TIP OF THE DAY…
I first “met” Haddy from House of Creative Designs last Christmastime on Instagram. It’s a crazy social media world we live in. Haddy was always doing some amazingly cute things with her Elf on the Shelf and I was getting into it at the same time. We just started chatting and have been in touch for a year, now. Since that time, Haddy has officially created House of Creative Designs and has an incredible eye for design (something I do not have) and is so stinking creative. When I saw her DIY Outdoor Movie Night, I asked if she’d be willing to do a guest post.
Friends, meet Haddy. Haddy, meet our friends. Let’s begin, shall we?
First of all let me say this was super fun and I’m absolutely doing this again. My guests all loved it and demanded that we have one monthly. The bonus was how inexpensive and easy it was to create. It took just ONE WEEK to prepare.
- EMBELLISHMENTS & FUN TOUCHES
I literally had less than a week to make our very first “Outdoor Movie Night” happen. So the first thing you need is going to be a projector. We lucked out and just borrowed one from My aunt’s office and hooked it up to my laptop, then used some computer speakers to amplify the sound (optional). If you don’t have the same luck and would like to invest in a projector, I have seen some pretty good deals on Overstock.com and Amazon for about $200. The other option is renting. There are several online AV rentals companies and they typically charge around $55-$90 for a weekend.
The next main staple you’ll need is a screen. You don’t need anything fancy and you don’t need to spend a lot of money. Just head over to your linen closet or thrift store and dig out a stain free white sheet and iron it. You can also use a fabric shower curtain, drape panel, or a tablecloth – which is what I used. I used strong clips to hang it from the gutter off of the roof line but you can also run rope or heavy duty fish line or clip it to a fence.
For seating, a mixture of blankets, pillows and chairs will give your guests options.I would suggest writing instructions on your invites for guests to “Bring your own lawn chair”.
Now for the fun stuff. Of course, movie night is not complete without popcorn. Why not a popcorn bar! Remember people like options and popcorn is cheap! To create this, I used an existing tablecloth and bought a couple of yards of burlap (cost less than $10) and threw that on top. I wanted my popcorn bar to be rustic and a bit vintage so I incorporated an old create and wire basket and made a wood popcorn sign. (more on the popcorn flavors under EMBELLISHMENTS & FUN TOUCHES)
The popcorn sign was also pretty inexpensive to make just using some old wood, nails, rope to hang it from the fence and paint. I wanted a bit of a wow factor so I decided to add little lights along the center of all the letters by drilling holes as evenly spaced as possible. I stuck the light bulbs through the holes and taped them down on the backside of the sign. This was my rustic approach to the DIY marquee sign.
EMBELLISHMENTS & FUN TOUCHES
Some of the staples you’ll need to pull off the popcorn bar are:
- Cups or boxes
…for the popcorn. This is where the Dollar tree comes in. They actually sell all the “Popcorn” labeled bags and plastic containers. They even have big serving bowl sizes to match. I, again, like to give my guests options. So I had some pre-filled bags of buttered popcorn for those who didn’t want to scoop their own. I put them in glass jars and a DIY sack (which was just a paper grocery bag I lined with butcher paper with burlap and twine wrapped around the outside).
The flavors of popcorn I went with were:
- Butter popcorn
- Chile lime popcorn
- Moose Munch (recipe HERE)
I had to add a jar of red vines – another movie staple. My bar was made to feed 15 people. For a larger group, I would suggest adding another couple of containers and a third savory flavor like cheese flavored popcorn. We also had other treats for guests to snack on like 7 layer bean dip served in individual cups and little finger foods.
That’s it. Just start the movie and tell everyone to be quiet. A last minute fun touch I wanted to add was a chalkboard with the movie(s) that were playing. You can pick up a piece of plywood at Lowes for cheap and some chalkboard paint. Just remember when using chalkboard paint you need to make it 2-3 days before you intend to write on it.
We went camping last weekend and the bees were everywhere! This time of year they seem to be particularly annoying because they seem almost sluggish and way more persistent.
Even though you’ve taken steps to keep the bees away using suggestions in our previous post, “How To Keep Bees Away From Your Next Outdoor Party…and You!“, we discovered how to take steps to keep them away from you. But what do you do if they aren’t fazed by your prevention efforts and won’t go away?
Let’s pretend we’re a bee for a minute…
What Bees See
The pollen and nectar of flowers is a source of food for a bee. Their favorites are, blue, yellow and white. Bright orange and purple flowers come in a close second, and their least attractive flower color is generally red.
Bees see similarly to a color blind person, and because they see colors differently, they interpret the world differently than we do. Bees don’t see the color red, and have trouble distinguishing it from the green background of leaves. Bees that prefer red flowers is not that they are attracted to the red color, but that they perceive them in a color that they can see, such as hues of oranges and yellow. Bees can see UV fluorescence. As long as you’re not wearing a flourescent yellow shirt that glows in the sun, bees will most likely find their flowers more interesting than you!
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Which are Which?
Because of the many species of bees, and the many variations of body type, coloring, and behavior, the below descriptions and facts are only a very general description of each.
Something I was surprised to learn is that the term wasp is a general term that includes both hornets and yellowjackets. A wasp is not the name of a particular bee, it’s the name of a type of bee. In other words, all hornets and yellowjackets are wasps, but not all wasps are hornets or yellowjackets. Interesting, huh?
- Hornets grow to a size of .75 inches. They come in different variations of black and yellow.
- Despite their larger size, most hornet species (but not all of them) are less aggressive than the yellow jackets
- Hornets usually stay above ground, nesting in trees, shrubs and perhaps under eaves of homes.
- Hornets build their nests from a papery substance that is produced from chewing wood and mixing it with their saliva.
- Hornets have a smooth stinger, and can sting many times. Their sting can be very painful.
- Yellowjackets are slightly smaller than hornets, with a much smaller head. Their face is primarily yellow with dark eyes. They have black and yellow markings on the front of the head, and yellow banding around the abdomen.
- Yellowjackets build their nests out of wood materials ground up into paper, and are often found nesting underground in areas that have been hollowed out by rodents or other animals.
- They are attracted to meat, fruit and sweet drinks.
- Yellowjackets have a smooth stinger, can deliver a very painful sting, and can sting many times.
- Honeybees are normally about 3/4 inch long. Normally their bodies are hairy, reddish-brown and black, with orangish-yellow rings on the abdomen. The head, antennae and legs are black.
- Their hives are usually located in a hollow tree.
- Honey bees will usually leave you alone, but can get confused and be attracted to some soaps, hairsprays or perfumes.
- Their stinger is barbed. The sting apparatus is pulled from the bee’s body when she moves away causing massive abdominal rupture and death. Despite common belief, it is the only species of bee to die after stinging.
- Bumblebees have a roundish-square-shaped body, 3/4 to 1 inch in length. They come in a range of colors,and are generally more hairy than the honey bee.
- Bumblebee is slow and gentle, wandering around collecting nectar and pollen. They are less aggressive than the honeybee.
- Only worker bumblebees and Queen bumblebees have a stinger. It’s smooth, and they are able to sting as many times as they want.
- Bumblebees nest in a variety of different places. Some nest underground, in places such as abandoned rodent holes, under sheds and in compost heaps. Others make nests in thick grass, bird boxes and in trees.They can nest in leaf litter or soil.
What To Do When a Bee Lands on You
Unless someone accidentally collides quite hard with or swats at a bee or wasp, it is not likely to sting. If you remain calm when a bee or wasp lands on your skin to inspect a smell or to get water if you are sweating heavily (good luck with THAT!), it will eventually just leave. If you’re not patient enough (or calm enough) to wait, gently and slowly brush it away with a piece of paper. Never swat at it. Bees sting when they feel threatened. Don’t alarm them or piss them off by moving quickly. Just gently direct them away from you. Some experts believe that if you don’t show fear of bees, they won’t sting you and that it’s often the one running away who gets stung.
Bees most commonly sting in skin around clothing with high contrast areas, like collars and cuffs. Because bees’ sight is so hindered by color, those clothing areas are perceived as the “weak spots” of their predators i.e. their eyes and noses.
What Will Happen if I Get Stung?
If you’re stung, you’ll usually experience an initial sharp pain that lasts a few minutes, then it becomes a dull ache. It’s normal to experience pain, burning, itchiness, redness and swelling. The pain should only last for a few hours. If swelling of your hands or fingers should occur, be sure to remove any rings you’re wearing. The sting area may be sensitive to the touch for several days.
A beesting can lead to very large swelling around the sting site or in a whole portion of the body. The area is quite likely to itch. Try not to rub or scratch the sting site because microbes from the surface of the skin could be introduced into the wound and result in an infection.
A very limited portion of the population is allergic to bee or wasp stings, but if you or the person you’re with has a bee allergy and is stung, get medical help ASAP!
When the sting is caused by a honey bee, the stinger usually remains in the skin when the insect leaves because the stinger is barbed. Remove it as quickly as possible by scraping it out before treating. Venom from the stinger continues to flow into the skin for 45-60 second following a sting, so the faster you remove it, the better, and the severity of the sting will be reduced. After the stinger is removed, wash the wound and treat it.
This also means that a dead bee’s stinger can sting you.The force of your weight on the bee’s body can result in venom injection. So, don’t step on, sit on, or play with dead bees!
Bee Sting Remedies
Before trying a remedy, make sure the stinger has been removed from the skin. Keep the wound clean with soap and water to prevent a skin infection (wash regularly for several days). You can also sterilize with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Oral and topical antihistamines (such as Benadryl or Claritin) can help prevent or reduce the itching and swelling. We found some home remedies that people swear by. The below remedies are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The below information is for general knowledge purposes only.
- Ice: Place an ice cube or ice pack on it and press for about 20 minutes, will help reduce pain. Ice can also be used to help reduce the swelling that will occur. Make sure to protect the skin by covering ice with a thin cotton towel or paper towel first.
- Baking Soda: Cover with a thick paste of baking soda and water.
- Salt: Same as baking soda above but using salt instead.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Soak a small cotton pad with apple cider vinegar and hold on wound until pain disappears (the acid content neutralizes the venom).
- Vinegar: Same treatment as apple cider vinegar, can also drizzle a few drops directly onto skin (the acid content neutralizes the venom).
- Lemon Juice: Same procedure as apple cider vinegar, can also drizzle a few drops directly onto skin (the acid content neutralizes the venom).
- Lemon: Cut a fresh slice of lemon and hold in place over skin (the acid content neutralizes the venom).
- Garlic: Smother with crushed garlic then cover with a bandaid.
- Onion: Slice an onion and press in place until there is no more discomfort.
- Cucumber: Place a freshly sliced piece of cucumber on top and hold in place.
- Potato: Cover with a sliced (uncooked) potato with the cut end side, hold in place.
- Olive Oil: Rub with olive oil for relief and to help with healing.
- Marigolds: Rub the flower head of a marigold over the area (must be a freshly picked marigold and not dried).
- Basil: Roughly crush a fresh leaf or two to release the herb’s natural oils and press directly on area, hold in place.
- Winter Savory: Crush the leaves roughly to release the herb’s oils then apply.
- Aloe Vera: Split open a leaf and slather the aloe gel directly to the area.
- Plantain: Chop roughly and mix with a bit of warm water then apply. You can also chew a leaf or two then apply to bite.
- Calamine lotion can be applied to help soothe things and relieve itching.
- A paste made with Epsom salts and water can provide relief.
Old School Remedies:
- Chew tobacco a bit to wet it, then apply it to the sting area. Wrap a strip of cloth around it to hold it in place.
- Mix dirt with water or saliva to make a mud then apply it to the wound.
- Press a penny on top of it and hold it in place for 10 to 15 minutes until there is no more discomfort (…umm??)
We hope you have fun this holiday weekend. Enjoy the rest of your summer…and be careful out there!
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Our house is built on a slope which gives us a front entrance at street level, but a totally daylight lower level. We spend most of our time on our upper deck, but occasionally entertain on the patio below. When we do spend time on the patio, we have the houses across the street looking down on us from their decks. I feel so exposed! Even though we don’t spend a lot of time on the downstairs patio, when we do, I want privacy!
I’ve seen several DIY projects for privacy fences, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money or put a ton of effort into this project. Paul (the hubs), was going to be doing most of the work, and I would be the job foreman. I’m happy to report that we’re still married, considering our…”lively” discussion during which he informed me he couldn’t make my champagne vision work on my beer budget. Why can’t we have full growth ivy winding it’s way through the lattice panels, while we sit in cushy new patio chairs sipping Mojitos listening to the gentle gurgle of a three-tier water feature? Asshole!
He patiently waited while I threw a small fit and allowed a sufficient amount of time for pouting before we got to work. The week before, we had picked up three lattice panels at an estate sale for like $5 total. Cheeeaap! I wanted to keep the lattice it’s natural wood color, but I wanted to paint the frame white. We had some 1×3 boards left over from a previous project, and a half can of white paint in the basement, so all we needed to buy was a bit of hardware and we were good to go.
Our lattice panels measured about 32 x 48, so Paul cut enough 1 x 3’s to create frames for each. Instead of mitering the corners, we decided to straight cut the boards and just butt the corners together.
Paul took a break while I painted all the boards with a couple coats of white exterior paint. I made sure to paint the ends of the boards since some of the ends would be exposed. I wanted to sandwich the lattice between two frames, but we were out of lumber, so I agreed to seeing how it looked with the frame on just one side. If it looked tacky like that, we’d add a frame to the back.
We did a final check to make sure everything was square, then air stapled the end of each lattice slat to the frame. It turned out a lot sturdier than I thought it would be. We quickly finished the other two panels, and the construction phase was done. (At this point we had begun speaking again).
I wanted the panels to be placed at a height that provided privacy both when we were sitting or standing. Paul held up a panel while I eyeballed the height (very high-tech precise measuring system, yes?). Then we measured and marked to be sure the three panels were evenly spaced across. Starting at one end, Paul slipped the drill bit through the chain , attached a screw to the drill bit (I love that they’re magnetic), and drilled the screw at his first mark. We used 10 lb capacity chain (that I was certain wasn’t strong enough to hold the panels).
He measured the chain from the drilled screw to the length we needed to attach it to the panel for the height we had decided on. Using two needle-nosed pliers, he opened the last link on the chain and slipped off the excess chain. He then attached an S-hook into the bottom link, and squeezed the link back together with his pliers.
Finally, we hooked the S-hooks that were attached to the end of the chains, into the eyescrews on the top of the frames, and hung the panels. We stood back to take a look, and I’ll be damned! After only a little bit of adjusting, which we did by moving the screws holding the chains a hair up or down, the panels were level and evenly spaced. Not bad for a couple hours work!
Turns out, all my kicking and screaming was a waste of energy, because the end result looked almost exactly what I had envisioned (minus the furniture and waterfall). I had originally wanted the bottom of the panels to be anchored, but was talked out of it. I ended up loving the airy feeling it has by just letting them hang free. I had also originally wanted to use heavier chain, but by using the lighter-weight, the chain is barely visible and gives the panels the appearance of being suspended in mid-air. I really need to work on this control issue a teeny bit, and put a little more faith in my man. Obvs he knows what he’s doing.