Friday, November 21, 2014

Beer Bottle Cap Table: A How Not to Guide

Since every middle age suburban mother is in dire need of a piece of furniture inspired by a college dorm room, I decided to try my hand at a beer bottle cap table.  When I had a newborn baby.  And three other kids.  And then I wrote this post.

But because "baby brain" is in fact a very real and acute condition, I totally and completely forgot to take the pictures, much less publish the post.  Until now...a mere two years later.

How do I get one of these wonderful contraptions for my OWN home or dorm room, you ask?  It's not even as hard as it looks:

1) Choose an optimum time to begin. In this case, I decided that when my baby was a couple weeks old would be wonderful because obviously...who doesn't start projects involving resin when they have a newborn?  Particularly when they've never once used resin...ever.

2) Have friends bring you bottle caps from near and far, including but not limited to Canada, Germany, and Israel.  Or buy them from Etsy.  Or collect them at gas station parking lots.  Or some combination of the three.

3) Or drink all the beer and save the caps.  That would work too.  Although you might need to adjust the size of the table, so you can make sure and finish the table before your liver gives out.

4) Arrange bottle caps at your leisure.  UNTIL baby begins to crawl, at which time baby notices the irresistible lure of these fine choking hazards and constantly throws the carefully laid pattern into total disarray.

5) Frantically glue down bottle caps the moment baby has begun her nap. Start with superglue, as per Pinterest instructions, but realize that the task will take decades at minimum. Switch to hot glue after gluing fingers to several surfaces and reading about a two year old who super glued her eyes shut.

6) Tape edges of table. Realize that unlike the table in the pinterest instructions, top of table is not sealed to the bottom. Seal using duct tape.

7) Scan comment section of instructions for advice. Read that original instructions were stolen. Ask around for more instructions.

8) Mix and pour resin. Quickly realize that duct tape is a completely inadequate adhesive for the table underside. Take stepdaughter up on her offer to buy more resin while watching resin pour out the bottom.

9) Attempt to remove tape and extra resin with pliers, scissors, and knives.  Fail miserably.  Put table in living room anyway.  Because do you really need to be as delicate as all that if you're going to end up with the college dorm room look?

My apologies to the original post where I saw this two years ago.  Sort of.  The fact of it is, the entire post was stolen from another website and would never have worked anyway, even if I had followed the instructions.  Wood and metal can barely contain that stuff.  Duct tape did NOT contain it.  So I doubt very much that painter's tape and tin foil in the post I saw would have held it in.

I do have a couple of very real instructions if you do choose to try this at home:

1) Buy extra resin, in case yours runs all over the place like mine did.

2) Don't worry about what adhesive you use for putting the bottle caps on.  I can NOT tell which were done with super glue and which were done with hot glue.  All the super glue did was cause me tons of anxiety due to my newfound irrational fear of getting that stuff in my eye.

Happy decorating!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Book Talk, Head of Demolition Style

When we're at the library I alternate between carefully selecting books and trying to stop our Head of Demolition from performing her craft to the extent that the library is no longer standing when we reach the checkout line.

I look for books that strike that nearly impossible balance between being simple enough for a two year old to understand and books that prevent me from going stark, raving mad when I read them for the 32nd time in a single sitting.

I find a fair number of them each time.  But so that readers can more authentically appreciate the chaos that our trip to the library entails, I have also included the Head of Demolition's self selected titles in this list.

Also, as a DISCLAIMER if you choose to buy through my Amazon link, Amazon will pay me.  That's the idea at any rate.  I wouldn't know, because it's never actually happened that someone clicked on the link I recommended and bought something.  But the chance is there.  Apparently.

Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

A very pretty and clever book. The book is basically a list of greens (jungle green, pea green) making it simple enough for a two year old. But the illustrations are gorgeous (thus the Caldecott honor) and each one has a cut out that shows through to part of the next page.  Very enjoyable, at LEAST the first seventy five times.

The Case of the Missing Donut by Allison McGhee

The Head of Demolition chose this book herself and has since refused anything to do with it. It's cute enough and might be good for older kids.  But all in all it doesn't bother me that she hasn't picked this one back up.

To the Beach by Linda Ashman

Another one selected by the Head of Demolition and since abandoned. It's not bad. It rhymes, so that's always nice. The illustrations are the cartoon kind and cute. I can't really say if I'd get sick of it after several hundred readings, because like I said, the Head of Demolition abandoned it right away.

Blue Sky by Audrey Wood

I have to admit that I really like Audrey Wood. I chose this book because of its simplicity. It goes through a series of skies (dark sky, cloud sky, etc.). I wouldn't really say it's my favorite of her books (in fact, it would be hard to pick a favorite!). But it's serving it's purpose as a bedtime book quite nicely and I can read it a LOT of times without wanting to accidentally on purpose lose it under the couch.

Welcome Song for Baby by Richard Van Camp

Chosen by the Head of Demolition, this book is subtitled "A lullaby for newborns" and is quite sweet.  I think both her and I would like it better if there were a tune to the lullaby and/or I knew the tune.  It has a lot of "Hey ya"s in it, but there's no shaking like a Polaroid picture, so it's hard to tell where to go with that.  Still, the sentiments are absolutely beautiful, and Head of Demolition likes looking at the baby pictures.  So there you go.

Pierre by Maurice Sendak

I checked this out because Really Rosie was a childhood favorite of mine, so I DO know the tune to it.  The Head of Demolition loves any book that has singing, so it's an easier one for her even though it is fairly long for a two year old. I get to not only relive my childhood while reading it to her, but remember a time when feeding children to lions was considered suitable punishment for not minding one's parents.

Truck Stop by Anne Rockwell

I like the illustrations in this book, and the story has that kind of feel good "child as part of a community" quality.  It's a little disorienting that the trucks and vehicles have names right away while the occasional human remains unnamed.  I'm not sure the Head of Demolition really kept up with the plot the whole time, but she had fun looking at the trucks.

Mouse Mess by Linnea Riley

Yet another Head of Demolition pick thrown by the wayside the second we got it home.  It is a really cute one though.  It rhymes and has a story that is probably just a tiny bit over her head.  I think another few times through though and she'll be able to understand that the mouse made the mess.

Let's Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy by Jan Thomas

Much better than I expected.  I got this book out because I figured that the bold illustrations would attract my young cowgirl.  I was right about that, but I wasn't expecting it to be so delightfully silly.  I don't think the toddler quite understands, especially since to her a wolf is not necessarily scary (wolf = woof = dog).  She enjoys it and understands at her own level. And I've read it a number of times and am not sick of it yet.

Good Night Spot by Eric Hill

Another Boonga pick, obviously.  And if you've seen one Spot book, you've seen them all.  Still, there's probably a reason they're so popular and I really don't mind reading this one seventy million times.  Mercifully, there are no little lift the flap things in this one.

So that's what's in The Boonga's book bag library bag! I don't know that there was a clear favorite this time, but there were some good ones. We'll bring another library haul to the internet soon!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

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