Monday, August 15, 2011

Pretty Cakes

So my sister signed me up for the Wilton's cake decorating class at our local Michaels craft store.  It was pretty fun.  It's a 4 week course that met once a week.  It can get kinda pricey, it seemed like we had to buy something new each week, along with the start up items, but if you plan on decorating at all when the class is over it's a fairly decent investment.  Our first class we decorated cookies, second was a 2 layer cake, then filled cupcakes, and then a final cake.  The first 3 classes we decorated our whatever using the skills we had learned for the week, and the last was a "have fun with it".  

So here was my final cake:

It's a double layer yellow cake (thank god for box mixes)  with a hot fudge filling (from the ice cream aisle) and chocolate butter cream frosting (made from scratch, recipe's on the wilton's baking site).  We learned frosting roses in the last class, hence all the roses.

About a week after we had a bake sale at church to raise money for a blind school in Jamaica, and after a quick online search for something interesting to make, I found (and made) these:

Sugar cookies decorated to look like sand dollars

Owl cupcakes made from M&M's and Oreos

Sunflower cupcakes made from M&M's and Oreos

Sunshine made from candycorn

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chart J

Sloooooooooooowly getting there...

Chart J (click to enlarge)

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Chart I

Half way there!!!! 16 more to go!!! :-D  Another refresher on pattern placement, still personal use only please :-)

Chart I (click to enlarge)

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Chart H

Almost there!

Chart H (click to enlarge)

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Chart F

The thread doesn't like me today, it does nothing but tangle and knot :-(

Chart F (click to enlarge)

Chart G

*sigh* falling behind again...

Chart G (click to enlarge)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Chart E

Hooray! We've made it through the top row! Only 24 more patterns to go! Here's a refresher of the placement, pattern is personal use only please :-)

Chart E (click to enlarge)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chart D


Chart D (click to enlarge)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chart C


Chart C (click to enlarge)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Chart B

Geez, I'm already behind...oh well.

Chart B (click to enlarge)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Blackwork Checkerboard Sampler

A few years back while browsing through a stack of Gram's old needlework books I came upon an interesting idea.  They had turned a simple blackwork sampler into a checkerboard.  I found this quite ingenious, because really, what the heck do you do with a sampler once it's done? So I snapped a photo of it and moved on to other things.  I came across the photo recently and thought "wow...still a neat idea". 

The thing with photos is that while you get the general idea of how the needlework should look, it's reeeeeally hard to distinguish the actual pattern.  So I browsed through some books I had at hand, surfed the web, and even made up a few of my own to create this blackwork checkerboard. 

Time for some specs:  The pattern is 216x216 squares on 18ct Aida cloth (60.96x60.96cm).  The checkerboard consists of 64 squares, each of which is 26x26 squares.  If you're doing the math, that leaves a 4 square boarder around your project. Feel free to leave more.  32 of those squares are left black, leaving 32 to be filled in.  Blackwork is usually worked in black...hence the name.  I, however, rebel that I am, will be using DMC 3362 (it's a nice dark green color). I'm also going to be working it with 1 strand.

I"m going to post parts of the pattern about every other day in the hopes that it will motivate me to keep up the pace.  Haven't decided if I'll work in order, but I'll post them in order in the event anyone else wants to use this pattern so you're not too confused or skipping wildly around.  Personal use only please. 

So yay! Here we go :-)

A preview of what the end result should look like

Broken into 16 parts

Chart A (click to enlarge)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Makes you wonder what you'd do to fulfill your own dreams...

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Project Saturn

The end results of Ry's family Saturn project.  The assignment was to pick a planet and research it, answering 9 provided questions and adding more of your own to fill a file folder/lapbook.

The front

Lifting the flap reveals the questions answer

Open one side...

and then the other

All flaps opened to reveal the answers

The Saturn pop-up

From the side you see the pop-up part better

This portion showed all of Saturn's named moons


And removable cards that detail Saturn's rings

And there you have a report on Saturn.  We got a lot of the pictures from the NASA website, so thanks NASA!

Monday, May 30, 2011

8 Ways To Prepare Your Pets For War

Because lets face it...they need to learn to pull their own weight.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Scalloped Pineapple Dessert

Mmmmmm...I made this the other night and decided it was too good not to share.  My sister has made it before and always promises to bring me the leftovers from whatever party she's taking it to, but there never are any :(  So I took the initiative and whipped up a batch so I could see what I was missing.  I can see now why there were never any leftovers.

Scalloped Pineapple Dessert

16 slices of white bread, cubed
2 large cans of pineapple (diced/cubed) drained
1 pound (2 sticks) butter
6 eggs
3 cups sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix eggs and sugar in a bowl.  Melt the butter and add, mixing thoroughly.  Add bread and pineapple.  Let sit a minute a two to let the mixture soak into the bread.

Bake in a 9x13 pan for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
(I usually have to cook mine for 45 minutes or a tad longer, your oven may vary)

Enjoy!  I've been told it's like a variation of pineapple upside down cake, so if you like that, you should like this as well :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Women In Art

Wow...this is truly amazing to see all the different interpretations throughout the years

500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art
by Philip Scott Johnson

Information on the individual portraits can be found here.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tim Minchin

I'd never heard of Tim Minchin before I saw him on the show, but my goodness is he hilarious. I will definitely have to find more of his stuff.

5/12/11 Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson

Friday, May 13, 2011

Origamic Architecture

So we have another family learning project with Ry, this time a lapbook on a planet.  He's chosen Saturn.  He is fairly determined that he will have a pop-up/pop-out of the planet, which while definitely a creative idea, is a tad beyond my knowledge.  So while I was cruising round the internet looking for instructions on how to achieve a planetary pop-up I came across the most amazing site.

(click on the origamic architecture link in the first paragraph)

How awesome is that???  The site's bilingual, so don't worry if you find yourself staring at a bunch of French (unless of course you read French, which is a bonus for you, now isn't it?) just scroll until you find the English parts.  There's a ton of instructions on how to do these, it's basically a .pdf page that has all your cut and fold lines marked (cut the solids, fold the dashed).  It really can't get much simpler than that I think.  

So go have fun and make some awesome pop-out art.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


I have a hamster that I alternately love and loathe.  I love him because he's cute and fluffy.  I loathe him because his wheel has a squeak and his water bottle makes such a racket it can wake me up at night.  I love him because he's been around for 2+ years, and I sometimes loathe him because...I honestly didn't think he would live this long.  Which is a horrible thing to say, I know.  I feel bad for even thinking it at times.

Then I saw this.  A hamster mansion.  The Biltmore of hamster habitats. And I want it.  I want it bad.  So, Rufus, if you manage to live for a few more years (and why not, you've outlived every other hamster I ever knew) this might just be in your future.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Our choices in life...

Robert Frost (1874–1963).  Mountain Interval.  1920.
The Road Not Taken
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;        5
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,        10
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.        15
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

 I've often wished that there were a way to split myself in two so I could travel each path before me.  Wouldn't it be wonderful?  To know exactly what awaited just around the bend of each path so that you could choose the best one?  To see the opportunities awarded each? The drawbacks?  I would see where that path would lead me 5, 10 years in the future.  Was it worth it? Did that path make me happy?  Should I have chosen the other one?  So many questions whose answers I'll never know.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The Child Is Made Of One Hundred

The child
is made of one hundred.
The child has
A hundred languages
A hundred hands
A hundred thoughts
A hundred ways of thinking
Of playing, of speaking.
A hundred always a hundred
Ways of listening of marveling of loving
A hundred joys
For singing and understanding
A hundred worlds
To discover
A hundred worlds
To invent
A hundred worlds
To dream
The child has
A hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
But they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture
Separate the head from the body.
They tell the child;
To think without hands
To do without head
To listen and not to speak
To understand without joy
To love and to marvel
Only at Easter and Christmas
They tell the child:
To discover the world already there
And of the hundred
They steal ninety-nine.
They tell the child:
That work and play
Reality and fantasy
Science and imagination
Sky and earth
Reason and dream
Are things
That do not belong together
And thus they tell the child
That the hundred is not there
The child says:
No way. The hundred IS there.

by Loris Malaguzzi

Monday, May 02, 2011


 Thank God I Finished!

Woo Hoo! I was only 2 days behind, but I did it! I might just need until next April to recover lol.  Some of those letters were hard to think of things for!

Thanks to everyone that started following me in April, and thanks Belle for all your comments! (Do you have a blog by the way?) Ha! never mind, I found it, that'll teach me to type before I think =P

Now I'm off to celebrate my success!

Z is for Zathura

ZathuraZathura is story by Chris Van Allsburg that is a follow up to his story Jumanji.  Both were made into hugely successful movies, along with another one of his books, The Polar Express.

The story revolves around brothers Walter and Danny Budwing who find the abandoned Jumanji game in a park.  Upon opening the box it's discovered that a second game, Zathura, is hidden in the bottom of the box.  With a roll of the dice the game begins and the brothers find themselves stuck in a game that won't end until one of them wins.

Van Allsburg is a wonderful story teller, whose stories are made all the more amazing by his illustrations.  If you have a budding writer in your life, look into his book The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.  Each page is a gorgeous illustration with a simple caption, just begging for you to write a story to accompany it.

The Polar Express [Hardcover]

Just a DreamQueen of the FallsThe Mysteries of Harris Burdick
The StrangerJumanjiProbuditi!The Garden of Abdul Gasazi