cleverchickadee


Bottle Cap Table by quornflour

A few years back I decided that I needed more color in my life.

If you knew me you might laugh at that statement. Anyway.

I always liked bottle cap art. The way they are used in shrines and other art forms to add a bit of color here and there. So I decided that I wanted to cover a table in them.

One of the things I liked about the idea of a table covered in bottle caps, is that crown caps (most commonly used for beer and “fancy” sodas,) is that they are all the same size.

Most of the instructions I found called for gluing, or putting them in a frame and then covering them with a lacquer or epoxy.

I wanted the texture.

First it came to collecting bottle caps. This table takes roughly 3.8 beers per day for a year, so either get drinking or ask for friends to help.

I had friends all over saving bottle caps for me, so that I could get a nice variety.

Then I picked up some ¾” – 1″ Crown Bolt Weather Strip nails, I got a mix of brass, copper and nickel. The caps are about a ¼” high so you need them to be able to go thru the cap and then into the table. Be careful not to get finishing nails since you will need something with a flat top to lay flush against the cap.

I also needed a table, so I searched on craigslist for the jokkmokk table from IKEA, it is made of pine and fairly inexpensive to start with and a pretty sturdy table, (I also use one for my sewing table).

Often you can find them for around 50-100$ usually missing a chair. It is about 150$ new, so avoid paying more than it sells for in the store.

Really most any pine table would work, this was just fairly cheap and accessible.

Pine is good because the wood is soft enough to pound the nails into and the jokkmokk is just the right size to evenly place bottle caps is you need it to be straight.

So in addition to loads of bottle caps and nails you will need a hammer and needle nose pliers.

Trust me, trying to use your fingers instead of pliers will only lead to tears.

If you want to paint the table, do so before you start. I painted mine black with a matte water based enamel.

Start at a corner and work your way around the table, try to keep them evenly spaced and count to make sure you have the same number along the sides. If you want to be super meticulous you could make a grid, but I was just winging it, so I didn’t.

It is super helpful if you can get a second set of hands for the border to help hold the nails in place, or make some starter caps, by putting the nail into the cap separately so that you can hold it in place with your hand.

Place the nail at the center of the cap holding with the pliers and hammer into place.

Once you have your border in place, lay out the rest of your bottle caps then working your way around the outside of the table work inward, nailing each cap in place. This takes a while, but in the end it is totally worth it.

If you wanted to you could then set these with an epoxy or lay a glass top over it, I didn’t bother because I like the texture and how it ages over time, because the caps are the same size the table top is even.

You may want to invest in a steam pressure cleaner in the event you ever plan to clean this.

I also painted the chairs to add to the color and I use it in my kitchen.

Simplified instructions

You will need:

Getting to work

  1. Place first bottle cap at the corner of the table.
  2. Using needle nose pliers hold nail at the center of the cap, hammer into place.
  3. Works your way around the table into the center, lining up each cap as you go.
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Fruity Play-Dough: a Recipe by quornflour

Years ago I worked in childcare. The woman I worked for would occasionally make a new batch of play-dough for the kids. It was a simple recipe that was scented and colored with Kool-Aid.

Earlier this year I went looking for that recipe and just could not find anyone who knew it.

Then the other day I was thumbing through an old address book/journal that I had back then. There it was, scrawled on a page. So I figured while I knew where it was I would write it up.

Here is what you will need for each color:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • ½ cup of Salt
  • 1 envelope of Kool-Aid (the kind you add your own sugar in)
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 cup of boiling water*

Note: the boiling part is super important, if it isn’t hot enough the dough will end up too watery. If that happens, or you don’t like the consistency add a flour and salt mixture of 2:1 to thicken it up.

  1. put all of the dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl

  1. using a fork, mix them together until you cannot see the color of the Kool-Aid from the rest

  1. add oil and water

  1. mix

  1. mix

  1. mix

  1. roll into a ball

  1. repeat for each color

  1. Play!

It is salty but edible if anyone gets it in their mouths or goes for a taste, which might be tempting for some since it smells so fruity.

When you are done store in an airtight container.



Bing It On by quornflour

I know, “googling” has become synonymous with doing an internet search. That is fine, whatever.

Personally I use Bing! If you are just gonna hate because that is how you are, fine, keep on keeping on, I will not lose sleep over it.

But did you know that by using Bing you can get free stuff? See they have this thing called Bing Rewards, where you get points for searches that you do, then, when you collect enough points you can redeem them for stuff.

I do not have cable (yes this is relevant); I use Netflix, Hulu Plus and Zune Video (xbox) to support my television habit. Since I can cash in my Bing Rewards points for Hulu+ subscriptions, I have only paid for 1 month of Hulu+ and I have had it for almost a year now. IOW that is 7.99$ for a year of Hulu+ so even if you are a Google fan-boy, I know you like free stuff.

For those who love Social Networking like Facebook you can even connect your search to that to see what your friends are in to.

Anyway, it is an option and a pretty picture every day, well a lot of days it has cute animals, which is why my 84 year old neighbor likes it.



Say it Ain’t Sew by quornflour

I was trying to find some photos that go with a recipe I want to post; I did not find them, not yet anyway.

So I figured I would tell you how to make a super adorable pin cushion.

You will need 2 scarps of quilters cotton that you can cut into cut 2 squares (one each) 4½”x4½”

Then cut those down the diagonal into triangles. If you want to make it interesting use 4 different coordinated fabrics.

Sew the triangles back together into squares (right sides together using a ¼” seam allowance), using alternate fabrics.

Using a zig-zag stitch sew the two squares together (right sides together) on three sides.

Turn right side out and hand stitch the edges on the open in so there is only about enough room to fit your finger with stuffing in the hole.

Then stuff it.

Then keep stuffing it until you just can’t stuff it no more. It will fit a lot of stuffing. You can even use bits of scraps too if you want.

Then sew it shut.

Ta-da!

Don’t you feel fancy now?



The Magical Dish Fairy by quornflour

One of the things about cooking from scratch is that you end up with a lot of dishes.

Sometimes I am lucky enough to be visited by the magical dish fairy. You know, the dish fairy that only goes to houses without dishwashers, so if you think you might be getting a visit, check your kitchen. The magical dish fairy is terribly frightened by dishwashers as they eat fairy wings.

Most of the time however, I am responsible for doing my own dishes. Self, why not do them dishes in style? That is what I ask myself when dishes need doin’ and I am procrastinating.

So to further put off the inevitable and still convince myself that I am busy I like to make dish rags.

They even make nice gifts, but be careful, some people won’t use them because they are so pretty.

So get yourself a pair of size 7 knitting needles and a ball of cotton yarn. Peaches and Cream works just fine.

Cast on 44 stitches.

Alternate knit and purl, and then flip and do the same. You, know a popcorn stitch, or at least that I what I believe it is called.

Repeat until you have a square, depending on your stitches it should be around 38 rows.

Cast off.

It is really quite simple to do; it makes a lovely gift and is a quite portable project.



40 Rounds of Clever Ferocity by quornflour

I am called Quornflour and I play Plants vs Zombies.

In fact, I have it on my phone, iPad, PC and my XBOX.

On my XBOX I managed (with a little help from TxK) get all but one of the achievements and it started bugging me that I was just one away from completing the game.

I even played the game all of the way through with just the original 5 slots or whatever it is you start with.

I mean I have loads of games that I have not completed, but ONE ACHIEVEMENT? So I decided one day to get through that insanity and complete all 40 rounds.

I tried and failed and tried and failed. Of course there are no save points so I had to keep restarting from the beginning. I tried using those corncob cannon things, everyone says to use them, but quite frankly they seemed to just take up too much space and have too long of a reload time and it isn’t like they were doing anything but cost too much, waste space and get destroyed too quickly. So I gave up on those.

Eventually I managed to do it. I used the same strategy on my iPad to get some screen shots of the basic strategy. Spikeweed is your friend. Perhaps I got lucky, or my XBOX felt sorry for me.

Either way, the game is finished. Now what am I supposed to do with all of those coins?



Apartment Garden, Episode 4: Watering by quornflour

So far my garden experiment this year is going fairly well. We have had some really nice weather matched with serious downpours. My kind of summer!

That said: I have a neighbor who LOVES watering. I have even see her water after a rainstorm. Because the drainage in my bucket garden is different than it would be in the ground, my plants seem to be getting a little overwatered. There is no stopping her and I suppose it is better than everything just drying out. Regardless we have fruit!

I have a few tomatoes that have started, they are super tiny, but it is a start. My pepper plants are flowering so I am hoping for a few peppers. The cucumber plant has flowered again. The first never fruited, but the plan seems stronger now. I am not sure if there is another cucumber plant, but that might be necessary. I cannot remember if they can self-pollinate.

The herbs are doing well. Well except for the cilantro. Again, everything seems really wet. I have been moving buckets around the yard to try and dry things out. I am hoping nothing gets watered by a hose and asked Lil’ to avoid watering anything since it will just get watered again.

I have some ideas for improving the layout next summer and additional hopes that the tree that is blocking my sun will fall down in a storm (crashing though only a few fences, since there really is no place for it to go that is not a roof). I am going to see if I can score some pallets and maybe build a planter box on casters so that I can move things into the driveway for more sun on the hot days.

At any rate, so far this is way more successful than last year, even though it will by no means be a “bumper crop” of anything except perhaps basil. Good think I love basil.




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