Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth Day DIY

Posted by Amy Baranski

On a much smaller scale than Melissa's AWESOME tufted headboard DIY project I just made a cork snake.

What's that you say? A cork snake--a toy snake made out of old wine corks. It'd make a great homemade gift for a 4-year old child or older. It's not too hard to make either!

Cork is such a wonderful material it feels wrong to throw away all those wine bottle stoppers. Trivets, cork boards, and other fun doodads can be made from this lovely reused material. I happened upon this sweet up-cycled DIY toy on Domestic Candy--a cute blog out of Germany.

Simple instructions to make your own cork snake:

  1. Cut 10 corks into quarters.
  2. Drill holes through the cork pieces.
  3. Thread thick string through a needle and string the cork.
  4. Tie a knot between each cork piece.
  5. Take a cork for the head and shave it into a desired shape; cut out a mouth.
  6. Take the longest needle you have and pull the string through the drilled hole.
  7. Tie a final knot; leave a little string hanging out of the mouth as the tongue.
  8. Draw eyes on with a sharpie.
Notes: Make sure you have a small bit for your drill. You could hand drill each cork piece with an awl but a power drill will shorten the process. When drilling you'll create a bit of cork dust so make sure you working over a designated work space.

How to Make a Tufted Headboard

Posted by Melissa Baumgart
As many of you know, I have been in the process of making a tufted headboard (or as my family calls it, our "hotel" bed.)  I found my inspiration from the website I posted before, and of course, adapted my way with many other tips from many internet sources.  I will walk you through my process, sparing you the sprinkling of curse words that accompanied the journey.  I'll let you know what to buy, what not to buy, how much it all cost me, what I did, and what I would do differently if I had to do it again.  I hope you enjoy, and if you take this project on yourself, please contact me for support; both technically and emotionally speaking.  You'll likely need it.

Materials for a king size tufted headboard:

Purchasing Tips and Cost:
  • I purchased the pegboard, spray adhesive and a new measuring tape at Home Depot. They will cut the board to your specific measurements, for free.  ($31)
  • I purchased the foam from Jo-Ann Fabric's.  I used a 40% off coupon because foam is very expensive.  I also bought the linen fabric I chose, the batting, the button kit and refills, the needles and the thread. Jo-Ann's always has lots of coupons and sales, I recommend not paying full price for much when shopping there.  ($122)
  • After I started the project, I had to go out and buy the staple gun, also at Home Depot.  So, if you don't have it already, just get it on the first trip. And don't forget the staples. ($33)

Process:

Mark your button spots on the pegboard.  This took some time to figure out.  I chose to use 35 buttons; 2 rows of 7, and 2 rows of 8.  You need to figure out a pattern of how many spots on the pegboard your buttons will be apart and then mark them with a circle around that hole.  Here is a photo of my plans I drew up for this part:
Notice, that although the pegboard is 40" tall, the foam is only 24",
so mark it using the measurements of the foam.  The bottom
portion of the pegboard is there so it can have continuity below
where your bed hits it.
Make the buttons.  It's fun and you quickly feel accomplished.  The directions on the box are very simple and easy to follow.  A couple times, I had to re-do one because my fabric was not centered, but still, it was easy enough.  I made 35 buttons.  

Mark and cut the button spots on the foam.  Align the foam with the top of the pegboard and simply mark a spot with a Sharpie through the holes in the pegboard.  Next, with a paring knife or utility knife, cut 1/2" wide hole in the foam so you can find the spots under the fabric when you are tufting.  I didn't cut my holes wide enough because I thought the buttons would disappear inside of them, but it turns out, a little wider is better.  Finding the spots once the fabric and batting is placed on top of the foam turned out to be one of the most difficult parts by the end of the project.

Adhere the foam to the pegboard.  In a well ventilated area, spray the pegboard on the area where the foam will be attached with the foam adhesive.  This will be about the top 2/3s (top 80" x 24") of the board.  Once that is completely covered, carefully place the foam on top, making sure it is flush with the board on all sides.  

Lay down your batting and fabric and start TUFTING!  Use a couple clips or clothespins to keep the fabric on place on each side.  Start in the middle and after getting your button and needle tied firmly to the thread, find your first hole and thread it through.  This can be a very difficult part of the process, at times it seems like you will never find the hole in the pegboard behind all that foam.  But you will, keep working through the pain that your thumbs will surely be in, after all that point the needle into pegboard.  And eventually you will see the needle coming through the other side.  When it does, rejoice, and then quickly get to stapling.

You need two people for this part.  This part is NOT DIY, you need help.    I used a couple chairs to prop the headboard up against and then as I leaned into the front of the headboard while pushing the button in as deep as I could, the other person behind the headboard pushed with all their might into the staple gun and did their best to get it in.  Sometimes it worked, lots of times it didn't.  Keep going.  

(*Or better yet, just use a piece of ply wood and take the time to drill the holes.  That is one thing I would do differently.  This is a BIG piece of advise that I would really suggest you follow.  Staples into pegboard is really difficult.  And by the end, the pegboard was bending and hard to work with, it even cracked at one point.  Scary, when you are at the very end, and really DO NOT want to do the whole thing again.*) 

Then do this tufting over and over and over again.  35 times.  Remember to rejoice each time, for it is quite an accomplishment.  And remember, this is DIY, not Restoration Hardware, each tuft might not be exactly the same depth.  I didn't get enough fabric (but the length I suggested to you in the materials will be enough), so mine really suffered in this department. By the end, on the outsides, the tufts really could not go in very deep because I was running out of fabric.

Staple the fabric around the top and sides and bottom.  Lay the headboard face-down on the floor and staple the fabric over the back side of the pegboard.  The tighter you do all the tufting and stapling, and if you don't have enough fabric for leeway, you run the risk of button popping off.  Yes, this indeed happened to me.  It totally sucked.  So, keep it tight and clean, but not so much so that there is no room for a little stretch.
Then flip it over, and staple along the bottom of the foam, so that it looks finished on the front.  This was the easiest part.

Take a moment to really admire and appreciate what you have done.  You tufted an entire headboard!

Find the studs on your wall, measure carefully and attach the D-rings to the back of your headboard.  You need to make sure where you place the D-rings on the headboard is going to match the spots where it is best to hang something on your wall.  So, find some studs (I borrowed Amy's stud finder) and the after measuring use some hard-core arm power and screw the D-rings into the pegboard.  Next use some anchors and screws, and place the screws into you wall.

Hang your beautiful headboard!  and push your bed up against it.  I need to get some kind of adhesive to get the part of my headboard that is near the door of my room to be flush with the wall so you don't see the crappy, ugly back of the headboard.  Or, I have thought about attaching a narrow piece of painted plywood to the outer part of the headboard, to frame it, and thereby keeping it sturdy and flush to the wall.  The D-rings do not allow for the headboard to hang flush as is.  

I think it even looks good, all messy,
with a little one sleeping soundly.
And now, enjoy that you did this!  Don't worry about the tiny imperfections (one of my buttons has already come loose two days into being on the wall!), remember, this was not made in a factory and this might be the very first time you have done something like this.  And, if you are like me, you might very well HATE crafting.  So, please, allow yourself to be happy with the finished product, even though it is not perfect.  Life is not perfect.  Humans are not perfect.  Life is messy, so why can't we allow for a little bit of that in our surroundings as well?  Sometimes I wonder if we are obsessed with external perfection because we know we can never achieve internal perfection.

All that, and a headboard too.
-Melissa



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What to make next?

Staple/Nail Gun.  Dare I try it for yet another project?
Posted by Melissa Baumgart
Just Keep Tufting.
The tufted headboard will not be finished until the weekend.  I have two tests coming up for the week's end, and plan on celebrating the success on them with some good old fashioned tufting.  Now, that I have figured out that it is a two person project, it has been going a lot more smoothly.  Phew!

Since I am over half-way finished with the first DIY project, what else would I be doing then to start planning the next one? Am I a glutton for punishment or what?  I just really, really want to make the honeycomb shelves I posted on my Full of Ideas post at the beginning of the month.   I can see how awesome they will look on the girl's wall, and I can't stop myself...I must make those shelves!

The issues.  The possible deal-breakers:
I have no idea how to cut wood.  I am completely intimidated about the fact that each 10" long piece of wood needs to have each end cut at a 30Âș angle.  How in the world am I going to do that?  I am hoping to find a store where I can get the wood and they will cut it for me.  Have you ever heard of that?  I know Home Depot will cut the wood you buy to a certain length, but will they cut angles on each end of each piece?  I doubt it.  But I will call around tomorrow to find out.

Also, the instructions say I need a brad nailer.  A what?  The guy I bought the staple gun from said it can be used for nails as well, for finishing work, in particular.  Wouldn't that be serendipitous?  But still, it scares me.  It just sounds dangerous for me to use a nail gun.

I think I have to do it. Those shelves are going to look so good in the girl's room!

Oh, and weight update:  I am on track!  Just over three weeks and I have lost 8 pounds.  Ahead of schedule!  That makes my BMI 24, no longer sitting just above the "overweight" category.  It feels so good to be sticking with my goal.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Who picked DIY, Mama?

Posted by Melissa Baumgart
Love/Hate
Tufting Update:
I am half-way finished with the tufting.  I need to wait until tomorrow morning to work on it some more because that is when I will have an extra pair of hands around.  The waiting is difficult.  The tufting was more difficult.  But I have to say, this morning at 6am, with my husband stapling and me holding the thread taut with the button pressed firmly in place, it wasn't that hard.  Dare I say, it has become easy?

But that definition of easy has only come after hours of frustration.  Sometimes perspective is everything.  Just yesterday evening, I looked Amy square in the eye and in a calm voice that clearly masks insanity, I said, "I f*#@ing hate crafting.  I hate it.  I always hate it."

My kids, each one in their own time, has asked, "Who picked DIY, Mama?"  And when I answer, "Me." They look at me bewildered.  They must be thinking, how could someone pick something that makes them so cranky and mean?  And therein lies the true lesson, how to remain calm in the face of extreme frustration and pain.  (My thumbs are killing me.)

I need to get myself back on the yoga mat, in my Bikram class.  That is where I really learn about how to train the mind to be calm in the face of adversity.  How to be less reactionary.  How to not walk over and slap my son's hand and curtly snap "Stop it!" as he annoyingly repeats a tapping noise on the computer keyboard, after being asked many times not to.  Yes, I did that while tufting.

Here are my big tangible lessons thus far:

  1. This is a two person job.  This is not a DIY (Do it yourself), it is a DIMYWTHOAF (Do it mostly yourself with the help of a friend.)  
  2. Make sure you have extra fabric.  And when you don't, resist the temptation to blame it on the fabric cutter at Jo-Ann's who said you didn't need 3 whole yards.  Always get extra.  That $6.00 - $10.00 is going to matter little in the end.
  3. "Just keep tufting.  Just keep tufting."  It may be helpful to sing this little ditty inspired by Dory on the movie, Finding Nemo.  
I will post a final photo when finished, as well as all the nitty-gritty details.  Just wanted to keep you all in the loop.  Since you're all doing this along with me, right?  Right?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The growing season

Posted by Amy Baranski

When we originally chose this month's blog theme of DIY I had this vision that I'd be building furniture and sewing something for my baby every night. Am I off my rocker? It's April 15, and I'm lucky to have my first DIY project of the month half-way completed. By the way it has nothing to do with sewing or building furniture.

I've been feeling a little guilty about being so slow...I've thought, I just have trouble getting started on projects. But that's not entirely true. I've also thought maybe I'm a procrastination junkie. But, while I do like the thrill of finishing just under deadline I relish in long term planning. These blog deadlines are self imposed, they're arbitrary for all intents and purposes, and while following through with plans is important to me so is finding my own way in my own time. Part of life is enjoying the ongoing flow of change around us and in ourselves, as terrifying as the ebb and flow of life, love, and creativity may be.

During March it seemed like spring might be late in the Northwest this year, but it's not. The asparagus farmers reported that spears sprouted from the ground on, or around, April 5, and the dandelions have bloomed marking the important nectar flow of maple trees for the honeybees. Everything is right on time after all. Nothing is delayed. My garden beds are prepped, my peas are planted and climbing, and my husband installed the honeybees yesterday. The growing season is upon us.

April brings delightful blooms in Seattle and in a few weeks many trees will fully leaf out bringing a wonderful rustle and sway to our little corner of the world. 

With every start I plant in the ground I can't help but imagine picking the harvest with my new little person strapped to me in the late summer sun.

I keep thinking of all the space I'm creating outside now as our space, where we can breathe fresh air and tend the plants in each other's company.

There is much to be done before baby's arrival, but rather than get anxious about all the details I'm just trying to enjoy this season of change. I'm growing in size and growing more and more in love with my baby every day. On Saturdays we garden together at the Cesar Chavez demonstration garden and then we take a hard afternoon nap. From sun up to sun down we play Morse code, tapping secret messages to each other. I love when my baby dances and dances. It feels like the cherry blossoms springing open and the broad leaves of the maples unfurling in the spring breeze.

I should have known better

Posted by Melissa Baumgart
I hate crafts.  I hate DIY.  Nothing ever goes smoothly and I just end up screaming and yelling at inanimate objects like staple guns and fabric.
Back when I was making buttons, when the going was good
and I was still smiling.

The staple guns I had did not work for my project.  So, I went and bought a new one.  It kinda works.  Kinda.  And I have no idea how to get the flipping button to go in deep enough for it to look tufted and keep it there while trying to work the delicate stapling process.

And to top it off, I have spent so much money on the materials, money that I have no business spending on anything other than food and bills.  So, I absolutely HAVE to finish this.  It has to turn out and be usable.  And for me, it won't be usable unless it looks good.  Unless it looks close to like I bought it at a store.

Thanks for listening, I needed a venting session as I work on this tufted headboard.  How in the world did the lady that I got the idea from make it sound so easy?  Sure, her fingers hurt from tufting, but I read nothing of nearly losing her mind in the process.

-Melissa


Thursday, April 12, 2012

What I learned while gathering supplies for the Tufted Headboard

Posted by Melissa Baumgart
I have officially started my first DIY project: a tufted headboard.  I found the inspiration and instructions on a website called littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com by Jenny Komenda Interiors.  I love the look of this headboard, and I think it will be nice to sit up against it in bed and read.  Let's have one more look at what I am going for, before you end up seeing my finished project this weekend. (I joked to Amy that she might just walk in to see a plain old pegboard hanging on my wall instead of a tufted headboard!)
The little Green Notebook's headboard.
I finally set out into the unfamiliar world of a hardware store.  I decided on the big-box store, Home Depot, because I heard that they will cut the pegboard that I needed for me.  Amy joined me, I think mostly for moral and muscle support.  It was much needed.  Amy is a take-care-of-business kinda gal, and sometimes, as I wandered through the aisles of wood and screws, I needed that.

Still innocently excited.
What did I learn at Home Depot?

  • Home Depot does cut your wood, or pegboard, or whatever else you need.  For someone like me, that is a huge service.  I walked away with one piece of peg board 80"x40" for my king size bed.  I also walked away with two small pieces of leftovers for some other DIY in the future!
  • There is no such thing as non-toxic spray adhesive.
  • When you ask for upholstery foam at Home Depot, they take you to the insulation aisle.
  • I walked out spending $33.00 for my pegboard, spray adhesive, D-rings (to mount the headboard), and a new tape measure.
Next stop, Pacific Fabrics for the upholstery foam, upholstery needle, upholstery thread, batting, fabric and button cover making kit.  I had only about a half and hour to gather all these things, but I felt confident that we could handle the time crunch.  A kind older woman, with long white hair walked us over to the appropriate foam after I had inquired.  We talked measurements and then she offered me a quote on the price of the foam.  A quote?  For foam?

What did I learn at Pacific Fabrics?
  • Foam is super expensive!  I think I could buy a headboard for the price of the foam alone.  It was going to cost around $90.00
  • I need to cover a lot of buttons.  The fabric store will do it for me, but then what kind of DIY person would I be?
  • I need to look for a coupon and a cheaper button kit.  Not to mention decide on what color fabric I want to use.
The deal breaker.
I'll head back out tomorrow for the rest of my supplies, and then get started this weekend.  I'll be sure to list out all materials and costs after they are purchased.  It seems these are critical information pieces when making things yourself.  Anyone remember my dress sewing adventure?  And how much the material cost!  At least this time I asked how much it was before they cut it!

What did one of the comments say when I first posted this idea?  Oh, yes, she said, "Be prepared for whatever you're making to not meet your expectations and then do it
    anyway."  I will continue on!

    -Melissa

    Monday, April 9, 2012

    "Do it yourself!"

    Posted by Melissa Baumgart
    Here is what DIY looked like this past weekend:

    Kid 1:  "Mama!  I need a glass of water!"

    Me:  "Do it yourself!"

    Kid 2:  "Mom!  Get my pajamas for me!"

    Me:  "Do it yourself!"

    Kid 3:  "Mama!  Will you find my baseball hat for me?"

    Me:  "Do it yourself!"
    It's everywhere!

    I thought this weekend was going to be filled with sawing and stapling and other crafty DIY kind of stuff.  Instead it was filled with sunshine and family, processing raw life emotions and baking Easter bread. Like I often say here on GLWT, you gotta roll with the punches.  I just drove by that strip mall that Amy and I went to last year when we were learning tai chi.  It brought me back to that experience and reminded me how much I love that this blog has taken me to so many places, to meet so many people and totally takes me out of my comfort zone.

    It takes guts, for sure.  And sometimes, I end up never wanting to do something again.  But the experience enriches my life nonetheless.  I was just talking to my Dad the other day about my financial struggles with school, and he reminded me that life experience isn't something you can fake. The fact that struggle presented itself and I found a way to persevere, has brought an experience to my life that no classroom could ever offer.

    So, even within our times of fear or struggle, there is always a place within each of us called courage.  You can't find your courage until your trembling, and shaky and wondering if you might just fall off the side of a mountain.  Or maybe you're about to step onto a trapeze platform and fly for the first time.  Or maybe it looks like changing a habit that's no longer serving your body, mind and spirit.  Whatever that is for you, I challenge you to go there and find your courage.

    This week, I will not only continue on my journey to reaching my goal weight, but I will also be stepping way out of my non-handy-person world and finishing a DIY project.  I am officially making that commitment. *yikes*  Let's just hope whatever I make will actually be usable!
    -Melissa

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

    I will fight till forever!

    Posted by Melissa Baumgart
    (believe it or not, what you are about to read is a true story.)

    I will never say never! (I will fight)
    I will fight till forever! (make it right)
    Whenever you knock me down
    I will not stay on the ground
    Pick it up
    Pick it up
    Pick it up,
    Pick it up, up, up
    And never say never
    Photo taken from screen of google image search: justin bieber

    Yes, those are Justin Bieber lyrics.  Wait, don't leave, hear me out on this one.  I have these lyrics already in my head space because I have daughters.  Believe me, they are catchy, like when you roll over in the middle of the night to the tune of the worst song on the radio, over and over and over.  And you're thinking, why?  Why in the world would I be singing this song in my sleep?

    The thing is, you never know.  When you least suspect it, the insipid lyrics to a Justin Bieber song just might be your saving grace.  For me, I was in despair over my path in life.  I have been trying to become a midwife for so long now and I was finally getting close, yet again.  And then yesterday, the door closed.  The funding I was told I would get for school, after jumping through hoop after hoop to get it, was gone.  Just like that, the money was gone.  

    This is the second time since going back to school that this has happened.  The first time, I rolled with it, and waited until the following quarter.  This time, I was prepared to do the same.  "Go with the flow," my friend reminded me, and I thought of water flowing downstream.  "But what if that flow feels like it is dragging you over jagged rocks?" I immediately pondered.

    Maybe I am not meant to be a midwife after all?  Perhaps the door is shutting for a reason.  Again.

    OR

    I can DIY this too!  (This DIY month can really be far reaching) I can keep re-opening that door.  I will get up and keep fighting for what I know to be true.  I will get up and find a way to make this happen, no matter how hard it is, no matter what struggles come my way.  I will get up again and again.  Because when I am out there serving and advocating for women and babies, they are going to need someone that doesn't give up.  

    And so, last night, in a moment of mindlessness, I found myself incessantly repeating these lyrics in my head.  At first, as you can imagine, I was annoyed.  And then, it hit me.  I was sending myself a message, subconsciously.  Never say never.  I will fight till forever for my dream, to walk my path toward becoming a midwife.

    My message to you, don't give up.  Whatever it is that feels like it's too much to bear, if you know in your heart it is your path, don't give up.  And I also want to share a moment of gratitude for everyone out there bearing whatever it is you are bearing, the world can be a heavy place, but we will get through it.  Feel free to sing along with me as you walk your path.

    And you better believe, I'll also be singing these inspiring lyrics when I start my DIYor DIE project this weekend!
    -Melissa

    Shipping Pallet Gardening

    Posted by Amy Baranski



    I'm still gardening in the small patch of soil near our alleyway. I love the challenge of small-space gardening, and my brain is continually fascinated by thinking of ways to maximize growing space. During Urban Homesteading month last September I rescued a shipping pallet from SODO (the industrial area south of downtown Seattle) with the help of my husband. My intention was to build a living wall

    I originally envisioned the pallet living indoors and supporting tropical plants. Now I see it as a small pollinator sanctuary that can provide some vertical green space against the retaining wall of the alleyway and promote pollination in my vegetable garden. Since the forecast looks relatively clear on Saturday and Sunday I plan to get started!

    I'm going to focus on herbs mostly but do you have any pollinator-friendly plant suggestions? Please leave a comment or two with some of your favorite flowering plants.

    By the way, I love plants. If you do too check out my Plantski board on Pinterest and let's share gardening ideas!

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

    Full of Ideas

    Posted by Melissa Baumgart
    These are some ideas I have so far for this month:
    source: littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com
    I need a headboard for my bedroom.  I really like the look and functionality of a tufted headboard.  My problem is that my bed is in front of a window, and the only other place for it is on a small wall that does not allow for a night table.  If only I could manage to get a queen mattress, and downsize.  But then, where would all the sleepy kids that wander down the hallway in the middle of the night fit?  
    Source: www.ecrater.com
    I Love MacramĂ©!  I don't know why, but I am totally drawn to it.  I almost dedicated a whole month to it for GLWT, so I feel as though I should at least make one item for DIY month.  I have the perfect spot for this in my kitchen, and my kids could use another fruit storage space, since they go through so much of it every day!  I think I should start a paypal account just to fund the fruit supply for our home! 

    source: designsponge.com
    I have a picture rail or plate rail (is that the name of the thing at the top of a tall wainscoting?) on my dining room.  And I have lots of papers that I don't have space for in files and on shelves.  I could make these handy photo frame/hidden files and place them around my dining room.  Problem solved!


    source: designsponge.com
    These honeycomb shelves are adorable!  My girls could use more space for their little treasures, and I could paint the wood in shades of pink and purple to go with their room.  Or maybe a shade of teal for a pop of color.  

    If ever it is true, now is the time to say....Good Luck With That!  For I am one non-handy person.  I am not crafty, in fact, crafting makes me stressed and tense and afterwards my jaw hurts from clenching my teeth together.  By the end of a craft project my fingertips are blue from the lack of oxygen, because I don't breathe.  

    Any tips on relaxing during crafts?  Besides keeping a bottle of tequila close by?

    -Melissa

    Monday, April 2, 2012

    Don't scratch that itch!

    Posted by Melissa Baumgart
    I don't know how anyone living in Seattle could not start a blog post today by first shouting, "IT IS SUNNY TODAY!"  Ok, now that I have that taken care of...

    Yesterday at 4:30, I felt compelled to go in search of inspiration for DIY month.  I needed something more than the two dimensional virtual versions of projects that I scour through on the internet.  I needed real life, tangible objects.  I recalled going to a store, Earthwise, back when I was in charge of creating elaborate auction projects for my kid's school auctions.  We had found a church pew that we turned into a puppet theatre.  I really wish I had pictures to share with you because it was awesome!

    As much as the name makes me cringe with association to the BabyWise book series, I dropped everything, called to invite Amy and we headed down to SODO.  There certainly were a lot of cool things at the store.  It is a salvage store filled with everything from appliances, to doors, to random doll parts. But what I found to be missing was the inspiration I was searching for.

    I wonder if I am not one of those people that sees past the object and sees what it can become.  I tend to do that in other areas of my life.  Take my leg rash for instance, remember the one that was driving me crazy back during Urban Homesteading month?  Yes, it's been actually year and three months, and the rash was going strong.  It itched more than ever, it was bloody and scabbed from scratching.  I was seriously starting to get very concerned.  And grossed out.

    Then one day, I found a website about neurodermatitis or lichen simplex chronicus.  It is a condition that can start from a stressful situation (mine started when I lost my job), and is perpetuated by the intense itchiness that leads to scratching, which leads to more itch.  The medication offered for the condition is simply to stop the itch cycle.  Well, I thought, if this is it, I can stop my own itch cycle.

    So, for the past week, I have not itched.  If I catch myself itching without consciously choosing to do so, I quickly stop.  And let me tell you, if you have ever had an itch like this, it feels so good to scratch. Scratching brings relief and comfort, even if just for those moments of nails upon skin.

    Now, in turn for your hearing about this disgusting rash on my legs, I am going to share with you the bigger picture of what I learned.  When I look past the rash, I can see what my life will become.  The kernel of truth is that, the more I scratched and soothed my itch, the more I perpetuated my own suffering.
    Prayer Wheel.
    It led me to think, what other areas of my life am I perpetuating my own suffering in the name of comfort?  Are there places in your life that you are continuing to create an underlying suffering simply because in the moment, you are doing something that brings a temporary relief?   

    I am happy to report that in one week, my rash is gone.  I lived with this ugly painful rash for so long, and I didn't have to.  I imagined it was a horrible disease.  I thought at times it was the beginning of the end.  And the whole time, all I had to do was stop itching.  All I had to do was have power over my desire for immediate relief.  That is some deep shit right there.

    -Melissa




    Sunday, April 1, 2012

    Let's Get Hammered!

    Posted by Amy Baranski and Melissa Baumgart
    Welcome to Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Month at Good Luck With That!
    Watch out!  This month could be dangerous.  With glue guns, hammers and nails, and dare we even touch a saw?  This month we are tackling DIY projects around the house.  So far ideas range from building furniture to sewing napkins.  
    Have you been wanting to shoot yourself in the head with a glue gun lately, I mean, build some furniture for your home?  Do you have any great ideas for DIY projects?  We'd love to hear about or see any projects you have been working on.  Upload a picture of your project on our Facebook page.  At the end of the month we will pick a random winner and we'll send you one of our incredible DIY creations! 
    This month was inspired by one our favorite months of last year, Urban Homesteading.  We really enjoyed making everything from scratch and are hoping to expand on that idea with bigger projects around the home.  Here's to the same success story with less exhaustion.  
    DIY or DIE!!!

    If you're new to this blog, check out what we do, why we do it and like our Facebook page to stay up to date and participate.