A Dog Clock

I gave you a peek at my latest woodworking project:

Dog Clock 1 Sanded

One of the ladies I worked with at my previous job will be retiring this week. When I was still working with her I had showed her a picture of something in my family room, but she had zeroed in on my clock:

My Cat Clock - 2015

This was a Christmas gift from Jay a few years ago. She absolutely loved it and said that Jay could make her a dog clock for her retirement gift. A few weeks ago, I asked Jay if he could draw up a dog clock for my friend. I told him that she loves spaniels, so this was what he came up with:

Dog Clock 2 Sanded

Jay sent a picture around to show a few people and his mom thought it was for her. Well, it wasn’t that hard to do another one, so he quickly ran the program again. Thus, I am working on two dog clocks.

I wanted to go for more of the natural wood look, so I did a natural stain.

Dog Clock 2 Base Stain

It brought the grain out a little more, but the dog was still getting lost. So I asked Jay to cut another piece of pine and rout out some lines so that I could test stains.

Dog Clock Stain Sample

After these dried I consulted with him and we picked the darkest color on the right.

Dog Clock Stain Difference

What a difference that makes! A few coats of poly and that dog will be winning ribbons for Best of Show! I liked the other dark color on my stain sample, though, so I decided to stain the other dog with it instead of making them the same color.

Dog Clocks Stained 3-25-19

You can’t see a big difference in color, but when you look up close you can see a big difference in the wood. It has a lot of varied patterns and some weird grain stuff going on. Despite all of that, I think that they turned out really nice. Maybe once they are completely dry I can set them up for a non-glare picture.

Posted in CNC Router, Wood Work | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Project Linus Blanket #17

A few weeks ago I gave you a tease of this blanket:

Project Linus Blanket #17

Have you been able to picture it in your head? Let’s see how close you were.

Blanket #17 – “Monsters Inc”

Project Linus Blanket #17 - 3-17-19 Monsters Inc

I used my LED sewing light to try to get a truer picture of the colors in this blanket. Technically they are called Kiwi Green and Royal Blue.

I’ve been calling this Monsters Inc because the colors remind me of their logo and the little green guy, Mike Wazowski:


I wasn’t sure how the big sections of variegated yarn would look with the solid stripes.

Project Linus Blanket #17 3-17-19 Detail

When you look at the picture of the full blanket the variegated parts actually remind me of the snow you used to get on your TV before cable and satellite eliminated that issue.

I still have to weave in the ends, but I’ll probably do that once I have another blanket or two that also requires it. I like to pile up three or four of these before weaving in the ends, laundering the blankets and dropping them off to the organization.

The next blanket is in the queue…

Posted in Blankets, Charity, Crochet, Project Linus | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Dresses for Missions – #40

I did something unusual and shared a progress picture last week.

Dress #40 In Progress

Were you able to picture it in your mind? I know that my mom did, but for the rest of us who are challenged in this aspect:

Dress #40 3-16-19

I was a little worried that the orange would be TOO orange, but it actually goes quite nicely! I probably should have used a dark pink for the straps, but this purple kind of goes, too.

Dress #40 - Hem

I added the typical lace at the bottom, but I didn’t gather the ruffle like I have previously. Mostly because I had already started to pin the ruffle to the body of the dress when I realized that I hadn’t run any basting stitches. I could have unpinned it at that point and basted it, but I didn’t want to. So I did a rough gathering-fold with my fingers. I think it turned out okay.

Dress #40 -Neck

I’ve had this embroidered daisy ribbon for a while and felt that it would look good on this dress. Just a little something to dress it up a bit. They kind of get lost, but I like how it brings out the yellow in the rest of the dress when you look at it up close.

What do you think?

I’m still on track to make one dress a month! I’ve managed to catch up!

Posted in Charity, Dresses for Missions, Sewing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Jewelry Armoire Update – 3-15-19

In my previous post regarding this project I was a little grumpy. So after I was finished writing the post I sent myself to bed. True story. (I’ve put myself in time-out before, too)

Kerry Asleep

As promised, I did work on it over the weekend, but got grumpy about it again. *sigh*

It’s not so much the cabinet itself that makes me grumpy. It’s the fact that I have giant hands and can’t comfortably sand or stain the shelves (or in between them). I have banged my hands all up just trying to get it decent.

Finally, though, the sanding was finished!

Jewelry Armoire Sanded 3-14-19

I know that you can’t tell, but it is prepped and ready for stain.

Jewelry Armoire Side Sanded 3-14-19

It was as good as it was going to get.

Out came the gloves and the can of stain.

Jewelry Armoire Stained 3-14-19

I’ll admit that I wasn’t overly concerned with the bottom of the shelves. Technically very few people should see them. Also, please refer to my note above regarding my giant man hands and the limited space in which I had to work.

Jewelry Armoire Side Stained 3-14-19

I think that it looks good. The layers of polyurethane will enhance it and improve the look. So in the end it will be beautiful.

In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at my next finishing project:

Dog Clock 1 Sanded

Posted in Wood Work | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sewing Projects Update

In the past there have been numerous projects that I’ve waited to post about until they were completed. Well, I seem to have so many different projects going right now that if I don’t post them little-by-little it will take forever to post about them.

Tonight is a sewing night. I’ve had a few grumpy days so I decided to spend time in my happy place: my sewing room.

I have Dresses for Missions dress #40 in progress:

Dress #40 In Progress

This was another cut of fabric that I bought at Hobby Lobby for $2 per yard. You can see that I also have the light pink for another ruffle. I’m going to use the mauve-ish purple binding for the straps, plain white lace around the ruffle, and the orange ribbon between the dress body and ruffle. I wanted to use a blue lace for the ruffle, but I only have baby blue lace which is a bit too dark and I think would look goofy with the colors. I really wish that I had orange or dark purple lace, but I don’t. So I’m using what I have on hand.

The next step is to sew the lace on the ruffle. Then the gathering process begins. I do it all by hand so that is an entire night’s worth of sewing by itself. Hopefully I can get back to it this weekend.

I was reading our church’s newsletter when I read a blurb that said Dresses for Missions will be sending a bunch of dresses down to our sister parish in Mexico. I don’t get a chance to meet with the other ladies in the ministry because they meet either during the day or at times when I have other obligations (like choir), so this was the first that I’d heard about it. Armed with that knowledge I think that I’m finally going to bust out this pattern:

Dress Pattern

I want to make sure that the teenagers and possibly some of the women will be able to receive a dress, too. It will require some different fabric (I don’t think many women would want to wear the really girly patterns that I have in my stash), but I want to trace the different sizes off and make S – M – L- XL versions. I will make the longer version since that should fit women of varying heights the best. Also, I would think that they would be more conservative since they are Catholics. So we’ll have to see how that goes when I can get to it.

In the meantime, those aren’t the only projects that I have going. At some point I want to show the the steps that I am going through to make Jay a new lunch box. I keep buying him the same type of lunch box, but they fall apart so easily.

Jay's Old Lunch Box

This past fall I purchased some waterproof canvas to make a new box. I’m hoping to be able to salvage the majority of the zippers on this box since they are all in good shape. I also hope to reuse the shoulder strap. We shall see how far I get with that one!

About a month ago I ran to Goodwill and looked to see what they had for flannel sheets. I thought that if I could find a reasonably priced set then I could make some more receiving blankets for the Dresses for Missions baby boxes. I found this:

Sheet for Blankets

Size: Queen (full and fitted sheets plus pillow cases)

Price – $4.99!!!

You guys, this isn’t a cheap set of sheets, either.

Woolrich Tag

I would be surprised if these had been used even once. They still look brand new! If they had been King size I would have used them for our bed instead of cutting them up. They are a nice thick flannel that will work nicely for blankets. Again, they are so nice that I haven’t been able to bring myself to cut into them yet. I’ll get there… just give me time.

I think that I mentioned in my post about replacing the zipper in my winter coat that I have to replace the zipper in my windbreaker, too.

Windbreaker Waiting

This jacket is a great jacket. It’s high quality and despite the fact that it’s 19 years old it’s still in great shape. Would you like to read a funny story about this jacket?

When I was in college I worked as a secretary for the buildings & grounds department of a gated educational community in the area where I grew up. As part of my daily duty I would walk the 1/4 mile (maybe?) down to the main administration building to pick up the mail and any work orders that we had waiting for us. I would then walk the 1/4 mile back up the hill towards the maintenance buildings located across the road from the main campus. I was allowed to take a golf cart, but in the summer it was a beautiful walk and I enjoyed the time in the fresh air. One day, though, it was a bit cloudy and was threatening rain. I took my umbrella and tried to hurry back before the rain started. However, as I picked up our mail I was told that I had to take a rather large box back with me. They didn’t tell me what was in it, but I placed the mail on top, hung the umbrella off of my wrist, and carried this box (which I could barely get my arms completely around) back up the hill towards my office. Guess what? It started to rain when I was halfway back. By the time I got into the office I was quite wet, but the box had survived the trip. I took it into the supervisor’s office and went to dry off. As I was wringing the water from my hair he walked through my doorway carrying this bright blue windbreaker. Yes, I had managed to get drenched carrying a box of rain jackets/windbreakers that arrived completely dry.

Finally, with everything else that I’ve managed to put on my To Do list I also added this:

Complete Crochet Course Book

This had been highly touted by a woman that I watched on YouTube, so I ordered it. It really is great! It has so much information in it from the tools to yarn to a bazillion different stitches and even how to read a pattern (both written and diagram). This is my bedtime reading. So far I haven’t had dreams about crocheting, but I figure it’s just a matter of time.

Posted in Charity, Crochet, Dresses for Missions, Sewing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Jewelry Armoire Update 3-8-19

Jewelry Armoire - Stained Doors - Inside

Last week I showed you the inside of the jewelry armoire doors. They turned out okay, but I think that the front of the doors turned out even better. Take a look…

Jewelry Armoire Finished Doors 3-7-19

I looked for the hardware to see if I could show you how it looked, but I have no idea where Jay has them stashed.

Jay transferred the cabinet body to my bench for me this week.

Jewelry Armoire on Bench 3-7-19

I started sanding on it last night, but then I had to stop.

I was slightly grumpy and really didn’t feel like being in the cold basement sanding anything. So I stopped. After all, I knew that if I kept going while being grumpy then I wouldn’t do the best job that I could. I would call it good enough and then later I would be unhappy with it. So, I stopped and came upstairs. I will work on it this weekend. I promise.

Jewelry Armoire Body 3-7-19

This is going to require a lot of patience on my part because the shelves are very close together so I am going to have a difficult time working on them. *sigh* That’s why I need to be in a better mood to work on it. The weather is suppose to improve this weekend (the temperature is supposed to be above freezing! It’s a heat wave!!), so I will be a little happier working in the basement.

Posted in Wood Work | Tagged | 1 Comment

Zipper Woes

This was the culprit:

Zipper Culprit 3-2-19

Last week my zipper on my winter coat kept splitting and I realized that the zipper pull had been pulled apart so it wasn’t correctly aligning the zipper to close it. I asked Jay to grab the pliers so that we could fix it. Well… sometimes it sucks that he’s so smart. As soon as he used the pliers to push the pull back together he said, “Uh-oh.” The zipper pull was shot. There was no way it would work correctly.

This upset me because that was the zipper that I had replaced two years ago. I’d only managed to get two years out of that zipper!! I really didn’t want to replace it again. So Jay told me to just go buy a new coat. *sigh* Fine!

During my lunch period I decided I would take a quick look online to see what might be available at some of the local stores. What I saw had me irritated. The warmer coats with hoods had fur-trimmed hoods (which I didn’t want) and were $100. The other style that I found were the puffy coats that I DEFINITELY didn’t want. After all, my last name isn’t Michelin. You don’t believe me? This is an example of what I was seeing:

PUffy Coat

“Hello, Mrs. Michelin. Please step this way while you wait for your table.”

Oh, look… here’s an example of a puffy coat WITH fur trim:

Puffy Coat with Furry Hood

That poor girl is stick thin and it makes her look huge. Can you imagine what it would do to a fat girl?

Needless to say, I got irritated and went up to Joann Fabrics after work for a new zipper. There was no way I was going to pay $100 for a coat that I hated. Instead, I decided it would be better to fight with a coat that I loved for a few hours.

And boy, did we fight!

Zipper Out 3-2-19

TWO HOURS. That’s how long it took me to rip out the old zipper. One hour for each side. You see, when I had sewn it in I used little tiny stitches thinking that it would hold together better and I wasn’t planning on ever replacing it. The coat is 10 years old and so I should have been able to get at least 5 years out of the other zipper.

After getting the old zipper out I installed one side of the new one. This time I decided that I would use my Singer 301A to sew it in.

Singer 301A Zipper Sewing 3-2-19

This is a straight stitch machine with a tiny throat plate so the fabric wouldn’t get caught in it. Also, the stitch is a very regular and consistent stitch. As soon as I remembered how to wind a bobbin I was in business.

Singer 301A Foot 3-2-19

I kept catching my hands on the pins. And I had to re-sew one part of it after I realized that I had caught the button flap in it, so I unpicked it and sewed it back up. *sigh*

Half Zipper Sewn In 3-2-19

Finally, though, I had one side sewn in! I wasn’t happy about having to use a dual separating zipper. I prefer the single zipper pull zippers, but this zipper was rated for use in ski jackets and ski pants, so I figured that it had to be somewhat rugged. After all, I’m really hoping that this zipper outlasts the rest of the coat.

CLose Up Zipper 3-2-19

I think that I did an okay job of sewing it in.

New Zipper Installed 3-2-19

After a lot of monkeying around and re-pinning I finally got the other half sewn in. It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough. As you can see, this coat is in really good shape. There are dirty spots on the white parts, but that’s about it. I bought this coat in 2008 at the Bon-Ton for $80. It keeps me warm and fits nicely. I really didn’t want to throw it away since it was still in such good shape. I guess it was worth the 4.5 hours to replace the zipper. After all, the closest coat that I could find to something I would somewhat like was $139. Yikes! So for $14 (the cost of the two zippers I bought… in case the one wasn’t the right length) and 4.5 hours I have a coat that I still love and a blog post.

Posted in Sewing | Tagged , | Leave a comment