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Bounce Back: Ideas For Repurposing An Old Trampoline

Posted by on May 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Bounce Back: Ideas For Repurposing An Old Trampoline

Whether you’re upgrading to a new trampoline from a place like Tree Frogs Wooden Swing Set Factory or have simply outgrown the one you have, you’re probably wondering what you should do with the—now unneeded—contraption. While donating, selling, or giving the trampoline away are all viable solutions, repurposing the device is a great green option that can help the environment while giving an old trampoline new life. Here are a few simple projects you can do. Turn It Into a Luxury Hammock You’ve likely seen hanging beds advertised for hundreds of dollars at furniture stores. However, you can make your own for a lot less using an old trampoline. You can design the bed any number of ways, but the basic instructions for upcycling a trampoline into a hanging bed are: Remove the legs from the frame Wrap the frame in sturdy fabric like canvas. This will protect skin from unwanted burns if the bed will be hung outside in sunlight as well as minimize any environmental damage the frame may be subjected to over the coming years. Tie strong rope at equidistant points on the frame, being sure to leave open a space big enough for people to climb inside the bed. To prevent sagging in the middle, run the rope along the bottom of the trampoline mat. Alternatively, you can use metal chains. However, you may want to cover the chains to protect the metal from rusting. Secure the other end of the ropes to a heavy duty ring. This will allow you to, in turn, hang the bed from a hook in the ceiling of the room or a rope wrapped around a tree branch. Locate a cushion approximately the same diameter as the trampoline and place it on top of the trampoline mat. The rope should secure the cushion in place. However, you can also use a removable adhesive such as Velcro to prevent the cushion from sliding around too much. It’s a good idea to make sure the cushion has a removable cover you can take off and wash whenever it gets dirty. The trampoline hammock can be customized according to your needs and preferences such as attaching curtains to allow for some privacy. Just be certain your customizations don’t compromise the functionality and safety of the bed. Create a Shelter for Wood or Chickens Trampoline frames are very sturdy and can serve as the basis for a chicken pen or outdoor storage area. To make a chicken pen, you would essentially wrap cattle panel, chicken wire or other mesh fencing around the exterior of the frame and secure it with metal ties. The trampoline mat can be left on to provide shade to the animals or taken off and repurposed for something else. To make a small storage area, you would remove the legs and then cut the trampoline frame in half. Lengthen the size of the semicircles by cutting up the legs and welding them onto the ends of the frame. This will let you drive the ends into the ground to provide stability to the structure against wind and other environmental elements. Once you have the frame in place, attach a sturdy covering such as a tarp, horizontal pieces of tin, or other robust materials you may have access to. The...

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Three Fantastic Reasons To Consider Adopting Older Children

Posted by on Mar 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Although some parents choose to adopt children of a specific age, others are less concerned. In fact, for many adoptive parents, the primary concern is that the child be in need of a home and a good fit for what they are able to offer. Unfortunately, the fact that many adoptive parents don’t want to miss infancy and toddlerhood means that older children can sometimes be more difficult to place. If you’re in the process of deciding whether or not adopting a child is right for you, read through these great reasons to choose an older child or teen.  The Most Important Reason: They Really Need You It’s a sad fact that, the older a child becomes, the less likely they are to enjoy a successful adoption. Older children frequently get cycled through the DCFS system, hopping from foster carer to group home and back again. Research has even shown that these children tend to age out of the system directly, suddenly being dropped on their own two feet at the age of 18. As is the case for many children, many simply aren’t ready–and having a lack of stability in early life can put them at high risk for drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, or chronic poverty. The book, “Achieving Permanence for Older Children and Youth in Foster Care,” does an excellent job of highlighting why getting these children into stable homes is so important. It highlights how having a sense of permanence and being able to create “roots” with a family can help to provide them with the stability needed to move forward successfully. It also ensures that the adoptee gets to experience normalcy, gaining an understanding of what they should be striving for as healthy adults. Better yet, having a family before they venture out into the world can mean having the opportunity to experience familial love and protection for what may really be the first time. This can instill the self-esteem, confidence, and security needed to make healthy decisions and healthy connections. They Get to Be Part of the Decision-Making Process For younger children, this is commonly not the case–placements are generally issued by the agency. While this is necessary, it can sometimes leave children feeling unimportant or detached from the new family. When you start the adventure required to adopt an older child, chances are they’ll be part of the decision-making process. This is especially true if you plan to adopt a teen.  Generally, both adoption agencies and the courts will encourage the older child to be an active part of their adoption. Although it may seem questionable to allow a child to have a say, giving him or her a bit of control over their future can actually be very helpful. Doing so allows them to feel as if they are in control of their lives. Instead of the decision being taken out of their hands and a placement issued, they can actively work with you to develop a relationship before the full transition occurs. You will get to know your child, and he or she will get to know you. Through this process, a bond can be developed before the full transition occurs. There’s also more time to develop trust between the family and the child, ensuring that neither are blindsided by issues...

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Affordable Adoption Options

Posted by on Oct 2, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When you discover that you and your spouse are unlikely candidates for having children (from a medical standpoint), you are left feeling a deep loss for the child(ren) you never had. Fortunately, there are children who would love for you to become the parent they never had. Don’t allow your physical limitations stop you from becoming a parent, and please don’t let adoption fees stop you from starting a family. Do You Believe You Can’t Afford To Adopt? Adoption fees can add up to as much as $40,000, but did you know that they can also be as little as $0 (for some public agency adoptions). The cost of an adoption will fluctuate based on a variety of factors such as: the mother’s prenatal care expenses delivery and other medical expenses for the mother and the baby sometimes living expenses for the mother during her pregnancy legal fees agency fees  Although you and your partner are confident that adoption is the answer to your child-less family, a look at adoption costs can take the wind out of your sails quickly. If you are serious about bringing a child into your home, then here are some tips for making the adoption process more affordable. 1) Explore Different Adoption Agencies When you adopt through a private agency, you can expect to pay more than you would through a public agency. That doesn’t mean that an expensive agency is the only way to get a newborn baby without waiting years on a waitlist. Domestic adoptions don’t have to drag out for years (which seemed to make international adoptions more popular). Some parents have been able to hold their new baby within months of beginning a domestic adoption.  2) Consider An Older Child Many older children are overlooked in the adoption process, but they may be ready to be placed right away. Adopting older children means you can eliminate extra costs associated with newborn (like paying for the delivery). You can also miss out on sleepless nights and constant diaper changing. The first memory you share with your child could be of playing soccer, having a tea party, or sharing silly stories. There is absolutely nothing wrong with preferring a newborn, but at least consider that a child of any age would find happiness in your home. 3) Foster-To-Adopt Your least expensive choice is fostering to adopt. You may assume that fostering is always about the temporary placement of a child. This isn’t actually true. Children need foster care when their parents or caregivers are working out their legal disputes. If the judge takes away custody of a child in foster care, then the child will be available for adoption. When you are fostering the child, you may be compensated by the state government to help feed, clothe, and house the child. After you adopt a fostered child, you may continue to receive financial aid, though it will typically be less than it was during fostering. You won’t get rich fostering and adopting children this way, but the financial aid will carry over until the child goes to college. Foster children and children adopted through the state may be eligible for a free college education through a state school, too. 4) Look To Your Lifelines For Support Some employers, church groups, and other benefactors are happy...

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What’s Under The Skirt Of A Victorian-Style Steam-Punk Wedding Dress?

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Are you having a steam-punk wedding? Do you want to dress just as they did in the Victorian era? Start building your underwear collection now, because you might be surprised by just how many layers of material women of the 1800s wore under their dresses. Fortunately, your wedding will last but a single day (a very special day, mind you); so if Victorian era clothing is what you want, then Victorian era clothing ye shall have — read on for a list of everything you’ll need between your skin and your dress. Your local shops, like Bridal Elegance, may even be able to help. Layer 1 – Bloomers When your special day arrives, you’ll begin your dressing ritual with a pair of bloomers. These knee-length, plain cotton pants are split at the crotch so that, once your ensemble is complete, you won’t need to remove all those layers to go to the restroom.   In the Victorian era, ladies wore dark bloomers during the day, and white bloomers at night, under their nightgowns. The one exception to this rule was their wedding day, on which it was perfectly acceptable to don a pair of white ones all day long. Layer 2 – Chemise Next, you’ll slip on a chemise. While you’ll be able to find plenty of chemises in modern-day clothing stores, they won’t be the same thing as the traditional Victorian type. Modern chemises are more like light-weight, spaghetti strap tank-tops, while traditional chemises are heavier, knee-length, sleeveless gowns.  The point of the chemise is to protect your body from being scratched by your corset, and to protect your corset from absorbing sweat and oils from your skin. Layer 3 – Corset Next comes the corset. These tight-fitting body-slimmers were traditionally crafted out of several layers of fabric and then enforced with whalebone. The purpose of Victorian era corsets was to lift the breasts, narrow the waist, and flatten the stomach. While you won’t find any clothing manufacturers offering whalebone corsets in today’s modern market, you may have some luck shopping vintage clothing stores for them — just make sure to allow yourself plenty of time to hunt one down. Layer 4 – Corset Cover Just as the chemise protected the skin from the rough corset, a corset cover was worn by Victorian ladies to protect the outer clothing from being damaged by the abrasive corset. Traditional Victorian corset covers were cotton, sleeveless, and waist-length. Layer 5 – The Bustle At step 5 of dressing for your steam-punk wedding, you’ll attach a bustle; no Victorian style ensemble is complete without one. The bustle worked to lift the heavy material utilized in Victorian dresses off of the floor, preventing the dress from dragging or becoming misshapen. These formed tufts were generally made of a bunch of crinoline pinned together at the back of the corset cover. Layer 6 – The Petticoat The petticoat is the final necessary layer of a traditional Victorian lady’s garb. Petticoats were worn under the dresses, with their backs draped over the wearers’ bustles. Besides adding a bit more form and fluffiness to the dresses, petticoats provided some aesthetic appeal as they frequently bore intricate designs and peeked out below the bottom of the outer dress.  Shortcuts  If you aren’t sure you can handle all...

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