Friday, June 14, 2013

Big Birthday~Little Cake

The cake was tiny, ringed by even tinier cupcakes, but the sentiment is huge: Happy Birthday, Alex!

The celebration was low-key, just a warm up for something Alex and Max are planning. Knowing that this is a busy time of year, Alex and Max decided to join birthday forces for one big blow-out, later this summer! Clever young men.

I am resisting the urge to gush and glow about Alex, the birthday boy. I will say this: I love watching him paint, and pace, think, cook, look out for his family, dote on his equally sweet girlfriend, play with our pets, and share his ideas-inventions-thoughts and plans.

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

:: Inspired by Soule Mama ::

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments, for all to find and see.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Scrappy Quilt Update

All nine squares are complete, with muslin sashing. Oy, those wrinkles. I've steamed up the sewing room, ironing, and still! No matter, I love a comfy-as-home quilt, with no fuss to fret over. And to spare my fingers any more nerve damage, I am probably going to tie this quilt, rather than hand-quilt it. It will go faster, easier, and keep the light loftiness that feels nice.

I will be using a simple, and old, Ikea blanket for the center. It's 80" square, plain white, probably meant to be in a duvet. I need three inches of framing, all the way around to make the top big enough to cover the blanket. I am thinking of something in the brown-red tone, from the center of the squares to sew to the outer sashing. It will be a narrow frame that comes right up to the binding... Which reminds me: Binding! I have no idea what to do for that. And also the backing. I may have an old, but not too worn bed sheet that could work.

A lot of progress, but still a long way from complete. This is the hard part, for me. I am deep into the engineering portion of the process, and my mind starts to wander onto new ideas, and future quilt plans, in spite of the fact that I also tend to question why I ever start quilts in the first place!? I am definitely more drawn to the creative end, than the calculating bits. I would also love to make some new skirts and pants for Maria. I love fabric, and prints. I might be just as happy looking at my stash of fabrics, as cutting them all up, and stooping over a steaming iron!

Hot Tomato... **Corne de Bouc**

They came off a tomato vine, they smell like tomatoes, they're red like tomatoes... but there's something curious about their shape. They look like fingerling potatoes, crossed with red hot chili peppers.

Our volunteer garden is growing wild. Tomatoes popping up wherever they may. Our spinach from self-made beds, was plentiful and delicious. Dill, and pumpkins, too. One way or another those seeds got around and made themselves at home all over our yard, including this vigorous, spreading tomato plant.

I do love our roses, but I guess I am partial to the veggies. So, when this tomato started between two rose bushes, tiny as it was, I did not pull it up with the rest of the weeds. It looked so innocent! Then the roses, poor dears, became somewhat obscured, but seeing the flowers, the fruit setting... it would have been a sacrilege to take out the tomato!

Seeing they were small and elongated, I assumed they were grape tomatoes... then pear tomatoes. As they grew longer still, I wondered if they weren't Roma tomatoes.

But these? With their curvaceous forms? Did we cross our tomatoes with peppers, or fingerling potatoes?

Are they a rose-tomato hybrid?

I am waiting to hear from you, before we add these to our salad, or slow roast them. Am I simply clueless? Are these a variety known to you? We're curious, over here! Do we have hot tomatoes?

**Update: The spell of the mystery tomato is broken, sort of...**

Janece sought the assistance of Google, and found Corne de Bouc, It means goat's horn! Rather than completely demystifying things though... I am ever more amused and confounded. I've never heard of, or seen tomatoes like these. How did they get here!? And GOATS! They have become almost synonymous with the rose bed, where they compulsively enjoy pruning our roses to within an inch of their lives! Since I have no idea how this completely novel tomato variety has popped up in our rose bed, I am actually more inclined to assume we have crossed roses, tomatoes, and goats, and developed our own firm, sweet, small, long and twisted tomato. Science. I am totally on this.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Still Scratching and Pecking

No, I am not co-dependent, or indecisive.
Why do you ask?

Sometimes I think the camera shows me more than I can see right in front of me. So, I am just going to contemplate my options for Scratch and Peck, here on the Chcickenblog Chickenblog.



Mister Fu suggest more dots and spots, and less worries.

Chicken, Chicken, Chicken, Rabbit

Kamen is bossy.
Little Debbie is wild and aloof.
Shebot is flighty.
Inara is a rabbit.
A shy, happy, on the loose bunny rabbit.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Scratch and Peck

Scratch and Peck, I have a name for my chicken-scrap quilt, but it's a long way from being finished. Searching to recall when I started this quilt, I stumbled upon another work in progress! By my calculations, I have another year before I should be concerned about finishing my wonky mess. I had to go all the way back 2008, to find a finished quilt, and I know I started Scratch and Peck at the same time as I was finishing Grandpa's Quilt.

I was keen on playing with the smallest scrap of chicken fabric I found in a discount bin, and so I just stitched away, with purposeful pointlessness. It seemed artsy-folksy-genuine at the time, but then the misshapen little squares were packed away and forgotten.

For me there is no greater impetus for sewing than a really mess house, and guests due to arrive. So, last night I dove right in! Staying true to the scrappiness, but seeking a little more... balance? Consistency? I now have nine squares, the same size, and ready to become something greater. Bigger. Alex and Max insist on a quilt that covers both feet and shoulders, at the same time! These pieces are going to need a lot more...

But more what?
This is why I am at the blog now, instead of pressing, measuring, cutting, and sewing. Or cleaning house, for that matter. I need to figure out how I will continue, finish.

Maria says green. I was thinking blue.

And of course, there's still dinner to prepare, and getting ready for our guests!

I think I'll go sit with the chicas...

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Nerf Wars + Tron Classic & Tron Uprising + Luminous Dance Party

This is a time machine post: The party took place August 15, 2011. We invited everyone, and the theme was everything! I edited over one hundred photos to share in this post. I don't know that every image is an artistic photographic moment, but every one brings back good memories of great people... so, I'm going for it!

The invitation mentioned watching both Tron movies, playing with a huge bucket of legos, and a Nerf battle, and a black light dance party. Guests who came unarmed were offered options from our own vast and varied arsenal. Nick F. arrived fully loaded.

Nicholas S., and Tessa... she appears to be shooting digital.

Will, Wilson Wilson, Annie, Andrea, and Emma

Max, Eli, Tatiana, and Morphsuit... aka Alex

It's early, but Tots wasted no time choosing sides. Who do you play for, Wilson?

Weighing his options, and building up his arsenal, Nick surveys the field.

Eric and Lucas, Max, Tatiana, and Maria

An early engagement between Maria, and Nick F. She comes in low, and fast. Nick holds his own.

New recruits join the ranks... Will, Eli, Isaac, Maria, Tatiana, Lucas, Max, Eric, and Alex

Some prefer to relax before battle... Annie, Kiley, Andrea, Emma, and Erika

Then you have your "preppers," Nick F., and Tom.

Nick F., Tom, Nicholas S. and James

Nick S. and Stan arrive fueling themselves for what lies ahead.

And here, we have the Blue Team: Andrew D., Will, Nick S., Nicholas S., Tom, Wilson Wilson, and Nick F.
Maybe they're _Team Little Tike_, in honor of their fortress.

Team Tabletop takes its first prisoner. Will was caught stealing munitions!

Alex and Eli back-up Stan's assault, and the prisoner has no chance of escape.

No chance at all.

We are still finding Nerf bits in the garden.

Here we have Team Tabletop... Stan, Erika, Eric, Sharon, Alex, Eli, Lucas, Max, Tatiana "Tots," and Maria "Orange Crush"

Meanwhile, back at Fort Little Tike...

Suki retreats, Maria moves forward, the battle lines are drawn.

Annie joins Fort Little Tike.

Team Table Top plays offense!

Bodies, and darts, everywhere!

Isaac, and Stan, loading.

It's getting hairy out there.

Suki and Erika make tactical moves to take the enemy away from Isaac.

Another sneak attack on Fort Table Top!

Whoa, Suki hits like a girl... that must hurt!

Nick F. takes a prisoner!

Matt arrives, and Wilson gives him a quick summation on news from the front.

But, what strategy is this?

No mercy, not even for the press.

Suki gives Amy a swift and honorable departure.

In the midst of smoke and chaos, Kyle has captured the flag!

But he won't keep it without a fight.

Suki eyes. She needs rehabilitation. And dinner.

Amy and Natalie see each other.

My mistake was telling them to "act natural."

Everyone survived, even Orange Crush.

And so, inside for potluck dinner... Will, Suki, Emma, Amairani, Izzie, Andrea, and Amy

Tom, Kyle, Andrew D., and Tatiana

Settling in for the double feature, Kyle and Sam get good seats.

Now comes the dance party. Geoff put out our black lights, and opened up his supply of glow in the dark bubbles and paints, plus cyalumes (glow-in-the-dark stuffs). The lights and music made for a wildly fun dance! Part of the fun is invisible through the camera's eye... so you cannot see our glowing hands and faces, but I think some of the expressions tell the story!

Andrea blowing glowing bubbles!

Love Erika's smile.

Lights and motions make such cool effects.

Here come more bubbles!

Maria enthralled with her glowing hands.

Do you know that tonic water glows in black light? So do highlighter markers.

Annie is glowing.

The camera is slow in this low light, which makes for some really fun images.

Grant brought finger tip lights in his gloves.

Max, William, Eli, and Isaac

Matt in motion.

Isaac and Andrea

At this point everyone is glowing, so is the floor! Grant, Nick S., Tessa, Isaac, Emma, Kyle, Andrew D., Andrea, Suki, Erika, Stan, Maria, and Tom

Tom's handy moves with glow sticks.

Alex and Andrea

Finally, a shot that captures the glow everyone is wearing!

Andrew D.

Those highlighter pens, and the glowing porch floor!

Do you know what's a lot of fun? Answer: partying with curious people, with people who find enough wonder and amusement in science, and art, to make a party out of bubbles and glow sticks.

Care to guess what Eli is pulling out of the cup?