Monday, July 21, 2014

The Sewing Machine Cabinet Continues

I managed to get the drawers stripped and sanded tonight, instead of going to the gym. I did make up for the gym by riding my bike about six miles tonight around the neighborhood.

Before, with stripper working on the drawers.

After being sanded.  The darker two drawers with cleaned with Murphy's Oil Soap because I ran out of wood cleaner to get rid of the sawdust.
I have been learning already from this project:
  • Strip the wood first, and then worry about the sanding. I did it in reverse with my little bench. :)
  • When you are using the wood cleaner to remove the stripper residue, it seems to work better if you pour it on the wood directly, let it sit for a moment and then start wiping it away. Think about using it the same way you apply wood stain. The stain I removed here turned very thick and goopy and sticky. Rubbing it off by hand didn't do enough.
  • When you are using the wood cleaner to remove sawdust after sanding, apply it with a rag. If you pour it on here, the wood takes on a white/ashy look when it dries. At least, this old mahogany did.
  • Make your local dollar store your best friend. Get yourself a plastic or silicone basting brush and a dough scraper, as well as rubber gloves. I got a Betty Crocker brush and scraper at my local Dollar Tree for applying and scraping off the stripper, and they are AWESOME!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

I Went On Safari, Finally!

Finally, on Saturday (yesterday), I went to the Virginia Safari Park with Michelle the Cook and Nicole the Knitter.

I rented a car here in town on Friday night, and we finally got on the road about 8:30 AM. Be forewarned...if you travel with smokers, expect your stops to be longer. Or, if you've got a friend with a tiny bladder, expect your stops to be more frequent. Me....I had both of those scenarios going on!

But we finally got there and had a good time! The drive through park now has a nice sized zoo with lots of animals to see, even before you start the drive-through portion.

I'm happy to report there was no damage to the car (I wasn't going to take my nice car up there, and risk a random animal chewing on it...I had that happen once with the Blazer the first time I went to this park several years ago). However, a zebra did lick Michelle's window, a llama snorted on her arm, a bison stole the entire food bucket right out of Nicole's hands, and pieces of food was left behind on the outside of the car. All in all, it was a pretty good day trip. There was lots of laughing and snorting, of the human variety! So that's another thing I can cross off my bucket list.

Afterwards, we stopped at the Edleweiss German Restaurant in Staunton, VA, which was about 20-30 minutes away from the park. The food was good, but the service was pretty bad. It may have had something to do with them being completely slammed that night, or maybe because we looked to be the liveliest group in the restaurant that evening.
  • I'd like to take a tour of a Navy sub, but my husband and I don't know anyone that works on board a sub.
  • I'd like to take a tour of a Navy ship that most people will never get to go on.
  • I'd love to go for a ride in a fighter jet of some kind.
  • I want to go jet skiing in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • I want to go scuba diving or snorkeling in the Caribbean.
  • I want to go to the top of the Washington Monument. 
  • I want to go to NYC, and see the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Twin Towers, and go to a show of some sort. We went there in 2000 and saw The Late Show with David Letterman.
  • I want to go to the Saint Louis Arch. We did this in 1999.
  • I want to go to Niagara Falls.. We did this in 2000.
  • I want to go to Universal Studios Florida.. We did this in 2001 and I'd love to do it again!
  • I want to go to the Poconos and stay in one of their themed suites. We did this in 2006 and stayed at Caesar's in the champagne glass suite.
  • I want to stay in a themed suit at the HoJo in Florence, KY.
  • I want to get a memorial tattoo in honor of my mom and my mother-in-law.
  • I want to write a bad sci-fi horror script and present it to the Sy-Fy Channel and to The Asylum to see if they'd be willing to make it into an actual movie.--I'm actually writing a screenplay right now!
  • I want to finally order the "Hell's Admin Assistant" patch for my motorcycle jacket that I've been thinking about for years.--I figure it's a funny alternative to a Hell's Angel patch, which I'm clearly not a member of Hell's Angels. I ordered one from Star City Stitchery!  
  • I'd like to cuddle a baby gorilla. I really don't know where this one comes from, but aren't baby gorillas the cutest babies EVER??!
  • I want to take a painting class, a la Bob Ross.
  • I want to go hang gliding in Kill Devil Hills, NC.
  • I want to see the archaeological dig at the Jamestown Settlement.
  • I want to go charter boat fishing in the Atlantic Ocean: I tried doing this in 2012, but the water was really rough that day. I didn't catch anything but I sure made a lot of chum!
  • I want to go to the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.
  • I want to see KISS in concert, in the make-up. 
  • I will get a job at some kind of animal shelter, and I'm going to be damn good at whatever I end up doing there. 
  • I will get at least one old, beat up piece of wood furniture, save it from going to the landfill, and refinish it. I've got another piece to start. :)
  • I'd like to go on an LCAC ride with my husband before he transfers to his new command. I had to cross this one off finally, because Shane left this command already. This bummed me out. I never got a ride on an LCAC out on the bay. Some of his family members did, and even though I offered to take any number of half days off from work, I never got to ride. 
  • I will go to see the Booth Trail in 2013. 
  • I will go to Natural Bridge, VA and the Shenandoah Valley and stay in a cabin in the woods
  • I will go to Hiddenite Gems, an emerald mine open to the public, in NC. 
  • I will go to the Richmond Zoo and the Virginia Zoo (they have done a lot of remodeling and I haven't been there for a several years). 
  • I can't drive a clutch and have no desire to learn, but I'd like to go for a ride in a 1957 Chevy BelAire and a mid-80's Lamborghini Countach.
  • I'd like to sit in any of the Batmobiles, ECTO-1 from Ghostbusters, KITT from Knight Rider, and the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard.
  • I will go to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. 
  • I want to go to Rhode Island, Boston and Seattle, just for the sake of going.
  • I want to go to Tokyo some day.--I've been to Hanoi and Hue, Vietnam, but it wasn't close enough.
  • I want to see the pyramids and sphinx in Egypt. 
  • I'd love to see the Mona Lisa (she's in the Louvre in Paris) and The Scream (there are a couple, two of them are in Munich). 
  • I want to go to London, and maybe look for the TARDIS and the Doctor. 
  • I want to go to San Diego to see my best friend, go to Comic Con, wear a costume, take lots of photos, find an awesome looking Spider-Man so I can give him a hug for just being Spidey, and then walk a beach on the Pacific Ocean, looking for shells. 
  • I'd like to go to a taping of "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" if we ever go to California. 
  • I want to have at least one great, wildly creative crochet pattern published in a real book somewhere. 
  • I'd like to have our yard be featured for our Halloween decorations with a local tv station, so people might understand you don't have to spend big bucks on decorations and still put together a great display (I say this because we don't go as crazy for Christmas decorations). 
  • I'd like to win a challenge on Craftster. 
  • I'd like to compete on Craft Wars on TLC. I had to cross this one off too, because I'm pretty sure it's no longer on the air. I can't find any updated information on it. 
  • I will finish the Jedi costume finally and I will join the Rebel Legion
  • I will finish the doll house I started several years ago. 
  • I want to go to Ohio and see Ralphie Harper's house from The Christmas Story. 
  • I want to see Weird Al Yankovic in concert, and maybe even the Bangles if I ever get to California. 
  • I want to see the Barenaked Ladies again, the next time they come to Hampton Roads.
  • I want to take my friends to the Virginia Safari drive through park in Stanton, VA.--Did this in July 2014.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Update on the Titans Blanket

We had family visiting us for two weeks, so I didn't get a lot done on the blanket during that time.

The first T and the S in Titans are the only lettering on the bottom of the blanket that are not yet completed. I think I might add in a few more rows of navy blue before I add the TENNESSEE part in, just to make it a little longer.

Plus, I started going back to the gym last night. I haven't been there since before Mom passed away and it's time to get (or at least try) to get back in the swing of, I gained 10 lbs this last year. I'm also going to start riding my bike more.

And I managed to get my first mammogram done today. Gotta be proactive!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Did Some Fishing Last Night

We took my father-in-law and a nephew to the fishing pier on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge last night. My nephew caught the only fish of the night (a croaker), and I hooked three cownose rays. My third ray and my husband's only  ray each managed to break our lines as we were bringing them up.

It was pretty damn cool! Loads of sting rays being brought up, unhooked and tossed back into the water.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Well Lookie Here

Lou Ferrigno liked a Tweet I sent him! Whoo hoo!

I am SUCH a geek! :)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Starting A New Piece of Furniture

A former roommate of Nicole the Knitter gave this sewing machine cabinet to me last year. The sewing machine is in the cabinet, and it came COMPLETE. When I say COMPLETE, I mean it came with ALL of the attachments and even the OWNER'S MANUAL, baby! It's a Domestic, series 153. Supposedly, it was made between 1946 and 1953.

The former roommate didn't have time to refinish this (the back piece shows some possible water damage) and the polyurethane and stain are somehow flaking off from the top. I've been told by two separate people it's mahogany.

I've been told the machine still works but I realized the cord needs to be replaced, so I haven't plugged it in yet to try it. I got the machine out and the cord off tonight. I'll take it in later on to see if the machine is worth a tune up or anything like that.

Quick shout out to Steve Tetreault, Master Technician, at Sewing Machine Steve. I emailed him to come over and take the machine out for me. I couldn't figure it out on my own and couldn't find any You Tube videos on how to do it. He emailed me instructions on how to do it myself, and he saved me the $75 house call fee (I wasn't going to lug this thing over to his shop). If you have a machine similar to this and need help getting the machine out of the cabinet, the instructions from Steve are below.

"These machines are easy to get out of the cabinet. Simply tilt the machine back and using a medium sized screwdriver (straight blade) loosen the set screws that hold the machine onto the hinge pins. They are located inline with the hinge pins under the rear lip of the machine. A couple of turns should loosen it enough to slide the machine off of the pins. Before doing this make sure that the machine is not plugged into the wall outlet and unplug the wire from the bottom of the motor."

Time to start taking this bad boy apart! I started with the fold out top pieces tonight. They were stripped, cleaned, sanded two times, and cleaned again. Check out the difference below to see the before and after!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Tonight at Harbor Park, the Tides won 8-7 over the Charlotte Knights. Let's go, Tides!!!