Prayer Shawl #3 – May 2018

I didn’t intend to crochet another prayer shawl. It just happened. You see, when I went to Atlanta in May I took enough yarn to make myself a fancy black shawl:

Black Shawl Day 1 - Atlanta

We headed to Atlanta on a Tuesday so I crocheted on the flight down and for a few hours in my room before the game. Wednesday I had a few hours here and there to crochet, but Thursday night we had an hour and a half rain delay… which led to the game being called for rain. Needless to say, by Thursday night I was almost finished with the shawl and I still had four more days left on my trip!

Then Friday morning Sarah came down with a horrendous stomach bug (boy, was I thankful to have my own room at that point!!) and so I knew that all of Friday was going to be spent in my room. But the shawl was almost done! What would I do if I finished it?!! This called for drastic measures to be taken! I had seen a Hobby Lobby two days before when we had been out and about, so when I made a run to get Sarah some ginger ale and crackers I took a quick trip to Hobby Lobby to get more yarn. For a second shawl.

Prayer Shawl - Atlanta 2018

When I picked the yarn I figured that I would have more things to go with this shawl than with some of the other variegated colors. Why did I have to pick a variegated color? Because. That’s why. Anyway, this shawl kept my fingers busy for the rest of my time away plus on the plane ride home. I really only had a few rows plus the trim left to do once I was back.

Prayer Shawl - Atlanta 2018 Detail

Then I started to think about how very little I wear the other two shawls that I currently have, and that doesn’t count the fancy black one that I still haven’t blocked. So I decided to give this shawl to the prayer shawl ministry at church.

Blocking the Atlanta Shawl

Once I blocked it (and de-catted it), I handed it into the ladies at church. I hope it goes to somebody who will really appreciate and love it.

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More Concrete Statues

I wish that the garden center would stop carrying so many cute concrete statues. This is what I came home with this time:

Kitten and Angry Bird

An angry little bird… a cute little kitten…

Sleeping Kitten

Another sleeping kitten…

Stretching Cat Side

And a cat in mid-stretch.

Typically what happens is the statues speak to me and let me know what colors they are meant to be painted. The bird was an easy one.

Angry Bird 6-22-18

With the peak of feathers on the top I knew it had to be a cardinal. I actually bought this to paint and donate to our church as an item for the chinese auction that will be held during our summer festival. The same goes for the sleeping kitten:

Sleeping Tuxedo Kitten

I decided that he needed to be a little tuxedo kitten. Except, after I did the initial painting I thought it was looking more like a Holstein cow rather than a tuxedo cat.

Sleeping Tuxedo Kitten 6-22-18

Looking like a Holstein or not, I think he’s adorable.

Sleeping Kitten Finished

What do you think? Think they’ll get a lot of bids?

Angry Bird Finished

I know that I’m going to paint the sitting-up kitten like a Siamese, so I’m holding off painting him. Instead I’ve been trying to concentrate on the stretching cat. He’s been a very difficult piece for me to finish. A big part of it is that I don’t have the talent or skill to do any kind of complicated painting. So, this is what I came up with:

Stretching Cat Painted Side

I told you, I’m not very good at this. Jay just wanted me to get it painted because it unnerved him to walk by it and see the gray tongue.

Painted Stretching Cat

I thought about painting it all black, but decided that I really didn’t want a scary-looking cat. I suppose I could have painted it all white, but I have another cat statue that I’m going to paint all white. I like having a little bit of variety in my cat garden statues.

I can’t buy any more of these, though. I’m going to run out of places to display them in the summer! I don’t like to have cluttered flower beds, so I’m not going to put a ton of these around. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself right now!

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Spring Cross Update – 6-24-18

Spring Cross 5-30-18

At the end of May this is what the Spring Cross looked like after I had finished the first page. It’s really starting to look good.

Here is what it looks like after a few more weeks of progress:

Spring Cross 6-24-18

There aren’t a whole lot of familiar flowers showing up so far, but it will look better once I get the back stitching added. Actually, it’s kind of sad that this is progressing so quickly. Once I’ve finished this cross then my entire Seasonal Crosses series will be complete. Then what am I going to do? Not that I don’t have a pile of cross stitch patterns, but I’ve been working on these crosses for almost five years. Yikes! That sounds like a very long time when I say it out loud. Perhaps it is time to move onto something else.

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Woodworking Projects

Now that Jay has his workshop back together he has been busy making dust again.

Basement 6-23-18

What has he been working on?

Well, he has built a table for the rain barrel that I want to set up in the back yard:

Rain Barrel Stand 6-23-18

The Finishing Dept needs to get it ready for its upcoming outdoor existence. I’m going to have him epoxy the bottom of the legs (so that they can’t soak up water). Then I will prime and paint it with an exterior paint to coordinate with our shed.

The next project was a downdraft table.

Down Draft Table 6-24-18 (1)

This was a birthday present that he felt I could really use. If you don’t know what a downdraft table is, let me do my best to explain it.

Down Draft Table 6-24-18 (2)

You hook it up to the dust collector (or a shop vac) and then sand your wooden pieces on the top. If you’ve actually remembered to switch on the dust collector then as you sand all of the particles will be pulled down through the holes. This keeps you from having to wear a dust mask or make a mess as you’re finishing a project. Jay thinks that I go overboard with my sanding routine and he knows how miserable it can be to wear a dust mask.  Hopefully this improves the finishing part of our projects!

And finally, I thought I should show you how abused and neglected Jay is in our marriage. I mean, the poor guy is taken advantage of constantly!

Last weekend I purchased this book for him:

Woodworking Project Book

At first glance you might think, “Gee! That’s awfully nice! She loves him so much she wants him to have something for inspiration!” That is true, but look closer… do you see the orange flags sticking out of the top? Yep. I looked through it and found a few projects that I wouldn’t mind him working on if he’s bored.

He can’t even enjoy a simple book without a Honey-Do list being attached to it!

One of the projects in there was the rain barrel table.

This is another:

Woodworking Project Book Trellis

Again, a perfect example of what Jay has to deal with when it comes to me and my projects. Here’s what I said: “I don’t want this trellis as it’s shown in the picture. I want you to take one side of it and make it easy to be attached to the front porch so that I can put it behind one of my rose bushes.” Although, giving him the example this way is much better than when I attempt to draw a picture of what I want. I was never good in art class, so you can imagine how horrible that has to be for Jay to interpret my chicken scratch.

He did an excellent job with the trellis, though:

Rose Trellis 6-24-18

He’s going to twist up some copper wire, like in the picture, and insert it in the spaces. He has already epoxied the bottoms of the feet so that they won’t soak up water. Then I just have to finish it with a hardy weather-resistant finish. It should look really nice!

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Project Linus Blanket #11

In the Army

Project Linus Blanket #11 5-31-18 - In the Army

This blanket’s true colors really don’t show up very well in this picture. I keep missing natural light and so I had to use my cross stitching lamp to light it up.

I used a camouflaged multi-colored yarn and tried to match it with dark green, brown, black and khaki colored yarns. In person this really does look very much like something the Army would distribute.

Project Linus Blanket #11

You can see the colors a little better in this picture, but it still doesn’t do it justice.

It really did turn out nicely. I hope that it brings comfort to whoever the lucky recipient might be!

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The Basement Project – Final Day

It was here! The final day of this project. I couldn’t wait to have a dry basement!

Bsmnt - Day 3 - South Wall

This was definitely an improvement, but it was almost finished!

Day 4 was concrete day. These guys mixed it in the basement using the bags that you can see in the picture above. Jay said that they used a mortar mixing basin, which I informed him is what my mom had used as a litter tray for Bob and his siblings when they showed up at our house almost 13 years ago. How about that useless trivia?!

Bsmnt - Day 4 - South Wall

I am still not impressed with that stuff on the wall, but if it works I guess that’s what matters the most. It is nice to have the floor closed up again.

Bsmnt - Day 4 - West Wall

Those pipe caps are kind of in an inconvenient location, too. But if it keeps the basement dry, then we’ll work around it.

Bsmnt - Day 4 - Northish Wall

The guys did a nice job of smoothing out the concrete. I didn’t see any trowel marks in it at all. And I looked!

Bsmnt - Day 4 - Sump Pump

And the newly covered sump pump pit! I like the blue lid. As I was taking pictures it actually kicked on. I only knew it because I heard just the slightest of sounds and I saw the pipe move. Very impressive. What REALLY impressed me was this:

Bsmnt - Day 4 - Pump Corner

Yes, I should listen to and trust Jay. He is right a lot of the time. But don’t tell him I said that because I don’t need his ego to expand any more than it already is. We’ll have to widen all of the doorways in the house if that happens.

Of course, after this project was finished the weather turned really humid and the concrete started to sweat as it was setting. We dug out the dehumidifier and it’s been going steadily ever since. The concrete stopped sweating and is curing up really nice. Jay has started to move things back into place and is working on a better dust collecting system for his machines.

Oh, and the owner of the company stopped back in that evening after the guys had finished up and left. He wanted to see how it had come out. I’m not sure what all was said between him and Jay, and whether Jay pointed out how ugly the plastic stuff is, but it was impressive that he stopped in to do a final check. This system has a warranty that covers us and also whoever buys the house after we leave. Since the completion of the project we haven’t received the kind of rain storm that would have left the basement soaked, but I look forward to seeing how this system handles it. I still go down there and look for leakages, but so far have not found any. Thank goodness!

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The Basement Project – Day 3

Day 2 left us with the epoxy curing in the cracks and around the carbon fiber straps.

Bsmnt - Day 2 - Carbon Fiber Braces

What would Day 3 hold in store for us??

Bsmnt - Day 3 - South Wall

The drainage pipe had been laid, the stone added, the holes drilled in the bottom of the concrete block, and the finishing product installed. Again, I know that it’s just a basement, but I was really disappointed in the look of the stuff they put on the walls.

Bsmnt - Day 3 - West Wall

It’s a plastic sheeting that is tacked to the wall so that water can flow out of the drilled holes behind it and into the drainage ditch below. Which, I understand that it’s functional. But it doesn’t look as ‘finished’ as I’d hoped it would.

Bsmnt - Day 3 - Northish Wall

Jay is trying to figure out the best way to mount some kind of covering for it so that the dust doesn’t make its way in through the top and then start closing up the holes behind it. He’s got some ideas rolling around so I’ll have to wait and see which ones actually take root. It was nice to see the stone in the trench, though, instead of standing water.

Bsmnt - Day 3 - Pump Corner

They cleaned up the sump pump area a little better, but that hose was still bothering me. Jay insisted they would fix it.

A look inside the sump pump pit:

Bsmnt - Day 3 - Sump Pump

Keep your fingers crossed that it works as advertised!

All that’s left is to pour the concrete and fix how the hose hangs from the wall.

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