Friday, August 28, 2015

The upcycle tire project... that drove me nutty.

Looking around a friend's industrial yard, I spotted an old trailer tire that was all rusty and dirty and obviously not being used. I asked if I could have it, told him I had a project that I thought it would be perfect for.  I'd seen somewhere online, an ad on Facebook I think, that someone took a tire and upcycled it into an ottoman. It was a giant tire, and they wrapped it in sysal, then left it on the ground, instead of adding legs. Naturally, I saw that and decided to make my own version, afterall, I needed a small ottoman for the chairs Thor and I upcycled back in July on the patio.

Things you'll need if you want to make one: A tire, measuring tape, pencil, wooden legs, plywood, screws, screwdriver, jigsaw, sander, hot glue gun and 30+ sticks of glue, rope of some sort (the thicker the better), and LOTS and LOTS of patience and perseverance.

Here, I had measured, cut out and sanded two circles with the jigsaw, the perimeter to fit inside the grove in the tire hole with about an inch overlap.

Next, I sanded down the recycled furniture legs that I brought for $3 at the Habitat for Humanity Restore.

Attach one of the plywood circles to the tire. I used 3 screws. Then attach the legs to the plywood. I did it in this order to cover up the screws affixing the plywood to the tire.

Voila! It's starting to take shape. Now screw the second plywood disc to the top of the tire.

Situate yourself in a comfortable location near a plug and get ready for the long hard part. This tire, which is just a small trailer tire, took 300 feet of this nylon rope in total. I had initially only bought 2 packs, had to go back and get another. Now you're ready to start winding and hot glueing.

With center marked, begin hot glueing the rope in a circular fashion all the way around the tire. When I began this, I thought I'd be done in about an hour. I was t.o.t.a.l.l.y wrong.

This is not a project that will happen quickly. Be prepared to be here wrapping and glueing for hours, around and around and around. I ran out of hot glue sticks and had to run to Walmart to buy more. When I read about this project online, it said it would need about 6 glue sticks. I had a dozen, thought I was set. I used about 30 or more by the end of the 300 feet of rope.

By this point, I was like "OMFG.. this is NEVER going to get done!" I seriously was regretting beginning this project. Glue, stick the rope down (to the rope, it won't stick to the tire), turn, glue, stick it, turn, glue, stick, turn.... AHHHHHHH!!! I'm sure I told the tire where it could stick it by about hour 2 of this. Seriously, had I read about how difficult it was to get the rope to stick properly and how long it would take, I really would not have attempted this. But once I got to this point, I figured there was no turning back. My fingers were hot glue burned and rope burned, but I just kept on going.

FINALLY, after 2 days of wrapping and glueing and spinning, a whole bunch of sighing and a lot of f-bombs, I got the whole thing wrapped. In total, the project took about 8 hours spread over two days from start to finish. Thor says he really likes it, it's got a bit of a mid-century atomic flare to it. Wrapping it brought out a unique style that wasn't apparent there before. But for reals... I hated this project. I like the final outcome though, the finished ottoman, but I neglected to treat the plywood and make it waterproof, so I don't even think it'll stay out on the patio. I'll have to just take it inside and outside when I want to use it. I like the white nylon rope, but if it came in a larger width, that would have been infinitely better.

So yeah... the next time I see a project online that I want to do, I'm going to really analyse it and think long and hard about how much effort it will take to accomplish. 

On to my next project, which is going to be comparatively, a warm summer's breeze! It has to do with a tree trunk my mom had to get rid of in her yard this spring. Wish me luck! 

Jules :Oargh! 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Summer of Change

Me: "Hi Buddy! So how was your day? Can you tell me about this project you made in camp today? Did you roll the papers yourself?"

Thanan, with attitude: "I'm INDEPENDENT Mom. It's a moon house. It wasn't an experiment today, we just had to build stuff."

Me: "You know, I was just asking to make conversation so you'd know I was interested in what you did today. You don't need to respond with such attitude, that's not at all called for. Think about that."

Thanan: "Oh, I didn't realize, Mom. I thought you were saying I was dependent on someone else to roll the paper."

Me: "I think you mean "sorry, I didn't realize, Mom"... No, I was just making conversation, Thanan. I'm going to bbq chicken for supper... " My voice trails off, I'm facing forward, lip trembling, a tear rolls down my cheek as I drive us home.

The thing is, I've made sure to devote my life to Thanan. I've always put aside my own wants and desires to make sure that he has what he needs and is provided with the most nurturing upbringing possible. Up till recently, it's all been going really well. But I've dubbed this the "summer of change" because since about early summer, everything's slowly morphing into this realm where I'm less and less necessary. I get it, kids grow up and become independent. I can't stop it, nor would I want to. But I'm not sure how to cope with it.

In a regular family setting, I think as a child grows and becomes less dependent, the father and mother lean on each other more to adjust to the changes and celebrate the new found time they have together. But for me, here... I don't have that... yet. Instead, I just have a void that I'm not able to fill up with anyone else here. I don't have my Thor here all the time to do stuff with, to occupy my new time and space as Thanan disappears more and more. I just have emptiness. And I have to honestly say, I'm not sure I'm equipped to handle that. I mean, I know I will... I've always been so strong before. This won't kill me... but it's really a struggle and challenge, and the scary part is it's only beginning.

He wants to go be with friends instead of hanging out with me. He wants more privacy, spends more time in his room with the door closed. He's making his own bagel, toast, bowl of cereal. He's leaving the house without me to play with friends at the playground or at their house. He's walking home from school. But the most impactful thing is the overly evident pulling back of togetherness.. the dive into his independence and how it's leaving me wondering about my true life's work and what I'm supposed to be doing with my empty space and time now.. without him, without Thor here.

Anyway, I'm trying to go with the flow, but often it stops me in my tracks and I just have a flow of tears instead. Like today in the car on the way home. And like now as I write this post.

I wish I could take solace in knowing I'm only 1 of billions of parents going through the same exact emotional state. It's funny how there are so many people experiencing this but I still feel alone in it.

At some point, this will become the new normal, I guess. I don't love that, but I have to accept it because I don't want to be the parent who suffocates their child and maintains too much control over what they do as they age. I have to adapt. It's just ridiculously hard.

Jules :'Obarelycoping(

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Finally.. I found it!

That moment when you are just absolutely hit with an idea.. your purpose.. something that has so much potential to make an impact on people...

I found that moment.

Now I'm working on moving from all of my brainstorming to making it tangible. It's occupying tons of my free time. When people ask me what I'm up to today, I just say "I've got work stuff to do." The only person I've told about my new adventure is Thor and he's totally supportive.

There are ways to take my knowledge and desire to be helpful and put it to good use. So wish me luck! I'm giving myself a goal of end of summer to launch stuff. It'll start small and hopefully with the help of social media, it will grow. Putting it on here will help hold me accountable.

Jules :Opurpose!