Tag Archives: Do-it-yourself

Over 40 Fashions | women 40+ wearing/sharing clothes we like

Barb Hughes 2013

I finally did it!  Finally was able to change over the old Over 40 Fashions iweb site to a modern site with a lot more functionality and ease of use!  You can now search for styles by category  (tops, bottoms, accessories etc.) and also by tag (body shape and possibly other tags in the future).  Thank you for being so encouraging of my little volunteer experiment since 2009, allowing women of all sizes to show off fashions they like from their own closets.  Women 40+ get to play dress-up, share what works for them, educate women of all ages on what stands the test of time, as well as encourage each other.  Instead of trying to fit into styles/shapes/sizes/trends that aren’t flattering anymore (and were they even flattering back then anyway?), we are showing what DOES look flattering now, what we enjoy, and telling why we enjoy it. If you have arthritic feet and can’t wear high heels anymore..what cute shoes CAN you wear?  Show them off!

On Over 40 Fashions, we share what we like and give our opinions so we can get great new ideas on where to shop to find styles, colors, sizes, and fashions that work for us.  I’m also hoping the fashion industry and advertisers catch on and start using real women 40+ of all shapes and sizes as their models (if you model on this site, you’ll be getting exposure to that very industry…so if you’ve ever wanted to be a model, here’s your audition:) This is why I say “If you don’t see someone who looks like you as a model, then we need YOU to contribute!”  Plus, tell your friends you’re an international (internet) fashion model – how fun is THAT?

I’m looking for clothing advertisers who want to reach the 40+ female to sponsor/advertise.  I’ve been hosting and honing Over 40 Fashions since 2009 as a hobby and feel it’s to the place where it can make a larger impact.  On another note, I’ve had people asking where they could donate, so I’ve included a donation entry on the paypal button under the sponsor link.  If you feel you’ve learned something new from this site, or want to say ‘thank you’ for the opportunity for women of all shapes and sizes to be seen and heard, feel free to donate a few bucks if you feel so inclined.

I’m so happy for those excited to share this journey.  Please subscribe using the subscribe button on the Over 40 Fashions website so you can get all posts immediately and you don’t miss anything.  Tell your friends.  And please, be a model!

Sincerely,

Barb Hughes, founder and instigator of Over 40 Fashions

via Over 40 Fashions | women 40+ wearing/sharing clothes we like.

P.S.  this may mean some of the fashion ideas that I previously blogged about will only be seen on the Over 40 Fashions site in the future.

 

 

TomTato plant grows both tomatoes AND potatoes

This is not a genetic hybrid, but created with the age-old method of grafting by hand the top of a cherry tomato plant to the roots of a white potato plant, so that a single plant produces both tomatoes and potatoes at the same time.

UK Horticulture company Thompson and Morgan states that the Brix (sugar content) of the TomTato’s fruit is higher than most supermarket tomatoes, and the potatoes are fine for boiling, mashing, or roasting.  At this time the TomTato is only available in the UK, but the BBC reports that another such plant has been released in New Zealand, made by the company Incredible Edibles, and known as the Potato Tom.

Can’t wait for the US to develop such a plant – I’ve always had good luck with cherry tomatoes, but never with potatoes.  Maybe if I had a plant like this I could easily grow both on my little city lot – or better yet in a pot?

Thanks to Gizmag for this article.

Sony’s HDR-MV1 camcorder caters to musicians

In the Age of YouTube, it’s becoming pretty much standard practice for up-and-coming musicians to post videos of their jam sessions or live performances online. And while the affordability of HD video cameras/phones may mean that the visuals in those videos look nice, music is first and foremost an auditory art-form. That’s why Sony is introducing a new musical-performance-specific camcorder, known appropriately enough as the HDR-MV1 Music Video Recorder. 

The MV-1 records audio in either uncompressed Linear PCM or internet-friendly AAC format, via a tunable 120-degree X-Y stereo microphone. Recording levels can be manually controlled, and a line-in port allows for direct feeds. Audio quality is monitored either via user-supplied headphones, or using the camera’s built-in speaker.

Video is captured by a wide-angle 120-degree lens – to ensure that all band members get in the shot – at a resolution of either 1080p or 750p (both at 30 fps). A back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor is claimed to capture sharp images even in dimly-lit clubs, and the option of manual exposure control will keep the iris from closing down every time a stage light comes on.

Shots are monitored or reviewed using a 2.7-inch LCD screen

Footage is recorded to a Micro SD card or a Memory Stick Micro, in MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format. Shots are monitored or reviewed using a 2.7-inch LCD screen, which can also be used to check and adjust audio input levels. Additionally, the camera can be remotely operated using a Wi-Fi-enabled mobile device – this could come in particularly handy in cramped venues, where a videographer would be in peoples’ way if they stayed with the camera.

The user’s mobile device can also be utilized to post footage online, via Sony’s free PlayMemories Mobile app.

The Sony HDR-MV1 Music Video Recorder will be available as of December, at a price of US$299.99. Footage shot with it can be seen (and heard) below.

Thanks to Gizmag for this article Sony’s HDR-MV1 camcorder caters to musicians.

Moser Lamp: a plastic bottle makes free light

_69142255_img_8451With electricity becoming more expensive, here’s a way to save resources and get free lighting.  The Moser Lamp, invented by Alfredo Moser, is simply a clean empty plastic bottle filled with water and a little bleach.  Using the natural science of refraction, the lamp puts out the energy of a 40-60 watt bulb depending on how strong the sun is.  In areas where power outages are common and in areas of poverty, Moser Lamps are becoming a great way to provide light to homes cheaply and efficiently.

How much energy do Moser Lamps save?  Since plastic bottles are recycled/up-cycled from local communities, there’s no energy needed to gather, manufacture, or ship new bottles, whereas it takes 0.45 kg of CO2 to manufacture one incandescent bulb.  Plus, a 50-watt light bulb running for 14 yours a day for a year has a carbon footprint of nearly 200kg of CO2…whereas Moser lamps emit no CO2 at all!    Even in first world countries, this would be a fun idea for playhouses, garden sheds, pump houses, etc.

To learn more and to see a Moser Lamp in action, check out this article from the BBC.

 

Start a business for basically free

Having your own website, analytics, social media, etc.  is a great resource if you’re looking to start your own business.  With wordpress.org, not only can you get a website free, but the e-commerce plug in is free, so you can make money off your site immediately as well.

If you’ve got more time than money at the moment, why not download a few free themes and play around with them?  There’s plenty of youtube videos on how to create your own customized website with these free tools.  This is a great resource not only for current business owners looking to upgrade their sites, but also a resource for hard working people who just happen to be at the moment unemployed or underemployed.  This free technology helps level the playing field by bringing more people back into the game.

Aronia: The North American super berry with cancer-fighting properties | Fox News

Aronia berry clusterAronia Berries, also known as Choke Cherries, are a native American fruit.  They are full of antioxidents and make great juice.  So why don’t more people grow them?  Well, for one, they taste puckery/mealy if you eat them fresh.  The juice stains your skin. They don’t cook down all that well because of the tiny bitter seeds and skin, and they are terrible dried.

So what do you do with them?  I enjoy them two ways:

1. I wash the berries, take off the stems, and put berries in the blender with about 1 part berries to 3/4 parts water.  Then I strain and keep the juice, composting the remaining seed/skin sludge.  After the juice settles I strain it again to get the second smaller wave of sludge off.  I do this over the sink wearing an apron so I don’t stain anything (the stains scrub out of the sink and off your hands eventually). I put the juice in bottles in the fridge and Continue reading

25 ways to tie a scarf!

Learn easy new ways to show off your scarves!

RentTheChicken.com lets you practice raising backyard chickens

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If you like the idea of having fresh eggs straight from the backyard, but aren’t sure if you’re ready to commit, RentTheChicken.com lets you rent some chickens!

Here’s how they pitch their service:

Thought of Raising Backyard Chickens? Every spring, thousands of chickens are sold at local farm supply stores. Often these chickens die before they are ready to start laying eggs (16-30 weeks). Children quickly realize that chickens are not as fun as the Xbox and parents find out that chickens cannot be house broken! The costs quickly start becoming more and more, then chickens are “sent to the farm”. Other people think about chickens but think they don’t have the space, worry about regulations, or just don’t know what they need. Do you build or buy a coop? Do you buy peeps? How do you raise an egg-laying hen if you buy a peep? Did someone tell you about a heat lamp? It can all be overwhelming and we take the guesswork out of all of the questions by offering a portable coop, the food & supplies, and the egg-laying hens!

RentTheChicken.com is based in Continue reading

Orchestra instruments made from garbage

This creative community created instruments out of garbage found in their landfill…and created an orchestra called the LandFillHarmonic.  Give a listen.

What kinds of creative ideas can we generate from what our society deems as garbage?  Can this same loving creativity help us see people in a more valuable light as well?

My son, the tech guy/philosopher

1st day of senior yearToday is the first day of senior year for my son.  I’m so excited for what this school year holds for him:  a computing systems class, helping one teacher by community mentoring Algebra, and helping a second teacher by making photocopies/classroom assistance, plus a college probability and statistics class and a government/economics class.  He’s got early dismissal to continue his paid job working part time at a local computer store.

At this time he doesn’t plan on going to college, but has a thick IT training manual he’s reading and plans to take the certification test.  He also has good job and volunteer references from various paid and unpaid computer and tech places.   As an honor student he’s got colleges offering him partial academic scholarships, but he doesn’t want to start his work life with college debt – he wants to make money, and when he has money he can decide if and when it would be advantageous to gain more education.

My son is flying in the face of societal norms.

He’s got a clear idea of what he wants and how he plans on reaching his goals.  He wants to be a software engineer, and he’s got buddies he’s been creating computer games with for several years.  He’s taken classes for fun in C++ programming, taken online computer badge courses, volunteered at Free Geek, has built computers from scratch, and taken business and marketing classes.  He’d like to someday start his own company and sell downloads of his games.  But he knows that to get where he wants to be, he needs to work hard and learn programming, learn coding, mentor at businesses, be helpful, be open, and enjoy the life he has while creating the life he wants.

My son is unique. He is smart.  He is wise.  He is kind.  It’s amazing watching his mind work to sort things out with his thoughtful, practical demeanor. He’s like a combination tech guy/philosopher.

Programmer teaches homeless man to code

Homeless_man_learns_coding-MEDIUMHere’s a great Labor Day story: Pat McConlogue, a NYC programmer and entrepreneur, offered Leo, a homeless man, either $100 or the chance to learn how to code.  Leo chose learning to code.  After only a few days of tutoring, Leo now has a facebook page and wants to design a website or an app featuring social environmental change so others can make small changes for the greater good.  Leo is concerned about greenhouse gases and deforestation, and wants the U.S. to lead by example to create a better world – and Leo wants to play a part.

Pat has gotten a lot of flack for offering to help a homeless man.  I think a lot of people with new ideas get flack (to start with), and I’m happy to say that Pat went through with his idea, even though naysayers were trashing him.

Pat and Leo’s story encourages me not to give up on my ideas, even if others say they won’t work or aren’t good enough.   Because how do you know it won’t work until you give it a go?

How might your small ideas and what you have to offer help give someone a leg up or begin positive change in the world?

Thanks to the Good News Network for this story on Patrick and Leo.

All five tastes in one berry: Schisandra Vine

Schisandra VineThe Chinese name for Schisandra is wu-wei-zi, which means “five taste-fruits” or “five flavor herb” because the fruits contain all five flavors: sweet, sour, bitter, pungent and salty. Sucking on a dry fruit is an interesting experience because of its many flavors. Chomping into a fresh one you don’t quite get the ending sweet note, so are left with a funny look on your face due to the mouth gymnastics.  But the after effect is a zing of energy, at least for me.  Maybe it’s just because my taste buds get a good work out.

Since I’m working towards an edible landscape, and this is a berry/vine that grows in the shade, I’ve got it growing next the north side of the house in full shade on a wooden trellis.  It’s an easy-care vine, and likes well-drained soil with Continue reading

Tarp provides rainwater for drinking, plus hammock cover

Here’s a tarp that can be set up that provides a hassle-free way to collect pure drinking water when camping.    The surface can be used not only as a backpacking tarp to add weather protection for your hammock, but it also has a rainwater retention system made up of rain gutters and a suspension system to siphon water out towards the four corners where bottles are attached.  When the bottles are full, they pull down the tarp, providing even better protection for the people below.  The fabric includes both waterproofing and a heat reflective coating, so if it’s cold and stormy, the tarp can be set up with the reflective side on the bottom, and the dark rain retention side on the top to collect water.  If it’s warm and sunny, the tarp can be set up with the reflective side out to help shed some of the heat from the sun.  The total system is now available through Kammok.

Thanks to Continue reading

Hypnotherapy helps change brain hardware

Rose of Heartwise HypnotherapyHumans only use a small percentage of our brains.  That’s because 7% of our brain goes to conscious thought, and 93% to subconscious.  Our subconscious is our processing hardware used for things like breathing, heartbeat, blood, walking, digesting, etc.  It also processes our dreams, and includes our memory banks and experience – which can include phobias, bad habits, and other things we find hard for our conscious mind to control.

I’ve found a business that is working to help re-wire the subconscious hardware so we can change some of the ingrained habits at the core level.  Rose Ludwig, RN CHt, is the founder of Heartwise Hypnotherapy in Vancouver Washington.  As a licensed Consulting Hypnotist, she also has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, is a Registered Nurse, a former professional bodywork practitioner, and has trained in several other healing modalities.  Rose works with her clients in areas such as stress management, enhancing creativity and imagination, management of physical problems (morning sickness, snoring, preparation for surgery, more energy), ego strengthening (self image, exam confidence, improving self-esteem), habit and behavior changes (smoking cessation, weight control, nail biting, motivation to exercise) and phobias/fears (fear of dentists, spiders, public speaking, dogs, needles, etc.).  Rose first of all LISTENS to find out Continue reading

Milk crate toilet and other urban living/farming ideas

This urban farm in LA shows how one couple is growing their own fresh vegetables and fruit trees, raising chickens, and composting.  They also have a solar food dryer, show how to make your own outdoor emergency toilet using a milk crate, and how to make a stove. Since they live in earthquake territory, these items have been used in the past when the city systems have been down.   Many of these ideas can also be used when camping.

Thanks to Upworthy for this article.

10 tips to a zero waste household

Our family has worked the reduce/reuse/recycle mantra and gone from weekly to bi monthly garbage collection, and we were feeling pretty good about that.  When a neighbor friend of mine said that she has been able to whittle down her family’s garbage collection to only once a month, I was impressed.  But thanks to Yes Magazine, this story tells how a family was able to pare down their yearly solid household trash to fit into one quart size jar, plus gives 10 tips to a zero waste household.

Goji Berry: chinese shrub provides delicious berries

Goji berryWolfberry or Goji berry is a yummy anti-oxidant berry on an easy to grow vine.  We’ve got our vine bungee-corded to a metal pole with a curved plant hanger on each side, but you can run this vine up anything from an arbor to a dead tree.  The first year it just kinda sat there and looked sad, the second year it had a few berries, but after the third year it’s been healthy and happy and keeps producing more berries as I pick off the ripe ones.  They’ve got a definite juicy honey-sweet flavor to them.  I’ve found that it’s not a good idea to let them dry on the vine, because they get so sweet they attract ants.  Maybe in a few years when the vine is totally full of fruit we might think about picking them fresh to dry, but at this point in time they are so good none get past the picking-fresh-and-popping-in-the-mouth stage.

(Lycium barbarum) Also known as Matrimony Vine, is an attractive Chinese Continue reading

Free Swaps in action – what a 16 year old with a video camera can do

Ever wanted to see what a Free Gift Swap or Free Stuff Swap looks like in action?  Here’s a video my daughter, then 16 years old, created to show how a Free Gift Swap works:

Aubrey summerMy daughter Aubrey is now a junior at university majoring in Environmental Science.  Yeah, I’m pretty proud of her:)  She’s always been very concerned about helping people and the environment (she is a big supporter and helper at the free swaps she’s able to attend), and her university experience has given her a new and exciting window on the world.  If you want to help support Aubrey’s education, check out her photography prints for sale here.  For more about Free Swaps, and how you can start one in your area, click here.

Learn simple jewelry repair for free

I like learning new things, especially for free.  I was researching online about how to repair jewelry and came across a website by Esslinger, a company that sells watchmaker and jewelry supplies, explaining how-to tips for beading, identifying your birthstone, do-it-yourself jewelry, watch repair and more.  This site is full of tips about gems and jewelry for the curious and frugal.

For example, here’s a video that shows how to change a watch battery:

According to the website, Esslinger has been around 90 years, which is pretty darn impressive.  You can learn more from their ‘about us’ page.

Food Forest tour – plants change people

Why have brown grass when you can be feeding people?  This gentleman planted a food forest in the parking strip in front of his house.  Neighbors come by to walk the paths.  What a great community builder, sharing food, peace, and care. Here’s Ron Finley talking about the Food Forest in his yard:

Thanks to Upworthy for this story.