Projects

Easy Bicycle Gear Clock DIY

A couple months ago I came across a DIY project for a clock made out of a bicycle break disc that I decided would make a great Christmas present for Chad. A month and a half later, I totally forgot what part of the bicycle I was supposed to use, so I asked my brother-in-law if he could get a hold of “that one part of a bicycle that you wrap the chain around.” He was like, “You mean the gear?” And I was like, “Uh…yeah?” He got me a bicycle gear like I requested, and I was surprised to find there was nothing in the center to attach clock pieces to! I had requested the wrong part for the DIY with no time for mistakes.

20140105-180308.jpg

I tried to think of something good to attach behind the gear so that I could add a clock face and/or numbers and clock hands. I thought about getting a metal sheet, but that would involve also buying metal cutting scissors and the price of the project was starting to grow quickly. Instead, I opted for plexiglass, which the craft store employee said could be easily cut with an Xacto knife. (She was kind of lying. It was not easy, and the edges turned out kind of rough. Lucky for me, the edges can’t be seen because I measured the circle of plexi glass to be slightly smaller than the diameter of the gear). After cutting the plexiglass to size, I tested out the clock face so I could cut out a circle in the middle for the hands and battery.

20140105-180317.jpg

Once again, I didn’t have to make the hole super pretty, because the clock face would be covering the edges of the hole. I tried using a hot glue gun to glue the gear to the plexiglass, but to no avail. This project seemed to be getting more and more difficult! Finally, I got some crazy glue, and that did the trick.

20140105-180325.jpg

I glued the gear to the plexiglass base, added the clock face, and placed the easy-to-install clock parts.

20140105-180332.jpg

Then, I mounted it on the wall! I was pretty happy with how it turned out, especially because despite the minor setbacks, it was a pretty easy DIY gift overall. The best part is that Chad likes it, too! Did you make any gifts or receive any handmade gifts over the holiday season?

Learning

The long year is over

 

 

When I think of the last year, I want to listen to The Long Day is Over by Norah Jones, but change the lyrics to “The Long Year is Over.” It’s such a pretty song, and I feel like the melody captures the way it feels after nearly giving up before finding some hope to go on. To be honest, 2013 was probably the hardest year of my life, for a lot of different reasons. I can look back throughout the entire year and remember so many struggles, and yet–I made it through. I know that a New Year is sort of just a symbol, but I am going to embrace it as a force for change and be positive about a much better year ahead. I’m excited to get back into blogging more regularly, and to being creative again. I’m excited for a fresh start and any new changes ahead. And I’ve had a lot of conversations with incredibly supportive people that have encouraged me and helped me believe: everything will be alright.

To celebrate the New Year, I made acorn squash, marinated steak, broccoli and Italian toast for dinner on New Year’s Eve!

20140101-202638.jpg

20140101-202649.jpg

I want to swim in that butter and brown sugar.

Then, Chad and I watched movies until it was time for the ball to drop. Just before, we shared a little cake, and then we got champagne ready for toasting.

20140101-202655.jpg

20140101-202702.jpg

It was a nice, much-needed relaxing night at home (as well as a fresh start!). Tonight I’ll be working on the Unravelling the Year Ahead Workbook, and then I’ll be going to bed early because I’ve got to work in the morning. How did you ring in the new year?

Uncategorized

Happy Holidays

20131218-194702.jpg

It’s tough to take nice pictures of Christmas trees with an iPhone, but I had to try!

This is our first Christmas tree, three of my favorite ornaments (a Precious Moments one with my birth month & stone, a sushi one, & a Starbucks one!), and Christmas cards written and ready to be sent. It’s amazing to think that a year ago tomorrow, we were on our way to Thailand. (That can also get depressing to think about when I look at the cold snow outside, so we’re not going to talk about that anymore right now.) Anyway, I’m looking forward to the holidays next week, and I am REALLY looking forward to my best friend visiting from Japan! What is something you’re looking forward to in the coming week?

 

P.S. This is my 100th post! Time flies!

Uncategorized

On the 4th…

We spent our 4th of July evening grilling, drinking good beer and watching fireworks:

20130705-135055.jpg

20130705-135110.jpg

 

During the national anthem before the fireworks, we stood, and I put my hand over my heart. I was surprised to see most of the people surrounding me didn’t do the same. Of course there are good and bad things about every country, but when it comes down to it, I am incredibly grateful to be an American, and I’m grateful to be free. I was glad to celebrate the holiday in my own country, and to take a moment–hand over heart–to appreciate being home.

 

20130705-135118.jpg

By the way, aren’t Wish Lanterns beautiful? I think they’re so romantic!

20130705-163349.jpg

Heard

It’s a good excuse that I love to use…

So many people are holiday haters, and start ranting about materialism and about how holidays are arbitrary as soon as one approaches. I was on my way to the station this morning when a song by Kina Grannis came on (I mentioned her beautiful version of Sound of Silence last week). The song was called “Valentine,” and it really summed up my feeling about that holiday–and all holidays, really.

There is a line that says, “It’s a good excuse that I love to use, baby I know what to do: I will love you, I’ll love you, I’ll love you.” She also talks about not needing “those things,” and I totally agree. I don’t need an excuse to go crazy loving my husband (I always do, anyway!), and I never need an excuse to celebrate! But I love all holidays, theme parties, normal parties…any reason to get together. I embrace every moment we have to share joy, whether through a Valentine song, a dinner, or a quick conversation and a hug. It may sound cheesy, but I truly believe in the clichΓ© of making every moment we have together count.

How do you feel about holidays? Are you looking forward to any gatherings soon?

Heard

Heard: “Real Good Hands”

Say what you will about Valentine’s Day, but I love it. I love all holidays, in fact. I get that many of them are company-driven and that many people tend to focus on the more materialistic aspects of the days, but give me a reason to have a party, celebrate, or make an ordinary day extraordinary and I’m definitely game!

On this Valentine’s Day, I’ve been stuffed up and laying around all day trying to get some rest–there is no good timing for being sick, but right now is especially bad timing! Despite it all, I am still planning a little something for my handsome husband (maybe more on that another day?).

Since it is Valentine’s Day, no matter my sniffles and coughs, I’ve been listening to some lovely music to fit the mood. Last weekend I was listening to a segment on NPR’s American Public Media in which Gregory Porter was being interviewed, and I fell in love with his song “Real Good Hands.” In the interview, Porter said how he wanted to show his true intentions to his then-girlfriend’s father, and so he wrote a song about it. I love the way he reaches out to her father by saying her father was once in Porter’s shoes, that he somehow “paid (his) dues.” Such a great song!

I’ve been listening to this song dreamily all day (perhaps that dreamy feeling is sickness-induced?). What are you listening to these days?