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Posted by on Apr 24, 2017 | 0 comments

Call to Artists: La Bella Strada Chalk Painting Festival

Call to Artists: La Bella Strada Chalk Painting Festival

The second annual chalk painting festival in Del Ray – La Bella Strada – is coming up on Saturday May 13 where Mt. Vernon Avenue turns into a giant gallery of vibrant chalk art. Do you want to participate as an artist or know anyone who does? The festival organizers are in search of a few more artists to share their talent. Artists receive Prang artist-grade chalk and other supplies to use to paint either a 5 x 5 foot or 10 x 10 foot square, sponsored by a local business. Artists also receive promotion on the event website and social media leading up to, during, and after the event. There’s a happy hour at Del Ray Artisans following the event to say thanks and give artists and event volunteers a chance to relax and swap stories from their day. Many of the artists who participated in the first annual La Bella Strada shared how much they loved the event and are coming back again. As one artist said,...

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Posted by on Apr 7, 2017 | 1 comment

DIY Pets: Making Raw Dog Food

DIY Pets: Making Raw Dog Food

I recently started making my dog Star’s food using mostly raw ingredients. Having heard about how healthy a raw food diet can be for pets, I wanted to give it a try. Almost immediately, we saw a difference in Star’s coat. She even started getting compliments on how glossy it looks. She looks younger than her 10 years too. I started transitioning Star from kibble to raw food by buying the prepackaged raw food from the pet store (Nature’s Nibbles) and mixing it into the kibble until she got used to the change. To make my own raw food from scratch, the owner of Nature’s Nibbles recommended that I watch this how-to video by pet nutrition blogger, Rodney Habib. (If you watch, the how-to portion starts at around 45 seconds in.) What’s in her meal above is about 1-2 cups of raw 95% lean beef, a tiny bit of cooked chicken, a couple of sardines from a can, a raw egg, some cooked sweet potato, hemp seeds (and a...

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Posted by on Mar 29, 2017 | 2 comments

Easy DIY House Number Sign

Easy DIY House Number Sign

The numbers on our house were looking pretty rough. Not only was the sign ugly, the paint was chipping, the wood was split in places, and it was only loosely attached to the house. We needed something fresh and new to boost our curb appeal. To make a new sign I purchased/gathered the following supplies: A scrap of wood Saw Sandpaper White semi-gloss paint (I used the end of a can) Polyurethane House numbers Super glue Double-sided outdoor mounting tape Step 1: I cut the scrap wood to fit the height and width of our 4-digit house number, sanded the edges and painted the front and sides with white semi-gloss. Step 2: The next day, I applied some polyurethane to coat and seal the paint. Our entryway is covered so I wasn’t too worried about making the sign completely weather resistant. Step 3: I super glued the numbers onto the wood. Getting the numbers straight and spaced evenly was the tricky part since super glue dries quickly, but I...

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Posted by on Mar 23, 2017 | 0 comments

More Fab Finds from the MV Big Flea

More Fab Finds from the MV Big Flea

After last weekend’s donation drop off, the MV Big Flea storage facility at 444 Swann Ave. is busting with new merchandise! If you’re unfamiliar with the Flea, it’s an annual fundraiser for the Mount Vernon Community School. Volunteers collect unwanted furniture and household items and then resell them at a huge flea market at the Mt Vernon Rec Center on April 29. But you don’t have to wait until April 29 to snatch up the bargains. Just come to any of their donation drop offs (the next one is this Saturday, March 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) to browse the inventory. Here’s a peek at the vast selection we saw last weekend. There’s a ton of furniture, household items, appliances, toys, sporting equipment, lighting and electronics, garden supplies, vintage treasures and more — this is just the beginning. See something you like? Come to the showroom this Saturday or contact mvbigfleadonations@gmail.com — tell them you saw some fab finds on DIY Del Ray! Here’s the final Flea...

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Posted by on Mar 15, 2017 | 1 comment

Cabin Camping in Shenandoah

Cabin Camping in Shenandoah

This past weekend, my family took a trip to a primitive cabin outside Shenandoah National Park, one of many cabins owned and operated by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC). Despite really cold temperatures, we had a great time and enjoyed slow-cooked meals, games played by candlelight and peace and quiet away from cell phones, Internet and other modern distractions. We left Alexandria on Friday afternoon and hiked 1/2 mile up a steep trail to Morris Cabin. My kids had never been cabin camping (or camping at all for that matter) so I was a little nervous how they would handle it. Fortunately, as soon as they saw the cabin from the trail, they were instantly in awe and couldn’t wait to get inside. The cabin, built in 1927 by Wayman Morris, has four rooms: a kitchen/dining room, living room, separate bedroom and a sleeping loft. It’s primitive, meaning it has no electricity or running water, but it has everything you really need. Since it was so cold, we...

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