Sunday, October 26, 2014

{Trash to Decoration}

One of our favorite things to do is meander through the local hardware store.  I like to check their remnant wood section for quality wood at a great price.  Since I often can use irregular cut wood to make things, it is a perfect fit for me.

This particular evening, I found a trash can next to the remnant wood area with about 5-6 tall pieces of wood sticking out of a can filled with other "garbage."  I pilfered through it and removed some of the best pieces and then went and asked the first employee I could find.

The conversation went a bit like this:

Me:  I found these in the trash can, are they trash?
Employee:  Well, if they were in the trash can, they must be trash.
Me:  If they are trash, can I just have them?
Employee:  Um.... sure, I guess, if you want trash.
Me:  Great!  Thanks!!  Will they let me walk out of the store with them?
Employee:  Here, I'll write a message....

"OKAY RICK FREE"

Me to my husband:  "Guess what??? I just got this wood for free!!"
Him:  "I can't leave you alone for five minutes, can I..."
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Segway to my project...

I planned on making a sign that resembled a fence.  I used a miter saw to cut down the pieces into  seven even slats.  You could also use a handsaw if you do not have a miter saw.   


I then used two additional pieces of wood for the back.  I screwed them in and then applied wood glue (I would recommend doing this step in the reverse direction!)  I used the cement blocks to weigh down the pieces as the glue dried.


Below photo is what the back looks like.



Once the glue is dry and the pieces are intact, it is time to paint.  I used a few light coats of black spray paint and then sanded it a bit to distress the wood.


I cut out this circular design from my Silhouette.  You could easily use anything as a stencil though.  I then used an off-white spray paint over the entire sign.


My initial plan was to use a vinyl stencil that had a really nice fall saying on it.  I was having trouble having the vinyl stick and after a few attempts, I went to plan B.  I used painters tape and the reverse of the cutout to block off the entire outside.  I then used chalkboard spray paint on the center.  I had to do a few coats to get it to be a nice solid coat.  


Make sure to let the chalkboard paint set for at least 24 hours before writing/drawing on it.  Had I known I was going to use chalkboard paint, I would have sanded it down more in the center.  It is a little rough when writing with chalk on it.

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Took my two little guys out for some photos.  They had fun and were "mostly" coopertive!

ISO 400 ~ 70mm ~ f/5.0 ~ 1/200 sec
© Corrie M. Avila

ISO 400 ~ 56mm ~ f/4.5 ~ 1/250 sec
© Corrie M. Avila

We just changed up the sign today and had fun writing everyone in our family... 

Instagram Photo
© Corrie M. Avila

It is a great multipurpose decoration that can be changed for the mood or season.  It is also great for a prop for photo shoots.  Best part of all, it cost me nothing as I already had all the paint on hand and the wood was free!

Capturing the Moment <3

Corrie

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Life Cycle of a Butterfly {Days 26 and 27}

I did not get as many photos as I would have liked of the Chrysalis process as most of it happened while I was away on my work trip.  However, I did get to watch the first butterfly emerge from her Chrysalis yesterday morning!  Yep, she's a girl!

First Butterfly Emerged from Chrysalis
ISO 500 ~ 60mm ~ f/8.0 ~ 1/50 sec
© Corrie M. Avila

Second Chrysalis Not Yet Ready
ISO 500 ~ 60mm ~ f/8.0 ~ 1/50 sec
© Corrie M. Avila

And I found the most wonderful surprise!  Moe made it!  Yes, definitely a happy ending to her story.  She is also a girl and was just released this morning.  Two girl butterflies and one chrysalis remains.

Moe!! Or should I say Molly :)
ISO 500 ~ 60mm ~ f/8.0 ~ 1/320 sec
© Corrie M. Avila

Molly Released
ISO 320 ~ 60mm ~ f/6.3 ~ 1/200 sec
© Corrie M. Avila

And all those eggs I saw outside, yes they all hatched!  I believe I counted 11 caterpillars at one point.  They are very large and should by ready to form their chrysalis soon.  I'm a little weary about leaving them outdoors, but the husband has had enough of the caterpillars indoors for now.  So here's a thought and a prayer wishing those little guys good luck!

Happily Chomping Away!
ISO 320 ~ 60mm ~ f/6.3 ~ 1/125 sec
© Traveling Hearts Photography

Capturing the Moment <3

Corrie