Monday, March 30, 2009

well, slap me silly

and call me sally...
i have a lot of food allergies (we could argue semantics and call them intolerances, but please don't go there with me - i am not in the mood) ...... i can eat golden delicious apples, bartlett pears, onions, garlic, and iceberg lettuce ... most other fruits and vegetables have to be altered ...... even touching a raw fruit or vegetable can bring on hives, rashes, swelling, and (scariest, for me) difficulty breathing ... so i use vinyl (not latex - i am allergic to latex) gloves when i'm working with most raw foodstuffs ...... i was raised on apple juice because cow's milk made me barf ... and it still does ...... i cannot eat any kind of nut ...... avocados close off my airway ...... if there is a banana peel in the trash, it has to go outside or i will be overwhelmed by itchiness ...... i know that anyone can be allergic to anything and i am not ignorant about food allergies...

flashback thirty-two years ... Earth Science said his first sentence, "UNH MO MA!" ... which was baby for i want some more, mommy ... and he was talking about strawberries ... even though he could not tolerate dairy products or bananas or most vegetables, he could eat strawberries ... and i gave them to him

i received a phone call from said son, asking me to make a smash cake for his daughter's first birthday ... doesn't matter what kind of cake, just make sure it's pink ... oh-kay, i can do that ... and did ... and showed up at the party with the cake and scrubbed, hulled, sliced strawberries (his favorite) as garnish ...
youcan'tputstrawberriesonthecake - LABresearched-shesaystheyareoneofthetoptenno-nofoods forallergies - shecan'thavethemtillshe'sone - ohwait-sheisone - iguessyoucan - ihopesheisn'tallergic!!!!!
i did not put the strawberries on the cake ... i did not leave the strawberries near the baby ... and i was already gone before the smashing began ...
i did some surfing about strawberries and babies today (it has been more than a decade since i've had ready access to a pediatrician ... besides, who needs doctors when there's the all-knowing Internet - ready and waiting to diagnose, advise, chastise, prescribe) ... there is information here and here about waiting till a child is more than 12 months before you offer strawberries (and milk and wheat and eggs and peanuts and honey and soy and chocolate and just about any other food) ... you can even buy a bib that will let everyone know not to give your child strawberries to eat ...... now, if she'd just been wearing that bib...

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Peanut Butter Cup's first birthday was thursday and the family celebration is later today ... i made this little butterfly cake so she can smash it to pieces ... it isn't quite finished - i am going to slice up the strawberries to add some color to those wings - but i didn't want them turning to mushy strawberry soup before this afternoon, so that will have to wait ...

i made this alternate cake as a backup (because you never know what is going to happen in transit)...

Auntia has a totally different idea of what a smash cake is ... i don't think she was aiming at me ... although, from the few little tastes that i had, that cake is gonna be pretty yummy and i wouldn't mind too much if some of it made it's way into my mouth...

and these are the presents for the birthday girl - a Care Bear tied fleece blanket (next time i have to tie two inch strips, i gonna cut them at three inches and then trim them down - my fingers are too cranky to tie such short strips), a cup cozy, a little cupcake tote (i added a loop and button to the top so that precious contents won't be spilling out) and a Good Luck Care Bear ... it's a good thing we had a bear put away for emergencies - there were no Care Bears to be found at our usual haunts yesterday ...... and now ... on to other stuff!

edit - as a side note, today is Mr. Husker's 59th birthday, and chris's (my friend in topekamerica), too! so, happy birthday to both of you!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


this was the snow gauge at 2pm ...... now the wind is shifting the snow so much that the Bug is no longer an accurate gauge ... i can't find the official accumulation ... my guesstimate is about 12 inches ... maybe 14 ...... the forecast is 4 to 8 more inches before 6am tomorrow ... here's hoping the ground slurps most of it in before it turns to slush in the storm drains


two hours later ... time to walk the dog (again) ... time to shovel a path (again) ... and check the snow gauge (again) ... sheesh, beav - it's a freakin' blizzard out there!

snow gauge

it was 10am and time to walk the dog ... but first i had to shovel a path ... the Bug is my snow gauge ... 'bout six inches, so far

it's cold in the world outside

today is a snow day ... in anticipation of inclement weather, school has been cancelled ... Mrs. Moth started to bring NoJo and Gumdrop over, but it is too nasty out ... we've had almost no moisture all winter; doesn't it just figure that the skies will try to make up for it in one day? the streets were wet and there was a light dusting on the grass at five this morning ... less than two hours later there were three inches of snow on the ground and the streets had sheets of ice underneath ... treacherous ... the local meteorologists say this is just the beginning and to expect two inches an hour till tomorrow morning ... brrr.

and since it is cold in the world outside ... here are pictures of the polar quilt that i made (for Littlelle - she needs something that isn't pink and brown, right?) ... the pattern is children's delight ... i love the colors (especially the nebula batik that is the outer border) ... but i should have fussy-cut the focus fabric - random rotary cutting just doesn't do it justice. fortunately, i have enough left to make a quilt for myself (someday) ... the orcas and the polar bears are too cool ... the penguins, however, can stay at the South Pole, doing their happy feet thing.

i free-motion quilted snowflakes in the middle of each block, polar bears across the top and bottom, and orcas up the side borders ... Auntia traced out snowflakes from The Little Book of Snowflakes and then we kinko'ed them till they were the right size.

the naming block is my favorite ... it was an orphan practice block that was pressed into service ... my original plan was to make paper-pieced blocks of little orcas as signature blocks for the entire quilt, with the polar novelty print as borders ...... and it would have been really, really cool ...... but then i remembered the problems that i had with the last signature quilt that i made for the Moth family ...... perhaps another time.

i think it is time for a cuppa tea, a raisin cinnamon roll ... and a nap.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

less is more

i can't post what i've been working on this weekend because they are birthday presents for Peanut Butter Cup ... she will be one year old on thursday ... so i think i will post the quilt that i gave to Littlelle at the baby shower last week ... it is (shudder) pink and brown and will be named butterfly kisses, too when i learn what the baby's name really is ... the block is called twinkling stars ... i like how it turned out, but i am so done with pink and brown (for a little while, anyway) and i absolutely despise those brown butterflies in the focus fabric ... i still have 2 yards of it left ... it was supposed to be a border, but it looked icky ... so i decided on the narrow brown border.

it is quilted with free motion butterflies ... i think i am done with butterflies for a while, too ... i didn't take a picture of all of the shower gifts ... i found myself adding more and more and more, till i finally wrapped everything in tissue paper and put all of it in two (big) boxes because ... well, because sometimes less is more ......

see that pink and brown crocheted baby afghan and hat? did i mention that i have had enough of pink and brown to last a very, very long time?

Friday, March 20, 2009

spring has sprung

the grass ain't riz ... i wonder where the flowers iz?

this morning i whined to Ranette about having no flowers blooming except for a few crocus (go check out her lovely weeping cherry tree blossoms ... sigh) ...... i was supposed to be laying out that ugly black soaker hose that you see (before the plants start to misbehave) instead of reading blogs ...... anywho, i didn't want to do it because i knew that first i would have to clean out the old stuff from last year ... plant architectural interest in the winter garden (in my case ... ugly mess) ... before i could start with the hose. i waited for the record breaking high temperatures we were supposed to have today so i could use the it's too hot to work outside excuse ... but it hadn't warmed up by noon, so i went outside and started raking ... look at what i found hiding under some old iris leaves...
... she is the sweetest little plant...
...that i have seen in a month of sundays ... just look at those pretty little faces!
the earth is dry (again) ... we are in a drought (again) and the fire danger is extremely high (again) ... the mountain snow pack is above normal, but we will probably have water restrictions (again) ... i am glad that hose is where it is supposed to be.

and now i that i've been a good little gardener, i'm gonna (ignore the baskets of laundry waiting to be folded) go play with my pink and orange BOM blocks.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

holy space shuttle, batman!

now that there is (er, was) a bat in the space program, i thought i'd post pictures of NoJo's bat quilt ... i took a stack-n-whack class a few years ago and went a little crazy buying novelty prints and making kaleidoscope quilts for my unsuspecting friends and family - this is one of them...
Batman was NoJo's favorite superhero at the time ... we've had a few discussions about who is and who is not a superhero ... since Batman fights evil with a bunch of really nifty gadgets, but has no actual superpowers, does he qualify for superhero status? NoJo says yes, but i think that Batman is an ordinary man doing extraordinary things ... especially when George Clooney is playing the part ... not that there is anything ordinary about George Clooney (sigh) ...
this was a very early attempt at free motion quilting on the Inspira frame ... the spacing is a bit (ok ... oh-kay ... a LOT) off and i don't have a stitch regulator, but NoJo loves it just the same...the Bat Quilt!

and ... remember, "I'm poison ... Poison Ivy"

fluffy pink flamingos

my pink flamingo slippers are the bomb-diggety!!!

they were a girls' night in present from Auntia and i love them ... Kim was wondering if the mating season for bunny slippers is all year round ... and sometimes i worry about my little pink fluffy friends - i spend enough of my life walking on eggshells.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

leprechauns are dancing

Gumdrop is reciting a poem called leprechauns are dancing for her school's oral interpretation ... this is the outfit that Auntia (whose very most favorite holiday is today and who has a gazillion green things in her Saint Patrick's Day stash) came up with for her to wear ...

... and this is Auntia a few years ago with her very own loaf of beer bread (which she refused to share - she's already placed her order and i don't think she plans on sharing this year, either) ... she actually went out in public looking like that ... she loves being Irish - even though she is more pasta than potatoes ... i wonder what she will come up with this year ... it's kinda scary just thinking about it.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

blue green colors flashing

there were two baby showers yesterday ... one was for Littlelle and the other was for Otherone Jr.'s wife's soon-to-be-here baby boy ... because the parties were on the same day and the scheduled times coincided, i couldn't go to the shower for my (first) great-nephew. but Nicci (my sister, who should be referred to as Mrs. Husker, but she wouldn't like that since she was raised here and not Nebraska, so she likes the Buffs) and Little Nonnie did make the rounds, and transported the presents that i made for the baby. and here they are ... a Nuture Nest, crib-sized quilt, flannel blanket, a crocheted blanket and hat, a ribbon snugglie, and a peek-a-boobie (also known as a hooter hider or nursing cover). the shower was a luncheon ... and word has it that Otherone can cook up a mean lasagna. when Nicci and Little Nonnie showed up at Littlelle's shower, their eyes were kinda glazed over ... the round trip from Longmont to Littleton to Thornton to Longmont maps out to over 110 miles. and that's not counting the extra miles from getting lost and/or turned around.
Nicci was also kind enough to take the presents that Mrs. Moth sent for her new first cousin, once removed. lottsa baby boy stuff ...... which is the opposite of Littlelle's shower ...... but that will have to wait till another time because i have a bunch of cleaning to do before the sun goes down.

pink and brown are the new black

NoJo and Gumdrop colored with pink and brown crayons on white paper sacks for the favor bags for Littlelle's shower... i don't think there are any pictures of the bags ... nope ... but they were groaning and moaning after the first coloring session how many more of these do we have to do, Nona?!? Auntia, can't i use some other crayon?!? pink and brown are BORING!!! ...

the favors included the pink buns in the ovens, and these cup cozies ...
that is about 40 of them ... and, not to leave out the little girls, i made some Disney Princess and Care Bear cozies from quilt scraps ...... and these chocolates (which, to me, look like a pile of pantyhose - now i know why the brown tulle circles were on sale - i should have spent a few more pennies on the pink ones) ...
and these little maternity smock sachets ...
one of them had a bun in the's a close-up ... i need to practice my photography skills because it is much, much cuter in real life ... we found the charm at Inedible Jewelry (this was my second order from them - they make the cutest, most realistic food charms!) and ordered two ... the other one is for Littlelle's stocking ...
and here is a picture of the goodies that were the result of marathon baking ... there's a bit of fruit to add some color (and to balance out the total lack of anything that could be considered health food ... there just isn't any baked item on that table that is good for the body ... but the for the soul? oh yeah, Auntia and i know how to bake some comfort food) ...
that is Mrs. Blakesmom's dining room ... she has a lovely home and is an very gracious hostess ... that's all the pictures that were on my camera ... i was too busy being busy to take pictures with anything but my heart.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

march 11, 2009

here's wishing a belated happy 50th birthday to Barbie!

i have owned one Barbie doll in my life - back when she had a high up pony tail, wore a black and white striped bathing suit, and always stood on her tippy toes - and that one was too much for me. one day i decided to smooth out her hair ...... there was a huge (relatively speaking, of course) hole on the top of her head, just underneath the ponytail holder ... i tried and tried, unsuccessfully, to rearrange her hair so that the hole wouldn't show.

i remember hiding Barbie from my mother for months - i knew there was a spanking waiting for me.

anywho, i found a link (not for eyes younger than ... uhmmm ... twenty-two or so) to Cougar Barbie ... i bet she has a hole in her head, too.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

girls just wanna have fun

we left this morning at 0823 with coffee in our travel mugs and hot out of the oven cinnamon rolls ... Auntia was dressed in her robin hood leggings and furry brown boots, but she wouldn't let me take a picture of her ...... anywho, we arrived at the TQS BOM Saturday Sampler meeting about two minutes before 0900 and - gasp - our seats were taken! so we sat on the other side of the room and saw everything from a very different perspective - which was kinda refreshing. this month's block is "free trade" and the alternate is "hourglass" ...... then it was time to shop!
i was pretty good this time and bought just four fat quarters (the brown and black batiks are for Mr. Huskers' 60th birthday quilt - shh - it isn't till next year and i'm not even sure what it's gonna be, but it will have black angus cows) and two patterns by Penny Sturges for mini totes:
i didn't realize that the tote patterns were by the same designer till i took them out of the bag for their picture ... and, yes, i know that it is not environmentally correct to ask for a bag (especially when i have shopping bags in the car that Auntia made for me) ... but i can't help myself. when i go to The Quilter's Studio, i want to take my goodies home in one of their bright green bags ... i love those bright green bags!

look who was supposed to be taking a nap in the middle of the studio:
his name is Mingo ... and i don't think he's gonna close those peepers till people stop taking his picture ......
there are pink flamingos in evidence throughout the shop, and all of them are named after movie stars from the 30s and 40s ... except for Mingo, who already had a name when he arrived. i think we could have milled around the shop all morning, but we needed to pick up the stocking threads and charms from the Stitchers Garden. so, we put our quilting goodies in the car and then crossed Main Street to buy:do you see the thistle bookmark kit? that is not for the stocking ... it is for Auntia and, even though she knows how to cross stitch and could make it herself, she expects me to make it for her ... i think it was a mistake to tell her that Little Nonnie wouldn't sew (or crochet or embroider or stitch) for me after i learned the basics ... she would tell me, "You know how, you can do it yourself." ...... i used to hate hearing those words ... nope, i never should have told Auntia ... she guilted me into buying the kit and asked if i could at least have it finished before An Echo in the Bone is published ... i dinna ken if that will happen, but i will do my best to have it done by Robert Burns next birthday ... "Who?" she asked.

then we went to see Little Nonnie ... she wouldn't let me take her picture, either. she told me that her hair is too frizzy and i can take all the pictures that i want at the baby shower next saturday because she is gonna have her hair done on friday. well, all righty, then. after a (looong enough) visit, we headed for Schlotskys, ordered our serious sandwiches, and came home to eat and watch some episodes from the first season of Highlander ... and take a nap.

Friday, March 6, 2009

eat your cake

and have it, too! this was baking in the oven while i talked to Little Nonnie ... and, yes, she does want a piece (maybe two)!

heading out

tomorrow we will be going to The Quilter's Studio for the quilt block of the month meeting. we are using the Block Party book by Marsha McCloskey and the hydrangea line of fabrics from Lakehouse. Auntia and i are both participating; she is going to incorporate all of our blocks into one quilt. i am making the assigned blocks and the alternates (times three) in pinks and oranges so i can make (more) quilts for my (soon to be three) granddaughters. Auntia is making the same blocks with greys and blacks and oranges and yellows, and a celestial fabric for the focus. at last month's meeting the shop displayed finished quilts from last year's BOM sampler and they were really, really cool. the fabrics were all batiks and, even though everyone made the same blocks from the same fabrics, none of the quilts were the same.

after the BOM meeting, we will walk across the street to The Stitcher's Garden and pick up all of the threads and charms that have been on backorder for Peanut Butter Cup's stocking. i've started Littlelle's stocking (i already had the threads and charms) ... i dunno if they will be completed by christmas ... i have stitched ten Shepherds Bush stockings in the past few years, and i know that it will take a loooong time to finish two more.

after we have spent all of our money on Main Street, we will go to visit Little Nonnie. she says that she really misses real food ... maybe i will bake a pineapple upside-down cake tonight and take a piece to her ... it depends on if my wrists will let me flip the cast iron skillet.

and then ... and then ... and then we get to eat Schlotsky's for lunch! woo hoo! can you believe that the closest Schlotsky's is almost 30 miles away! seriously!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

printer, paper, scissors

this is the invitation to Littlelle's shower ... they were made by Mrs. Blakesmom ... the woman can work miracles with a printer, paper and scissors! she has a room in her lovely home dedicated to scrapbooking and paper crafts ... the scrapbook albums that she has created for her son are amazing!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

a bun in the oven

Mrs. Moth has a bun in the oven ... a little pink bun whose name will begin with the letter "L" but is a secret because ...... well, because that is the nature of the Moths.

so, little pink bun in the oven's nonna calls her Littlelle because ...... well, because that is the nature of the Nona.

Littlelle's big brother (NoJo) is 8 and her big sister (Gumdrop) is almost 6 ... needless to say, all of the baby stuff is gone ... handed off to friends or relatives ... broken ... worn out ... lost ... gone.

Littlelle needs a shower of baby goodies and Mrs. Blakesmom generously offered to be the hostess. the very least that Littlelle's auntie and nonna could do is to help with the favors and refreshments ...... the party needed a theme ... oooo - how about a bun in the oven?!?

we found the cutest little party favors here ... but they didn't come in pink and we would have been able to buy only one or two for prizes because they were kinda pricey (last week we found them at Michael's for $1.99 each - who knew?) ... what to do? what to do?
Auntia decided that she could make them herself (in pink, of course) ... one for each invited guest. uhmmm - you do realize that's 40 ovens, don't you? seriously? seriously?
but Auntia likes a challenge, too. we started the search for the perfect cinnamon bun candles to put inside the ovens and found candle tarts here that i hoped would work. we ordered half a pound. but when they arrived, they were too small for the ovens. they smelled wonderful, though, and will be a prize for some lucky guest at the shower. then we found tea light candles here ... and they were exactly what we were looking for. they really do look like cinnamon rolls and they smell like heaven!

Auntia loves origami and can fold a flat piece of paper into all kinds beautiful shapes; making an oven-shaped template was easy enough for her to do. we couldn't find a bun in the oven stamp at any of our usual haunts; she found one on eBay. JoAnn's had their scrapbook papers on sale a few weeks ago, so we loaded up on pink card stock. she traced ... and i cut. we were watching her Supernatural Season 1 DVDs and she finally had to take the scissors away from me ... that show is scary ......
i probably could have folded the paper without hurting myself (or anyone else), but Auntia pooh-pahed me and took over ... sheesh.

look at what she made! is that not the cutest thing??!!?? the stamped parchment paper is held on by little pink heart-shaped brads ... the burners are buttons held down with ZOTS ... we bought a punch for the oven doors and she used a sliced-up page protector for the windows ... all held together with Duck Easy Stick tape ...

and then she just had to do it thirty-nine more times ... do you see that block on the wall behind the ovens? that's what she really ought to be working on ... and the pile of projects stacked up against the wall behind her ...... but then we wouldn't have 40 of these too cute for words little pink ovens with buns, now would we?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

ahem ... more about the wedding quilt

wedding wishes on dragonfly's wing ...... Auntia was working across the sewing table from me and, bless her heart, did all of the pressing for the dragonfly blocks. i would probably still be standing there with the Rowenta gurgling and phwooshing if she hadn't come to the rescue. Auntia is much better at pressing than i am ... i tend to not press as i go, and then i whine about bunchy seams and warped blocks. between the two of us, all of the blocks were sewn, pressed, and trimmed in time for the wedding.

we did have to make another trip over to Tomorrows Heirlooms for a bit of dark green faerie frost ... the copper and blue were so bright that the purple looked like mud next to them; the green provided a bit of balance.

a table was set up at the wedding reception with the blocks and pigma pens so that guests could sign the wings. there was a photo mat for signatures, too, and many people opted out of signing the quilt blocks ... all in all, we ended up with 30 signed blocks. well ... actually, there were 31 ... one block had to be disassembled ...

one of the guests wrote, "Remember to kick her when she's down." on one of the wings ... and the fool actually had the cajones to sign his name! then some other fool wrote "Butt Hole" on the same wing ... the block couldn't be tossed out because another guest had written a nice sentiment on the other wing ...... it took just a few minutes to take two blocks apart and reattach the wings to make one acceptable block ...... but, seriously, who does something like that?

anywho, i was struggling with how to arrange 30 blocks into a wall hanging. a rectangle just wouldn't do for the intended wall space. what i really wanted was 36 signed blocks so i could make a square of 6 by 6. after sorting through the blocks again and again, i realized that Earth Science and his family hadn't signed any ... needless to say, i took over four blocks and hovered while he and LAB (his children's mother) wrote their messages, and Corbadoo drew squiggly lines on his block. LAB signed Peanut Butter Cup's block for her ...... and then there were 34. still needed two ... hmmmm ... what to do, what to do? sort, sort, sort ... aha! Little Nonnie (my mother) hadn't signed a block and neither had Traveling Man ... so, a short drive to Near South Broomfield and a longer drive to Near Lyons ...... and then there were 36. woo hoo!
with blocks in hand (9 of each color), i cleared a space in the living room

and started to arrange and rearrange the blocks ...

every arrangement looked like a diving bomber squadron of mosquitoes.
what happened to the lovely flitting dragonflies?!? maybe ... this way:

much better ...

but look at all of those crazy points to match!

much, much later, after a few choice words and lots and lots of reverse sewing, Auntia helped me sandwich the flimsy, basting with pins. i stitched in the ditch around the wings and bodies with a greenish brown thread (Earth Science thinks the quilting looks phallic ... sheesh). after that, we took out the pins and loaded it onto the Inspira frame. i freemotion quilted dragonflies with metallic copper thread on the top and brown thread in the bobbin, then more dragonflies in the borders. i am still learning freemotion quilting, so it isn't the best ... but i am getting better with each quilt. there is a hanging sleeve stitched into the binding. wedding wishes on dragonfly's wing is now displayed on Mrs. Moth's wall.

the rest of the story will have to wait for another day ... in case anyone is wondering what happened to the 63 leftover blocks.