small sample of my crazy quilt embroidery

About Me

I am a consumate crafter. I knit, quilt both sane and crazy, scrapbook, bead, mosaics and any other thing I can think of along the way. Someday I also hope to do real glass jewelery and stained glass but those have to wait until I have room and more time.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The 3 Day

Signed up in February

Finished raising the funds in May

Lost Jan to cancer of the breast on June 1st

Trained all summer

Gathered all the stuff I would need to "camp" out for 2 nights

Trained some more

Fretted over what shoes and socks to buy

Trained some more

Finally, October, walked 6 miles in 3 days!!

This experience was amazing. Walking 60 miles to honor my dear friend Jan was so much easier than anything she had to go while trying to fight off this horrible disease. All the worry and prep was nothing. The blister that plagued me the last day was nothing. The aches and pains can be medicated and will slowly disappear over the next few days.

The money will go for research, education and treatment of breast cancer. Maybe someday we will find a cure. But until then, thousands of dedicated humans will walk millions and millions of miles to work towards that end. Others will volunteer to make it all happen which is just as important as the walking. And if you can not do either of those, you can be one who donates, even a little to get the walker on the road.

I went to Atlanta, saying I would not do this walk again. The fund raising was easy for me this time around. My group of friends were so supportive to both me and Jan by making this part effortless. But raising the money a 2nd time is rarely as easy and I did not want to bother my friends again. But honestly, I do want to participate and will try very hard to make it happen. We will just have to see if my schedule next year will allow it to happen in Atlanta or if there might be another city that would better suite my active social calender!!

Darn.....I was going to post pics. But can't seem to get them off my phone. Drat, darn, dang and damn.......Maybe later I can come back and add them

Friday, October 7, 2011

My other summer project.

This is my garage guest apartment. Open to any and all who care to visit. But be warned. I now have a permanent resident sharing the space. It is a long sad story about how I came to possess another kitty and I won't go into it here. But this is Finn, the surviving kitten from a pair that I rescued this summer. He can't come in and live in the house cause of all the dynamics of the animals that already live inside. But he does very well out here by himself. He spends lots of time playing with his toys, watching the wildlife out the window and relishing every minute that I come out to spend with him. He is a great kitty and I wish I could do better by him. But at least he is no longer living up a tree and now has some meat on that skeleton that I rescued a few months ago.
We call this Finn Land! He loves climbing on this and sleeping in the very soft bed. I plan on adding some more pieces to it as I find them. There is a tunnel and he needs another climbing wall to get up to the corner hidey hole at the top.
Here he is, probably watching the chickens. One time I let him out and he chased the biggest rooster. He is quite a brave little guy.
This was probably about a week after I took him in. He has already fattened up considerably. He was really nothing but skin and bones when we found him.
This is his mean face!!! But really he has a very sweet disposition.

So now, this is my new fish pond. In the walled garden behind the guest apartment. I dug it entirely by hand, moving the buckets of dirt way across the yard to fill in low spots elsewhere. I estimate it to be about 300+ gallons. Which is a lot of dirt. I would have loved a bigger deeper pond. But those 300 gallons of dirt about did me in.
Somehow I did not end up with any pics of the pond during the in between stages. No laying of the liner, no pics without the edges sticking out. In other words, you get to miss the ugly stage completely. I don't miss it at all.

This is some of the pretties that I have to make the pond even nicer. These statues are not your run of the mill Hobby Lobby ones. They are real art work. And not horribly expensive. I bought both pieces so far on sale and even with shipping were under $100.00 each. And I have a spitter coming that will match these and it was under $50.00
Right now I have a fountain going off the pump to help aerate the water. I have since changed out the fountain head to a bubbler cause when the wind blew it almost emptied the pond over the course of 2 days. The bubbler does not blow as much and still provides the oxygen the fish need to survive.
The plants are ones I just quick bought to help green up the pond and help hide the rough edges of the "manmade"pond. When I brought them home it was horribly hot and I just plunked them in the water expecting them to acclimate wonderfully. Not so. Several did suffer in the hot sun. But they have all recovered fairly well and are slowly growing. Most are perennial but at least 2 are annual. The water lily came from Ken's cousin Sheila in Ohio. She has gorgeous fish ponds of her own that I hope to visit some day.
In these pics everything looks one color. Beige. But with the flower beds surrounding the pond, there is actually quite a bit of color. And now the fish are finally comfortable in the pond and we see glimpses of orange and white all the time. I am not going with Koi. This pond is a bit small. I went with pond variety goldfish that are sturdy and won't get quite so large even after many years. So far we have not had any predator issues and even Holly doesn't seem to bother the fish when she sees them.

I still have a bit of work to do on the edges of the pond. One end is still a little low compared to the rest. And I need to take out the rocks and build it up to match. Then i should be able to fill the pond more and not let the upper liner show so much. The plantings need to be worked on next year. More and different plants are in order. I have been doing pretty well with the balance of the pond so far. I did have some string algae issues but got that quickly under control. next year I may add some trap door snails which are known for keeping the algae down pretty well. I did have a frog move into the pond area almost immediately. And i know for sure that we had at least 1 if not 2 batches of tadpoles mature and turn into frogs themselves because of my pond habitat!! That did make me a bit proud.

I would love to someday have even a bigger pond out front of the house. But unless I can get a backhoe to dig it out for me, it ain't gonna happen any time soon!!

Get ready for a whole lot of Pictures!!

It has been awhile. I have had so many projects this summer and did not want to post a little bit of progress at a time. Wanted to show from breaking ground to finish product. So here goes.

We badly needed a new chicken coop. The chicken tractor we built this spring proved to be not the best for larger chickens. And mine are large. Woo hoo, believe me. They are large. Red Wyandotte's are a dual purpose breed, meaning we can eat the eggs but also the chickens so they tend to be a meaty bird. But we won't be doing that to any of ours any time soon. Unless they still aren't laying by Christmas!!

So I looked at tons of coop plans on line. Looked at folk's finished coop pictures, bought some plans, bought a book and finally made a decision. I would go on my own for the entire thing!! But the book helped. The book is called, "The Art of the Chicken Coop" by Chris Gleason. It does not give blow by blow construction details or cutting plans. But talks you thru some good basic design elements adding in the ability to make the coop your own artistically.

So I used the book to get me started. And changed a lot to suite the materials I had on hand and the abilities I had as a very novice carpenter. I also don't have a lot of power tools and feel more comfortable being able to use a hand saw as much as possible. I even went and bought a cordless drill which helped out tremendously with the location for the new coop being pretty far away from a power source.

So now here are the pics. With as much commentary as I can figure out how to work in between. I have never really figured this Blogger thing totally out so I am going to just do the best I can.

Here are my reasons for building this new coop.

This is Hamlet. He lost all his immature neck feathers all at once.
He doesn't mind. He has much prettier tail feathers!
One of the girls.
First day build on the driveway. Probably last time all was level and flat
This is the decking and 6 very strong sturdy legs. These puppies were hard to cut with just a hand saw
Flipped over and ready to move
Now moved into it's pretty final position. Before I moved it 2 more times.
First wall up. It needed a tad more support until I could get the next 2 walls attached.
2nd wall. This is the eventual ramp door
Back wall went up easily and the top of the front wall married in.
In comparison. Hard to tell but the chickies are very crowded in their old digs.
The framing to the egg box. This was easy.
It got harder the next day.
Figuring out how to frame it all out and make dividers taxed my simple mind.

But I got it done and moved on to frame out the rest of the inside.

Including the roofThese translucent panels will let more light in during the winter. Better for egg laying
Now to get the front built.
Nice big doors so the coop can be cleaned out easily
No, the gap in the middle of the doors was not a mistake. All in my plans.
I wanted to cover the gap with a trim board. Makes it better when the wood all swells during the hot humid summers we have here.
Now after reading "Art of the Chicken Coop" I just had to add some interesting details. These are vintage cast iron and I spray painted them with Rustoleum for protection.
Close up of Iron Rooster. I have a bid on ebay for some cast iron sunflowers, probably from the same time period. I will add those, if I win, to the centers of the doors.

Here we go with the run. I know it does not show but my only really big mistake happens here. The 2 long boards attached to the coop to support the run are not attached at the same level and later on that proves to cause a bit of frustration when attaching the wire to the run. But it worked out and after all, it is just a chicken coop.More of the run done.

Including the cute chicken run ladder. Almost ready to move in.

Moving day at last!
After a hilarious evening of trying to get the chickens from the run to the coop, the night passed by uneventfully. But in the morning no one was brave enough to go down the ladder. I finally opened the coop front doors and gently convinced on of the roosters to go down the ladder. The rest followed within a few minutes. But it did take some real concentration and bravery on the hens part
It sure looks scary from here
But here I go

All in all, I am terribly proud of this project. Yes, there are mistakes. And things I just could have planned better. If it had not been close to 100 degrees for the first 10 days of the build I would have totally excavated the site and got it all totally leveled out. And put in concrete footers. And so on and so forth. But it was close to 100 and I just didn't have it in me. So where it sits it is very very happy. But a bit on the sloped side. It slopes to the front which i figure will make it easier to clean out when i need to. But it also makes the water dish inside want to leak out so I need to find a better way to deal with that. I am also now having to carry concrete blocks over from the garden to surround the outside bottom of the run. I figure even tho I buried some of the wire fencing, this will help discourage raccoons. I haven't had any problem with them yet but they are in the area and could try to dig under. I will eventually replace the cinder blocks with big flat square paving stones. But I have other things to do first. To include walking 60 miles in 3 days.

I am not totally happy with the roofing. The translucent panels were tough to cut straight and did not screw down over the trim pieces just right. Oh well. It is probably because the 3 panels overlapped properly were meant to cover 72" and I forced them to cover about 73.5" That is another thing that I never gave a thought to when I cut the very first piece of plywood that became the floor to the coop. I guess that is why I worked in medicine for over 30 years and did not take up carpentry for a living!!

I am going to get this posted and then do a separate post for my other summer projects. Neither of them involve nearly so much work. Ok, the pond did come close.