thrifty: just four bucks!

* Sing with me!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

In which trek still likes letters

I don't have any new pictures for you today. Will you forgive me? I'm pretty sure you will since you guys are all great that way. Since I don't have a picture, I don't have a theme....which leads me to a Wednesday Morning Bullet Post...

  • We had some amazing weather here yesterday.

  • Tornado alerts, downed power lines, road flooding due to massive downpours.

  • A tiny goldfinch got blown into something in our yard and was all kinds of disoriented.

  • I tried to put him near the feeder so he would have some shelter but he didn't want to stay.

  • Poor little guy.

  • I got a text message about an hour before my scheduled time class stating that power was out and classes were cancelled.

  • At one of the other campuses.

  • Off to work I went.

  • We did lose power at the end of class as I was showing a few students some source code examples.

  • Thankfully, my external hard driveweathered the experience and came home functional.

  • The skies are still grey today although they do not have that "dirty" look of impending tornado.

  • Got an email from Neatnik's new school yesterday. We still collect Box Tops but we also collect Labels for Education.

  • This is pretty cool because they also partner with the local grocery stores and when you swipe your club card at the POS, the school gets eLabels for Education.

  • Earn stuff for school without having to spend extra money? Sign me up, baby!

  • Fall fundraisers are in full swing for school and for scouts.

  • Anybody want to buy wrapping paper, frozen, preportioned cookie dough, magazines, or nuts?

  • I came across a cool website the other day, Artistic Letters. They make signs with your selected text except that the letters aren't really letters: they are photographs of architecural features and trees and things that *look* like letters.

  • This is an example I cut and pasted together from screenshots just to show you how cool it is

    Oh, look, I *do* have a picture!

  • Isn't that cool?

  • I am now keeping my eyes open for local letters to photograph.
I think that's all for this morning. Lots of grading and prep work to do and if I don't get to the milk store today, there will be a revolt in the kitchen come morning.

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, September 14, 2012

In which trek signs

I noticed that even after the nickel tour, some visitors lost track of the location of the powder room on the first floor. We needed to make sure that nobody took an accidental trip down the basement stairs while seeking bladder relief.

Want to see my solution to both problems? Of course, you do!

Click to zoom

I designed this silhouette using PowerPoint. Printed it on white cardstock.Mounted that on a piece of black cardstock and took the whole thing to the copy shop to laminate it.

Click to zoom

This one I made by capturing a screenshot of a warning sign and then transferring the outline to my cardstock like I did for the windchime sail and then coloring in with a Sharpie. One piece of legal size laminate did both signs.

I affixed the back of each sign to a piece of clear contact paperusing permanent mounting squaresand then positioned them on the doors. Very easy and economical solution.

PS - I will send anyone who asks the files to make their own powder room and basement signs. Just leave me a comment and/or email me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


A Wednesday Morning Bullet Post - The Daisy Edition...

  • The lighting in the office was unfriendly to my camera this morning and since the battery chose to wheeze out, I can't take another picture.

  • That's why today's image is black and white.

  • Daisies on my office wall

  • Honestly, I like black and white photography but it doesn't really communicate the whole effect today.

  • Let's engage the imagination, okay?

  • Pretend that the daisy petals are white as are the trim, closet doors, and ceiling.

  • See, now that's an easy one.

  • You know, since they are mostly white in the image and all of that.

  • The frame of the clock is black.

  • Another easy one!

  • Next one is tougher, squint your eyes and envision a light blue for the walls.

  • Apply bright golden centers (like free-range egg yolks) to the daisies and you have my new office wall décor.

  • Like this!

  • Neatnik loves the flowers so much that she asked me to make identical daisies for her room.

  • Not purple flowers to match her lavender walls: identical white petals with golden centers.

  • They are really easy to make so I may very well have to make her some soon.

Here's what I did:

I found an outline of a star shaped flower online. A little bit of touching up and resizing to suit and I was able to print out twelve images per sheet of cardstock. The centers I made with a circle punch from a mini punch setI picked up locally on a half off sale. The centers are glued to the petals with Tacky Glue.To provide the three dimensional effect I wanted, I mounted them to the wall using foam mounting dots.They aren't flush to the wall and they cast slight shadows.

So simple! The hardest part was deciding how to position them on the wall. ;o)

How about you? Are you yearning for flowers on your wall every day of the year?

Monday, September 10, 2012

In which trek wishes the blog

I have lots of Scrabbleletters leftover from the first letter project. Last night I decided to use some of those letters. I pulled out my little power screwdriver/drill, some Fix-All,and a couple of wee, little eye hook screws.

All ready for the Christmas tree

Saturday, September 08, 2012


It has been a crazy week here what with the beginning of school, the fall term at work, allergies, fevers, and injured backs. I haven't gotten a whole lot of nifty decorating stuff done unless you count touch up paint on the screws for a set of brackets and rehanging the curtain on Neatnik's bed but I was looking at the office door's origami wreath and thinking it needed a little something.

So I added five little somethings!

I love working with paper and I would really like to make a mobile to hang in the office. After a bit of searching, I found a tutorial for making a mobile of woven paper hot air balloons. Go look at her pictures; I'll wait.

Aren't they cool?! I'd love to make one but I think I'd have to find someone to buy me a Silhouette Cameoor a Cricut Expressionfirst. Cutting out all of those octopus pieces would drive me completely 'round the bend if all I had to do the work was my cheap pair of Dollar $tore scissors!

Monday, September 03, 2012

In which folds again

I've been trying to decorate outside the proverbial box here. One of my things lately is that artwork isn't just for walls. Who says you can't decorate your doors? People put wreaths on their front doors, why not on an interior door? The new office door décor: an origami wreath constructed from old papers.

You need eighteen squares of paper to make each wreath.

5" squares from a damaged copy of
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Follow the instructions in this tutorial to fold the individual units.

Reminds me of paper football

Fold up eighteen units.

... sixteen... seventeen... eighteen!

To construct the ring, you slide the legs of one unit under the triangular "pockets" on another unit.

First pair is easy

Adding in the last unit to complete the circle is a little tricky. Take your time!

Your patience will be rewarded

After I finished the first ring, I realized that I wanted more depth in my wreath so I created additional rings using various sizes of paper squares. The smallest ring is about 1½" squares from kakuro solution pages; the 2¼" squares came from sudoku solution pages; 3" squares from The Chronicles of Narnia;4" squares from an old bread recipe book; 6" squares from The Upton Tea Company's quarterly catalog; 7" squares of clarinet sheet music; and 8" squares from an old edition of one of my instructor's edition textbooks.

I glued all of the layers together and mounted the whole onto the office door with hot glue. Extra hot glue between the "points" and the layer below so that all would lay flat. Lots and lots of hot glue...

Pretty neat, huh?

Very easy, inexpensive way to decorate an interior door with a bit of texture - color, too, if you start with colorful paper. All kinds of possibilities here: origami paper, wrapping paper, comic pages, scrapbooking sheets, etc.

Ready to make your own now?