Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tessa Daves Sampler

I finally finished my latest band sampler.  This one took me awhile.  I love to stitch but sometimes my mojo comes and goes.  So when it comes to a sampler like this it can take me awhile.  I am the type of person who likes to finish one thing before I move onto the next.  So, even though I may be tired of stitching I will not allow myself to start anything new until it is done.   Yes, I still have a ton a UFO's which doesn't make sense.  The thing is they are done to the point of actually finishing them.  What I mean is I have quilt tops that haven't been made into a quilt.  I have stitcheries that haven't been framed or made into whatever.  I finish the project but not completely.  So, tonight I will show you one more finished but not project. LOL.

This one will join the others in a pile until I decide how to finish them.  I think it needs framed, but of course I don't have one to fit and to have it professionally done costs too much.  So I will keep looking for a frame when I am out and about.  One will show up eventually.

Now that this one is done I decided to start a new special project.  I needed to change to fabric.  I have missed sewing.  Tonight this is what my craft table looks like.

I am in a patriotic mood.  I had some fat quarters I needed to use up and I think this project might work.  I say might because I can't decide for sure.  Stay tuned because I may need your help deciding.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Drying Gourds

Since there have been several questions about my dried gourds since my last post I thought I'd share with you how I did mine.  I know there are different ways, but this is how I did it.

How do you go from this...

to this????

First question was did I grow my own gourds?  No, the gourds you see in the bottom picture were ones Mark bought for me at a local farm when I was decorating for fall when Country Sampler came.  I was very lazy (too cheap) to go buy gourds and pumpkins last year.  I was told that there would be pictures outside so I needed them in a hurry and told him to go buy some since I was stuck at work and they were coming the next day!  EEEEEKKKK  Truth be told Mark is not a creative guy.  He admits it so I can say it.  Anyway, after I told him what I wanted this is what I got.  I don't like perfect.  I like bumpy and warty.  He did a great job picking them out.  

Anyway,  all I did was lay the gourds in my planter boxes to decorate.  Nothing fancy.  Well, the weather turned cold and this gal stayed inside.  Fall turned to winter and the gourds were fine where they were.  I would just clean them up this spring and throw them away.  Yes I had gourds out for my Christmas decorating before you ask. LOL.  Winter gave way to spring and it was time to do a little clean up.  I had read awhile back that gourds can be placed on screens to dry or just leave them on the ground and they will dry there too.  So, much to my surprise most of them had dried.  They were black and moldy looking.  I did have a couple that didn't make it.  WARNING: The black mold on the gourds is toxic and can cause breathing issues!!!!  Anyway,  since I didn't take pictures of my process I found some on the internet that will help explain what I did.

First, I took a bucket and some bleach about a 1:4 ratio maybe a little more bleach than that and combined them OUTSIDE.  I then took a couple of my gourds at a time and threw them in the solution and let them soak for about an hour.  You will need to cover the top of the bucket with a damp cloth or weight down the gourds because they float.  I turned them occasionally to be sure all sides got in the solution.  I then used a kitchen scrubby like this to clean off the mold.  I actually used one of the dish sponge scrubbers on mine.  I could get into the cracks better.  If you have an old toothbrush that would work great too!

NOT my picture....

I then rinsed them off and laid them on a towel to dry.  I kept turning them over so all sides could dry.  If you left them in the sun to dry I'm sure that would work great.  I did not... I let them dry on my counter.

Some of my gourds were really moldy and I actually sprayed them with Tilex thinking it would remove some more of the mold.  I really don't know if it did, but I'm sure it killed some more of the spores. LOL  I scrubbed and scrubbed but because of the warts it was difficult to get in every crevice.

It did take some elbow grease to get some of the mold off and I do recommend using rubber gloves when you do it.  I do not want anyone getting sick.  I did not spray or put any kind of sealer on them but for extra protection from the spores you could.  :-)  Once dry decorate with them as you like!

So there you have it.  Pretty easy right?  
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Thursday, May 7, 2015


I decided after almost 12 weeks since my ankle issue it was time to clean and rearrange my home a little.  By the way,  the doctor has released me to resume normal activity on my ankle as of Tuesday!!!!  Woohoo!!!! LOL Over the weekend I did the living room and dining room.  Yes, I probably was not following the doctor's orders because I didn't wear my brace and was climbing on chairs to decorate. oopsie!!!!   I still have a few more rooms to go but I'm pretty pleased with result.  I am really trying to go simple.  There are a few things I just can't help but collect as you will see in the photos.  LOL. So today will be a visual post.  This is just the dining room because I took things off the wall in the living room and patched the holes.  I haven't sanded and repainted yet.  So, down the road you will see that too.

Anyway,  here is my new dining room look.  It looks different than it will appear in Country Sampler this fall.  Did I tell you that was confirmed last week?  If I did I apologize.  My mind is bouncing everywhere anymore.

OK OK I will quit talking and start posting.... Have a great day!!!!

The gourds in the bowl were ones I left outside all winter and just brought in to clean once they were nice and dry.

My dark secret... there is extra decorating stuff behind the closed door. LOL

Ignore the stuff on the floor I'm trying to sell it and have no where to go with it right now.

I love gourds... Can you tell?

I finally hung the corner shelf I bought before I broke my ankle. LOL

Another obsession... brown jugs and crocks....

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Life Gets in the Way

You know I promised I would keep my blog updated on my ankle progress, but as you know that didn't happen.  I promised I would blog more often... that didn't happen.  I said I would show more projects...again didn't happen.  I have tried very hard in my life not to be this way.  But as some of you know life gets in the way.

So, what has my life been like for the past month you ask?  Well....

As of yesterday it has been 11 weeks since my little tumble.  My incisions look great!  I will always have a scar, but at 40 who cares.  I will never be a leg or ankle model. LOL.  I am still wearing a brace hopefully only until Tuesday when I go back for my follow up appointment.  I can not wait to see if I can start wearing my sandals for summer.  OK go barefoot!!!! I hate shoes to be honest.  I still have pain on the inside of my ankle.  When the barometer changes I know it because it gets very stiff and sore.  I'm sure with time the pain will get better.  At least I can walk normal only after getting the correct fitting tennis shoes.  Ugh! The first few days I tried wearing my old shoes that were much too tight on my foot and it caused a lot of pain.  I soon got that fixed with my parent's advice on where to go for shoes.  I had someone actually measure and fit them to my brace. That was a huge relief.  My wallet didn't like it, but I wanted everything to heal properly.

I have also been at my new job 30 days already!  The first 4 weeks I worked 2nd shift 3p- until the production line was done which was around 2:00am.  I was learning the job so that I can cover it when the lady goes on vacation.  I am so glad the company did this for me.  There was a lot to learn let me tell you.  The people on that shift were wonderful!  They were so nice to me and I felt like I "fit" in.  They are all down to earth hard working people who want to be there.  The hours were not so nice for me and the kids.  I would get home by 2:30am go to bed get up at 6:30 to take my son to school and spend my 1/2 hour with him daily.  I would come back home and sleep a couple hours get up and do it again.  My kids were on their own for dinner and the evening.  This was the hardest time on me.  I couldn't spend time with them like I was used to.  I knew it was not permanent so I kept pushing and counting down the days until I was on day shift.  Today marked my first week on day shift.  I love the hours of 7:30am-4pm.  I didn't think I could get used to working every day 5 days a week, but I adjusted well.  The day flies by so quickly!  I have a whole new set of people I am working with and love it too.  I work for a family owned company and feel like part of the family.  Once people start working here they stay especially in the office where I am.  My bosses are a mother/ daughter team and are so nice.  Compared to my old job I am truly blessed to have found this one!  Truth be told I do not miss being a paramedic at all!!!!!  I haven't thought about it and haven't felt the need to do it.  It was time to move on.  I am so thrilled I did as I heard some bad news about the company I was working for.  Let's just say I may not have had a job much longer with them if I would have stayed.  Anyway,  I am trying to get adjusted to my new life.  Budgeting my time and figuring out how my life will change and work is taking a lot longer than I had hoped.  I LOVE my new job but not my limited craft time. :-(

Anyway,  I will leave you with my current work in progress.  I am working on a new sampler I designed using Weeks dyed lined and Weeks Dyed thread.  It is hard to see in the picture but the thread is variegated and brings a lot of movement to the sampler I think.  I am a little more than half way finished. I love to stitch samplers.  There is just something about them.  I am hoping to start on a new quilt project soon, but we will see how things go.

Have a great weekend!!!!

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

More Spring Items

Good morning everyone!  I am finally up and at 'em.  I had a hugely productive weekend crafting.  Each day I am able to do more and more.  My ankle is cooperating other than swelling, heel numbness, and a little bruising.  I do tend to push too much like yesterday when I had it down for most of the day.  Hey! I banned myself to the basement while I was doing laundry.  I didn't want to keep going up and down the steps. So, I crafted and left my foot hang down.

This is what you get when you run two loads of washing and drying...

Not too shabby huh?  I have a box of odds and ends of DMC thread that I picked up at the thrift store.  I don't know if the colors are even made anymore, but I like how it turned out.  I would like to make a few more if I have time.  See you would have done the same thing by letting your leg hang. LOL.

Over the weekend I finished up a ton of customer orders and even had time to finish a new huge 14" bunny and large pastel eggs to sell.  I am truly amazed at the support people are giving me with these rabbits and sheep I have been painting.

It makes me sad to know I will build up my business while I am off work just to turn around and have to go back to work.  I wish there was a way I could do this full time, but I need the insurance.  :-(  Maybe some day I will be able to.

Today I am back at crafting.  I need to work on a customer order and then maybe design a few new eggs to punch.  Have a great day!
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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Trimalleolar Fracture Week 1 & 2

I just wanted to warn all of you before you start reading this post there will be surgical pictures of my ankle.  Not actual surgery but the aftermath of the surgery.

OK.. so two weeks ago today was the initial accident.  I did not have surgery that day but the next day Friday.

I was told that I would need a plate and screws in my ankle to put it back together.  OK first of all I don't like surgery.  It's not really about the surgery as it is waking up.  I have a hard time waking up from anesthesia and then I vomit.  I do not like it. PERIOD!  Of course I have no choice in the matter if I want to walk again with a normal gait.  

The surgery itself took 2.5 hours a little longer than anticipated.  My family was a little worried when they thought it was suppose to only take an hour. The doctor came out an told them it was a little worse than he first thought and that I would have this hardware in forever.  So off to recovery I went.  This was by far the best surgery I have ever had!  I elected for the spinal only.  I woke up with no grogginess and did not vomit!  This anesthesiologist was awesome!  And not too bad to look at either!!! lol  He came to my room and checked on me throughout the day.  I was brought back to my room to finish recovering.  Now, there is a down side to having a spinal.  You can't feel mid abdomen down.  I could sorta feel my legs enough to get up to a bedside commode with the help of two nurses, BUT I could not feel that I had to pee.  Let me back up I could feel a pain in my groin HOURS later that made me think I had to pee.  So I asked to get up and try.  Nothing more embarrassing than as soon as you stand up your bladder starts to leak...ok open up... and pee runs down your legs.  So you sit on the bedside commode and keep going.  You apologize to the nurses one being male of course that you couldn't help.  They try to make you feel better but you can only think that a 40 year old should not be doing this,  Now I not only did this once but TWICE! UGH!!!! They ended up having to change my dressings because of the flood.  When they took the bandages off this is what I saw...

ewwwww.... my poor leg will never be the same... oh well I will consider it a battle scar... My foot is swollen as is my leg and ankle.  They bandaged me back up and I was given my Dilaudid pain pump back until Saturday morning.  My nurse was so good to me.  There were only two of us on the entire surgical floor so I got special treatment.  If I hit the nurse call light he would just come to the room instead of asking what I needed.  He would stand in there and talk with me.  But as soon as the 90 year old lady in the next room heard him she would hit her call button.  He would go see what she needed and then come right back.  He tried to make me feel better by saying that he loved taking care of great patients like me.  I guess it was because I rarely hit the nurse call light unless I had to pee.  I had to have an escort. LOL. The doctor came in Saturday morning and said that as soon as I got off the pump I could go home.  It was Valentine's Day and I wanted to spend it at home with Mark.  I already had to cancel our plans to go away for the weekend because of this whole mess.  So, I told him to disconnect it and I would try Norco.  Well, there was a mix up and I did not get any pain medication for several hours and the pain was so intense I couldn't stand it.  I talked to my nurse and he told me that he would call the doctor for another order for Dilaudid to get it back under control.  The doctor said no and since it was so bad I bought myself another night in the hospital. NOOOOOO!!!! Luckily Mark was a good sport and brought me dinner from a local BBQ restaurant and we sat and ate together in the room.  He even brought me flowers.  :-)  It was a long night, but I got through it.  My favorite nurse came back in Sunday morning and told me to get the heck out of the hospital.  I was calling Mark at 8:30 and waking him up to come get me.  He picked up my son and they came to pick me up.  

I got picked up with this little soft cast... I have to keep it up and not put any weight on it at all!!!

Skip ahead to the following Thursday 4 days later.  I was not allowed to remove this cast until I went to the doctor.  So, my son took me to the doctor and once the cast was removed this is what my leg looked like.  I took these after I got home from the doctor's office.  Pretty colors...  I am popping Ibuprofen every couple hours still and Norco at night.  Sometimes the pain is still unbearable and I can't sleep.

And this is what is in my leg... we counted 10 screws and one plate...

I was then sent home is this beautiful, heavy, annoying, crappy... boot  This thing is so cumbersome and rubs my leg wrong in all the wrong places.  That blue circle is a pump that I can add air to it to make it feel better.  Let me just say I have not used it and it doesn't make it feel better.  I am told to sleep in it and keep it on all the time unless I am watching TV or taking a shower then I can take it off.   

After a week of complete and utter inconvenience of trying to sleep with this stupid thing on brings us to today.  Today I was suppose to get my staples out.  Those darn things catch on everything and pull sometimes.  I am ready for them to come out.  I have never had staples so  I had no idea how it felt to have them removed.  I was a sissy and took a pain pill before I went.  Other than that I am down to taking only Ibuprofen at night.  Otherwise the pain has subsided quite a bit.  My ankle is very stiff at this point from not being moved.  So, after all 36 staples were removed this is what I ended up with.  Oh you are wondering what it felt like to have them removed?  Well there is a slight pinch when they put the staple remover under the staple, but that is it.  Plus there are still places on my leg where I have no feeling so it didn't hurt at all.  LOL.  I still had to have steri strips for awhile until the incision is completely healed.  Still some bruising, but much better.  The swelling is just about gone too.

I have an ankle!!!! woohoo!!!!  I still have bruising up near my knee which is really weird...

I know it's hard to see, but even harder to take a picture but you can see a dark spot that is a bruise.

I was told today that I can drive and put partial weight on my foot.  I am so thrilled.  I am going to do ankle therapy on my own to get it loosened up.  Yes, the doctor said that is fine.  LOL.  I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  Stay tuned next week for an update.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

More Spring Goodies

I told you yesterday that I had been working on another paper mache figurine and eggs.  I finally got my son to bring up all my finished products from the basement.  Although don't tell him that I had been up and down the basement stairs 3 times yesterday.  I didn't figure out until the last time how to carry something upstairs.  I was determined to do laundry yesterday.  This makes me feel useful and non-lazy.  Going down stairs isn't difficult.  I just hop on my right leg down the stairs holding on to the wall and the hand railing.  It is then 8 one footed leg hops to the washing machine. Yes... I counted them. LOL.  I'm going stir crazy and have to keep my brain functioning. :-)  Where there is a will there is a way to get your laundry upstairs because your son is at driving school, you need a shower and need more sweat pants, and your daughter claims to not be feeling well.  Next time you do your laundry and your washer and dryer are in your basement try this... stand on one foot... fill your laundry basket with clean clothes... now bend over and push the clothes basket with your hand across the floor to your steps as you hop behind... now turn around sit on your butt on your steps... scoot all the way over closest to your hand railing... reach down and pull the basket up beside you on the step... use one arm and one leg to push and pull yourself up to the next step without letting your foot touch the step... reach down pull your basket up beside you... now do this all the way to the top of the stairs... at the last step push your basket all the way up to the floor... now try to figure out how to get up from the seated position on the steps using one leg and two arms and two crutches that are waiting for you.  I was one hot sweaty mess when I was done to say the least. LOL... I am sure there will be more adventures as time goes on so stay tuned...  I did have the adventure of changing my bed hopping on one foot. Try it and see how that goes!!!!

OK back to what I was working on... I got these items finished up recently.  I was working on a few more items today but my sister called and asked if I would go to lunch at Applebee's today.  It is the first venture out to a restaurant since my accident.  It went pretty smoothly and there was no ice or snow in the path I chose. I got home smoothly and my sister then made me some pickled eggs and beets.  Mmmmmm....

Alright... I quit talking and start showing pictures now... Enjoy!!!!

Still one available for immediate shipment!!! Check out my website to order $18 plus shipping

All of my eggs sold within and hour or so of posting them with additional orders!!!! I am beyond thrilled especially with being off work and not getting paid :-)

Large eggs painted like red ware and yellow ware 

Small pastel decorated Easter eggs

Small pastel plain Easter eggs

Small yellow ware and red ware eggs

So you can see the difference in size of the big and small ones.

So, I am now feeling better and spent some time painting today.  I have someone bringing dinner tonight from my parent's church for us and a meeting at the school for my son for his Spring trip to TN with his Earth Science Club.  The best part is I owe nothing for the trip.  He earned all the points and money to go.  Luckily they have an elevator as I don't really want to navigate that many stairs tonight.  

Come back tomorrow as I will hopefully be able to post after my doctor's appt. For those who have a strong stomach I invite you.  Those who don't you might not want to join me tomorrow. ;-)  I will have graphic pictures up tomorrow of my surgical scar.
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