My New Office Chair

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They say … “A good exercise ball chair will reduce the strain of working at a desk for a long period of time. If you decide to use an exercise ball chair at your work desk you can say goodbye to the aching of your arms, legs, and back. Sitting on an exercise ball promotes “active sitting”. Active sitting means that your body makes adjustments often to keep balance and mostly without you even realizing it. By sitting on an exercise ball, you will work muscles that are typically ignored while you are slouching on an old computer chair.”

My daughter sits on one of these at her work. She loaned me hers for a few days to try it out and I loved it.

You can buy proper stands for them and one day I may decide to do that but for now I am using the homemade stand I made out of plywood.

 1st challenge was to find a circle big enough to trace on the wood. The lid for my firepit worked well 😉

With my good ol’ handy scrollsaw I cut the outside circle, then I drilled a hole in the inner circle so I could get my sawblade through it in order to cut out the inner circle.

I sanded it well so it doesn’t poke a hole in the ball.  That probably wouldn’t be good!!!

I cut 4 small blocks of wood and attached them to the bottom of my circle, then screwed the wheels onto the blocks but that made the ball too high for me so I removed the blocks of wood and attached the wheels right to the bottom of the circle.
If you have longer legs you could make the stand higher by attaching the blocks under the wheels.

Now it’s time to make it your own!  You can paint it or podge it or upholster it.  Whatever you want!!!

I didn’t get too fancy with mine.  I painted it solid pink with a little bottle of acrylic folk art paint.

Here it is all done, waiting at the door to go to work with me this morning,

and here it is at my desk. It is pretty fun to sit on and bounce around while you’re working and it definitely does keep you moving.  I think I’ll keep my regular chair close by so I can switch back and forth whenever I want.

The hardest part of this project was pumping the ball up. That was a workout on the arms.

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Chalkboard Placemat

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 How to make a personalized chalkboard placemat

These are handy to have when you’re taking the kids out for dinner.  They help to keep them busy while waiting for their food.  They’re pretty easy to make.  If you don’t feel like making your own they are for sale in my

Etsy shop.

Supplies needed – drapery black out also known as roc-lon sold at most fabric stores,  chalkboard paint (I buy mine in a can from the paint dept at Home Depot),  a roll of 1″ painters tape, a straight edge ruler, a paint brush,  fine sandpaper and a piece of ribbon

 Drapery Black Out / Roc-Lon  – make the side that is more rubbery the back of the placemat

 with a straight edge ruler measure, mark and cut an 18″ x 12″ size placemat

 tape off the edges with 1″ painters tape

 paint along tape line to avoid pushing paint under the tape. do 2 coats of chalkboard paint then sand lightly and touch up with one last thin layer of paint. when it’s dry flip it over and paint the back side solid chalkboard

 remove the tape and paint the border whatever colour you want.  I use patio paint for more durability but any waterproof acrylic paint will work

to personalize I use my cricut. if you don’t have a cricut (I suggest you put one on your wish list because they are fun!!!) you can use alphabet stencils or freehand

don’t worry about the paint that bled a little under the tape edges. the next step will cover that.

 paint around the edge of the chalkboard paint and the letters with short and long paint strokes leaving random spaces in between the lines that you will be filling in with paint dots

dot the painted edges using anything that will make a round dot.  I dip the end of a paintbrush in the paint or a pen tip for smaller dots. touch up the paint splatters with chalkboard paint

sew a 20″ piece of ribbon folded in half to the end of the placemat on the front side either by hand or with your sewing machine.  to cover the thread on the back paint over it with the chalkboard paint. let the paint dry and cure for a day or 2 to prevent the dots from sticking when you roll it up.  tie a piece of chalk into the bow and you’re done 🙂

My Top 5 Favourite Tools

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#1)  my scrollsaw.  This is definitely my favourite tool and one I recommend for every crafter.  The possibilities of things you can make with it are endless.  I even made my daughter a loft bed when it was my first and only saw.  It was a beautiful bed complete with a desk underneath it.  I wouldn’t recommend taking on such a project with a scrollsaw to anyone but I proved it can be done.   As long as you practice the common sense safety rules, it is an awesome fun and easy tool to use.

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#2)  my sewing machine.  This is a machine I think every girl or guy should have.  It comes in handy for so many different projects. It’s easy to use and there is so many helpful tutorials everywhere on the internet / youtube to help you with projects.  I would suggest you put one on your birthday / Christmas wish list 😉

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#3)  my glue gun.  A crafter cannot be without a glue gun.  You can gather up any and all randoms, glue them together and make yourself one heck of a beautiful masterpiece.  Caution … hot glue hurts!!! Be careful.

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#4)  my drill.  This is a tool I think I take for granted but there is so many projects it is needed for.  The adorable  little ladies below are just one example.  The drill was needed to make holes for their legs, necks and heads.

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#5)  my cricut.  Such a fun little machine this is.  A lot of people use it for scrapbooking. I use mine more for personalizing with vinyl.  I could barely keep up to the bulb orders in my Etsy shop at Christmas.  It’s an awesome little machine to have for last minute gift ideas and again the possibilities are endless!!!

GNO

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Anyway 😉

The Blogosphere

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Wow, I am in a state of information overload.  I decided to start this blog without really even knowing much about blogging. I’ve heard lots about them but never really paid much attention to any. I’ve only closely followed my nieces blog, My Battered Backpack, as she bravely travels around the world.  I kind of randomly decided that I’d like to start my own blog this year and well, here I am.  Ever since I opened up my Etsy shop in August it seems I learn something new on the computer everyday. I enjoy technology and social media so I decided why not try this too. Now that I’ve started it I’ve been looking around and have stumbled upon so many interesting blogs already and I’ve only just begun.  Speaking of stumbled upon … looks like another fun website. Pretty sure I like it too!  All this along with pinterest and twitter = a busy year!  I hope I can keep up!

Anyway 😉

February 2012

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A friend of my daughters, who has the most adorable twin girls that are turning 1 at the end of march, asked me if I would make them tutus for their birthday.  While I was shopping for the material for the tutus, I not too surprisingly, got distracted by so many beautiful, colourful, fun fabrics. Then while browsing through the pattern rack, a pattern for a diaper cover caught my eye. I was picturing the adorable twins in these little diaper covers and that was it.  I was off track. I went back and picked out some of that fun fabric, got home and started sewing. They were pretty fun to make, so much so that I had to force myself to stop. There is so many options with all the awesome fabrics I could’ve just kept sewing more of them but now March is here and it’s time to focus on the tutus.

One more February project…

We had dinner plans with our neighbours. Their daughter Lauren was joining us and I know from experience how bored kids can get while the adults are talking and everyone is waiting for their food so I thought it would be nice if I made her a chalkboard placemat. I added a tie to it so it can be rolled up for easy travel. Lauren got some good use out of it while we waited for our dinner. We played some x’s & o’s and some hangman and she drew us some pretty nice pictures. 

   

January 2012

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My niece asked me to make her son a grow chart to match his bedding and bench. I think the grow chart took me as long to paint as the bench did.  Could’ve been because it was January.  It’s always hard to get motivated in January after all the Christmas rush and excitement.

I decided he needed his name in jungle letters too.

I was also wanting to try to make a chalkboard placemat, so while I was getting Isaac’s stuff together to ship to his mom I made one up quickly for him. I rushed to finish it so it was not perfected but as you can see by the photos below, Isaac didn’t care at all that his placemat wasn’t perfect.

What a cutie!!!