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Monday, October 30, 2017

The Weevil Hunt!

It was cold here last night! So this morning I went out and took a shot of the mountains all frosted.
It doesn't seem possible that November is almost here already. I hesitated to tell you about my recent adventure in the kitchen, it was kinda creepy. But here goes: A few mornings ago, I walked into the kitchen and spotted a tiny black beetle with a long snout. I quickly sent him to tiny bug heaven but then spotted another, and another. Some were swimming in a drop of water in the sink, others were just lounging around with tiny sunglasses on and I swear I saw one on the window sill in a lounge chair.  "What are these things!?" I hollered. Mr. Skellie heard me and came clattering down the hall from the shop. He started stomping them with his feet and then looked around to see if there were any more.
Then he said he couldn't do it any longer because he was getting the heebie jeebies and had a bug leg stuck between his toes. He ran back to the shop shaking his foot and yelling "Ewww! Ewww!" I started searching online for the answer. While I was on here looking, I heard a commotion in the kitchen. The Minions had arrived with their steampunk fart gun and had found one burrowing into my loaf of homemade bread.
They were firing and yelling and then quite a few of these tiny bugs started circling them. I've never seen minions move so fast! With all my brave heroes abandoning ship, I was on my own. I finally found some information and pictures about these little interlopers...weevils!
But where did they come from? There were none in the pantry, none in the flour container on the counter
or in my wheat grinder. I read on. They can be in birdseed! I have a large clear sealed containerful under my counter. Do I dare look? I looked, and there were hundreds of them in there! That container went outside right quick and I started mop up operations immediately. The population quickly decreased over the next couple of days and Mr. Skellie came back, with socks on this time, and continued his weevil stomping dance. I've had birdseed in that container for 5 years now and never had a problem before. But this year, we had kept the seed over the summer and I think that's when the problem started. So the container of seed is now safely ensconced in the shed and we are all breathing a sigh of relief. The counter is cleaner than it has been in it's whole life and I have lived to tell the tale. Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

What HAVE you been doing Debra?!

No, I've not been resting on my laurels...funny mind picture by the way...just some different life events. First off, I went back to the thrift shop to look for a shirt for my Dear Hubby. He's a tall, and for some reason, those are really hard to find in stores and I didn't have time to shop online. I found a brand new one by American Eagle and decided to poke around in the curtain section again. Guess what I found...another pink gingham valance! I came home hauling my treasures only to find that Bill couldn't button the shirt over his chest. I had a little bit better luck with the valance, after ironing the heck out of it, I transformed this:
into this:
More ruffles! Then I went online and ordered some pink butterflies to scatter across the wall over top.
So we went with Plan B for Bill's shirt and were off to Marlene and Jack's wedding!
Mr. Skellie has been head over heels (skull over heel bones?) in love with Marlene for quite some time so he was sitting in the back crying. Fortunately, I had a tissue in my pocket for him. Good thing there wasn't the part in the ceremony about "anyone here objecting" cause he would have jumped to his feet for sure! So now I think it's time to rustle up a wife for Mr. Skellie. Hey! Then we can have a skellie wedding! Oh fun! Another thing I wanted to get done was some repairs on the minions Outback Steakhouse. The place is so busy that the door is starting to come off the hinges!
One of the minions fell off the ladder near the smoker, so I helped him back up and noticed the power for the restaurant had gone out so have to fix that too.
Maintenance, maintenance. I worked on that yesterday as it was raining like crazy outside!
But this morning the air is clear and cool...45 degrees! I guess it is cool!
Since all the laundry is done, I'm off to the store to pick up a few things so I will see you later! Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

New curtains and more fabric bolts!

I started out by painting the first coat of white on the new fabric display for the Quilt Shop.
These little Michael's hutches are made out of pine so soak up paint like a sponge. Looks like I'll be needing 1 or maybe even 2 more coats for a nice finish. After that I decided to make more fabric bolts.  You know the drill, First, I cut all the pieces of wood for another batch.
You notice that I stuck a piece of painter's tape to my miter box so I wouldn't have to measure each one. Once I had a pile of those,
I moved on to picking out more fabric and preparing it.
A little paint,
and snap!
 All done!
Just like those recipe videos we all see on Facebook. I now have 50 of these done
and will probably need 50 more...well, maybe a few more than that, but we will see how well-stocked the Quilt Shop looks by then. I've also been thinking about curtains in my shop. The idea of pink gingham sprang to mind so I mulled that over for a few days. I went to the thrift shop to drop some things off and decided to poke around while I was there. You'll never guess what I found...2 pink gingham valances! For only $1.97 kind of price. So I brought them home and washed and dried them. Since they are made of 100% cotton, it took a while to iron them. My heart goes out to my mom for all the time she spent ironing my dad's shirts back in the 50's before permanent press. I remember her using a sprinkling bottle on the shirts first as she didn't have a steam iron either. What a large part of a day went to ironing clothes back then! So after pressing the heck out of them, here is how they look:
I know, it's pink, but I am unashamedly a girl and this is my shop so I will pink it up all I want! LOL! Have a great day! (I think it needs some butterflies...😃 )

Friday, October 6, 2017

A new fabric display for the Quilt Shop

Back in the spring, I showed you how to turn this:
and this:
into these:
Bill cut the top cabinet sections off on the bandsaw which was incredibly helpful as pine is harder than it looks when you have a fine tooth saw and achy hands. I was left with 2 bases that I thought might be used down the road for sideboards.
The other day, I was looking through Pinterest (dangerous place! LOL!) when I saw a back to back fabric display that I thought I could duplicate for Marlene's Quilt Shop. I played around with the 2 leftover bases and liked what I saw.
I pried off all of the feet first and then realized that the ladies in the quilt shop would very likely trip over those corners near the floor.
Then if I put feet on the whole thing, they would be barking their ankles....who says I overthink things? ;) So I placed each piece in my miter saw and sawed away. 
Very good workout for the triceps...on 1 arm anyway. After some sanding, I applied some wood glue to the back of each piece,
spread it around and clamped it together.
I used a damp rag to clean up the excess glue and let this whole thing sit for awhile while I went and ate some lunch. I took it out of the clamps and decided it needed feet so dug through my bead stash and found some old pony beads that look just right.
This is going to be white, so I was lucky to find white pony beads in the container. So here it is with the knobs I glued in waiting for its first coat of paint.
And of course, I had to try it out in place...
Now I get to make about 30 more fabric bolts, and the Quilt Shop will have more storage too.  Looks like I'll be back over to Marlene's house with my scissors...Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Mr. Skellie learns about bricklaying....

When Bill came home last night, he said today was "Bring your skellie to work day". Mr. Skellie was all excited and was wondering what to wear. "Just be yourself' I said. And oh, by the way, can I come too?" Mr. Skellie said that since he was riding shotgun in Bill's truck there wouldn't be room in the cab for me. I was sensing a "wide load" joke coming but he just grinned at me. So the following morning, I followed along in my truck with all my photo equipment and spare parts for Mr. Skellie. Oh, and his sunglasses. The job site we were going to visit was a high brick wall that had recently lost a battle with a backhoe. There was at least 15 feet of the wall that had been knocked flat. Bill introduced Mr. Skellie and me to Joe Freeman from Freeman Masonry.

He was hired to make all the repairs along with fellow brick masons, Elvis and Danny. They stopped work just long enough for me to get this shot of them.
Joe first told us that they were able to save many of the bricks from the wall for reuse and that they would be mixed with new ones where needed.
He put Mr. Skellie to work right away. "Hey Mr. Skellie, hand me that brick hammer will you?"
He wasn't sure which one that was but guessed right and handed over the brick hammer to Joe. Next we learned about the differences between mortar, concrete, and Portland cement. The mortar he was using had lime in it to make it more workable, or fluffy. Concrete is a mixture of sand, cement, water, and gravel and is too loose to work with when you are trying to put bricks together. Think "driveway". While Bill and I were listening to Joe describe the different bonding qualities, Mr. Skellie decided he was going to bond with the mortar himself!
"I like how it squishes between my toes", he said. After a quick rinse-off, we went over to the mixer to have a look inside....hmmm, gooky, eeww.
Mr. Skellie found the big bags of sand and was standing in one pretending to be at the beach when I found him.
I brushed him off and we went back to look at the brick carrier.
Bill demonstrated how this can carry more bricks at a time and it's easier on the hands.
Then we noticed that the old bricks had 10 holes in them
and the new ones had just 3 larger holes.
Bill explained that the new ones with the three holes actually hold together better because more mortar can squish through the holes...who knew? Mr. Skellie wanted to know how the wall was kept straight. "String" Joe said. Mr. Skellie looked doubtful. But Joe went on to explain that he prefers braided string versus twisted string because the braided has more stretch.
However, if you are doing a long length like this, the string will tend to sag in the middle. He uses things called "twigs" to keep the string straight. Now Mr. Skellie was really scratching his head. "String and twigs, are we building a wall or a fairy house?" Mr. Skellie asked.  Joe laughed and explained that this what what a twig was
and that it was made of spring steel and clipped over the so.
As he was laying down another row, he talked about the small brick ties that he uses to strengthen the wall.
He also adds re bar in between the 2 rows of brick for even more strength.
He has to keep this small space even as he goes along because the top of the wall has a one brick cap that is 7 5/8" wide
so the 2 brick width of the wall and the small space cannot exceed this. Also, the wall is built to fit into a "keyway" in the brick posts.
Joe, Danny and Elvis went back to work and Mr. Skellie asked if I would give him a ride in the wheelbarrow.
"Just quick" I said. After running him around in circles for a bit, I sat down to take a breather. Bill took over while I took pictures of all the tools and equipment that's needed for a job this size. 

The last question of the day was about the little groove in the mortar joint.
Joe needed a grapevine jointer to recreate this design in the new mortar to match the old. He then said that when the work was all done, he would be using Lime Cleaner to clean the mortar off of the brick faces and to also make the mortar lines all the same color so it wouldn't look splotchy.
There's always more to something than you think isn't there. I would like to thank the guys at Freeman Masonry for letting a grandma and a little plastic skeleton interrupt their day for just a short bit. Have a great day!
(and the back...)