Making Books With The Kids

Coming off of the hits with our world famous YouTube channel, my kids and I decided to try our hands at making books over the weekend. First off, they a really easy to do. Second, it get’s kids thinking more creatively about what they want to write about. My daughter wrote a wonderful story about a magic flower (which of course she is shopping for a publisher now) and my son created a great picture book about a ninja warrior. The project is super simple, costs close to nothing (or maybe nothing if you have books laying around you don’t mind destroying) and can be done on a rainy weekend afternoon. See for yourself.
Book Making for Kids!More DIY How To ProjectsPS – it also gave me a chance to build another Instructable and play with some of their new social tools. Winner all around!

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Playing Dolls

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This past Christmas, like a lot of families, the cult of American Girl Doll hit our family.  Our daughter got one real doll and one fake doll, but who can tell the difference except the people in the stores and those weird people that dress their kids and dolls in matching outfits.Of course, with dolls comes accessories like clothing and beds and such.  Like with kids, two dolls means two times the clothing.  Where to store it?We pretty much blew our Christmas budget on the one doll.  Grandma kicked in for the other, other grandma kicked in for the bunk bed and yet other grand parents ponyed up for a lot of clothing.  Our daughter was in heaven for a few days until she realized that she needed a closet to put the clothing in.  Boy did she find one.  There is a great one in the catalog, but it is $300.  Not in our budget.What was in the budget was money for 1/4 inch x 10 pine.  A little bit of elbow grease and a Sunday afternoon in the garage with my wonderful little girl and we had a closet.  Over the next few nights, we sanded and painted and within a week, our new little bundles of joy had a nice new closet for all of their clothing.

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This was a really fun project for me as 1.) I got to spend a lot of time with my daughter teaching her to use power tools. And 2.) I’ve wanted to build an armoire for a long time, but we really don’t have room or need for one.  This was essentially the same thing, just smaller with less detail work.

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Beyond Snake Oil

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For the past couple of weeks, I’ve had the idea of hosting a video blog all about sales, sales management with a bit of a hint of marketing in it.  I spent some time looking around and have found a couple of decent ones, but nothing really blew my doors off.Therefore, I am really excited to announce my first foray into video blogging, Beyond Snake Oil.My goal is to post Monday, Wednesday & Friday, with maybe a weekend post scattered in for good measure.  I’ve got a bunch of content floating around in my brain, but I’d love more feedback.I’m still getting used to using iMovie, but I figure that by the fourth or fifth episode, I’ll have the hang of editing and lighting.  I’m trying to keep things fairly short so as not to have to deal with editing clips and such.So here is my call:What would you like to see?  Tell me and I’ll see what I can do.  See the site, leave me comments, watch the episode.

Wanna Be Anthropologie Table

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Holly, my wife, loves the distressed furniture made from reclaimed wood at stores like Anthropologie and Shabby Chic. She has also wanted a sofa table since we moved back into our house. Unfortunately, in the Bay Area (and probably other parts of the country) distressed & reclaimed some how equals ‘looks like an antique so charge 4x the price.’Sadly, we don’t have a budget for such finds, but we do have an awesome reclaimed lumber place in East Palo Alto. $21 later and we were in business. The table top & shelf were a piece of 2″ x 15″ that we found in the neighbors basement when they demolished their home. I always thought that it would make a great table top and low and behold.I was going to document the process of building this, but it was pretty easy and I forgot to take pictures of the building. Essentially, route your legs to accept the side members. Cut and route the side members to fit in there (mortise or tenon, but I don’t remember which is which). Route the bottom of the legs for the shelf. Glue the back and 2 side members in. Don’t forget the shelf. Cut the front up, make your drawers and glue all that together.Flip the whole assembly upside down and attach the top. I used L-brackets, which I’m proud to say are the only screws on the table. I did this because the top of the table is slightly warped and didn’t fit quite snuggly.Painting it was a pain in the ass. Holly had one color in mind that Home Deathspot couldn’t quite match. I like the whale gray that it turned out, but I’ll always think about what it could have been.

Wanna Be Anthropologie Table

Blue Sofa Table Blue Sofa Table
Holly, my wife, loves the distressed furniture made from reclaimed wood at stores like Anthropologie and Shabby Chic. She has also wanted a sofa table since we moved back into our house. Unfortunately, in the Bay Area (and probably other parts of the country) distressed & reclaimed some how equals ‘looks like an antique so charge 4x the price.’

Sadly, we don’t have a budget for such finds, but we do have an awesome reclaimed lumber place in East Palo Alto. $21 later and we were in business. The table top & shelf were a piece of 2″ x 15″ that we found in the neighbors basement when they demolished their home. I always thought that it would make a great table top and low and behold.

I was going to document the process of building this, but it was pretty easy and I forgot to take pictures of the building. Essentially, route your legs to accept the side members. Cut and route the side members to fit in there (mortise or tenon, but I don’t remember which is which). Route the bottom of the legs for the shelf. Glue the back and 2 side members in. Don’t forget the shelf. Cut the front up, make your drawers and glue all that together.

Flip the whole assembly upside down and attach the top. I used L-brackets, which I’m proud to say are the only screws on the table. I did this because the top of the table is slightly warped and didn’t fit quite snuggly.

Painting it was a pain in the ass. Holly had one color in mind that Home Deathspot couldn’t quite match. I like the whale gray that it turned out, but I’ll always think about what it could have been.