Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Excuse me ... but did I just witness a new spin on The Emperor's New Clothes, or what?!? Here's what I'm talking about:

I was feeling under the weather the other day, and because I hadn't the energy to do much else, I flicked on the TV. Not being a big fan, I flipped through the channels and happened upon what was supposed to be a sort of cooking show. The gal featured on the program travels about, taking cooking lessons in exotic places. The day's adventure has her in a village in Laos, and I expect to see them cooking with ingredients I'm not likely to find in my local supermarket, but it might prove interesting, so I settle on this show. Well, actually, I settle on the couch, but you know what I mean.

In her chatter, "Ruth" explains that in Laos, many people have had it rough, economically speaking, and therefore cook anything edible (and I'm guessing they use that term lightly). So, yep, they prepare things like banana leaves stuffed with some glop like rice and whatever weeds are around, and fry up some silk worms (yum!), etc. Of course, everything prepared has a local name like phung bot goo. But here's the thing ... on the menu for the day was poo tea.

Now, I thought they were going to pick some local herb, simmer it in hot water and declare it "simply delicious," as is the expected behavior. Nope. Ya' know those aforementioned silk worms? Well, it seems that they're used to produce silk for cottage industry weaving. In the process of raising the worms, a lot of poo is produced by the worm. And -- you guessed it! The poo is actually poop. Worm poop. And they used it to make tea. And "Ruth" drank it!

Now ... excuse me if my American attitude or lack of worldliness is showing, but I don't give a flying leap HOW poor you are, drinking poopy water is just nasty! How would poverty justify taking clean water, dropping in a handful of worm pooballs, and then drinking it?!? Why would you not just drink the water? Have it hot if you like! But leave the _ _ _ _ out, for crying out loud!

I couldn't help but wonder if it was like in the story of The Emperor's New Clothes -- a nasty "joke" on the obviously wealthy person? Did they resent that she had come to learn how the other half lives in Poverty Village? And was she, like the Emperor, fearful of appearing less adventurous, intellectual or something, should she refuse to drink sewage? Nasty, I tell you. Just plain nas-tee tea.

And now that I think about it, I don't recall that the native guy helped himself to a cup of the brew. Hmmmm ...


Enough about that. Here are a few pics from the recent Deb Tucker class --

A possible layout:

Not crazy about that? Well, then ... shuffle, shuffle ...

What do you think about this one?

... more about the class next time.

Monday, February 15, 2010

$182.53 later ...

I broke with my own tradition last night. I went grocery shopping. As I've mentioned before, I have made it my practice to NOT shop between Thanksgiving and March 1. Problem was, company was coming and I was out of cookies and the favorite breakfast fare. I could have done homemade cookies -- I had all the ingredients in the pantry. But I just didn't know how to make a reasonable facsimile for Toto-Pupfs* -- so I caved. Some people are just worth breaking my own rules for. My little granddaughter (who pronounces *K sounds like Ts) tops that list. But how is it I went to the store for a box of cereal and came out pushing a cart full of stuff I didn't really need? Ya THINK I'm a bit of an impulse shopper?!?

... so today was spent mostly playing with dollies, watching cartoons and singing silly songs. Everyone should have a little of that once in a while. It's been said, "A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition." We're expecting snow for the next couple of days -- but I'll have my own little sunshine right here, singing and dancing up a storm, and changing her outfit every couple of hours. Just be-tause it's fun.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

stocking up ...

Must be going to snow. The birds are flocking to the feeder like old folks to the grocery store at the mere mention of a storm. (Should that be expressed the other way around? Oh well ... same diff ... they are all stocking up.)

Traci was in the studio yesterday. She finished this scrappy cooperative-effort quilt done by a group of her friends and associates (78x99 inches, approx.) to be raffled off in May to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.

Although you can't really see it in this not-so-hot photo, it's done with a
stars and loops pattern all over. The back is a very pretty light blue. You can contact her for tickets (607) 425-8974 -- The small donation for the tickets will go to a very important cause.

When she finished that, Traci quilted some VERY pretty fabric with a butterfly pattern that is just beautiful. She is going to use it to construct a(nother) tote, and promises to bring it back to show me the finished product. I'm guessing it's going to be a very pretty bag.

While she was busy on one machine, I used another to finish up a customer's quilt. The owner wanted an all-over meander. EZPZ ... I got the over-sized queen piece quilted in about 2-1/2 hours. Ta-Da! Once that was off my ticket, I decided to give that new shiny new thread a whirl (see Feb 3 post). I have got to tell you ... this stuff worked like a charm! It's as colorful and shiny as rayon, but without the tension/breakage issues that rayon creates. I'll be keeping it in the studio now that I'm certain it is a dependable thread. Oh ... and the price ... unbelievably affordable. Can you see it here?

"Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats. -- Voltaire

Monday, February 8, 2010

It must be some kind of law ...

I barely got started, when I came upon this. Do you mean to tell me that a ball of yarn containing a mere 110 yards cannot be made without having a knot in it?!? For crying out loud (sigh) ...

... and get this: I think the combination of colors in this yarn is pleasant enough. But sure as shootin' -- wouldn't ya know -- THAT color just HAD to turn up just as I was forming the heel. This pair of socks is doomed to look dirty -- like I stepped in a mud puddle -- before I even get them off the needles. Tsk!

(Note to K -- this is meant to be a portable project; hence, no CSM this time)

And the next bit is really for my Friend-Since-We-Were-Ten-Gerry, but anyone near my age might get a kick out of this memory jogger. Look what my DIL sent as a belated BD gift:

I've been on a hunt for this for years! The aforementioned friend and I used to play all kinds of board and/or card games after school together. I wasn't sure there was anyone in the world who ever played this one except us, because nobody I ever mentioned it to had even heard of it. Isn't this great? All the parts are included. A perfect gift (thank you, thank you). So, G ... we need to plan a play date, for sure!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The New Moo ...

(Never mind that title with no post from the 3rd -- I got carried away with the "publish" button. Or something.)

So here's the new moo -- sh
e'll be called Rudie (yes, we name them all). Splashdown was early Saturday morning. At the creek. At the bottom of the hill. Far, far away from the barn. The mom (Big Red) went as far from the barn as she could possibly get to deliver her. Of course, the weather was brutally cold here that morning. So she was rescued -- carried all the way back uphill to the barn, with the mom close behind. Ugh ... long haul. Glad I was not the one who had to do it.

My feet are cold. Always. I need a pair of wool socks. Does this look like a pair of socks to you?

How about if I add a pile o
f sticks?

We'll see. In a
couple of days (hopefully).
Here's what I'll be playing with today:

It's a customer's quilt. She did the hard part, I get to do the fun part!

Stay warm (wear wool) and take time to play (I highly recommend quilting)!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hello, Sunshine ...

Hockey, anyone?

I spent some time yesterday at the dentist's office. I have just one word: WHY??? Seems I have an infection brewing above my front teeth. He gave me three options for treating the problem, none of which is acceptable to me. Here are the options, all of which involve first pulling a tooth out (the one next to the front):
Door #1 -- have a gaping hole in my face like a hockey player;
Door #2 -- get an implant to the tune of $4,000; or
Door #3 -- get a partial plate for
that tooth to hang on and hope to heck it doesn't drive me stark raving nuts. Oh, is that still an option?

On the bright side, look what arrived in the mail:

I can't wait to see how well it works on my machine. Sooooo pretty!

Such colors! Such shine! I'm going to go give it a whirl ... I'll let you know if it's successful.