Dresses for Missions #38

Last weekend I made Dress #38:

Dress #38 9-8-18

I had to give a talk at church about our ministry, Dresses for Missions, and figured that I needed an example to show. My friend Jamie had sent me this really fun material and I couldn’t wait to use it. Since it was so busy I knew that I was going to use the solid pink for the ruffle. The hardest part was choosing the trim to go around the top of the ruffle.

Dress #38 Hem Detail

I settled for this blue because sometimes less is more. And that was definitely true in this case. Aren’t the cats cute?? Many people thought that this was adorable and they said that my talk was very inspiring. They could tell that it came from the heart. So I guess that I did my job!

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Only One ‘Keet

Do you remember this picture that I teased:

Cedar Bird Bath 4

I had asked if you could figure out what it was that Jay was making for me. I know, it could be anything! Here’s another clue… I sprayed it with waterproofing deck spray:

Cedar Bird Bath 6

I wish that I could show you another picture of the finished product, but technically it’s not fully finished. You see, it’s a bird bath! A very extravagant bird bath. Here’s the story behind it…

This is our current bird bath:

Bird Bath Fountain 7-16-17

It’s not very large, but it gets a lot of use! Well, on July 4th we were having quite a hot and humid day. As I walked through the living room I looked out and noticed a mourning dove LOUNGING in this bird bath. He took up about a quarter of it. The sparrows were a bit upset because they couldn’t enjoy the water with him hogging up the space.

Cedar Bird Bath 5

I told Jay that we needed a multi-tiered bird bath so that more than just a handful of birds could enjoy it at one time. I came up with the three tiers, each one being a different depth for the different sizes of birds.

You can see the holes where Jay is going to put the copper tubing that will allow the water to spill from one tier to another. This water movement will be aided by a pump (which is one of the pieces we are waiting for) so that the water will be constantly moving and tempt the birds to enjoy it.

Cedar Bird Bath 2

I even had Jay add a little door where I will be able to easily access the lines so that I can quickly drain it when I have to clean it.

I bought some garden pond liner to line it as I was worried about using any other kind of vinyl liner that wasn’t animal friendly. The last thing that I want is to be responsible for the death of every mourning dove within a six block radius!

To get it out of our way we have moved it outside, though not in its permanent location, and I’ve been keeping it filled with clean water. As I was looking out at the birds two weeks ago I caught sight of something under the feeders. It was a bright blue bird! I couldn’t quickly call to mind a brightly-colored bird that would be in this region. And then I got a closer look…

Parakeet at Feeder

One of these things is not like the others… and I’m not talking about the squirrel.

Do you see it there between the mourning doves? Can you tell what it is? Let me give you a different angle…


It’s a stinkin’ parakeet! (Just one, though… not sure why they call them a Pair of Keets…)

I have no idea where it came from and I haven’t seen it since, but he was having the time of his life with all of that seed out there. When Jay got home from work I showed him the pictures. In his swinging bachelor days Jay had a cockatiel so he wouldn’t mind having another bird. This was the conversation that we had:

“Why didn’t you catch it?!” Jay asked.

“What am I supposed to do with a parakeet if I catch it??”

“You put it in a cage,” he answered as if that should have been obvious.

Pointing at Chester and Bob, “That would just be a very large Chinese Puzzle box to these two.” Can you imagine what they would do to a bird in a cage??

I told Jay that if he could catch it then he could keep it. We haven’t seen it since so I’m hoping it flew back to where it came from as he definitely won’t make it living in the wild once winter hits. He’s more of a warm weather bird, so our freezing cold and snow won’t be good for his health.

I think it’s going to be a long while before I find anything as shocking under my bird feeders!

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Project Linus Blanket #13

Blanket #13:

Project Linus Blanket #13 - Branch


I actually named this after the troll, Branch, on the movie¬†Trolls. Justin Timberlake is the voice of Branch and throughout much of the movie he’s a grayish-blue troll. As I was crocheting this he’s what I thought of the most. If you haven’t seen the movie, you should. I enjoy it very much.

This was the blanket that I took with me to work on when I went on vacation. So it’s a very well-traveled blanket. Hopefully the little boy who receives it will love it.

One thing that I noticed when I was washing and bagging this blanket and #12¬†was the feel of the yarn. I typically use Red Heart because there are a bazillion colors to choose from and it’s relatively inexpensive. Considering I give these blankets away I really don’t want to pay $5 per 5 oz skein of yarn.

This blanket was made with Red Heart:

Project Linus Blanket #13 - Detail

And this one was made with A.C. Moore’s brand of yarn:

Project Linus Blanket #12 - Detail

Both of them are 100% acrylic, but there’s such a difference in the feel of these yarns! The red one was so much softer. The blue one was a bit scratchy.

This direct comparison made me really think. I LOVE the A.C. Moore brand (Nicole brand) and Hobby Lobby’s brand (I Love This Yarn!). Both of these yarns are soft and 100% acrylic. They each are about $1 more per skein than Red Heart, and the Nicole is not offered in the same color range as Red Heart. I Love This Yarn! has a much larger color pallet, but it’s still a bit pricier. I use anywhere from 5 – 8 skeins of yarn per blanket. That starts to add up quickly. Is it worth spending an extra $5-8 per blanket? Food for thought…

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Spring Cross Update – 8-23-18

Before the insanity of August set in this is where I was on the Spring Cross:

Spring Cross 7-24-18

All of the full stitches and background words had been stitched. It was time to start the back stitching. It took me almost one month exactly:

Spring Cross 8-23-18

How pretty is that?!

I think this will actually be done in time for spring. I’m excited that I’m halfway done, but also sad that this series is almost at an end for me.

While looking for a pattern for my sister a few weeks ago I was able to look at a few possibilities for the next project. We’ll have to see which one rises to the top.

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An Amusing Day of Vacation

While on vacation we did more than just relax in/by the pool.

Gary Sunbathing

Jay loves roller coasters so we headed to Carowinds for a day of fun.

What roller coaster did Jay have to ride?

Fury - Carowinds

Fury 325

According to wikipedia, it reaches a height of 325 feet (gee… did you see that one coming?) which makes it the “tallest and fastest Giga coaster in the world.”

Fury - First Drop

This is the first rise that takes you up 325 ft before dumping you over the peak. Apparently it’s the world’s tallest chain lift coaster. Wikipedia says that the total ride time is 3 minutes and 25 seconds. Again… did you see that one coming?

Fury - Waiting in Line

We went on a Wednesday and I was surprised that there wasn’t much of a line. I timed it and they stood in line for only about 10 minutes before they were climbing onto the coaster. Yes, “they”. I’m not a big fan of roller coasters so I held the bags while Jay, Raven (my sister’s stepdaughter) and Raven’s friend went on the ride.

Fury - In Line

Jay is in the white shirt in the middle of the above picture.

Fury - First Climb

Apparently Carowinds had to receive permission from the FAA to build this coaster since the park is so close to Charlotte’s airport. It was actually interesting to watch all of the jets coming and going as you are riding the rides.

Fury - Fun

You can’t see Jay’s face in this picture because Raven’s friend’s hand is in the way, but can you feel the pure joy emanating from him?

Here’s an interesting tidbit for you… the first time we went to Carowinds we rode the Intimidator. I didn’t mind this ride, but I really prefer to have my eyes closed while on them as I don’t want to see where we are going. Well, when we got off the ride they have the screens where you can see the pictures that were taken during your ride. The picture was taken on the first drop of the ride and I wish I would have purchased it as it shows Jay as you would imagine he would be on a ride: giant smile on his face, leaning into the drop/turn with anticipation.

I did end up riding Fury once, but that was it. I saw the picture from that one… Jay was happily smiling and completely enjoying himself, and I looked like I had just smelled something horribly nasty with my eyes shut. To be fair, I was having sinus issues and it was very painful for me to ride with the pressure being placed on my head during the loops and turns.

Carolina Cyclone - Drop

So I held the bags while the others went on more rides. The crowds really were not very big, so the waits were decent.

At one point Jay and Raven decided they wanted to ride this:

Electro Spin

When I saw this I thought that either it was some kind of torture device, or else a relic from the Apollo training missions. I think that I’m right on both accounts.

Electro Spin - Twirl

First it starts to spin you, rotating around the center point of the ‘fan’. You can see Jay’s head in the very outside seat of the purple section.

But then…!!!….!!!!

Electro Spin - Raising Up

It raises up and spins you around just like a fan. Seriously!! I mean, who in their right mind looks at that and think it looks like fun??!

But then… !!!!….!!!!….!!!!

Electro Spin - Fan Blade

Electro Spin - V

The seats rotate, too!! It’s insane! Who voluntarily gets on that thing??

Jay Dressed Up

I think that Jay would have one of those in our back yard if we had the room.

All-in-all, it was a good time. We spent some time with Raven and enjoyed a day out in public. That quickly changed by the time we got back to my sister’s, though. It was pool time again.

Gary Supervised

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Two Small Sewing Projects

I haven’t done a lot of sewing because my sewing room is so stifling hot in the summer. I had two projects, though, that just wouldn’t leave my brain until I had made them into a reality. I felt better once they were done.

Project #1 – Steering Wheel Cover

Steering Wheel Cover 2

My car’s steering wheel is black with a leather-like cover that gets VERY hot in the sun. I have very delicate hands, so I was tired of almost burning my fingerprints off every day after work. I took some cotton fabric out of my mom’s stash and made this:

Steering Wheel Cover 1

It doesn’t look like much, does it? I used a pattern that I had for a grime guard for Qsnaps (my cross stitch hoop). I measured my steering wheel, cut the fabric, sewed it up and added the elastic. This is how it ended up:

Steering Wheel Cover 3

Not bad! I could have purchased something, I guess, but I couldn’t find anything that I really liked. I loved this fabric, though.

Steering Wheel Cover 4

Jay was a bit surprised because he thought it was too ‘loud’ for me. I offered to make one for him, but he declined. If I were to make this again I might try adding something on the inside to actually grip the steering wheel. Sometimes when you turn the cover slips and causes your turn to be a bit jerky. Other than that, it really does the trick!

Project #2 – Crochet Tote Bag

Using the pattern that I have for the car trash bag holders I made myself a nice little tote bag:

Crochet Tote Bag

Why did I need a tote bag this size? Because it perfectly holds my ongoing For Me crochet project:

Crochet Tote Bag 2

I will reveal that in another post. In the meantime this bag works perfectly to keep everything together and the cats out of it. I can’t even imagine the mess that would be created if they discovered what was hidden inside!

Crochet Tote Bag 8-1-18

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Project Linus – #12

Prior to going on vacation I finished another blanket for Project Linus.

Blanket #12

Project Linus Blanket #12 - Ode to Deadpool

“Ode to Deadpool”

When my sister was home this summer she saw me crocheting this blanket and said that it reminded her of Deadpool. He’s a comic book character who now stars in two movies of the same name. I’ve never seen them, but I’m told he’s quite sarcastic and I would enjoy watching them. I’ll take her word for it.

Project Linus Blanket #12 - Detail

I was originally going to call this Case IH as the colors are the same as the Case IH tractors, but it’s too crazy so I guess that I will stick with Deadpool.

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