15 August 2014

DIY - Kettleball

I have decided I want to be healthier.  I try a bunch of random things, but most of my working out is at the gym.  I don't have $30 - $300 to throw away on equipment I won't use, I have enough of that already.  But, when I came across a way to make a kettleball, which is suppose to be super effective, I figured I'd give it a shot.  Mine cost me nothing because we already had all the supplies laying around the house, but I am told it isn't that much money to make yourself one.  (And yes, I did have a bag of concrete laying around with nothing to do.)

Step 1: Find someone nice and strong to help you.  Well, okay, maybe not, but it is more fun with someone else.  We took the PVC and put it in the oven on a diagonal and cut it to that length.  (Sorry, no pictures)

Step 2:  Cook the PVC.  Now, I still am not sure this is a good idea, afterall, they wouldn't let us use PVC on the lasercutter because it produced fumes that weren't healthy.  So my suggestion is to open a window so you don't die before improving your health by exercise.  I don't recall what the temperature was, something hot like you would bake a cake, and I think it was 10 minutes.  We were super skeptical of this step, but it worked very well.

Step 3: Bend it.  I put my hands on the tube with oven mitts on so we would know where to bend it so I could still grab it nicely.  I found it worked lovely with the padding so it isn't tight.  You then have to hold it while it cools.  This is really where you want two people because we kept switching who held it because it was getting our hands warm.

Step 4: Insert some screws.  Now, I know how concrete works, and it is lovely stuff.  However, when building walls, you need reinforcement in it, or else the wall may fall down.  I was afraid I'd be swinging this ball around and the ball would pop off of the handle.  So, to be sure we just popped some screws in the end to grip it.  It is also nice to have some nice guy to do this for you.  I can do power tools, the drill being one of the easy ones, but I still like my Father's help.  I actually use to do this in school too, go to the shop and act all like "oh no, big scary power tool...." looking all cute and helpless.  Yep, only had to use the tools half the time because the guys would help.  (Most of the time it was two cuts or three nails with the nailgun, I worked on the long projects myself.)  But guys like to help and play with the power tools, so I let them.

Anyways, here is the finished screws.

Step 5: Pick a ball.  I originally was going to make two, but didn't have enough concrete, or patience.  We have had these balls forever, they are the mini basketballs.  I loved them to death they were so fun, but they are so old that they will not bounce anymore and really should be thrown away.  Alas, perfect for a kettleball!

I happened to be lucky enough to pick the ball that was already flat and sunken in, makes it nice for standing up on the floor.

Step 6:  Cut holes.  Now, I've seen many versions of this.  I choose to combined them.  I have the holes for the PVC to go in, did some rough measuring, and kept putting it in to make sure the size was right.  I also have a slit down the middle because it was easy to get the concrete in that way.  I might have had some fun with this, started out with an exacto, yeah, didn't work well.  I mean, it was okay for the first few cuts, but...  I eventually just pulled out my, um, sheet metal cutters, and they worked great.  Why the sheet metal cutters?  Because they were the closest thing when I reached in the drawer.  Lots of power in them too.

Step 7: Concrete.  Mmmm... concrete...  I poured in what I thought I'd need, we ended up having to make a couple of batches, it was fun what can I say.

I really don't know what my obsession with concrete is, but once I added the water, it is just so playful.  It somehow gets to the consistency of tasty looking cake batter, and I just always want to eat it.  I mean, look at it, so pretty.  I made a video of it for you, and even though you may not be able to see it so well, it is so tasty looking.  (I might have a problem....)

Step 8: Put the concrete in the ball.  Easier said than done, once again, glad I had a friend to help.  We had fun and got concrete all over.  Lucky for us we emptied the bag so we had a surface, but I recommend some sort of protection for the floor.

Step 9: Put the handle in, then let it dry.  Technically concrete takes 28 days to cure all the way, but it should be solid in this size after a nice nights rest.  It claimed to be 10 lbs, but I don't think mine is.  I wasn't able to fill it all up, ran out of concrete, but it works well anyways, I think it is about 8 lbs.  To make it heavier you could put in some heavy metal, but the only thing we could find was super heavy, and I didn't want it to be 50 lbs. 

Step 10: Finishing.  I whipped off the dried cement (and yes, it is cement because it is powdery stuff that goes inside concrete, but this was just hanging around on the outside.)  I also put a lot of the loose concrete bits inside the pocket of space for extra weight and fun noises when I swing it.  I then tapped it up real good so that it didn't come flying out at me.  I know what you are thinking, it isn't the prettiest thing in the world, and I will agree.  Some people spray paint theirs, but I felt I liked the raw feel of mine.

I hope you enjoyed this, I know I had too much fun making it.  Mine now sits on the floor in the basement, around where I work, and every time I go past it I try and pick it up and do a set of 10 - 15 Kettleball Swings.  I figure, it might help somehow.  Let me know if you make one of your own!

07 August 2014

England Poem

I do not take credit for this.  I am not the author.  I did memorize it once, in sixth grade, for a project.  It was fun.  I also haven't ever been to England, unfortunately, but my mother went on an LDS mission there, which is where she got this from.  I recently had something come up that made me want to type it up, and since I went to all that hard work, you get to read it as well.  Enjoy!

Oh, to be in England
If only for ‘alf a mo’
Where when they speak of “wireless”
They mean the radio
Where private schools are public
And public schools are snobby
And “insurance” is “assurance”
And a cop is called a “Bobby”
Where a “traffic rule” is a circus
And “up” is down the street
And a sweater is a jumper
And a candy is a sweet
Where a cookie is a biscuit
And a trifle is a desert
And “bloody” is a cuss word
And an “ad” is an advert.
Where gasoline is petrol
And a stone is 14 pounds
And motor cars here have bonnets
And you take the underground
And to hold up your trousers
It’s braces that you use
And a truck is called a lorry
And boots are really shoes
Where a druggist is a chemist
And the movies are the flicks
And you QUEUE upon the pavement
For a stall at 3 and 6.
There is no language barrier
Any tourist need to dread.
So long as he knows English
From A to Zee – no Zed!

01 August 2014

How to clean shoes - real dirty shoes

 It is the two year anniversary of the time that I went on trek as a Ma.  Wow, times flys....  But, in remembrance, I thought I would share with you my dirty shoes and how I cleaned them.  If you don't know what trek is, it is a very spiritual experience that we participate in as youth in the LDS chruch.  I went when I was a kid, and loved it.  I went again, grown up, and loved it more.  We are placed in little families, I was a Ma and so was in charge a little family, along with my Pa.  We had seven kids, two 'aunts' and an 'uncle'.  I am still very close with a lot of them.  Oh, and before we went, I knew none of these people... well, most....  So, what do you do on trek?  Well, you wander around in the middle of nowhere for three days pulling a handcart.  Yep.  Our lovely trek plans got changed, last minute, like, as we got there, and so somehow ended up on the dustiest, sandiest path that there was.  We quit dusting out our cups because we were eating dirt as we walked anyways.  Needless to say, my shoes were not white when I came home like they were when I left.  I figured I would just toss the shoes, not worth the cleaning, but they were real comfortable, so I thought I would give it a go.  Here is my process, in case you have some shoes to be cleaned.

Step 1: Take a before picture, you'll want it


Step 2: Dry scrub
Now, I had an old toothbrush just waiting for cleaning, I typically have one.  But, any brush will do, just don't brush your teeth with it afterwards....

Step 3: Take out the laces
I had to get this close up, I mean, look, the white, that is what they were right before trek.  Now, I have to tell you, although they don't want you to take new shoes, my old shoes were getting too worn in, so I got new ones a week before and just wore them out a few times, trying to break in the walking.  So, they were new, and then a week in the middle of nowhere happened to them.

Step 4: Seriously, get rid of the laces
It helps, not only can the laces now be cleaned on their own, but it makes it so much easier to dry scrub the shoes.  Get all the dirt out from the outside and inside and everywhere you can.

Step 5: Be amazed at the dirt
Eww, right?  Don't worry, I ate more than that in a day.  Click on the picture to get a huge shot, so tasty.

Step 6: Put the laces in the wash
Now, I put my laces in a bag to get washed.  If not, they may get all wrapped around the washer, and that is not a good idea.  Mine got all tangled in the bag anyways.  I just had this handy bag with all my camping stuff, but a laudry bag would work well, or you know, something fabric.  

Step 7: Wash
I ran the water, I think on cold, on the small load.  It worked lovely.  Just run it.

Step 8: Admire the cleaness
Now, they came out a color I hadn't seen for a long, long time.  They never have quite recovered completely, but the tint to them reminds me of all the good times I had walking my 30+ miles in them.

Step 9: Air dry
Now, one of the keys to the whole washing in the washer, is actually the drying.  Do not put them in the dryer.  Instead, let them air dry, perferably outside.  I loaded up the inside with paper towels to soak up the inner water as well as help them keep their shape.  I don't recall how long I left them outside, but it was well into the night, so a good part of the day.

I hope this was educational, or at least entertaining.  I know I was clearly amazed that they could have such a dramatic improvement.  And like I said, they aren't perfect, but they have character.  I still am able to wear them, not much more than just going to the gym, but I do love them and was glad I could save them.

27 July 2014

Happy Brithday Father!

I just wanted to wish my Father a happy birthday.  We will see if he sees this, afterall, he has said he wants to read my blog, but don't know if he has got around to it yet.

24 July 2014

happy 24th

For those of you not in Utah, you aren't celebrating today, nor do you have permission to set off fireworks during the hottest and most dangerous time of the year.  But, for those of us in Utah, we celebrate the coming of the pioneers to the Utah valley.  It is a very exciting time for us, because not only are we glad that we could have the state of Utah to live in, but the pioneers could finally rest from most of the persecution that the US government were giving them. I hope today that you can rest from your travels, and hardships, and enjoy life.

19 July 2014

How to make a Camera Bag Case

I am one that is fairly protective of my camera, and want it to live happily safe and sound.  I also do not like to spend money.  However, the biggest problem I run into is that I haven't found a camera case the size I wanted to fit my camera.  So, what is one to do?  Well make one of course!

(I would like to insert a disclaimer.  I love to sew, have been doing it since the age of eight.  I however do not like patterns, or really following the rules persay. I just sort of make them up as I go along.  That being said, none of my work is extremely professionally finished, but it works.  Plus, I enjoy how things are, and that is all that really matter.  So be forewarned, if you think you can do this better, feel free to.)

Step 1: Measure
Now, I think it is the architect in me that wants to have everything at right angles, and nice and rectangular, but I just measure everything.  I measured the back and one side of the camera, added it together, gave myself a bit of a seam allowance, and decided to cut it there.  Did the same the other side as well.

Step 2: Cut
I took my measurements, and cut it out.  I like to use a rotary cutter.  Love that tool.  When I finally got it, and paid more than I wanted for it, I was so glad I had.  I use it to cut everything!  Also may be because I cut squares mostly, but man, no idea how I lived before.  If you don't have one, get one, you'll thank me.

Step 3: Make two
Now, I was so pleased with myself, got my piece cut out from my extra fabric, live was wonderful.  Then I realized I needed two pieces because I was going to stuff it.  Silly me.  So, don't be like me, make two to start with.  But if not, I just traced over the cut with my rotary cutter, and I was done.  So easy...

Step 4: Sew the sides
I chose to do my thread in red.  For two reasons really.  One, I like contrast.  The red and the purple went well together.  I liked it.  I also don't really care if it matches, I think those who are obsessed with matching thread are sometimes crazy about it. But, the main reason is it was already on the machine and I wasn't in the mood to change it.  Do whatever color you want.  Dye your thread to match you fabric if you really want.

Step 5: Stuff it
I happened to have a bunch of stuffing laying around.  Left over from a huge pillow project I never finished.  And I took some of it, and shoved it in the hole.  Notice I hadn't sewn the one side, so I had plenty of room to stuff.  I made it just poofy enough to be fluffy, but not over sized.

Step 6: Sew the columns
 Now, I had done this before and was super pleased with the results, so I decided to do it again.  Partly because you want the stuffing to stay, partly for looks, sew columns into it.  I made sure they went the way that I was going to fold it over to make the case, but do it however you want.  I just picked a random width, and tried to stay on it.

Step 7: Sew Shut
I found it very handy that the columns worked out so that the last one was about the size of the last pocket.  I then sewed up that last side, and can I tell you, don't know which is which.  It helps with ease that I didn't want to hide the sewing, so I didn't turn it inside out.  I figured I couldn't hide the columns, do why hid the rest.

Step 8: Sew it together
Then you take it and fold it over, and sew the side and bottom.  I did the side first, just so it wouldn't be hard to hold.  The original plan was to have a top flap.  Once again, I planned wrong, but I loved this when it came out anyways.  There are now like two inches of fluff at the top.  I just shove the camera in, and can fold it over, but it stays nice and protected.

I love my camera case now.  It lives in my camera bag, which hopefully I will show you soon.  Do let me know if you decide to make your own, and show me below!  Thanks for checking this out!

10 July 2014

Gertrude Jackson Cook Casper Diraries

I would like to introduce you to my Great-Grandma, Gertrude Jackson Cook Casper.  Today would have been her 135th birthday.  I didn't know her at all, my mother wasn't alive that long before she passed away, but like all ancestors, she still holds a place in my heart.  Here are some pictures of her.

Gertrude Jackson Cook  ~ age 6
Gertrude Jackson Cook
Gertrude Jackson Cook Casper
Gertrude Jackson Cook Casper
Gertrude Jackson Cook Casper
Gertrude Jackson Cook Casper
Gertrude Jackson Cook Casper near adobe house
 In the later years of her life, she kept some journals.  They were five year journals, so something small written every day for five years.  We were able to get to hold these precious journals, and scan them into the computer.  Here is the journal from 1941-1945, and here for 1946-1950.  Unfortunately she passed away before she was able to finish the last one, so parts can look a bit empty.

If you decide to print them, I would suggest two PDF pages a sheet, and get them printed both sides.  Take them to a printer and they will do it for you.  I could probably do it as well for you, if you would like it, leave a comment or email me and we will see what the cost will be.

04 July 2014

Happy 4th of July!!!

Have a happy 4th!  And don't get burned by any fireworks.

01 July 2014

you are advertising to the wrong person

I have been thinking a lot about advertising, and who to advertise to, and how a lot of the world is doing it wrong. You see, I am a member of a website called Etsy, you may have heard of it.  And I see a lot of people on there promoting their items to people who do the same thing they do.  Not that smart.  If you are trying to sell me jewelry that I can just make on my own, I'm just going to make it on my own, not buy yours.  So, who should you be marketing to?

Let's have a look at my favorite magazine collection. 

It is a little magazine called Dwell.  It is about homes, and architecture, and great design.

Now, let's pick one up, a random one, doesn't matter. 

It is the same as a lot of my favorite architecture magazines full of ads at the beginning of it, and sometime, SOMETIMES they have some furniture ads.  They need to make some money, right?  And which ad do we find?

According to a lot of peoples actions, it should have homes, right? Right? RIGHT?

Bam!  A Cadillac! 

 CADILLAC!  Nothing, nothing to do with architecture or homes.  But, that is what is in EVERY architecture magazine.  I am not kidding, go pick one up and look.  Tons of cars, everywhere. And why?  Because architects like cars.  They (supposedly) have money.  They have egos, big egos.  They want to buy the fancy car.  They want to impress people.  They must own that car.

According to a lot of people's logic, you would advertise a car in a car magazine.  But seriously, who is reading that publication?  A guy (or girl, we are not sexist here) who likes cars, who likes to fix them up.  The ideal car for someone reading those magazines is a rundown, or classic car that they can buy and fix up.  No, they are not going to buy the Cadillac.  No way.

So, what does this have to do with you?  Well, chances are, you are advertising to the wrong person.  Please, figure out who your customer is.  Picture your product on someone.  I'll help, let's do some jewelry, not like that is an over saturated category or anything.  How about a nice diamond necklace?

Does it work well on a hillbilly?  Great, find some gun websites, or cowboy message boards, and make friends there.  (Not all cowboys or girls are hillbilly's....)

Does it work well on a teenager?  Great, find some of the teenage messageboards, or get on twitter and youtube, snapchat even.  Get in touch with a teen and see where they hang out online, and market there.

Does it work well on a rich business lady?  Great, find some professional gathering spots.  LinkenIn would be a good place to have a page.

Does it work well on a small child?  Great, find some mommy blogs, or even better, see if you can get some ads on the kids sites, so then the child can beg their mom for it.

Does it work well on a world famous actress?  Great, find some connections.  I have heard that everyone is connected to everyone within 5 people.  Although they are now old news, I know how I can get to the Jonas Brothers in three.  And I'm not talking people who just know each other, but good friends with friends.  See where yours takes you.  I don't have a big need to find the Jonas Brothers, but if I really wanted to, I could.  Who do you really want to get connected to?

Does it work well on a carefree girl who likes what her friends like?  Great, find some amazing Facebook pages.  People love their Facebook, and are devoted to it.  I don't like it myself, and don't have a business one.  But then, I'm not this customer.  This customer also likes Instagram, Vine, and other fast moving social networks.

Does it work well on a trendy girl who everyone looks up to?  Great, find some fashion blogs, some beauty blogs.  Approach then gently, and become their friend, chances are they will start to look at your things, and may even tell their friends.

Does it work well on an old lady in retirement?  Great, find some people to talk to.  No, really, step away from the computer and go talk to people.  The older generation isn't really online, and if they are, they aren't always sure how to use it.  But, if you find a little old lady who likes your stuff, chances are she has some money saved away just wanting to spend it on all of her grandchildren.

So, go and take a real look at who your customer is, then find out where they are located, and promote to them there.  It will work a whole lot better than trying to just sling your name out wherever you get a chance to post it.

I want to know, who is your customer and where is she (or he...)?

Note: I was not paid for any product listed.  I am just passionate.