Friday, March 30, 2012

Newly Recovered Patio Umbrella

The picture to the right is the old cover.  A new umbrella cover was made and completed in November 2011.  The love the mum fabric.  The only thing I need the do this weekend is to spray on waterproofing and let it dry.  Below is the new cover.

I taped all the raw edges and seams with a dark brown fabric.  The inside is as beautiful as the outside at least to me.  I made a matching tie for the umbrella when it is closed.

Lastly Alaine (my upholstery teacher) and I designed a umbrella cover too.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Basement Update

The finished job of cleaning out the northwest corner

The mess was half cleaned up before I remembered
to take the picture.

The last three weeks have been busy in between fighting a sinus infection.  I did get the northwest corner cleaned up and moved to the new shelving I put up in the northeast corner.  Before I could set up the shelving I need to cut down a pipe with old wiring in it.  I believe this wiring may have been where the original fuse box was located.  The pipe was cut off about 6 inches above the floor when they removed the old pipe and wiring.  I first tried a hack saw and then moved to use a jig saw to cut the pipe and final used a hammer to nock the partly sawed pipe off.  Using the hammer loosen the cement around the pipe so I mixed up just enough cement to fill in the area around the pipe and let it set a week before I could touch up the floor paint.
The wires were not live.
A week later I finished touching up the floor and could start setting up the shelving.  That Saturday, I stop by the local lumber yard and brought a ¾” sheet of plywood for the flooring of each shelf since it was cheaper to cut the flooring to size than to buy it precut.  The unit I brought you can buy the end shelves and the number of railing need for how many shelves you need and I decided on four shelves.  It took a day to move all the stuff and arrange it on the shelves.   I also moved the table and pulled the washer and dryer out from the wall.  Now, I finally have access to the remaining wall section that needs to be fixed.

The finished cut pipe.
On Saturday I starting removing the loose section of concrete with a scraper and finished removing loose paint and concrete with a wire brush attached to my electric drill.  The wire brushing is necessary but the cloud of dust in the basement is bad.  Before I started I stuffed towels in the crack between the basement door and first floor and also the doorway to the finished sewing room in the basement.  A dust mask (not the white fiber mask) is a must along with ear muffles and a face mask.  I can only take about an hour before I need to take a break and let the dust settled before the next round.  It took about 6 hours with all the breaks before the wall was done.  I spent all Sunday vacuuming and cleaning the layer of dust that I created on Saturday.  The worst part is now over and the remaining work on water proofing the basement should be easy.

Friday, March 16, 2012

2nd Weekend in March: Mother’s Day was only 9 weeks away.

Mother’s Day is my starting date for planting the tomatoes, peppers and eggplant outdoors.  So I pulled out my seed tray starter kit and started planting them.  I have 6 trays sitting on my heating mat set for 75oF.  I hope to see tomato seedling in the next 7 to 14 days.  The eggplant and pepper will sprout a little latter.

Here is my initial seed starter list for 2012.

Brandywine: These heirloom pink tomatoes are large and taste great.
Black Krim: It is a little hard to tell when they are ripe.  The area around the stem may still be green and the lower section is a dark red (almost black).  This is my favorite for a bacon and lettuce sandwich.
Pink German: Pink Germans can weight up to 1 pound.  It does not take many of them to fill a quart canning jar.
Celebrity: A large perfect round red tomato.  This tomato is not an heirloom but it does produce well but not as flavor full as the three above. This tomato has been bred with resistance to many of the viruses that attack tomatoes.
Delicious: Another hybrid tomato which is a medium round size and colored red.
Green Zebra: When this tomato is ripe, its skin is yellow and green striped with green pulp inside.  I heard some say it taste like an apple but I do not think so.  To me still has the tomato taste but less acidic and not as rich as a red tomato.  It is nice to have different colored tomatoes to add visual appeal to a cold salad dish.
Gold Metal: A large yellow tomato with red streak in the pulp.  It is less acidic than the red and has good flavor.

Paste Tomatoes
Amish: After I told the guys at work that I started my tomatoes seed, one of them requested that I saved some Amish Paste for him.  He commented that they make a nice smooth thick tomato sauce.  All my paste tomatoes do not look like anything you can buy in the store.  Amish paste get about 4 inches long and about 2 inches wide.
Opalka: This is a new type for me and the description state 4-6 inch long with few seeds.
Federle: Another nice paste tomato about 4-6 inches long and 1-1½ inches wide

Cherry Tomatoes
Chocolate Cherry: This cherry tomato is large about ½ to ¾ in diameter.  The color when ripe is a dark reddish brown and has a nice mix of acidic and sweet flavoring.
Sungold: Pop this golden cherry tomato in your mouth and you will get a wonderful sweet rich flavor.  It is the taste of summer.

Green Husk: Last year this plant grew to 7 feet high and it had the biggest tomatillo I ever seen.  The biggest were at least 2 inch across and produced tons of fruit.
Dr. Wyche's Yellow: When this tomatillo is ripe it is a little yellow color and tastes very sweet.  It only grows to about 5 feet in height.
Purple: Another 7 feet tall plant, the fruit has some purple coloring on the skin.  It grows to about an inch in size.

Sweet Bell Peppers: Orange Bell, Chocolate Bell, Purple Beauty, Early Sunsation Hybrid (Yellow), King Arthur (Fat’n Sassy, Red), King of the North (red).  All the peppers except Purple Beauty and Early Sunsation are green until they ripen into their color.  They can be eaten green or wait until they turn color.  The peppers are sweeter when fully mature.  The red is the sweetest with chocolate next.

Hot Peppers: Early Jalapeno and Ancho Girantea both are great.  I add roasted Ancho to green salsa made with tomatillo from my garden, and boy that was good!

Udumalapet: This egg shape fruit is a bright yellow and purple striped when ready for picking.  The fruit ranges from 2 to 4 inches in length.
Rosa Bianca: A nice round fruit and I picked it as big as 8 inches.  The prefer size for grilling is 4 inches.  I cut it into slices and brush on a little olive oil with some salt and pepper.  Melted provolone cheese on it and add fresh tomato, lettuce, onions and some vinaigrette on it and serve it on a toasted bun.  Mmm!

This coming weekend I will be sowing my cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and broccoli.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Still Working on the Basement

For the past 5 weeks I have been busy working in the basement.  I have been putting off writing about it because it is the same old story which involves removing loose cement, wash it, fill in cracks and holes with hydraulic cement and then paint it.  It took awhile for me to get started on this project again.  The thought of having to find a place to move all the “junk” was just enough to put me in a funk during January.  I finely started cleaning up the area by making a trip to the Restore in Baraboo, WI so I could drop off some donations.  Then I made a trip to take my Mom out to lunch for her birthday and drop off a blanket rocker at my sister’s place.  This trip eliminated another item out of the basement.  Next I broke down my worktable which is a plywood sheet and 2 workhorses.  After that I needed to find an area to move the stationary bike, router table, dehumidifier and varies other small items.  Once I finished that I could finely move on to the real work.

Last night I put the final coat on floor but there is still ¼ of the unfinished basement floor left and ¾ of the north wall to do before I can cross this project off my list.  The floor section I have been working on was divided into 3 sections.  I just could not figure out a way to paint the floor as one unit without painting me into a corner where I could not get to the basement sink to clean up or to the stairs without stepping into paint.  The first section I painted was in front of the staircase, next in the northeast corner and last along the north side of the staircase.

Last weekend I started to clear out the next section of floor to be worked on.  This involved defrosting the chest freezer (which badly needed to be done away) and moving it temporary to the newly painted area in front of the stairs.  Tonight I plan on buying shelving to setup in the painted northeast corner.  Once the shelving is up I will move all the paint cans and laundry supplies out of the unfinished basement’s northwest corner.  I plan finish cleaning that corner this weekend then I can start working on finishing the wall.  It is hard to believe that I might finely finish this project!