Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tutorial: Hand sanitizer bottles

If you know me then you know that I'm a little bit of a germ freak. I'm not too  bad though. I just like to bathe with anti-bacterial soaps/body washes and use lots of soap while doing the dishes and I go through a lot of hand sanitizer. It seemed like I was always digging around in my purse for my bottle of hand sanitizer. The picture in my previous post seemed to be the answer to my problems. Purell makes what they call "Jelly wraps" which can be attached to car keys, purses, backpacks etc. They just are not available in Cebu and I really wanted a way to find my bottle of hand sanitizer quick when I really needed it. (like when my silly son puts his hands on the floor in a public restroom to stoop down and take a peek at the unsuspecting lady in the next stall :O) So I took a good look at the design and after a little brain storming my plan looked like this:

  1. Find some way to permanently attach some kind of thick thread/string to the bottle so that it would not slide off during refilling
  2. Tie something to the end of the string that can attach to a bag but still be removable to go from bag to bag

Hey, I said after a LITTLE brain storming. :)

I went shopping to see what kind of bottles were  available and I found one that has a little lip lower than where the lid screws on....

  So now I can tie my string around here and not worry about it slipping off when I need to refill.  

As I was thinking things through in my mind, I realized that I  could take this a step further and PAINT my bottle to personalize it and make it even cuter! So i took the stickers off and used WD40 to make sure I got all the sticky off. 

After cleaning the bottle up I took some very fine sandpaper and sanded the area I was going to paint. I only wanted to do the front and back panels but if you want to paint the whole thing then sand the whole thing. You really need to sand it to help the paint stick better. If you don't, I fear, even with a protective spray on it, the paint will easily come off where you have painted.

First coat of paint after sanding
I used acrylic paints for my bottles. I am not going to pretend to be a great artist or to give you any advice on painting except don't be afraid to try whatever you think up. I tried doing a camouflage print on one of these and it turned out ugly as all get out and I just grabbed a knife and scraped the paint off. It took a while but I was able to try again and got a much better result.

Here's what I painted for myself...

It was inspired by my favorite painting "Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh. I love how it turned out!

After I finished painting, I put masking tape on the lid and sent my hubby outside with a bottle of clear acrylic spray paint. I had attached a string to the lid when I taped so we could hang it up to dry. I had Clint spray mine 3 times just to be safe, but one or two coats might work too. I'd rather be safe than sorry with hand painted things. If you just want a pretty bottle in your purse then you can stop here, but if you are like me and wanted something that can hang outside your purse read on.

So I figured my best bet for fixing this up to hang outside  my purse was going to involve digging up my old friendship bracelet making skills.

What you need:
  • 3 strands of embroidery floss (Like for cross stitching. DMC or Anchor brand) in a color/colors that compliment your painted bottle - 20 inches for each strand.
  • A little key chain caribiner
  • A small metal ring that fits through the caribiner

20 inches of 3 strands. You need longer string if you use 4 or more strands.

 Then take your threads and wrap them around the bottle neck in the groove leaving equal amounts of thread on either side because you will be weaving with the excess thread. Make a double knot to secure.
I tried to take pictures showing how to do the weaving but many of them did not turn out well and I found a link to show you pretty simply how to do it so I'm putting the link here and you can take a look at it.

I did want to add a little tip here. When you make your knots around the first string (ex. yellow on farthest on the left) you will need to make the knots up close to the big knot securing the strings to the bottle. When you do the second string (yellow closer to the right) you will need to let the knots set a bit lower. It will naturally set a bit lower bit don't give into the temptation to push it all the way up to the top because if you do, your weave will twist as you are working on it. Let the knots rest in a diagonal line because that's the way it's supposed to be.

You don't need to weave a very long strand but it depends on the size of your caribiner. The smallest one I could find was two inches long so my weave was about the same length. But if you would like one longer than that then just make sure to add a few inches more thread.

Before you tie your knot at the end divide the 6 ends to 3 and 3 and slip a small metal ring onto one half. Then make your final double knot.

Then slip your caribiner onto the metal ring. Now you can clip your beautiful creation anywhere.


If you cannot find a bottle with a lip to tie the strings around then you should just put them at the base of the lid where it screws on (make sure the lid is on securely before making your intial double knot) and just take extra care to not let it slip off while you refill in the future.

I have had mine on my bag for a couple of weeks now and I have not had any scratching off of the paint or chipping so it looks like the painting idea was a success. (I was worried my hard work painting would still scrape off even after 3 coats of paint) I hope you guys feel inspired to give this a try. It was fun to do. I've made several and plan to make more for gifts for people.

So there you have it. I hope my first tutorial was easy enough to understand. I'm happy to share this idea with you all and I hope someone benefits from it. Let me know if you have any questions and if you decide to make it, please let me know how it worked out for you.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Craft time again!

I really don't know how I am able to make pretty things for myself and the people I love. I suppose I have my sweet husband to thank for that because if it was just Andrew and I, I would seriously get nothing done but clean up food off the floor, wash clothes, watch Elmo, and play one of the million varieties of ball games he enjoys.

But... since God has blessed me with a fantastic husband....


Aren't they just the cutest things ever? I like to cross stitch and I adore cute snowmen so these were a perfect craft to work on.

I also made this for a special someone with the patterns out of an old tole painting magazine I got from my Grandma Wilkey.

Not bad for a first try. It's a pretty big box too. I'm very happy with the way it turned out. I just bought a cardboard box at the craft store and painted it with acrylic paint and sealed it with clear acrylic spray.

Moving on... My next post will be a tutorial of a craft that was inspired by this....

I know the suspense is going to eat at you until then!

If you  would like more info on the crafts you've seen above or in my previous post please let me hear about it. Leave a comment!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Crafts galore!

As I mentioned before, I've been working on some crafts and I figured I'd share some of what I've been doing with y'all.

First on the agenda is something that I saw on a Sesame Street podcast showing some kids at a preschool and I thought it would be a great idea for Andrew.

Andrew knows his colors and shapes but the teacher in the video used the shapes on the wall to let the kids trace with their finger. I figured Andrew could definitely benefit from that. So I just used construction paper and cut the shapes out and drew and outline on the edge and then laminated them then taped them to the door. Simple, cheap and great!

Just to give you an idea of how big I made the shapes. They are all taped down where he can reach them without needing a stool or chair. That's it. :)

Next is Christmas ornaments. I like to add an ornament per person in our family each year. I was planning to cross stitch ornaments this year but due to time constraints I decided to paint instead. I had some wooden ornaments like this one I bought from Hobby Lobby years ago and never got around to painting.

So I pulled out my acrylic paints and glitter glue and painted one for Andrew and I and Clint painted his own. :)

Andrew's Ornament

Mommy's Ornament

Daddy's Ornament
So there they are. Sorry the pictures really aren't that great. At least you can see them. They still need a coat of spray paint to help seal the acrylic paint we used. I'm very happy with them and they go great on our only non-breakable ornament Christmas tree this year. :)

Another thing I did which I don't know if it would classify as a craft although it is something creative was this:

Another not so great picture. I painted my nails one of my favorite colors and then took my "nail art pen" and just put polka dots on them. I had to get Clint's help to do the right hand. It is a simple way to add a little something to your nails if you like stuff like that. I think it looks cute.

I have a few more things to post about but maybe I will make that for another post another day. I hope you enjoyed reading and maybe have been inspired to do a craft or two of your own. It really is fun to get your creativity going. As I said before I'd love to hear about crafts you guys are doing or have done that you would like to share.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Beam me up Scotty!

Ok, so who else is ready for someone to invent a Star Trek transporter device already? I always hate saying goodbyes and because it's either us leaving dear family and friends behind in the USA or them leaving us behind here in the Philippines it's so hard to say goodbye because we are really half a world away and it is NOT cheap to fly and you can't just drive out to visit for the weekend.

We took Clint's mom, Rhonda and his Aunt Thresa to the airport today and they are in Singapore as I type this waiting for their next flight headed to the USA. I cried for several reasons; 1) I love Clint's family and it's always hard to say goodbye to people you love, 2) I'm sad because I know it has to be hard for them (especially grandma) to say goodbye to us but mostly to Andrew of course, 3) I am sad that Andrew won't see them for at least another year and 4) they started to cry and I always cry when I see other people crying about something I'm also sad about. :( *sniffle*

On the bright side, I'm so thankful for the blessed memories we have of their trip here. We went to the beach, did some shopping, ate some great food, more shopping, did some sight seeing and took a bunch of pictures. I'm happy to know from the fact that Andrew knew who Rhonda was when she first arrived that our weekly video chats with "Grandy" and "Poppa" really help him to know his grandparents even though they live so far away. Technology is truly a blessing. Thank you God!

On another note:
I'm planning to make a post this week about some of the crafts I've been doing. We'll see how that goes. Ha!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Busy much?

I have been buried in a mountain of "to do" lists this past couple of weeks and although I make progress it seems the mountain of things to do just keeps getting bigger. I have classes to teach, my house seems to take on water every time it rains hard, I've got a toddler to chase after, feed, teach things to, help go tinkle 20,000 times a day and so on. I know I'm blessed by God but if He blesses me any more I may need hospitalization soon. Yes, I'm in a slightly grumpy mood but only because I'm exhausted and getting sick too. :( BOO!

On the flip side, if you asked me how life is and I wasn't in a grumpy mood I would tell you how they really are. Life is great! I have the smartest, sweetest little boy running around keeping me busy, God is helping us in our efforts to spread His word here, my wonderful MIL just arrived for a week and a half visit (bringing lots of goodies including Dr. Pepper) and Clint's aunt will be arriving in just a couple days. It is great to feel loved and that people would come all this way to see us.

A lot of the things I have been working on have been home improvement projects. I'm so glad God blessed me with an easy going husband who makes me stop and breath every now and then because I apparently have a very big OCD streak in me that is always longing for everything to have it's own place and I have not yet achieved that in my house so I'm still not satisfied. We have come a long way though. I worked hard to get things organized before Rhonda, my MIL, came and this is the stack I ended up with that still need places to go.

Not too bad. Unfortunately  it seems the stack is slowly reproducing. Hopefully I'll tackle  this soon or at least move it off the table so we can eat at the table. *sigh* So much to do.

On a happier note... check out this epically adorable picture of my son enjoying some Halloween stickers Rhonda got for him.

Feel free to stop for a few moments to take it all in.

I've also been working on several crafty sort of things. I've got Cross stitch projects, learning tools for Andrew, painting projects, sewing projects and I've been doing a bit of reading on photography for beginners because we just got a really nice camera on Ebay for super cheap and I'm excited to learn how to take dramatically better pictures.

If you are reading please leave a comment! I've made it so that someone can comment even if they don't have an account on here. I would love to hear about what kind of crafts you guys are working on.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'm in love!

So I was checking out my mom's cousin's etsy site the other day and found this.
I absolutely love this idea. I have always liked the idea of birthstone rings/jewelry but not the fact that you can't add a stone for a child/grandchild born later. But the idea for stack-able rings is just great! I told Clint he has to get me something like this in the future. I just love this! Andrew is Garnet and Clint is Sapphire so those two go great together for sure.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A few of my favorite things...

Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

I'm sure this picture is a favorite to many people and I definitely have no knowledge about art whatsoever but this picture just mesmerizes me. My favorite part is the moon which just makes me smile looking at it. I love the way it is painted with little strokes of color that all work together kind of like a mosaic to make this gorgeous picture. It makes me happy. I suppose it is kind of like all the blessings God gives us that make our lives so beautiful. I just need to stop critiquing the individual strokes and see the masterpiece He has made for me.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

An out of diaper experience

All parents long for the time when they can kiss diapers goodbye. I did not think that time would come so soon with Andrew but apparently my genuis/super handsome/sweet tempered (albeit stubborn just like his momma) son is also quick to learn about the potty. A few weeks back I recieved an email from Baby with this link. I read about potty training in 3 days and decided that I'd give it a try. I figured if Andrew could be concerend about one droplet of juice on the floor so much so that he asks mommy and daddy for a rag in increasingly alarmed tones and drag me to the door when he's ready to go home then he can certainly tell me when he needs to tinkle. So a week ago we began the 3 day torture experiment. So armed with a mop, and some serious patience I battled against a naked 20 month old for three straight days. At first there was tinkle (yes, we call it tinkle) EVERYWHERE! But by the second day we were already having several successes. And yes, I stooped down to bribery on day two but one skittle per tinkle isn't really a lot and besides that, he was quizzed on his colors at the same time so it's educational too. Right?

Apparently, there is something about being home for period of time with a naked baby and his loaded bladder that can drive a mommy nuts because I almost had a meltdown. (I think Clint would say that I DID actually have said meltdown but what does he know? Ok so maybe a little meltdown.) We survived though and Andrew has done an incredible job! We had a couple of accidents after the first 3 initial days but we have been accident free for over 48 hours now. Our statistics are better than I could have dreamed lastweek. I think I should mention that we are by no means night time potty trained yet. I have him sleeping in a diaper. I imagine we will let this potty habit really sink in before we mix things up even more. We had our second evening out tonight after daddy's class to get some groceries and we didn't have any accidents so I think we're doing great! It was so worth the stress of this week just to have him day trained. It never occured to me while I was dreaming about having children or pregnant that, one day, I could ever be THIS excited about tinkle or poop! Thank you God for blessing me with such a great kid and thank you mom and dad for potty training me because if you hadn't that could be a bit awkward for me now.

220 Outlet?

Ok so I've been keeping up with a few blogs lately and decided maybe I should start one for all the stuff I don't get to share with people in our monthly reports and such. Theres a lot going on in our lives that is not directly related to our work but I'd still love to share with many of our family and friends. So this here is my outlet for those things. I decided on the name "220 Outlet" for three reasons: 1) because this is my outlet, 2) we live in the Philippines where all electrical outlets are 220 and 3) I'm just random like that. :)

So here we go! I hope this blog doesn't come as a shock to anyone. (Get it? Shock? Outlet?)

PS. Thanks to my wonderful tech-savvy hubby who helped me set this up and made my super cute logo up there ^^^^^^