An Advent Chasuble – Part 1

This project has been completed, but I didn’t want to blog about it until the finished product had been revealed. Unfortunately, unless you attend my church you will have to wait for the big reveal at the end of this series of posts.

It all began last spring when Brandon and I were discussing the cost of various items for church. Among many items discussed was the chasuble that Father wears for mass. If you are unfamiliar with this vestment, here’s a picture of my priest wearing one while he was baptizing me:

 Kerry Baptism 1

The chasuble is the decorative vestment that he’s wearing. It looks like a poncho where you stick your head through the hole and wear it draped over you. When you see this vestment up close it doesn’t look very complicated. Basically you take a giant piece of cloth, hem it, cut a hole in the middle, and there you have it! The fancy part of the chasuble is the decoration on it. They can be very plain or extremely fancy with a lot of embroidery work. The kicker is that they are also very expensive. If you find a terrific sale you might be able to get one for around $300, but it’s not going to be very fancy or made of very good material. It would be your ‘generic’ in the chasuble world.

As I thought about this I figured it couldn’t be too hard to make one. The hardest part would be the ornamentation. So what did I do? I found a book on Amazon and ordered it:


I didn’t expect that I would be called into duty to actually make one, but I wanted to see what kind of work goes into one of these vestments. This way if one of our current vestments needed to be repaired I would have a better idea of how to go about it.

After having actually made one of these, I have to say that this book should come with a warning. “WARNING! YOU MUST BE AN INTERMEDIATE SEWER IN ORDER TO EVEN THINK ABOUT ATTEMPTING ONE OF THESE GARMENTS.”

Fast forward to August and Brandon (he’s the choir director and in charge of church environment plus lots of other things) comes to me and asks if I can make a chasuble. Again, at this point I’m figuring it’s essentially a big table cloth with a hole cut out in the middle. It seems that Father’s chasuble that he wears during Advent is getting a little older and Brandon thought it would be nice to have a newer one. Did I tell Brandon no? Of course not! After all, I am unable to say no. That’s how Jay and I got involved in this last year for advent:


Thus started my path down a long and frustrating road towards the completion of the Advent Chasuble.

(It’s pronounced CHAS-able… like jazz-able. I prefer to pronounce it as if I’m a stuffy upper class person and add a ‘u’ in there for CHAUS-able… like Santa Claus-able. However, I only do this to irritate people who know the correct pronunciation. So in your head you can imagine me talking down my nose at the CHAUS-able… “Chauncey! Where is my CHAUS-able? I must wear it while dining with Mr. Howell and his wife, Lovey.”)

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Fun Odds and Ends

This post isn’t going to be very long, but I have two things that I really wanted to share.

First, while I was working on the epic sewing project last month I pulled out my new pinking shears. I had never even opened them so when I pulled them out I glanced at the packaging and read this:

Dishwasher Safe Scissors

I was good until I got down to the “Dishwasher Safe” line. What??!! Does that really have to be on there? And who even thinks to themselves, “Gee, these pinking shears are really getting filthy. I should probably clean them, but I also have to go do dishes. I wonder if these are dishwasher safe?” I don’t want to know what you are doing with your pinking shears if you feel the need to toss them into the dishwasher.

Finally, I just wanted to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas! We’ve spent some time decorating the house and I think that we’re just about ready. Everybody is getting into the Christmas spirit at my house:

Christmas Storm Trooper

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Autumn Cross Update – 12-2-17

Yet again, it has been a while since I last posted. I’ve been working on a very time-consuming project which I haven’t been able to blog about. The reveal will be happening soon and then I’ll be able to show you the journey that I’ve been on for the past few months. In the meantime, how about an update on my Autumn Cross?

I believe the last time I updated you was 10-15-17:

Autumn Cross 10-15-17

I had completely finished the top half of the cross. All of the background wording is in and the backstitching has been completed. It was time to move my Q-snaps and start on the bottom.

A little over a month later I was this far (11-24-17):

Autumn Cross 11-24-17

The bottom half of the cross has a lot fewer full cross stitches, but a TON of background words that will have to be filled in.

This morning I put the final full stitches on my Autumn Cross:

Autumn Cross 12-2-17

Now starts the long and tedious process of backstitching all of the words. Once that is done all I have left to do is the actual backstitching on the cross. I hate to say it, but if I can keep up this pace I think that I will have stitched the Autumn Cross in the shortest amount of time, as compared to the other two crosses. I’m not sure if that’s because I just want to get this one done or what. Either way, it’s pretty exciting!

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Ultra Stick Project #3

Yes, it’s been a few weeks. Despite the fact that life gets in the way and I haven’t had a chance to update my blog, the Ultra Stick keeps growing…

Ultra Stick - Rough Framing 9-27-17

When I first saw the Ultra Stick like this I thought that Jay was doing a new kind of pin-striping with the blue tape. It was different, but I liked it. That’s when I was informed that the tape was merely holding the pieces together that would be hinged. Ahhhh! Okay, I understand now!

Ultra Stick - Hinged Tail 10-16-17

Luckily it didn’t take Jay very long to get the hinge pins installed.

Ultra Stick - Hinged Rudder 10-16-17

With any kind of luck the Ultra Stick won’t lose it and become unhinged! Hehehe

Ultra Stick - Wingtip 10-16-17

Next on deck were the wing tips. Not the shoes. I don’t think that I could get Jay to wear a pair of wingtips even if I wanted him too. He is all about airplane wingtips, though.

Ultra Stick - Wings 10-16-17

There is not a mirror in this picture. The wings really are mirror images of each other. Jay did a pretty good job of designing and cutting this out, didn’t he? Which is a good skill to have when your wife asks you to make something and gives you a drawing that is just a few lines and scribbles. He has to decipher my drawings quite often. Let’s just say that in school the only two classes that brought down my GPA were Art and Gym. *sigh*

Ultra Stick - Capped Wing Ribs 10-16-17

Once you have your wings hinged, what do you need to do next? Yes, you refill your beer mug. Then what? That’s right! Servos!

Ultra Stick - Servo Cross Braces 10-16-17

Make sure that you have at least one of the servos that will be used, on hand. This way you can use it to make sure the joists upon which they will sit are at the correct spacing. This is one time where the rule of ’16” on center’ does NOT apply. (As an aside… is it sad that a girl knows this rule?)

Ultra Stick - Rudder Servo - 10-22-17

Perfectly spaced servo joists.

Ultra Stick - Tail Servo - 10-22-17

A beautifully installed tail servo.

Ultra Stick - Sheeted Wing 10-16-17

An interesting detail here is that Jay made sure to incorporate holes for the servo extensions. Also, he made sure to create holes for the bolts that will hold the wings in place. There won’t be any rubber bands holding this wing down!

Ultra Stick - Nose Lid 10-16-17

At first I looked at this picture and wondered why it was taken. Then I realized that it’s sitting on Jay’s router table. He used it to make nicely-shaped edges.

Ultra Stick - Sheeted Fuselage 10-16-17

Isn’t it pretty?

Ultra Stick - Naked 10-21-17

This is the sight that greeted me one morning when I went down to empty the dehumidifier. It made me giggle because Jay was getting ready to cover it (thus the rolls of covering on the bench), but he just HAD to see the fuselage with landing gear, motor and propeller installed.

Ultra Stick - Tail Wheel 10-22-17

He even included the tail wheel!

Ultra Stick - Propped - 10-21-17

That’s quite the prop!

Ultra Stick - Hacker Motor - 10-22-17

I was very impressed with the choice of motor, though. If you don’t recognize this beautiful purple motor… it’s a Hacker. They are wonderful motors. I think that he took this one off of his Texan that he’s only flown a few times.

Ultra Stick - Motor Mount - 10-21-17

He’s got really nice lines on this plane. It should cover like a dream!

Ultra Stick - Wing Saddle 10-16-17

We are on the downhill side of this project now!

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Autumn Cross Update – 10-15-17

I haven’t spent a lot of time cross stitching because it seems like I’ve found other ways to occupy my time in the mornings. Despite all of that I have managed to make a little bit of progress on my Autumn Cross.

Here it was at the end of August:

Autumn Cross 8-12-17

All of the full cross stitching was done on the left half and I had just finished the back-stitched words. Now I was ready to move on to all of the back stitching on the actual cross.

Here it is on October 15th after the outlining was finished:

Autumn Cross 10-15-17

I’ve left this picture big so that you can see it better.

There is a lot of orange and yellow in there! I did change up one of the outlining colors. The acorns were supposed to be outlined in black, but when I tried it I thought it was much too stark and bold against everything else. So I changed it to a dark steel gray. The outlining is still very visible, but it’s not slap-you-in-the-face bold like it was with the black.

As I’ve mentioned before, Fall is not my favorite season and I really haven’t looked forward to stitching this cross. However, when I step back and really look at it I can admit that it’s just as beautiful as my other crosses.

I am now working on the bottom leg of the cross. This will probably take me a while because I have other projects going on, too. Since I’m on the home stretch I’ve been thinking about what type of frame I want to use. My other crosses have elegant and beautiful frames:

Summer Cross Framed 8-16-16

Winter Cross Framed 4-18-15

I think that I’m going to go with a lighter and slightly rougher-looking frame. Perhaps almost a barn wood-looking frame. What do you think? I won’t know what color of matting I will use until it is complete and I can look at it in total, with the frame. At this rate I won’t have to worry about any of that until the spring!

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Ultra Stick Project – #2

The last time you saw the Mousecedes Benz, it looked like this:

Ultra Stick - Fuselage View 9-22-17

Looking at this frame it looks a bit fragile. I asked Jay how in the world the wings would stay on without being torn off?

Ultra Stick - Wing Mounts 9-22-17

It seems that he’s making the wing mount places extra-beefy. Now, I know that Jay flies everything like it’s a 3D airplane (even if it was designed to be a smooth flyer *cough – Rascal – cough*), so there is going to be a LOT of pulling on these spots.

Ultra Stick - Fuselage Sheeting 9-22-17

In the meantime, we need to sheet the belly. Man, if I’ve said that once I’ve said that…. once.

Ultra Stick - Glued Fuselage 9-22-17

Hmmm… I think that it has a bit of an under bite.

Ultra Stick - Fuselage Tail 9-22-17

This is what I enjoy about having Jay take his own pictures. I never have any clue what it is that he’s trying to show. Most of the time I’m pretty good at figuring it out. Other times, though, I look at a picture like the one above and I first have to figure out what I’m looking at. Obviously, it’s the airframe. Good. Now… I think that it’s laying on it’s belly because I believe the indentation towards the front is where the wings are going to sit. Okay! I’ve got this one. But why do I want to look at the tail? As most tails go, this one is pretty nice looking. It has a nice taper going, which should allow the air to slick its way past it. But is there something in particular? Hmmm.. maybe not. “Is that a tail or are you just happy to see me?”


Ultra Stick - Wing Ribs 9-23-17

Now that the fuselage has been mostly assembled we can start on the wings. If you are a seasoned airplane builder then you might wonder why there are rectangular blocks on the trailing edge.  Can you guess?

Ultra Stick - Wing Skeleton 9-23-17

It was explained to me that they are only temporary. Jay added it into his design so that he could build the wings on the bench, and the little blocks would hold the ribs exactly where they need to be for gluing. At least, I believe that’s what he told me.

Ultra Stick - Wing Hinge Thing 9-23-17

He was particularly proud of this design feature, too. He explained it to me twice… and still I managed to forget. I know that it has something to do with hinges and he made a jig to go on the end to perfectly place the hinge… or something like that.

Ultra Stick - Wing Thing Jig 9-23-17


Ultra Stick - Wing Sticks 9-23-17

We now have more pieces of balsa added to the ribs. Oh look! You can see the little hinge spots sticking out. Perhaps I was listening after all!

Ultra Stick - Wing Framing 9-23-17

And more balsa strips added…

Ultra Stick - Horizontal Stab 9-24-17

I believe that what we have here is a horizontal stab skeleton. But when I squint my eyes I see a wooden version of a utility knife blade. That would be one blade that would not survive the abuse I manage to put those things through!

Ultra Stick - Rough Framing 9-27-17

Finally we arrive at the tail end of this post. HAHAHAHA!! I crack myself up!

As you can see the Ultra Stick is growing. Hopefully it doesn’t get much bigger. Otherwise we might have to expand the basement area as Jay has suggested in the past. Do you think the City would have an issue if our basement consumed almost all of our lot? It would be a lot of construction. And who do you contact to get the Doozers from Fraggle Rock to do the work? Since it would all be done underground I think that they would be the best ones for the job.


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Project Linus Blanket #6

After installing my sewing shelves I realized that I have a LOT of yarn.

Sewing Room - Yarn

When I was looking for yarn to make my next blanket Chester and I studied the many skeins in my shelves. It was a bit rough because just when I thought I had my color scheme I realized that one of them was in really bad shape. So I had to rethink what I was going to use. Luckily I had no shortage of choices.

Here is the result:

Project Linus - Footprints


As I was crocheting this I couldn’t decide what it should be called. Yet, every time I was working on the variegated portions the only thing that came to mind was the poem Footprints. The tan reminded me of the sand and the blue was the water. Therefore, the blanket named itself.

Project Linus - Footprints Detail

I hope that the child who receives this blanket feels protected and comforted, just as the author of the poem does at the end.

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