Woodworking Organizers

I have been busy with my various projects, but I noticed that Jay seemed to be in a bit of a lull. He’s been drawing up a lot of things in SketchUp, but the woodworking machines have been quiet. I’ve had a few projects in mind for him so I thought that now would be a good time to sit and sketch them out.

First problem area: Bob’s wet food.

Cat Food Area

Bob is on a canned food-only diet. He is also spoiled, so he gets the Fancy Feast appetizers on a semi-regular basis. Not in place of a can of food, but merely has an appetite topper. However, it takes up a lot of space and I feel that there could be a better way to organize the appetizers and broth. Basically, what I asked for is a cubby to tuck the appetizers in, then I can set the kleenex and broths on top. It will condense them down and not take up as much space. It’s a fairly easy build.

Cat Food Cubby 6-30-20

Jay already has it cut out and glued together. Once the back is glued on it will go over to my area to be finished.

The next project I’ve been thinking about is a cubby for my bird seed stuff. Currently it’s a mess by my front door.

Bird Food Area

The piano bench works, but it’s a little long for the space. Plus, everything is just kind of piled on top. It definitely needs to be organized a bit better. I drew up what I wanted, with dimensions, and Jay has started on that one as well.

Bird Food Cubby Pieces 6-30-20

He’s getting fancy with it and cutting grooves in the sides so that they slide together. Then there’s a v-groove on top where the pieces meet. He has even created a fence for the router table that will allow him to trim off the glue that presses out into the v-grooves to make it easier for the finishing department. He can’t stand the whining that goes on when there appears to be a ton of glue left on the pieces, which have to be cleaned off before the stain is applied.

Router Table Fence

I have a couple of my own projects that I’m working on, or at least SHOULD be working on. Do you remember the cat couch Jay made me?

Cat Couch - 4-15-19

Well, this is how it looks today:

Cat Couch 6-30-20

I really need to get this done! I have to glue pieces of foam to the frame in order to pad it out in the right places. Then I need to upholster it. That’s the part that has me hesitating. I want to do it in such a way that if a cat is scratching on it they won’t hurt themselves on a staple. I have no idea how I’m going to do it, though. I’m not good with that kind of thing. I have a vague idea, but I need to just sit down and do it.

Next up is this:

Microfiber Cloth with Sawdust

This is what happens when you wash a load of microfiber towels, and one of them has been used to wipe sawdust off of a board. Not a big deal, right? Wrong! Those stupid little micro fibers have a death grip on the pieces of sawdust. The bad thing is that half of these cloths I use when I’m washing and waxing our cars. You can’t have pieces of tree in your cloth when you’re doing that! I tried a lint brush, but the wood didn’t budge. I have resigned myself to a pair of tweezers… it’s horrible. I will never do that again!

Posted in Cats, Real Life, Wood Work | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Household Helpers

I didn’t know what title to use for this post. I have two different projects in different disciplines that really don’t go together. Yet, here they are.

First, for my friend’s birthday I decided to make her a couple of tote bags. Prior to the plague hitting the world her State had decided to get rid of all plastic bags in the stores. I decided she needed a couple for when the locusts have been swept up and the frogs dumped down the sewers.

Sarah's Bags 6-20-20

Of course I used cat material. She is a crazier cat lady than I am, so it had to be done. I dug around in my utility fabric bin to see what I could come up with, and the bottoms were made out of what surfaced.

To make these a little sturdier when they are being used I cut some plastic canvas to size and wrapped them in the utility fabric as well.

Sarah's Bag Bottom 6-20-20

You can actually fit quite a bit in these bags. I filled it with a hardcover book, a handful of magazines, and a plastic jar that used to hold 4 pounds of jelly beans.

Sarah's Bag Volume

There was still more room for things.

Sarahs Bag Inside

When not in use they can be folded into much smaller pieces.

Sarah's Bag Folded

Penny was in the sewing room and wanted to help model the bags.

Sarah's Bag Modeled

You’re probably wondering what Penny is wearing. She overheard Jay and I discussing our vacation to sit beside my sister’s pool. She was insistent that she needed a new bathing suit. Now, we haven’t decided if she’s going with us or not, but I didn’t think it would hurt to make her a suit. You never know when you’re going to need it.

Penny's Swim Suit Front

I drafted my own pattern. It’s a bit difficult when you have to account for a permanent utility belt around the waist. The front looked good.

The back needs some work.

Penny's Swim Suit Back

You can see she has a bit of a droopy butt. She doesn’t mind, though. She’s been running around in it for almost a week. I’ll have to wrestle it off of her, I think.

The only other thing that I have to share is this:

3D Printed Can Tab Lifter

Can you guess what it is? I’m leading you astray by showing it on my cutting mat.

3D Printed Can Tab Lifter in Use

It’s to help open cans that have the pull tabs. Usually I don’t have a problem, but lately my nails have been very thin and brittle. They have been peeling like nobody’s business so they bend and break when I try to get a finger under the tab. Bob only eats canned food so at least three to four times a day I have to try to pry up a lid. I went on Thingiverse and found the design for this one. I sent the link to Jay and he printed it for me. It’s much better than trying to use the paring knife that I usually have sitting next to my kitchen sink. I’m less likely to stab myself with this!

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Crocheted Garment Wishlist

Jay asked me what I wanted for my birthday. What I really wanted was something beyond his power to give me. What I really wanted was a lot of crocheting time and a wrist that can withstand the repetitive motion without throwing a hissy fit. I haven’t been able to do a lot of crocheting because my wrist has been offended that I would use it for gardening and daily life. My 2-3 hours of daily crocheting has been knocked down to about 30 minutes. Not only does this put a crimp in the number of blankets and hats that I can get made for various charities, but I also have a long list of garments that I would like to make for myself. Let me share them with you.

These patterns were found in either Crochet! magazine or Crochet World magazine. If you would like to purchase a copy of the pattern I’m sure you can find it on one of those sites by doing a search. I will make sure to tell you in which magazine I found it.

Two-Lace Cardi by Margaret Willson

Crochet World – April 2020 Issue

Two-Lace Cardi CW042020

The model was made using Premier Yarns Cotton Fair yarn, which is a cotton/acrylic blend. It is machine washable, which is important to me. I dislike owning garments that require either dry cleaning or hand washing. That’s too much effort for something that is probably going to get snagged or sneezed on. I liked this cardi because of the lace pattern, but if I ever get the chance to make it I might make the arms a little longer. I don’t like sleeves that fall just before my wrist.

Everyday Casual Cardi by Tammy Hildebrand

Crochet! – Spring 2020

Everyday Casual Cardi CSpr2020

Model made using Scheepjes Stone Washed XL yarn, which is another cotton/acrylic blend. Keep in mind that you don’t have to use the exact yarn used in the model. Just make sure to use something similar if you’re going to swap it out and always do a gauge swatch! Again with this cardi I would probably lengthen the sleeves a bit.

Little Black Diagonal Fringed Dress by Tammy Hildebrand

Crochet! – Spring 2020

Little Black Diagonal Fringed Dress CSpr2020

Made using Scheepjes Softfun yarn, yet another cotton/acrylic blend. Now, normally I wouldn’t be intrigued by a crocheted dress, but there’s something about this one. Maybe the designer really knows what I like. After all, the previous cardi that I posted was her design. On this dress I would probably leave the fringe off so that I wouldn’t be stepping on cats who were trying to play with it (or chew on it). But I like it.

Floating Columns Pullover by Jill Hanratty

Crochet World

Floating Columns Pullover CWSFall2018

Model made using Garnstudio DROPS Fabel yarn. This yarn is actually a wool blend, but I would substitute an acrylic. In fact, I have one in mind from Ice Yarns, but I haven’t done the math to see if it will work similarly. I LOVE this pattern. It’s lacy and feminine and so pretty. Except the color, there’s nothing I would change about it.

Cold Shoulder Mandala Top by Jill Hanratty

Crochet! – Summer 2020

Cold Shoulder Mandala Top CSum2020

Here’s another top made using Premier Cotton Fair yarn. I’m not usually into the cold shoulder look (I like my shoulders to be warm), but the lace really hooked me. And of course, we have another repeat designer on my list. I just think that this top will look really nice with quite a few of my skirts.

Top-Down Tunic by Dora Ohrenstein

Crochet World – Feb 2020

Top-Down Tunic CW022020

Model made with Lion Brand LB Collection Baby Alpaca yarn. I would use an acrylic yarn, but I like theย  look of this top. The neck doesn’t look like it’s so high it will choke you and the sleeves look manageable. It’s just something nice and simple.

Tiffany Poncho by Dora Ohrenstein

Crochet World – Oct 2019

Tiffany Poncho CW102019

Model made using Knit One, Crochet Too Elfin Tweed yarn. This one is kind of iffy for me. I like the lace look, but I would need it to be longer. And I’m not quite convinced on the neckline. We’ll see if this one gets made.

Light as Air Kimono by Jill Hanratty

Crochet! – Summer 2019

Light as Air Kimono CSum2019

Model made using Berroco Remix Light yarn. Yet another Hanratty pattern on my list. I really like the design and the bell sleeves. This wouldn’t be one of the first ones I would try, but I definitely wouldn’t mind having a go at it. I would even leave the sleeves at their current length!

Nikita Tee by Lena Skvagerson

Crochet! – Summer 2019

Nikita Tee CSum2019

Model made using Patons Grace yarn. This is another lacy summer top that I would want to wear with my skirts. I think I would make this in black, though. Can you imagine how pretty it could look with a black skirt and a white tank underneath? Very pretty!

Flowers & Lace Capelet by Diane Poellot


Flowers & Lce Capelet CSI2019

Model made using a medium weight (#4) yarn. I really love the look of this because the border is so interesting. I would definitely make it longer into a poncho and not just a capelet. Reading the instructions makes it seem very intimidating, but I want to give it a try when I’m feeling brave.

Long & Lacy Vest by Margaret Willson

Crochet World – June 2019

Long & Lacy Vest CW062019

Model made with Cascade Ultra Pima Fine Peruvian Tones yarn. I’m not usually a vest person, but I like the look of this one. It’s another garment on my list designed by Margaret Willson. I might have to do a google search for her other designs.

Double Trellis Topper by Ann McFarland

Crochet World – April 2019

Double Trellis Topper CW042019

Model made using Omega Mimosa yarn. Another lacy vest. I guess the overall pattern in the garments I’m choosing is lace. Big surprise? I don’t think so. That’s why I like crocheted items.

Drifting Tee by Rae Blackledge

Crochet World – Aug 2019

Drifting Tee CW082019

Model made using Premier Cotton Fair yarn. This one isn’t as lacy, but I like the design. It’s different and would be nice to wear in the air conditioning.

I will stop boring you with pictures of items that I may never ever get around to making. I don’t like to shop, but I love to look at patterns and determine if I would wear them or not. This is the only time that I’m interested in looking at clothes. I hope you enjoyed the tour of my wish list!

Posted in Crochet, Garment, Yarn | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Mid-June Sewing

I’ve been trying to find little snippets of time to spend in my sewing room. It’s such a bright and inviting space. Also, I don’t feel like I’m in a dark, closing-in-on-me sauna.

Sewing Room Furnished 2 4-19-20

My friend is due with her first baby in August so I need a non-suffocating room to sew in this summer. One of those projects is a baby changing mat. I ran across this pattern a few years ago on So Sew Easy’s website.

Baby Changing Mat1

I personalized it for them with their favorite football team. Jay says that it’s the perfect material for a baby to poop on. Jay is not a Steelers fan.

This folds up into a size that is nice to stash in a diaper bag or one of those larger purses.

Baby Changing Mat2

On the inside you have two little pockets that flop out. I have to get a small container of baby wipes for one of the pockets and the other pocket will hold a diaper or two (depending on the size). I used a layer of vinyl on top of the yellow to make clean up a little easier.

Baby Changing Mat3

Here you can see the pockets opened up for access. Unlike what Jay thought, they are not used to hold the kids’ hands out of the way.

I hope they like it. The pattern was easy to follow and quick to sew once I actually sat down to do it. That gives me one more project ticked off of the To Do list!

Another project for my sewing room that has been checked off is to hang my poster so that I can enjoy it whenever I walk into room.

Sewing Room Cat Poster

Of course I need a cat poster in my sewing room. Hello! Have you met me?

One other somewhat sewing-related project that has been completed:

Quilt Rack Installed 6-12-20

My quilt rack has been installed! I know that the quilt isn’t folded just right, but it’s close enough for me. We hung this in the family room. Isn’t it great?

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Time Out!

As an adult I recognize that there are times when I need to go to my room for a Time Out. There are days when EVERYTHING went wrong. Work was horrible and stressful. Traffic was a mess. Everybody driving in front of you was competing for Slowest Driver of the Year (and they were ALL winning!) and nothing was going your way. On those days I arrive at home in a foul mood looking for things to break on purpose. That’s when I put myself into Time Out. I’m serious.

Bob In Bed 05 2017

I stretch out on the bed and try to calm myself. That means no electronics, no distractions and no more enraging thoughts. If I can have the window open I listen to the birds or the outside noise. I try to coax Bob up onto the bed so that I can spend time with him. I try to keep all thoughts out of my head so that I can just chill for a bit. After 10 to 30 minutes (depending on how worked up I was originally) I am calm enough to continue on with my day. Shutting out everything that frustrates you helps you to release some of those emotions so that you can calmly and reasonably work out the issues. You need to channel your inner Spock, or maybe even Yoda.


Positive. Happy. Furry. Calming. Thoughts.

I am writing this on my lunch break and it’s one of those days… again. Before I get to the point where I send myself to bed I thought that maybe I would take a quick little mini Time Out here at work. Do you want to join me? There’s plenty of room for everybody.

Pull up a chair and take a deep breath. Block out any excess noise. As you concentrate on the picture that I will post below this paragraph, imagine yourself sitting there with the warm sun on your shoulders. Can you feel the breeze? Can you hear the birds? Are you dipping your toes in the water? Perhaps you are on a float in the water. Look up at the sky and watch the clouds as they change shape and move past. Just be there in the moment…. Take about 10ย  minutes to really try this exercise and I promise it will begin to help any stress and anxiety. It will calm you if you block out everything else except being in that moment in the picture. Relax. Take deep breaths. Just be….

In the Pool 7-5-17

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More Concrete Statues and Roses

It wouldn’t be Spring on this blog if I didn’t have some concrete statues and roses to show you, right? To be fair, I only bought one new concrete statue this year and it’s going to be given as a gift. The others are from a few years ago. You might remember them:

Civil War Soldier and Fat Cat Statues

These two have been sitting on my work bench for a few years.

As you can see, I started painting the Confederate Soldier. I stalled when I got to his face. I’m not good at painting faces and I didn’t want him to look crazy or goofy. I was also having problems figuring out what color to paint the cat. I entertained the idea of painting another orange cat, but I really am not good at painting and didn’t want it to look bad. And so they sat… and sat… and sat. They silently judged me for hiding them in the basement instead of letting them soak up the summer sun. I couldn’t take their judgmental stares any longer.

Concrete Statue CSA Soldier Front 2020

I cheated on both of them. This is a Confederate Soldier, as his belt buckle clearly states ‘CSA’, so I decided to paint him all gray like one of the many monuments that are scattered across the Civil War battlefields in this country. Even though I know he’s a Johnny Reb, my hope is that people will see him as a generic Civil War soldier who was brave, courageous and played a very important role in the shaping of our country. If you read any diaries from back then you will know that not all Yankees were rabid abolitionists and not all Rebs were whip-bearing slave owners.

This American Soldier will be very welcome in my garden.

Concrete Statue CSA Soldier Side 2020

You’ve just received a glimpse of the cat. I cheated with him big time.

Concrete Statue White Cat 2020

The pour wasn’t very good into the mold so he has bubble spots all over. Yes, I painted him white. When I was a kid I had a white cat named Frank who had green eyes. That’s the cat I kind of modeled this one after, and yet as I was painting him I couldn’t help but think of the outside cat my sister had a few years ago, Scruffy. I may actually end up giving him to her to display by her pool. Her husband might end up disliking me because once I’ve filled my yard with concrete cats I will fill hers, too.

Finally, the concrete statue I painted for my dad. This will be a Father’s Day gift. Are you ready?

Concrete Statue Big Foot Front 2020

It’s suppose to be a big foot. It actually looks more like a deranged monkey, but I guess that’s okay because the most important part is the sign. I painted it with glow-in-the-dark paint so hopefully the ‘GO AWAY!!!’ will glow.

Concrete Statue Big Foot Back 2020

He’s sitting there on a rock with his sign. Isn’t he cute? I think this will look great by the back door.

I have one more concrete statue to paint, but it’s another one with cats and so I’m stuck trying to figure out what colors I want to paint them. Hopefully they won’t sit around for two years waiting for that to happen.

In the meantime, my roses have been doing pretty good!

Corner Rose Bed 2020

This is my corner rose bed. This yellow rose bush is a little ornery. The flowers start out that dark yellow and then lighten right up. That’s their actual color. It’s not due to lighting or anything. If you notice, the bush with the red roses in the back still has a LOT of buds that have not yet opened. It’s going to be GORGEOUS when they do! I was outside the other night and I had two different ladies tell me how beautiful my roses look. ๐Ÿ™‚

I have a new favorite flower for my garden.

Back Door Snapdragons 2020


Apparently the gnome does not agree.

What I love about these flowers is that even though they are considered an annual, mine often come back for a second year. In fact, all of these in the picture were planted last year and came back this spring. I like utility plants that I can get more of my dollar’s worth! These weren’t the only ones that came back. I had one up front that made an appearance this spring, too.

Front Snapdragon 2020

I did plant the little guys in front of it, and am trying to persuade the dandelions that they do NOT belong. They are not listening to me.

I promised another picture of my front garden where the bird bath resides once I had cleaned it up a bit.

Front Porch 2020

I don’t have an eye for landscaping, so I just fill in around the rose bushes with whatever flowers I like. In this picture are roses, pansies, snapdragons, and some pretty little flowers in my cat pot.

Cat Planter 2020

Even though everybody has them all over, I thought I would share a picture of my rhododendron bush at the end of its bloom.

Rhodedendron 2020

This bush is in serious need of a hair cut, but I will wait until the petals have all fallen off of the flowers. I just don’t like it leaning over the eaves like that. I’m sure it’s clogging up the trough with its detritus. I won’t cut it back too much because Bob’s bench is right by this window and he loves watching the birds and chipmunks that play in it. In fact, there’s a nest on a branch close to this window. I have no idea what bird built it as I’ve never seen any in it, but it’s there.

As I wind up this tour of my gardens, let me show you how to “upcycle” a gate.

Back Door Flowers 2020

During the summer of 2013 we put in the cement driveway and took down the length of chain link fence along that side of the yard. For whatever reason we left the gate hinged to the other side of the fence, near where my roses live.

Side Rosebush 6-17-15  2

(The gate was on the right hand side of this picture, next to that hosta)

I finally asked Jay if we could remove it after almost seven years. I decided that I was going to use it for my tomatoes. I bought a cherry tomato plant and will secure its vines to the gate as they grow.

Looking at this picture, though, I can’t believe how big my rose bush is now! This would have been 2014, I think. Here is that same rose bush last year:

Full of Roses

*sheds a tear* They sure grow up quickly, don’t they?

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N-Scale Layout – Wind Turbine

Jayville 6-4-20

The village of Jayville had stalled on its progress. The residents were still trying to raise enough money to put stained glass in the church and various merchants still needed roofs on their buildings. It seems that most of the original money had literally been planted in the ground.

Stand of Trees

The Gardener’s Club had grown tired of trying to decide where to place the trees they had purchased. Finally they just put them all in one area claiming that it was to make a miniature forest area, when in truth it was just because they were tired and wanted to be done with it.

There were strange things happening, though, that nobody could explain.

The building near the North Bend was still a source of mystery. Nobody could figure out what was going on over there.

North Bend at Night

Rumors circulated that it had something to do with drugs or moonshine. Somebody thought they saw caskets being stored in the building. Another thought that it was a giant yarn warehouse. Secretly they all hoped that it would remain a mystery so that it would give them something juicy to discuss.

One morning as Mayor Johnson was out for a walk he was surprised to see a statue in the town triangle.

Jebediah Smith

It was a Civil War General, but nobody knew who it was. Nobody knew who had put it there and nobody knew how long it had actually been there. They decided to leave it for now because it wasn’t harming anything and really they hadn’t had a chance to do anything with the triangle. This was as good of a thing as any.

During the village board meeting that decided to leave the statue where it stood, Dan Anderson had a proposal. Mr. Anderson was the proprietor of the general store that did business under the name ‘DANG’ (Dan Anderson Notions and Goods). He owned one of the buildings that was still roofless. While researching ways of bringing in more revenue he hit upon an idea that could benefit the whole town. What they needed to do was buy a wind turbine and then sell power back to the power company. He estimated that this would bring in a lot of money for the village. The board talked it over and thought that this idea had merit. So they called up Wind Turbines, LLC and ordered up a kit.

Six to eight weeks later they received the first package.

Wind Turbine1

The men all stood around it, and even if they had no idea what they were looking at, grunted approvingly and nodded at the other men as if to say, “Why that is one of the best motors I’ve ever seen. There’s never been a finer motor any where to be found.”

A few days later another delivery arrived.

Wind Turbine 2

Again, nods and grunts of approval. This was definitely a great idea.

Three weeks later the blades showed up.

Wind Turbine 4

Yes, yes. Very fine blades indeed. Have you ever seen finer blades? Not even the Queen of England would have such fine blades.

Finally, this showed up:

Wind Turbine 6

The men had no clue what it was for, but this time the ladies were present so they stuck with the nodding and grunting. It had worked before so they stuck with it. After shooing the ladies away, who insisted that there had to be assembly instructions SOMEWHERE, they started fitting pieces together and were very happy when they had it at least looking like a wind turbine.

Wind Turbine 3

They didn’t realize they had purchased the unfinished version. They found Cliff Brown and paid him to put a coat of paint on the blades. Then they hooked up the wires, crossed their fingers and hit the ‘Start’ button.

Wind Turbine 5

It worked! That’s when Otis, the town drunk, asked, “How are we going to move it from here to where it needs to go?” The men looked around at each other sheepishly and then acted like this had been part of the plan all along. They would assemble it in one place and then transport it to the final spot.

Wind Turbine 7

As soon as the blades started spinning they could hear the dollars adding up. They were going to be one of the wealthiest villages in the State!

Wind Turbine 8

Things were looking up for Jayville!

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Late Spring Sewing Projects

You might remember that Jay had made a smaller corn hole board for a coworker.

Buffalo Bills Mini Corn Hole Board 5-26-20

You can’t play corn hole without the corn hole bags. I still had all of the materials on hand from the last time I made bags. Instead of regulation 6″ square I sized them down to 4″ square. Unfortunately I didn’t have the correct colors of duck cloth on hand to make Buffalo Bills themed bags. Oh well. They are just going to get thrown around.

Mini Corn Hole Bags 5-31-20

My sewing job to close the seam isn’t the best. To be fair, I was battling with hands and fingers that hurt from all of the gardening I had done the day before. (Yes, I’m whining and yes, I’m using it as an excuse for my poor sewing skills).

This set is technically for the guy to use with his kids so I knew I would have to make a bag to hold the bags in otherwise they are going to get lost.

Drawstring Bag 5-31-20

Again, I’m using what I have enough of in my stash. At least it shouldn’t get lost!

So, the full set:

Mini Corn Hole Bag Set 5-31-20

You may be wondering, like I was, if I made the bag too small to actually fit the corn hole bags. Luckily they fit in there snuggly.

Drawstring Bag with Corn Hole Bags 5-31-20

That was delivered yesterday and the coworker loved it.

The next project I’ve had on my list for a few months is a bag to hold the outside part of my electronic thermometer.

Thermometer Bag Supplies 5-31-20

You need something that will allow the device to breathe, but has to be weatherproof. I decided to use this extra mesh laundry bag that I had laying around.

Now, I warn you… this is a utilitarian project so I was not going for anything that looked like it could grace the cover of Home Sewing magazine.

Thermometer Bag 5-31-20

Very simple and very basic. It’s only going to be seen by me when I’m changing the batteries or trying to figure out why the inside part isn’t registering anything from the outside device (which seems to happen to me a lot). This hangs in a stupid bush at the corner of my deck.

Thermometer Bag in Place 5-31-20

I don’t care for this bush, but it gives me a place out-of-the-sun to hang my thermometer device. Also, I hate to just rip it out of the ground. I hasn’t done anything to me except be a bush that I don’t care to have in my yard.

Speaking of yard, I have to show you the rhubarb haul I brought in last night:

Rhubarb 6-1-20

We added the can of coke for scale. I know that you’re not suppose to let your rhubarb get this big, but my plants are very sassy and do not listen to me at all. It’s only the beginning of June. It shouldn’t be this big already. This is only half of what my two bushes have growing on them. With these giants gone the others should have a better chance to grow.

Here’s the dumb thing about my gardening skills. I baby my roses and other plants. I make sure to water them consistently, I try to spray my roses for aphids, black spot, and worms. I check my vegetable plants to make sure they are growing at a good pace and add fertilizer as needed. Last year my roses all got one thing after another and one bush had all of its leaves turn yellow and fall off after the first bloom. My cucumbers barely made an appearance and my tomatoes refused to do anything.

Yet the rhubarb plants are the most neglected plants in my yard. They are stashed over in a corner surrounded by a burning bush, a rose of sharon and lots of weeds. I have to usually weed just to access the rhubarb bushes because it’s behind the fire pit and I keep forgetting about them. And here these stupid things grow like I’ve been giving them my total and complete attention. I just don’t get it! Maybe next year I should toss my cucumber plants over there and walk away to see if they respond better to neglect. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Crocheted Sweater and Hats

A while ago I had started to make the Rose Cathedral Stained Glass Window afghan.

Cathedral Rose Window Afghan 2-18-20

I got this far before I decided that I didn’t like how it was turning out. It wasn’t laying flat and I knew if I kept going the waviness was just going to continue through the rest of it. So I stopped. I currently have this in my car as an emergency blanket. I was going to let Bob have it, since he seemed to like it so much, but Jay was horrified that I would give something like this to a cat to sleep on.

I had purchased a lot of yarn for it and still had quite a bit left in my stash

IceY Cathedral Window Yarn 7-3-19

I was using Ice Yarns’ Cakes Blues – Rainbow and Saver in Turquoise and Purple. Originally I planned to make a sweater for my sister, but then I realized that Mother’s Day was coming up and my mom would probably love a big comfy sweater for the winter. I knew it was going to be a bit “loud”, but my mom can pull it off.

I used the Tammy Sweater pattern from Christa at The Secret Yarnery with a slight modification to the sleeves. I tried the sweater on to see how long I needed to make the sleeves, but they felt too tight on my lower arms. I marked the point where I wanted to start fixing the problem and then tore it out and redid it. Instead of decreasing three every row I decreased one every other row for a bit and then eventually got it down to the size that I liked.

Due to the pandemic I was limited with my choice of models, but she was cheap and available. You know what they say, “Beggars can’t be choosers.” Here is the finished sweater:

Babe's Sweater 5-23-20 Cropped

I wasn’t sure that I would have enough of the Cakes Blues to do the arms and collar, so I opted to use the purple Saver yarn to add a little interest.

Babe's Sweater Back 5-23-20 Cropped

I also made this one a little longer than the last Tammy Sweater I made for my friend Chrissy. My mom seemed to like it so that’s all that matters.

I have also managed to make a few more hats.

Crocheted Hats 13-15

I used a pattern found in an older leaflet from Annie’s. It’s a crocheted Man’s Camo Hat by Glenda Winkelman. I found that you can purchase it as a pdf pattern here. After crocheting it I had Jay try it on and he said it was a bit tight. I really liked the brim, though, so I made a few changes.

Crocheted Hat 13

This hat is actually supposed to be crocheted in two pieces (the crown and the brim) and then sewn together. I’m lazy and didn’t want to sew a brim on so I decided to try crocheting it on the hat as I went. After I had finished the last round I chained the number of stitches that I wanted for my brim and single crocheted. On the return row I crocheted in the back loop until I reached the body of the hat then I slip-stitched to that row, and then the row above it. I think it makes an okay hat. The rusty orange hat was made using Loops & Threads Impeccable yarn that I purchased at Michaels. I have to say that I’m not a fan. I probably will not buy this yarn again. It’s very stiff and thick. I don’t like the feel of it at all.

I went digging into my yarn stash and came up with a skein of yarn that I had purchased from Hobby Lobby. I’m not sure what the color was because the label had been missing so they had just placed a regular piece of paper around it as a band and marked the price down. The colors are really pretty and I love crocheting with Hobby Lobby’s yarn.

Crocheted Hat 14

I made this one a little differently. I decided to crochet the body with the same kind of increasing pattern as I’ve used on other hats until I was up to 72 stitches per round (the camo hat that Jay said was too small was only up to 60 stitches per round). Then I maintained the 72 stitches per round until the body was as long as I wanted. I also made the same kind of brim as described above. Jay tried it on and said that it fit nicely.

I still had about a third of the skein of yarn left, so I started another hat. I knew I wouldn’t have enough to complete it so I decided to use black for the brim.

Crocheted Hat 15

I think it turned out really well. Fifteen down and only about twenty-five more to go…

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Lots of Woodworking Projects

Jay hasn’t been working on just the train layout. He’s also been doing some woodworking. The first project I’ll show you is one of my birthday presents.

While looking through the March 2020 issue of Wood magazine Jay saw a quilt display and asked if I would like one.

Wood Magazine - Swingin' Quilt Display

It’s called the Swingin’ Quilt Display because the arm swings out so you can more easily drape your quilt on it.

Wood Magazine Swingin' Quilt Display Detail

At first I didn’t know where I would put it, but then I found a spot and decided I was going to hang the double wedding ring quilt that my mom made me years ago.

B is for Bissell

It’s the only quilt she has ever hand quilted. It’s only a full size so it won’t fit on our King bed and I hate to hide it on the bed upstairs.

Quilt Shelf Pieces 5-26-20

We had some oak laying around so Jay used that to cut out the pieces. They are stained and in the process of being poly’d. I hope to have these done by this time next week.

The next project that is already hung on the wall is another rack for my spools of ribbon. Jay had made two for my old sewing room.

Ribbon Holders

But when we hung them up I quickly realized I was going to need at least one more.

Spooled Ribbon Shelves

The large one is on top with the two small ones below it.

I didn’t realize that I have so many spools of ribbon and lace!

Ribbon Shelves

Another project for my sewing room is a shelf that Jay had installed in the kitchen of my old house. It was bare wood, and really very cheap (I can’t recall where I bought it) so I decided to stain it and poly it. Then I’ll have Jay hang it in my sewing room.

Sewing Room Shelf 5-26-20

Nothing too exciting about that shelf.

The other thing that is sitting on my bench for me to poly is a sign for Jay’s work.

Shipping Sign 5-26-20

He cut this out last week, but I had to make room to finish it for him.

One other project that was made out of this wood is a set of mini corn hole boards for a coworker.

Buffalo Bills Mini Corn Hole Board 5-26-20

I think Jay’s router bit threw up a little in its mouth when cutting this logo. Jay is a Patriots fan and I’m a former Dolphins fan, so both of us are having a hard time with this in the house. It makes me feel ill…

The last wood working project that I have to share with you is technically one that has been done for a year.

Library - 4-15-19

My cedar bird bath. I put it out last year, but we never ran power out to it so that we could actually plug it in. That has finally happened!

Cedar Bird Bath Running 5-26-20

These aren’t the best pictures, but I’m so happy to have it running. After we plugged it in and went into the house I saw at least six different birds stop by for a drink.

Cedar Bird Bath 5-26-20

I’ll take better pictures once I have the front gardens cleaned up and flowers planted. I definitely don’t look forward to cleaning this because it’s going to be even more of a pain than what it was prior to electrifying it. First world problems, right?

Posted in CNC Router, Garden, Quilts, Sewing, Wood Magazine, Wood Work | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment