Sunday, March 22, 2009

The tool fanatic that I am leads me to "tool up" those around me.
This week I bought Lauren a tool kit. Last week she obvserved that everyone else in her family had a tool kit! So I found a kit for her and gave it to her Friday. To my surprise it was the same one her mom has and Lauren was thrilled.
It all started when I showed her the tool kit I was collecting for her brother, Austin.
I found this incredible wooden kids tool set.
It was missing severval pieces. One trip to Canton replaced the missing ones and provided even more pieces for the kit. The wooden mallet, the planner and the blue screw driver came with the kit.

The wooden square was in the kit when I purchased it but everything else on this side was added. Notice the little level.

The kit has everything he will need. Emily had one of these kits when she was little and she spent many hours building things. But alas Austin is only one and many of these tools are still too dangerous for him to play with. We tried the other night and he was determined to hammer Grema's table.

The next day I found a pattern with wooden tools for kids.
We also found this neat tool box at McKinney Trade days.
Here are the tools in the holder.

Tool One: a hammer.

Of course you need a Chisel.

Here they are together.

It's important to have a planner to smooth out the wood.

Glue to join the wood.

A square is really important to get those cut at 90 degrees.

A saw is one of the most important tools. How else would you get the wood down to the right size?

Here they are all together. I used different woods and stains to create the look and feel of real tools.

This afternoon they will get a final coat of wax and then they will be ready for Mr Austin.

Stay tune he will be here this afternoon to claim them!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Winter Wonderland in Texas

One of the greatest things about living in Texas is that the weather here is wonderful 53 weeks out of the year. A few days a year we get to experience the wonder of the frozen world of winter.
Having grown up in Canada I used to experience this for about 5 months every year. Sure don't miss that!
The best thing about our winter days is that they only last for about a day or two. So the challenge is that when it does freeze up you have to be fast to get some good pictures of the event.
The ice usually comes at night so I went out late that night with a tripod and captured some pictures using only the street lights.
This is our tree out in front of the house.

The rose bushes were trapped by the frozen water.
It's incredible that the water dripping from this leaf would freese before it had a chance to fall off. I wonder how many drips were captured and frozen in place to create this.
As I caught the light coming through the the Icicles the light exploded into these bursts of light. No specials filters were used.

Here I was able to capture mulitiple bursts of light.

The next morning the icicles were even longer. It had continued to drizzle all night and the frozen water continued to build.
The sunlight made everything glitter.
It really is incredible to see how the ice holds the life of this plant in a suspended state.
Here are a couple more pictures capturing the light bursting through.
It's now almost the middle of February, we probably will not experience this again till next year.
This summer when we are back in the 100's... I'll pull these images up and remember the coldness of the night when I was out taking these pictures.
Maybe they will provide some soothing coolest on a hot sticky night.