Thursday, May 24, 2012

Evertaster--I cannot wait to read this book!

One of my best friends just wrote a youth book called, "Evertaster".  This guy is one of the smartest, funnest, most adventurous, and most creative people I know and everything he does is amazing.  So, naturally, I cannot wait to read this adventure novel to my four boys!  It comes out next month, just in time for a good summer reading.  We are all excitedly anticipating its release.  Check it out when it comes.  For more information, you can visit the Evertaster webpage:
It's going to be awesome!

UPDATE:  The kids and I really enjoyed Evertaster.  It was funny for both kids and adults.  And now, Sidwell has put out a follow-up Novella to Evertaster:  Buttersmith's Gold!  We just got our copy and are excited to read it!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Outdoor Curtains

So, I pretty much live on my back deck in the summertime.  In the early morning hours, it's a bit sunny on the couch where I read and in the evening fall hours, the dining table gets a bit too much sun at dinnertime.  So, I wanted to add some curtains that I could pull back to block the sun wherever and whenever needed.  I also thought the curtains would be nice for keeping the snow off the deck furniture in the winter. 

But, our deck is huge and that many curtains can get pricey.  So, after much research, I decided to make the curtains out of canvas drop clothes.  I figured that sails are made out of canvas, so it should be a good material to stand up to the sun and intense wind around here.  Turns out I was right so far.  They have endured a terrible winter and now are still doing great this summer.

Curtain rods are way too expensive for a space this large, so I headed to Home Depot to come up with an alternative plan.  In the end, I decided to hang a plastic-coated wire (metal rope) through some eye hooks that I placed between each of the curtains.  The, I ran the wire through some clip-on curtain rings that I ordered from Jo-Ann's.  I tightened the wire with a little hardware from Home Depot and hung the curtains (drop cloths also from home Depot) on the rings and WaLA!  I now have curtains for my whole 9'x40' deck.

I am so impressed with these little curtain rings.  In the winter, I clamped the curtains to the railing, as they would catch that crazy wind just like sails.  And, believe it or not, those tiny little clips held tight.  I only had one curtain pull off the rings one time when the wind caught it just right.  I think that's pretty impressive considering the weight of just the curtains themselves.  When the curtains are open, I find that little ball bungee cords work best for holding the curtains in place.  They are easy to use, look surprisingly  nice, and keep the curtains put when the wind blows.

All in all, I've been enjoying the fruits of this project and feel like the curtains are not only functional, but really help this outdoor space have the warmth of an indoor room.  I am very pleased with the results.