General Craft & DIY discussion

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message 1: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (JLynneDH) | 15 comments Hello All and Welcome (again) to DIY. Thanks to some posts by members and visitors, I have made some folders for discussion posts to be organized into. I wanted to give a shout-out to Jim for recommending this.

Please make yourselves at home, introduce yourself, and share your projects and where your projects came from (ie. any books, websites, you know, the works).

If you have any recommendations for any new folders, please don't hesitate to ask me for them.

Happy Making!

message 2: by Jim (last edited Oct 29, 2012 06:52PM) (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1191 comments Thank you for the kind welcome, Jessica.

I'm Jim. I grew up on a farm, have one now & was a remodeler for 15 years or so professionally. Now I just do it as a hobby & to make the budget balance. We just have a small farm, but the dogs, goats, cats, horses & ponies manage to break a lot of stuff. Thankfully the kids break stuff at their own houses now.

I have a nice shop now after years of working in odd spaces. It's 25'x30' inside with a 10'x30' overhang all on a concrete pad. The overhang lets me do metal work (welding & forging) with some cover & plenty of air. Inside I have mostly woodworking tools. I really like turning bowls out of green, found wood.

I fiddle with most anything, though. The past year, I started knitting again, so made many of my own needles. I don't have much talent for it & decided it would be cool to use all the animal hair we have around, so I started to get into spinning & made my own spinning wheel. I'm hoping to get better at carding & spinning this winter.

Laura (Kyahgirl) (Kyahgirl) | 14 comments Hi guys. Thanks for the invitation Jim.
Most of my DIY reading is with respect to learning how to do home renos or how to fix computers....somehow I became the techno wizard at my house. Baffling!

Anyway, I have reviewed a few DIY books and will do more as I use them. I'm not very good at crafty or creative things but am looking forward to reading about the endeavors of the group.

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (PirateGhost) Hi guys,

I'm about the worst "DIY" guy I know. There are pre-teen girls (and boys) with more "DIY" ability than me, and, that only makes it something I need to work on right?

I'm tone deaf, with two left feet, so you can rule out that "marching to the beat of a different drummer" thing along with dancing. I am not colour blind but have been accused of being so after dressing for work (and at work) on several occasions, I know how to use a hammer and nails, but...hammers do damage to things... and, I take my car to somebody else to fix. That's a guy who knows I'm an idiot... if I wasn't, I'd fix it myself right?

Anyway, I can make a pretty paper snowflake with hearts that my daugher (7) thinks is "SO COOL!" so, maybe there's hope for me yet.

Cleary this is the right group for me.


message 5: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1191 comments Welcome, Laura & Hugh.

Laura, it's amazing what you can do when you just sit down & fiddle, isn't it? I've made some pretty horrible mistakes - you'll see one under plumbing here. My most recent goof. Oh well, it was still cheaper than a plumber, if I can even get one out here.

Hugh, right, hammers do fantastic amounts of damage, especially when you hit the wrong nail.

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (PirateGhost) Jim wrote: "Welcome, Laura & Hugh.

Laura, it's amazing what you can do when you just sit down & fiddle, isn't it? I've made some pretty horrible mistakes - you'll see one under plumbing here. My most rece..."

Tell me about it. Once I accidentally hit the nail under my thumb with one. That hurts!

message 7: by Sharon (last edited Nov 02, 2012 06:48AM) (new)

Sharon Michael | 110 comments Thanks for the invitation, though I'm not sure how 'useful' I will be. I grew up being taught how to do craft things (my grandmother taught me to quilt, embroider and crochet though for her they were necessity, not hobby) I haven't done anything like that for years.

My 'crafts' projects now are pretty much limited to artwork, did animal portraits as a second business for years and still do some, though I don't do art shows or the livestock/dog shows with booth space anymore.

I grew up on a ranch and have lived most of my life on a farm/ranch so am fairly competent with a lot of farm DIY things as long as it doesn't involve machinery. Husband handles the machinery part of things (grew up working on a ranch but retired engineer/ Navy) while I'm much more comfortable with the draft pony for chores and hand tools rather than electric tools.

Nearly all the books I have in my personal library are either art reference books or 'how to' books on pastels, colored pencil and charcoal/pencil. Husband has some 'how to' books on repairing/restoring horse drawn machinery and off the grid type fabrication.

message 8: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1191 comments Welcome, Sharon. Sounds to me like you're a perfect fit. If we don't have a topic that seems to fit a type of book or project you're involved in, feel free to create it or ask me to.

It would be nice if any of our horses or ponies were useful enough to do more than ride, but we don't have any horse drawn equipment save for an old pony cart & it's too small for Chip, although Speedy used to pull it. He's pretty old & pulled something the last time Erin used it with him, so we quit.

I have a goat cart that my great grandfather made. Our goats are too small & we don't have any harness, though.

A neighbor has an old horse drawn mower in the field down the road. It's just been rusting in place for years. I've often thought of asking about it, but wouldn't know what to do with it. The thought of hooking one of our Thoroughbreds to it is ludicrous. They have neither the temperament nor the conformation for pulling it. At the first sound from it, they'd probably climb into the sky & kill us all...

message 9: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1191 comments Your cat climbing tree sounds like an interesting project, Sherri. I started a topic under 'Building' for 'Animal Building'. Perhaps you could share your ideas there or make a topic just for it, if you'd prefer.

My daughter has purchased a couple of different things like that for her cat. None were very good, especially with her 2 dogs. One is a very active youngster & has broken them while playing with the cats. She showed me some nice ones in catalogs, but the better ones were $200 or so. Way too much.

message 10: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Michael | 110 comments Jim wrote: "Welcome, Sharon. Sounds to me like you're a perfect fit. If we don't have a topic that seems to fit a type of book or project you're involved in, feel free to create it or ask me to."

The only thing I can think of would be Art ... start with that as a main grouping. I've got several 'how to' books that I could review for that.

I 'rebuilt' a buggy harness for the draft pony and husband built a skid for her to pull. We use her in the winter to haul hay on the skid to feed the other horses and also to haul firewood down from the tree lot to the woodshed to be cut.

The horse drawn mower and hay rake he rebuilt so they can be pulled by the small tractor, faster and easier at this point than going from a draft team setup to a single horse setup.

You're probably right about the Thoroughbreds, they are not best suited to actual working pulling although a number of them have done well in the Combined Driving events in competition. But then it is my firm opinion that some of the drivers there are not particularly sane and sensible either.

message 11: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1191 comments Sharon, I created an Art folder & put one topic, "Painting" into it so the folder is visible. I'll leave it up to you to add any others to it. Great idea.

I've seen some of those driving events & agree with you. They are crazy tearing around with 4 horse teams, hanging off the sides so their carriages don't roll.

Our TB's are all ex-racehorses & the hocks are one of the first casualties of a racing career. I would think pulling would exacerbate those issues.

message 12: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Michael | 110 comments Jim wrote: "Sharon, I created an Art folder & put one topic, "Painting" into it so the folder is visible.

Our TB's are all ex-racehorses & the hocks are one of the first casualties of a racing career. I would think pulling would exacerbate those issues. "

That will work. I'll get some of my favorite 'how to paint' books listed and reviewed.

As far as driving goes, it is actually easier on a horse than racing or jumping. There is so much concussion on the joints in racing at speed and in jumping with a rider that it's harder on the joints than pulling. The horse isn't carrying weight and for combined driving they aren't pulling heavy, but TBs in generally don't have the disposition for slow and steady and quiet kind of stop and go work for chores around a farm.

message 13: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1191 comments No, our TB's don't have the disposition for chores. Half the time I think a kite string is the most appropriate form of tack.

message 14: by Foxtower (new)

Foxtower | 427 comments Thank you for the invitation Jim!

"Foxtower" refers to a farm building unique to Northern climates where back in the roaring twenties fashion dictated that people adorn themselves with silver gray fox fur... head and all! The Fox Tower was used to keep an eye on the two acres of cages the foxes were kept in.

(The photo is of "Roscoe", my old service dog whose photo I used since I'm nowhere near as charming.)

The tower took five years to restore, bit by bit, the expense being the least difficult part as it first had to be jacked up off the 70 year old managers shed it was leaning on and then from two feet to ten feet of the rotted sill and broken structure recreated before it was even safe to actually start restoring.

But that then defines me. Whatever is broken down, worn out and unwanted is my treasure. When I "retired" and moved to this little broken down, worn out and unwanted farm I threw away my furniture and kept the tools. I recover, restore or make most everything I need, from furnishings to the garden soil.

Though I'm "outdated", I'm a "master" at fine art painting and carpentry, and I'm geared up for and a bit accomplshed for other DIY projects such as welding on farm tractors or sculptures. And if you ever need an old TV repaired... well, hardly likely anymore..

My last project was creating a squirrel feeder. It's so much fun to watch... and people thought I was crazy growing a field of sun flowers just to feed rodents!

I have a pretty complete reference library. I think books can be a good place to see how other people have solved problems, but a books greatest potential is helping me figure out how to find my own solutions.

Anyway... don't know if I can contribute much.. I'm more hands on than anything and nowhere near as charming as the dog. I'll put in my two cents every once in a while. I could be more helpful if I could figure out how to add photos.. anyone know how to do so?

Again, thanks for the invite!


message 15: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1191 comments Welcome, Foxtower! I'm sure you'll have a lot to contribute. It looks like we share a lot of books in common, too.

I used to spend some time in Maine. My grandparents all had places there. One set was on the coast by Penobscott, while the others were inland near Rangely Lake. That was quite some time ago, though.

message 16: by The Pirate Ghost (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (PirateGhost) Hi Foxtower and Chelsea.

message 17: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1191 comments Welcome, Chelsea. Hugh is a very nice curmudgeon.

What sort of crafts or DIY projects are you in to?

message 18: by Foxtower (new)

Foxtower | 427 comments Welcome Chelsea!

message 19: by The Pirate Ghost (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (PirateGhost) Chelsea wrote: "Hi, I like your moniker."

Thank you... the bear is a bit scarier than the Bunny I used to have, but... I think the Bunny may have been more dangerous.

and... I'm not nice, I'm not a nice curmudgeon... I'm mean and nasty ... growl.. snarl.. and all that crap...

Oh, I'm sorry, maybe I should have said stuff... and I didn't mean to scare anybody... sorry... my bad... just trying to identify with my icon-moniker...

message 20: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1191 comments Chelsea wrote: "...I lean toward the traditionally feminine crafts of the needle; crochet, quilting, cross-stitch, etc. Nothing too exciting...."

Feel free to make topics for whatever interests you - or ask & I will make them.

Mom was pretty much a single parent & a farmer, big into horses, but we had chickens, sheep, steers & such, too. I learned early to cook, sew, & shovel manure. There were no gender based jobs (except child birth), just ones that some were better at than others. Just because I could toss more hay bales didn't mean I was exempt from cooking dinner or patching clothes as needed.

On top of that, I like to (need to?) fiddle. Sitting down & just watching TV seems a waste, so I'm usually doing something with my hands. I tried carving, but that's too messy, so I knit, crochet, or spin depending. I've never tried quilting. That might be interesting. My aunt has made some really nice ones.

message 21: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Hello everyone!

I'm not particularly crafty although I do love to cook and am learning calligraphy. Occasionally I have been known to do a little bit of cross-stitch.
I grew up on a farm and some of my favorite memories are of cooking, gardening and baking with my grandparents. My grandma and mom tried to teach me how to sew, but sewing on buttons seems to be the extent of my talent with a needle. Needless to say, I don't have much patience with needlework, however, I do love to look at others' sewing projects.
Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies. I especially enjoy making international and vegetarian recipes using vegetables from the garden.
I don't have a lot of "how to" books yet, but I will review some of my pastry-making and calligraphy books.

message 22: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Thanks for the invite Chelsea! :)

message 23: by The Pirate Ghost (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (PirateGhost) Chelsea wrote: "Curmudgeon,

and... I'm not nice, I'm not a nice curmudgeon... I'm mean and nasty ... growl.. snarl.. and all that crap...

Uhhmmm....I don't quite buy into that. *big grin*
But, good try! LOL"

No, really... Growl... snarl... ... (sigh) would you believe "Boo!" ...(Double sigh) I know, that's so last month...

back to the Wile E. Coyote drawing board for scary and vicious things....

message 24: by The Pirate Ghost (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (PirateGhost) Welcome Amanda... I have no DIY Skills, so, this group is perfect for me. (I need all the tips and help I can get!)

And I wonder where my old "Foxfire" books went?

message 25: by Foxtower (new)

Foxtower | 427 comments welcome Amanda!

I've played with caligraphy to little avail, but in my library is my grandfathers "caligraphy course", a couple dozen 12 by 18 eight page publications teaching old styles of caligraphy as the series is from the 1920's.

Computers can't hope to compare to the beauty of hand crafted script!

I hope you find some inspiration here!

message 26: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1191 comments Welcome, Amanda. If you want a topic about cooking or whatever, feel free to start one. I guess cooking could be a big enough subject to have a bunch, so if we have enough interest I'll move them into their own folder. I can cook, but it's more of a survivalist skill than culinary art.

message 27: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Thanks everybody! I'm sure I will find lots of inspiration here. And I too need all the help and tips I can get! :)
@Foxtower I bet your grandfather's calligraphy books are beautiful. The old styles are the best, so much detail in each letter. Even in the newer books I have, I'm amazed at the skill of some the artists--especially those that do lettering.

message 28: by Foxtower (new)

Foxtower | 427 comments Some of the stuff blows my mind! Here's part of the "Monogram" page, copyrite 1899. I'm curious as to how it compares to what you have in this more "modern" era?

[image error]

message 29: by Foxtower (new)

Foxtower | 427 comments Darn... try again....(I'm still learnin' how to post!

message 30: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Wow! Those are beautifully done! Thanks for sharing. I'll see if I can get a picture up from one of my books. (I'm still learning how to post too!)

message 31: by Candy (new)

Candy (HeartlessOne) | 1 comments Hi all, I'm Candy I do a little bit of almost everything. I'm the kind of person who, when I see something I like, I try to make it myself. I've been doing a lot of random crafts and art for years, building stuff around the house when it's needed, and recently decided to try sewing, which I found I actually enjoy. I find a lot of my projects on the internet (Pinterest lately) and some in books and from friends.

message 32: by Foxtower (new)

Foxtower | 427 comments Welcome Candy! Sounds like you'll fit right in!

message 33: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1191 comments Welcome, Candy. That's often the way & reason I make things, too. Have a look around & let me know if you're looking for something we don't have.

message 34: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 10 comments Hi all! I was invited to join this group by Jim. Right now, I'm not doing that much with crafts or DIY because I'm busy with school. But I am always looking for a way to make something I want myself or make used furniture look cooler. Once I'm done with school and back to working, I hope I'll have more time. Looking forward to getting some easy craft ideas for gifts for the holidays!

message 35: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1191 comments Glad to see you here, Rachel. A friend of mine paints up old furniture & sells it. She's a real artist & sometimes makes big bucks on it. Way beyond be, though.

message 36: by Foxtower (new)

Foxtower | 427 comments Welcome Rachel!

message 37: by Eileen (new)

Eileen Hi everyone, I'm Eileen. I was just surfing around GR and this looks like a nice friendly group. I love doing crafts and DIY projects. I enjoy working with my hands. I just finished making a t-shirt quilt out of all my daughters old cheerleading t-shirts (from 2nd grade through her college years) for her 21st birthday. It's also a surprise, so I don't tell her.

Looking forward to sharing my projects and learning new ones.

message 38: by Jim (last edited Dec 15, 2012 03:19AM) (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1191 comments Welcome, Eileen. That quilt sounds awesome. I love it when old stuff can be re-purposed into a beautiful, useful, & memorable present. That's the finest kind of DIY.

Katie is also into quilting & would probably love someone to discuss it with in our quilting topic here:

message 39: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 10 comments Hi Eileen!

message 40: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1191 comments A friend of mine - my help desk guy from my last job - just posted a quilt he's making on Facebook. Small world. Everyone's doing it.

message 41: by Eileen (new)

Eileen Thanks for the welcome, Jim and Rachel!

I'll be sure and check out the quilt thread.

message 42: by Foxtower (new)

Foxtower | 427 comments Welcome Eileen! I too enjoy learning what other cfaty people are up to and look forward to your posts!

message 43: by Mathew (new)

Mathew Carruthers | 8 comments Hello - I'm Mat. I'm sort of a jack-of-all-trades. I do construction work, but it's just to pay the bills. I was a teacher; prior to that I was a soldier. I like gardening, restoring vintage stuff (tools, fishing gear, and cameras), and canning my own jam and preserves. I've started home-brewing recently, too. I'm looking forward to refining some skills and picking up some new ones.

message 44: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1191 comments Welcome, Mat! If you don't see a topic you're looking for, let us know. Restoring is a real art, one that I don't know much about. I watch the Antiques Road Show & see how people ruin the value of items by cleaning them up all the time while others really need to get some cleaning done. A very fine line. I've done a bit of repair & restoration because Mom is in to antiques, but I'm not expert. She uses an expert on her better pieces, but they're pricey.

message 45: by Foxtower (new)

Foxtower | 427 comments Hi Matt! I'll "destroy" an antique shamelessly becuase I think the only real value something has is that it's useful and I enjoy it!

I restore old tools, old furniture and tractors to working condition and get many more years out of them!

Making dandelion wine is on my todo list, though the book I have on home brewing suggest starting with plain sugar water... we're all trying new things too!


message 46: by Eileen (new)

Eileen Welcome, Mat!

message 47: by Mathew (new)

Mathew Carruthers | 8 comments Dandelion wine? My family manufactures the DandyLion King - a tool for pulling weeds (or in some cases, harvesting them). We build them in the garage - all the parts are made in the USA, too. If something like that would get you closer to making your wine, make sure you look us up.

As for restoration - I'm in the middle of restoring a 1930's Graflex Speed Graphic view camera. A previous owner had removed the focal plane shutter cloth, then re-covered the camera body with fake leather to cover up the holes. I'm taking it down to the bare wood (full grain mahogany) and brass fittings. Won't be much for collectors as it is, technically, missing parts, but I can turn it into a good shooter. A shuttered lens solves the problem of not having the focal plane shutter.

With home brewing - if there is a homebrew supply store in your neck of the woods, they probably offer how-to classes on weekends. If not, just buy a brew kit to get started. Follow the instructions. Enjoy the fruits of your labor (minimal, since the yeast does most of the heavy lifting in the brewing process) after a few weeks. Save your bottles and do it again.

message 48: by Foxtower (new)

Foxtower | 427 comments Hey Matthew, thanks for the advice!

My nearest home brew supply is 40 miles away. Don't get down that way too often, and classes are out of the question since I don't currently have a vehicle.

But then, come early spring what I do have are tons of dandelions in bloom!

Sounds like you're into the really old cameras! I've dabbled in photography with old 35mm and 120 cameras and b/w film. but by the time I had the money and got everything for a darkroom the digital revolution made it all much cheaper using a photo editing program and a good printer. Need an enlarger?

I do miss the challenge of shooting two rolls of film with a model for three great photos, but not the expense!

message 49: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1191 comments I started to discuss my cameras & decided we should have a photography topic.

message 50: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra (alexbaddour) Hello! I'm Alexandra and I like general crafting. I'm especially into sewing and making tiny top hats and jewelry too. My friend is trying to teach me to knit as well.

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