Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy February 2012

Since the first of 12 months has already gone by, I thought now would be a good time to reflect on those New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe I can keep them this year if I check in at the beginning of every month.  Hmm....we'll see.  But for the original post, go here

1. Attend church more often – TSG and myself have never lost our faith, we have just haven’t done our best at hearing His word. But when I really think about it, a 2 hour visit once a week shouldn’t be that hard of a commitment to maintain

We have attended church a lot more!! My granddad invited us to his church and that’s where we’ve been attending. A couple of reasons why we’ve been able to hold to this resolution: 1. We know people that attend. It is just so much easier to join somewhere when you already know someone and they already know people. 2. It’s convenient. It’s only a 15 minute drive from our house, which is just fine with me. 3. They have an early service that blends contemporary services with traditional practices. We love it; it was just what we were looking for. Plus, with an early service, we don’t feel like we’re stopping whatever we’ve already started for the day to go church. 4. The sermons are really powerful reminders of why I’m a Christian and how to be a better one every day!

2. Run more often – We ran our first 5K in 2011 and hope to up the ante in 2012 to a half marathon or at the very least a 10K, if not both

We registered for the 10K, so there’s no backing out. The half marathon just wasn’t feasible right now for several reasons. But we were doing really well for about 2 weeks of going to the gym and running there, and then I slacked. And then I tried to run outside at the park….yuck, it was awful. Check back in on March 1st to see if this has improved.

3. Spend more time playing with the dogs. Living in a populated area has been new to both TSG and me, and as a result, our pups have suffered from lack of exercise and outdoor attention

The nicer weather for January has allowed a little more opportunity to get the dogs out and about, but I hate to say, they are still suffering the most from our city living. My heart is breaking

4. Save money

Yay! TSG and I have a plan and so far, we’re sticking to it.

5. Lose weight

Don’t ask….

6. Collect gift cards to Lowe’s

I haven’t collected any new cards, but I was able to use my Christmas gift cards for a new steam cleaner!! Tedious Tuesday and I are about to be reacquainted and my floors are going to be the host to that party

7. Sew more

I finished a duvet cover for our master bedroom. It wasn’t anything special which is why I didn’t feature it on the blog. I was just excited to finish it and have something to cover up that nasty thing that I called a comforter.  TSG is demanding that I place inner attachments to it though so that the duvet doesn't get lost in the cover.  So maybe, I'm not finished with this one yet.

8. Watch less TV

I’m not sure why I felt the need to make this a resolution as I’ve realized I don’t watch much TV to begin with. Working full time, having neglected pets, cleaning floorboards, trying to craft, plan a wedding and take care of TSG doesn’t leave me an abundance of time to chill out. Maybe my resolution should have been to relax with the TV more

9. Whine less

Meh…it’s hard to say if I have done better, worse or remained at the same level of whiny-ness at this point.

10. Celebrate my loved one’s accomplishments more

Nothing out of the ordinary has happened in the last month, but I have high hopes for February!

All my love!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Homemade Holidays: Cornhole Boards

Well Since January is over, I figured I could sneak in one last post about our Homemade Holiday.

This is actually a bit of a trio to be honest.  TSG and I love being outdoors when the weather is nice and when the boat isn't beckoning, we really enjoy playing corn hole.  Now, to be honest, I actually find the name of the game to be a bit on the dirty side.  It just reminds me of Beavis and Butthead when they talk about bung holes and cornholio. 

Image courtesy of:

Sorry to put that image in your head, but I just feel like I should share my distaste for the name of "corn hole"  I much more prefer BEAN BAG TOSS.  However, no one else seems to agree with me when we're playing.

Anywho...sorry I got off on a tangent.  TSG and I made our first set back in September.  These were a set that we could keep ourselves. 

Go Panthers and Pirates!!
Bags to match ECU

Bags to match Panthers

We built these boards using the method outlined on this website: How to Cornhole
The designs were placed on the board by handpainting.  I located the decals online and blew the images up to the size I needed.  You can do this by selecting poster print on the printer properties.  I taped the numerous pages together and then transferred the design to the board using transfer paper that I bought at A. C. Moore.  And then it was as easy as paint by numbers.  And by easy, I mean it took us 4 days.

A close up showing the paint strokes
What we learned from our first try:
1. Handpainting is tedious and takes a lot of energy and effort, but it gives the best results
2. A cornhole bag will not stay together if you only use a single cotton fabric layer and basic thread
3. If you keep the cornhole bags in the shop outside and in a plastic grocery bag, mice will eat through the bags and get to the corn

Fast forward to November and our second set:

Now, it literally pained me to make these, but they were for a very good friend and we enjoyed making a second set
We made two identical boards for this set

As a Carolina Tarheel fan, I had a difficult time not "accidentally" destroying the decal

For this set, we used vinyl decals that we purchased at the Murrell's Inlet Flea Market while on a mini-vacay.  They were a little expensive, but the ease of using them made it worth the money.  A few notes about using vinyl decals:

When you put the lacquer on, the vinyl bubbles up and makes you freak out.  But if you let it completely set up, the vinyl will lay back out.  We don't know why, it just does.  It will continue to do this for each layer of lacquer you put on.  We were putting on at least 3 and sometimes 4.  Make sure to LIGHTLY sand between each layer of lacquer.

The bags for this set also caused a minor issue:  Apparently the licensed fabric for NCAA schools comes in only 1 style.  So, getting creative, each bag had one side that was Duke fabric and the other side was the differing fabric.

One side Duke fabric / One side solid blue on all 4 bags for team A

One side Duke fabric / One side white with black polka dots on all 4 bags for Team B
This set was being made for a couple, so I chalked up the polka dot fabric to being the slightly more "girly" fabric, but I don't think they cared either way.

The bags for this set were made to be a lot more sturdy.  I made them with 2 layers of fabric, one canvas and one cotton.  BE CAREFUL NOT TO SEW THE COTTON FABRIC INSIDE OUT.  Trust me, I had to restich the same bags sometimes 2 or 3 times.  Also, I used a heavier canvas grade thread.  Unlike the first set of bags, the hole for filling in the bags with the corn was placed in the center of one side and not at a corner.  It was easier to double stitch on the outer part of the bag instead of whipple stitching them closed.  They held together better.

After realizing that, I went back are re-made the bags for mine and TSG's set.

And last but definitely not least, the ultimate in custom corn-hole boards!
Deer with a fall theme
The second board matched this one, the leaves were just placed falling down the other side.  The deer was also a vinyl decal.  The "W" was placed on the board using the tracing paper method that we used for our personal set.  The leaves were placed on by finding various leaf images on the internet and creating stencils using cardstock paper and then painted on with a stenciling sponge.

I used the same stencile multiple times.  Just make sure each layer is dry before starting the next and place all the stencils for a single color down before you begin painting, a "dry fit" so to speak

This is what I mean by sponging the paint on.  The bubbles tend to disappear after a few minutes, but lightly blowing on them helps too.

Here I am putting on the "W"  Notice the backwards "W" on the board to the left..Yea, I had to fix that several times.

This is what the leaf pile looked like when we thought we were done.  We decided it didn't look authentic enough and went back and freehanded in the veins.
BTW: This is what TSG does while I huh?

This is what the Shadey 1 does while I work...if you look hard, you'll see the squirrel that she's stalking
Lessons learned while working on this set:
1. spray paint looks like crap, so take it from me, and just use the latex crafting paint.
2. don't try to construct these when the person that will be getting them for their Christmas present is visiting.

The bags for Team A

The bags for Team B

My sewing machine and I were in the middle of a heart to heart when I ultimately forego the top stitching and just kind of winged it.  Here's what you get.  It worked better than expected, it's just not as pretty.  

Oh, and it turns out, I didn't know how to properly thread my machine.  Lesson learned.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, BEAN BAG TOSS in action!

We like to call this the drunk man's one gets hurt with hard metal objects and you can still hold a beer.  PERFECT

Or hold a drink...with a lid

All my love,