Saturday, July 7, 2012

A trip to Zoo Atlanta

Hubby has been off work this past week and we were having a little stacation.  Stacations are great when you live near a city like Atlanta.  It would be a total bummer if we lived in the country like where I grew up and had to drive a minimum of an hour to get anyplace.

Anyway, part of our activities this week included going to Zoo Atlanta.  We hadn't been to the zoo in probably over 5 years.  I love the zoo.  I love to watch the animals.  I especially love to watch the Orangutans, they are probably my favorite.  That being said, I could have probably entitled this post "How to irritate a 14 year old by making them go to the zoo".  My daughter was less than pleased to be seen at the zoo.  I didn't let her spoil my fun though.

It was hot outside but with all the trees and overgrowth in the zoo, you really didn't notice the heat.  Plus, we love summer so bring on the heat.
Anybody that has been to Zoo Atlanta knows that your first stop is the Flamingos.  They are right there on the left when you first walk in so I don't know how you could miss them.

We then went to the Parakeet exhibit.  This is a fairly new exhibit.  Well, new to us at least.  I think they said it's been there for about 5 years.

The big ole Wart Hogs.  Every time I saw them, I wanted to sing that song from The Lion King;  "When I was a young wart hog".

I guess it was nap time because they didn't budge.

Zachary and hubby aren't going to let the 14 year old mood spoil their fun either.

The giraffe's always amaze me.  We stood and watched them for a long time.

This is the largest giraffe in the zoo.  The keeper said he was 17' tall.  

The rhino was hiding out from the heat.

The monkeys (I'm not sure of their official name) spent the entire time we were watching them grooming each other.  

Too funny!

It was right after this picture that my camera batteries died.  Ugg!

I hate when that happens.  I missed pictures of the Gorillas and the Orangutans.

The one thing that Victoria wanted to do was go see the pandas.  Luckily I found a gift shop before we got there so I could get some new batteries for my camera.

We saw 3 pandas and never did figure out who was who.  They all looked alike to us.

All they did was sit and eat bamboo.  Oh the life!

This panda would take a big stalk of bamboo, break it in half and then smell the bamboo to see if she wanted to eat it.  If she didn't like the smell, she would toss it to the side and get another piece.

Smelling the bamboo.

Guess this one was good enough to eat.

The last time I was at the zoo, I remembered bigger kangaroos.  These kangaroos were little and didn't do much hopping that I saw.

Oh yea, that feels great.

I did get Zachary into the petting zoo.  Victoria wouldn't have any part of it.  She was definitely too cool for that.  She went off with her daddy to get some cotton candy.

Goats are my favorite.  Fun fact: I showed goats at the fair when I was a kid.  I actually have, or had rather, goat trophies.  I believe hubby threw them away before we moved to Atlanta.

Taking a break.

The vultures were scary looking.  

When we first came into the zoo, the elephants were in their house.  Luckily, I remembered before we left that we hadn't seen them.  

As we were standing watching them, this one came right up to the fence where we were standing.

She proceeded to get mud in her trunk and throw it all over herself.  I'm so glad we don't have to do that to stay cool. I'm also glad she didn't throw mud on us.

It was such a fun day and everyone (including the teenager) had a great time.  Definitely a venue we have missed going to.

Do you visit the local zoo where you are?  What is your favorite animal at the zoo?  I would love to know.

Easy Wall Decoration

 Since finishing the walls in our basement, I hadn't yet put up many pictures or other decorations.  My main accent color is black but I also wanted to add some color.

This is such an easy wall decoration and a great way to add color to any room.

I had purchased the large quilting loop when I thought I was going to be quilting my first quilt by hand.  I quickly realized that wasn't going to happen so it's just been hanging out in my basement for a couple months.

I then went to Hobby Lobby and purchased 2 smaller loops and some fabric.

I inserted some fabric into each loop and tightened it really good.  I wanted to make sure the fabric was really smooth.

I made the 2 smaller loops the same fabric and the larger loop a coordinating fabric color.

Once all the fabric was securely in the loop.  I trimmed the fabric as close to the loop as I could.

The 2 smaller ones finished.

This is the wall space where I needed a little color.

The finished "art work".  They were so easy to hang.  I actually wanted the screws to be to the side but they were just to heavy to stay.  They ended up having to go to the bottom.

This is the view from my desk.

I really like how it adds some color to that corner and they are the perfect fit.  

This project took me maybe 15 minutes to complete, and cost about $20.  The bigger quilting loop was a little more expensive because I actually bought it to use for quilting.

I like it better hanging on the wall as art.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

American Flag Tutorial

I got the idea for this great flag project in a copy of Women's World magazine.  I was standing in line at the grocery story when I saw the magazine and was reminded that I hadn't gotten a copy in a long time.  I bought this copy and loved the flag idea so much that I knew I had to make one.

They actually used paint sticks for the flag.  I didn't have any paint sticks, I'm sure I could have gotten some at Lowe's or Home Depot but hubby found some sticks in the garage that we could cut down and they would be about the same width.

We cut 7 sticks 12" long.

We cut 3 sticks 9" long that would be used as support on the back to hold the entire thing together.

Because of the cuts that were made the edges were had some small splinters on them.

I used some sandpaper and lightly sanded the edges.

I then made a pencil line on 4 of the 12" sticks 5" from the left edge.  The part to the left would be where the blue portion of the flag will be painted.

I got my red, white and blue paint and gave all the pieces 2 coats.

I started with the blue.  

Then painted the red and white on every other one.

I let the paint dry for a day before adding the buttons.

I laid out all the buttons a couple sticks at a time then hot glued them on.  I'm surprised I have any fingertips left after this project.  In the magazine directions, they used wood glue.  I used hot glue because I felt like it would dry faster and also because I didn't think the wood glue would dry clear.

After the buttons dried and I cleaned up any threads of the hot glue, I glued the 9" boards to the back of the flag.  I did use wood glue for this because I didn't think the hot glue would hold the pieces together well enough.  It's on the back and so you won't see the glue anyway so it didn't matter if it dried clear or not.

Hubby told me to put lots of weight on it and let it sit overnight.

That's exactly what I did.

This is what it looked like the next day.  Everything was nice and dry; and it was all held together.

Because I planned to hang it outside, I put 2 coats of clear Polyurethane all over.   

 After the front had 2 coats and had completely dried.  I put 2 coats of Poly on the back.

We then added hooks and wire to hang it.

I was going to hang it on my front door but it was just too little.
I had a fern on this hook that was dying, so I just got rid of the fern and hung the flag in it's place.

Such a fun project.  It did take me a little longer than I thought it would because of all the drying time with the paint and polyurethane; but  it was worth it in the end.  I was just telling hubby today that I could make something similar for every holiday/season.  What's the next holiday coming up?

Well, I'll get to that later....for now,  Happy 4th of July!!


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