I wanted to make a climbing net for my Hahn's macaw who should be coming home sometime in August (I hope!) I finally worked out my favorite way to make it and I thought I'd share how I did it!
The trick is a Chinese or Cross Knot. This is a perfect knot for this, because a rope will come straight out of the knot on the opposite side. And the even better part is the knot makes a little cup shape, perfect for stashing a little treat inside! Now it is a foraging net!
The first pictures show step by step how to make the knot. It looks really complicated, but once you do it a few times, it is really straightforward. I like this knot because it is very easy to make the net even, especially if you make a little mark with a pen where you want the knot to begin.
The next pics show how you start the net with an overhand loop at the corner, followed by the first knot. I used 1/2" superior cotton rope. This rope is different than other cotton rope as birds are less likely to get entangled in strands. (Hopefully this is true - it is very soft and easy to pull apart.)
I bought 100', but I didn't use all of it. You can kind of figure it out if you draw out the size net that you want.
For this 1/2" rope that I used (which actually seems more like 5/8") Overhand loop at the corners = 24" of rope per loop Space in between knots = 7" Each knot = 6" for each strand in the knot, so allow 1' total/knot Frayed ends at edges of net = allow 3" for each end.
Skinnier rope won't use as much in each knot, and thicker rope will use more. Quite a lot of length is used up in the knots!
Oh! Another tip is to tape the ends as you cut them to keep them from fraying, and don't take the tape off until the net is completely done.
Edited to add a warning: When making things out of rope for birds it is IMPERATIVE that you get rope that is not treated with anything. Rope from the big hardware stores, while cheap, is generally treated with oil/kerosene/nastiness. If it smells like gasoline, DO NOT USE IT FOR BIRDS. Buy only natural, untreated, cotton/hemp/sisal/seagrass rope. It should smell like cotton, or grass, and that's it. And I wouldn't use regular cotton rope either, I'd only use the bird-specific cotton rope.
I made this a while back, and totally forgot to post it on craftster!
I wanted to get one of those hanging java gyms, like this one: http://birdcages4less.com/page/B/PROD/Parrot_Playstands/PA3616 but they are pretty pricey and I figured I could just make one. A friend of mine recently pruned their apple tree and I asked for some branches. They are big into organic stuff, so I knew they didn't spray the tree.
I cut 12" pieces for the cross bars, and then a ton of little randomly sized discs. I left all the bark and twiggy bits on to chew. Once all the pieces were cut and drilled I washed them and baked them in the oven for a bit before stringing them together.
I had some leftover star cutouts from a craft project long ago, so I used those too, and I stringed a store-bought foraging toy in the midde. The string I used is made out of paper that I bought from a local parrot toy warehouse. Then I put bits of raffia on it too. The whole thing is a chewy/preening extravaganza. I hung it in my kitchen for my future Hahn's macaw and our budgies if they ever venture in there.
So my New Year's goal was to finish up the craft room. I've been working on it sporadically for the past couple of years and now it's all done! Of course I have a ton of pics!
I painted the door ala Sticks, to set the mood. It makes the end of the hallway look very cool! This side of the door has some crows and starlings on it, which I love, and then the four seasons are represented going around the edges.
The craft room side of the door, you won't really ever see unless you are in the craft room with the door closed. So I just put crafty things and some fun things on that side. The quote at the top says, "Some pursue happiness, others CREATE it."
Okay, so here's the working part of the craft room. It has to accommodate a whole family of creative people, so it has workstations for my sewing machine, Chad's miniature painting, and the kids. (And my future parrot!) First thing we did was put in some flourescent can lighting, put in the crown molding, paint and put in a floating Pergo floor. I made certain to use a floating floor so that if it gets trashed then it will be easy to remove and replace.
Here is where Chad paints his little warhammer guys and then the kids get the remaining corner, though I usually find them crafting on the floor instead. The upper cabinets are from IKEA.
Notice the handy paper towel holder and old-school pencil sharpener. I specifically made the counter a floating counter (more on that in a bit) and we all have rolling drawer cabinets, so the floor is very easy to clean - yay! It also makes it easy to adjust the size of the workspaces in case you need to spread out.
The floating countertop. This was my first time using my router! It is made of two layers of particle board, with laminate on top. It is almost 2' deep. The entire countertop is in two pieces for maneuverability. First I screwed a wall cleat along the entire length at the height I wanted (it is painted blue to blend in). Then I got these Speedbraces off Amazon and put them on each wall stud. (They are about 20 bucks each, so that was the most expensive part of the countertop). Then I cut the first layer of particle board, using a template I made to router the curves perfectly. Then I attached a second layer and routered the edges of that flush with the first, and cut grommet holes for electrical cords. Then put on the laminate. It is pretty solid! The only problem that I ran into is that there was an electrical run in the wall exactly where I wanted to screw the braces into the studs. I had to open up the wall in those spots to make sure I wouldn't electrocute myself while screwing them in.
The curtains I made to match the door. I just sewed white curtains and then used wonder under to fuse some checkered fabric strips and ribbon onto them.
Closet doors. We replaced the old bypass doors with bifold doors. I prefer bifold doors because you can have both sides open at the same time. To make them cute, I painted two sections with chalkboard paint (one for each child), and then had an old mirror cut to fit another door, and had a piece of sheet metal cut to fit the last one for magnets.
Inside of the closet! It's a big mess already! We placed the shelves once we knew how big the storage drawers and cubes were, so they fit perfectly.
This is my favorite part! I lurked on craigslist for forever waiting for a built-in ironing board and I finally found one for 35 bucks! New ones are over 400 dollars! Woo hoo! It was almond colored and I took it apart and painted it.
Here's the inside! It even swivels out! I made a new ironing board cover for it too.
That's about it! I'm so pleased about how it came out and It's gotten a ton of use already! Thanks for looking!
I've been very stubborn, and didn't want to share my tile projects until craftster had a ceramics forum. But now there is one and I'm so happy.
Here are the pics of a mosaic I made for my master bathroom. It's actually a pseudomosaic, instead of individual tiles, it is bigger chunks of tiles with grout lines carved into them. So that when you grout it, it looks like a bunch of small tiles. You can get away with a lot of strange tile shapes that way.
This was the first project I did, I have more that I'm working on throughout the house, I will post them when I'm done.
This is a detail of what it looks like before the glaze fire:
thanks for looking! And thank to Leah for adding the ceramics forum! Yippee!!
I just wanted to post and let you know that we did this today at my daughter's 7th birthday party. (Albeit a smaller, simpler version.) The party invitations included a little tiny fairy letter asking for help to build some fairy houses that were lost in winter storms. I bought 7 of the 12qt size galvanized buckets, then my daughter and I picked up a selection of small-potted flowers. We needed about 3 bags of potting soil for everyone. I'd punched holes in the bottom of the buckets beforehand for drainage, and my daughter and I had gone on a quick hike the day before to a local trail to gather bark and moss for the houses.
The girls sorted through the building materials and figured out which pieces would make their house and I would hot-glue them together. (We had to make things fast and simple - walls, roof, door, bead for doorknob). Then they planted their flowers, added their house, and used blue aquarium rocks for a trail or a little pool. They all came out SO CUTE. And the girls really enjoyed it. Later during the party, our backyard fairy dropped off a fairy figurine (just cheapy ones from the drugstore) for each of them with a little note thanking them for helping build her sisters some houses.
It was a huge hit! So thank you, thank you, for sharing your project!
Okay, here's my quickie mock-up of the fireplace tv scenario. It totally will work, I don't know why I was so resistant to doing it this way. Everything fits so easy now. So thanks for the kick in the butt.
(These aren't the actual furniture pieces, I just picked models to see the fit.)
Now I just need to figure out where I want the computers. I actually want to make a built in office workspace and chuck the desks. So half the right side of the room will be for computers, the rest for kids' crap storage. hmmm...at least I finally have a starting point - ripping out the fireplace surround!
We are totally gutting our downstairs living room. The walls are wood panelling and it's all being ripped out with new drywall put in, and we'll be running a couple more circuits down there for all the electronic stuff. The stone around the fireplace will be ripped out too. So basically we can put stuff wherever we want, I just need to know ahead of time so that I know where to put the outlets and wires.
It's a decently-sized space. I'm just not sure if it's big enough for what I'd really like down there, which is a comfy sectional. This is our family spot, we'll be getting a big tv, and I want us all to be able to huddle on the sofa and watch movies there. It's also where our computers are. I also need to add storage/bookshelves, and need a spot for a parrot tree.
The blue thing down the center is the venting in the ceiling which makes the ceiling drop a bit right there. You enter the room from the bottom.
Right now we have a tv on the left wall, with two couches around it - one facing and one on the bottom left wall. On the right wall are two desks with computers.
I put a sectional in this sketch, but that won't really work because we'd have to walk all the way around it to get in there. Plus, the seating would be way too close for a big tv.
I think a sectional might work like in this sketch, but I'm not sure? It's a good distance from the tv, but then there is this sorta this dead space behind the sectional. But I could hang a parrot gym back there.
Anyone have a layout like this? Or have any thoughts/ideas? Am I pushing it trying to get a sectional in there? The room looks so big as I'm in it, but when I start drawing things in there I run out of room really fast! lol!
If you've ever seen the furniture from Sticks, then you know where I got the idea to make this thing. I LOVE their furniture, but it is too spendy for me! http://www.sticks.com
I've wanted to make my own version for a long time, and I finally got it done. My dad built me the coat rack/mirror at my request several years ago (thanks Dad!) and it's been hiding in the back of my closet waiting for me to paint it.
It's going to go into our master bedroom, and I wanted it to be all romantic...hence the "Love Nest" theme. I put all the Sticks-like little phrases around the outsides, but I made it fit the history of my husband and I.
"Play" - we met playing Ultimate Frisbee "Follow Your Heart" - well, this is just the falling in love part "Take a Chance" - gettin' engaged, and yes, my ring has a heart-shaped diamond, too! "Welcome Surprises" - my daughter was our surprise baby who showed up before the wedding "Create a Family" - now we have two! "Count Your Lucky Stars" - why yes, I AM lucky!
I have a thing for crows, hence the two crows. The boy has blue eyes and a little beard like my husband, and the girl has brown eyes like me.
The house on the bottom is our first house, and it was exactly that shade of purple, too!
So...how I did it...
First I sketched out the pictures with pencil. Then I used a dremel to carve out the lines. I used the cutting guide to help control the thing and stay on the lines. The bit I used was the small one with the cutting ball on the end. In retrospect, I actually made the channels too wide, and it was hard to keep the paint out of them, so next time I would make them narrower, like half a mm or so. (edited to add: I used dremel bit #107, but now I know that the better option is #106) When you set the bit relative to the cutting guide, it is just BARELY sticking out. It helps to practice on some scrap wood. The dremel has a hard time going across the grain lines straight, so if you can use wood without obvious grains, you will have an easier time with the carving.
After you carve it all out, sand it down a little bit, then you paint it all with black primer. Then you put the color on top avoiding the lines that you cut out as best you can, but still being very "painterly". You don't want to be all neat about this - blend your colors as you paint, leave lots of brush marks. The messier you do it, the better it will look. This is the hardest part for me because I am so anal-retentive! lol!
The paint I used was Liquitex Soft Body Acrylics. I'm not sure if that was the best paint to pick, as a lot of it was more transparent than I would've liked, but it seemed to work okay. The colors I used were: Olive Green, Cadmium Red Medium Hue, Brilliant Blue, Soft White, Cerulean Blue Hue, Cadmium Orange Hue, Burnt Umber, Raw Siena, Turner's Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue, Quinacridone Crimson, Quinacridone Magenta, Hooker's Green Hue. Top coat everything with Polycrilic. I used semi-gloss, but I would've preferred satin.
My dad made the little sun on top from half of some sort of nerf-like ball. It's too cute!
This actually went a lot faster than I thought it would. It's an easy way to dress up an old piece of furniture to something super-cool. Now I'm going to do this same treatment to my craft room door - wish me luck!