Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fixed up

This was definitely one of the most rewarding refinishes I've done to date. Although on the back of the domed case there is a broken area the rest of it came out beautifully. I'm not sure what type of wood the base is- the top is just a veneer but it did develop a nice rich color when treated with a bit of linseed oil.

The machine needed a couple parts to be functional and fortunately I was able to find a 1927 model 99 on Ebay. Once they were installed I took the machine for a test drive and was completely amazed that it sewed perfectly: no tension issues, just perfect, evenly spaced stitches. I was anticipating the need to bring it to a repair shop to work out any issues but evidently that isn't going to be necessary.

Talk about being built to last!

Friday, September 17, 2010


Although I have a beautiful, state of the art, sewing machine that Joe gave me for my 40th birthday, I've been coveting an old Singer for some time. I've been keeping my eyes open at garage sales and flea markets for a Featherweight: a small, portable Singer that is a functional and durable antique, as well as a collector's item.

Along came a Freecycle posting offering up an old Singer. I responded, never expecting to be the first one, as most people receive updates to their cell phones and put their dibs in on good items quickly. Nevertheless, I was the first one and promptly drove to Lynn to pick up this old machine. The case is a bit banged up it will need rewiring. Otherwise, it is missing the knee lever that makes it go and the bobbin plate. No matter, I'm was still thrilled! This is my equivalent of an old car that needs to be fixed up. A labor of love.

After a bit of research online, I discovered it is from 1924, a model 99, one of which only 15,000 were made. Not a Featherweight, but the next best thing. It is portable and still functional but will need a knee lever and eventually new wires. I picked up a spare machine for parts on ebay and voila! She runs beautifully, even after 90 years.

I'm not intending to cast aside my beautiful Janome, which I love to sew with. It does everything I need it to do, and more. Technology has advanced to the point that I could never do any repairs on it, other than to remove the lint that accumulates around the bobbin. It's computerized and this Singer is more of a toy that I can play with. I can take it apart, see how it works, put it back together and it is no worse for the wear. No computer parts here!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Freeze Frame

Joe's weekend project, which turned out to be a much bigger deal than I anticipated, was to build me a cold frame for the garden. Hopefully I'll be able to put my seeds out much earlier next spring since they'll be protected. The top opens and can be propped up to allow for ventilation on warm days.

The best part of this project is that it is made from 100% scrap wood and repurposed objects. The windows were from our living room. The hinges from 2 doors we had removed and the rest was scrap lumber Joe had been saving. No longer am I allowed to be critical of his saving every little thing! Apparently, I just need to give him more projects in order to put his hoarded items to good use. Thanks, Honey!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Dahlia from the garden. They seem much happier now that the heat wave is over. I know just how they feel.

Faux stone trough that I planted this morning with some sedum and hen-and-chicks. Faux is such an awesome word; who else but the French could think up such a classy way to say "fake"?

Little Miss Muffet

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet
eating her curds and whey,
when along came a spider
who sat down beside her
and frightened Miss Muffet away!

Role reversal! As I was snapping a few photos of this big spider I accidentally nudged her web and she was the one frightened away. She hid, ironically enough, under the "welcome friends" sign we have on the back deck.

I wish the camera was able to capture her intricate web, it was huge and perfect. Sadly, the winds of tropical storm Earl demolished it and it appears Ms. Spider has moved on. She was in a great spot, bugs are always flying into that window.

Friday, September 3, 2010


After enduring one of the most torturous tests ever invented by a sadistic doctor, I got a call with Dr P's opinion yesterday. The cardiac nurse said that the results aren't finalized, but since the he is going to be away for 10 days she didn't want to leave me hanging. Based on the preliminary results, he feels it would not have any benefit to repair my PFO. Disappointing, definitely, but I'll wait for the final results before totally bumming out. In the meantime, I'll call the pulmonary folks and get some more details.

So, it seems like R2D2 and my portable tanks are here to stay. I wonder if I can mosaic the O2 concentrator?

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I have had so many topics floating around in my head for the past couple weeks, but not the desire to sit down and actually write about any of them.

This photo is from our trip to Rangeley, some black and blueberry muffins we had one morning. Being fairly late in the season there were but a few blueberries, but oh! the blackberries. Combined they made a wonderful muffin. Nothing beat
s sitting at the counter, looking out the window with a steaming mug of coffee and a hot-from-the-oven muffin.

It just doesn't get much better than that!