A Barn Quilt for Superman

One day he says to me, “I’m going to buy me a barn quilt. Do you know what they are?” Yes, I do! I love them! But don’t buy it, I’ll make us one! “But I don’t know how to make it. It’s way too difficult.” Pshaw. Honey, I can do it. In fact, I’ll make one for your birthday!Do you know what we’re talking about? They are paintings on the side of barns that look like quilts.We saw many of them as we drove through the Northeast.Here is a link to Barn Quilt Tours all over the United States. As you can see they can be simple or very intricate. After scrolling through hundreds of photos, I decided on this pattern. Simple, yet enough pattern and color to make it look interesting.I gathered my materials and started priming the wood.Grabbed my circular saw to cut the plywood down to size and my sander to smooth it out the best I could.With a pencil and ruler, I drew out the design. Being a fabric quilter, I love seeing the patterns intersect and weave together. I put a bit of blue tape on the areas I did not want to paint yellow.After letting it dry, (which let me say is probably the hardest part), I pulled the painters tape off to reveal a beautiful crisp line. Woo Hoo!Ok. Yellow is done. Now I need to mark off where the green color will go.Remember what I said about me not having the patience to wait for the paint to dry? Ugh.

I moved the production indoors, due to it being around 40* outside. Paint just won’t dry at that temperature. Crickeys!! I’ve really got to pay attention!After several days of painting, waiting and painting some more, it was all done. Wellll….is it really all done? Superman wanted our initial in the middle. What about some bees? I used my Cricut machine to cut a bee motif out of black paper so I could move them around.Bees in the corners? Or do they look better in the white area? In the end, I decided to just keep it simple by painting our initial. Thank goodness for strong men to put this bad boy up! Of course, Elizabeth and I were a huge “help” holding ladders and giving unsolicited advice.ūüėĀ

Seriously though, I had no idea how heavy this thing would be after we put the 2×4 braces on the back. Originally, I had it measured out to be a 6×6 foot quilt. Then Superman came home and said he thought a 5×5 would be better. Thank goodness I cut made it a 5×5 footer! There is no way a larger size would fit. Bobby, our friend who lives next door to the farm, asked if maybe next time I make one of these to make sure he was out of town on installation day. (Aww, he’s such a kidder. He loves being on a 20 foot ladder holding onto a 100 lb. wood piece!)Dang! That looks awesome!Here it is five months later. It’s showing some wear and weather abuse. I’m ok with that. I think it still looks pretty cool.I wonder when Superman is going to learn that he should never say it can’t be done. I’m always willing to give it a good creative try!

Thanks for dropping by!

There is NO Giggling in the Tree Stand

img_5117It was a normal Saturday at the farm. Superman got up early, early with Adam to go deer hunting. Without even a glimpse of the famed 10 pointer, he was seeing on his motion camera set up in the woods, Superman got busy cutting stuff down around the farm. As is usual, he about killed himself on that tractor. He thinks he’s invincible. He tells me later how he almost bit the dust as he was trying to move some huge log out of the way and¬†cutting branches at the same time. A branch hits the mechanism that lifts and lowers the bucket, which this great big log is resting. The bucket starts rising up, up and up, the log rolls down onto the tractor¬†toward him! He yells “Whoa, Whoa, Whoa!!!” Dang.img_4608Meanwhile, I’m at home, happily in my craft room, totally oblivious of the potential widow maker happening at the farm…thank goodness. Anyway, later that afternoon, I planned on going down there to visit my girls when the temperatures warmed up. Bees like you checking on them when the weather is pleasant, not chilly and rainy. I showed up, did my inspection of the hives and planned on going back home.IMG_5122.jpgBut Mr. Mr. suggested something different. Why don’t I sit in the deer stand with him? Well, I really wasn’t dressed properly. I had on a bright blue t-shirt and purple shoes.IMG_5125.jpgHe handed me a camouflaged jacket and hat. I worried “What about my shoes? I don’t think deer like purple.” He said “Here, carry this camo fabric. I need to make a skirt for the stand. It will cover your shoes.”¬†Make a skirt?!? That sounds we’re going to be crafting! I’m in!IMG_5127.jpgFYI…you have to get into the stand waayyy before the deer start their carousing around. OK. So we are at the barn, the tractor just minutes ago was roaring, lawn mowers at the neighbors are going, dogs are barking, roosters are crowing but Superman turns to me and whispers “Stick close to me and be very very quiet.”¬†Seriously? We have to be quiet?IMG_5128.jpgWe quietly walk through the pasture. Well sorta. It was like walking through a room with the floor covered in bubble wrap. The grass had been cut in the past week, so the ground was dry and crackly. Every step was crunch, crunch, crunch. It reminded me of coming home late as a teenager and trying so hard not to wake the parents, but hitting that squeaky step. ugh.

So we got to the tree stand that Adam’s friend had reportedly seen some deer from that morning. Superman gave me the hand up signal to stop. Then the two fingers to his eyes to tell me to watch him. (I am trying so hard not to laugh.) When the coast is clear, he signals for me to come.IMG_5129Yeah, it’s pretty high up there.IMG_5132But the view is worth it. It is hard to tell by looking at this picture, but we are high up.IMG_5142Much to my disappointment, there wasn’t much crafting going on up here. We zip tied the skirt to the stand. Of course, when it was my turn to zippity do dah, although I was pulling slowly, I got¬†the look¬† from Superman for zipping too loudly. (Puhleez)IMG_5138The skirt is up and Yup my shoes are hidden, because these purple shoes would¬†definitely keep a deer from showing up.IMG_5139Ok. So we are all ready to go, right? Nope. Now we gotta spray doe estrous all over the place. I guess its like Magic Potion #9 for bucks. I hear they go crazy when they smell the stuff. (hee hee) Forget that we are suppose to be very very quiet, this guy beside me is rummaging through his backpack, zipping and unzipping, pulling out noisy water bottles hats on, hats off, gloves on, gloves off. Then I get a wad of mucus lodged in my throat and I ever so quietly try to cough it up and¬†I get the look.IMG_5145OOPS! Someone dropped his hat.IMG_5140This is really serious business. I’m given the “two fingers to the eyes” signal with a thumb pointing behind us, meaning I’m in charge of keeping my eyes sharp to any movement in the rear. ( I really want to throw a salute, but I don’t. I just turn in my padded seat and check things out out back.) I hear leaves crunching, I look closer and see it is only a squirrel. I got kinda excited there.IMG_5210I know, I know, I’m suppose to be quiet. As I try to settle in to enjoy this moment in nature, the lawn mowers are still going, dogs are barking, roosters are crowing, mommas are fussing at their kids, the Harley roars by on the road, and someone on the neighboring farm shoots off his gun. But I am suppose to be very very quiet. I think this is kinda funny. I whisper to Superman my silly thought, but he doesn’t think I’m very funny. Which in turn makes me giggle. But there is NO GIGGLING in the tree stand.IMG_5135I think we’re all settled in, each with our appointed duties, now it is time to wait.IMG_5132And wait.IMG_5215and wait. It’s getting dark now, surely the big guy is going to come out of his hidey hole. The sun has gone down. “Um, so how much longer do we wait?”IMG_5219Superman shows me five fingers. He pulls out his green light, which is kinda cool. We can see the wildlife, but they can’t see us. He tells me later that after the sun goes down his binoculars give him about 15 minutes of light. Then the green light helps light up the area unseen to the critters.

In the end, we saw n.o.t.h.i.n.g. I know from watching my guys all these years, there is a science to all this hunting. The camouflage clothes must be washed in no-scent detergent and stored in containers with earth wafers. (These are little discs that smell like dirt.) It is a definite test in endurance and patience. There is importance in which gun you use and which stand you sit in.IMG_5223Ok I admit, I’m not a hunter, but I did enjoy being out there just listening to the sounds of crickets, birds and leaves falling. The warm air turned cool as the sun set, bringing fresh air to my lungs. I appreciated the opportunity to just sit, watch and listen. On one hand I’m glad the big guy didn’t show up, but on the other, I am a little disappointed to not see a doe. (Superman will only shoot an 8 point or above.) I’m not sure, but my purple shoes, small hacks dislodging phlegm, little fits of giggling, and 219 flashes off my camera¬†MAY¬†have scared off the deer. Maybe. I don’t really care. IMG_5224Because most importantly, I appreciate the fact that my guy wanted me to sit in the stand with him.

ANNNND…he took me to the Lighthouse Fish Camp in Pacolet, SC! Fish camps will have to be another day. Let’s just say they are a historical fact here in the Upstate.

Thank you so much for dropping by!

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