Saturday, December 24, 2016

Outside-the-Box Christmas Wrapping

My wrapping this year started out with a few things for my grandsons.  Their idea of dressing for a special occasion is to clip a tie to their t-shirts. It works for them and doesn't curtail any of their normal behavior.  However, those ties take a beating. I thought new ones for Christmas would be a place to start my shopping.

The t-shirts to clip these to are inside the boxes.

I also picked up a puzzle as a gift they could share.

I recycled this bag and I needed to cover a message written on the outside of the bag.  In the spirit of recycling I cut the front of a Christmas card into a puzzle shape and glued it to the bag. Not easy to see the interlocking cutouts because I cut all three into the snow and then placed it on a white bag.  Oops.)

In place of a name tag, I cut a picture of each of them into puzzle shapes too.  The hope is they will be able to catch the clues and guess what is inside.

By the time I got to this one, I realized I had a bit of a theme going with the hints on the outside of the package.

 NO, I did not get them their own airplane. 

 Inside this little box are twenty paper airplanes that I folded because.....

I bought them each a mobile that has ten clips on which to hang photos, origami, or in this case, paper airplanes.  Full disclosure:  The book I got from the library on origami started with a fish and ended with an elephant, a flamingo and something equally as complicated.  I chose to start with the elephant.  Twenty frustrating minutes later I flipped to the front of the book and attempted to fold the fish.  Thirty minutes of that and I returned the book to the library.

I had more presents to wrap, or not wrap.  So moving on....

This coloring calendar seemed too pretty to cover.

So I covered the words with ribbon and tucked a few colored pencils into the bow to add dimension to the top. DONE.

The next one was a bit of a flip-flop as the decorative wrap went on the inside.  Sounds a little odd but it's a clear glass trifle bowl so it could still be seen.

If this looks like an idea you would like to try, I have a tip for you.


a little bit of ribbon on the pedestal and you have an unwrapped gift that still looks festive.

Update:  The ribbon/bow did not work on the base AT ALL.  That's why there's plan "B" or however far you need need to travel through the alphabet.  You have 26 chances to get it right.

 Bringing some color to the base finished it off nicely.

I'm calling it the Top Hat Trifle.

I picked up this box at Hobby Lobby when they dropped their prices on holiday merchandise.  My forty-something son gave me an idea earlier this week when he complained about small print.  I decided this would be a good gift box to accessorize with a gift.

I had Santa try out my son's first pair of cheaters.

Sheer black ribbon anchored the specs in place and kept the lid on the box.  Oh, and inside the box is my son's favorite

Money is one of those gifts that seems like you didn't give the gift much thought.  The truth is, you probably thought long and hard and could not come up with anything the receiver would really like.  I have found a few ways to make gifting money more stylish, if you will.  

For example:  Take this bag of popcorn.  My daughter's family does a weekly home movie night and they often make popcorn.  I removed the descriptive tag and put it in an envelope.

I added a burlap bow and few berry twigs.

Then I added some cash and a "Snow me the Money" lottery ticket to the envelope and hot glued it to the back of the popcorn sack.  DONE!

I saw these little headband hats at five BELoW and knew they would work for my granddaughters.

A bit of glittery netting, the cash again, and COMPLETE!

And just maybe the girls will wear these to a New Year's party.  Yes, I have granddaughters of that age.....I know, who would have guessed? =)

i picked up these magnetic clips with the intention of giving them to my grandsons so they could easily rotate their daily art display on the refrigerator.

Given the direction I was going with gifts this year, I thought these needed to be on the outside of the box as well.  However, I didn't have anything for the inside of the box and empty might have been a little anticlimactic. So, off to Michael's in the rain on the Friday before Christmas.  

I found this cute "how to" drawing book that emphasized using shapes to create characters.  This seemed like a multipurpose learning experience for the boys. 

To be honest, I liked it for myself.  But isn't that what we usually something we ourselves like?  That's why it's so hard to buy for others.  Even if the gift is not for me, I have to like least a little.

I can certainly see myself drawing right along with the kids.

I boxed the book and wrapped it in black paper because I had this cute Santa belt ribbon that I wanted to use and because...

I knew it would let the colorful clips stand out.  I added the shapes to play off the title of the book.  I know what you are thinking. This is way too much time spent on wrapping that is going to be destroyed in a preschooler second.  It's called THERAPY for people like me.

I browsed around Michael's for awhile even though what I needed I found right inside the door.  What should have been a twenty minute commute turned into forty because I didn't take into consideration that most people would be leaving work Friday at midday for the holiday break.  So, I needed a little time to recuperate before getting back on the highway.

These are simple little yarn and felt kits that are great projects for little tykes as they develop their coordination and dexterity.

There were a couple snowman heads that I didn't use on the trifle bowl and that worked out perfectly for this package.  All they needed were scarfs to complete the outfit.

Don't worry, I don't expect anyone to guess what's inside based on this.  Although knowing my 6 year old grandson, he might guess a hound's tooth.  

I passed this on the clearance shelf as I was checking out and made it my final purchase and the last gift of this post.

The boys love to help their mother bake and I thought they might have some fun with this on a snowy day in January.

Documented:  It is 11:36 am on Christmas eve and my wrapping is complete.  These are my grandsons, Nathan and Gabriel.  Hopefully, I will get a picture of my granddaughters, Amber and Taylor, in their New Year's hats that I can add to this post.

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Restaurant Progress Report

Some walls have been shaved back since the last post.  The area at the bottom of the stairs needed to be opened up visually and to provide easy access between the two sides of the first floor.  The wall in the foreground on the right will also be moved back to the conduit you see running up the wall.

 That means this alcove will not be as deep.  But this doorway is being changed to a fixed glass right behind the stone arch.

 That will leave room on the inside for a hostess station.

Even though this beautiful tile is in perfect condition, it will be covered to make the floor level with the floor at the bottom of the stairs,  Some battles you just can't win.

This is taken from the front on the left side of the building.  There is a hallway to a back exit with two bathrooms off this hallway.  The plywood leaning against the studs is where the kitchen starts.  It extends across the back to the east wall of the building.

This is just a close up of the bathroom framing.  Those support poles you see on the floor are required and not designated for a location that is ideal but, as I said, some battles cannot be won.

This shot is from the front of the building on the right side.  The doorway in the back will become the entrance to a walk in freezer that extends out the back of the building.

This close up shows the space designated for the kitchen.  Initially plans were to have some of the storage and freezer space, along with some prep tables, in the basement.  Than plan has changed with the walk in freezer out back.  The basement will still be used for supplies.

Notice the handrails that curve along the stairs to the top.

Both sides wrap around at the top so there will be two columns where the railings attach.

Originally this staircase was enclosed to the ceiling. The plan now is add a 22 inch wall on each side and leave the end over that red area for a gate that was once on the outside of the building.  It was used  to enclose the recessed area behind the stone arch.  Because the height of the sides needs to be 42 inches, an iron railing will be added on top of the short wall.

This is the back of the second floor.  Note the amount of brick showing above the windows.

This is the front of the building which shows more exposed brick. Due to the slope of the roof the ceiling will be higher in the front.  It would be great to keep this exposed but a sprinkler system and  insulation will be added.  Then a sound absorbent ceiling will be added over that. 

There are three large I-beams that will be exposed below the ceiling.

Directly at the top of the stairs there is a raised area that was once a skylight.  It will remain open to the floor below but, for now, no skylight will be installed.  The recessed area starts above the black I-beam in this picture.  The recessed area is approximately 4'x11'.

This is taken from the front of the building.  The bar is on the right with the satellite kitchen behind that and a bathroom next.  There will still be room for tables beyond that in front of the windows across the back.

This shows the kitchen and bath area looking from west to east.  You can see the top of the staircase on the right.

Across from the kitchen and bath, on the opposite side of the room. will be two banquettes.
As you can see the building has a jog on this side, so one banquette will be larger than the other.

Here is the same area shot from the back of the building.

You may have noticed an exit on the back of the second floor,  This leads to a small deck and a set of stairs to the ground.  The Ritz park is directly behind the restaurant building.  It is an event park for the Grand Business District and hosts festivals, movies, yoga, and booths for various local activities.