Friday, October 30, 2020

Autumn Steam Quilt

Today I finished up the quilt flimsy for my father. The design isn't quite as nice as the original design offered by eQuilter, but that quilt is twin size and way too large for a lap quilt, which is the size I was shooting for.

I spent several days planning and psyching myself up to butcher down the panels so much, but I think it still turned out pretty decent. I'll piece the backing tomorrow. I'm going to use up the rest of the train track fabric along with a black train print, also from the Autumn Steam line of fabric.


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Sold Prineville House

We decided to sell our house in Prineville to the renters, so yesterday Jeff and I ventured to Prineville to move a load of our stuff from the workshop. We got almost everything in one trip. The house closes later this month, but we have until January to get all our stuff out. We're planning to return in the next few weeks, before the snow starts, to move the last load. 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Mason Bee Harvest

 Our friend Liesl came by this evening and helped us harvest our mason bee tubes. It was fascinating to see the process of unwrapping the tubes. There were quite a few pests that had invaded the tubes, but we still had a good number of cocoons for next year. We think we started with 75 cocoons this past spring and we ended up with 182 good ones for next year.

I'm hoping to make at least one more bee house for the front yard by next spring. We have so much scrap wood, we should be able to make at least one more.

Jeff installed the new shed step this weekend.

I finally finished sifting all our hardware and fasteners and the bins have moved out to the garage wall, at least temporarily until we build a better storage rack.
And we got nearly all the bulbs planted. There's just 10 more left. I'll likely get those done tomorrow.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Oct Friday Night Sew In

For this month's FNSI, I had planned to finish the overnight bag I started in August. I still need to finish sewing the lining.

But instead, I ended up spending most of the evening cleaning my sewing room. A couple months ago I started sifting the boxes that were stashed in my bedroom closet. I had boxes that moved here from California ten years ago and I'd never unpacked them. I finally did. I found quite a lot of stuff that belonged in my sewing room.

I've spent several hours this week trying to unearth my sewing room tables again. I thought I'd get the room cleaned by this evening, but there was still a pretty big pile of fabric stacked up and I spent probably three hours ironing and folding everything so I could put them up in my fabric stacks. My table is finally clean and I can work again.

It took so long, I barely got any sewing done. All I managed to finish was a new collar and leash set for Bailey. 

I also got everything ready to start a new project. This is actually not a UFO as I just bought the fabric to make a new train quilt for my father. This is a design offered by eQuilter and I know my father will really like it. Since these are mostly printed panels, it should go pretty quickly.
But I won't be starting tomorrow as I finally got my first box of 160 flower bulbs and I need to get started at planting them tomorrow. I hope it won't be raining all day.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Built Shed Steps

Jeff finally had time to work on our shed step project. These were built with pressure-treated plywood and 2x4s leftover from building our shed.
He built it much better than what I designed. The steps I designed probably would have fallen apart much more quickly because he would have been screwing it into the edge of plywood. He added blocking and screwed all the pieces into it. 
I am going to stain it with the green stain I used on the stools before we install it in front of the shed but I'd prefer to paint outside and the forecast is for rain until Thursday. I'll be hoping for some sun later this week so I can finish this project.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Hardware Sift

Our garage organization project continues. Today, my Harbor Freight parts storage boxes finally came. I wasn't too happy with Harbor Freight as I had to order them a second time and pay shipping twice, but I did finally manage to get them.

I spent several hours today sifting through the large crate of misc hardware and fasteners I set aside during my garage cleanup. This should make it much easier to find things for future projects,. I've got four more bins that I haven't opened yet, so we have some room to grow.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Paint Rack Finished

 And we finished another project!

We couldn't make the top shelf tall enough for gallons because we needed to clear a pipe sticking out of the wall behind it. We ended up installing leveling feet on the bottom which helped with our very uneven floor in the basement.

Once we got it all in one place, it's obvious we have a lot of paint. Too much. We have six cans of Hubbard Squash! I've clearly been guilty of buying paint when I couldn't get to it when it was inaccessible out in the garage. This will be much better and we should be able to avoid buying any more paint in the future, unless we decide to change colors, of course.

I also got the first coat of deck stain on the little stools this afternoon. I chose this green because it matches the green patio table quite well.

I'm also going to restain the bench from the Hidden Garden with this stain. The white doesn't work well as it always looks filthy because the maple leaves and seeds leave a black discoloration when it rains.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Shiplap Siding Stool Project

I've been continuing to clean up the pile of salvaged wood in our driveway. We had a few pieces of weathered and rather ratty pieces of shiplap siding leftover from the old garage. When I noticed them I remembered these benches we inherited from my Grandmother.

There used to be two of them, but the second one has literally fallen apart. They were built with redwood shiplap siding scraps and nails and they were clearly used as sawhorses a number of times because there is a fair amount of tool damage to them that pre-dated our ownership. 

I decided to try and make some new ones from the leftover siding.


I took some measurements off the old stool and cut out the siding. I had just enough pieces to make two stools. I then cut in the 5° angles. Jeff helped me assemble them with scraps on the backside to hold the pieces together while the glue dried. The wood still looks pretty rustic but looks considerably better after I spent a few minutes sanding them. I might do more sanding before I paint them.


Jeff actually routed out the curves in the base for me. I did one panel myself and had a lot of problems, and he ended up finishing them. (I'm still a little scared of the router.)

I decided to make pieced tops since we have an abundance of 2x4 and 2x6 short scraps. We actually fired up the planer for the first time since 2013 and cleaned them up because they were also pretty weathered. 


Last week we bought the Kreg Pocket Hole Jig and we thought this would be a good opportunity to try it out.

Tomorrow, after these are dry, we're going to round-over the edges then I'm going to paint them with a protective opaque stain before we do the final assembly.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Paint Can Rack

As part of our garage reorganization, we decided to move the leftover cans of paint into the basement. The basement has more consistent temperatures year-round and I think the paint will survive storage better. 

This is another salvaged wood project made from old timbers leftover from when we tore down the old garage. The plywood is pressure treated and is leftover from when we built the shed. I designed the rack last year, and we cut out the wood, but then it just sat. We're finally working on it.

When we returned to the project earlier this week, we realized not all of the 2x6s were cut accurately and the pieces were too short, so we evened them up and did a bit of a redesign. I haven't updated the design in SketchUp and I probably won't bother.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Garage Progress

I still have a couple of big piles that I'm trying to deal with but it's a struggle for me to just toss stuff when I no longer need it, so I end up with piles I need to rehome. I lost my nice clear panorama but this is where we're at.

This workbench is mostly covered with unsorted tools and hardware. I ordered hardware storage bins from Harbor Freight but they're backordered.
This is the last table of junk I am trying to deal with. Probably most will end up in the trash or charity pile.
I still have some empty spots on the wall, luckily.
I don't really want to fill it all up because we're planning to bring our stuff back from Prineville in a few weeks. (We're selling the house to the renters.) To be honest, that prompted the clean-up effort. We have a trailer-full of stuff in Prineville that we need to move back in. I think I did pretty well this summer sifting and downsizing.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Rolling Lumber Cart Finished

 And it is done!

We're really happy with the finished project. We actually paid $10 for the Roll-Away Lumber Cart plan from the Woodsmith website so we could get the construction instructions and the complimentary Panel Cutting Guide (which we haven't built yet), but for more advanced woodworkers, you can get the Sketchup file for free here.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

More Garage Progress

 We are so happy to have breathable air again. SO HAPPY. This afternoon we were able to venture outside and work in the garage again. We made progress on our Wood Rolling Rack.

We bought the wheels and three sheets of the cheapest plywood, but all the rest is leftover wood. All the pieces are cut so we should be able to finish it in our next session.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Dredging Up Old Projects

We've been doing a lot of cleaning this summer. Since we've been trapped in our house due to the unbreathable air outside, we turned our attention to the basement this week. It's not quite time yet for photos because there's still a couple of piles that need to go away, but it's so much better down there.

I found this stashed behind the freezer:

We started this stained glass project before I started the blog—in 2008! I think the last time I posted about this was in February 2009. Then we moved to Redwood City and never worked on it there and without ever unwrapping it we moved it to Oregon and it got stashed/hidden in the basement. 

I'd like to work on it again. It's going to be a chore to dig through all the glass stashed under the stairs to find the rest to finish this project, but we need to sift it all anyway. It's time to decide if stained glass is one of the hobbies we want to maintain.

We also finally glued up a plant stand I made in a woodworking class in late 2011! I actually stained it way back in 2012 when we stained the master bedroom, but then it got stashed into a corner of the living room and we never got around to finishing it.

Now that it's glued up, I'll probably varnish it rather than shellac it because I plan to use it for plants and so it will likely be exposed to water.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Hazardous Air

All of our outdoor projects came to an abrupt halt when that branch blew off the roof last week because that was when the fires around Portland got so out of control.

I'm a little frustrated we can't work on the garage, because we are so close to being done. I have tried to turn my attention to sifting misc boxes in the basement but I can only stay motivated to sift old stuff for so many hours a day. Though, I have found some fun items I kept from my grandmother's house.
Elephant Lamp. I have no recollection of keeping this. I have no idea what to do with it. LOL

Elephant Sprinkler. This attaches to a hose and then the water sprays out the trunk. I haven't tried it yet.

I think I have finally opened and sifted every single unlabeled box in this house. We've taken a truckload of trash to the metro processing center and we have a number of piles that need to get donated to charities once Portland opens up again. Our basement storage area is looking much more tidy and organized.

Update the next morning. Getting worse. I've never been more eager for rain.


Monday, September 7, 2020

Garage Almost Finished

We have spent more than a week on the garage project and we are nearly finished.
We emptied out the big workbench and sifted the wood in it then put back what we were keeping.
We removed all the tools from the pegboard and installed spacers under it to give us more space where we could install the hooks. And Jeff installed magnets over the wood strips. Then I reorganized the tools and hung them back up.
This afternoon, we started cutting out the plywood pieces for the rolling lumber cart, but when this huge branch blew down off the roof, we decided we'd better redirect our efforts toward cleaning up the wood leaning up against the house.
This branch actually broke off the tree a couple of weeks ago,
but the wind blew it down off the roof into our work area.
The forecast calls for winds up to 50 mph. While we were cleaning up, two smaller branches also fell. I'm going to be really pissed off at the city if this damn tree damages the house.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

So Much Sifting....

I have spent at least 20 hours the last few days sifting boxes and piles. If I see a box that clearly has stuff in it and isn't labeled, I bring it to my sorting area and go through it. We have a large pile of stuff to go away, some to the landfill and some to various charities. I also made a lot of progress at cleaning out the front storage area in the basement.

Here is where we are now.
Most of the boxes still kicking around on the floor are empty or staged to go to the Rebuilding Center (an architectural salvage place in Portland). The table has the last pile of stuff I need to deal with. And I still need to organize the tools and repopulate the pegboard.

There is still some remaining wood leaning against the house.
Although we probably won't keep all of it, I do want to sift through and keep the best pieces, especially the beautiful wide douglas fir we bought several years ago. Most of the wood has already been stowed in the garage on top of the new rack and on wall brackets; this is what is left outside.

After this recent success, we're feeling brave and we're going to try and build this mobile wood rack.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Garage Shelves Finished

And it's finished!! There is still a bunch of stuff out in the driveway we have to sift, but I'm really excited to get this part of the project checked off.

The original plan called for 7-foot uprights but the 2x4s came in 8-foot and rather than cut them down we changed the spacing on the shelves to accommodate taller items.

It's really hot again so we're struggling to work much past 3PM. This is where we left it for the day. We'll get back to work tomorrow morning doing some sifting.
Update a few hours later. Found tubs at Target.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Shed Organized

Since we've been emptying out the left wall of the garage we had some extra racks that needed to find a new home. We decided to see if they'd fit into the shed. Shockingly, we had never really moved into the shed. We'd originally built it because I wanted to get chickens again, but now I'm not sure we will. We've spent a lot of money on plants, and I'm not sure I'm willing to have them turn into expensive chicken food.

Anyway, the shed was still full of construction debris and misc. chicken stuff we dumped in there after the guys cleaned up behind the garage. We finally cleaned it out. We're going to have to do a dumps run, but we moved those racks in and started putting garden supplies out there. 
That insulation and OSB were just leftover bits we had kicking around
in the garage. We figured we may as well install it all in the shed.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Garage Progress Finally

Now that the end of summer is rapidly approaching, I finally kickstarted my garage organization effort. As a reminder, this is the plan for two free-standing garage racks. They're going to be installed along the left wall.
It's too bad I didn't buy the wood last year because it was quite a bit more expensive this summer. I ended up buying framing lumber because it was the least expensive real wood option. I did buy sanded plywood because the lowest grade of plywood was so rough I was worried it would tear up the bottoms of my plastic tubs.

When I made the plan, I had expected to paint the wood before we assembled it because we have lots of leftover paint in the garage, but the wood is so rough I don't think it will look very good, even after I've spent a few hours sanding the boards. They're still not great, but they're better.

Last week, while I was sifting my closet I found a nearly-full gallon of really old shellac—I think I bought it in 2013 when we put in the closets. I should have used it to finish the sewing room, but I forgot about it and bought a new can. I opened it up this morning and tested it out on a scrap, expecting to have to trash it, but it actually dried surprisingly quickly so I decided I may as well brush it onto this wood.
I've finished one coat on the 2x4s today. I'd like to finish the 2x2s and plywood tomorrow. I doubt I'll get more than one coat out of the single gallon of shellac so I'm just putting one coat on all the pieces to start. It makes the wood look nicer so I think it's worth the effort.

I scheduled time with Jeff starting next Wednesday to start disgorging the garage so we can put these together and put them into place and do a better sift and organize, so that's my deadline to finish preparing the wood.