Tuesday, December 28, 2010

And now for the reveal...

Now since all of my gifts have been given, I can now post some pictures of some the goodies I made.

First is a crochet hook case I made for my craft buddy Jennifer.

Here is a personalized drum stick case for my best friend's favorite, Paige... Though I forgot to take a picture of the personalized make-up bag I made for my bestie, which came complete with a pint sized llama that she's wanted for years. Now I really wish I had snapped a picture of that!

Here is a nice lap quilt I made for my sister. It's my first attempt at free motion quilting on a large project. I think it turned out wonderful!!! I alternated big flowers and swirls in each of the blocks (not that you can tell from the photos), rather a simple design and I love the way it looks. I'll have to get going on another project to get more practice.

And finally this wonderful copycat of an owl toy for my niece, Lauren. It was my backup plan for my failed attempt at printing on fabric. I still plan on using those photos in a family tree wall hanging for her. Oh and I have to add that my niece just loved her owl - she really perked up and made all sorts of noises. Makes you feel pretty special to have some even as little as she get so excited over something you worked so hard on.

I had such a wonderful holiday with all my family and really enjoyed seeing the joy in everyone's face as they opened their gift. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's Christmas Already!

I can't believe there is only three days left until Christmas.... I've almost finished up all my gifts. Why is it that every year I wait until the last possible moment to finish up all my projects? I swear, every year I tell myself that "next year I will not procrastinate", yet always end up doing just that. I did pretty good with most of the gifts I hand made this year, with the exception of the gift for my niece. I planned on making a fabric family photo book, and I'm not sure if anyone has tried to use the printable fabric, but even the so called "colorfast" product was not colorfast! Ugh! Well for now I had to put that project on the back burner and completely switched my focus. For now that has to be kept a secret in case my sister happens to read this... so for now this will have to do.

Merry Almost Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fixing things....

Well we finally got the 4Runner back on the road. It ended up being a blown head gasket, which was our first assumption even though we were hoping it was something else. Once we had the head off, it became apparent to us that the blown head gasket wasn't our only problem as half of the timing chain guide was missing.

Here's a shot of the engine pre-disassembly. It's pretty dirty...

This is what we found when we finally got the head off, and some close ups too. If you notice the piston furthest back (Number 4) you can see the edges looking rather clean. This is evidence that coolant was leaking into this cylinder and basically steam cleaning it. Next is a close up of the timing chain guide. You can even see where the chain started wearing into the timing cover. Seems the blown head gasket was a blessing in disguise because had that chain snapped we would have definitely had far more work on our hands!

Here's a shot of me all bundled up installing new piston rings. You can see my awesome diesel engine on the right side of the photo... and yes, our garage is a mess! One day will have a nicer shop, good things come to those who wait.

And now here's the finished new engine! It looks a lot cleaner, too bad we were in such a hurry (and the cold weather) it would have been nice to paint at least the valve cover. I also kind of got too wrapped up in helping to build it that I forgot the snap more photo of the progress. I'm sure this won't be my last engine rebuild tho.