Autumn Cross Update – 5-18-17

I forgot to post an update last month so I’ll post two update pictures today.

Here is what I had completed as of 3-22-17:

I had all of the cross stitching done on this part of the cross. The next step was to do the background lettering.

This is my update as of 4-18-17:

So far so good. After the lettering is done I then go back and do the back stitching for this part of the project. I completed that on 5-18-17:

Now I get to start on the left side of this part of the cross.

In the meantime I also worked on a sewing project for my cross stitch. I was tired of dealing with all the extra fabric that is required for these crosses.

I use a Q-snap for my frame, which I love, but there’s always a lot of extra fabric to deal with. Plus I decided that I should probably make some new Q-snap clamp helpers.

That’s what I call the pieces of fabric that I use under the clamps to 1) keep them tighter on the cross stitching fabric and b) I pull on the fabric to remove the clamps when I need to move my piece in the frame.

Using some scraps from my material I cut four piece and serged along the edges. I don’t use needle minders, either. When I need to place my needle somewhere it always goes in the top Q-snap helper along the edge. This way when I pick up my frame I always know which side is the top.

Then I made what is referred to as a grime guard:

I followed a set of directions that I found online. It worked out okay, but I think next time I’m going to make it slightly wider and perhaps a little longer. This works, but it’s a bit snug. It’s doing the job of keeping my fabric under control, so that’s all I care about!

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

Woodworking In Progress – Spring 2017

I have been taken to task for putting too many sewing/crocheting posts together in the recent past, so I’m trying to separate them with other posts. It’s a bit difficult to do when you don’t have many progress pictures of your current projects. I’ll give it a shot, though.

Do you remember the wooden conversation heart that Jay made me for Valentine’s Day?

This poor thing has been sitting on my work bench so that it can be finished. I finally managed to get it done!

Didn’t that turn out cute?

The lighting in the evening isn’t that great in the dining room, but you get the idea.

Then there were the hooks that Jay installed on the bottom side of the glassware shelf:

We had accumulated quite a few coffee cups so we decided to start storing them this way.

Currently Jay is working on my birthday present:

I won’t tell you what they are, yet, but hopefully soon you’ll be able to see them finished and in their new home.

Also, we have another project going on that pertains to this area of the yard:

Yikes! What a mess!

As that project progresses I will definitely share pictures with you.

Oh, and then I had to go out and buy this:

I had high hopes for this. It’s a Pooper Scooper for the cats’ litter boxes. You see, I broke their other one and wanted a sturdier model. They aren’t cheap! And I was a bit disappointed in this one after using it for the first time.

But yes, I broke their old one. Do you want to know the tally so far of the things I have broken?

(1) Pointy dirt shovel

(1) garden trowel

(1) snow shovel

(1) burger flipper

(1) Pooper Scooper

Plus I have bent a steel bar like what Jay uses at work to move heavy objects. Was I using it to move a heavy object? No. I was attempting to remove a tree root from the earth. It didn’t help that I was standing on it and jumping up and down. Ha! Wouldn’t you like to see a picture of that! Needless to say, if I buy a tool of some sort it has to be able to withstand being used by me.

Well, Chester is telling me that it’s bedtime and apparently Bob is already there.

Posted in Cats, Garden, My House, Wood Work | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Crochet – Prayer Shawl #1

Since I took up crocheting I have made a few blankets for Project Linus. It’s a good excuse to sit in front of the TV while helping a charity. Right?

Well, when I was attending a meeting at church back in February I was listening to the ladies who make prayer shawls discuss some recent submissions. In the discussion it was mentioned that they need more masculine shawls for men. Most of the shawls that are donated are somewhat feminine. Well, since I don’t have enough going on *insert HEAVY sarcasm here* I decided that I might try making some masculine shawls.

So, it’s a bit thick and I won’t tell you how many skeins of yarn that I used for this shawl. I used Hobby Lobby’s ‘I Love This Yarn!’ in Stonewash. This pattern used alternating front- and back-post double crochet stitches.

It actually didn’t take me long to do because I took it with me to jury duty. As I sat there waiting to be called I worked on this shawl. We were smooshed in this room like sardines, but I had enough room to hold the yarn on my lap while working the crochet hook. In fact, a few of my fellow citizens were a bit jealous that I was enjoying myself so much. They had already bored themselves with the vast amount of information that they can get on their phones. Some people brought magazines, but we were there for about four hours so they easily finished their reading material.

So, what do you think?

Ignore the dork. However, you an enjoy the Chester. She wanted to pose in the picture with me. Isn’t she adorable?

Posted in Charity, Crochet, Prayer Shawl | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Spring Has Arrived!

Yesterday was the first chance that I really had to get out and work in my flower gardens. I only managed to weed one bed, but it was nice just playing in the dirt again. The last few weeks when it’s been beautiful outside I’ve been inside cleaning the house. First I threw a birthday gathering for Jay and then I had to clean in order to prepare for our Small Faith Group meeting. When I did have free time it was either raining or too cold.

I love Spring. Some people dislike it because there’s lots of mud. For me, though, Spring reminds me that Summer is on the way and there will be good things to come! Being out in the sun and pulling weeds made me think about my childhood.

I was raised on a beef farm so winter meant that we were stuck indoors most of the time. We did sled on the hill in the pasture, but most of our time was spent inside.

But when Spring came around and the temperature warmed up again we spent a lot of time outside. You can see the tire swing that our grandpa made for us and hung in the backyard. Our play area was fenced in so that when we were younger we couldn’t wander off and get hurt. Between the electric fence, the cattle, the creek across the road and numerous other things it would be easy to get hurt.

Once the last frost was pretty much done we would plant the garden. We had a big one out behind the barn where we grew broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, peas, tomatoes, and I can’t even recall what else we planted. My mom would either freeze or can most of what came out of there.

Growing up we didn’t have a lot of money because my dad worked either 2nd or 3rd shift at a factory and spent the rest of his time farming. My mom didn’t work during the school year, but in the summer she worked in a beauty shop since she was a licensed beautician. None of those occupations rake in the dough.

This meant that if my parents needed our help we were expected to do it. Just because we were girls didn’t mean that we got out of doing things that needed to be done. For my part I did manage to get out of any kind of chores that dealt with hay because of my allergies.

As soon as I could reach the clutch I was recruited to drive the tractor when my dad was putting up fence around the meadow in the summer.

I only drove my dad’s Allis, but I did that from the time that I was about 6 years old. That’s Jorma sitting on the Allis. He was a Swedish millionaire who was dating my mom’s youngest sister. He wasn’t used to being on such a high-quality piece of equipment. 😉

So whether I was driving tractor…

or acting as a piece of the equipment, I was involved. It meant that I spent a lot of time in the pasture, fields, and woods.

Living on a farm wasn’t all work. Most of the time we had run of the area around the house. Summers were spent in the creek across the road or exploring the area of the pasture where the cattle weren’t currently occupying.

As soon as the cows calved in the spring we had to make sure we stayed far away from them. A mama cow does not take kindly to anybody messing with her baby. The only way we were allowed to get this close was if we were walking in the pasture with my dad.

If you were wondering, yes we had a pony. Despite the fact that I’m riding Flicka I really didn’t care about horses one way or the other. I was never one of those girls who was crazy about horses.

I was crazy about cats.

Frank was my second cat ever and I loved him so much. By the way, my dad named him. I had started calling him by the very unoriginal name of ‘Snowball’, but for whatever reason my dad started calling him Frank.

The same thing happened with Schwartz (my Baby Zhu-Zhu). His mother had him and his siblings in our barn, but he was really sick and we managed to catch him. He was the runt of the litter so I started calling him Squirt. I was babysitting that summer and the older kid couldn’t say “Squirt” and it came out kind of like “Squartz”. My dad latched onto that and wondered why the boy was calling him Schwartz. The rest, as they say, is history.

And even today, though I no longer live on the farm, I haven’t really changed a whole lot. I will take farm land and hills any day over a beach. And I’m still a Crazy Cat Lady.

Posted in Cats, Garden | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Egads! It’s A Spad! Part 15

(Before I get started on this post I need to set the mood. You know how in the Chick Flicks there’s usually some kind of sappy music going on during the montage where the lead girl is undergoing her Ugly Duckling to Swan change? They remove her glasses, give her better fitting clothes and add some makeup? Well, imagine that kind of music playing in the background as you continue to read…)

So there sat Chad in the buff. If his rudder had been attached it would have been wagging all over the place due to his anticipation of getting to finally get dressed up.

First he got his layer of underwear. He was worried that it was too shiny.

I told him that a little powder would fix it.

All of his parts received their layer of underwear.

Poor Chad was embarrassed by this picture, but he was kind of like a turtle on its back so he couldn’t wave me off. Look at that cute belly!

His landing gear was even given a little color and polish.

As the flight suit started to be applied Chad was nervous. What if it didn’t look as good as he hoped? What if it accentuated all of his problem parts? What if it made him look fat??

Then he was really nervous when only part of his nose was painted. He didn’t want a blemish on his face!

“I don’t know, guys… does this color make me look like an elephant? Should I have gone with a more slimming color?”

And then it was done and boy, did he look dapper!

“Don’t I look awesome?! Guess what ferocious animal I feel like!” he excitedly blabbered at me. So I guessed…

Like Bob with the white under his chin and accenting his paws??

Chad was disgusted. He actually took offense! How could you be offended by a comparison to an adorable Bobs?

I mean, it’s very hard to get more adorable than this!

“No!” he sputtered. “I’m an A-1 Skyraider. It means that I’m an attack plane! The only thing that Bob attacks is a nap! This is what I think I look like:

Picture courtesy of

Hmmm… if I squint a little I can see it. To calm Chad down a bit I agreed. Although, I know that he’s cuddly like Bob. But that will be our little secret. Shhh!

Chad was proud to show off the fact that his control surfaces were accented with a different color. He is feeling really stylish.

He even wiggled his ailerons to show me how great they looked with the accent color.

The bad part about Chad having his flight suit on is that now it’s time to get into the more expensive parts… the motor, batteries and other electronic guts. I can hear the bank account crying already.

Posted in A-1 Skyraider, RC Planes | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Cross Stitched Gettysburg – Framed!

This piece was a kit by Sunset called “Gettysburg.”

It was the first piece that I’ve ever started for myself. Looking at my spreadsheet I started it in April 2003 and finished it October 30, 2007.

Since then I’ve let it just sit. It has moved with me to two different houses and has sat in my sewing room for the last two years. I had to keep moving it so that Chester wouldn’t sleep on it.

One of the reasons why it has taken me so long to get it framed is because this piece is almost square, which means that it’s hard to find a ready-made frame for it. If I were to use a ready-made frame then I would either have more mat space on the top and bottom or the sides. I really didn’t want that, though. I had a very specific image in my head as to what I wanted it to look like when it was finally framed. For this piece nothing less than what I truly wanted was going to work.

For Christmas I had asked Jay for a gift card to Hobby Lobby in order to pay for the custom frame and mats. This is the most that I’ve ever spent on framing a single piece, including my seasonal crosses! This will not happen often, but this was a special circumstance.

I was so happy when the frame was finally read to pick up!

This isn’t the best picture, but you get the idea.

I chose a medium gray inner mat, a blue suede top mat, and an oak frame that reminds me of the butt of an 1861 Springfield rifle.

This picture shows a little more of the detail, though the colors really aren’t accurate. It was really bright when I took this picture.

So then I had to prep my cross stitched piece for framing.

I washed and ironed it, then let it dry. The frame is quite a bit larger than this piece, so I had to sew fabric onto the sides. This allows me to lace the piece around foam core with plenty of material to spare.

I spent Easter afternoon and evening getting this piece perfect. Framing a cross stitched piece is a lot of work. I usually start out being a perfectionist, but by the end I just want to get it done. This is why I don’t frame cross stitched pieces for a living. My framed pieces look good from afar, but don’t get too close because then you’ll see all of the flaws in how I framed my work.

But finally it was done…

Again, not the best picture. I had a hard time finding a spot where I could get it to show up really well without capturing too much reflection in the picture. Believe me, though, it looks good.

And see how nice the colors work together!

Currently the kraft paper that I glue onto the back of my framed pieces is drying. Then we can put the hanging hardware on it and place it on the wall. Yea!

Posted in Civil War, cross stitch | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Egads! It’s A Spad! Part 14

I think that I need to remove the TV from the workshop. It seems that Chad has been watching a lot of TV. At least, I think that’s where he gets his ideas. First I found him getting a chemical peel, and then I walk downstairs to find him looking like this:

He had a sunburn! Chad! There’s just something not right with a Spad having a farmer’s tan.

After a few days the red wasn’t as bad, but he was still pretty sore. I offered to rub some aloe on him, but he didn’t want to admit that he was in pain.

I guess that you have to let them learn their lessons first-hand. At least he had used some sunblock on his tail.

Apparently he just wanted to be ready. Jay was getting close to getting Chad’s flight suit ready and so Chad wanted to make sure that he looked really good. He’s seen Top Gun a few too many times, I think, as he is trying to talk Jay into giving him a mirrored canopy so that it looks like aviator sunglasses.

Jay managed to get the motor mount permanently attached, but it wasn’t easy. Chad is so excited about finally getting dressed! He was in the middle of brushing his teeth when I visited him.

Although, I was glad to smell the minty freshness because initially I thought he had the Phobie! (If you don’t recall, Old Yeller had the phobie in the movie… aka Rabies).

Once the motor mount was on Jay wanted to make sure that it would stay. He didn’t want Chad’s nose falling off in mid-flight.

Once that was dry Chad asked me to take a ‘Before’ picture so that he can see just how good he does look once he gets his flight suit on.

*Chokes back the tears* My little Chad is growing up so fast!

Posted in A-1 Skyraider, Jets, RC Planes | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments