Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wood Expressions Giveaway Winner

We have a winner!!!

But first…. thank you to everyone who entered and left a comment!



Ashley Brandes

Ashley said, “Love the Wooden Water Oak Vase Hand Turned”.


Thank you Wood Expressions for creating such a great giveaway!!  We came so close to 100 comments!

Please keep Wood Expressions in mind for this holiday season.




Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saturday Morning News

I don’t usually write on the weekends. 

Weekends are time for my family and a time for me to get all the things done that didn’t get done during the week before the next week begins!!!!

I just had to share with you this most delicious recipe that I found over at  The Idea Room.


Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes


{via The Idea Room}

Is that insane? 

I call it Insanely Good!!!!

Treat your little goblins this weekend.

I have personally made “Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes” twice for my kiddos (and who or we kidding? and for myself).  

Just one note.  I’m not sure if it’s just me or not but I had to alter the recipe a bit.  I add 2 1/2 cups of flour instead of the 1 cup of flour that the recipe calls for.  I placed the cinnamon swirl mixture into a ketchup squirt bottle that I purchased at the dollar store.  I had quite a bit of cinnamon and brown sugar ooey gooey goodness leftover that I refrigerated and used it again on the next batch.



And a totally different subject…


I entered “The Pottery Barn Inspired Bed Set” that my father and I made into the DIY Club Gorilla Glue Contest.

And we WON!

Now I get to do more projects.  A lot more projects!

Thank you everyone at the DIY Club and Gorilla Glue.



Friday, October 29, 2010

Wood Worker’s Workshop

I dare you to say that three times fast :D

I cleared my calendar on Friday so I could spend the day with my parents and my youngest son at the wood workshop in Hickory, NC.   (Incase anyone lives in the area, the workshop is FREE and will be going on all day Saturday.)

There was a lot to see, a lot to buy (just ask my father), and a lot to learn. 


This guy was making a wooden hat!


How cool is this?  A style for everyone ;P


My son and I sat an watched this gentleman carve a pumpkin.


He made it look so easy using only 3 tools.




Now it was our turn.


My son and I signed up to try our hands at tuning our own piece of wood.   Again totally free!!!


We started with a rectangle piece of wood and shaped it to a cylinder.



Here I’m shaping my piece of wood into a object. 

Any guesses on what I’m making?






Hand turned Honey Dipper

A honey dipper.

It was my whole reason for going!  Just joking.

Have a safe Halloween weekend,



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fall Crackled Blocks


On a recent shopping trip at Kirkland’s, with my mother, she spotted some cute little blocks with lettering.   Well my fabulous mother cut out some blocks of wood,  drilled a hole in the top, and gave me four blocks of my own!

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Here’s what I did with my four blocks


I spray painted each individual block with ORB (oil-rubbed bronze) spray paint, applied a coat of crackle medium, and then painted a top coat of white craft paint.  Once the blocks were dried, I glue together with Gorilla Super Glue.  

Because I go through withdrawals if I don’t do something with vinyl each week, I added brown vinyl lettering to the front. 


I bought some patriotic blocks a while back just for the stars on it to use on a “Patriotic Lamp” for my son’s room.  It also had these ORB candle cups.  I popped them out and glued them to my   “Crackled Fall Blocks”.


I decided to add the little scarecrow figure to the last cup hole.  It’s not glued because I thought I would flip it around and add a different vinyl saying to the back for another holiday!



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday Tip Photography in the Fall



{FALL Photographs}


Fall Leaves.jpg provided by JC Huggins Home Inspections Tucson 85740


1.  Avoid direct sunlight

Overcast days are your friend.  Bright sunny days create “hot spots” in the photograph along with creating too much contract among the colors.


2.  Get in close

Yes, while driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains is picturesque, often times the lens doesn’t capture the full depth that mother nature has to offer.  Instead, get in close to capture the detail.  Think color, think texture, and think shape.


3.  Focus your attention

Controlling your f-stop will put enface where you want it.  The lower the number the shallower the depth of field (less will be in focus).  The higher the number the more depth of field (more will be in focus).   My general guidelines is….. set the f-stop number to the number of objects in the photograph. 

Example:   If I’m photographing a fall scene with my three children, I’ll start at F-3.5-f-4.   *this is just a starting off point and I can adjust to my liking.  Even point-and-shoot cameras allow you to control your depth.  The  “portrait” setting will have a shorter depth of field where as the “landscape” setting will give you a larger depth of field.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wood Expressions Giveaway

The fine folks at Wood Expressions (that would be my parents) have teamed up with Dittle Dattle (that would be me) to put together a one of a kind giveaway. 

Yes, this adorable wooden box will be going home to one lucky winner!

  Will it be you?


{The Details}

The box is made by hand turning beech wood on a lathe.   This little gem measures 11cm by 9 1/2 cm.

Finished with a coat of salad bowl oil (safe for food), waxed and buffed.



A natural hole in the wood is filled with epoxy and filled with turquoise crushed stones.  I just love that detail!


Added textured detail to the inside lid and the bottom of the box. 

No small detail is left unnoticed.


To Enter:

Simply leave a comment saying     “I want it!” 


Additional Entries:

  1. Visit Wood Expressions’ etsy store and leave a comment stating which item you like the most.
  2. Follow Dittle Dattle blog and leave a comment stating that you do.
  3. “Like  Us” on Dittle Dattle facebook and leave a comment stating that you do.

{That gives you 4 possible entries!!!!}

The giveaway will end on Sunday, October 31 at 11:00 est


Good luck everyone!


Thank You

from Dittle Dattle and Wood Expressions

Friday, October 22, 2010

Shadow Box Frame Tutorial Part 2

Let’s continue…..

if you missed PART 1 click here

Spackling Benjamin-Moore-Iron-Clad-black-paint

Remove the masking tape from the corners of the frame.  Apply spackling to any corners or imperfections.

Lightly sand the entire frame with a 220 grit sand paper.  Prime and paint the frame.  I’m using my favorite black paint, Benjamin Moore’s Ironclad Metal & Wood Enamel.


{Mounting and Framing the Photograph}


Photo mount spray by 3M is one great way to mount your photograph or artwork.  Protect your work surface with paper or plastic, shake the can well, and apply the adhesive in a criss cross pattern.  Spray both the mount board and the back of the photograph.  Allow the adhesive to set for 2-3 minutes before bonding together.  I always spray photograph first and then my mount board.  This will prevent any spray from accidently getting on the front of the photograph.


If you ever need a good work surface, I find that the air hockey or ping-pong tables are always clear and ready to be used.   lol  

{just protect the surface first}

Clean the glass well on both sides.  Be extremely careful of cut glass.  The raw edges are very sharp. 

Be 100% sure that the glass is dry before laying down the photograph on the glass.


I used a framing gun to hold everything securely, placing around 5 or 6 points to each side.


If you don’t have a framing gun, there are points available that can be used manually with a flat head screw driver. 


Add a professional touch by placing a brown paper backing to the back of the frame. 

This helps keep dust from entering between the glass and the photograph! 

  1. Cut a piece of brown craft paper slightly larger than the frame itself.
  2. Place a strip of two-sided tape around the outside edge. 
  3. Lay down the craft paper on the tape, keeping it tight.
  4. Using a sharp utility knife, cut the along the outside edge.


Add a picture frame hanger to the back.  Because the size of my frame, I will be using two hangers placed 4 inches in from each side.

 ***I have found over the years that upholstery tacks work great with these metal hangers.  The tacks have a large head so as not to fall through the holes and it taps in easily without pre-drilling.


Add bumpers to all the corners. 

Bumpers keep the frame from scratching the wall and allows the frame to hang level from the wall because of the hangers.


A trick I use when hanging artwork up and to find where to place a nail in the wall with out fancy gadgets.  TOOTHPASTE.

I add a little dab of toothpaste to the center of the hanger, right where the nail needs to go.  Find the spot on the wall where you want the frame and press against the wall.  Pull the frame straight off the wall and your left with the exact place you need to place the nail!

Because I had two hangers, I added a dab of toothpaste on both hangers and had my daughter set a level on top of the frame while I held the frame and pressed it to the wall.


The most dangerous part of this DIY Shadow Box Frame……

when my daughter removed the level off the top of the frame she accidently hit me in the nose with the level!   Ouch   and as I sat the frame down so I could rub my nose she accidently dropped the level against the frame and chipped a tiny bit of paint! 

Kids are so great at helping us create memories!?!?!

No worries.  Nothing broke and nothing that couldn’t be easily fixed.

And the whole time my cell phone was ringing.  It was my father calling to say he saw Part 1 and thought the frame turned out great.  And to jokingly tell me that he had tools that look just like the ones I was using.  Ha Ha


The final reveal….

A photograph that I took of my boys earlier this month after they finished riding their dirt bikes.

This shadow box frame hangs between their bedrooms.  Incidentally, my youngest son’s room is to the left (the side he’s standing on) and my oldest son’s room is to the right  (the side he is standing on).


Should I add a small table or shelf below the frame? 

Once I’m finished re-doing my son’s room I plan on repainting this hallway and loft area.   Just need to decide what color yet.



Thursday, October 21, 2010

Shadow Box Frame Tutorial Part 1

I am at it again…..

Another frame.  But with a twist.  This time I’m standing the wood on it’s side and creating a shadow box frame.  If you want to create a standard frame the basic process is the same.


I’m using pine boards that were left over from my sons’ PB Inspired Beds. Click here and here.  Because I already had the material this frame will be cost me nothing to make!  Love that ;P

Let’s make a frame.

Figure out the size of the photo/art your making your frame for.  Mine photograph measures 24x36.

First thing is to make sure the boards are even, both in thickness and widthwise.  As you can see in my above photo, my boards are not.

*I haven’t cut my boards to size yet.  I just know that I have 4 boards that I can get 2-24” and 2-36” cuts from.  I’ll cut them once there all even.


With this planer, I stood the boards on their side and ran them through several times on each side to even the boards width. 

*This could also be done by ripping a board on a table saw.


Next I ran the boards through this sander on the wide flat side.  Repeat for both sides of each board.   Now all the boards are of the same thickness and width.  This is so important if you want your 45 degree angles to come out PERFECT45-degree-cuts-on-Table-saw

Now for the 45 degree cuts.  I’m using a table saw with a jig that my dad made.  This photo doesn’t show it but the blade is raised up high enough to cut the board standing on it’s side,  basically at it’s highest position.

*You could use a table saw, a chop saw, or even a miter saw to make your 45 degree cuts.  

I always make pencil line on my boards before making 45 degree cuts in the direction that the cut needs to be made.  I always remember that the angle goes from narrow on the inside to wide on the outside.

Before you make your cuts…..

you must make the inside dimension of the  frame smaller than your photo/artwork.  If I made the frame to measure 24x36,  I wouldn’t be able to mount the photograph to the frame.  It would fall straight through the frame. 

I decided that I would make the frame overlap each side by 3/8" of an inch on each side.  (3/8” + 3/8” = 3/4”) Therefore,  my overall inside measurements of the frame needs to be  3/4 inches smaller both horizontally and vertically.  My inside frame dimension will be 23 1/4 by 35 1/4 inches. dry-fit-shadow-box-frame

Lay out all the boards to create a dry fit,  make sure everything lines up, and make any necessary adjustments. 

Everything should fit together nicely. Number or label the sides but don’t glue together yet!


Using this tool (the name escapes me) to create a recessed ledge on the inside bottom of the frame for the glass and photo mount.

I’m hoping not to loose anyone here… math is required.

I first adjust the guide (long silver thing above the blade) to cut 3/8th  inch.  Next I adjust the blade height.  I’ll start by removing an 1/8th inch and continue to raise the blade by 1/8” until the cut is about 1/2” deep.   This will provide me enough room for the glass, photograph, and a mount board to set inside the frame.


I drew a line on the inside bottom of each board to remind me which side I was cutting!  {see the red mark}  That would be bad if I cut on the outside of one board. 

*You could also create this ledge using a table saw, a router bit, or…..  add small piece of molding to the top and let it over hang.   I’m learning that there is more than one way  to skin a cat  to work with wood.


{Assembling a Photo Frame}


Step 1:  Place a piece of masking tape on the outside corner as pictured above. (I should have used a wider piece of masking tape)  Lay the board down flat with sticky side of the masking tape facing upwards.


Step 2:  Line up the next side and press down on the masking tape.   See how nice the corners match? 


Step 3:  Raise up one board to check the fit.  Using a good wood glue, (my favorite being Gorilla Glue) apply glue to both ends.


Step 4:  Raise up one side and press corners together.  See the glue squishing out?  That’s a good thing!   Now repeat for the other 3 corners.  Apply more masking tape if needed.  Allow the glue to dry for an hour or two.

To be continued……



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Seasonal Planter

My pots at the front steps were in a desperate state.  

You know when planters and pots get at that in-between stage:    end of one season and you haven’t bother to plant for the following season. 

Well, that’s what my planters looked like.


It was my day off and I didn’t feel like much like driving into town to buy some new plants and I’m still recouping from spending more money on my son’s birthday present than I wanted to (Playstation 3 Move).

So what to do on a zero budget?


Walk around the yard and cut some weeds wildflowers, trimmings, and branches.  The purple perennials are still holding on but the rest of the plants are gone now. 

I started by cutting some willow branches for height and added other trimmings and wildflowers in the front to fill. 


A cute little faux pumpkin that I carved hangs from a Sheppard's hook.  The hook was left over from a landscape lighting that came with both a hook and a stem.  It’s like getting a free gift!


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