Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Happy Day!

WooHoo! Look, LOOK, what was in the mail today! My first package from the Flibbertygibbet Fabric Swap was fabulous, so I could hardly wait to open this second package, all the way from Jade in Australia!

Look how smartly she wrapped everything. Those tags are too cute! I almost didn't want to open them -- it's so fun to have pretty presents sitting around. Yeah right....I ripped into them to find:Underneath those tags: with For the Swap, there are three fabulous Heather Bailey prints (YUM!); with A New Project, a cheater piece of fabric with pretty flowers on it; with For the Stash, some embroidery floss and ribbon to match the fabric; and with For Your Sewing Kit,

OHMYGOSH, an adorable pincushion. Oh Jade! I've been wanting to make one like this 'cause I want to start a pincushion collection. And now you've done it for me. Thank You, Thank You, so much Jade. I love it all! I do believe, my dear that you've set the gold standard for us all to strive for in future Flibbertygibbet swaps.

What a lucky girl I've been to get packages from both England and Australia. And btw, thanks so much to Gail for organizing the swaps -- they're so much fun!

And, as if that weren't enough, three other things made me really happy today:
1) Your comments indicate that I'm not the only one with lots of UFO's. (Ok, I already knew it. Just trying to get you all into the 12-step program.)
2) I went to MeMum's and BigDaddy's at lunchtime. I loved being able to remind BigDaddy that today is his mother's birthday. She was born one hundred years ago today. We both really miss her and wish she were still here. I made dinner tonight in her apron in her honor!
3) I had a wonderful surprise this morning! Gurney posted in my comments section! She listed 7 of her UFO's. And since this is a long post, I'll save you from having to go look at those comments by reposting her UFO's here. Gurney said:

Geez, only 7? Where to start?
1. Katie's high school grad. quilt - still working on applique butterflies. (She just finished her first year of law school.)

2. Still cutting out the bow ties from the blue fabric exchange.

3. Pieced a few blocks of the millennium 2000 square exhange. Were we nuts? 2000 fabrics?

4. Quilting the I Spy quilt from the I Spy fabric exchange.

5. Quilting the "Minnesota" quilt.

6. Looking at the 4" squares we exchanged. There are like 100. Need to set them together. Anna's is finished. (Slut).

7. Cara's wedding quilt. Her 4th anniversary is in July. Bit off a bit more than I could chew with this one I think.
8. What? I'm only allowed 7? There's so much more!

Excellent list Gurney! Do you all see the subliminal message between the lines? (Blog, Blog, Blog....)

Thanks for hanging in there for this long post and sharing my happy day. Wow! After today, tomorrow is sure to be a bit of a disappointment!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Seven UFOs

Jemimah has tagged me for the 7 random things meme. Not too long ago, Jade also tagged me, but I misunderstood the tag to be the 7 weird things which I'd already done. So, for both the J's ( ;-) ), here are my 7 random things....

I've noticed that some of the 7 random things posts have pictures, so I thought I'd use that format. Hmmmm. What 7 random-alike things do I have that I could show you? It appears that the most prolific things in my house these days (aside from jars of little things like buttons, bobby pins, toothpicks, etc.) are unfinished projects. Gee, maybe if I post them, it will prod me to actually get to work on them!

So, here's a tour of 7 of my UFO's:

1.This UFO, is potentially the oldest. When the kids were little, we loved the series of books entitled My Father's Dragon. (Highly recommended for those of you who have pre- to early-readers!)They make great read-aloud books and I enjoyed them so much that I decided to make a quilt featuring some of the drawings in the book. I got as far as sketching the plan for the blocks and making the first block, sort of. Poor guy, he still needs his stripes. And, I wanted his wings to be special, so rather than using a gold colored cotton, I used a gold lame. It worked pretty well. I just never got around to finishing it. Maybe someday for a grandchild!

2. Not much to this UFO 'cause we didn't get very far. The "we" part was MeMum, MyDadLovesMeBestSister and me. We each chose a background fabric , then we gave each other 1/3 of our background fabric. We would each make enough 9 patches out of scraps to make a quilt. For each scrap of fabric, we would make three 9 patch blocks -- one from each background fabric. Then, depending on the backround of the block, it would be given to the "owner" of that background. So, when all the blocks were done, we would each essentially have the same quilt but with different backgrounds. (I'm sure I could have explained that better, but I hope you get the idea.) Anyway, the sister has long since abandoned ship. MeMum and I still talk about it as if we'll start working on it again tomorrow. Who knows, maybe tomorrow's the day? (Snort, snort.)

3. This was a quilt that I started when the friendship group had twelve members. I had each of the members make pinwheel blocks out of scraps. The pinwheel part of the quilt is put together and it just needs four applique borders. Two of the borders are done. Two left to go.

4. This quilt top is all done, ready to be quilted. Jewels, Juni, and Gurney came to visit me one year when I lived in Minnesota and we saw a quilt similar to this hanging in a quilt shop. We all decided to make this top, but in different fabrics (pinks and greens, retro 30's prints, etc.) We're all in different stages of completion -- Jewels is the big winner with a finished, quilted quilt.
5. This is a wallhanging I started for my sunroom. I want some beehives out there -- 'cause I love beehives. Probably because I was born in the Beehive State.

6. This quilt is just embarrasing. I've been quilting it for over 10 years. (Ok, tell the truth, probably more like 15 years.) The blocks were made by the girls in the friendship group. There are 77 bow tie blocks + borders. I think I only have about 10 bow ties left to quilt, so I'm certainly more than 1/2 way done.

7. And last, we have 90 Lady of the Lake blocks all ready to be put into a quilt top. Really wouldn't be that much work -- just haven't done it yet. After the friendship group got out of the "making blocks for each other" phase, we had a blue and white fabric swap. We each brought a few yards of several blue prints and then cut them up and shared. This is probably the UFO that I want to get back to the most.

So, a little dip of your toe in my lake of UFOs. My tastes have changed over the years, which probably makes some of those projects hard to pick up again. Hopefully it will happen before someone has to sell them in an estate sale.


Oh, P.S. I really can't think of anyone who hasn't already done this meme. Do you think I'd have any success at getting Jewels, Juni and Gurney to post 7 random things in the comments??? (Just trying to drag them into blogland..... ;-) )

Memorial Day

In the US today, we remember those who serve our country and have given their lives for our freedom.
The Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor

Everyone celebrates in their own way, but here are some suggestions.


Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Little Surprise Amid the Work!

Whew! I'm sure glad we're done with that little mulching task. After two long days, we're done and I'm sore. Fortunately we only subject ourselves to that pain every other year. It rained on and off all weekend, so we got pretty wet and dirty. I felt like we were shoveling mud. The good part is that I planted a few new daisies, coneflowers and hydrangeas before mulching the beds, so it will be fun to see how pretty they might be!

I did have a little excitement in the middle of it all. This afternoon, I took a little break after I realized that we had been so busy yesterday, we'd forgotten to collect the mail. And just look what was waiting for me in my mailbox!It's the first of my two Flibbertygibbet swap packages -- this one from Sarah way over in England. I was SO excited to open it (I had to wash that brown muck off my hands first!). Look at the fabulous red fabrics! (Jewels, I know you're salivating now -- for the rest of you, Jewels is ALL about red!!!) Sarah also included a lovely hand made tag, a cute little notebook, those mod Cath Kidston tissues (how could you ever blow your nose into those???), and such adorable kitty-ness -- some kitty stickers and that cute kitty magnet! Thank you SO much Sarah -- I love it all. TheEmptyNestChild joins me in thanking you for remebering his kittyhood -- and he says hi to your three cute kitties! ;-)

The best part about this swappy stuff is that you "meet" new people, and now I have a new blog to read. Sarah, I'm enjoying your blog and I'm loving your package!!! ;-)

Now, I think I may have to take Shropshire Girl's advice and go have a nice long soak.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Other Graduation Quilt

I've shown you the high school graduation quilt I made for TheFirstChild, so now, here is the quilt for TheSecondChild. Whereas, TheFirstChild had his little U-Turn indiscretion, TheSecondChild had an indiscretion involving a stork. No baby involved, just the stork.He was at a party when one of the boys decided to use the phone number from one of those big stork yard signs (that people use to announce the birth of a new baby) and prank call the stork guy. Boneheads. It's the 21st century. The century of caller id. All those 16 year old boys got in t.r.o.u.b.l.e.

It was pretty funny at the time. Good clean fun. But, these days, you can't have just good clean fun. Not unless it's politically correct. My, how things have changed. So many things kids can't do now that past generations could do. My Dad was a class clown sort of kid. He lived in a small town and is full of prank stories from his youth. Turning over outhouse kinds of stories. One day, they even hung one of their teachers out of a second story window by his feet. Can you imagine what would happen to boys if they did that now? They wouldn't pass go. They'd go straight to jail!Someday, I hope the TheSecondChild will be able to tell his grandchildren about the stork. And all about his friends who signed his quilt.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Jane's Flapjacks

After I finished my work this weekend, I rewarded myself by finally trying Jane's recipe for Flapjacks. I had purchased the golden syrup weeks ago at our local World Market. I'd never made an "untranslated" recipe from the UK before, so it was certainly an educational experience! I made the stupid assumption that you can use the 8 oz. = 1 cup rule for both liquids and solids. (What the heck was I thinking -- obviously it's been way too long since I learned "how" to cook and I've forgotten a few of the basics.)
So, anyway, Jane's recipe called for 6 oz. of butter and 6 oz. of brown sugar. That's 3/4 c. each, right? Well, conveniently, that worked. But, how 'bout the 9 oz. of oats? 1 1/8 cup you say? Now if you're thinking (which I clearly wasn't), you'll realize that brown sugar is much heavier than oats. The recipe was WAY short on oats. What emerged from the oven was a gooey mess. (Which actually, when cooled, molded into tasty little candy-like bits that weren't too bad.)

At this point, I realized that we did indeed have a small RARELY used scale. So, I got it out and weighed the ingredients for a second go-round. 9 oz. of oats, is approximately 3 cups -- a lot more than the 1+ cup I used the first time. Viola. There's a reason for the scale. And it worked -- the little bars were wonderful. Even TheManoftheHouse and TheFirstChild really liked them. I'm pretty set in my ways though. It would take me awhile to get used to weighing everything out whenever I follow a recipe. Maybe if I make this recipe often enough, weighing ingredients will grow on me. I'll definitely be making them again.

And while we're on the subject of cooking, I've noticed a few more recipes I'd like to try:

An Eclair Cake recipe at Homespun Living

Pink Meringues from Miss Marzie

And, Cream Scones from Smitten Kitchen

(Hmmm. I've just noticed they're all sweets. Why do you suppose that is???) Now, I'm off to sneak a leftover Flapjack before bed.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I'm Baaaack....

...and look what was here to greet me!I was hoping it would be here -- a beautiful new little corsage from Ragged Roses. And just look how prettily she had it wrapped. Underneath the bow is a lovely notecard, with what looks like a close-up of one of her tea cozies. So cute!But wait -- there's more! She put in a few extras. An adorable smaller corsage and a link to a recipe that cracked me up. She mentioned on her blog that she doesn't like mashed potatoes, so I teased her about how could anyone NOT like mashed potatoes??? Very funny Kim -- and thanks for the recipe!Kim's corsages are WONDERFUL! C'mon -- I know you want one! Rush on over and you too, can have one of your own! Thank you, Thank you, Kim!

It's a good thing I had such a fun surprise, 'cause it will carry me through my weekend of work. I'm hoping to get a little sewing done and of course, this time of year, there's lots of yardwork. Last weekend I managed to get a few flowers and herbs planted. (You're probably thinking those herbs are planted awfully close to each other, but they never grow much -- it's either WascallyWabbit or HerbChallengedGardener (that's me!)).

And do you know what this is? Anyone?It's a new season for HysterectomyLove. (Yes, it's important to knickname your plants.) Last year, my lovely friend Jewels sent me the most beautiful hydrangea for a post-surgery get well gift. I kept it in the house for 3 or 4 months and when it started to look a little wimpy, I decided to plant it outside. After which all its leaves fell off, so I thought I had killed it. But's come back to life!

Which only goes to show you that when I introduced my friends to you, I was absolutely correct about Jewels. She does have a heart of gold. My friends teased me about how I characterized them -- assigning Jewels the heart and Junie the style. Jewels jokingly said she wanted to be the one with style. You just wait Jewels....when HysterectomyLove blooms, everyone will see that you have a fabulous sense of style too!

Have a great weekend everyone!

*Marquee courtesy of HowAboutOrange, HappyZombie and

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Celtic Cables

I went to a Fiona Ellis workshop on Tuesday night. I really can't say enough about the wonderful time I had. What a fabulous, charming woman! She was so pleasant and the rhythm of her voice was perfect for knitting. Who doesn't love a Brit accent?

We knit a little sample in class to learn the basics. Do you know the difference between regular cables and celtic cables? Regular cables move up and down -- celtic cables can also move sideways. Thus forming the celtic "knots".
She told us a little about herself and I loved a story she told from her childhood. She learned to knit and sew at a very young age. One day, she was making a little doll dress and she didn't know how to do gathers, so when she joined the skirt to the bodice, she had excess fabric at the back. She took the problem to her grandmother, who looked at it and said "Well, let's make a bustle!" She attributes that "make lemonade out of lemons" attitude to her abilitly to come up with creative solutions and designs. It's a good lesson to learn. I could use a little of that spontaneity. I would have taken it out and learned how to make gathers. Stupid rigidity.

I learned some new tips. Like (and this one is common sense -- duh, me) cables shouldn't be knit with dark colors 'cause they don't show up as well. (Could of used that tip before I started the sweater I'm currently working on.) Early on in the class, I asked her if it's possible to drop just a few stitches off the needle to repair a mistake several rows back, without ripping those rows out. She assured me it was and she went into detail about how it could be done. Naturally, since I asked the question, I would be the one to make the stupid mistake and forget to cross some stitches, not noticing it until four rows later. Dingbat. It was actually a fun lesson though -- I got to see her in action. It was pretty cool to watch her fingers move as she repaired that mistake. I'll have to make a lot of mistakes like that before I become fluent in the language of successful cable repair work.

If you're interested in cables and you get the chance to go to a workshop (or if your guild needs a great workshop) with Fiona, don't miss it! She's a very interesting woman and great fun to listen to. Highly, highly recommended! Oh, and that book in the picture is great too. There are a bunch of really beautiful sweaters in it. One of them is a cute hoodie -- the celtic cable goes up the back and continues all the way to the front of the hood. Alas, another obsession.


P.S. Fiona has a new Fair Isle book coming out in October. Just can't picture that -- she'll always be the cable woman to me!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Beehive Cake

I'm sitting in O'Hare airport on a delay from a cancelled flight and thought I'd take this opportunity to catch up on all the blogs I'm way behind on and post the beehive cake information that some of you have requested. And by the way, thanks so much for all of your wonderful comments. I love to read your comments and I try to answer all of them. Blogger is a weirdo though -- and I often can't find an e-mail address or website for some of you so that I can respond to your comments. So, just know, that if you don't hear from me (or if I don't reciprocally comment on your blog), it's not because I'm ignoring you!

Now, for the beehive cake. I've googled the pan and it seems to only be available from Williams Sonoma. It's made by Nordic Ware and I'm wondering if maybe it's made exclusively for WS. I love Nordic Ware pans -- I have an embarrassing number of them because MeMum and my DadLovesMeBestSister know how much I love them, so they are often gifts to me. I'm very lucky that way!

Here's the recipe (it's long and looks much harder than it really is, so hang in there):

Lemon Beehive Cake

For the cake:
2 3/4 cups (440g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
16 Tbsp. (2 sticks/250 g) unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups (410 g) granulated sugar
3 tsp. lemon zest
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup (160 ml) milk
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice

For the glaze:
1/2 cup (185 ml) honey
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt

For the quick buttercream:
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick/60 g) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (185 g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

For the royal icing:
1 cup (125g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 to 3 tsp. milk

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour the Beehive Cake Pan; tap out excess flour.

To make the cake, over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. Add the granulated suar and lemon zest and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla just until incorporated, about 30 seconds.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition just until incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the lemon juice and beat for 30 seconds.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading the batter so the sides are highter than the center. Bake until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 55 to 60 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the honey, lemon juice and salt and bring just to a simmer, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Tap the cake pan gently on a work surface to loosen the cake. Set the rack over a sheet of waxed paper, invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Using a pastry brush, brush the warm cake with the glaze. Let the cake cool completely, at least 2 hours, before assembling and decorating.

To make the buttercream, in a small bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners' sugar, milk, vanilla and salt and continue beating until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes more. To make the royal icing, in a small bowl, stir together the confectioners' sugar and the 2 tsp. milk until smooth. If necessary, add more milk 1/2 tsp. at a time until the icing is thick but still pourable.

Stand one half of the cooled cake vertrically on its base. Using a serrated knife, level the flat side of the cake by trimming off 1/8 to 1/4 inch (3 to 6 mm) from the edge. Repeat with the other cake half.

Using an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of buttercream, about 1/2 cup (125 ml), on the cut side of one of the cake halves. Place the cut side of the other cake half against the frosted side and gently press to secure the two halves; using the spatula, smooth the buttercream at the seam.

Using the large spatula, carefully transfer the cake to a serving platter. Drizzle with the royal icing, making sure to cover the frosted seams of the beehive. Decorate with sugar honeybees. Serves 16.

I'm sure this recipe would be good made in other cake pans too -- TheManoftheHouse loved it cause it's plain and simple, just like he likes his desserts.

Congratulations if you stuck it out this long and you're still here. And thanks for keeping me entertained while I see if my standby status will pay off. I really must go now though....I'm being drummed out of my waiting area by people who talk too loud on their cellphones!


P.S. Check out this picture posted by PamKittyMorning. That crochet on cardboard is the cutest thing I've seen in a Long Time. I'm seeing it soon in our future! ;-)

Monday, May 14, 2007

My Favorite Apron

It's National Apron Day! And another "after the day is over" post for me. I'm so behind. You know, 'cause I had to work, mow the lawn, feed the family, pay the bills, and squeeze in a picture of my aprons while the sun was still up. ;-)

The minute I read on Randi's blog that it was National Apron Day, I knew I had to post my favorite apron. It was my Grandma's. Grandma has been gone for over 30 years now. She died when I was 14 and I tucked her apron into my hope chest. It stayed there until we moved into this house and when I found it during unpacking, I decided I'd really like to wear it every now and then. Not too much though -- it's getting pretty old. Grandma was a great cook, so when I need extra special good cooking karma, I don grandma's apron and go for it.

Most other days, I wear this apron. (I should have taken a cue from Randi for how to pose in a full length apron -- her cute pose is much better than the dorky look you see here!) I'm a slob, so I really need a full length apron. Although, I must say, that Amy Butler 1/2 apron is sure tempting me! (For a super cute version, check out Weathertop Farm!) I love the little pleats. I wore my aqua apron most of the weekend. It probably still has beehive cake residue on it. Speaking of which, thanks for all the beehive cake comments -- I'll look online for pan sources and the recipe and post them in the next few days.

Hop on over to Randi's blog and view other apron participants. I love aprons and have fabric for several more ... just need to get sewing!


Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Late Happy Mother's Day!

Well, now that the day is over, rather than wishing everyone (everyone that celebrates today, that is) A Very Happy Mother's Day, I'll just have to say, I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day. The weekend got away from me, and before I knew it, it was gone.

It was a wonderful weekend here in the midwest. Perfect weather. TheManoftheHouse started it off early by bringing me a present from work on Friday. Now, some of you are probably saying, "Oh, poor girl, she's married to one of those." But, this is the kind of present that makes me do cartwheels! (Well, not really -- I've always been athletically challenged (unless you count sewing olympics), so my cartwheels are all in my mind.)

Back to TheManoftheHouse. I've ruined him. He's always been the perfect present-giver. Very romantic and thoughtful. But, I've always been a practical sort of girl. So, appliances are always welcome. Or in this case, yard tools. I was doing yard work on Friday, and the weedeater died. So, I left a message on TheManoftheHouse's answering machine at work, requesting that he "take care of the problem." And he did! I'm so excited about a battery operated weedeater grasshog (calling it a grasshog instead of a weedeater makes me think of a Tim-the-tool-man grunt.) I've never been strong enough to start a gas powered weedeater and the 100 ft. cord on the electric one was really a bother. Hopefully, this battery operated technology will be effective. Report next year! ;-)

There's still a bit of his old romantic self left though -- the weedeater was in one hand and these were in the other:
As for the rest of the weekend ... it was spent cleaning house and preparing a brunch for MeMum. MyDadLovesMeBestSister and her family were also here and we all had a good time. I even tried out my new beehive pan that MeMum gave me a few weeks ago. The recipe that comes with the pan was delicious!
Happy Monday!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Lorna is Not My Friend.

I've been working on my socks and trying to come up with a solution to the "pooling" problem. I was using a pattern with 64 stitches on size 2 needles. I tried increasing stitches to 72 and reducing needle size to size 1. That didn't work. Then I read somewhere (a google search on "lornas laces pooling problem" yields many other people with this problem) that you can solve the problem by using two skeins at once. So I tried that, reducing the number of stitches to 48 and using size 4 needles.As you can see, it definitely gives the variegated look that I want, but the socks are pretty thick. Which would be fine for winter socks, but these are pastel colors and I'm hoping to wear them when I'm wearing spring/summer colored jeans.

I've used Lorna's Laces before and couldn't figure out why I've never had this problem. So, I looked through my socks and found this pair.Gee, I didn't even notice the pooling when I made them. I must have been on another planet or something. Anyway, I've decided I'll just duplicate this pattern again and be done with it. I'd much rather have a variegated look, but oh well. Lesson learned. And too bad, 'cause I just love Lorna's Laces colors.

Hope you're all geared up for a nice weekend!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Odds 'n Ends

It seems this new book appeared at my doorstep today:
Now, I know you're probably thinking...How could you have a whole book on s'mores? Or, even better, who in their right mind would buy a book about s'mores? There's nothing difficult about them. Even children make them around the campfire.

So, here's my defense. I LOVE, LUV, LURVE, s'mores. They have the best of what's edible: graham crackers, CHOCOLATE, and marshmallows melted over the open fire (or in the oven, as the case may be.) My lil' ol' heart pounds, just thinking about them. And my second defense? The pictures in this book sucked me in.
They're beautiful. I love beautiful pictures and if they're of food? Well, I'm screwed, so to speak.

There really are some fun ideas in this book. Most of the s'mores have chocolate and marshmallow in them. The graham cracker part is sometimes substituted with different varieties of cakes or cookies (there's a version with sugar cookies and white chocolate!) Then there are chapters with fruit (that way you can rationalize that you're being healthy), "extreme" varieties (one puts a banana nut muffin crown on top (that one's for you Gurney!) and check out this one with popcorn in it),
and even holiday favorites where there's a smore for every major holiday (strawberries and blueberries for the 4th of July, peppermint for Christmas, etc.) Here's one that looked good to me 'cause I love these girl scout cookies!At first glance, many of them seemed too "out there", but the more I looked at them, the more I wanted to try them. Can't wait for summer -- I'm going to have to experiement!

A few cool things I've seen this week in blogland:

I LOVE this 365 Challenge idea. I'm going to have to figure how to work it into my giant pile of UFO's.

Check out this cool paper cutter that Finny Knits blogs about. I wonder how long it will be before they're making an affordable at-home version.

Love these log cabin blocks. Please disregard the fact that she mentions boobies in the same post.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a hot date with Sawyer and s'mores. Well, not really. There's no s'mores. I just wanted to see if I could type Sawyer and s'mores in the same sentence and remain perpendicular to the floor.


(Sawyer, s'mores, champagne. Sawyer, s'mores, champagne, fabric. Sawyer, s'mores, champagne, fabric, bubble bath. Sawyer, s'mores, champagne, fabric, bubble bath, beautiful sunset....)

*UPDATE: Thanks to Junie for letting me know that *#&*$&# Microsoft apparently has no sense of humor. I tried to progressively shrink my font on the last comment and it shrunk all other posts after that. I would never have noticed it, as I use Firefox. Thanks Junie!

Monday, May 7, 2007

A Graduation Quilt

First things first. The very sweet Kim has tagged me to name seven weird things about me. Kim, I'm sorry, but there's no way I could top not liking mashed potatoes! ;-) That's definitely weird, 'cause I think mashed potatoes are almost my favorite food on the planet! For the first six weird things about me, you can read here. Hmmm. A seventh? How 'bout, I'm not terribly fond of backrubs. I think most people love them, don't they? I'm supposed to tag someone to name weird things, but I think almost everyone has listed their weird things at some point, so I'm tagging anyone who's been missed. Go ahead and name them!

Not much sewing, knitting, or anything creative has been going on around here. And judging by the mess that's been created by two college boys and all their sh stuff coming home, I'm we're going to be cleaning for awhile. So, because I like to post with a picture or two, and because it's that graduation time of year, I thought I'd show you the graduation quilts I made for the boys when they graduated from high school -- TheFirstChild's quilt now and TheSecondChild's in a later post.This was a complete surprise for TheFirstChild. I had all of his friends sign blocks. Then I gave the quilt to him at a family dinner the night of graduation.

He was so cute -- he had to leave immediately after dinner to go to a graduation party and he didn't want to leave his quilt -- he was so busy reading all the blocks. This quote has always been his favorite. He had me write it on his bedroom wall, so it had to be the quote to go on his quilt. It was a great surprise and I loved that he was so touched by it all.


(He has a "no-u-turn" symbol on his quilt, because he had a car accident in high school -- he made a u-turn and one of his best friends, who was following him, hit his car. There has been quite the discussion ever since then about who's fault it was -- they both got tickets!)

Sunday, May 6, 2007

One Small Step...

...out of Tuition Hell, One Giant Leap for TheFirstChild.

I'd thought I'd leave my post for this weekend at that, but since so many of you love to take pictures, I wanted to mention an important lesson I learned yesterday at graduation. When the graduates were all lined up and marching to the outdoor stage, I was squished among the crowd trying to get a picture of my graduate. That's always so difficult because they are on the move, people step in front of you, etc. After I snapped a pic of the TheFirstChild as he walked past me, I happened to glance at his father, who was on the opposite side of the procession. I had the camera on the wrong person. And by the time that realization hit me, it was too late. The expression of pride that appears on a father's face when he spots his child in the crowd, is one that should be captured. It would have been a much more valuable picture than the blurry image I caught of TheFirstChild walking by. There are so many opportunities to take pictures of the person who is the center of the activity, but often, because we are so focused on that person, we miss the reactions of the people around them. It's a lesson I hope to remember for future events.


Thursday, May 3, 2007

Swimming in Chocolate

Thank you so much for your kind comments about my little bags. They're so fun and easy to make -- I do hope some of you will try them!

It's a busy time here at Thimbleanna's. I spent all day yesterday on the road to "gather up" TheSecondChild* from college. And what do college kids do when they're done with their finals and they're waiting to go home?Don't be silly -- they go Swimming in Chocolate!Tomorrow we'll travel to spend two days celebrating the graduation of TheFirstChild from college. Then we'll move him and all of his belongings back home. I'm looking forward to having the pitter patter of big feet back in the house again. Obviously there won't be much sewing or productivity going on around here this week. But there will be lots of picture taking!


(*I've had the urge to try new names on the boys. Son1 and Son2 just weren't nicknamey enough for me. So, we'll see how these ones work out.)

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

More Knitting....

Well, I tried my fourth iteration of the pastel sock last night with no success. So, while I mull it over, I've been amusing myself by finishing the little felted bags I started a few weeks ago. I saw the pattern in February here, and knew I'd have to try them.

They work up pretty fast, so like the little bunnies, I figured, if I'm making one, I might as well make several.And remember the little embroidered thumbtacks? I told you you'd be seeing more of them. This time, in the form of button flowers to sew on the purses.

These are so fun to make. They're small -- the buttons are only 3/4- inch. Try them -- they make a quick little project!XOXO,