Friday, November 8, 2013

Don't hate me, but....

...we put up our Christmas tree last night.

But....we didn't put it near a window, so hopefully the neighbors won't see it and egg our house. I know how some of you it's-too-early-you-should-wait-until-after-Thanksgiving types can be. ;) 

We have a fake tree as I am allergic to the real ones. Yes, I really am - never had a real tree in my life. One thing I can say for us fake tree people - we can put up a tree in nothing flat. Oh! And with the advancement of the fake trees that come with the LIGHTS ON THEM, cuts the setting up time in half! (Hats off to the genius who invented trees with built-in lights, hats off to you!)

Our tree is pretty cool this year. We have red lights with red and silver ornaments. It looks really pretty and I love it. (See picture.)

I love November. I love the time change and sleeping in an extra hour. I love the weather getting colder. I love Christmas music and movies. I love how this time of year just makes me happy.  Bring on the cold and the snow. Happy holidays to all and trust me, I am not this happy in the hot, hot, hot summer, so I have to live it up from now until January 1. Let the holidays begin! :)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Happy Halloween!

After working on a bunch of log orders, I was pretty happy to get an order for a concrete zombie hand.

These are fun and easy to make, so I was happy to do that.  I love working with the logs, but it is nice to change it up every once in a while.

 Speaking of witch, er, which, I am still learning to sew - I love it. I was taking our Russian Tortoise, Neil, out for a walk, when I thought it would be cute to make him a costume for Halloween. I made him a witch hat.....then a princess hat....

then a clown hat.... and a Santa hat.  These are so fun to make and it is fun learning to sew when it is something I like making. But, let's all agree not to tell Neil what is going on up there. haha

Have a wonderful Halloween! Be safe, have fun, get lots of candy.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hypertufa Update

 Hypertufa update. I am still making it and still loving making it. :)  Here are a few things I have been working on. Enjoy! Oh, here is a new picture of me working with the logs. Have a great day!

Hypertufa update. I am still making it and still loving making it. :)  Here are a few things I have been working on. Enjoy!

Neil the Tortoise gets his first Halloween costume

I made Neil the Tortoise his first Halloween costume. He is thrilled. Have a great day and I will leave you with this: What do you get if you cross a tortoise and a porcupine?

A slow poke.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hypertufa. Hyper-wha-ta???

HYPERTUFA. (Hyper-toofa). Until a few days ago, I had never heard of hypertufa. A lady wrote me through my Etsy shop and asked if I could make a hypertufa pot. A hyper-wha-ta???

After doing a google search and watching a few how-to videos, I knew this was something I had to look into. And by look into, I mean something I had to try right away.

Hypertufa is like concrete, but not. It is made by combining Peat Moss, Perlite, and Portland Cement. Mix those together, add some water and pretty soon you have the most amazing substance to make pots, bowls, toad houses, fake rocks, whatever your imagination can come up with!

I was so excited about trying this that I went to the store the next day and bought the materials. Oh, as always, I wore gloves and eye protection while making this. The look is way less than flattering, but sure beats concrete in my lungs or eyes.

Once I mixed the ingredients, I started to form my molds. Being that this was my first time, I really wasn't sure if I was doing this correctly or not. But, I was having fun, so I kept filling molds, or putting it on the outside of the mold to make a larger pot. From what I read, it is best to use either cooking spray or even a bag so the hypertufa does not stick to the molds. I opted for the plastic bags as I thought they might leave a cool indention on the outside of the planters.

Once I was done forming, I closed up my planters in bags and let them sit for about 48 hours. And yes, it is a long 48 hours. With this, it is better to let them dry very slowly and the longer you let them dry, the better.

But, after that 48 hours, the moment of truth was about to arrive. I slowly unwrapped each pot and drum roll please...........

........not too bad. They are still pretty wet and have a ways to go before they are done. But, a huge sigh of relief for making it this far. Whew!

Once they have been taken out of their molds, you can then fix minor things on them. I forgot a drainage hole, so I added one using a drill. Once you have them how you want them, they then go back into the bags for a few weeks to a month. "WHAT??? This is taking for-ev-er!" I mean, ahem, that seems like a long time, yes, but that just gives me a month to make some more.  Speaking of which, I went and bought some concrete color to add to my next batch. I am thinking maybe a two colored pot. Or striped. Not sure, but going to try a few things and see if any of them work out.

The thing I love about hypertufa is that you can leave it pretty rugged looking and it looks great. No need to finish it smooth or worry about a bump or dent, I think those "concrete defects" actually add to the charm and character of hypertufa.  I love anything where an imperfection makes something look better!

So, there you have it. Hypertufa. I will take pictures in a few weeks once they are dried and ready to sell.


Oh, I also tried some more rock engraving. hehe  I made this little owl and my son loved it. I think he is pretty cute for an owl.  I ended up making a few more, including a small one. They are pretty funny and so I thought I would share them with you.


Last, but not least, here is the World's Coolest Rock Ever. I found this at a garden decorating place in a big pile of rocks. Oooh, I love it. I have it at my house and it is on my end table. I had to share because it is officially the World's Coolest Rock Ever.

Take care all! I hope you try making some hypertufa. I would love to hear all about it and see some pictures.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How to Make a Log Toothbrush/Pen/Pencil Holder

Hi! Today I am going to show you how I make a log toothbrush/pen/pencil holder. These are pretty easy to make with the right tools - I know you will be able to do it.

Before beginning any project, I like to nag you, er, remind you to wear your safety goggles and a mask. Someone asked me why I wear a mask when I drill. Well, once I start drilling, bits of sawdust and splinters go flying up. Sometimes I wear a hat to keep them out of my hair, but even that doesn't work very well. I have been hit in the face with flying splinters enough times that I always wear a mask. (I am not wearing a mask in the picture as they just aren't that great to look at.)
Let's begin. 

STEP ONE:  Find a log that has a surface big enough for the number of holes you want. 

STEP TWO:  Cut the log. I always cut both ends so it sits evenly and it is also a lot easier to sand. 

STEP THREE: I mark where I want the holes with a pencil and get ready to drill. For this one, I am using a 3/4" drill bit. 

STEP FOUR: Drill, drill and keep drilling. To make sure the holes are even in depth, I marked my drill bit with nail polish. When that gets to a certain spot in the wood, I stop drilling. 

STEP FIVE:  I love my dremel. Not only is it my favorite tool but it has so many uses. For this project, I used it to clean out the holes. I used the little sandpaper attachment and that worked out nicely.

STEP SIX: Time to sand. I first used grade 60-grit and then finished it off with 220-grit. 

STEP SEVEN: Add a clear coat and whaaa-laaa, you have yourself a log toothbrush or log pencil holder.  Easy, huh?

This one is a custom order, so I ended up woodburning their names on it. I didn't take pictures as I wanted it to be special for them. 
Once you are done, it is time to relax. Put your feet up. Have a cold drink. You are done. Enjoy your hard work and finished project. It feels good to finish what you started. Enjoy it.

Take care. :)
Cindy Breninger

P.S. I am a huge Elvis fan so naturally I have an Elvis picture hanging in my garage. (Who doesn't, right???)  

And as to the "No Worms Allowed" sign, the first day my son bought a woodburner, he saw a worm in the garage and we decided we didn't want them in the garage or in the wood. Here's to hoping they abide by the sign. ;)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

How to Make A Rock Air Plant Holder

Hi all!
I spent today in the garage hanging out with the dremel, some air plants, and a bag of rocks. Give me items like these and I will come up with something to make.

The first rock I wanted to use was pretty plain, sort of looked like a potato, but it had potential. I decided I wanted to make this into a mini air plant holder. I started by drilling three holes in the top of the rock. Oh, if you want to do this, please make sure you wear your goggles and a face mask.  I have said before that I don't want you to get bits of rock in your eyes or your lungs, so please cover up. Better safe than sorry.

I dipped the rock in some water and then started to drill. Since my drill is electric, I dip the rock in the water and then dremel on the rock. Do not put the dremel in the water. Duh, I know, but I would worry if I didn't mention that.

 Once I finished the three holes, I washed off the rock and added three mini air plants. How cute is this??? I love it.

Next I wanted to try writing on a rock. I am pretty new to this, but I love it so much and that makes practice a lot of fun. I just randomly wrote "Laugh Often" and added a little smiley face. I again dipped the rock in the water and then started to drill. Once I was done, it seemed kind of plain, so I drilled a hole and added an air plant. Again, super cute!

For my last rock of the day, I kept it simple. I drilled a heart and again, it was too plain, so I added a hole for, you guessed it, an air plant. I really like how simple it is, but how clean it looks.

Here is the finished three hole air plant rock:

And the finished Laugh Often rock.

If you are interested in any of these, they can all be found on my website at

Thanks for stopping by.
Peace out.
Cindy Breninger