Thursday, April 30, 2020

Day 43 - Ping Pong Ball Storm

On the first day of this month I discussed how the month of March was the longest ever. The uncertainty and the speed of which our lives were upended was exhausting. How, adding insult to injury, we had a 6.5 earthquake on that last day of March. Strong enough to require us to seek shelter under our doorways. April just had to be a better month, right?

Well, where things stand on this last day of April isn’t much different than where things stood on the last day of March. Still self-isolating, staying at home and away from others, and just like all of you, trying to make the best of it.  While there was no earthquake today (knock on wood!) we did get a warning about another potentially hazardous situation.

See that blue dot over Boise? That’s where we live. See the storm? It’s headed straight to us. We didn't hide under the doorways this time, but with a ping pong ball storm (guess it’s different than golf ball?) I did hide my car completely under the carport. 

Thankfully the damaging hail was nothing more than heavy downpours for us, and while we had strong winds, here at our house we avoided damage from the 60 mph winds. Now I can instead share a photo I took pre-storm of the neighbor's blooming tree instead of having to document some post-storm damage for the insurance company like some other Boise residents are having to do today.
Whew. So grateful to have dodged a bullet ping pong ball today.




Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Day 42 - Shoulda Been Panama

Spend three weeks on a cruise ship in February followed by one week in Arizona.
Return home the last day of February.
Spend the first week of March teaching a cruising class and the second week getting in some doctor appointments.
Head back out the third week of March for several more weeks of cruising.

As we know, the last one of those things didn't happen. If it had, we would be in Panama today. Hot, sticky, Panama. Checking the temperature there right now, we'd be at 87 degrees with 75% humidity. Feels like 97 degrees the Internet is telling me. But I'm not there.

I'm here in Idaho on a day that's 20 degrees above normal and the hottest day we've had in 227 days. Not since September of 2019 has the temperature reached 87 degrees. Thankfully while we're at the same temperature as Panama, our 20% humidity makes it feels like plain old 87 and not that steamy 97!

It's a good thing it doesn't feel like 97 because if it did, I wouldn't have been able to spend the day outside getting a good dose of Vitamin D. I also would have missed a good view of the sun halo.
It's not Panama but it'll have to do for my excitement of the day.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

How to Sew Quick and Easy Cloth Napkins - Tutorial Tuesday

It's Tutorial Tuesday and I have a new project for you. If you are having a hard time finding paper products in the store, you might find this project comes in handy when you're needing napkins. Today we're making reversible fabric napkins. They go together super fast and last for years.
In addition to your regular sewing supplies, for each napkin you will need:
*Main fabric measuring 18" x 22"
*Reverse fabric measuring 18" x 22"
For four napkins you will need 1 yard of each fabric.

You can find the quick and easy directions right here:

Monday, April 27, 2020

Day 40 - Deb's Burger Barn

The last time I referred to the quote from Pulp Fiction we were eating at Burger Queen in Ketchikan, Alaska. Which quote? This is a tasty burger. While Ed used those words today during our BBQ picnic in the backyard, I chose different ones. 

Welcome to Deb's Big A** Burger Barn.

While pretty darn tasty, it needs more work to taste like the burgers in Ketchikan. I’ve got plenty of time this summer to make it happen.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Day 39 - Pillowcase Turned Table Skirt

One of my favorite places to buy fabric is the thrift store. Not in their craft section, but in their bedding section. Sometimes I'll buy some bed sheets but the best score is when I find homemade pillowcases. They are usually made with some kind of bright fabric. These pillowcases are usually made with over a yard of fabric each so the fabric cost of my thrift store purchase usually winds up being about $1 a yard. Had I gone to a fabric store the same fabric would have cost me $5-$10 a yard.

So when I got tired of our table today I decided to do something about it. Yes, we've been using this as our end table in the living room.
Call me too cheap to buy anything new.
I cut up a couple of those cheap-o thrift store pillowcases for a skirt for the table. Not too bad for under $3. Not sure I love it, but at least I like it.
Oops, probably should have ironed it.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Day 38 - Fabric Headaches

I’ve prided myself on my plentiful fabric stash. On my ability to find any fabric I want, for any project I’m working on, within my fabric shelves.

Yeah, not so fast.

While my shelves are full, they aren’t nearly as varied as I need for this new quilt I’m making. (Note to self: don’t start a huge new project during a pandemic. If you don’t have the fabric you want, you can’t go and buy any more.)

I’ve been through all my fabrics and this is as close as I can get. (Another note to self: if you work too long during one day, take a break from your project. Your frustration just might give you a headache.)

Friday, April 24, 2020

Day 37 - Picnic Ants

We have this old wooden TV tray we bought at a yard sale years ago. When we picked it up, my dear old hubby decided it would be his outside TV tray. Holds his drink under the carport in the summer and holds his containers of ice melt near the door during the winter.

But this spring it has been our picnic table. With our spontaneous backyard BBQ picnics I've really tried to convince him to bring out a bigger table. Maybe the card table? Nope. The banquet table? Nope. He brings out that dang wooden TV tray and we have to share the space on it. (Guess he wants me really, really close while we eat in the backyard?) So far we've been huddled over the same tray for BBQ hot dogs, hamburgers, and for one of our pizza picnics. I'm tired of the tiny table and I'm even more tired of the look of the tray.
Have I really been eating off this? YUCK.
So like almost every issue arising in the house, fabric becomes the answer. I just so happened to have this picnic fabric I've been waiting forever to use. I added an elastic edge so it's removable. When winter arrives the ants will go bye bye and the ice melt will take their place.
Now that's a surface I can eat off of.
Lunchtime!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Day 36 - Old Food? Be Gone

I can officially say I've been through every single cabinet in my kitchen. The cabinets have been scrubbed inside and out. Even the things in the cabinets are looking pretty darn good. 

As we don't have a dishwasher (other than the one named Ed) things in there weren't as sparkly as they should have been. But they are now. I've washed by hand every single dish, bowl, plate, cup, piece of silverware, pot, pan, and everything in between. 

As I was going through the food storage area, I started finding not everything there was as sparkly as it should be, either. Because they were long expired.

The vegetable oil expired in 2017. Good bye. We weren't using you anyway.
Orange Jello expiring in 2016. I guess we don't use you, either.
Hard to see, but our stew seasoning mix expired in 2014. Oops.
Even harder to see, but our chili seasoning mix expired in 2012. Double oops.
Old food, be gone!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Day 35 - Behind the Shed

Today I took Ed behind the shed and I:
A. gave him a kiss.
B. beat the crap out of him.
C. hosed him down.
D. cut his hair.

The correct answer is D. (Although after being cooped up so long with him I probably would have enjoyed going all Fight Club on him.)

Since we both wear our hair very short, we usually get haircuts every month. Like everyone else now, we can’t get out to get it cut. Unfortunately for us we were already a month behind before COVID-19 closed everything down. February was skipped as we were cruising that month. Then when we were ready to get our cuts in March our place had already closed. While I did give Ed a cut last month, he was already itching for another.

Since the weather is a bit better, it was an outdoor haircut. Behind the shed, in the sun, in the gravel. The clippers buzzed and he came away with a decent haircut. I even got brave enough to shave my head, too.  While not perfect, it’ll work. Not like I have anyone to impress.

Doing our cuts back-to-back and having our clumps of hair next to each other gave me a chance to prove I’m not the gray haired one in the family. Mr. Old Man is clearly more salt than pepper these days.
Young versus old behind the shed.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

No Sew T-Shirt Face Mask - Tutorial Tuesday

I have one more face mask project for you today. This time it's another highly requested one - a no sew version. We're using an old t-shirt to make this one with absolutely no sewing. It even has a filter pocket in it.

Looking for more sewing and crafting projects? 
Click here to see all my tutorials!

For this project you will need an old t-shirt and scissors. If you have a safety pin around, we'll be using it as well. 

You can find the super easy directions right here:

Check out my other face mask tutorials:

As usual, stay safe out there!

How to Sew a Cloth Face Mask with a Filter Pocket and Ties - Tutorial Tuesday

For today's Tutorial Tuesday I have one more mask pattern for you to try. You've been asking for one with a filter pocket and no elastic and I've now got ya covered.

Looking for more sewing and crafting projects? 

Disclosure: Deb's Days is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you new cruising and crafting content.

Along with your regular sewing supplies, for this project you will need:
*One piece of fabric measuring 8" x 16". Do you need smaller fabric? I've just put a whole bunch of 9”x 14” pieces of cotton fabric from my stash on eBay. Check them out here!  Lots of fat quarters (measures approx. 18" x 22") are on there, too. 
*Two pieces of fabric each measuring 2" x 36" or double fold bias tape

You can find the directions here:
Check out my other face mask tutorials:

And don't forget - wash your hands, keep those hands away from your face, and stay safe out there!

Monday, April 20, 2020

Day 33 - Flower Envy

With today being a work outside and grocery pick up day I had plenty of opportunities for a picture. I could have taken a picture of the two ladybugs that came and visited us. Or one of the sunflowers I thinned. Or the weeds I sprayed. The clothes drying on the line. The Canadian Geese flying over or the birds that are trying to build a nest in the carport roof. Or even a picture of our backyard BBQ hot dog picnic. Maybe even one of the whites and pinks seen on the spring trees as I drove to and from the grocery pick up.

Then there were the photo opportunities at the grocery pick up spot. We watched dozens of people filtering in and out of the store. Some masked, some gloved, some a combination of the two, and some with no protection at all. Sitting outside Walmart, especially during these times, has plenty of interesting things (and people) to take pictures of.

But I took none of those pictures. I went with the flower envy one.

We spent many years with multiple, large flower gardens. Over 100 roses in just one of the gardens!
July 2011
Nowadays we keep gardening to a minimum. A very, very, bare minimum. The only flowers I can see my from house require me to look into the neighbor's yard. Through the fence.

Just call me Peeping Deb.
So jealous.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Day 32 - Double Sided Tape Sucks

When we first moved into this house there was a mirror hanging in the hallway, right across from the bathroom. Seeing your reflection staring back at you every time you opened the bathroom door was not a sight we cared to live with so we took the mirror down.

Unfortunately we found it was being held by about a dozen pieces of double sided table. Yet for some stinkin' reason we left that double sided tape on the wall. I probably didn't have the razor blade scraper nearby so I figured I'd get to it later. Well, later never came. In fact, for some other stinkin' reason I wound up painting over the top of the tape when I painted the hallway.

Now that I have plenty of time on my hands I had two choices.
  1. Scrape the tape and repaint the wall. For that one I would have to find the paint, pry it open, stir it well, and find a paintbrush. (Then wash said paintbrush afterwards.)
  2. Make a wallhanging big enough to cover every single piece of double sided painted-over tape. It would take me rummaging through my scrap drawer and piecing together some batting scraps.
I took the easy way out. Definitely a better view when leaving the bathroom.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Day 31 - Snow and Sky

No, snow wasn't falling out of the sky today. But I did get the sky and snowy mountains done on my new quilt project. Boy, it was time consuming.
I think I might just need a nap now.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Day 30 - Quilt Procrastination No More

It was a short eight years ago when I bought a pattern in a quilt shop. We were visiting Sisters, Oregon when I picked it up and, not surprisingly, I even wrote about the day (and posted a picture of the pattern) on the blog back in 2012.

Over the course of the last eight years I've occasionally pulled the pattern out. I've looked at the minimal directions. The multiple pages of huge pattern pieces. I've looked over the fabrics in my stash to see if I had enough to start the project. Since that day eight years ago, I've continued to collect even more fabrics in the hopes of someday tackling the pattern. But year after year, I fold everything back up and put it into the plastic sleeve and tuck the pattern away for another day.

Not any longer. Today my quilt procrastination ended.

I took the pattern out of the package.
I opened up all six huge pattern pages.
I read the limited directions.
I started pulling out fabrics.
I began cutting pieces of fusible web.

This one quilt just might take more time/energy/effort/brainpower than any other quilt I've done so far. Crossing my fingers it'll be worth it.
So complicated!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Day 29 - A Refrigerated Hotpad

I am not a soup person, but my husband is. Big time. So much so that he makes it several times a week. Sometimes it's completely from scratch; other times he uses a can of soup and adds to it. With all the soup he makes we almost always have a pot in our refrigerator. At times I might even find two pots of soup in there. 

I was getting tired of seeing pots sitting on a couple mis-matched potholders (dirty ones at that because he can't keep anything clean) every time I opened the door. So today I fixed that. A new, made-to-fit hotpad - with enough space to hold two pots - is now a permanent fixture in our refrigerator. And wouldn't you know, the hotpad is already being put into use.
I do believe fabric can solve almost any problem.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Day 28 - Spicing it Up

As I've said before, when we're not traveling we're cheapskate, boring, stay-at-home people. Our lives are definitely more exciting when we're cruising! We get to visit with crew members we love, see new places around the world, and eat and drink things we wouldn't get to at home. While I'm sad cruising is off the table now, I'm realizing we need to spice things up around here. The Mystery Treat Bags were a start. But I'm kicking it up a notch.

With alcohol.

We don't keep alcohol in the house. We don't go to bars and very rarely have we ever had an adult beverage outside this house. But when we're cruising? We I drink on three occasions:
  • When our favorite bartender is on a ship. He makes sure these rheumatoid arthritis joints feel pretty darn good. (Not surprisingly, we follow him ship-to-ship.)
  • When we're in a warm weather port. Having an alcoholic beverage on a beach - or near a beach - can't be beat.
  • On a snorkel boat in the Caribbean. As soon as the time in the water is done, the rum punch starts flowing freely. And that stuff is strong.
Maybe it was all of those things making me decide to go to the liquor store today. I've only been in a liquor store four times in my life. Today made number five. I figured if I was going somewhere I never go I might as well go big! As I finished checking out the cashier said, "Have a Good Month!"

I think I will.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

How to Sew Scrub Bags - Tutorial Tuesday

It's Tutorial Tuesday (yep, it really is Tuesday this time) and I have another easy project you can make for others. It's called a scrub bag. We've all heard about medical professionals and their worries about bringing COVID-19 into their homes. Well, scrub bags are something we can be making for them. It's like a laundry bag just for their scrubs. Throw dirties in the bag, cinch it up, and toss the whole thing in the wash.

Looking for more sewing and crafting projects? 
Click here to see all my tutorials!


Along with your regular sewing supplies, for this project you will need:
* 1/2 yard of fabric, 100% cotton
*Shoestring, cording, or twill tape measuring at least 42" long. You can use one long piece or two shorter pieces. Ribbon may be a bit too flimsy to stand up the multiple washings.

You'll find the tutorial right here:
Check out my face mask tutorials, too:



Monday, April 13, 2020

Day 26 - Sack Lunch Mystery Treats

When we were teaching I used to pack school lunches for us. But now since we left work we only pack lunches for traveling. It's always nice having something prepared at home for those long flights to wherever.

Now there will be no flights. No cruises. No road trips. No travel anywhere. No leaving the house ever. Which is probably why this sight in my sewing room was probably so unexpected.
When I did my grocery pick-up a couple weeks ago, I wasn't questioned about why paper lunch bags were coming into the house. No strange looks when all these individual serving size snacks - chips and popcorn and cookies and mini pies and more - were being piled into the sewing room. If he had asked, I would have told him about this idea I had. Something completely out of the ordinary for us.

Mystery treat bags.

I put two salty snacks and two sweet snacks in each bag, mixed all up so no two were the same. Now each night after dinner but before bedtime (during those times the munchies hit) we pick out one bag to share.

It's a surprise every night and a welcome distraction from our ho-hum stay-at-home life.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Day 25 - Sew In Sunday for Box Cutter Boy

Ed is definitely not the fix-it guy around here. Never was, never will be. And why he thought he should try and cut up a box for recycling without me being there, I'll never know. What I do know is where he placed the box when he was cutting it. I also know the aftermath of cutting a box in such a place.

Our old Coleman camp chairs have been through a lot with us. Spring Break Oregon Coast trips and Idaho mountain trips when our daughter was young. A cross-country Idaho to Maine and back tent-camping road trip. The chairs were put to use when we needed to sit and rest when painting walls or staining fences. When pruning roses and shrubs. Recently they have been put to good use for our pizza picnics and for sitting in the sun, soaking up the warmth.

Long since faded and covered in years worth of paint splatters, they are pretty sorry looking these days. But they do the job so we haven't even looked for new ones. Although, thanks to Box Cutter Boy, we probably should. The evidence of where he put the box when cutting it is clear.
Right across the seat. Seriously???
My Sew In Sunday task today was trying to figure a way to fix the chair. The fabric is in bad shape so there would be no restitching of it. But thanks to some duct tape and a couple cut up Boise Hawks seat cushions,
a bit of Velcro, and some of his favorite Cincinnati Reds baseball fabric, we have a seat cushion to cover his messy cut-up mess. 
He's a happy camper now. Happy camp chair, too.


Saturday, April 11, 2020

Day 24 - Mask Making Mode

The popularity of my face mask tutorials has made me determined to make them even better. Thanks to lots of good feedback, I think I'm getting pretty close to a perfect fitting mask. Today I delved into using wire for the nose section. It's a great fit, and now hopefully Ed will be more willing to wear his out in public. (Not that we go out in public, but just in case we do.)

And yeah, today's not Tuesday but who really cares?

Disclosure: Deb's Days is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you new cruising and crafting content.

Along with your regular sewing supplies, for this project you will need:
*8" x 14" piece of cotton fabric. Do you need fabric? I've just put a whole bunch of 9”x 14” pieces of cotton fabric from my stash on eBay. Check them out here!  Lots of fat quarters (measures approx. 18" x 22") are on there, too. 
*7" piece of 1/4" or 1/8" elastic, cut 2
*7" piece of flexible wire

You can find the directions right here:
Check out all my other face mask tutorials:

Friday, April 10, 2020

Day 23 - Ladybug, Ladybug

Another sunny 70 degree day and my list was a long one.
  • Wash outside windows
  • Scrub screen doors
  • Hang laundry outside
  • Thin volunteer sunflowers
  • Spray weeds
  • Get the BBQ set up
  • Figure out a story to tie into the broken winged ladybug who landed on Ed's hand

It was a great to-do list and I had every intention of checking everything off of it. But the sun felt so very good as we sat in camp chairs in the backyard.

And just like that the window washing, screen door scrubbing, sunflower thinning, and BBQ setting up was pushed to another day. Added in? Another spontaneous pizza picnic like the one we had last month. Camp chairs, little metal table, and a cheap pizza in the backyard. This time we tried Little Caesar's with their free delivery on orders over $10. Total bill, including tax and tip, was $12.20. Not bad for two people and we have enough leftovers for another meal tomorrow.

Something removed completely from the list? I didn't need to figure out what to say about the broken-winged ladybug as I had my own ladybug visitor today. She looks mighty fine, just like our day.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Day 22 - Sunshine on my Sunflowers

On a beautiful and sunny 70 degree day the windows in the house are finally opened. Getting fresh air inside the house is such a wonderful thing. Being able to breathe fresh air outside isn't too shabby, either. Lucky me getting to soak up the sun, and lucky that my sunflower quilt is finished, too.
Sunshine + blue sky + fresh air = aahhh...

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Day 21 - A No Pleat Face Mask Tutorial Day

Due to the overwhelming popularity of yesterday's pleated face mask tutorial, I've decided to go ahead and show off the other version I've been working on. No pleats required for this one.

Today may not be a Tutorial Tuesday (heck, do we even know what day it is anymore?) so we'll just have to pretend it is.

Looking for more sewing and crafting projects? 

Disclosure: Deb's Days is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you new cruising and crafting content.

Along with your regular sewing supplies for this project you will need:
*9" x 14" piece of fabric. Do you need fabric? I've just put a whole bunch of 9”x 14” pieces of cotton fabric from my stash on eBay. Check them out here!  Lots of cotton fat quarters (measures approx. 18" x 22") are on there, too. 
*12" piece of 1/4" or 1/8" wide elastic, cut 2 

You can find the directions here:
Thank you, volunteer model!

Check out all my other face mask tutorials: 
Remember, wash them after each use. And wash those hands and keep social distancing. Stay safe out there!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Easy to Sew Cloth Face Masks - Tutorial Tuesday

For today's Tutorial Tuesday I have a cloth face mask sewing project. With so many of us being asked (and in some cases, required) to wear them these days you may want to make several.

Looking for more sewing and crafting projects? 

Disclosure: Deb's Days is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you new cruising and crafting content.

Along with your regular sewing supplies, for this project you will need:
*7" x 14" piece of cotton fabric. Do you need fabric? I've just put a whole bunch of 9”x 14” pieces of cotton fabric from my stash on eBay. Check them out here!  

You can find the directions right here:

Check out all my other face mask tutorials:

Remember, wash them after each use. And wash those hands and keep social distancing. Stay safe out there!

Monday, April 6, 2020

Day 19 - Even More Sunflowers

My sunflower wall quilt project isn’t the only place you’ll find sunflowers around here. Look what I found in the garden today.
After a standard winter of cold weather and last week full of nothing but rain, today the sun came out. And so did the volunteer sunflowers, sprouting from last year's leftovers.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Day 18 - Sunflower Sewing on a Sunday

After putting the sewing room back together and after getting my fill of The Waltons on TV, I got to work on a new sewing project.

We've had an old wall quilt we picked up at the Idaho Youth Ranch Thrift Store years ago. It cost us no more than a couple dollars (cuz cheap is how I roll) so we didn't feel like we were wasting our money by hanging it outside. It has been on one of the walls of the front porch every summer, getting a little bit of rain and a whole lot of sun. Being it's now pretty well faded, Ed's been bugging me to make a new one.

I thought I'd only get so far as picking some bright new fabrics for a new one, but once I put on my headphones I really started to get to work. (Yay me for having batik fabrics to work with.) I knew I wanted to change the design so I looked at patterns in books and on the Internet. Even Ed got in on the action, sending me photos of ones he liked.

I went with none of those ideas and went with my own design. I still have more work to do, but I was able to make some good progress on a Sunflower Sewing Sunday.