Monday, December 17, 2007

building a foldable step stool for Alex

I built a folding step stool for alex so she could reach the bathroom sink to brush her teeth and wash her hands.

alex brushing her teeth

You can buy a simple stool at Target for $20. Instead of doing it the easy way, I decided to design and build one with the following constraints, which are heavy on the functionality.

i) it should fold up easily and fit betwixt the toilet and the wall in our tiny downstairs bathroom (see pic below)

ii) it should have rails on either side so that she can easily climb up it and so she doesn't fall when she is up there for a long time (this will come in handy when she wants to use it to help us in the kitchen)

iii) it should be cheap

iv) it shouldn't take long to build.

v) It should be overbuilt enough to support Daddy's weight.

The best thing about it is that it folds up flat. I came up with a simple 2-step box that skewed (or sheared or whatever) sideways and becomes flat. I created a working model out of cardboard and duct tape to make sure it would work.

When the treads of the steps are in place, it keeps it from skewing on accident. the corners of the box are held together with continous hinges (aka piano hinges).

The pictures below take you through how it folds up:

1) before folding

2) fold up the treads (thanks Alex!)

3) hold the back in place and push the front to the left (skew the footprint (think parallelogram))

4) folds up flat! (or the thickness of 3 sheets of plywood (3.25")

Here it is stashed in the tiny space between the toilet and the wall in the tiny bathroom. Take that Target!

I won't take you through the building techniques. I'll save that for my furniture page.

I know it isn't a work of art, but I am very happy with the way it turned out. It does exactly what I wanted it to do (according to the above requirements) and she loves to use it! It is very handy to store away, which is the primary reason I went to the trouble of making it.

Life is about small victories, people.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


here is alex putting on some starburst flavored lipgloss. please note the precious lower-lip sticking out.

i personally like how at the end she tries to eat it. good stuff.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

fiddle faddle

hey! remember fiddle faddle! I am not sure I do, but I do remember the wacky name.

here are some things that went on 2 weekends ago, but I never had time to post.

Apple Pie. I made a apple pie and it was kinda dope. the ice cream and pie combo almost made me poop my slacks.

I took this picture when I reflected on the amount of medicine that we stock-pile for our 2 year old daughter. Yeish. sometimes I think we are running a TB ward.

For those of you without infant or toddler kids, this is the quanitity and varity of cold medicine that is an absolute must.

here is a photo shot out my kitchen window. if you squint, you can see a deer. There are plenty of deer around here, but this is the first time I have seen a buck on my property and also the first time I had a camara around. I would love to shoot a deer like this on my property, but I am not sure how legal it is, with poaching laws and all. Please, someone let me know if it is legal to slay a deer from the convenience of my kitchen window, Because I think everyone would agree that me bagging a deer during breakfast would be awesome.


Saturday, December 01, 2007

ebay feedback 4

here is some new ebay feedback. Some of these are a bit funnier when you look at what I was buying, so I included some inset pictures and information about the product when needed. enjoy! (you might click on picture to bigify it)

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