What’s Jay Up To?

Chausble for Advent

This is the question that I am most asked by people who don’t get to see Jay very often. Or who haven’t seen him in a while. To be honest, there are times that I wonder this myself. What IS Jay doing?? Since Christmas I have been so busy with my own projects and adventures that I haven’t been keeping a close eye on him. He spends almost all of his spare time in the basement. Shall we take a little walk to see what he’s doing? Come with me…

Jay's Laundry

The first stop when we walk down the basement stairs is the washer and dryer area. Well, it seems that he’s been doing laundry…

Cleaned Up Cabinet 2-21-18

He even cleaned off the cabinet by his little workshop door! I haven’t seen that surface in quite a while. So it appears that he’s been doing some cleaning.

Jay's Clean Desk 2-21-18

His desk is clean, too? This might be more serious than I thought! Perhaps I should call the doctor today for an appointment because I think that Jay might be ill.

Wait a minute. There’s something on the 3D printer…

3D Printed Nose Cone

Is it a little dunce cap? An upside-down ice cream cone? A trumpet mute?

3D Printed Nose Cone - Solid

It’s solid. Hmmm… We’ll have to see what else we can find that might give us a clue as to what this object is meant to be.

That’s all I can find in the little workshop. Let’s go back out into the main area of the basement to see what else we can find.

Jay's Workbench

This is Jay’s main work bench. There’s a LOT going on in this one area. Let’s see if we can break it down in pieces.

3D Printed Nose Cone - Orange

Here’s another 3D printed object. It looks similar to the silver one that is still on the printer. I have a feeling we’re going to learn what these are for if we keep looking.

Estes Mercury Redstone

Uh-oh. I know what the 3D printed items are… they are nose cones for rockets! This is not going to be good for anybody who is around the area where Jay intends to set these off. Although, the safest place would probably be at my parents’ house since there’s nothing else around them. Of course, when I was in 6th grade we made rockets in science class and then went to the Lutheran camp on the lake to set them off. A lot of us ended up walking quite far to go fetch our rockets.

Based on the nose cones it appears that there might be at least two more rockets in progress. And they are going to be quite sizable. *shakes head*

Let’s keep looking to see what else we can find.

Spad Artillery

I believe that we’ve found some artillery being prepared for Chad! Do you remember Chad the Spad? Wait, I think I just saw him a minute ago.

There he is!

Spad 2-21-18

He’s been hanging out with Jay at the work bench. I know that I’ve heard Jay talking to somebody down there, but I figured he was talking to himself. Nope. He was carrying on a conversation with Chad.

“So, Chad, do you think these missiles will look good on your wings?”

Dude, they are kind of small. Can’t you make them bigger?

“That’s not realistic! I made them myself, including the 3D printed tips. And you have no idea how difficult it was to get those fins on there perfectly straight.”

But I want to strike terror in the heart of the enemy. To do that you need some nasty big guns. Also, it helps out with the ladies. Come on, man! Do a fellow squid a favor and make them badass!”

Poor Jay. I don’t know how he’s going to win that battle.

Looking closer at Chad, though, I can see that Jay was using his CNC laser cutter to do some vinyl cutting.

Spad Stickers 2-21-18

That’s some pretty nice graphics work! Hopefully Chad was okay with them. Although, he probably wanted Jay to do a little weathering to make him look battle-tested. After all, the ladies really fall for guys with scars.

There’s something else on the bench that has me scratching my head:

Swamp Buggy Prop 2-21-18

Is it a prop tester? If you look a little closer it appears that the prop might rotate. We’ll have to see if we can find any other clues for this one, too.

Turning around I can see that there has been some activity in the other end of the basement.

Basement 2-21-18

Where did the train set go??

It’s still there, but in pieces. This might be partially my fault. You see, for Christmas I ordered a dust collector for Jay’s workshop. Except, it was apparently a very popular model because even though I ordered it in November it was back ordered until February (I’m still waiting for shipment notification). We don’t have a garage or out-building for Jay to use his wood working equipment and I felt that we should try to get the dust under control. We don’t want to breathe that stuff in all of the time. With that in mind, Jay has been working to organize and set up his workshop with the idea that the dust collector will go in the far corner. Also, this spring we need to get our basement fixed so that we can keep the water from coming in when the snow melts or it rains kind of hard. The train set would have had to move at that point anyway.

Miter Saw Bench 2-21-18

Using some of the material from the train set he made a nice bench for his compound miter saw. To the left you can see his router table, too. The dust collector, from what I’ve been told, will be going into the corner to the left of the router table.

Shop Light 2-21-18

There’s been more lighting added, too. Jay told me that he’d had to order more LEDs because he had used up all that he had stashed.

Partially Built Panther 2-21-18

Remember the Panther? Yep, he’s still waiting to be finished.

Swamp Buggy Bottom 2-21-18

This is the other bench, which is directly across from the compound miter saw. At first I thought that Jay was modeling a Surrey with fringe on top, but that’s not really fringe. It’s more of a veil. This might have something to do with the rotating prop on the work bench. Ah ha! It’s the swamp buggy that Jay keeps yammering on about. When he’s finished it will look similar to a fan boat that you see in the swamps, but this is meant to go sliding across the grass and/or snow.

Wait… what’s that I see in the background?

Rocket Capsule 2-21-18

Do you recognize it? Do you know what it goes to? If you said the Mercury Rocket that we saw on the work bench… you would be correct! I think this is the last of the rocket parts that we’ll see today.

Train Stuff 2-21-18

Look what I found! It’s the train set! This is where it all resides until Jay figures out a place to put it. Right now he’s more into the wood working stuff than the train stuff.

N Scale Buildings 2-21-18

Even the buildings are in a tote. At least they won’t get dusty.

As we leave the basement and digest all that we’ve seen I’ll leave you with one more picture:

MIni Planes Display 2-21-18

The nursery! It’s where all of the baby planes live. Aren’t they cute?! Who’s a good widdle warthog?! Who is? That’s right! You is a good widdle warthog!!

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Homemade Christmas Gifts

Jay and I are incredibly lucky to know a lot of talented people. I showed you some of the homemade gifts that we received in a post a few days ago.

Dave's Wooden Pineapple 12-25-17

One of the gifts that we were given were some pretty hand painted glasses:

Patty's Painted Glasses 12-25-17

Our friend Patty has been taking painting classes at church and this was one of the techniques she learned. Aren’t they pretty?!

Patty's Painted Glass

I love the detail of the pine cones. Isn’t she talented?

At the quilt show this fall I found this and gave it to my mom to make me as a gift for Christmas:

 Because of the Cross

I really thought this was a beautiful rendition of the cross. This is my mom’s interpretation:

Cross Quilt Hanging 12-25-17

Isn’t it gorgeous?! I love how she quilted the radiating lines coming out from the cross. It’s even prettier up close:

Cross Quilt Hanging Sparkle

The yellow background has sparkles on it (sparkles are the best!), plus she used a fabric that has the night sky on it as the border. I think that this rendition is even prettier than the one at the quilt show with the batik fabric. I hung it in a place where I get to look at it every morning.

Wall of Crosses 1-16-18

It really dwarfs my cross stitched Winter Cross, doesn’t it?

My mom also made me a few pieces of jewelry:

Wire Wrapped Necklace 12-25-17

Butterfly Bracelet 12-25-17

Crocheted Necklace 12-25-17

Finally, I made some gifts for the guitar players in our choir. Brandon, the director, would refer to them as his elves as they put their guitars down to sing one of the acapella songs with us. Brandon would tell them that he was going to have them dress up as elves for our Epiphany concert. So I helped and made them these hats:

Elf Hats 2018

They wouldn’t wear them, though. I thought they would be cute!

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Autumn Cross Finished!

At the beginning of December I showed you that I had finished all of the regular stitching on the cross:

Autumn Cross 12-2-17

One month later, on January 5th, I had finished the background words:

Autumn Cross 1-5-18

Now all I had left to do was the back-stitching on the cross and butterfly.

The final stitch was placed on the cross on January 22nd:

Autumn Cross 1-22-18

It took just under 13 months to finish this one! I started it December 26th, 2017 and finished it January 22, 2018. This is the fastest that I’ve stitched one of these crosses!

I received a few gift cards to Hobby Lobby for Christmas, so I used one of them to get the frame and mats. Please ignore the reflection.

Autumn Cross Framed 2-3-18

I went with the green mat because I felt that this piece already had more than enough orange, yellow and red in it. I didn’t want to highlight them even more. As it was I found a golden-ish frame that I felt worked really well for this piece. I always like to add just a second mat in a different color in order to pull out one of the lesser-represented colors in the piece. I chose a dark purple for this and I think that it works well (it’s much nicer in person):

Autumn Cross Mats 2-3-18

Only one more to stitch!

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Christmas Woodworking

In a recent post I showed you the Remote Control barns that Jay and I made for my dad and brother-in-law:

Barn Remote Holder Finished

They weren’t the only woodworking projects that we did as gifts this year. We also made a lap desk for my sister:

Droof's Lapdesk 2

Actually, Jay made it and I did the finishing on it. And if you’re wondering, ‘Droof’ and ‘Pork’ are two of my sister’s nicknames. I don’t have enough time to get into the stories behind them.

Then I gave Jay an idea for a gift that we could make for my friend, Sarah. I went to Atlanta a few years ago with her to watch her favorite team, the Braves, play a series of home games. So, we made her a suet feeder:

Atlanta Braves Suet Feeder Done

I was a bit disappointed in this because it looked different in my head.

This year we were also lucky enough to be on the receiving end of some very nice gifts, too.

Over the past few years my parents, Jay and I have given my brother-in-law, Chuk, some woodworking tools. For Christmas this year Chuk and my sister decided to make gifts for my dad and Jay, just like we’ve been doing the past several years.

Chuk's Wheelbarrow 12-25-2017

He made us little wooden wheelbarrows! They also filled them with a lot of food and beverages. They turned out really nice!

Wheelbarrow 12-25-2017

Jay and I discussed it and this spring I’m going to throw on a few layers of marine polyurethane to protect it from the elements. Then Jay will help me make it into a nice planter for our front porch. Won’t that look cute with some wave petunias growing out of it and overflowing the top? I think so, too.

The other woodworking gift that we received was from our friend, Dave.

Dave's Wooden Pineapple 12-25-17

I’m leaving the picture a little larger so that you can see the detail of the grain. Isn’t it beautiful? Once I clean my dining room table off this will go in the center. Dave always does such a good job on his projects!

I have more handmade gifts to show off, but they will go in a different post since they aren’t woodworking projects. So stay tuned!


Posted in CNC Router, Friends, Wood Work, Workshop | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Project Linus Blanket #7

Project Linus Blanket #8 Dec 2017 - Autmn in the Pumpkin Patch

“Autumn in the Pumpkin Patch”

To be fair, I worked on this in October and November. Then I switched to crocheting dish cloths for Christmas gifts. So this blanket has been sitting around for a little while.

Project Linus Blanket #8 Dec 2017 - Autumn in the Pumpkin Patch

This was made using skeins from my collection. Not a single new skein was purchased. You can probably tell that by the pattern. As I was crocheting I ran out of the orange and green. But I figure it doesn’t matter because when you look at a pumpkin patch it usually looks pretty messy. Then when you drop autumn leaves into it the whole thing just looks like a mish-mash of orange and green. So it’s all good!

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Remote Control Holders


Jay loves making stuff in his workshop. He spends a LOT of time in it and he’s always wanting more ideas of things he can make.

Every Christmas we try to come up with things that we can make for my dad and brother-in-law, Chuk.

One year we made them snack boxes:

Chuk and his toolbox

Last year we made them lap trays (which I somehow missed getting pictures of them at all!), and other various things. It gets harder every year to think of something new that they can actually use.

This year I decided that they needed some kind of remote control holders. After all, it seems like EVERYBODY has a billion remote controls nowadays. I knew that I wanted to make one in the shape of a barn for my dad, but we were stumped when it came to Chuk’s. In the end we decided that he would just have to deal with getting a barn, too.

I did a rough sketch for Jay (someday I’ll have to take a picture of one of those so you can see just what Jay has to work off of for me!), and then he drew it in SketchUp and cut it out. They had real potential!

Barn Remote Control Holder 1

I have to admit that considering Jay is a city kid, he did pretty good with the design. I had to help him out a bit with the door, and I would have preferred a larger opening for the hay loft, but it was good enough!

Barn Remote Control Holder 2

Using Jay’s remotes I made sure that there would be room for them to fit into the opening. Again, it looked good!

Barn Remote Control Holder 3

I asked Jay to make a hidden drawer using the barn door so that candy or whatever could be stashed close at hand. You can see where Jay installed a shelf so that the remotes don’t fall into the drawer when it’s closed.

Once the design and construction was done the barns were handed over to the finishing department. This is where I really let the team down. I was busy doing other things so I didn’t spend as much time on the barns as I would have wanted. Also, I really suck at painting and finishing things, so I only approached these halfheartedly.

Barn Remote Holder Painted

I painted them an orangey barn red and then painted the insides black. I wanted the roof to look like it was metal, so I painted them gray.

Once the paint was dry I marked out lines to add a little detail to the sides, so that they looked like boards. Then I did a little bit of weathering.

Barn Remote Holder Detail

If you’ve lived on, or near, an old barn for long enough you know that the roof is not a bright, pristine metal roof. There’s going to be some weathering on that, too.

Barn Remote Holder Weathered

I did my best using some techniques that I’ve learned from my model railroad structure painting sessions. *sigh* I need more practice.

Barn Remote Holder Weathered 2

Again, they turned out okay, but definitely not anything I would write home about. Besides, they are just meant to sit on a stand and hold remotes. They don’t have to be perfect. Do you want to see the finished product?

Barn Remote Holder Finished

I wanted to do more with the hay loft, but ran out of time. We added the header board above the doors to personalize them. Again, I wanted these to look like old weathered barns. I came kind of close to what was in my head.

Barn Remote Holder Drawer

I think the drawer came out nice, too.

What do you think?


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An Advent Chasuble – Part Final!

Chasuble Practice Collar

The collar.


Where do I begin to tell a story of how finicky a collar can be? A true painful story that is older than a week? Where do I start?

(Extra points to you if you know which tune you are supposed to use when singing the above words!)

The rolled collar was the part of this entire project that I was most dreading. The practice one had not gone well at all, and I didn’t want to mess up the real one.

Chasuble Collar Pattern2

Jay tried to help by using his CNC laser to cut out my pattern so that the curve would be perfect.

Chasuble Collar Pattern

First I cut out the pieces from the rayon material.

Chasuble Rolled Collar Stabilizer

Then I used the same pattern to cut out pieces of interfacing. Rayon doesn’t have much body to it and I needed the collar to stand up a bit on its own. I didn’t want it too stiff, but it definitely was going to need help.

This was iron-on interfacing so I spent a long length of time adhering the interfacing to the collar material. That seemed to take forever. Then, with my book laying open at my feet, I began to slowly follow each step in order to get this collar to work perfectly.

Things did not go so well…

I went to sew the two pieces together and realized that yet again I had messed it up so that the seam would end up being on the OUTSIDE of the collar. At this point it was 10 p.m. so I decided to toss it off to the side for the night. I was so frustrated with myself that I knew I wouldn’t sleep, so I proceeded to watch a cheesy movie on The Hallmark Channel… for another two hours (it was a late night!).

Chasuble Collar Pattern

The next morning we rushed home from church so that I could get started on this again. I was so close to being done! And I had just enough material left to make one more attempt at it. So, once again, I cut out the material, the interfacing and adhered them to each other. I then started the process of sewing the two pieces together. As I was pinning them I decided to look at the collar from the night before so that I could do the OPPOSITE of what I had done. Except… as I looked at the ‘bad’ one I realized that it wasn’t bad at all! It was perfectly fine! WHAT HAD I BEEN THINKING??!! Now I had just wasted four hours in finishing this stupid chasuble! (Two hours watching the cheesy movie after I got irritated and then another two hours making a second collar).

Since I was farther along on the ‘bad’ collar I tossed aside the one I had started that morning and continued following the steps in the book. Eventually the collar was sewn to the body of the chasuble and I hand-stitched the overlapping piece of collar in place to give it a nice finished edge on the inside. Finally, it was done!

Chasuble Done 11-29-17


Once again I asked my model to show it off.

Chasuble Modeling

I reminded him that the priest would be wearing this.

Chasuble Back

The collar turned out okay. And I was told that I was the only one who could see the imperfections.

Chausble for Advent

Our priest seemed happy with it. I did tell him that he would definitely need to bless this vestment before wearing it because I had done a LOT of cursing at it while sewing. He chuckled and said he thought it would be okay.

And thus ends the Chasuble Project. Thank goodness!

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