27 February 2006

Doll Quilt

Doll Quilt
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
So I took the crafting challenge today and found some scraps left over from a quilt I made little miss. The quilt was a christmas gift. She also got a doll from her other grandmother and I was determined to make her a matching quilt for her doll. Finally today I got out the scraps, squared up the pieces and put it together. Tied it with the same string and now just have to mail it off to her.

here's a close -up of the fabric. Little stars, and the fabric is so soft! Close up of doll quilt
I also took some time to make her a new pillow case. It will go with a new quilt I'm working on for her. Pictures to follow next week!

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I'm in a crafting mood

So what am I doing? Cruising a few crafty blogs to find some inspiration!

What have I stumbled upon? Well, there a new blog out there with true inspiration: WhipUp From their 'about' page:

"Whip up: To prepare quickly. To excite. To create. To incite. To build. To invent. To conceive. To push. To upset. To manufacture. To provoke.

This website has been created in order to bring the best original and exciting crafts to the attention of many.
To create a community of artists, crafters and makers and share ideas in a central space.

A handcraft guide in a hectic world

What is handcraft? “To fashion or make by hand”. “A craft or occupation requiring skilled use of the hands.”

Whip up is a multi author site with contributors from around the world united by a passion for making things, for beautiful design and for a desire to share ideas with others. The editor and originator of this site is me, Kathreen Ricketson, I wanted a central meeting place for ideas and projects and technical advice for all the latest that is handmade around the world.

It truly is an inspiration! They directed me to this site: Help+art is a site launched to promote artisits in undeveloped nations and sell their wares to everyone. Some amazing stuff there!

Lastly is the Whip Up post currently about Brandy Agerbeck. Brandy and her Loosetooth website have been on my short list for a long time. She is the most creative person I can think of. Her mind must work even while she sleeps! Incredible, I say!

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21 February 2006

The Isetta

The Isetta
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
I was at my MINI Cooper dealer of choice (I had to pick a California dealer to work with as I purchased mine from a dealer in New York and shipped to CA by train), a couple of Saturdays ago. In their "buy me!" case was this model. I want it. Waaaaaay back when I was in high school my next youngest sister had a friend. He had an Isetta. It was the coolest car ever. He also owned a couple fo original Coopers and various other forms of transportation.

This model has a city skyline etched on it and a plaque telling about the year of issue etc. It is a 1:18 scale model and in honor of the 50th anniversary of the car. So very cute! And I don't use the word lightly, I know how it makes some guys cringe hearing that word to describe a car. But it is too cute!

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19 February 2006

My First Love

In the music world...

Was a tall, lanky, dark haired man. James Taylor swept me off my feet in one fell swoop. Look at that guy in the tank top. Whoosh!
Who wouldn't find him dreamy? He not only was very sultry, but his music spoke to you. They were sad songs, the kind that made you want to take him in your arms and tell him it was going to be okay. I could listen to him sing anytime. In fact he's currently in my 'off to dreamland' music player. To tell you how long I've been listening to James Taylor, well, let me list you the ways I own his music: On reel to rell tapes, on 8 track, on cassette, on vinyl, on CDs and now a dvd. Yes, I've paid more than once or twice for the same songs, Thank you RIAA! In fact i think I've even paid iTunes for a few.

My favorite song is Sweet Baby James:

There is a young cowboy he lives on the range
His horse and his cattle are his only companions
He works in the saddle and he sleeps in the canyons
Waiting for summer, his pastures to change

And as the moon rises he sits by his fire
Thinking about women and glasses of beer
And closing his eyes as the doggies retire
He sings out a song which is soft but it’s clear
As if maybe someone could hear

Goodnight you moonlight ladies
Rockabye sweet baby james
Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose
Won’t you let me go down in my dreams
And rockabye sweet baby james

Now the first of december was covered with snow
And so was the turnpike from stockbridge to boston
Lord, the berkshires seemed dream-like on account of that frosting
With ten miles behind me and ten thousand more to go

There’s a song that they sing when they take to the highway
A song that they sing when they take to the sea
A song that they sing of their home in the sky
Maybe you can believe it if it helps you to sleep
But singing works just fine for me

- chorus -

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12 February 2006

Mr. Pink Belly

Mr. Pink Belly
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
This is Angus. He is Tyson's brother. Angus was named for his markings. You see he is a Texas born cat and his marking were that of a cow. So they named him Angus. Everyone thought he'd be the big tough cow cat. Instead he has turned into a big weasily baby. He also talks incessantly. When he is awake he is in the room with you, and talking. He meows and meows. You get to the point where you beg him to go outside or to go to bed.

So here he is in his favorite spot on our bed. That is his blanket. He needs it to be on the bed before he'll actually lay down and snuggle himself to sleep. He also needs to be given a pet before he'll stay in bed and quit bugging you to death.

Here's a close-up of his cleopatra eyes.
Say Hello Angus

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10 February 2006

Favorite Rush Songs

Up until senior year in high school most of the music I listened to was filtered through my brother. Then I met the big guy. He introduced me to a whole new selection of musicians. I began listening to a different kinds of music. I had listened to Cream, Deep Purple, the Beatles and Crosby, Still & Nash. Then I met others like Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Boston, ELO, Aerosmith and the like. We began going to all kinds of concerts and having all kinds of fun. We added a new album to the collection almost weekly. Vinyl could be bought pretty cheaply back then - $3.49 for one record album, $6.79 for a twofer. I remember the store we frequented was called The Sound Room. The guy running was doing something almost unheard of in those days. He would actually let you listen to an album before purchasing it. He was way ahead of his time.

One of my favorites of the era turned out to be Rush. Getty Lee, Neal Peart, and that other guy (Alex Lifeson). Getty Lee's voice. Indescribable. Neal Pert's drumming. There's hardly anyone who can sit at the back of a set and pound it out as creatively. He is awesome.

A couple of my favorite songs I still listen to all the time are Red Barchetta and The Trees. Both are political forum songs. Red Barchetta is on the Moving Pictures album. The Album was released in January of 1981. It was inspired by an article written in 1973 by Richard Foster called A Nice Morning Drive. It was published in Road and Track. In the 70s and early 80s we had the gas crisis. Yes, it sounds like old news nowdays. But in 1973 we actually had gas rationing. You could buy gas on an even numbered days if your cars license plate began withan even number. Vice versa for odds. I remember driving, my 65 bug, Sundays on the 91 freeway, er parking lot, as it is commonly referred to now, my way back to Long Beach and having no one else on the road but a couple of other cars. You couldn't buy gas on Sundays at all, so you needed to own a small car. The song Red Barchetta said it all. We knew that eventually one day our cars would be confiscated. Little did we know it turn into the mess we have now. (Barchetta was built by Fiat.)

The Trees was on Hemispheres released in 1978. It is definitely an anti-union song. I was forced to join the retail clerks union in 1974. In order to work in a grocery store in California, for a major grocery chain, you had to be a member of the retail clerks union. So I paid a normal journeyman's weeks salary ($400 back then), as an initiation fee and then monthly dues, to stay employed. I wasn't a journeyman by any means, but hoped someday I would be. The union then guaranteed I could keep my 10 hour a week job and got me good medical benefits. The discussion of hours and benefits is really for a different post on a different blog, and I digress. This was about The Trees. This song spoke to me. It describes the methodology we were adopting back then. Big groups forcing little groups to comply, no matter what the cost. Sigh, it's only gotten worse.

Here's the lyrics:
Red Barchetta

My uncle has a country place
That no one knows about
He says it used to be a farm
Before the Motor Law
And on Sundays I elude the eyes
And hop the Turbine Freight
To far outside the Wire
Where my white-haired uncle waits

Jump to the ground
As the Turbo slows to cross the borderline
Run like the wind
As excitement shivers up and down my spine
Down in his barn
My uncle preserved for me an old machine
For fifty odd years
To keep it as new has been his dearest dream

I strip away the old debris
That hides a shining car
A brilliant red Barchetta
From a better vanished time
I fire up the willing engine
Responding with a roar
Tires spitting gravel
I commit my weekly crime

In my hair
Shifting and drifting
Mechanical music
Adrenaline surge...

Well-weathered leather
Hot metal and oil
The scented country air
Sunlight on chrome
The blur of the landscape
Every nerve aware

Suddenly ahead of me
Across the mountainside
A gleaming alloy air car
Shoots towards me, two lanes wide
I spin around with shrieking tires
To run the deadly race
Go screaming through the valley
As another joins the chase

Drive like the wind
Straining the limits of machine and man
Laughing out loud with fear and hope
I've got a desperate plan
At the one-lane bridge
I leave the giants stranded at the riverside
Race back to the farm
To dream with my uncle at the fireside

The Trees

Words by neil peart, music by geddy lee and alex lifeson

There is unrest in the forest
There is trouble with the trees
For the maples want more sunligh
And the oaks ignore their pleas

The trouble with the maples
(and they’re quite convinced they’re right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light
But the oaks can’t help their feelings
If they like the way they’re made
And they wonder why the maples
Can’t be happy in their shade?

There is trouble in the forest
And the creatures all have fled
As the maples scream `oppression!`
And the oaks, just shake their heads

So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights
’the oaks are just too greedy
We will make them give us light’
Now there’s no more oak oppression
For they passed a noble law
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet,
And saw ...

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09 February 2006

Miami Ink

We are hooked on TLC's Miami Ink show. I am not a huge fan of tattoos for me, or anyone in the family, but it is a very interesting show. I think most professional tattoo artist are exactly that, artists. They work very hard to bring to life the clients wishes for 'ink'.

What interests me more than the tattoos are the individual stories that inspire people to have a permanent memory applied to thier bodies. Each person has a distinct reason and seems to be able to justify getting a lifelong body alteration. I find it fascinating how many people choose to immortalize another person through a tattoo.

My husband tells me I should have been an anthropologist. I love people's stories. I believe there is one for every person alive. We all have little bits of experience that shared, could possibly make a difference to someone else.

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Another quiz I'll post

You are .doc You change from year to year, just to make things tough on your competition.  Only your creator really has a handle on you.
Which File Extension are You?

Yep, keep bobbing and weaving, keep 'em on their toes!

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08 February 2006


Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
This is Tyson. Or was Tyson I should say. He came to stay at our home when our daughter moved from Austin Texas to come to California for a while. She moved. He didn't. He was a cat's cat. He was the cat all the other cats wanted to be like. He wasn't an ounce overweight, his muscles were toned, and he could beat up any other cat on the block, and then come in and say hi and snuggle up to you and make you the most important thing in his life.

He once had to go to the vet for major problems due to a fight. He came back as the frankenstein of cats. He had four tubes leading out of his skull and a myriad of stitches. He was not happy, but survived to fight again.

One day while the gardener was here he got scared of the lawn mower. He hid under the truck. When the gardener left to go to another job he rolled right over him. This was an unrecoverable injury. He was hurt so badly the only thing to do was to put him out of his misery. He could not be fixed. It was one of the worst days in my husband's life. He was home alone at the time and witnessed the entire event. In fact, it has been a year and a half sonce that terrible accident, and just yesterday, could he bring himself to talk about Tyson.

We're cat people. I'll share some other pics of his brother Angus in a couple of days.

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06 February 2006

Happy Birthday Little Sister!

Yes, she's one of my sisters. S'mee to all of you who read her blog. (I tried providing a link, but blogger is having abreakdown this morning and adding hidden texts in links so I can't fix it!) Please check the side bar for her blog "Knot in the string". It's interesting though. For years she was one of the little girls. You see there were four of us. My and my big brother and our two younger sisters. My bro and I were joined at the hip. Then there was the little girls. They were lumped together and I hardly got to know them as I was growing up. I became the pretty one, the perfect one to them. A nemesis to live up to. I was a legend in my mother's mind. And in theirs. It was way too much to be responisble for. So rather than embrace them and become a force together I basically sidestepped the perfection issue and avoided it all together.

Not now though. I usually stand in awe of my sisters the artists. They are both so very artistically amazing I am the one filled with envy. But, to the youngest. Not only is she artistic, but she is the most incredibly friendly person I know. She knows no strangers. She can strike up a conversation with anyone. She make even the slightest person in the room feel comfortable. And, like they've known her for years. She is also very smart. She doesn't like to hear that, because she hasn't been formally educated. She thinks that's what it takes. Silly her. She is well informed and has worked places I'm not qualified to work. She spent years interpreting for the deaf. Still when we're inpublic it happens. Someone won't understand what she is inquiring about and there go her hands. It may possibly help them "get it". It's funny because most of the time they're not deaf, but they do notice her beautiful hands.

Well, little sis, here's to you on your day! All those many years ago you entered my life. A little bit of a thing. And more often than not, you were not known to me for the incredible person you are. I am grateful for the time we have spent together in the recent years. I am proud of who you are and, thankfully I can say, I didn't have anything to do with it. Your the kind of person I'd pick to be friends with. I can't make age jokes like you because we all know, I'll always be older!

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01 February 2006

Oh yeah, that's me in a nutshell!

Your Hidden Talent

Your natural talent is interpersonal relations and dealing with people.

You communicate well and are able to bring disparate groups together.

Your calming presence helps everything go more smoothly.

People crave your praise and complements.

I'm not sure people are clamouring for my opinion, but I do love the picture!

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