Saturday, May 30, 2009

Starting making stuff for inside the shack

Today I started working on building stuff to go in the shack. I am not going to say what the shack will be yet. You are free to make guesses.

Here is the start of the main thing that will be in the shack:

I am making mortise and tenon joints. Plus they are pinned, so I am testing my sanity. The tenons (tongues) go through the mortises (holes). The tenons have slots cut in them so that little wedges can be driven in, making the joints tight. The wedges can also be removed so the thing can be disassembled. At least it will look like it can be taken apart. I may glue the joints, since I won't want people to try to take it apart.

I have seen shelves constructed with pinned mortise and tenon joints at vendor booths at places like the Renaissance Fair. The joints are strong, but the pins can be removed and shelves can be removed from the uprights so that everything can be made flat for easier travel.

Today's favorite tool: file with a square shape (cross-section), for help in making mortises


We have summer temperatures. Spring is gone, along with our tulips. The tulips stopped looking good today, since most of them dried out and shriveled.

As promised earlier, here are our yellow tulips with the red margins, which turn more red every day. I took these pictures every two days. I didn't take a picture today, because the tulips looked quite sad.

May 22

May 24

May 26

May 28

Friday, May 29, 2009

Greenleaf Day 47 - roof and quiescence

Today I put some more paint on the large corrugated roof piece. I do like the way it is looking.

This may be my last post about the Greenleaf shack for awhile. Until I hear from Greenleaf, I have no way of knowing if the lower roof will be corrugated or not. Ed suggested that I not glue the big roof piece in place until I have a similar piece of corrugated cardboard on hand. Even if Greenleaf comes though with another piece, we cannot be sure that it will look the same as the piece I have been painting for the larger roof section. I will listen to my man's advice. I think he must know how much I hate undoing things, so it is indeed better to wait. So, this shack will be a UFO, but not due to lack of motivation. It is a UFO due to a lack of supplies!

I plan on starting on items for the interior of the shack, but I will not be posting daily updates about those.

Today's favorite tool: foam paint brush (again)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Greenleaf Day 46 - roof

I had the day off today. I started out by tidying the kitchen, then I went out and planted some Wave Petunias which we had purchased on Tuesday. Then, since it was not too windy, I located an old can of primer spray paint and took it outside on the lawn. I used it to paint the corrugated roof piece that fits the curved roof. I had trimmed it down a bit before painting it. After the primer paint was dry, I started painting it with craft acrylics. I had studied the shack for a few days from various angles and distances, I decided the roof should be blue. Whodathunk! All along, the thing was colored aluminum, in my mind. But blue works, and it is a 'real' roofing color. Some of the farms around here have blue metal roofs on the outbuildings. (Some are green, some are red, some are white, and some are 'aluminum'.)

I sent a note to Greenleaf last night, asking how I can get another piece of corrugated roofing. The automatic response promised a reply within the next business day. I have heard nothing yet. If Greenleaf doesn't give me a solution, I guess that I will put something other than "metal" roofing on the lower roof. I just can't make myself put the roof on with the ribs going the wrong way!

Today's favorite tool: Foam paintbrush


This week's The Cat's Pajamas challenge card is hosted by Ana, who stepped in for Toni, who chose this picture for inspiration for making our cards. Toni planned on hosting the challenge, but her house was hit by lightning so she became Internet-less. (She and her family are okay.)

When I saw the picture, my first thought was, "Yuck, that is a room I would not be comfortable in!" Too cold, too industrial. But I do like the cheery yellow and blue fabrics. There are both completed garments and yardage on the hangers. Some quilters store their large pieces of fabric on hangers. I like the fact that there is a rotary cutter on the floor. The Olfa cutters are yellow. Anyway, I think that the Inspiration challenges are my favorite ones, because it is fun to study the picture to see what I can pull from it.

For my card, I picked up on the white space, the yellow, blue, and aqua colors, and the circle shapes on the wall. The dotted gift image picks up on the dotted fabrics in the photo. The yellow band across my card was inspired by the tape measure looped around the dress form.

Stuff used:
Stamps: "These 3 Gifts" and "Birthday Scrawl" by The Cat's Pajamas, various circular images from Stampin' Up's "Big Pieces", "Little Pieces", and "Seeing Spots" sets.
Paper: Papertrey Stampers Select white; Stampin' Up Yoyo Yellow, Night of Navy, and Tempting Turquoise
Ink: Versafine Onxy Black; Stampin' Up Yoyo Yellow, Night of Navy, and Tempting Turquoise;
Stampin' Up Yoyo Yellow and Night of Navy markers; Prismacolor pencils
Other: Circle Nestabilites dies, foam dots to attach circle layer

anniversary card

I made this card for my parents' wedding anniversary, which will be next week. They have been married for 58 years.

It may be hard to see in the photo, but I pierced holes along the edges of the green layer and in the corners of the flower layer, to mirror the row of dots below the word "congratulations". I kept this card fairly simple. My parents will probably be more excited about the letter I will put in the the card. (Which I will write early next week.)

Stuff used:
Stamps: Stampin' Up "A Flower for All Seasons" and "Congrats"
Paper: Stampin' Up Barely Banana, Mellow Moss, Close to Cocoa, Whisper White
Ink: Versafine Onxy Black, Stampin' Up Basic Brown, Stampin' Up markers in Summer Sun and Mellow Moss, Prismacolor pencils
Other: Design ruler, toad stabber and foam mat for paper piercing

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Greenleaf Day 45 - misc

Last night I glued the baseboards in place. Therefore, the interiors are done!

Today, I cut some narrow pieces of siding to cover the back edges of the side walls. I put some Weather-It stain on them, and after they are dry, I will glue them in place.

All that is left for construction of the shack is to install one window and do the entire the roof.

Today's favorite tool: Metal ruler

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Greenleaf Day 44 - painting

Last night I started painting the baseboards for the main floor. Today I put more paint on them, and hope to finish painting them this evening. There really isn't much more construction to do with the shack, except figure out what the heck I am gonna do about the roof. I haven't even experimented with painting the corrugated stuff yet. I am tempted to try spray paint, but spray paint and I have never had a good relationship, and I don't see that changing now.

Last night I also glued most of the upstairs ceiling in place. After some paint dries, I should be able to finish gluing it.

Today's favorite tool: My paintbrush with the red handle that I have had since college. (I bought it to paint a unicorn on my dorm room wall. In case you are curious...the residence halls people did allow us to paint our walls.)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Greenleaf Day 43 - finished wiring, misc progress

The house guests left today, so after the linens were laundered and put away, I didn't feel one bit guilty for playing in my room.

I asked the Nerd if he could solder the lights' wires today, and he was okay with doing it. He made the connection in the attic between the fluorescent lights fixture and the wire that runs down the wall, and he connected all 4 light fixtures to the jack near the bottom of the shack.

This is the view of the jack from the main floor room. The jack will never be seen from this angle again, since I glued the cabinet in place over it.

This is how the shack looks from the bottom. After the wires were soldered, I make some little brackets to hold the wires in place. I gathered pieces of scrap wood and cut notches in the wood, which fit over a bundle of wires. I glued these little 'bridges' to the bottom of the shack, and they will keep the wires neatly in place. It isn't pretty, but who looks at the bottom of scenes?

Today I also glued the exterior door trims in place, cut baseboards for the main floor (after the cabinet was glued in place), and messed around with the upstairs ceiling some more.

Last night, I had installed the door after posting my day's progress. The front of the shack is starting to look more finished. I will glue the upper window in place, after the roof goes on. I want to leave that window open for a while longer since I may need the edges to be a place to put clamps.

Blue is not a color I ever grab first. So, the blue door is out of my comfort zone. My first thought was to make it green, but when I look around at my finished projects, I see that a lot of them are green! I thought about using red, but that was too ordinary. Then I was considering painting it purple, but decided that it was a bit too non-traditional. So, I considered blue, and decided that it looked okay with both the siding and the interior of the shack. Why do I agonize over paint colors so much? It took me two years to settle on a paint color when I painted our guest room furniture. (I chose a restful hue of green for that project, and I am still pleased with my choice.)

Today's favorite tool: Soldering iron, and the Nerd who operated it.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Greenleaf Day 42 - this and that

Ed and our house guests watched the Indy 500 today. I can't sit still that long, so I escaped to my room for short spells. I also slipped away for awhile when they were playing with the Wii later in the afternoon. (I played Wii too.) I put the Weather-It solution on the exterior door frames, window frames, and the threshold. I glued the downstairs window 'glass' and exterior frames in place and I installed the threshold. I attached the hinges to the door, installed the door's window and outside window trims, then I painted and distressed the door's exterior. I glued the door knobs in place. I also fussed around with the upstairs ceiling a bit. It was nice to be able to spend some time with the shack again!

Today's favorite tool: Needle nose pliers for picking up and positioning hinge nails.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Greenleaf Day 41 - looked at

Today, I did no work on the shack, since I didn't think it would be very friendly to close myself in my room while house guests are here. I did bring it out for show-and-tell, though. Everyone agreed that the design of the small roof was wrong. (The ridges going the wrong way for water to flow off the roof.) Ed's mom wondered why I put outdoor lights in the interior. *sigh* My answer is because I want to!

Today's favorite tool: None, since I didn't use any.

Friday, May 22, 2009


The weather turned warm quickly earlier this week. Our second set of tulips had not bloomed yet, and usually when it gets warm really fast the tulip's bloom time is shortened.

These tulips start out yellow, and turn more red with time. Since it has been warm, the red showed up very quickly. If I can, I will take more photos over the next few days so you can see them change color too.

I need to dead-head the narcissus. The iris are getting ready to bloom. It is time to buy some annuals so that we can have some color this summer too. I never buy annuals before Memorial Day, since I don't want to re-buy them if I plant 'em too early.

Greenleaf Day 40 - aging metal

The house is clean and ready for house guests, and now I am awaiting their arrival. So, I had a bit of time to play in my room! Yippee!

I glued some braces inside the cabinet, sanded the door's exterior window trims, and put a coat of varnish on the door's interior. Then I did something other than glue, sand, or paint! I aged the hinges and door knobs, using a solution called Blacken-It. It is available where model railroad supplies are sold. I think we got ours from Micromark.

These are the door hinges I will be using. Now, we can't have shiny new hardware on a shack, can we?

(Sorry for the not-so-good picture. I have a hard time photographing small shiny things. Pringles can lids are shiny. ;-P )

There appears to be some kind of coating on the brass hinges, since the blacken-It solution seems to have no effect on the finish if it is simply applied. So, I scuffed the surface with an emery board, then grew impatient and used a metal file before applying the Blacken-It. I applied the solution with a Q-tip. The Blacken-It is a poison, so it is a good idea to not to get it on the skin.

Here are the 3 aged hinges, and a new one on right. I wouldn't call the color 'black', but it does look like aged brass. I think that 'gray' metals would turn black.

Here is an aged door knob and a new one. After taking this photograph, I aged the other knob too.

After spending most of the week spring-cleaning our home, and making stuff shine, it was fun to make things un-shiny!

Today's favorite tool: Q-tips

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Greenleaf Day 39 - almost nothing!

Today was spent housecleaning. The only time I set foot in my room was to take some stuff in there that belonged there, but I also swiped some Blacken It solution from Ed's supplies and put it on my table with the shack. I was hoping to use it today, but it will have to wait.

House guests will be here tomorrow. Need I say more?

Today's favorite tool: washing machine (I do not miss the days of having to use coin-op machines!)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Greenleaf Day 38 - paint

Today, my creative time went to making a card. So, the only thing I did with the shack was put some touch-up paint on the door. I also located the instructions (on my desk near the computer) and moved them to the table in my craft room where I am building the shack. I forgot there were assembly instructions. Not that I ever follow 'em anyway. I think of them more as guidelines than instructions. :-)

Today's favorite tool: a finger for dabbing paint on the door. I didn't even get out a paintbrush!


This week's TCP Tuesday challenge is hosted by Carole, who provided a sketch for us to follow.

I have a hard time using patterned paper, because getting them to match stamped images and getting them to match colors of ink or pencil does not always work for me. I also don't like cards that look too busy. The layout of the card was begging for patterned paper, so I stepped out of my comfort zone. I do like the way this card turned out.

The card I made will be for my sister and her husband's wedding anniversary, which is next week. My sister quilts, so she may like the 4 different swatches of paper.

Stuff used:
Stamps: The Cat's Pajamas "Birds of a Feather" from the "Hearts & Flowers" set; sentiment from Rubber Cottage
Paper: 4 patterned paper all from BasicGrey's LillyKate 6x6 pad; Stampin' Up Bashful Blue, Brocade Blue, and Whisper White cardstock
Ink: Versafine Onxy Black, Prismacolor pencils, Prismacolor Cold Stone marker
Other: Ribbon from Jo Ann, petite circles nestabilities, dimensional foam dots for bird layer

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Greenleaf Day 37 - paint, glue

I spent time decluttering our full-scale bedroom and living room today, and I did many loads of laundry. So, only about half an hour was spent in my room, playing. I sanded and put another coat of paint on the door's interior side, and I put a coat of paint on the door's exterior window trim, which is not glued to the door yet. I also glued the counter top to the cabinet. After the glue sets, I will glue some braces on the inside of the cabinet, to provide a larger gluing surface. It isn't as if the cabinet will get a lot of wear and tear, but there really isn't much glue holding the whole thing together right now.

Today's favorite tool: a glass cutting mat (mine is a piece of glass that measures around 9x9 inches), which I used for painting small pieces. Paint scrapes off the surface, so cleanup is easy.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Greenleaf Day 36 - paint

I did not get much done with the shack again today. When house guests are coming soon, other things take priority. :-) I sanded and put more paint on the door, and I buffed the counter top with a paper towel to give it a bit of a shine (without using varnish).

Today's favorite tool: Roll of blue painters tape, to set the door on while the paint dries. (There are so many ways to use painters tape!)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Greenleaf Day 35 - paint

I spent most of the day doing yard work, exciting stuff like hosing out the litter boxes, and the normal Sunday chores, so the shack was neglected again today. I did show it about 10 minutes of love this evening by sanding and applying more paint to the door and the counter top. Doors take twice as long to paint as they should since there are 6 sides to paint, and at least one area needs to be left dry so that it can be set down to dry.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Greenleaf Day 34 - paint

Today most of the day was dedicated to house work, and I didn't expect to have time to give the shack much attention. I did slip into my room in the evening to take the clamps off the window. I also did some touch-up painting around the window openings, I sanded the counter top and applied another coat of paint, and I started to paint the door.

Today's favorite tool: Paintbrushes

Friday, May 15, 2009

Greenleaf Day 33 - window trims

Since making a card took longer today than I planned, I did not get much done with the shack. I did glue the main floor's interior window trim in place, and I glued the interior door window trim in place. (I had cut little frames to go around the opening in the door yesterday.) I also put the first coat of paint on the counter's top.

Kat asked to see a picture of the balsa stripper that mentioned using yesterday. Instead of photographing it, here is a link to the Wood Strip Cutter at Micromark's web site. Not only is there a picture, but a description! Micromark calls it a wood strip cutter. I called it a balsa stripper, because that is the name that is embossed on the tool. I have found that when ripping strip wood into narrow pieces, it is easier for me to use a metal ruler and an X-acto knife. I have cut 4-inch wide sheets of basswood into narrow planks, when accuracy wasn't super important, like to make floor boards for a rustic floor or a porch. It was a less expensive alternative to purchasing the narrower strips.

Today's favorite tool: a square, to help align window trims.


This week's The Cat's Pajamas challenge is a stamp challenge, hosted by Susan. She challenged us to use the set, "It's a Mod, Mod World". I love this set, and it is the first one that I purchased from The Cat's Pajamas. I loved Sprinkle (that swanky little cat), and I loved the retro images, including the "Rut-roh" type Poochie and his Jetson's styled car. It was the start of my TCP addiction.

For the challenge, it took me a few days to pick which stamps to use. Then I chose the patterned paper, which feels very retro to me, and the card started to come together after that. The blue part of the TV is colored with a Prismacolor pencil, and the orange part is colored with reinkers and a blender pen. Gosh, I hate coloring large areas with markers or blending pens, but sometimes it is the only way to get colors to match. (I have worse luck with watercolors, unless I want a watercolor effect!) I really wanted that TV to be orange!

Stuff used:
Stamps: All images from "It's a Mod, Mod World" by the Cat's Pajamas
Paper: Stampin' Up Baja Breeze, Kiwi Kiss, Tangerine Tango, and Chocolate Chip; which match the papers in the "Offbeat" 6x6 paper pad by BasicGrey; Neeneh Classic Crest Solar White
Ink: Palette Burnt Umber, SU's Tangerine Tango and Kiwi Kiss reinkers; muted turqouise Prismacolor pencil, Cold Stone Prismacolor marker
Other: Circles and Pinking Circles Nestabilities

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Greenleaf Day 32 - sawdust, splinters, and wood chips

I had the day off from work today. I should have done spring cleaning, but I didn't. Sometimes it is nice to have a day off on one's day off! There was quite a storm this afternoon, so it was a good day to be in. I didn't even venture out to get the mail.

I spent most of my day in my room, turning pieces of wood in to sawdust, splinters, and wood chips--at least it seemed that way. What I really did was cut the exterior window and door trims, a threshold for the door, a counter top for the cabinets, and I trimmed off the bottom of the door so that it will fit in the opening after the threshold is in place.

Cutting the pieces did not take long. But this project took most of the day! This is because I made some fancy cuts. I made a rabbet in the bottom of threshold so that it had a neater appearance from both the outside and the inside of the shack. It is thinner on the inside, so there is less wood to step over, and it is thicker on the outside so that it looks more durable. I also cut rabbets in the window trims so that they can fit over the "glass". The kit for the shack came with thin sheets of report-cover type plastic for the windows, but I chose to upgrade my windows by cutting pieces of clear styrene. The stuff I used is by Gallery Glass. I am not sure if it is available at Michaels anymore, since I haven't looked for it for years.

This is what a rabbet looks like. (No, a rabbet does not long ears, a wiggly nose, and a pom-pon tail.)

I also notched the door to allow for hinges. I installed the hinges and gave them a trial fit in the doorway. I sanded the door, and I hope I sanded it enough to allow for paint around the edges.

Today's favorite tool: (So many to choose from today!) I guess it was the 'Balsa stripper' tool. It has never worked well for me for its intended purpose, but it helped me make the rabbets on the window trims.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Greenleaf Day 31 - paint

Last night, after posting yesterday's progress, I textured the rest of the main floor walls. Today, I put some paint on those walls. I also sanded the door. I need to trim off the bottom of the door so that it can fit over a threshold, which I need to cut. I have also been working on the ceiling for the upstairs room. More about that later.

I had hoped to get more done, but I felt kind of lethargic today. I had half my normal amount of caffeine this morning, so I bet that has something to do with it.

Today's favorite tool: Wide emory board for sanding.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Greenleaf Day 30 - more wiring

Today, I worked more with the wiring.

The upstairs lights were glued firmly in place, so I could do something with the wire tails sticking through the wall.

First, I untwisted the wires and made sure there were no kinks. Then I threaded the wires through the holes at the bottom of the wall that I had drilled before the walls were erected. I had drilled the holes at the same time I had made the grooves in the wall.

Next, I put tacky glue in the grooves and pressed the wires into them. I used masking tape to press the wire in place, making sure the wires were flush with or below the surface of the wall. The tape keeps the glue off fingers (and splinters out of fingers), but allows a person to feel the wire while pressing it in place. It also holds the wire in place until the glue sets.

About an hour later, I glued the siding pieces in place. I had cut and stained them when I put on the rest of the siding. I also installed a coach light near the door. I glued it's wires in place, on the inside of the wall. Most of the wire will be covered by the door trim, but one small section will not be covered. I put wood putty over the wire in the groove. Texture and paint should disguise it quite nicely. I left that part of the interior wall unfinished, and I can get back to texturing and painting the walls after the putty is dry.

I also put putty on the door piece, while I had putty mixed.

All wires for all lights have been run down to the bottom of the shack. The connections can be made to the power jack at any time. This will get done when I can get the Nerd to do it for me. He solders much more neatly than I do. Until then, I have the wires taped out of the way.

Today's favorite tool: Blue painter's tape

Monday, May 11, 2009


Tulips are in bloom!

These are the red ones that came with the house. Yellow ones will bloom later. I am not sure why the yellow ones bloom later, but they do. Perhaps they remember being in my mom's garden, where the season was even shorter, and spring a couple of weeks later. I don't mind that they wait, since it means we have tulips in bloom even longer.

The above picture is a typical picture of tulips. But what I find fascinating about tulips is how thy look from above. I am always looking for the mutants. Mutants? Why, yes! How many petals do tulips have? The standard answer is "6". Well, actually, tulips have 3 petals and 3 sepals, but they looks so similar, that they are called "tepals". So, tulips usually have 6 tepals. But not always....

Do you see that tulip on the left? 8 tepals! And 8 stamens instead of 6, and the stigma in the center has 4 lobes instead of 3. If I let this tulip "go to seed", the capsule will be squarish, instead of triangular. Neat!

But not as neat as when things really go wrong. How about 7 tepals? The tulip in the bottom of the next picture has 7 tepals, 6 stamens, and a 4-lobed stigma. In the picture below that, is a tulip that also has 7 tepals, but there are 7 stamens, and a normal 3-lobed stigma.

I think is fun to find all the variations of wrong.

Greenleaf Day 29 - upper cabinet installation, upstairs lights

Today, I glued a ceiling over the attic space that is open to the upstairs room. (It doesn't show in today's pictures.) I have decided to call that little area the attic storage space.

Downstairs, I glued the upper cabinet in place. I cannot install the window trim until the cabinet is in place, since I will have to cut off part of the molding to make it fit next to the cabinet. You can see that I didn't bother painting the wall where the lower cabinet will go. I didn't paint behind the upper cabinet either. Not only did it save effort, but bare wood will hold glue better than a painted surface.

Upstairs, I started to install the lights. I had drilled holes through the walls so the wires could be run outside. To install the lights, I removed the plugs by pulling out the prongs, then I threaded the wires through the holes in the wall. I don't trust the sticker-type adhesive that comes with the lights to stay sticking forever, so I attached the lights to the wall with E6000 glue. I shall leave the shack lying on it's front side until the glue has set, which will be tomorrow. Gravity will hold the lamps in place. If I set the shack upright, I will worry about the lamps sliding down the wall.

I wonder, how do people install lights like this if tape wire is being used?

Today's favorite tool: Pliers, to pull prongs from the lights' plugs.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Greenleaf Day 28 - not much

I spent only a few minutes with the shack today, due to lack of time. Other than the regular chores, I helped Ed clean up the garage (so we could get to the ladder), and him helping me take down the Christmas lights (which required the ladder) and him helping me cut out 1.5 trees in the yard. The tree branches are now in a big pile by the driveway, so the project is still not done. About twice a year, I wish we had a pickup truck. :-) The pile can sit for two weeks. I expect that Ed's brother will drive his truck when he comes to visit for Memorial Day weekend.

For the little shack, I removed the clamps from the window, glued the rest of the upstairs baseboard pieces in place, and did some touch-up painting. I then discussed a roof issue with Ed. The corrugations for the short roof go the wrong way, and it has bugged me for days. I didn't even have to explain the problem to Ed. I plunked the roof piece in place and he picked it up and turned it 90 degrees, and saw that it does not fit. I wish that Greenleaf had made that piece of roof material 1 inch wider. We searched the house and garage for something else to use, and came up with nothing. So, do I put the roof on 'wrong' (and let it bug me and bug Ed and bug all people who have even a small understanding of construction and the laws of gravity and fluid dynamics), lop off the end and piece together a new roof, or put some other kind of roofing material on the short roof? Or do I contact Greenleaf and tell them there is an error in their design and request a new piece? Yeah, right.

Today's favorite tool: rope for hauling tree branches up the hill. (I could have said the chainsaw was my favorite tool, but I didn't operate the thing. It scares me.)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Greenleaf Day 27 - upper floor trims

The Nerd had to work today. He did get to sleep in a bit, then we had some time to run some errands (post office to get a stack of Forever stamps, pay city bill, trip to recycling) and then have a quick brunch. He wanted to go to McD's to get a sausage McMuffin. (One a year is not gonna kill us, and I refuse to make them at home.) As we were getting in the car to leave, I felt like I was going to throw up. The feeling did not pass, and I did throw up. Good thing we have a wastebasket in the car, and that I could grab it in time! By the time we got home, I felt fine. Weird! I haven't been sick like that in ages. I think that was set me off was someone's perfume. We walked by people on the way out and I noticed perfume, then I noticed feeling sick. Ed said that the first group of people we walked by were stinky with perfume. So it was unpleasant to him too, but he didn't react like I did. Usually people's perfumes cause a fit of sneezing, not a fit of upchucking! I told Ed that I must be turning into a cat. Eat with enthusiasm, vomit, feel fine, then get on with the day.

Since Ed was gone most of the day, my day was fairly unstructured. Between spring cleaning and reading for pleasure, I sanded and painted, sanded and painted, and finally got the last coats of paint put on the shack's window trims and baseboards that I had started a few days ago. Then I finally got to glue the upstairs trims in place!

While the glue dries, I have a bit of pressure applied to the baseboards so that they are less inclined to warp. I did this by taping pieces of scrap wood pressed up to the centers of the long baseboards. Not much pressure is needed. For the window trims, I got to try out our (my) new clamps! The red one and goldenrod one in the set didn't get to be used, since the window opening was filled with clamps. Whenever I use clamps, I place pieces of scrap wood between the clamp and the surface it is clamping, especially if the gripping part of the clamp is textured. This prevents denting the piece. It spreads the load, kind of like snowshoes for clamps.

Today's favorite tool: The new clamps, of course.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Greenleaf Day 26 - cabinet doors, drawers, hardware

Today I installed the handles on the cabinet doors and drawers, and glued the doors and drawer fronts to the cabinet. The drawers and cabinets have no need to open, so I didn't bother making real drawers nor interior shelves. There are no backs to the cabinets either, since the cabinets will be glued into the shack.

As I explained earlier, I made the door and drawer handles by bending beading pins into U shapes. To install them, I marked holes then used a pin vice to drill holes through the wood. I then inserted both ends of each U through the wood, pushing the pull snugly against a piece of 3/32 wood placed under the U. The piece of wood ensures that the fronts of the handles are all the same distance from the fronts of the doors and drawers. I bent the pins in the back, then I used Crazy Glue to hold them in place. Since the Crazy Glue was open, I used it to glue the drawer fronts and doors to the cabinets.

I still need to cut a top for the lower cabinet, and decide what color to paint it.

Today's Favorite tool: My Tim Holtz Design Ruler, which is from my stamping tools. It has evenly spaced holes which can be used as a guide to pierce paper or to line up holes for brads, eyelets, etc. For this application, I used it to mark the holes for my drawer and door handles. It was easy to space the handles evenly from the sides of the doors.

Happy Birthday, Tigger and Pooh

Tigger and Pooh celebrate their birthday today. They are 13 years old. There are now teenagers in the house!

We will be having a party of sorts tonight. I always make tuna something on or around the boys' birthday so that they can have tuna straight from the can. Since PawPaw will be home long after their dinner time, they get to eat dinner as usual. They both take eating very seriously.

Pooh gets canned food for dinner. Tigger gets prescription dry food.

Usually, Tigger tries to eat Pooh's food, but today Pooh finished his dinner and decided he wanted to eat more.

Tigger will share, but not readily. Can you see his foot on his brother's head?

These boys bring so much joy to my life. I am wishing them many more birthdays!


This week's The Cat's Pajamas challenge is hosted by Toni, who challenged us to use Navy Blue, Green, and White on our cards. It was hard to not use other blues than Navy blue, but that is why it is called a color challenge! I did use my favorite green, which I think looks nice with Navy blue. I wish I had bedding in these colors. If I were ill, the colors would cheer me right up!

Stuff used:
Stamps: "Sick Sprinkle" and "Round Vase" (selectively inked the flowers) by The Cat's Pajamas, sentiment and plaid stripes from "Faux Ribbon" by Papertrey
Ink: Stampin' Up Certainly Celery and Night of Navy, Palette Noir, Prismacolor Premier colored pencils, Prismacolor Cold Stone Marker
Paper: Stampin' Up Certainly Celery and Night of Navy, Neeneh Classic Crest Solar White, Papertrey Stampers Select for card base
Other: piercing tools

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Greenleaf Day 25 - interior trims

Today I started painting the window and door trims, and the baseboards which I cut out yesterday. I put on one coat of paint, then sanded it, and have started the second coat. I also did a bit of touch-up with the varnish I have been putting on the cabinets.

Instead of spending time being crafty today, I had my nose in a book for about an hour, then I spent time in the kitchen. I made up the baked tuna bars cat treats mix I purchased at the Ren Fair last weekend. The instructions did not say to use a greased pan. Arrgh! I hate scraping food off things. I don't think the treats came out the way they were supposed to. I was supposed to be able to roll the dough, but after I mixed the stuff, it was more like cake batter, so I put dollops of the stuff on the cookie sheets. (Actually, it looked like cat vomit before baking. Now it looks like dried cat vomit.) I offered a treat to Pooh and he seemed mildly interested, but didn't eat it. I did offer it about an hour after he ate dinner, so he probably was not hungry. Pooh is not one to eat for the sake of eating, unless he is offered salad shrimp or "Temptations"(tm) cat treats. I put the treat in one of the cats' bowls, and will see if it disappears.

While the oven was hot, I made lemon squares too. Those are for the humans in the house! I have been craving them since the quilt show 2.5 weeks ago. (There are always refreshments at the quilt show--punch, coffee, and homemade cookies.) I managed to grab a lemon square at the quilt show, but it was underbaked, so it was not satisfying at all.

Today's favorite tool: The square plastic scraper tool that comes with Pampered Chef bakeware. It works pretty well for getting food crud off other pans too.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Greenleaf Day 24 - interior trims

Today I put some more varnish on the cabinet pieces, then I cut out most of the interior trims.

I planned on cutting only the baseboard trims for the attic, so I reached today's goal. Then I decided to cut out the window trims. Then I thought that I could cut the downstairs window trim and door trim too, to make the best use of my strip wood. I didn't cut the baseboards for the lower floor yet, since I want the door trim to be glued in place first, and the cabinet needs to be installed before I measure for baseboards since the trim not be placed behind the cabinet.

I didn't use moldings for my windows and baseboards because they would not be used in a rustic building. I used 1/16 x 3/8" strip wood for both the baseboards and the window trim. Earlier, I had decided I did not want the window trims to be 1/2 inch wide, so instead of trimming down the die cut plywood pieces in the kit, I chose to dig into my stash of strip wood. 1/16 x 3/8" wood is approximately the size of a "1 x 4" in 12th scale. Not quite, but close. (Real "1 x 4" pieces of wood are not 1 inch by 4 inches! That is the measurement before sanding.)

I have some tips for working with strip wood.

1) Sand the long pieces before you start cutting. It is easier to hold the pieces when they are large than trying to hold onto and sand itty bitty pieces.

2) Cut the long pieces first, then as the piece gets shorter, you can determine how to best cut the pieces to make the best use of the wood. Also, if you cut a piece wrong, you can cut a shorter piece out out it, but you can't make it longer. (Been there, done that, too many times to count.)

3) If you need to make identical pieces, you can cut one and use it as a template to cut the others. Be sure to keep track of which one was cut first and use it as the template for all the others. If your cuts are a bit off, the sizes of the pieces may vary quite a bit by the time you get to the last piece, if you don't use the same template.

4) Another tip for cutting identical pieces is to use a clamp (a spring clothes pin work well) to hold a piece of scrap wood to the miter box to act as a stop. Line up each piece of wood against the stop before you cut it, and each piece should be identical.

4) Save all your scraps, unless it is less than 1/4 inch long or so. I put my longer pieces with my strip wood, and the shorter scraps get put in a small box.

Today's favorite tool: Wide, thick emory boards (for fingernails) for sanding strip wood.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Greenleaf Day 23 - paint, varnish

Not much progress was made today, but I did spent about 20 minutes with the shack. I put some texture and paint on the upstairs walls, and I started to put varnish on the cabinets. I hope to have more time to play tomorrow than I did today.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mother's Day Cards

I finished making 4 Mother's Day cards today. (Actually, I made 5, so that I can keep one in my binder and also share it with my local stamping buddies.) The cards are for our moms and our sisters. (We both have one of each.)

I stamped and colored the roses last night. I cut them out today, then assembled the cards.

The roses are done on shimmery paper. The paper has a coating which works well with watercolor techniques. The layout was inspired by a card I saw on splitcoaststampers, but I made mine simpler, since it is more my style.

I made coordinating envelopes too.

Stuff used:
Stamps: Rose from Stampin' Up's Fifth Avenue Florals set, sentiment from SU's Sketches set
Paper: Curious Iridescent Cryogen White; Neenah Classic Crest Solar White; Stampin' Up Handsome Hunter, Rose Red, Sage Shadow
Ink: Colorbox Frost white, SU Handome Hunter, SU Rose Red reinker, SU So Saffron Reinker, SU Regal Rose (for rose on envelopes)
Other: Clear embossing powder, Crystal Effects paper glaze (for faux brads), 3/16" paper punch (for faux brads), Fiskars Threading Water border punch, paintbrush

Greenleaf Day 22 - paint and attic wall

Today I put more paint on the walls, and I also cut a small wall out of mat board. The wall will go in the attic area and will block off the attic from the rest of the upstairs. I put some texture and paint on it, then glued it in place. I also brought in the cabinet parts from the garage and re-glued a part that that came off while I was applying stain. Then I made some cabinet and drawer pulls for the cabinets by bending some pins that are used for beading. I bent them into U-shapes. I will drill holes in the drawer fronts and cabinet doors and will inset the pulls through the holes. I decided to make pulls since I didn't have any beads in my stash that looked like they would work for knobs. I will try to take a picture of the cabinet parts soon. I do need to pick a color for a counter top (which I have not cut yet), so the pictures may come as a plea for help in choosing colors. :-)

While paint was drying, I worked on making some cards. I had to move shack parts off my paper cutter. At least the shack project has not migrated to my stamping table (too much).

Today's favorite tools: Straight edge and X-acto knife (for cutting mat board, and cutting card stock for cards.)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Greenleaf Day 21 - stain and paint

Today was another day spent doing other things, so I did not get much done on the shack. I put stain on the cabinet pieces and moved them to the garage so we don't have to smell them as they dry. I started to paint/texture the upstairs walls.

Ed was really hoping to stay home today but I told him we had to go out. We took some stuff to the recycling center, then we headed over to East City Park to the Renaissance Fair. Even though it rained all night last night, and the ground was wet, muddy, and very slippery, the park was crowded. It seems to rain every year for Ren Fair, but it never seems to dampen people's spirits. We walked along all the aisles, and stopped in some booths. I saw some pottery I liked, but it was not in my budget. We did buy some scented goat milk soap, some for Ed's mom, and some for us. I also made a donation at the Humane Society's booth, and took home a jar of mix for Baked Tuna Bars. Now, doesn't that sound delicious? There were 3 choices for flavors for dog treats, and only 1 for cats. Lori (who was one of the women 'manning' the booth) told us that they tested the recipes on the shelter animals. The dogs approved of all 3 dog recipes they tried, but the cats determined that only the Baked Tuna Bars were worthy. After we got home, we washed the mud off our shoes, I started laundry, I made lunch, then I finally got to play in my room.

Today's favorite tool: Stain markers. Not really a tool, but the way the stain is dispensed makes staining little things less messy.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Greenleaf Day 20 - not much

Today was not very productive, miniature-wise, but I can claim that I worked on my shack because I glued one cabinet piece to other cabinet pieces.

We were out the door before 8:30 this morning so we could head to Spokane to attend The Great Train Expo, which was held at the fairgrounds. "Great" was a misnomer. Boy, what a waste of $14.00. (2 adults tickets at $7.00 each) It was more like a swap meet, since most of the vendors were trying to sell old crap. Even the two display layouts were not worth viewing. One was G scale (with no landscaping to speak of) and one was O scale. Yawn.

We did buy some tools at one booth which belonged to a real vendor. We bought some nifty little clamps, some paint brushes, and some diamond-plated reamers. Ed also bought some tiny wire from another vendor who was selling new DCC (digital controls for model railroads) stuff. Then we headed outta there and went to have lunch at Schlotsky's. Yum.

After that we went to Target (I wish we had one closer than 90 miles away) and to Harbor Freight Tools. Most of the stuff at Harbor Freight is junk, but we did find some potentially useful stuff, including clamps. These were the same clamps we found at the train show, but in pretty colors instead of black, and they cost less! So, we bought more. Maybe I will put the psychedelic colored ones with my tools and Ed can put the black ones with his tools. We both like clamps. Actually, half of the fancy brass bar clamps in my tool box were Ed's, but I laid claim to them because I use them more often. If he needs them, he knows where to find them.

We also stopped by Hastings to look for used DVD's. The cashier made my day by calling me "miss" instead of "ma'am".

Today's favorite tool: clamps, since it the only tool I used today, other than a toothpick to apply some glue to the part that got clamped.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Greenleaf Day 19 - cabinets

There are no pictures today.

Last night we went to a few stores in search of things for the shack. We stopped by Radio Shack to see if they had any power jacks, since I 'borrowed' the one I am using from Ed's stash and I really should get him one to replace it. The bin at Radio Shack was empty. We will probably order a supply from Mouser so that there will be some on hand next time I want one. I did buy some alligator clips while I was there. The pimply-faced sales clerk asked me if I found everything, and I told him no because they were out of what I needed. He didn't seem concerned. Yep, ordering from Mouser sounds better than shopping at Radio Shack.

Next we went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and purchased a placemat for an experiment. Then we stopped in Michaels to see if the store had the wood I needed. No luck. So, we went to Ace, since I remembered seeing a Midwest wood display there. I found what I needed. The selection there is okay. I miss the hobby store (which closed) since they had a pretty good selection of basswood, including some moldings.

Last night, before shopping, I glued some cabinet parts together. Today, I cut more wood and glued some more parts together.

Today's favorite tool: Lego blocks (and their nice right angles) used as gluing jigs.