Archive for May, 2015

A Couple More

May 31, 2015

Two of the five projects I’ve been working on in my little shop out back have been finished. This first pic is of three plates that I base-coated at least a year ago.

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They are china plates and the black base coat would scratch off if I even touched them! I had to base-coat them another time, let them “season” and even then I had to do some touch up several times while I was painting on them. After finally getting the design painted on, I gave them four coats of a polyurethane finish, waiting 24 hours between coats. What a hassle! I have more of those plates, and now I’m wondering if I’ll bother painting on any more of them. (They did turn out cute though.) 🙂

The little saw blade was another UFO project that has been patiently waiting for me to get to it.

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Again, I’ve had it base-coated for quite a while and the pattern picked out. I had to shrink the pattern and alter the wording for it to fit on the small saw blade.

In between working on the other three projects on my bench, I found some candy dishes that I want to paint peppermint candy on as my next project. Then there are the other projects still sitting on the “waiting to get to me” table. . . . . . . .

I think I could do this painting thing as a 40-hour a week job! But maybe it’s a good thing that I don’t have that much time to devote to it. But I can dream!

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I’ve Been Painting Again

May 27, 2015

For some reason, I’ve been traipsing out to my little shop out back a lot this year. Well, for one thing, I’m finding that I enjoy painting more and more. And for another reason, I’m finding that I enjoy the solitude I find in my little shop out back as well.

Some days after morning exercise and afternoon running around doing errands, I can find only an hour or even 30 minutes of spare time. But even just that amount of time is worth the trek out there. Even if I don’t do anything but just sit there and enjoy my surroundings.

For these reasons, I have more painting pics to post today.

This idea has been floating around in my head since I started painting on these light bulbs several years ago. I couldn’t figure out how to stand my little jack-o-lanterns up until I saw a similar idea in one of my books. I even added a little artificial leaf to each one. Aren’t they cute?

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One day as I was just using up a little time looking through some of my pattern books before I had to go back in the house to start supper, I came across this pattern that daughter C. had used on some wooden books. (Remember C.?) I wondered if the design would be just as cute on a jar. I made candle holders out of the jars with the addition of little clay pots.

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These little photo books are more of the kind I had decorated before. I had to modify the patterns a little to make them fit and word it the way I wanted.

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These again were a spur of the moment idea. The wooden sconces were already in my stash. The glass votive candles were found in a drawer after being stashed away for who knows how long. I found them when I was cleaning things out for the garage sale. I think these sconces will be hung in my living room, (if I can find room!)

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Here’s another design that I took from a bigger one so it would fit on this jar.

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I put an arrangement of flowers in this one.

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Now that this blog entry is finished, I’m heading out to the little shop out back to work on five more projects that are in different stages of being finished. It takes so long for the paint to dry between applications, that I have to work on more than one item at a time. I’m having soooo much fun!

Stressful Week

May 26, 2015

This past week has felt like months because of the stress we’ve gone through with Hubby’s dad. “Dad” is 92 years old and has been living by himself for five years since “Mom” passed away. For the most part, his independent life has worked for him. One of his daughters has been helping with groceries, cleaning, preparing meals, and basically helping him with whatever his needs may be.  The rest of the family helps with the yard, fixing whatever goes wrong around the house, etc. “Dad” has been so blessed having all four of his children close enough for frequent visits and help.

Last Sat. he was discovered on the floor unable to get up. He had developed a blood clot in his neck which aggravated the dementia that has been slowly robbing his mind of rational thoughts. He had to be hospitalized.

After two days in the hospital, he was ready to go home. Adamant about going home! So we took him home.  After the first night, it was clear to us that he would not be able to carry on an independent life. Someone would have to be with him 24/7.

So we started the process of getting him into a nursing home. I won’t go through the details, but suffice to say, it was quite an ordeal. Very stressful for all concerned.

“Dad” is now settled in a “home” and is getting 24 hours professional help. We can all breathe easier knowing this and that he won’t be in danger from trying to live by himself.

One of his greatest pleasures is his tv. Hubby and I bought him a new 32″ flat screen tv that will be installed on the wall right in front of his bed. It should be up and running sometime today. Hopefully that will put a smile on his face.

I’m Not A (Good) Teacher

May 16, 2015

While Hubby walks on the treadmill during the second phase of our three phases of exercise at the Family Center every day, I stay in the lounge and work on my handiwork. It’s usually just a half-hour period of time, but hey, every minute counts, right?

The first time I took my handiwork, I took something that would be easy to work on and easy to put up when that half hour was over. I chose these,

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They are coasters that I’m making into groups of four. Something simple that I can put in my sale or give as a quick gift for Christmas.

A couple of ladies showed an interest in what I was doing and wondered what I was making. Then of course, they wanted to know if I would be interested in teaching them to make the coasters. Of course, I said. I love to teach others what I know.

I wrote down what they would need in order of supplies and yarn and sent them on their way. I don’t think one of the ladies was serious about it, however, and I haven’t heard any more from her. The other lady kept coming to me daily to talk about it more, but she never brought her yarn and hook. (She hadn’t had time to shop for them, she said.) Well, whenever you’re ready, I said.

As you can see from the photo, I was getting a lot of these coasters made. Yeah, getting kind of sick of them and wanted to move on to something else.

Then another lady wanted to know if I knew how to make a pair of the fingerless gloves that are so popular right now. And would I be interested in helping her to make some. Sure. The first lady got interested in the gloves as well. (I don’t think she really wanted to make the coasters.) She came with yarn and hook right away. Both ladies had a little crochet experience, but neither one knew how to read directions. So my work was half done for me already. Thank goodness!

I’m not a good teacher. I like to teach people what I know; but I’m very aware when we’re into the project, that I just don’t know how to tell people the way to make things come out like they’re supposed to. I get embarrassed and apologize to them when I have to tell them to rip something out because I didn’t explain myself very well. Then I usually say, “I’m not a good teacher.” Of course, they usually say, “Yes you are. I just didn’t understand what you said.” (They’re so nice!)

I have lots of patience, however, and I think that’s why who I’m teaching something to thinks I’m a good teacher. But I’m not. I know that. I should tell people up front that I’m not a good teacher. I don’t know if that would change their mind about learning something from me or not. But at least when I must have them rip something out, they may be more forgiving of me.

I don’t have a pic of the gals learning to make the fingerless gloves, but I have a pic of the gloves that I’ve been making,

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Garage Sale

May 15, 2015

Unfortunately I didn’t get any pics of my garage sale. And yes, I’m kicking myself for that! I used to take pics of everything! And pics say so much more than words. So here’s another blog that will have just text again.

This was the second garage sale that I’ve had at this house since we moved here almost 16 years ago. (I know! I can’t believe it either!)

We usually box a few things up that we don’t need anymore, (mostly clothes), and take them to the thrift store. I’m a packrat, I have to admit. It really is hard for me to let go of things for two reasons. One, I’m sure that if I get rid of something, I’ll need that object next week. And two, I’m sentimental about my stuff! Especially if someone gave it to me.

But since retiring over two years ago, I made up my mind that I needed to get rid of some of these items that were taking up space which was getting more scarce as the days went by. There just wasn’t any more room to put anything. We were bulging at the seams!

My thinking was that if I started this project of cleaning out and re-organizing a drawer or closet at a time and not rushing into things, then it would be a little easier for me to get rid of things. When we had to clean out Mom’s house after she passed away, we hurried through it and I have my regrets to this day of getting rid of certain items I wished I had kept.

The attic and garage were getting fuller and fuller of boxes and bags of stuff. One day Hubby asked what I was planning on doing with some of these bags that was obviously starting to be in our way. That’s when I put myself into high gear and begin going through the remaining items, mostly the kitchen stuff.

I played with the idea of just loading it into the truck and heading to the thrift store after all. But after taking everything to the sunroom to go through and clean up, I realized that I just had tooooo much stuff! We would have had to hire a moving truck to get it all to the thrift store. I couldn’t believe I had accumulated so much stuff!

I wondered if I would even have enough table space for all this. We had a folding camping table, my table in my shop, a card table, and our patio table, but we were going to need more. We took a couple of doors off the bedrooms, and along with saw horses and stacking totes, we were able to make a couple more tables. This was still not enough room. I put sheets over my shelves of yarn along one side of the garage and used this space as well. The rest of the stuff just went on the driveway floor.

I picked a weekend, advertised on Craigslist, got signs ready, made sure I had enough change, got our tables ready and everything out onto the tables, moved our cars into the yard, and opened up our sale at 8 am on a Friday.

It was a beautiful weekend and fortunately for us, a couple of other houses on our block decided to have a garage sale the same weekend, so we had a good bunch of customers.

Sis came over to sit with me Friday afternoon so I wouldn’t have to sit all by myself for two days. Hubby helped a little, but he got bored sitting so long. I had enough customers, but no big rushes that I couldn’t handle myself. It’s amazing how much stuff I got rid of! Everything was priced to sell, and I took pretty much any offer that was given.

After it was all said and done, we only had a truck load of stuff left over that we took to the thrift store on Mon. AND I made $156.30! That’s the most I’ve ever made at a garage sale before. And all of it was priced under $1.00 except for a few things at $5.00 and one thing at $10.00.

The best thing of all? I have extra space in the house, garage, attic, and my little shop out back! Now if I can just keep from filling them up again!