Monday, April 21, 2014

Clay Pot Wind Chimes

Spring is in the air. FINALLY! At the first sign of spring,  I can't stop obsessing about my garden and though it its too cold for me to start planting, I can still start decorating.  My little treasures hanging from the trees and on the ground gives my garden a hint of fantasy and whimsy. No garden is complete without wind chimes.

  • 3 - Different sized clay pots painted and sealed with clear coat spray
  • Assortment of Pony  beads 
  • 3 feet of Fishing Line (30 lb test)
  • 3  - 5/8th inch washers
  • 3 different sized washers the width of the bottom of each of your clay pots.
  • A decorative key OR fishing weight

I decided to go with fun spring colors. One important note, remember this is going UPSIDE DOWN so make sure whatever you paint is going in the correct direction. I realized this half way through painting the pots. Lucky for me I went with shapes in different directions so it didn't matter.

The smaller washers are used to hold the pots in place and the larger ones are used to hit up against the pot and make the 'chime' sound (its is more like a clank). 

You start stringing these suckers with the middle pot. First, tie a 5/8 washer in the middle of your fishing line and double knot it. About a finger width lower, tie the middle sized washer on, DO NOT double knot it. The reason is that you want to be able to adjust it just in case it is too low or two high. You don't want it hanging too low because you want the pot to hide it.

After the two washers are tied on, you can slide your middle clay pot on the fishing line. This is when I started to get excited because it actually looked like a chime. Now you want to tie on the biggest washer above the middle sized clay pot (just once because you want to be able to adjust it). Right above that you want to tie on the 5/8 washer. Slide the large clay pot on top of your newly placed washers and you are almost there. 

Now that you have two clay pots on your fishing line, you need to finish with the last one. Slide the smallest clay pot on below the middle clay pot, then tie on the 5/8 washer, then right below that tie on the smaller of the three washers.

You may have to fool around with the fishing line to adjust the pots to be in the correct places. This is why I only double knotted the first 5/8 washer and none of the others.

Once you have your pots in the correct places you can tie a loop at the top of your fishing line for easy hanging then start sliding your pony beads on the top of the string. When I'm finished sliding my pony beads on I like to knot it to keep it secure. 

Now you can start sliding pony beads at the bottom of the string, tie on your fishing weight or decorative key (if you are lucky enough to have one) and you magically have chimes!

Grade: A  
Skill Level: Low
Difficulty Level: Low
Frustration Level: Moderate
Price: $ - $$

Its a little frustrating playing around with the fishing line to get the wind chimes in the correct place.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Geocaching Attempt 1

"Geo" -  earth and; "caching" - hiding a way for future use, are the root words that describe the new game sweeping my technologically trendy friends.  Its basically a treasure hunt where you use your phone (with the help of your phone GPS and and a 9 dollar app) you locate your treasure box and trade your old treasure for a new one. 

5 minute easy find
I bought the app, registered, stocked the kids with tiny backpacks full of toys that can fit in your pocket and off we went! I noticed that there was a location marked 'easy' in the park right by our house and only took 5 minutes to walk from our home. On the geocaching site it was labeled '5 Minute Easy Find.' They even give you hints on where you can find your cache. Unfortunately, we spent 15 minutes looking for our "5 minute easy find" and still couldn't find it. 

My husband insisted that it MUST have been moved, so we decided to hop in our car and go off to location number 2 which was also rated as an easy find. 


At this point the natives were getting restless. And the complaints started rolling in.
Second easy find
"I'm bored."
"This is too hard."
"My shoes are muddy."
And that was just my husband.

I insisted that we go to location 3 because mom ain't no quitter. We drive there, I'm ready to hop out of the car and my husband yells at me "ITS POSTED!!! You CAN'T go on that property, you are gonna get shot."

"But on the map it says it IS a township park." At this point I don't care if I am trespassing, I'm gonna find me some treasure and we are having a fun day dammit. 

"GET BACK IN THE CAR! If you are shot, who is taking care of the children?" My husband snorted.


Off to location 4. And the complaints are rolling in again about how the terrain is rough with sticker bushes and muddy. Seriously people, its outdoors. I'm not sure what my family expects outdoors to look like, but this is it. 

The hint from the geocashing app was great, so I was sure that I was standing in the exact location of where the treasure should be located, sticker bushes and all, but still no little container.  AGAIN NO TREASURE. 

Finally we gave up, I couldn't take the complaining anymore. Next time I'm leaving all the whiners at home and taking my girlfriend Cheri, she is good at finding things, and doesn't complain like men and children.

Family Ratings
Dad: D
Girl: B (my eternal optimist)
Boy: Whats a Rating?
Mom: C (because of the complaints)