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We had a discussion on the Missouri Star Quilt Company forum about drawing on fabric with regular crayons. Some of us had used fabric crayons and others had used regular crayons and heat set them with waxed paper.

Being the Mad Scientist I am, I thought I’d see if the plain old crayons would hold in the wash.

I ended up using both pre-washed and non-washed 100% cotton material. The crayons of choice are Crayola. They are NOT specifically marked washable. On the one piece you will see that I made some heavy-handed markings and Em did some on her own. Both pieces were heat set on plain white copier paper with the iron set to Cotton – NO steam. As you can see from the photo below, I ironed the fabric until the crayon soaked through the fabric.

They were washed with powdered detergent in a top-loading, HE washer with a load of clothes and a load of towels. (I thought the washer ate the first test strip. Thankfully it was only a very sneaky polar fleece pullover.)

They were both dried in the drier on medium-high. The second test strip was safety pinned to a wash rag and I did not see any color transfer to the rag or any of the other clothes in either load.

I’d have to say that the regular Crayola crayons will do a pretty good job. I would suggest that the coloring be fairly heavy-handed to keep the colors bright. As you can see Em’s marks faded a bit. The white washed out more than the other colors. It is harder to see, but it was the only color that didn’t hold very well.

There you go ladies & gentlemen!

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While cleaning up after the Willow removal and Dogwood rescue I decided to sweep off the power junction box and the water meter cover. There was a nice coating of wood shavings from the chainsaw over everything. Since shavings and electricity might not mix well, it sounded like a good idea to me.

After sweeping off the water meter cover, I realized it had grass jammed in it. I figured that since I was there I ought to clean it out. You can imagine my astonishment when I found the box completely filled with dirt.

This is how much dirt was removed. I pulled out a little more than four-one gallon buckets of dirt. This might explain why we had such a huge water bill one month. I think the old meter-reader looked at that and didn’t want to mess with it, so he guessed. The new guy had at least attempted to dig down and find the dial.

My question is ” Why didn’t someone leave me a note on the front door ?” If we had a plumbing problem, there is NO WAY I could have found the shut-off valve in there!

So here is a helpful hint. Head out and check your meter box for varmints!

After this

and this last week.

We ended up with a native dogwood tree that tipped over from the weight of the ice. When the land was logged and subdivided many years ago, the dirt below the tree had been cut away. It hasn’t been an issue until the tree reached its current size. Now add on a couple hundred pounds of ice covering the poor thing and she just laid over.

Thankfully the snow and ice didn’t snap the top out or break any major branches like some of the other trees. She just slid down the bank and pulled the root system loose.

So, we decided to see if we could save her.  With some rope, block & tackle, and some help from the tractor, we were able to get her upright.

Well, mostly. She still has a pretty hefty lean, and we’ll see if we can find some more fill dirt to re-enforce the bank. It might take another pulling session to get her set back in completely vertical. We should probably trim up the fir tree she’s tied to. If we pull her more upright, the branches are going to get entangled.

Since there are still 6 weeks left in Winter, we decided that for her safety and our sanity, we’d leave her with some support for now.