Monday, July 30, 2007

Simpson's Movie

Susie Simpson
Well, The Simpson's movie finally opened and we all had to see it. There were many funny parts including an hilarious sequence with a naked Bart skateboarding through town and another always funny Itchy and Scratchy. The laughs didn't come quite as often as they often do on the TV show. I wish they'd done a few musical numbers and showcased more favorite characters like Apu and Mrs. Crabapple.

That's my own Simpson's avatar up there visiting the Simpson's house. Not surprisingly, their messy home resembles my own, although it is more likely to be me with napping with yummy doughnuts than my husband.

Make your own Simpson's avatar at the movie's homepage.

Can you believe that there are still some people who think The Simpsons is a bad influence? It's the best social satire around.

Some great quotes I found in a google search:

Mr. Burns: I'll keep it short and sweet -- Family. Religion. Friendship. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business.

Homer: You don't like your job, you don't strike. You go in every day and do it really half-assed. That's the American way.

Bart: I smell a museum.
Homer: Yeah, good things don't end with 'eum,' they end with 'mania' or 'teria.'

Ralph: The doctor said I wouldn't have so many nose bleeds if I kept my finger outta there.

Homer: You know, my kids think you're the greatest. And thanks to your gloomy music, they've finally stopped dreaming of a future I can't possibly provide.

Lisa: Do we have any food that wasn't brutally slaughtered?
Homer: Well, I think the veal died of loneliness.

Troy McClure: HI. I'm Troy McClure. You may remember me from such self help tapes as 'Smoke yourself thin' and 'Get some confidence, Stupid!

Troy McClure: Hi. I'm Troy McClure, you might remember me from such driver's ed films as "Alice's Adventures through the Windshield Glass" and "The Decapitation of Larry Leadfoot."

Homer: Are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Ham?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal.
Homer: Heh heh heh. Ooh, yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.

Ed Begley Jr.: I prefer a vehicle that doesn’t hurt Mother Earth. It’s a go-cart, powered by my own sense of self-satisfaction.

Leonard Nimoy: Hello. I'm Leonard Nimoy. The following tale of alien encounters is true. And by true, I mean false. It's all lies. But they're entertaining lies. And in the end, isn't that the real truth? The answer is: No.

I do regularly miss the new Simpson's shows when they are broadcast, but we all are addicted to the reruns. My kids always run out of their media time (90 minutes/day) and then sneak onto the stairway when I watch the episode that's broadcast while I cook supper. I catch my son when he can't keep from laughing out loud.

Back to crafting tomorrow....

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Star Party

Yikes! It's been awhile since my last post.

I've been busy getting ready for my daughter's birthday party. She wanted an astronomy theme and so my mom and I worked out some activities to do a Wish Upon a Star party.
Here's the birthday girl:
Emma with Stars

Whenever I volunteer at her class, the girls want me to bring them little felt critter barrettes, which I obviously can't do. I did make this batch for the party though. Mascots always look great in a big pile all together don't they? I finished the last one about 15 minutes before the first guest arrived.
Felt Stars
Here's the treat bags I stitched up. They have star themed treats like Milky Way candy, Starburst, Twinkies, Orbit Gum, Glow Bracelets, Sparkley stickers and Glitter Glue.
Star Treat Bags

We started off with wishes for all the girls like: "I wish that your favorite color markers never run out of ink." and "I wish that pizza will always come with your favorite toppings."

Wishing Stars

The real Star of the party, was my mom. Grandma is an exceptional teacher (with a book to prove it) and she ran all the games and had a terrific starmaker activity where we learned about the legend of Ursa Major and the North Star and then made these really cool constellation makers that project the constellation on the ceiling in a darkened room. I didn't get a good photo of those, but I had painted oatmeal boxes black and the girls decorated them with those metallic gel pens. We also played "Pin the North Star on Ursa Major" Really, it was a simple party. I didn't even get a special decorated cake and the girls didn't care.

I can also do these sorts of activities with children, but it's so great to have family nearby to make it a success. Last year, we did a Rainbow Party, and used lots of food coloring in our activities. One of the little girls told her mom, "Emma always has the best parties." That just makes us feel all warm and fuzzy.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Summer Birthday Gifts

EM's Doll Quilt

Here's the little doll quilt I made for my niece. I used scraps leftover form the larger star quilt top I finished recently. This went together really quickly because the rectangular shapes were already precisely cut and all the fabrics coordinate well.

I had this cute dessert fabric for the back. Cutie Pie's mommy makes beautiful desserts and decorated cakes: EM's Doll Quilt back

I was thinking of doing a little kid apron, but go figure... a quilt is easier for me than an apron...

This is what I stitched up for her mom, my sister-in-law:
Cake Towel Embroidery
I like this little cupcake best: cupcake embroidery

When I stitched up this cake, I found one row of chain stitching was too thin, so I added a second row. It still didn't look balanced, so I added the row of pink and then I was happy with it: Bundt Cake embroidery
And just so the pie doesn't feel left out: Fruit Pie embroidery

SIL is an excellent baker. She makes homemade wedding cake with full butter buttercream frosting regularly for their family. The apple pie she makes for Thanksgiving is the best and she even makes us all delicious pecan pie even though she doesn't care for it. With her apple and pecan pies and my pumpkin, we can achieve a Thanksgiving dessert trifecta of pies.

The quilt "pattern" is my own. but the cake embroidery is from the Sublime Stitching book. Since embroiderers always want to know... I used 2 strands of embroidery floss and the chain stitch on my embroidery motifs.

I know I'm not the only obsessed stitcher out there.. The day I did the towel, I couldn't stop stitching and figured it wouldn't take long and as soon as I finished I'd take my shower and get dressed. I managed to make myself presentable by about 4:30pm just before hubby got home from work...

Friday, July 6, 2007

French Knots

Sheep Pouch

Somehow I lost my little birdie pouch. After reading this blog post about French knots, I felt I could use a little bit of practice and I decided to give these pouches another go. The pattern is from a fantastic book by Sally Mavor called Felt Wee Folk. Although you can't really tell, I worked all day on this on July 4th. I did also cut out patterns to make more pouches. My husband was happy to stay home for the holiday and told the kids, "Mom's got a sewing fever today." We learned that our neighbors launch plenty of illegal fireworks and we can see the neighboring community's show from the backyard.

I stitched while watching countless Twilight Zone episodes. So many, in fact that I started to wonder what we ever saw in that goofy show anyway. The spooky supernatural themes are kind of dated as are the women characters who generally offer either shrill oppposition and moral weakness, or undying love and support to the men who get to have all the adventure. It is fun though... remember the one where Burgess Meredith dreams of having time to read, and when he survives nuclear holocaust near a large public library, his glasses break and he's doomed... There's another one where a woman dreams of having a normal face through plastic surgery. But, of course in a shocking ironic twist, we learn that, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"

These pouches are pretty simple actually. It's just a long tri-folded rectangle with snaps attached. Sheep pouch inside You can find the snaps in the notions department and although they sell tools to attach them, you can do it with a hammer and a wooden spool.

The little pouch is laying on a surprise I made for my niece. I'll share that later.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

Pieced Flag
Happy Fourth of July! I've already cranked up the ice cream maker in preparation for a picnic tonight. I like to see fireworks on the actual 4th, but there is a good chance of rain... In my hometown, our fireworks were always on the 4th, so I prefer to watch them on that day. We hope to go to my hometown suburb to watch their show, which is quite spectacular and the parking situation is manageable.
Above is a foundation pieced flag I made as Christmas gifts several years ago. I think it was the Christmas after September 11, 2001, actually. This time, it's not the camera, it actually is wonky.

And even though Mr. Lincoln was not president at the time of our great country's independence, here's the dolls my daughter received as gifts from her Grandma of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln in their inaugural ball outfits. We found these at the Lincoln Library Museum in Springfield, Illinois
Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln

In our family, we are quite interested in presidential history. My darling husband and I disagree considerably on the merits of our more recent presidents, but we try not to argue about it. We do agree on historical perspectives, however and our country would likely not exist as we know it were it not for Mr. Lincoln's unparalleled political genius that held our country together during the Civil War.

Happy 4th!