Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

Making Things: Turkey Noodle Soup

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I’ve been quiety working on things lately. Over the past few months, I’ve grown to understand that creativity, for me, comes during a time of banality and boredom at work.

In November, I was happy to create lots and lots of dinner items. One in particular that I was very proud of was egg noodles. For leftovers after the TG meal I created a slowcook turkey broth and rolled out some noodles to create a pretty good meal.

Oh, and you’ll notice the cans of beers are from Trader Joe’s. Really good for the price: 6 pack for $3.99 and it’s 6 percent. Yep!

turkey udon dinner

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Revising Our Home

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We have had a rough go of it so far this year. 2012 has provided a lot of perspective for my wife and I. Many moments for us have been spent deliberating and evaluating, communicating to each other our thoughts and feelings. Luckily for us, we have had a good amount of experience dealing with adversity since we came together in 2008. In Adult Education, these are called Experiential Learning moments and Transformative Learning experiences. I’m speaking in generalities because sometimes, personal life is just too personal to share…but in this instance, I want to share a positive moment instead of a negative.

At the beginning of this year, we moved back to Oakland. Both of us felt like it was time to uproot from San Francisco for good and start anew on the “sunnyside” of the Bay. We knew that there would be no turning back; we’d be priced out of the city for good. Even with our $1,700.00, two bedroom flat in the city, that was just too much to pay. We also knew that was a steal for a 2br, three blocks from Golden Gate Park, and a few blocks from UCSF.

Now, in Oakland, we are both enjoying the slow pace, sunny summer days, and time…literally. We are slowing down and really taking it easy.

Our new place is just big enough for us…and we recently found extra time to put in an upgrade in our kitchen. It finally feels like a kitchen.

The slideshow below is of a quick upgrade. We went to Home Depot, bought a couple of flanges, elbows, and a pipe to use as our pots & pan holder. Not all of our cookware will hang here, just a few that we use on a daily basis and ones that aren’t too heavy, unlike our cast iron skillets or dutch oven.

We’re happy with this upgrade…and I’m sure there will be other upgrades in our lives soon. For now, we’ll enjoy this…and we hope you enjoy this one too, ’cause it’s an easy one!

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Building a Pallet Bed Frame

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We decided to get rid of our crappy-ass IKEA (wrought iron) bed frame before we moved. This time, for a more DIY appeal, my wife found hairpin legs for a platform idea. Turned out, after our trip to Home Depot, the platform idea transformed quickly into a pallet frame instead. Since we have a queen size bed, I wanted to make a frame that would be wide enough to eventually accommodate a king size mattress.

Here are some images of the process:

Building out the frame was the first step and key to making sure the cross beams were going to fit flush to the supporting beams. Poplar wood was used during this process.

When we laid out the cross beams, there seemed to be miscalculations. At Home Depot, we rushed this process a bit when we laid out the entire set of beams so we missed the discrepancy.

Each of the cross beams were slightly over the 6 feet mark. Luckily, the circular saw came in very handy to fix the problem.

My wife found the hairpins last year when we originally were inspired to build a frame. These and a lot more cast iron hairpins can be found here.

To help support the frame, we purchased some scrap wood and screwed them into the middle beam. If you notice closely, one of the wooden pegs is about one and a half inches shorter than the other one. That is purposely done to include the clearance needed for the shaggy rug.

And with that, the shaggy rug placed underneath one part of the frame. Otherwise, there would’ve been too much pressure focused on that peg and area causing potential bow and perhaps compromising the integrity of the beam.

The finished pallet bed frame with enough clearance for underneath storage, and future upgrade in mattress size!

If you decide to make/build a frame, my suggestion is to plan ahead. Scout Apartment Therapy and blogs for some ideas on variations of DIY bed frames, head to the local lumber yard to find the wood, draw a plan, measure out the mattress, and consider possible upgrades in the future. Another important key to your decision could be the thought of taking it apart when moving. Your frame can be as permanent as you make it…bolt screws versus dry wall screws. The weight of the frame is worth considering as well.

Good luck to you!

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Written by F&W

February 27, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Quicksand-ing…Restaining an Old Chair.

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Once in a while I get itchy hands to create something. Other times I get the crafty fingers. And too few and far between, there are times when I just want to destroy stuff. AND…there are even less minutely formed moments where I feel like refurbishing something. However, I’ve been eyeing this project for a couple of years and finally decided to do something about it.

I found this chair years ago at the Alameda Antique Fair and it’s been a really good chair. It just needed to be sanded and restained to bring some life back to it.

Here a some before and after images of the chair.

Not as easy as I thought it was going to be. There were many round surfaces to contend with.

The “quick” sanding project extended to a 40 minute slow-sanding event. I needed to resand many spots because there was varnish on the wood. I used some different grit sandpapers for this (100, 120, 150, 180).

A red walnut stain gave it a good rejuvenation of color. Though getting those crevasses was extremely difficult. A bit of thinner can resolve this mistake since the cushion is a vinyl material…no harm to it, just my pride.

All in all, not a bad outing to complete a restaining project.

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Written by F&W

December 22, 2011 at 12:01 am

Ornament Craft Night

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My friends and I turned last weekend into a Jekyll & Hyde event. We had a raging and excessive holiday party on Saturday night filled with booze, naked elves, and weird conversations about 3D adult films (yes, they’re out there right now).

Sunday, a friend decided to engage us in a craft night to make ornaments. And with a slightly, more toned-down approach to having fun, we all took our places at the craft tables, ate really good seafood chowder, drank good beers, and trimmed, glued, decorated, and stitched our ornaments.

This first one was a subconscious effort to root out one of my favorite places in San Francisco to have/buy a beer. My mind must have been thinking about this even though I was wearing the t-shirt because even without measuring, I drew a template that was exactly the same dimensions as the City Beer Store logo tee.

The second one was actually my first idea of the night. The streets are…can you guess them? Van Ness, Market, Mission, and Fulton. The red dot was location of craft event. I made this San Francisco map ornament because I was still seated at the craft table and had itchy crafty fingers. What can I say, I must craft!!!

These two ornaments combined, I feel like they are appropriate symbols for a city that loves itself (very self-deprecating) and a city that loves food and BEER! Of course the Orange and Black thing too can represents those SF Giants’ fans (still waiting on a off-season move).

And finally, one of the weirdest ornaments that was made (possibly ever made at a ornament craft night) that evening turned out to be this ethnic nun, former prisoner, PBR can thing. I can’t even explain it any further.

Now, it’s your turn to get crafty. Happy Holidays and all that stuff…(as kids these days like to say).

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Written by F&W

December 20, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Home: Staging Room FX

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My wife has many skills. A vast majority of those skills revolves around the home. Any of her friends will say that she needs to produce a blog that showcases her extensive knowledge within this realm. For now, the task is up to her hus-band (I’m a one man band!) is responsible to share some of her many talents…which for all intent and purposes of this blog entry, is staging.

Our dear friend last month mentioned that my wife would be good at “staging” homes. The kind of thankless job that showcases newly fixed up living spaces that preludes a sale. Well, we are getting ready to move out of San Francisco (again) and she thought it would be nice to include a renter’s packet (renter’s cover letter, rental history, credit report, and some pics of our currently home). And in hopes of impressing our potential landlords, that’s not quite a bad idea.

Here are two images that we are using to establish that we are well kept, uncluttered, and reasonably neat people that live and breathe, and work, and eat…and play Skyrim (just me). Btw: if you haven’t already, go get Skyrim, it’s “involving“.

Yes, that’s a whale on a board…yes, that’s yarn. And no, we’re not crazy. The Herman Miller look-alike is from Modernica, found through Apartment Therapy’s Scavenger page (what, you don’t know what that is???).

My wife found the pattern for the curtains at a local thrift store…the credenza was found at the Alameda Antique Fair. And the “big screen” was bartered (don’t ask what we did to get it). That chair (and nesting table set) was also found on a Sunday at Alameda…Lynn from Klassik by Lynne happened to be there selling her old stock of chairs at a discount

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DIY Mask: The Raccoon

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The eternal question of Halloween comes every year. What shall I wear??? This year and probably for the rest of my years along with my wife, a mask will be created. And it starts with an idea, then plaster strips, and much more as you will see. This helpful youtube video guided me through the initial phase of this D.I.Y project.

After putting on the whiskers, I still felt something was missing. A defining shape of a raccoon or something that signified more weird creature than cute house cat. I decided that I needed to add some more “body” to my mask. This was done by drawing and cutting a few pieces of paper and hot gluing them to the sides of the mask.

When I thought the mask had a distinct shape, I trimmed the ears a little bit to give it more a raccoon feel. Next in the manufacturing process was fur. Lots and lots of fur. This part was fun, but tedious. I loved playing around with the fur, teasing it a bit and hot gluing it onto the mask. However, while cutting each small strip away, pieces and particles of fur got into the air and consequently into my mouth. Hard to breathe, but fun as hell to make.

I even cut out strips for the ears and just used permanent marker to fill in the black. The nose was covered with felt as well as the most of the interior of the mask. Comfort level was high as well as warmth (look at all that fur!). I used two sets of tie-strings to secure the mask to my face. Using knitting yarn was probably not the best option though. Ribbon was definitely the right choice.

Also, I wear glasses, so I used a pair that I don’t wear too often, removed the side pieces and hot glued it around the bridge and pads. These are transition lens so I feel comfortable riding my bicycle in the day with the mask (if I ever wanted to, that is…).

Of course, the result of mask making shows. I felt pretty good about the San Francisco Raccoon (Ewok, Teen Wolf, Panda) mask and provided ample air when expressing my joy. I think I got at least 5 inches of air.

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Written by F&W

November 7, 2011 at 9:34 pm