Pool build – day whatever..

I know that many, many of you are hip-deep in snow. I’m sorry about that if you’re sorry about that. Some people like being in that much snow and I hope that you are having fun and the that the rest of you are staying warm.

It’s cold here, but no snow. The guys came last week and sealed the deck. It’s shiny now and lots prettier. Some other guys came to do the deco-seal – which is basically caulking. They took out the foam spacer between the concrete and the stone and filled it almost full with fine white sand.

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Then they put in the special caulk.

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Then they covered that with more sand. We were instructed not to touch it until the next day when they came back and vacuumed up the loose sand. I surprised by how finished and nice this looks. The sand on top of the caulk is set in place and should stay put for years. That’s it between the stone and the concrete that looks like stone.

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They also (finally) cleaned the little glass tiles. They look almost black in some light and they sparkle in other light. The reflections are wonderful!


I have been so busy this week that my head could explode any minute. But we get to go up and visit with all our family over the holidays. Life is good.

Inspiration from Weird Friends…

I've mentioned the site Weird Friends before. You just never know what you are going to see there. I've saved some images to share with you. The first is this magazine cover. These dolls would be fun to applique, don't you think? The shapes are modern-looking – as opposed to a lot of the doll patterns that I normally see.


What I like about the mittens is the way the designs are combined. I see a checkerboard combined with lightning bolts.This is a fun combo for patchwork.


I'm finding it hard to say something good about the tie quilt…


I have to admit that I am more of a cat person than a dog person so it's not the dogs in this photo that caught my eye. It's the fabric! This would be a fun fabric to paint. You could make big stamps out of fun foam and go to town. Or you could use this as the basis for an all-over applique quilt… isn't it fun to find inspiration in unusual places?


Christmas trees around the world…

Linda's son, Jerry, sent her an email with all of these Christmas trees. They are too good not to share…

Frankfurt, Germany:




A tree of glass from Murano, Italy (our favorite):


From the Galeries Lafayette in Paris:






St. Peter's Square in Rome:


These are from an unknown location:


I think an amazing trip would be to travel the world to see and photograph Christmas trees!

A present from my Grandfather…

My grandfather owned a hardware store, Eckroat Paint and Hardware, in downtown Oklahoma City. It was torn down in the 1960s for an urban renewal project but I can remember playing in it when I was a kid. I can still smell it if I try – metal, wood, wallpaper, and dust all mixed together.

My dad ended up with a lot of really great stuff from the store. After Daddy died, we inherited many of his tools, and some of the stuff from the hardware store. This parts bin is maybe the coolest thing:

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It came to us, more than 20 years ago, full of the original hardware. My husband was in testosterone heaven. He has, in fact, used a lot of the various bolts, nuts, screws, washers… but no one biology professor can use that much hardware. For the last 10 years it has lived in our storage shed (above).

It is octagonal and more than 4' tall. You can see the white base at the bottom. In the center of the base is a vertical pole that is as tall as the whole unit. The outer shell that holds the drawers is a separate piece that sits on the pole. The base is stationary and the unit with the drawers spins.

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The drawers are triangular. I have no idea what color this all was originally, but somewhere back in time the drawers were painted orange, then yellow. The yellow paint has crackled. 

I have always wanted to put my quilting/craft supplies in this thing but it was full of hardware. Now we need the shed space for pool-related items. Steve agreed that it was time to let go of the hardware that he thought he would never use.

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I bagged up the hardware and we gave it to the physical plant at the college. Those guys were very happy! I washed the drawers. They are nailed together, no glue, so washing them worked just fine. I was amazed at the dirt – and the smell reminded me of the hardware store!

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Once we got it in the house, we discovered an ant colony in the pole. Oh my. That was exciting! I realized that the dark green looked way bad so I painted what was green, orange. Of course the orange parts bin looked way bad next to the pink walls – so my pink bedroom is now yellow. Much better.

As it turns out, the yellow bedroom made the wall color in the hallway look even worse. I knew it needed to be changed but I had thought I could put it off. No, now the hall is white, like our bedroom. I do believe I am done painting for a while.

My next step with the parts bin is to make new, colorful cards for the drawer fronts so I can tell myself what's in the drawers. I want to line the drawers with paper (I've got pattern made already). Then I get to fill the drawers! But not today. Today I need to work on actual work.

Baby Chucky Bunny…

It was a White Elephant party weekend and Steve ended up with what I can only describe as a baby-version of Chucky, as a bunny. I think this doll has the scariest face I have ever seen on a child's toy. the photo doesn't quite capture the sneer on it's face. And those are real eyelashes – which somehow makes the whole thing even scarier.


I had it out when the kids dropped by and Jack fell in love with Baby Chucky Bunny. Lorna and Chris were as put off by it as we were and said it was not going home with them. So Jack put BCB to sleep in the dump truck.  I'm not sure whether to hide it from him (to save for re-white-elephant-gifting) or to let him play with it until it is used up.