Friday, March 20, 2015

Self-published!

To help my oldest child learn her math facts, I have written two adventure stories. One teaches addition facts in the context of traveling to different parts of the world. The second, which I just finished, teaches multiplication facts in the context of traveling through time and space (but only on Earth). My daughters are assisting me with the task of illustrating them.

To share the stories with a wider audience, we are "self-publishing" them on Amazon.com. I just uploaded the first book this afternoon. It is called Adding Adventure to Life. The book is about as cheap as it can be ($0.99 for the first one), but it's so fun to see one's own nom de plume in print! (I used a pseudonym because my children are still young, and I want to protect their privacy.) Maybe by summer, we'll have earned enough to go out for ice cream. :)

Here's the link to the book if you are interested in seeing what a self-published e-book looks like on Amazon.com. Or if you feel like donating to an ice cream fund. Either one works.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Refurbishing a blue loft bed

We have a blue and natural wood colored loft bed that looks like this:

Particle board with paper thin veneer
The veneer is attractive, but it is also super thin. After some children had put stickers and clear tape on various parts of it--"but we're decorating, Mommy!"--and I eventually removed them, there were several spots where the blond particle board underneath showed. Not pretty.

I decided to try using a dark blue permanent marker to cover over the ugly areas, but that was less than lovely because the marker's tip always went outside the patch area and got on the undamaged veneer.  So I took a paper towel and soaked it with rubbing alcohol. Right after I colored a damaged spot, I went over it and the surrounding veneer with the alcohol-soaked paper towel. It looked so good that I did the same thing with a regular brown marker on the natural wood parts, and I ended up with a lovely, quick refurbishment job. Under normal room light, the furniture looks nearly new!

Update: I put a 60 watt reading lamp in the recessed area, and I'm sorry to say that my fix doesn't look so good under strong light. Oh, well. It's still much better than it was before I pulled out the markers.