Kim Blakesley

Kim Blakesley

The passions in my life include education, the arts, home remodeling, woodworking and travel. Due to my eclectic plethora of interests, writing and photography have become two extraordinary outlets of expression. I have found extreme pleasure in both.

Remodeling, refurbishing, repurposing and upcycling have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. My father built our home when I was small along with owning a fiberglass fabrication business. I naturally learned how to use woodworking tools at a very young age. Artistically, I have worked with my hands since I was a toddler.

My college education afforded me to expand my interest in accounting and art. My two passions merged in the educational field where I chose to become a teacher. Currently I am a freelance writing and photographer after working in the public school system as both a teacher and a principal.

Artistically, I enjoy graphic design, photo manipulation, website creation, photography, sculpture and ceramics. I have my own studio and spend as much time creating as I do writing.

My writing experience is extensive in the field of education, art and craft how to s, graphic design, photography, wine making, sculpture, fiberglass and travel.
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Contributor since
6/18/2008

Education/Experience

Fort Jones University, Stockton, California - PhD., Educational Administration and Supervision: University of Northern Iowa, MA and BA

Motto

Enjoying life while developing life-long learners who will successfully succeed in life

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  • Cedar Valley Art and Wine Painting Studio
    Cedar Falls is home to the new Cedar Valley Art and Wine Painting Studio. Enjoy a night out with your favorite bottle of wine while you create a piece of art to hang on your wall. No experience is necessary! Watch for the opening in September, 2014.
  • Tips on Removing Thinset from a Limestone Floor
    Installing a limestone floor requires the use of thinset. Small amounts of the thinset may appear on the surface of the floor. Follow this proven procedure to remove the unsightly thinset.
  • How to Restore a Cast Iron Stove
    Vintage cast iron stoves, or those that look vintage, deteriorate over time. Rust and gaps appear. Restore a cast iron stove with a little elbow grease.
  • The How To's in Sanding a Cast Iron Stack Stove
    Rejuveniate a cast iron stack stove to it's original condition.
  • Restuffing a Couch Cushion in Furniture Repair
    Over time, your couch cushions will begin to sag and droop due to everyday use. A simple and quick project using quality wrapped foam will rejuvenate the cushions from looking tired and worn to full and new.
  • Biosocial Development of Infants
    An infants emotional, social and biological development is known as biosocial development. Just exactly what is biosocial development? Biosocial development begins with the rapid and widespread growth of your infant's brain.
  • How to Know when to Move the Straps Up on a Child's Car Seat
    Your child's safety is extremely important throughout their childhood, especially when fastening your son or daughter into their car seat. Knowing when to move the straps is vital to keep your child safe at all times.
  • How to Crochet a Pixel Art Design
    Crochet a pixel art design using metal bottle caps and crochet thread. This fun project repurposes metal bottle caps and turns them into usable wall or table art.
  • How to Knit with a Knook
    Learn how to knit with a special crochet hook called a 'Knook.' Knitting with a crochet hook is both fun and easy. Purchase a Knook at your favorite hobby and craft store and have fun with this twist on crocheting.
  • How to Make Paper Look like Metal
    Make your own faux metal sculpture using paper, paint, glue and a candle. This interesting craft will turn any paper sculpture into a bronze, copper, silver or gold metal sculpture.
  • Free Crochet Pattern - Adult Earflap Stocking Cap
    Save your hard earned money and make your very own crocheted adult earflap stocking cap following these simple instructions. Adaptations are included for making the same hat for children starting at age eight.
  • How to Paint a Decorative Design on a Black Canvas Suitcase
    Learn how to paint a decorative design on a black canvas suitcase following several simple and easy steps. This simple process will help you personalize your suitcase so it stands out in baggage claim.
  • How to Paint & Antique Metal Hardware
    If you are looking for a way to dress up an old or new piece of furniture, try antiquing the hardware! Create a shabby chic bedroom, country kitchen or Western-style porch with these interesting and simple processes.
  • The Best Kinds of Paints for Wooden Furniture in a Kids' Room
    If you are unsure of what type or sheen of paint to use on your kid's wooden furniture, read through this article for more details.
  • How to Make a Simple Victorian Valance
    This simple to make, straight-bottomed Victorian valance is a novice sewing project. Jazz it up a bit by creating an upside down "V" valance with the bottom point of the valance positioned halfway down your window. Alter the pattern accordingly.
  • Church Family Game Night Ideas
    Plan a fun-filled evening for Church Family Game Night playing a wide variety of games. Check out the article for possible ideas.
  • Are Beeswax Crayons Safe for Toddlers?
    Introduce all-natural beeswax crayons to your toddler. Make your own if you cannot find them in the store. The process is very simple.
  • Ideas for Stations of the Cross Crafts for Children
    Some fun and easy crafts to reinforce the Stations of the Cross are included within this article.
  • Teen Food Serving Games - Silly Supper
    Spice up your teens get together with an old-time silly supper. Silly suppers have four courses that use a variety of eating utensils to make the experience a memorable experience.
  • How to Use Rubber Pants for Potty Training
    Discover how to use rubber pants, also known as plastic pants, during the potty training process.
  • Pioneer and Native American Indian Crafts for Kids
    Expose your child to crafts from the days of the pioneers. Simple crafts begin with a homemade faux leather vest made from paper while capturing dreams with a dream catcher.
  • Upcycled Vintage Mardi Gras Mask
    Flea markets are an excellent location to purchase vintage items. Think outside of the box when upcycling a vintage objects. Here is an example of an upcycled vintage Mardi Gras mask.
  • Refinancing Remodeled Our Lives
    Remodeling using home equity was our alternative to turn a one room school house into our "in-town" cabin.
  • How to Hold a Baby with Plagiocephaly Who Wears a Helment
    Infants with Plagiocephaly, also known as flat-head, are required to wear a helmet to help re-shape their skull. Follow these simple instructions when holding a baby who wears a helmet to prevent harm to either your baby or yourself.
  • How to Make Leg Warmers with a Knitting Loom
    Knit your very own pair of leg warmers on a 60 peg sock knitting loom. This loom is the ideal size to make adult leg warmers. Adjust the sliding end of the loom to create even smaller leg warmers for children and infants.
  • How to Report Daycare Centers
    Reporting a daycare center for infractions is a daunting task for those of you who do not know the system. Follow these simple instructions for reporting a daycare center.
  • Pumpkin Stocking Hat Instructions
    A pumpkin stocking hat is the ideal Halloween costume for infants. This simple project takes less than one hour to complete. A round knitting loom and a size F or G crochet hook is used to create the stem, leaf and vine.
  • Infant Earflap Stocking Cap Pattern
    Use a round knitting loom and a Size N crochet hook to create this adorable infant earflap stocking cap. Allow approximately one hour to complete the project.
  • God's Eye Instructions - a Retro Craft
    For those of you who do not remember, the God's Eye made a grand appearance during the 1970's. Simple instructions exist to create a God's Eye from dowel, twigs or craft sticks. Enjoy a retro craft and create a colorful God's Eye for any d├ęcor.
  • Contractor vs. DIY: 4 Questions to Help You Decide When to Hire Help
    Hire a contractor for a remodeling project when your knowledge base is not adequate for the job. Quality contractors for electrical, plumbing, heating and attaching an addition are a must when remodeling.
  • Dippity Glass Flower Instructions
    Create your very own colorful dippity glass flowers. Dippity glass is a liquid plastic that gives the appearance of stained glass petals on each newly flower. Glass beads may be added to the surface of each petal to add sparkle.
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  • Expandable Seed Bead Cuff Bracelet Instructions
    Make your own expandable seed bead cuff bracelet using 10-hole spacer bars. This unique bracelet adds flair to any outfit. The process is simple yet time consuming. The key to making the bracelet is securing the first and last knot.
  • Adding Texture to a Weaving
    Think beyond a woven rug, placemat or potholder and make a weaving that can be used as a wall hanging. Add visual and physical texture to any weaving using a variety of fibers, twigs, feathers and other miscellaneous objects.
  • Mason Jar Goblet Instructions
    Make your own mason jar goblet at home. Do not pay the high price for the goblets at the store when they are a very simple craft to make. Recycle and turn those old canning jars into unique goblets.
  • Obama Campaign 2012
    Barack Obama visited Waterloo, Iowa on Tuesday, August 14th. The Amphitheater in Waterloo Iowa was filled to the brim with Obama supporters.
  • How to Make Colored Linen for Backgrounds to Hand Weavings
    Add a splash of color behind a hand woven wall hanging. This simple process uses linen and watercolors to create an interesting mounting board for weavings made specifically for wall hangings.
  • How to Warp a Rigid Heddle Loom
    Learn how to warp a rigid heddle loom following a set of simple instructions. New to weaving, do not worry. This is the article for you.
  • Steampunk Jewelry and Craft Ideas
    Learn the process and create interesting and unusual one-of-a-kind jewelry and home decorations using a process known as "steampunking."
  • Guide to Leak Test a Gas Line
    The installation of new gas lines, repair of a gas line or the addition of a new appliance to a gas line requires each joint to be inspected for gas leaks. A simple test allows home repair enthusiasts to check for leaks on their own.
  • Tips and Tricks to Remove Tape Marks from Wood Floors and Furniture
    Tape marks are created on wood floors and furniture when the tape has been left on the area for an extended period of time. Remove the tape marks using common household items.
  • Repair Nicks in a Marble Countertop or Tile
    Marble is a natural stone used to make countertops and tile. Chips may occur in the marble's surface due to various reasons. Repair the nick with a special light-curing acrylic gel.
  • Refubish an Old Wooden Coffee Table with a New Laminate or Veneer Top
    Wooden coffee tables show wear after extended use. Cover ugly scratches, dents and stains with a new laminate or veneer surface.
  • Choosing a Window Treatment for an Asymmetrical Window
    Choosing the proper window treatment for an asymmetrical window is essential to balance the look of the room. Follow this simple process to select the proper curtain.
  • Wood Laminate Chip and Deep Scratch Repair Process
    Chips and deep scratches in wood laminate occur periodically and create a surface that is unsightly. Repair the chips following a few simple steps.
  • How to Rust a New Corrugated Tin Roof Panel
    The addition of a rusted tin roof panel to an area within a home adds an interesting texture and feel to the area. Finding rusted tin roof panels is not easy. Create your own with a new tin roof panel and a few household items.
  • How to Dye Leather Furniture
    Change the color of a leather sofa, chair, love seat or ottoman using a special dye made specifically for leather. Leather dye is available on the Internet or from a company that handles leather products such as Tandy Leather.
  • DIY - Frosting Glass Cabinet Door Panels
    Frosting glass, also known as acid etching, is accomplished using a special acid etching cream available in hobby and craft stores. Give transparent glass cabinet doors a frosted appearance in less than one hour.
  • An Easy Way to Hang Items from a Suspended Ceiling
    Sports pennants, mobiles and hanging plants are only a few of the items that present a problem for hanging from a suspended ceiling. Follow these simple tricks to hang your special items from a suspended ceiling.
  • Corrugated Tin Roof Panel Antiquing Process
    Add a country flair to the interior of your home with one or more panels of antiqued tin roof panels. Secure the panels to the walls in a family room, den or porch to create a unique wall covering. The process is moderately easy and fun to complete.
  • Handmade Beer Bottle Cap Belt Instructions
    Repurpose beer bottle caps to create a one-of-a-kind belt. Link the caps together with 1/2-inch metal links to create any size belt desired.
  • Homemade Braided Rope Necklace
    A homemade braided rope necklace adds dimension to the neckline of any outfit. Make an elegant looking braided necklace using heavy string and copper or brass plumbing fittings.
  • How to Make Knitting Needles
    Make a set of handmade wooden knitting needles for a fraction of the cost of a manufactured set. Custom made knitting needles are made to the desired length. Longer knitting needles provide more working area to knitting larger projects.
  • How to Make a Wooden Crochet Hook
    A homemade wooden crochet hook is the perfect project for do-it-yourself type individuals. The process is time consuming but well worth the effort. Any size crochet hook is possible when making your own.
  • Prince William - Wish for Equality
    Prince William turns 30 on June 21. We asked contributors to send along birthday wishes, goals and suggestions -- in 30 words or less.
  • Homemade Decorative Tape
    Decorate a plain package or gift with homemade decorative tape. Make the decorative tape from the ends or odd pieces of wrapping paper or printed fabric.
  • How to Frame a Vintage Brooch
    The various designs and colors of vintage brooches make them an ideal object to frame and use as a wall hanging. Follow these simple instructions to create a frame that emphasizes the unique character of a vintage brooch.
  • Handmade Fabric Envelopes
    Make your own handmade envelope to send letters, cards, bookmarks and other flat objects to those special people in your life.
  • Frayed Linen Curtain Pattern - Pointed Country Curtain
    Add a country flair with frayed linen valances in any room of the house. These easy to make curtains are made from squares of linen fabric or linen napkins.
  • Advertisements on Facebook - Boring!
    Advertisements on Facebook are not always what they seem. Bogus websites pop up when links are clicked.
  • Homemade Batik Bedspread or Quilt
    Turn a light colored plain quilted bedspread or quilt into a colorful and artistic batik with minimal effort. This is the perfect project to use old, broken crayons to create an expensive, professional looking item.
  • Repurposed Water Bottle Bangles
    Repurpose an old water bottle and make one-of-a-kind bangles. Add color to the bangles with wrapping, marble or scrapbook paper.
  • Speckled Fingernail Polish Instructions
    The process to created splattered fingernail polish is very simple. Paying high dollars for the process in a nail salon is not necessary if you follow a few simple steps.
  • Patio Party Drink Covers
    Make your own drink covers to prevent insects from enjoying the sugary liquid. These simple to make drink covers add a flair to any outdoor party.
  • Country Style Painted Chair
    Give any old wooden chair a country flair using the French painting technique. The French painting technique uses three different colors of paint to create the antique country look.
  • Homemade Coffee Filter
    Help alleviate strain on the household budget by making your very own homemade coffee filters. The coffee filter is made from 100-percent unbleached muslin.
  • Instructions for Fried Marbles
    A craft that I thoroughly enjoyed making during the 1970's was fried marbles. Homemade necklaces, earrings and home accent crafts are just a few items to make with fried marbles.
  • Homemade Wax Candle Bowls
    Recycle the bottoms of used candles and create a homemade wax candle bowl. Place a small votive inside the newly made bowl to enjoy a soft dispersed light.
  • Homemade Silver Clay Thumbprint Pendant
    Memorialize your existence by making your very own homemade silver clay thumbprint pendant. Silver clay is available at hobby and craft stores. A butane torch, domestic gas ring or kiln is used to remove the binder to create the silver thumbprint pendant.
  • Homemade String Art Glass Luminaries
    Decorate your home with homemade string art glass luminaries. This fun craft repurposes glass jars and saves them from going into the landfill.
  • French Wash Painting Instructions
    The French Wash Technique is a painting process that uses three different colors of paint. The finished surface takes on an antiqued look and works exceptionally well for Country and Victorian craft projects.
  • Easy to Crochet Lace Wrap
    A prefect project for beginners is a crocheted lace wrap. This easy to crochet open weave lace wrap uses 20 ounces of light-weight yarn.
  • Recycled Craft Ideas - Tied Fabric Wreath
    Turn old clothing, sheets and blankets into beautiful homemade tied fabric wreaths. Each wreath takes on its' own personality and creates an heirloom when made with clothing items of a loved one.
  • Refurbished Clock Ideas - Paintbrush Clock Instructions
    I have seen many clocks in my day but the one that caught my eye was a paintbrush clock for $75. I refused to spend that kind of money and went to the local thrift store and fold an old wall clock. From there, the project began.
  • Tie Dying with Cotton Yarn
    Expand your tie dying experiences by creating unique tie dyed designs using cotton yarn. The control the cotton yarn provides allows you to make strips, shapes and haphazard designs with minimal effort.
  • Crocheted Bucket Hat Instructions
    Crochet a bucket hat that is form fitting enough to stay on your head but loose enough to prevent your hair from being flattened. This easy to crochet pattern takes approximately one hour to make.
  • Watercolor Tips and Tricks
    The best kept secrets for beginners to watercolor painting. Provided are tips and tricks to help you create a professional looking watercolor project.
  • Stiffened Doily Bowl Instructions
    A stiffened doily bowl is a very simple project that anyone can complete at home. All you need is a doily, fabric stiffener and a bowl. Lets get started!
  • Crocheted Ribbon Barefoot Sandals Instructions
    Crochet a pair of ribbon barefoot sandals using 1/4-inch wide satin ribbon. This fun and easy project takes less than one hour to complete!
  • How to Use Weaving Sticks
    Create an interesting and one-of-a-kind strip of weaving using weaving sticks. Follow these simple steps to create your first weaving stick project.
  • Nylon Butterfly Instructions
    Make your own nylon butterfly using inexpensive nylons and craft wire.
  • Painting on a Record Album
    The circular shape of an old record album is the perfect surface for painting. The nostalgia of the album and the painted design creates a conversation piece for all to enjoy.
  • Decorating with Black and White - Positive-Negative Wall Hanging
    Many individuals enjoy decorating with black and white accents. Here is the perfect project to create a positive/negative or black and white wall hanging for any room.
  • Watercolour Supplies for Beginners
    Creating beautiful watercolour paintings requires special paintbrushes, paper and various supplies. If you are new to watercolour, invest in a good set of watercolour pans and two to three sable brushes. Add to your supplies as you go.
  • Diaper Cake Instructions
    A creative baby shower table centerpiece is a cake made from disposable diapers. The process is time consuming but looks fantastic. Each diaper is still usable after the cake is disassembled.
  • Alternative to Tie-dying - Instruction to Batik Clothing with Crayons
    Rather than tie-dying clothing to give them a new look, try creating a crayon batik.This is a great way to use up old crayons and create an article of clothing that is one-of-a-kind.
  • Homemade Miniature Lighted Wine Bottle Instructions
    A homemade miniature lighted wine bottle is just the right size to adorn window sills. This small and adorable craft is made from single serve wine bottles.
  • Connecting a Washing Machine to a Laundry Sink Drain
    Many homes utilize a laundry sink as the drain for a washing machine. There are many locations where this process does not follow city codes. Hook the drain up to a standpipe to correct the issue.
  • Repurpose Stocking Caps into Throw Pillows
    Repurpose unwanted or unused stocking caps into small throw pillows. Each pillow is the perfect size for toddlers along with making great accents to add to a sofa, love seat or bed.
  • Homemade Weaving Sticks
    Rather than purchasing expensive weaving sticks, make your own at home dowels. The process is relatively simple to complete and will keep your hard earned money in your pocket.
  • Watercolour Wash Techniques
    Flat, variegated and overlaying washes are techniques used when completing a watercolour painting. The wash technique provides a feeling of soft, gentle and serene painting. Learn the wash technique by following these instructions.
  • Repurposed Reader's Digest Birdhouse Craft Project
    Repurpose Reader's Digest's into a decorative indoor birdhouse. I first saw this craft in the 1960's and enjoyed it then as much as I do now.
  • Living Moss Mosaic for Indoor Use
    Bring a touch of spring into your home and decorate with a living moss mosaic year round. This interesting craft using recycled items to create an unusual conversation piece.
  • Installing Siding Over Stucco
    A stucco surface is found on the exterior of a home or on an interior wall. Change the appearance of the stucco by covering it with vinyl or lap siding.
  • Homemade Shepard's Hook Instructions
    Make your own Shepard's Hook using 1/4 and 3/8 inch mild steel round stock, welder and copper wire. Welding knowledge is required to make this unique item to use as a wall hanging or give as a gift.
  • Crocheted Diagonal Striped Afghan Pattern
    Crochet a diagonally striped afghan from scrap yarn to use as a throw, blanket or bedspread. This fun and easy to make project is simple enough for beginners.
  • Bottle Slumping Directions
    Bottle slumping is the process of heating a glass bottle and turning it into a flat surface or a shape such as a spoon rest or bowl. The process requires either a ceramic or glass kiln.
  • Distressing Wood with Wax
    A very old technique to distress wood is done with milk paint and wax. The wax creates an aged appearance and enhances the look of any distressed wood project.
  • Clay Pot Tree Instructions
    Make a clay pot tree for any season. Clay pot trees make fun spring and summer decorations on a window sill or patio. Make specifically colored clay pot trees for the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. The possibilities are limitless.
  • Homemade Art: Watercolor Leaf Print Technique
    If you enjoy nature, a watercolor leaf print is the perfect adornment for any wall within your home. Create scrapbook pages and wrapping paper using the same technique.
  • Green Living: Homemade Bug Box
    Make the perfect bug box for your child or grandchild by recycling a shoe box or other box with a separate lid. Allow that special child to help decorate the outside of the box!
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