Thursday, September 25, 2014

A View From Long, Long Ago ....

I found this Polaroid photo in a box yesterday.

That's me, of course, (a much-younger version of me) and the dog is Murphy ... my first dog and best buddy during most of the 1990s.  The situation is typical.  Murphy was rarely out of my sight, and his favorite place to be was snuggling with me.  

Seems at times like this was almost yesterday, but it was more like a lifetime ago.  

Makes me smile.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


This evening's sunset was beautiful.  I decided to play around a bit, and I captured this image of the sunset reflected in my glass of wine from my neighbors at Hartwood Winery.

As I was walking back toward the house, I saw this reflection in the window.

I hope you take time to notice the beautiful things that happen around YOU.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Special Little Guy's Birthday Present

Our grandson Caleb turns three today.  Has it really been three years since he was born?  

Our present from Granddad and me is a Super Caleb hooded towel.  I made it last week while I was in the midst of my sewing frenzy, out of a bath towel and three hand towels ... one hand towel for the hood and two for the applique.  

Never made one of these before, and I'm psyched about how it turned out because I was pretty much making it up as I went along.  I hope it fits and looks okay, since I didn't have a little kid on hand to use as a fit model while I was making it.  Either way, I know that he is going to love it. 

Happy Sunday, Everyone ... and Go Redskins!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Heat for The Shack

I scored this baby on Craigslist today.

Craigslist photo.

Ventless free-standing propane fireplace with blower.  It's the perfect size, is practically new, and the price was definitely right.  The style leaves a lot to be desired, though.  (I can work on that later ... you know me.)

Still too early in the construction process to install it, but I'm thrilled to have it on hand now for when it IS time.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

New Collars for Greyhounds Rock!

Greyhounds Rock Fredericksburg is the non-profit that friends and I have that raises money for canine cancer research and support.  GRF has a booth at the Fredericksburg Pet Expo this weekend, and our inventory of martingale collars was looking rather skimpy.  I took some time on Monday to go through my stock of donated designer fabric samples and start the process of turning some of them into collars.

Maggie was helping.

I worked at the sewing machine for a while in the afternoon on Tuesday and Wednesday, and this is some of the result of my effort ... I made twenty-five new collars (only 21 of them were finished when I laid them out and took this photo.)

These collars are one and a half inches wide and they are adjustable from twelve to eighteen inches around.  They are ideal for medium-sized dogs ... my greyhounds had a whole wardrobe of them, and 45-pound Ruby wears one whenever we are out.  We sell these for $20 each, and every penny of the purchase price is donated to Greyhounds Rock Fredericksburg.  (Do you see one you like and can't make it to the Expo in person?  We take PayPal, and shipping is only $3 ... hint, hint.)

With this out of the way, I'm free to work outside in the garden today.  Nothing makes me much happier.  (I will show you what I'm working on soon.)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Snapshot: Breakfast Time

Winnie says, "Here, Dorothy, I'll help you finish your breakfast."

Winnie had licked her own dish clean, and Dorothy probably felt that she had no choice but to share or leave when Winnie trotted across the kitchen and helped herself Dorothy's cat food.  I try to time feeding so that all of the animals finish eating at about the same time and this won't happen, but Dorothy must have been eating slower than usual that morning.  When I saw this, I scooped Winnie up to let Dorothy eat in peace (after snapping a picture, of course.)

It's a beautiful Sunday morning here in Hartwood.  Last week we had hot, humid days, and now it's crisp and cool and now the weather feels like fall ... bring it on, because fall is probably my favorite time of year! 

Happy Sunday, Everyone!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Making Doors into Windows

I bought this set of antique double doors forever ago, intending to use them as the new front doors on The Shack.  They needed to be scraped and refinished (no big deal), and there was some considerable repair to be done on the bottom of one of the doors (where it was rotted and had been hacked back together with plywood and metal mending plates.)

A few years later, during which time I did nothing to these doors, I came across even BETTER doors (which I will show you some other time), so these doors languished and were ignored.  One day, as I moved them to yet ANOTHER storage spot, I had a brainstorm.  These would be awesome if I cut off the bottom panels to use them as WINDOWS!

I've been working on doing just that this week.

First they had to be scraped and sanded, with two coats of oil-based polyurethane applied to the sides that will be on the interior of the building.

Next, mark and cut off the bottom panel ... 

What once was a damaged door is now a really cool window!

Here is what it looks like with one of them propped in place, high on the north wall.

Later today, I will load up the frames and drop them off at the glass shop.

Finishing this was the final piece of the puzzle of salvaged materials for the renovation of this wall of The Shack.  I hope to get to the actual construction very soon.

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