Summer Cross Finished!

Summer Cross 7-9-16Here is the summer cross at the beginning of July. I was working on backstitching the bottom half of the cross.

Unfortunately, I didn’t save the picture that I took after the backstitching was completely done. So you’ll just have to imagine it.




Summer Cross Framed 8-16-16Because it is now framed! This picture isn’t great, but it’s so hard to get a decent photo of a framed piece of work.

Originally I thought that I would go with a pink or yellow mat. Once I had my piece in the store, though, and was looking at it I didn’t like how bright it was with these colors. Yes, I wanted it to pop, but I also knew that I would have to look at it every day and I wouldn’t be able to take the brightness of the pink and yellow. I saw this purple and loved how it looked. In person this is much more impressive! I then picked out a medium green for the inside mat just to pull out the green leaves a bit. I’m not happy with my framing work, but Jay was impressed and told me that I’m too much of a perfectionist. When I took the Winter Cross down Jay asked me what I was doing. I told him that the Summer Cross was going to hang in that spot until winter comes and then I’ll switch them out again. “Where are you going to hang the Winter one for now?” The look of horror that came across his face when I told him that I was going to put it away out of sight actually made me stop. He insisted that it should be displayed somewhere because too much work had gone into it. So, I’ve decided that once I have all three crosses done they will hang on the wall in the living room above my piano. The cross that represents the current season will hang over the little dresser where I keep my grandma’s family bible, our baptismal candles, and the rosary that used to belong to Jay’s grandmother.

I have ordered the material for the Autumn Cross, which I will be doing next, but it will be a while before I start it. I have some other things that I want to work on first.

Two down… two to go…

Posted in cross stitch, Faith | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A Shed Project

Backyard 8-18-13Home ownership brings a lot of rewards, but it also brings a lot of headaches. We all want to change things to either upgrade them or make them suit our style and tastes.

This is our back yard. This is how it looked for the first three years that we lived here.



Fire Pit Area 7-4-15Last year we shared the cost of removing the giant maple that dropped a whole big mess of stuff in our yard every year. I’m allergic to them, so it didn’t hurt my feelings to see it go. We really enjoyed the back yard except for one thing…


Shed 8-18-13The shed. An engineer built this shed. At first glance you might think that it’s quite a great building and how could we ever dislike it? Do you see the gaps in the wall planks? Those were about 1 1/2″ wide and didn’t do much to keep the weather out. Also, please take note of the metal roofing. The ridges are supposed to run UP and DOWN in order to help shed water. This was placed on the roof sideways so it did an excellent job of catching all of the rain and bringing it in. Also, this was the biggest waste of space. There was a loft area that was not usable because the previous owners had stashed all kinds of wood and such up there. We looked forward to replacing this structure.

Shed - Tree Is Gone - 7-16-16This summer we decided to replace it. First, though, we had to get another tree cut down. Actually, there were two trees in this spot. Technically they were on our neighbor’s property, but after the branch fell on The Monstrosity this winter we offered to split the cost of taking them down. After all, if we were going to invest in a new shed we didn’t want it being wiped out by a tree branch.



Shed - Tree Cut Down - 7-16-16These trees had power lines running through the branches and I worried about Jay and the neighbor kid trying to take it down themselves. They actually managed to get most of them down when we called in the Tree Guy. The one tree was so rotted that when the trunk fell to the ground it actually burst apart on impact. The Tree Guy said that if we hadn’t taken it down now it would have definitely come down this winter. Yikes!

SHed Kit Edited 7-19-16Our shed was 12′ x 16′. We looked around, compared prices, and Jay decided that he wanted to buy a kit that he could assemble himself. When it arrived we weren’t quite ready to put it up because we wanted to get a concrete pad poured to set it on. The other shed had a dirt floor and critters were constantly burrowing their way into it.


Shed - Truss Jig 7-19-16While we were waiting for the concrete guy to get freed up Jay decided to start building parts of the shed. The kit was divided into two piles; one on the deck and one beside the house. To build the trusses Jay decided to screw the pieces of wood to the deck that acted as a jig. This way all of the trusses would be the same.


Shed - Truss Jig on Porch - 7-19-16At night after work Jay would spend a few hours building the trusses and then the wall panels. These pieces of wood were screwed onto our deck for a few weeks. Luckily I never tripped over them!






Shed - 8-1-16We finally had a firm day for the concrete guy to show up so the shed came down! We had borrowed my parents’ enclosed trailer to house all of the stuff that went into the shed until we got the new one up.


Shed Debris - 8-1-16We had help bringing the old shed down. Then we rented a dumpster to get rid of the debris. By carefully stacking and arranging the wood we were able to fit the entire thing in the dumpster. The only stuff that didn’t go in there was a handful of boards for one of Jay’s coworker (to be turned into a turkey coop) and then the metal roofing was scrapped by a friend of the concrete guy.


Shed - Gone - 8-1-16That really opened up the back yard! I guess that I never realized how much privacy The Monstrosity gave us. Since I have no plans of sunbathing in the nude, though, the newly opened space will not bother me at all.



Shed Walls 8-13-16After the concrete was poured we only had to give it 24 hours before we were allowed to start building on it. How impressive is that?!




Shed East Wall 8-13-16We have two double doors on the end and a man door on the side. Let me tell you what… the full 16′ side was HEAVY! I almost couldn’t help move it.




Shed - Gardening Side 8-13-16Originally when we discussed the shed we thought that we might actually downsize in order to give me more vegetable-growing room in the yard. That’s when Jay decided to make room in the basement for trains and I suddenly had jets spread all over the place.



Shed - Airplane Side 8-13-16That’s when I suggested that we put up a shed with the same footprint as The Monstrosity and use part of it as airplane storage. After all, once Jay gets the Spad completely finished and it comes out of the basement there is no way that he’s going to be able to get it back down there. It will have to reside in the shed.


Shed - No Shingles Edited - 8-13-16Last weekend my parents came down to help us with the final assembly. Friday night Jay and I managed to get the walls up and fastened together. On Saturday my dad, sister, and the neighbor kid helped me and Jay to put up the trusses, plywood and shingles.



Shed - With Roof - 8-13-16We’d had no rain for several weeks, but the day that we were going to be outside doing this it rained on us twice.





Shed - Painted - 8-21-16Sunday Jay put the doors on and then I painted it yesterday. I still have to paint the trim white. I figured I would make it match the house.

We have begun to fill it, and boy is it filling up quickly! We actually need to start organizing it, too. I need to get the hardware to hang my gardening tools on the walls.


Shed - Assembled - 8-21-16Jay needs to start figuring out how he’s going to store his planes in there.

The other thing that I want to do is put gutters on it and get a rain barrel. Not for any kind of environmental reason,  but because I don’t want to pay the city to water my gardens. I’m cheap like that.


Back YardWhat a difference!

I have some landscaping work that I need to do. I’ll wait until next spring before fixing the fire pit area that was torn up when the concrete guy was positioning his equipment in the yard. Overall, though, we are happy. Jay really enjoyed putting this kit together. Everything was cut perfectly and went together so easily. There was once that Jay had to call the company to ask a question and the customer service was quite impressive. We highly recommend Best Barns if you want to build a shed/garage/play house from a kit.

Posted in Garden, My House | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Zucchini Relish

Zucchini Relish!One year when I was a LOT younger my parents had been given a TON of zucchini. What were we supposed to do with all of it? My mom was given a recipe for Zucchini Relish so we gave it a try and it was DELICIOUS! I can’t recall how much my parents made that year, but it seems like we had enough to last us an entire year. We did not go easy on it, either. Also, I think that I remember my parents using a 5 gallon bucket to shred the zucchini into before cooking it down.

This is a sweet relish that goes perfect with hot dogs, hamburgers, or almost anything else.

RECIPE (makes 7 pints):peppers and onions

6 Med or 4 Lg Zucchini

2 Green Bell Peppers

4 Med Onions

2 Green Tomatoes

2 Tbsp salt

Food ProcessorGrind ingredients to desired size.

I use my food processor with the shredding blade. Make sure to wash all of your vegetables first and then cut them into pieces that will easily fit into the food processor.

You might need to empty your bowl a few times before everything is shredded.



zucchini mashPut salt over vegetables, mix and let stand for 2 hours.

I use a large stockpot for this. You will need the stockpot later to cook your relish down so this is the easiest way to avoid dirtying too many dishes. While your mash is ‘standing’ you can use this time to clean your oven, get your canning stuff together and make sure that your jars are clean.


Draining MashDrain, rinse once and drain well.

I bought a larger strainer recently and placed some cheesecloth in it to keep the zucchini from falling out of the slightly larger holes. This worked really well and I was able to put all of my mash into the one strainer instead of using two like I did in this picture.


Zucchini Relish Juice IngredientsSeasonings:

3 cups cider vinegar

5 cups sugar

1/2 Tbsp pepper

2 Tbsp celery seed

1 Tbsp mustard seed

1 Tbsp tumeric

1/2 Tbsp nutmeg

3/4 Tbsp ginger

The first batch of Zucchini Relish that I made I used a different brand of stevia. I believe it was the Zing baking blend. It still has cane sugar in it, but it tastes just as good as using full strength sugar. In this way I can call this ‘reduced sugar’ relish. You can experiment and use whatever makes you happy at whatever strength you prefer.


Heating Canning JarsRight before I start to get the seasoning ingredients together is when I like to start heating my jars and lids. It works out for me that by the time the mash is ready to be placed in the jars that the jars are heated and ready to be filled.




Zucchini JuiceHeat seasoning ingredients.

I like to heat the juice until I can tell that it is just about on the edge of simmering.




Cooking RelishAdd vegetables and boil for 10 minutes.

When you first add the vegetables it might seem like there’s not enough juice, but don’t panic! Just stir it frequently to make sure it all gets heated evenly. There’s a lot of mash in this pot and you don’t want it to burn. As it cooks it will create more juice so it will be just fine.

Filling Jar with Zucchini RelishAfter the mash has boiled for 10 minutes remove from heat and add 1 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with a little water to thicken.




Canning BeginsSeal in jars and process for 15 minutes.





Canned Zucchini RelishTaa-daa! You now have beautiful pints of zucchini relish to enjoy! Typically I like to let it sit and marinate some more for a few weeks before breaking into the jars, but technically you can start using it right away.




Posted in Garden, gluten free | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Dresses for Missions – 8-6-16

Quilt Shop FabricIt’s been a while since I’ve posted anything for my Dresses for Missions project. A lot of that is because I’ve been busy working on other projects. That didn’t stop me from buying more fabric, though.

I’ve discovered an enabler, too. The woman who works days in the fabric area of Hobby Lobby recognizes me now (Yikes!) and lets me know when she has new material marked down in the clearance bin. Last week I went in there just to walk around and look… until she mentioned the clearance bin and I found some great material for $2/yd. *sigh*

Dress #31 8-3-16Dress #31

When I was done with this dress I was in love. It’s a good thing that it wasn’t close to fitting me because I might have kept it! The colors are so pretty and feminine, don’t you think? I’ll show you what my favorite part is, though…





Dress #31 Hem Detail 8-3-16All of the sparkle! This picture really doesn’t do the dress justice. This pink cotton had a bit of a sheen to it due to the pattern that runs all over the material. Then I used a sparkly white mini ric-rac along the hem of the ruffle. Around the seam of the ruffle I used a teal ribbon that has a nice flat spot in the middle perfect for sparkly ribbon! I used the same teal and white ribbons at the neckline, too.


Dress #32 8-5-16Dress #32

Using the same fabric (I bought all that was on the bolt: 2 5/8 yds), I made another dress. For this one I used the same fabric for the ruffle and purple as the accent color. The pink accents of the ruffle and edging pull the pink out in the previous dress whereas the purple gets pulled out in this one.




Dress #32 Hem Detail 8-5-16And of course, more sparkly ribbon! Just for the fun of it I decided to use sparkly pink ric-rac on the hem. I then used a wide dark purple ribbon and laid the white sparkly ribbon on top. This combination was used at the neckline, too.

It was so nice to sew dresses again. I love seeing just how girly I can make them!


Blanket #6 5-1-16Back in May I also finished edging another fleece blanket. This time I did a pattern of bobbles along the edges. I think that they turned out rather cute.

I turned these in on Sunday so hopefully before too long they will be putting a giant grin on somebody’s face!


Posted in Blankets, Charity, Crafting, Crochet, Faith, Sewing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Almost A Craft Show

Last weekend was the annual craft show in the town where my friend Sarah lives. My mom and I set our stuff up on her lawn last year, which is directly across from the park where the craft show is held. This is good for us because it saves us the $450 booth fee that the craft show charges. We were going to set our stuff up again this year, but my mom had a bad headache so we ended up not doing it. Which is okay because it was a sad turn-out. The park was only half-full of vendors and the people were looking, but not buying. I had made a few things for it, though, so I thought I would show you what I had been furiously working on for the show.

Jumper Apron for Sarah - 7-28-16First up are a few of the aprons that I made. This one was actually for Sarah as a thank you for giving us a space on her lawn.

Whenever I bake or cook I am constantly picking up the kitchen towel and setting it down… looking for it… picking it up again… setting it down somewhere else…

My idea with these aprons was to put a loop on them where I can hang my towel and always have it right at hand.

This particular apron was actually made out of a ladies’ jumper.


Maroon Apron with Towel Ring - 7-28-16This next apron I had to make a waistband for it and edge the sides.

I made this one using a man’s button-up shirt. I used one of the cuffs as the loop for the towel.





Apron with Towel Ring - 7-28-16This is another apron made from a man’s shirt. It’s not very fancy, but it’s utilitarian.

Please excuse my model. This was her first job and she’s not very good. I told her not to quit her day job.





Wooden Faith Cross - 7-28-16Another idea that I had was this wooden cross. Jay cut them out with his CNC router and then I finished them. I placed a mustard seed in the middle and covered them with glass globes. Then I printed out a little card with the verse from Matthew that if you have faith as small as a mustard seed then nothing will be impossible.



Pink Roses Girl Purse - 7-28-16The idea for these purses hit me when I was at my church’s summer festival and I watched little girls carrying money around in their hands because they didn’t have any pockets. I thought that I would make some little purses that I would have loved to carry around when I was younger.

I used Velcro as the closure on this pink rose purse.


Pink Swirls Girl Purse - 7-28-16This pink swirly purse has handles instead of a long strap. Also, I used the pink roses fabric to line the inside. I sewed the button on the ribbon and used Velcro as a closure.




Pink Hearts Girl Purse - 7-28-16This one reminds me of a book bag that I had in third and fourth grades. The blue ribbon is sparkly and the little heart buttons glitter at you, too.





Pink Sequins Girl Purse 2 - 7-28-16This was my failed attempt at making a recessed zipper. The most impressive thing on this purse is that I put the ribbon on the front and back before sewing it together and I managed to match the ribbon up at the seams!

Plus, sequins make everything better.



Sunflower Purse - 7-28-16This was actually my first purse attempt. Not only was it my first purse attempt, but it was also the first time that I’ve ever used interfacing. That was a learning curve for me!

It’s cute, though, so I hope it catches a little girl’s eye.




Box of Sewing Stuff 7-29-16I did end up visiting with Sarah for a few hours even though I wasn’t selling any of my stuff. Her church was having a yard sale on her lawn so I hung out and helped with that. Sarah pointed out a box of sewing stuff to me. After one glance I yanked it off the table and gave them the $5 that they were asking for it. This was the deal of the day! Would you like to see what my $5 bought?


Contents of Box of Sewing StuffNine cones of black thread… two cones of white thread… two cones of nylon thread… four other colors of cone thread… over 30 packages of bias binding… an almost full skein of Red Heart yarn… wooden beads… misc beads… some ribbon on spools… a sewing kit… some steel rings… a deck of cards… and a handmade hair barrette. It was a steal!

Posted in Crafting, Sewing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

3D Printing Structures for N Scale Railroads

N Scale Structures - Main Street - 5-16-16While trying to plan out the town and surrounding area involved in our model train layout I have discovered that I’m not very happy with my choices for structures. Call me silly, but I really don’t want my plastic structures to look like plastic. It’s why I’ve been spending so much time trying to get the finishing techniques just right for our buildings.

Train Show - HO Scale Church - 7-16-16My biggest issue has been the church. In my head I know exactly what I want. The problem is that I can only find it in plastic, and not very good plastic at that…




Jay's Work Area 3-25-12Jay decided that he would try to make a church for me. He drew up the first iteration and it was very close! To help iron out some of the details we pulled up images of country churches online and I showed him what I was picturing in my head.

Due to the wonderful world of technology, and Jay’s ability to translate my thoughts into actual projects, we were able to come up with….



N Scale 3D Printed Church 7-26-16My 3D printed church! This looks a little rough right now, but we have some cleaning up to do and then the finishing.

For instance, I’m going to go online and find pictures of stained glass windows. I will print them out on either thin velum or the overhead projector sheets, cut them out, and place them on the inside of the church windows. Won’t that be pretty?

Also, please note that my church has a steeple! If you were to open the doors I’m sure you would see all of the people!


N Scale 3D Printed Church - Side 7-26-16Here is the side of the church (please note that the roof has not been installed… if you’ve ever worked with general contractors you know that it takes them FOREVER to show up and get the work done!). What really sells this building, I think, is the lapped siding. Poor Jay had to draw every single line for the siding in the program that he uses. It was very time consuming, but definitely worth it.


N Scale 3D Printed House - Pieces 7-26-16He has also been drawing up different houses to assemble for the layout. After all, the congregation has to have somewhere to live. We can’t have the town full of roaming homeless people!




N Scale Structure - Lighting Boards 7-26-16One of the other structure projects that Jay has been working on are these lighting units. Each building will have one installed so that we can light up the interior at ‘night’. Can you imagine how awesome the stained glass windows will look on the church when all lit up?!



N Scale Structure - Lighting Apparatus in place 7-26-16They don’t look very big, but these are LEDs so they put out a lot of light! Jay has used the warm white so that it won’t be so harsh and he will be able to control the intensity when it’s all wired up to the controller.

I see even more detail work to be done in my future!

Posted in 3D Printing, model trains, N Scale Train, Trains | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sewing Machine Ads on Craigslist

Last fall during National Sewing Month I did a blog post with entertaining ads that I had found on Craigslist for sewing machines. I enjoy visiting the Craigslist postings for various cities around the country to see what people are selling in relation to ‘sewing’. Most of them are average and run-of-the-mill, but I have run across some pictures or postings that make me pause. Here’s another series of these ads that I’ve found recently…

Machine Ad #1Brother Sewing Machine – $20

Works, but needs some tension adjustment. Could be done by someone who actually knows how to use a sewing machine. Me, not so much.

At least they are honest!


Machine Ad #2Kenmore Sewing Machine – Model 5186 – $200

Sears-Kenmore Sewing Machine – Model 5186 with cabinet. Working condition and ready to use. $200 OBO.

First off, you’re going to be hard-pressed to get an offer of $200 for this machine. It’s not a Singer Featherweight or 301A. My favorite part of this picture is the sock under the pressure foot. It makes me laugh. “We’ll put something in the machine to make it look like it’s ready to go and can sew. What do I have? Hmmm… Here’s a sock. That will work!”


Sewing Machine

sewing machine and carrier. works great. accessories included

This ad didn’t have a picture. Not only do we not know what brand of machine this is, but we have no idea exactly what accessories are included. Even if we were intrigued and interested there’s not even a price posted. Something makes me think that this person may not hear a whole lot regarding their ad!


Machine Ad #3Brother sewing machine – like new – $80

I got this sewing machine as a gift, I have only used it once and I am moving and need to get rid of it ASAP.

This person received this machine as a gift? Did they ask for it? Or did somebody just randomly give it to them? They might have used it once, but apparently they aren’t well versed in machines to know that you should at least include a picture of the FRONT of the machine. The back of it usually doesn’t tell us much, nor does the fact that you included the pedal in the picture. One other thing that pops into my head is they have to get rid of this ASAP because they are moving. There is NO WAY that they can possibly fit it anywhere on the moving truck. It is in the way and if they don’t get rid of it ASAP then the whole move will be ruined!


Needing Some Sewing Done

Hello, I have a friend that is I need of someone to sew or can make contest swimsuits, or stripper clothes. Or Skimpy model kind of contest outfits. Thanks so much.

My eyebrows shot way off of my forehead when I first read this. When you start to read it you think that maybe somebody participating in a pageant is looking for somebody to make them unique outfits to help them win. My assumption quickly changed when the ‘stripper clothes’ came into the picture. Then, just to make sure that we are clear as to what kinds of outfits are needed further clarification was added, “Or Skimpy model kind of contest outfits.” Yikes! I guess that you have to like sewing fabrics with a lot of stretch like spandex and lycra. I give this person credit because they were very polite and it’s so nice that they are trying to help their ‘friend’.


Machine Ad #4Husqvarna Opal 640 Sewing Machine – $55

Excellent Condition! Used only once! Recent break up. Need money!

I am actually surprised by how many machines I see on Craigslist that mention they were only used once. What? Once? And you gave up? In this case, though, apparently the recent break up has caused the seller to give up on any hopes of doing more sewing. Instead, this person is so desperate for money that they are willing to give it up for $55. They are definitely low-balling themselves. This is the perfect time to play on the sympathy of others and ask for $150. I would be more willing to give $150 for this machine than $200 for the Kenmore up above. Not that I would actually pay $150 for this machine, but you get the idea.


Machine Ad #5Singer Sewing Machine with bobbins BRAND NEW – $180

The Singer Sewing Machine has never been used. We were gifted another one so we don’t need this one. INcludes the case and bobbins. Asking $180 OBO.

To be fair there were other pictures posted on this ad that actually showed the machine, but this picture cracked me up. In my head I can hear my mother picking out all of the junk that you can see in the background. If you’re going to post a picture to sell a machine don’t you think you would want the machine to be the focus of the picture? They couldn’t have found a less cluttered place to take a picture? When I look at it my eyes automatically go to the box fan, then the dishes on the counter, and then the bag of snack-sized bags of chips. Also, did you notice that this person was gifted another machine so they don’t need this one? Who is gifting all of these unneeded machines?


Machine Ad #6Sewing machine – $40

Sewing machine for sale don’t use it because I don’t know how to lol..

I like the fact that this person is completely honest and tells you that they don’t know how to use a sewing machine. Which is obvious because the only picture included in the ad showed the back of the machine as it sat on a driveway. Also, it was taken from a distance away. I cropped out most of the driveway below it.


Machine Ad #7Singer Sewing Machine

Singer Sewing machine – needs minor repair. If you are familiar with sewing machines at all I’m sure this is an easy fix. We don’t use it and won’t take the time to fix it. You pick up, its yours.

I hate to disagree, but this machine is going to need some pretty major repairs. I can tell just by looking at the picture. First thing you’ll have to do is change it from a Kenmore to a Singer. I did look and I didn’t see another post by this person with a Singer pictured and ‘Kenmore’ listed in the headline. If it needs minor repair, why don’t you state what the minor repair is that will be needed? “If you are familiar with sewing machines at all I’m sure this is an easy fix.” You can’t even state the correct brand of machine yet I’m supposed to believe that you have determined that the minor repair will be an easy fix? It’s like saying that if you are familiar with cars at all that I’m sure this is an easy fix and the vehicle ends up needing the engine and carburetor rebuilt. At least they appear to be just giving it away instead of feeling that it’s worth at least $100 because it’s ‘vintage’.  

I hope that you enjoyed these ads! These types of ads keep me looking for more…:-)


Posted in Humor, Sewing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment