Monday, December 17, 2012

The final finished fish!


The concrete fish is finished!  

After I let it dry for a few days, I brought it inside for the finishing touches. I hand painted each rock with a waterproof sparurathane. It helps preserve the concrete and also helps the rocks stick on better. 

 The fish in the picture to the left is covered with sparurathane, to the right it is dry. The picture at the bottom shows the final finished fish!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Jacked Up Logs and a Fish Birdbath

  My weekend started with a bunch of new logs. I love thinking of all the new things I can make. I turned on some music, got out the skilsaw, the drill, the dremel and the sander and went to work. I was out in the garage for hours and loved every minute of it. Below are some of the things I made.

One of my favorite things I make are these split-log candle holders. I think they are beautiful. They look very simple, but are very time consuming.

These start out as dirty, sliced logs. Not the prettiest things to look at. There is a television show where they "jack up the bride" by putting on the veil and maybe a tiara, they "jack her up" and make her look pretty. I like to think that about the logs. Not so pretty at first, but once they get sanded and clear coated, they get jacked up and are beautiful.

A project I am currently working on is a custom order. It is going to be a fish birdbath. I am pretty new to working with concrete, but I love the idea and couldn't wait to get started. I first put down some plastic and freehand drew the shape I wanted. It is 19" by 11".  Then I put the concrete between the lines and hoped for the best. 

 I then added the sides and the rocks. I am hoping it comes out and looks as great as I think it will. I am going to give it a few days to dry and then add the spar urethane as a clear coat. My son keeps checking on it and now wants me to make one for him.  I have to say that so far it is much better than I even imagined. I will post new pictures in a few days of the finished fish. 

I love working with logs and concrete. Had someone told me a year ago I would be doing either of these things, I would not have believed them. I really stumbled into all this by accident, but it was the best accident in my life. I hope to keep improving and making new things. I hope people will continue to enjoy them.

Take care.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday, or The Cat Drives Me Nuts-Day!

Wordless Wednesday. Or, as I like to call it, THE CAT DRIVES ME NUTS-Day! She knocked over the tree and was eating it - and this was not the first time. Did I mention it is an artificial tree? So many things wrong with this cat, I don't even know where to begin. Oh, sorry, back to Wordless Wednesday, I think I have said too much. No more words for me...shhhh.

A quick update.

Just a quick update. My son had his spine surgery three weeks ago today and is doing wonderfully! He ended up getting two 6.5" titanium rods and 12 screws in his spine. But, after three weeks, he is walking around and feeling much better. :)

Neil the Tortoise, is doing great too. He is so cute in this picture - he looks like he is smiling! Working it for the camera. He wanted to be a supermodel, but it took way too long for him to walk the runway. Sorry Neil.

I will post a picture of the cat tomorrow for Wordless Wednesday. She leaves me speechless. Furious and speechless, is more like it. More on that tomorrow. A picture will say1000 words....

Hope you are having a wonderful day!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

On Wednesdays all over the internet, bloggers post photos with no words to explain them on their blog. Hence the ‘Wordless Wednesday’ title. The idea is that the photo itself says so much that it does not need any description. I am not a photographer by any means, but I love snow, I love to ski,  I love to take pictures, so here you go. :)

Have a wonderful day. :)


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

On Wednesdays all over the internet, bloggers post a photograph with no words to explain it on their blog. Hence the ‘wordless wednesday’ title. The idea is that the photo itself says so much that it does not need any description.

I got this idea from Claudia Willison, you can check out her blog here:

Have a wonderful day. :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My, what a fabulous pocket!

As much as I love working with logs and concrete, I am also finding I love to sew. Sewing is one of those things I have always wanted to learn, but never knew where to start. I am fascinated when someone shows me their newest sewing creation - mainly because it is such a mystery to me how that started from a piece of fabric and is now something useful - so I am more than happy to try to figure it out. 

I recently acquired a sewing machine and took a few sewing classes. These classes were wonderful as I had no idea what a bobbin was, or a footer, or even how to thread the machine. But, since learning the basics, I am starting to get the hang of it.

I spent Friday night hanging out with the machine. I found the cutest material, it is light green with cute little ladybugs and I wanted to make a cute girls' dress. How hard could that be? It looked easy....but things are not always what they appear to be.

Oh, head's up for new sewers buying patterns marked "Easy": Easy does not really mean easy. Trust me on this and I will explain. I bought a pattern that was labeled "EASY" but it turned out to be anything BUT easy. Unless their easy means you will be sewing for six hours, cursing at your machine, walking away from the machine, coming back, and then finally getting it right at 2:00 am., it was not easy. But, I am not one for quitting, so I had to finish.

About 2:00 am, a miracle happened, a moment of triumph - I finished the little dress AND I added a pocket! This is only amazing as the pattern did not include a pocket and I figured out how to make one and sew it on.  To a veteran sewer, or even an intermediate and maybe even some beginners, that would be no big deal, but to me, it was huge. I finished the dress AND sewed on a pocket! Like I said, a moment of triumph! I have to take them where I can get them.

Here is the little dress I made. Please go on and on about the fabulous pocket. haha

Cindy Breninger

Friday, October 5, 2012

Columbus Day Mishap

My office will be closed on Columbus Day (when the courts are closed) and I always thought schools were closed too. About three years ago, I took the kids and a friend to Scandia on Columbus Day - we were the only four people there on a holiday. It was awesome...until the school called. They asked where the kids were and I told them we were mini-golfing as it was a holiday. (Weird the school wanting to know where we were on a holiday) and then she said, "Um ma'am, technically it IS a holiday, but not a SCHOOL holiday..." Doh

P.S. The picture is of me on that day. We were messing around. One of the best days ever. :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Log Shed. :)

 I told my son that I wanted a shed to keep the logs for our business dry during the winter. We looked at sheds we could buy, but they seemed pretty pricey and I wanted something cheaper.

My son told me he could make me a log shed and all he needed was plywood, nails, and 2 X 4's.

 I bought him the plywood, nails, and 2 X 4's and he went to work. 

I love this shed. It is 6 X 2 X 2 and waterproofed inside and out. All he has left to do is put on the shingles, wheels, and paint it.  I will post the pictures once he gets it finished.

Our logs will be nice and dry all winter. This kid is a keeper. :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Elephants, Concrete and a Craft Fair

 Hi all,
Sorry I haven't been around much, just been busy.

As a lifelong Phillies fan and baseball fan, my son and I often go to baseball games. Only bad thing about being a Philadelphia Phillies fan while living in CA is that it is quite a drive to see them play at home.

So, we do the next best thing - we drive to Oakland to see the A's. I think my head would melt or catch fire or something like that if I wore another team's hat, so I always wear my Phillies hat.

I saw the A's mascot, the elephant, walking around and asked to take a picture. He covered my hat.  Whatever. :)

As to our Etsy shop, I have been playing around with concrete. I made this bowl and tried to get "fancy" with it. I added some blue glass to the sides as I thought it would look pretty. I then added some colored glass to the top and I like how it turned out.
I also made a star and turned it into a tealight candle holder. It is a work in progress.

 Last, but not least, I worked at a craft fair over the weekend. It was about 100 plus degrees - that means HOT! I look like I am melting in this picture, I was. But, I met some really nice people and had a good time. The craft fair was a benefit for Recycled Pets NorCal. Check them out if you get a minute.
That's it from me for now. Please take care and have a great day!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Much ado about Logs! So many uses, so little time.

Ahh logs. What can I say about them that hasn't already been said? Everyone loves logs, right?

After recently acquiring several new logs, I wanted to write about their many uses. For those who haven't realized how useful a log can be, I am pleased to help out and give you a few fine examples:

Take these logs, for instance. They could be used as artwork  in your backyard. A bunch of these standing on end would be quite unique. No one else will have "art work" like yours! Or, if you want to impress the neighbors, put them in the front yard - everyone will be talking about them.

 If that is not your style, how about a one-of-a-kind, great-for-relaxing, put-your-feet-up, good old-fashioned footrest. It doesn't get much better than this.
Or, how about a pizza holder log? Just order the pizza, have it delivered, put it on the log - you don't even have to get out of your chair - and Whaaa-laaa! Dinner is served.

Last, but not least, how about a log chair. It is perfect for sitting and with another as a footstool, can you say lounge chair?
Everyone needs a log, and you know, I just might know a place where you can get one. Ahem. Just follow this link:

If that isn't your style, I have plenty others to choose from. I will sand them down and make them presentable and post them online.  They may not be 100% level, but they are great to look at, wonderful to put your feet on to relax, and the best pizza holder ever. :)


Friday, August 31, 2012

Skunks, skunks, and more skunks!

This is not wood related, but kind of funny, so thought I would share. :) 

Last night I took my kids to Discovery Park on our way home from dinner. I thought it would be fun to walk around for a few minutes before going home. We got out of the car and about 50 feet away, we saw a little black and white....skunk??? We were amused as it was the first time we had seen one in person. He was kind of cute so we kept watching him. A few minutes later we noticed a few more skunks coming out of the bushes. Then a few more. And a few more and even a few more after that! Pretty soon there were about 20 of them. It reminded me of Gremlins - they kept multiplying! 
My son wanted to get a better look and he kept inching closer to them. Being that they were about 20-30 feet away, I didn't think we needed a better look, but then again, I am not a teenager...

He got closer to the group of skunks who were just hanging out, doing whatever it is skunks do, all with their tails down. My son got closer still and all at once, tails up! I told my son to back away slowly. I also told him that if he gets sprayed, he was walking home. ;) Lucky for him he didn't get sprayed and was allowed back in the car. I wanted to share as it cracked me up. Have a wonderful weekend!

Cindy Breninger

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Plywood, Boards and Halloween Logs!

We have been hard at work in our garage. A friend is building a new house and gave us a ton of the leftover plywood and boards. My son got to have his pick - he was like a kid at Christmas! We needed a shelf in the garage, so a shelf is what he built: 

 Also, for a long time I have wanted to take a log, hollow it out, like a pumpkin, and carve things in it. I couldn't figure out how to do this until last night. After several fails and two broken drill bits, I finally did it! :) 

I made this one a little rustic tree. It was actually a lot harder than it looked. But, when I turned on the battery operated tealight, oooooh! it looked sooo pretty!

So, I am going to list this and work on some Halloween themed ones over the weekend.

If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them.