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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