Cutting Boards

Everybody needs a cutting board. They can make wonderful kitchen art too. A few people sell these boards on Etsy does this,  Truengraving  MrWoodProducts

How about this: personalized cutting boards that have two functions, (use for cutting things and looking pretty on the wall)

Suspended Balconies - an idea

While cruising pinterest, I came across this image by accident.

Last night I finished watching a documentary about Henry VIII. Wife number one, Catherine of Aragon had her own balcony. That balcony was later used by wife number six, Catherine Parr, to watch Henry's funeral.

Then I thought about certain events where there is not enough seating room, nor enough room to build out more seats.I thought - wouldn't it be charming to build a suspended balcony that works like a roller coaster, and can be rented by people who want to hang out (pun intended), watch a show or just enjoy a meal? 

The problem of course, is that they would have to install a port-a-potty for each balcony, or the party would just have to call the coaster back to the landing so they could use the bathroom. This would be a big issue if alcohol is involved, as drunk people need to pee a lot. 

But hey, just another one of my ideas. 

Vending Machine Trucks

This looks like an interesting business idea because it reduces lines by distributing points of sale all over the truck. I see high overhead and the need for a very good electricity source. The idea is interesting.

Purchase Vending Machines:

I am not sure what kind of electric generator is needed to operate all of these machines, but my concern is that if it breaks, any frozen item will spoil.

My next thought is, how does one lift and drop the truck when it is time to stop and go? ( sorry about the bad construction of that last sentence) I went to yahoo and found some information about hydraulics.

Making A Nautical Wreath

My in-laws have a charming vacation home at a Mexican beach community. After speaking with my mother in law, and some careful planning, I am going to make a beach theme holiday wreath for their beach home.

The problem with making nautical or ocean theme wreaths is getting the proper supplies. I tend to work very slowly on my projects because I want to ensure they are just right before assembly.

To start, here is my Shabby Chic Christmas Board on Pinterest. I took three images from that board, and would like to incorporated elements of all three into a charming Nautical Christmas Wreath. Notice how the second image has small nautical charms glued onto the shells? That was a detail I missed when I first looked at the image. I like how certain features are blended so well into a piece that one does not immediately notice them. The blue crab is a very cute addition, but one must be careful to make sure it is not creepy. We do not want to scare anybody away. I did find a supplier on ebay who sells all sort of sea creatures. They are called: Gems Under The Sea. For this wreath, we will select on sea creature, paint it an non-scary color like light blue/beige/pastel teal. It will also be bedazzled with some gemstones much like the star fish. I then conducted an eBay search for Nautical Jewelry , Gemstone Sea Horse,  Nautical Ship Wheel Gemstone Crab, Rhinestone Crocodile, White Rhinestone Bikes,

The color scheme will be: brown, white, pearl, ocean blue and light teal. 

German Glass Glitter: how to many anything look like it is covered in ice

German Glass Glitter is different from any other type of glitter, in that it is made from finely ground glass. This makes it expensive, and dangerous around children. It is used to make any object look frozen over. Great for Christmas decorations. 

How to Make A Toddler Play Cube

I have a fantastic DIY project. This project suggest making only three items to start. After you have made, and sold all three, work out a cost-expense analysis sheet. Consider the investment, and risk you would take to manufacture and sell Infant/Toddler play cubes on the general market.

After spending a significant amount of time online, I could not find a single tutorial, neither video or website, for how to make a Toddler Play Cube. We have a small play cube for our two boys (at a hefty price). I think that the cost for this type of toy is so high for a few reasons.

First, it is heavy and takes up storage space. All of that must be accounted for when we determine the cost of a project. Storage space should be calculated just as much as labor and manufacturing costs.

Second, toy manufacturers deal with other safety concerns, such as plastics, synthetic hair, fire resistant materials, and packaging. Play cubes, what we see in offices and schools, are loved by parents and children, but few people know how to make them without a wood shop in their garage.

$100.00 - $600.00 each

First, lets take a look at how much one of the generic play cubes cost:

The smaller play cubes, similar to the one we have at home looks like this:

My theory, is that this is a product most new parents would want for their children. My argument is as follows: 
1. New Parents love spending money on their babies. I know, that might not sound much like an argument, but I think it is true. Especially if it is a first baby. Parents buy more luxury items for first babies than for second or third. 
2. Play cubes are not messy. One of the biggest problems with a child's room is keeping it clean and organized. The only cleaning involved with this is wiping it down. That is something to be marketed to parents of second or third children, as they already know how messy children can be. 
3. The activities on each side of the cube (I am counting five sides) can be what ever the manufacturer wants them to be Children love looking at themselves in the mirror. They love turning gears. Instead of pushing little balls, I recommend little cars. Both boys and girls like pushing cars. 

Finally, lets analyze the cost of manufacturing this product. I do not assemble wood, nor do I purchase it or cut it. The project does not appear to be that intricate or time consuming to me. I see the issues being storage, and marketing it to children's stores. 

The Current Market

Little Wonders makes these toys. They also have a very - very shitty/user-unfriendly website. Ron Jun sells similar toys, their website and marketing strategy is better than the former. Ron Jun's Tower of Pay is a Great  Toy, selling at $600 dollars.

Smile Makers has some similar toys (I think they are just re-sellers, and not manufacturers). Seattle Gymnastics Acadamey has one of these cube toys in their waiting area. Their website is not too good. As I am not a 'nay-sayer', and think one should think of reasons why something can be done, rather than why something can't be done. In order to do that, one must make sure that they are balancing the risks with potential rewards. 

My recommendation to any person interested in this Venture, is to start thinking about storage and marketing of this item. I know that the market is there, and parents love buying this stuff for their children. Yet, I do not know how easy it will be to sell the market. I suggest making three play cubes, and sell them. I also recommend thinking about a toy that is very unique, educational, and easily marketed to parents. 

Then move on from there.

Handmade Christmas Ornaments

I work very slowly on my Christmas ornaments. Hopefully by Christmas, I will have enough personalized ornaments for a fantastic tree. 

Homemade Fabreze Fabric Freshener

Homemade fabreze. The cost of making this is only a fragment of what you will pay in the store. I recommend making sure that the baking soda and water have completely combined, and brought to a boil. I have had problems in the past with the baking soda clogging the spray gun. 

  • 2 cups water (boiling)
  • 1/4 cup fabric softener
  • 1 TBS baking soda

Bottle Cap Storage

If you have children and do a lot of baking like I do, you will need a good method of storing unused chocolate chips. Here is a cute idea using a bottle cap.

How To Make Personalized Plates

I have always adored antique sugar bowls, I just think they are dainty and pretty. Lately, I have been wanting to do something special for the family. I came upon this tutorial video about how to make personalized plates. It was very easy. Below is the complete list of instructions.

1. print text on regular paper
2. cut out text
3. lay text on carbon paper
4. position on plate, trace over with number 2 pencil
5. fill in with ceramic pen
6. allow to dry
7. bake for thirty minutes at 300 degrees
8. allow to cool

If you would like to make your own monograms but are not a very good artist try this website FREE LOGO DESIGN. The program will make the monogram for you.

For Everything you need to do this project, visit the Amazon Store Below. I already searched for the materials you will need, and put them together for you. Just click on the PERSONALIZED DISHES, and it will take you directly to the Amazon Store.

Handmade Christmas Balls

Welcome to new hobby I have been trying out - making homemade Christmas balls. I am just getting my feet wet, fumbling around, and trying to figure out what works and what does not.

One of my first Christmas Bulbs came out as a glittery pink ball, adorned with silver metal pearls, diamond crystals and dainty pink roses. I painted small neon pink flowers, with swirls of silver glitter and leaves. The ornament will hang from the Christmas tree from a Victorian pearl and lace trimming. It was my first ornament, and so far the most charming one.

It has a look entirely different from any other ornament. In one sense, it is very rock and roll, yet, in another it is elegantly Victorian. In my quest to create my own version of Shabby Chic Christmas ornaments, I found my own voice, and designed my own genre: The Hard Candy Christmas.

I googled the term ‘hard candy christmas’ to see if anyone else use that name. Apparently writer Carol Hall wrote a song Hard CandyChristmas for The Best little Whorehouse in Texas. In 1982 Dolly Parton released a version of the song. A hard candy Christmas is when the family is so poor that all they could afford was a penny bag of hard candy to give their kids.

As I am still toying around with my ideas, I am thinking about adding dome resin images to my Victorian Christmas Balls. I selected some wonderful images to dome onto my Christmas balls. There is a lot to learn.

I am not sure where this hobby will go. Each Christmas ornament takes a very long time to make. I do not make things quickly, especially a work of art. I did start a small Facebook page for my new hobby: LINK
But, the fact is that this is different from my soap and skincare passion. This is not a business. This is just something I enjoy doing because I think Christmas is the most beautiful time of year, and I want to create family heirlooms that my children will cherish for generations.