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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Milk Jug Skeleton

I came across this nifty DIY Halloween craft on another site and thought " How cool! That looks easy!" (eye rolling). However, I can make anything more complicated without much effort. When I gathered my milk jugs, thinking this was going to be a quickie, it didn't occur to me to document the process with pictures or video, so I'll try to remember and describe the steps as best I can.

First, I was prowling the web and came across the idea on two different sites, HERE and HERE The diagrams on the second one were of great help to me.
I gathered six milk jugs, which is oddly easy for me. I rinse out our milk jugs as soon as they are empty so I have a stash. A side note here: I squirt a little of my dish soap (Ajax orange) into the jug, replace lid and shake it vigorously for several seconds. Dump it out and rinse out the bubbles. The jug is clean with no milk odor.

Ok so I gathered my milk jugs. I didn't have a grease pencil so I grabbed what was handy - a Crayola thin marker. I first looked at the parts that required the handles of the jugs - the hands, feet and shoulders. Using the marker, I just drew out the shapes free-hand. Whenever I wasn't happy with the shape I drew or made a mistake, I used a wet rag to wipe it off so I could do it again. My hands got some of this marker on them in this process, but I was able to scrub it off fairly easy.
Once I had those parts cut out I began using the jugs to cut out the head, chest and hips from those same jugs, since these three body parts didn't need the handles. I then drew and cut out the bones and knees from the remaining two jugs.
I noticed that on the page that had the diagrams for cutting, the skeleton had been painted with glow-in-the-dark paint and I loved that! I knew I was going to do something like that on mine. I am a bit OCD and a perfectionist when it comes to art and crafting. I got carried away and every part of my skeleton has designs on them. I painted all the parts before assembling the skeleton. I used both Tulip Glow In the Dark in Natural Glow and Glo-It by DecoArt. Since the Glo-It is such a small bottle, I mixed them together. The only complaint I have is neither of these glow bright enough for my taste. I wanted this thing to glow BRIGHT and outside, it doesn't. I am thinking of making another if I can find a way to really make it G-L-O-W.
I used my Dremel tool to make the holes in the locations shown on the diagrams (on the other site) and then used fishing line to tie parts together. It may have been the way I attached the shoulders, but mine moved way to much and would not stay on the sides so I used a spot of E6000 to glue the shoulders to the top of the chest jug. Worked great!

So there is my Skeleton! It was a lot of fun to make and I already have ideas running through my head for making some different ones! :)





Saturday, October 27, 2012

Keurig Vue V700 Brewer

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I received a Keurig Vue V700 Brewer last month to try and demonstrate at a party. Our good coffee maker had bit the dust and we were existing with the back-up, an old plastic thing that smells when it heats up and dispenses into a carafe that doesn't keep the coffee hot for any length of time, so it goes without saying, I was super excited to be chosen! We had looked at Keurig brewers online and in stores and were undecided about getting one. Not really understanding how they worked, I didn't know if I'd like the little cups and making single cups of coffee. Now having used the machine for about a month, I can say I LOVE it! It is quite cool to be able to fix a cup of coffee to one person's liking and then fixing the beverage of my choice immediately afterwards. You can adjust the brew to the size of the cup, adjust the water temperature and make hot or cold beverages. I had my first cappachino and my first iced coffee a few weeks ago. Both were much better than I had allowed myself to think they would be. I like to add a splash of sugar to my cappachino and since I like flavored creamers and sometimes a little sugar in my coffee, I add the ice after brewing instead of before. That's the beauty in the system. You make it how YOU want it. There are a few flavors we have tried that are just too strong for our taste, mainly the dark roast and a few of the medium roast varieties, but I know there are some people that would love those varieties. There is a hot cocoa cup that is divine! The sweet tea is good. If you are ever doubt about how to make any of the varieties, there are nifty instructions on the side of the boxes with the recommended settings and sizes. The Keurig Vue Cups already come in lots of varieties and they are adding more to the collection as time goes on and I anticipate trying many more of them. It appears there may also be a reusable filter cup soon so you'll be able to use your favorite coffee as well as the Vue cups. I look forward to having this machine for a long time!

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On a side note, I have also found the Keurig Vue to be something of a convenience in our sometimes pushed-for-time morning routine... it is awesome to use for instant hot water for oatmeal!

Disclosure: I received the Keurig Vue V700 as well as a selection of Vue cups and other supplies as a host of a House Party to demonstrate the machine. All copyrights and trademarks belong to their respectful owners, but the opinions on this item are all mine.