Archive for May, 2007

Week 21

May 31, 2007

I’ve spent most of the week in my shop out back painting. I got the other pickle jar bank done. It turned out really cute, don’t you think? Now all my grandsons have their banks done, finally!

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The rest of the painting I did was just base-coating a lot of jars and sanding and sealing some wood pieces.

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I love to paint on jars, but they take a lot of time to prepare. The two or three coats of base-coating needs to be painted on them and left for a couple of weeks at least to let them “season” before the design can be painted on them. So once in a while, I’ll take a couple of days to just do a lot of base-coating and get a bunch of jars ready to be painted on when I get motivated to decorate some. 

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This next picture is a little project I painted in-between base-coating jars. It was fun to do and worked up pretty fast. I may have to make some more of them!

We have to wear “uniforms” of navy tops and khaki pants or skirts to work now. It’s hard to find navy tops except for T-shirts. We can order T-shirts and polo shirts with a Wal-Mart emplem on them which I did. But I like to wear different tops so it doesn’t look like I’m wearing the same thing every day.

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I decided that I would sew myself some blouses out of navy fabric. I’ve bought three different kinds of fabric and have one of them cut out. It’s a slinky kind of fabric and a little difficult to work with, but it’ll be pretty when it’s done. I haven’t sewed any clothes in ages! I hope it’s like learning to ride a bike–it’ll come back to me!

I had to work several of the 5:00 am to 2:00 pm shifts at work this week because someone in the office was on vacation. It really wipes me out to have to get up at 3:00 am. I’m not good for anything when I get home. I think a lot of it is mental rather than physical because it’s not that I don’t have the energy to do anything once I get home, it’s that I can’t “think” about it.

One afternoon after I got home, I was determined to do some painting. After I changed and put my “painting” clothes on, I just sit at my table with all my painting supplies in front of me, and I just couldn’t even think about what to do next. It’s like my brain shut down! I think I picked up a jar and got it base-coated once, but then I give up and went back to the house. I picked up my knitting and knit a couple of rows, then put it down also. I’ve  come to the conclusion that my body and brain wasn’t meant to get up that early in the morning! Or maybe it’s because I can’t go without sleep like I did when I was 20-ish! In any case, I hate the mornings I have to go to work at 5:00 am, and I have to do it three mornings in a row this weekend! UGH!

Until next time, have a great day!  

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Week 20

May 21, 2007

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I’ve visited my little shop out back this week. I’ve picked up the paint brushes again. I love to paint. I don’t know why I don’t do more of it. I get onto one craft (like knitting–especially knitting) and get a little obscessed with it. I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll repeat it… I know I’m handicapped when it comes to my crafts. I want to do them ALL so I wound up being a Jill of all trades and not really good at anything in particular. Sometimes, I wish that I had a deep love for just one craft that I could get really, really good at and be able to leave all the other ones alone. Maybe then I could cut all the “supplies” I have in half and have more room around here. Ooooh, the thought of giving up all my “stuff” gives me the shutters. Let’s move on to something else!!!!

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If you remember, I painted big pickle jars and made banks out of them to give to my grandsons for Christmas. I only got four of them done before I ran out of time. So the two newest grandsons didn’t get their banks for Christmas. When I got my spurt of painting energy this week, I worked on the other two banks and got one finished!

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This one is for the newest baby. The other one is about half done, so I should finish it this week.

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I also painted on some bars of soap. What a cute idea! And cheap! These may be stocking stuffers for certain people who will remain nameless right now (but you know who you are!) It’s so easy and fast, I think I’m going to make a run to the store to get more soap!

I’m working on another UFO. This is a little cross-stitch kit that I picked up on clearance at Joanne’s last year. It’s a couple of coasters with a big snowflake cross-stitched on a piece of blue aida that shows through the bottom of the coaster. It’s a little difficult for me to see to stitch on that dark blue fabric, but I’m working on it during the day when there’s lots of sunshine. I forget how relaxing cross-stitching can be.

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I’m still knitting socks, too. As soon as I finish one pair, I grab another skein of yarn and start another pair. I love making socks. They go so fast and it’s something I can work on when my brain and body are screaming, “No More, please!” It’s interesting to see a new yarn come together into another pair of socks with a totally different color effect. (It doesn’t take much to make me happy!)

It’s also time to think about the Ozark Empire Fair again. I’ve been going through my projects to see what I want to enter this year. I hope I can finish some UFO’s in time to enter them also. The fair gives me the motivation I need to finish projects. I shouldn’t NEED motivation, but I do. I read somewhere that there are two kinds of crafters–the ones who like to make something so they will have a nice prize at the end of the crafting and the other person who just likes to tackle something to see if they can do it. Once they know they can, then they push it aside to start another project that looks intriguing. I think I fall into the second group.

That’s all for this time. What are you working on? (Yes, I’m talking to YOU!) Leave me a comment and let me know! Enjoy this weather and be happy! See you here next week.

Week 19

May 18, 2007

I’m afraid I don’t have much to blog about this week. This was Mother’s Day week and all the kids and grandkids were  here to help me celebrate it.  I LOVE it when we can all be together at the same time!  

Our newest grandson is four months old now. We’ve only seen him once before right after he was born. I can’t believe how fast he’s growing. He was all smiles for us this time which made us feel special! His brother is three and a half, and is turning into a little boy instead of being the baby I still expect him to be. He’s really saying a lot of words now and I can actually understand some of them!  He LOVES trains! I had a train for him that spelled his name, and he played with it the whole time he was here!

The older four grandsons are all about the same age and get along with each other great! They all spent the night at my oldest daughter’s house. She’s the only one of our children still living here close to us.

We had a bar-be-que in our back yard. It was a lot of work for me, but it was worth it.  I stood back and watched them all, and I have to admit that my hubby and I are truly blessed. We have the greatest kids and grandkids that ever was! We’re so proud of all of them! I love them so much!

Well, I’ll be back to the crafting next week. I hope everyone reading this had a great Mother’s Day!

Week 18

May 10, 2007

The last three days, I’ve worked the 5am to 2pm shift at work. When I work this shift, I’m not very productive when I get home. Those hours drain my energy level. So, needless to say, I didn’t get much sewing or knitting done this week.

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I have started another pair of socks out of this yarn, though, that I can knit on a little every evening when I’m not cat-napping in my chair.

I got two more quilt blocks done before I started my three-day stint of getting up at 3am.  Aren’t they pretty?

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I went shopping and found another tatting book.tatting-book.jpg

There usually isn’t too many tatting books out there to find, but I discovered this one in Hancocks Fabric store. I would like to do more tatting especially lately because I’ve been teaching a couple of ladies at work how to tat. That’s getting me excited about it again.

Speaking of new books, I visited a yard sale in my neighborhood one day and found this book.

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It looks brand new and I got it for $4.00! I love a bargain! It’s chocked full of pretty patterns and has a variety of ways you can use them. So, I’m getting excited about doing cross-stitch again. I’m telling you, there just isn’t enough time for all the crafting I want to do!

I’m having the kids for the weekend. What a great Mother’s Day treat! I may not have too much crafting to talk about next week, but a lot of family talk and hopefully pictures too!

Week 17

May 3, 2007

heartblocktriangles.jpgMy “problem child” block came out great when I got it sewed together again. I was a lot more careful getting an exact 1/4″ seam this time. I have a bad habit of trying to “eye” the seamwhen I sew. (Too many years of sewing has made me a little cocky, I’m afraid!) Also, when sewing with triangles, I’m learning that the seam “looks” bigger, but it really isn’t. This time, I puta dot at the seam intersection and started at that point even if it didn’t “look” right to me. It came out perfect! Boy, you certainly have to be accurate when you piece blocks for a quilt! I’ve read that in magazines about quilting, but I didn’t realize it until now that it really does matter!

These blocks in the brown tones with hearts on them were coming out very nice and I got a fifth block done.

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Then I discovered that that was all I had of the heart blocks. I got them on clearance and that’s all they had. (I remember that now—years later.)

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But I do have a set of twelve other block kits that I got at the same time. These are green, but almost ALL of them have those blasted triangle pieces. Some of them have little ones to sew together to make a bigger triangle and then sew the bigger ones together to get the block! Well, I should get a lot of experience sewing triangle pieces together! I’m working on the seventh block now, so they’re going pretty fast.

I got a little tired of sewing blocks one day, so I decided to sew up a UFO. This project has been laying around a looooong time! Here’s the story behing the Valentine puppy: I gave my kids little treats for most of the holidays when they were growing up. Valentine’s Day was one of those holidays. I bought a pre-printed panel of a couple of puppies that you cut out, sew together, and stuff to make a soft, lovable toy. The girls were older and they got something girlish, but my son was the youngest and still into stuffed animals, so this was perfect for him. There were two puppies on the panel, and since I only needed one, I gave the other panel, plus the directions, to my MIL to sew together for another grandson the same age as my son. She got hers sewed together, but failed to return the directions so I could get mine sewed together. I had little confidence in my abilities to sew without directions back then, so my son got something else for that Valentine’s Day, and the puppy has been boxed away for all these years! I dragged that out of the box, looked it over, and thought, “I can sew this together, I bet!” So I started playing around with it and this is the result:

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My son is now 34 years old, folks! I’m sure this is one of the oldest UFO’s I had, but now it’s no longer a UFO. I have no idea what I’ll do with it. My son’s youngest son will be one year old by next Valentine’s day, so he just may get it then!

This has been a busy week for me. I made a cake for a friend at work who had her 77th birthday! (I wonder if I’ll still be working when I’m 77! Gee, I hope not, but I do hope I’m still able to get around as good as she does.) The cake turned out pretty nice. Here’s a picture of it:

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I made it twice as big as a regular cake because of all the people at work that would want some of it. It was a lot of work, but when I saw how she seemed to like it, I was glad I made it. I used to make a lot of cakes when the kids were little. Family members wanted me to make cakes for them, too, and I got kind of burned out for a while. But it’s fun to do one occasionally, though.

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I dug out in the yard a little just enough to plant some flower bulbs this week. Wow, I was a little sore the next few days. It was just a little spot—I can imagine what I’ll be feeling when I start digging the patio! My vacation is in a couple of weeks, and I’m hoping we’ll have some nice weather so I can start that digging! More about that later.

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Last, but not least, I finished the fuzzy socks this week also. I’ll be starting another pair in a day or two. Everytime I finish a pair of socks, I think of someone else that I’d like to make a pair for. I’ll be making socks forever at this rate. Well, I have plenty of yarn for them, that’s for sure! Until next time, keep those needles clicking!