Sunday, October 28, 2007

Beautiful Sunday

What a gorgeous day it is in Houston today. When I woke up it was around 50 degrees, now it is about 75 , the sky is clear and the wind is light. A beautiful day all around.

Today I took Alex and the girls to a fund raiser for Dachshund Rescue of Houston. The theme was The Wizard of Oz and many of the dogs and humans came dressed for the theme. The girls and Alex went with fabric ruffs. Kelis's lasted about 10 minutes, Kemora's about an hour while Alex's lasted until we made it back to the car. Paul and his girlfriend came as well and the dogs were ecstatic to have them there. When he's around I might as well not exist! There were about 50 dogs there that ran the gamut of sizes from a sweet seven pounder to a hefty 25 pounds. Two actually got adopted at the party and everyone had a good time playing with the dogs.

It was fun to watch other owners with their dogs. A few would not let them on the ground to play with the other dogs. Where they afraid they would get dirty? The other extreme was Alex and I ... I let him off his leash most of the time and he just loved finding dropped food, chasing a green tennis ball, sniffing rear ends and generally making himself a bit of a pest. Fortunately everyone was very tolerant of his antics. All three crashed in the car, barely moving until we got to within a couple of miles from home.

And before you ask... I FORGOT MY CAMERA... I do not have one picture of all this playfulness. I hope all the other photographers will be posting their photos on the web site so you can see some of the wonderful puppies that were there (Alex and the girls included!).

I hope you had a pleasant weekend. Now I need to get myself in gear to get ready for company during the Quilt Festival. I think it would be nice if my company had a bed to sleep in and a clean bathroom to use. On the other hand, with all the shopping and quilt viewing that we will be doing, beds and bathrooms seem irrelevant. Have a good week!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fall Swap

I completed a swap I am involved with today and I think it turned out well. It is in the mail but I am not sure if it made it in time for tonight's mail. Here is a photo of the goodies I sent out (a Little bright - sorry!):
I started with making a brown fabric box with copper ribbon trim. Inside the box I added a yard of hand dyed fabric from Just Imagination, a soy tart that smells of pumpkin pie, an orange and brown Craft Leftovers kit for a cocheted dish cloth, 10 yards of various fall type trims, an assortment of copper/brown beads, sequins and adornments, a covered note book, a brown beaded pen and a small watercolor kit. It seemed like every thing I included in this package came from a separte city that I have visited. Not exactly true but there are things from Barcelona, New York City, Washington DC, Washington state, Dallas and Houston. The parameters of this swap were pretty wide open.... essentially to put together a package with Fall as the theme. My partner is a skilled purse maker and said that she loves fabric and trms. I hope she likes this package!
I have another swap that's due out by November 8th that's organized by the Free Paople Clothing blog. The theme they are looking at is 'Dark Fairy' that is based on their recent catalog. I'm not completely sure what I will include in that package but I think I will start with a sewn box as well and go from there. My partner in that swap likes nature related things and I am wondering if the ideas percolating in my skull will come to fruition... only time will tell.
The International Quilt Festival is in Houston next week and I will be there most days I am looking forward to seeing friends I only see at the festival and, of course, all the beautiful quilts. I think I will be taking a lot of pictures and I will post them when I can.
Have a good weekend and keep those cards, letters and comments coming!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Anyone want a free ticket to Stitch Austin on November 10th? Leave a comment and, if I get more than one, I'll randomly give it to someone in a drawing. If only one person comments, then its yours. Comment (by November 2nd) letting me know if you are listening.

Why am I giving away my ticket after waiting almost a whole year for this event? Well....

I just found out today that my Gall Bladder needs to come out... actually I've known this for many years but have just put up with the pain and nausea. My last attack was about a month ago and it really spoiled an otherwise perfect day with the dogs and my son as it lasted almost 20 hours. A couple of weeks ago I had an Ultrasound and it showed quite a few stones. Today I saw the surgeon and she agreed that it needed to come out, preferably as an elective surgery, rather than having it done during an attack. Since I have to go clean out my Dad's Florida apartment in early December, sooner, rather than later, is the mantra today.

The surgery is scheduled for Monday, November 5th and Paul has been volunteered to stay with me the first day or so to make sure everything goes well. I may be in great shape by Saturday the 10th but I just can't ask him to dog sit (again) during the busiest time of year for caterers. He works for the premiere caterer in Houston and is currently working seven days a week and some days are very, very long .. not a good situation for Alex who is very needy for human companionship. My Mom guilt over both Paul and Alex has come to the forefront, again, so my ticket is available if you want it.

Don't know what Stitch Austin is... here is the link to their blog -

Let me know if you would like my ticket and keep those cards, letters and comments coming.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hand Embroidery Part Two

Today I had the opportunity to follow-up on the crazy quilting session I had with the Spring Branch neighborhood group back in September. Although only a couple of people completed the challenge from last time (to use the materials I had given them and make something from the bits and pieces) eight people came for the follow-up. This time they were given only a piece of muslin, a piece of 28 count Edinburough linen, a piece of cotton floss, a piece of silk floss and a couple of beads. I provided lots of scissors, embroidery hoops and needles that needed to be returned to me, the rest was for their stash.
We reviewed the prior work (stripping floss, loading needles and samples of my work) then proceeded to practice perfect french knots, easy bead stitching and laying silk threads for satin stitches. We ended up with a few minutes of discussion on how to work with even weave fabrics. I don't know if anyone else had fun but I certainly did! I enjoy passing on knowledge to others even if they only use the skills a few times. I forgot to take pictures of the completed projects from last time but they were very clever in using up most of the materials I had given them.
I will be doing a crazy quilt class for the Kingwood neighborhood group in January and I wonder if I should do the same class I did for Spring Branch or do different sitches. I will probably do the same stuff as it would be easier for me but it would be fun to add some woven stitches or complex knots. Fortunately I have a while to figure that out.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Brain Scanner

Try this one out - Not sure what it means but mine came out with a large angry sperm shaped thing surrounded by blank space with shocked and puzzled happy faces around the edges... don't think I like what its saying about me! I also tried it with my first and last name and with my middle name as well and it still came out weirdly. Then again I may be misinterpreting what I am seeing.

Austin Maker Faire

I went to the Austin Maker Faire this weekend. This is the first year it has been in Austin so it was my first opportunity to participate. I had been anticipating this for many months and, like a kid on Christmas morning, I was both pleased and disappointed with the whole event. Here's a run down of what I think was the good, the bad and the ugly of this event.

Location - The Faire was held at the Travs County Fair grounds. This is a large area where Travis County has its annual Fair. There are three large buildings - one is an arena that looks like a space for hockey games, one is a smaller modern exhibit space and one is a large animal show barn. The first two were air conditioned while the latter was not. Most of the electronic, geeky stuff was in the arena. The Make and Craft magazine store was in the second building. The more hands-on crafty stuff was in the barn. The grounds were full of tents for exhibitors of alternative housing, local food providers, a human sized mouse trap game, a watermelon catapault launcher, two music stages and a huge area where the largest kites I have ever seen were flown. The location gets a mixed review. The sales space was great, the arena was crowded and very noisy. The barn was unacceptable. The barn floor was dirt and the walls were open to the elements. As the temperatures were around 90 both days it was truly uncomfortable. Maybe they can find a different space for next year.

Pictures above are of the human sized Mouse trap game, a distant view of the Mentos and Diet Coke fountain and a look at the grounds with a view at the human powered ferris wheel free-wheeling it over the grounds.

Swap-o-rama-rama - This clothing swap and clothing re-design area was in the barn. I brought a couple of shopping bags full of stuff and was surprised that I only saw two pieces on the tables for swapping. One was an old white turtle neck and the other was a light weight wool shirt. The shirt actually ended up on a mannequin of one of the local designers being refashioned into a sleeveless cropped jacket. There was very little sewing going on. The most action was at the tables where the silk screeners were busy adding embellishments to the mounds of t-shirts that people were decorating. The fashon show at the end of the day had nothing to do with the action during the day as the clothing shown was from the designers assisting in the Swap and not from the participants. This was a disappointing experience for me as I was hoping to see a lot of action here. I did find three denim skits for myself that were my size but I did not re-fashion them as they were great just the way they were. Maybe next year the designers will be more pro-active in helping people select and redesign the available clothing. AND the location sucked... an open air barn with a dirt floor is not the best place for this kind of activity.

Other Crafty Exhibitors - I really enjoyed seeing some of the people that I regularly visit on the web. A little hut, from Kingwood of all places, had a nice exhibit of recycled art and did a demo on her work at the store building. I also saw a Roomba vacuum reworked into a random painting tool. And check out the great drawing of classsic horror movie villans on on a dirt covered car.

Geek heaven - The arena area was wild. I made a circuit board that played sounds when connnected correctly, listened to a lecture on catapaults, chatted with a woman who makes robots and who also demoed hand quilting, and enjoyed the robot band that used plastic baby doll heads as a key design element.

The robot and hand quilter booth, the lecture on catapaults with a list of the 10 favorite things to fling including dead bodies, snakes and rejected messengers, and the baby doll head robotic band.

My circuit in action, a fussy vew of the robotic Perry Como and a view of the exhibit floor in the arena.

The Store - Being the most modern building with the nicest bathrooms made this a great location. I did do some shopping and ended up with a new pocket knife specifically for electrical work. The label on it was 'bomb diffuser' and both my son and I decided it is the coolest tool in my collection. The editors of both Craft and Make magazines did a lot of demos in this space. I stopped to rest my feet and ended up watching a demo on making paper beads. The demo only took about 10 minutes with the balance of the time taken up with the Craft editors trying to prove that even a child could make them without much help... they were proven wrong :-).

Overall I enjoyed being at the Maker Faire. The location was not as user friendly as I had expected but I spoke to a lot people that I admire and saw some incredible work. I certainly had a chance to try out things I would never do on my own. I will go again next year but wear more comfortable shoes.
Several people have asked if the American Sewing Guild should participate in such an event. I definately think there is a place for us but this is an event where you can't sit back and wait for people to show an interest. The most successful booths had displays on their back wall with interactive areas on the aisle, inviting people to sit down and participate in some activity. The weavers, spinners and lace makers all had successful booths. The local ASG chapter did participate and were making comfort bags for a local hospital. It was not as successful as some of the other booths but they had some incredible garments on display.
Now I had better go and batten down the hatches as a cold front is coming and the temperatures are expected to drop into the 50's before the end of the day. Yahoo!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Breast Cancer Month Projects

Many of us are always looking for ways to use our skills to help others. Here are two fast and easy projects for those recovering from breast cancer.

The first is a pouch to help someone who has had breast surgery or during radiation treatments, to keep their arm away from their side. Here is the pattern. - I made four about a month ago and I'd estimate that it took me about 15 mintues for each bag from raw fabric to finished piece. I must admit that there is one craft item I do not have... fiberfil. Although I have been in crafty stores many times since making my initial four pouches, I still have not picked up a bag of fiberfill, so they remain incomplete.

The second project I saw is a knitted breast prosthesis. An unexpected project, created by a dynamic breast cancer survivor... even if you don't knit her commentary is delightful. The link is -

I am sure there are many more projects out there and every cancer center has suggested projects but I think both of these are rather unique and will meet the needs of many breast cancer patients.

Challenge Project

The Seams Possible Neighborhood group of the Houston ASG has a challenge for next year. The organizers handed out little CD envelopes with three things in them - a paint chip, a sample of a stitch and the name of an old movie. The challenge is to take these three inspirations and create a project that incoporates them. Not too tough, right? Well, here are my three design elements -
The blue is the envelope the pieces came in. The paint chip looks Mauve to me or a dusty Rose color. The stitch looks like a standard utility stitch. BUT the movie... Sergeant York, from 1941... that could be a problem. The movie is based on the diaries of Alvin York, a Tennesse hillbilly, sharpshooter, pacificst who becomes one of the most decorated American heroes of WWI when he single-handedly attacks and captures a German position using the same strategy as in a turkey shoot. The real York chose Gary Cooper to play him and Cooper won an Oscar for his acting skill. I have no idea how to incorporate all these elements into a project but it must have been fate that gave me this particular challenge as I received it just after visiting Hobby Lobby and picking up this clearance fabric -

Looks pretty good doesn't it? As I have seven yards of this thirty inch wide fabric I certainly have enough to execute any design but Gary Cooper in Rose... I don't think so... maybe a military style jacket and match up the stipes or a knapsack or 'go to meeting' type dress or.... I don't know but ideas are always welcome. Fortunately I have a few months to figure it out.

Wish me luck!

BTW - while I wrote this I was watching Happy Feet on HBO. What a delghtful movie! Great music and a wonderful 'ugly duckiling' type plot line. Watch when you need a good smile.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Making Vintage Handbags

I am a sucker for almost any book that talks about making handbags. I was hoping that this book would talk about vintage construction techniques... like handling horse hair interfacing or closures prevelant in previous years. None of these issues were addressed however this is a great book of vintage shapes from the 1920's, 30's, 40's and 50's.

I needed something that used a lot of buttons for the ASG annual meeting. We had a challenge to use a bag of buttons in a project. The buttons were given to us at last year's meeting and, Friday afternoon, this book arrived in the mail and inspired me to use my buttons in a bag. I know that I had a whole year to select and complete a project using the buttons but what would be the fun in that?

Here is a picture of the shiny brass buttons I received, for the challlenge ,with my helper.

I removed the shanks, mounted the buttons on a styrofoam board, spray painted them with primer then sprayed them with copper paint. I did learn that if you get spray paint on styrofoam the styrofoam tends to shrink up and I ended up with a piece of styrofoam with a bunch of button shaped mountains on it. I don't think I will use styrofoam as a background for spray painting again.

The bag I chose to reproduce was Grace from th 1940's. The supplies list and cutting instructions are very well done.

Here is Grace as I interpreted the design:

The fabric was from one of the wool sweaters I picked up in Canada and felted. The leaf was created from gray Ultra Suede, fused to the wool and stitched down using copper thread. The buttons were applied to the leaf using Glitter Glue. The handle and lining are more of the same gray Ultra Suede . If you look real closely you will see that I twisted the handle when finishing up the bag.

This handbag is an excellent size for a day out... not too big, not too small. It held most of my bits and pieces but I did not ask it to hold my Nintendo DS or a book, both of which I tend to carry when I am out on my own.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Two new time wasters

What kind of Yarn are you? My initial answer was who cares but this quiz asks odd questions so you too can find out what kind of yarn your are... By the way I turned out to be mohair, a yarn I really hate since I was given a mohair sweater many years ago only to have it felt the first time it was washed.

The other site has many, many funny things in it that are adult oriented but clean... search on bug spray for a particularly good example.

Saturday Sharing

What a fun day this has been. Today was the annual meeting of the Houston Chapter of the American Sewing Guild. Sounds boring right? The boring stuff lasted maybe 10 minutes... and that was the annual election of officers. Yours truly will continue as the Treasurer for another year. This will be my fourth year in a row at this job and, in an effort to drum up interest in this job, I gave a brief overview of our chapter's finances. They laughed at my lame jokes and I hope someone will be interested in taking this job over next year.

The rest of our four hour allottment was made up of a very nice lunch, drawings for door prizes, a trunk show by a local fiber artist plus fabric and button shopping. The local fiber artist is Carol Watson. This is a woman, who has been known to haunt the one dollar a yard shelves at WalMart, purchases fabric by the bolt and creates complete wardrobes. All the garments she showed have been worn many times by Carol and each set includes all sorts of creative embellishments. Her husband is a sports executive and travels extensively. Carol joins him on many of his trips so her clothing gets a real workout. Most of the wardrobes shown included a coat, jacket, dress, skirt, pants and tops. One of the dresses became a short sleeved jacket with the extra fabric removed by snaps. Some of the garments were reversible and all had unique embellishments. It was sobering for me to see a set of garments made from some fabric I have been mulling over how to use for at least six months.

The shopping was from a trunk show from Leandro Fabrics. Their web site does not do their inventory justice. I picked up some lovely peach and tan dupioni silk that was on sale and some incredible buttons. This is an Arizona company so they had a lot of hard to find warm weather fabrics like tropical weight wools and dotted swiss cottons. I understand that I may see some more of these fabrics later on this week and I think I need to pick up at least one linen or wool offering. One unique piece of fabic was a double sided linen that was blue on one side and lavender on the other. I wonder what Carol would do with something like that?

After the meeting I stopped by at Sunflower Quilts ( to check in with them on their efforts for the Quilt Teal project to support Overian Cancer research. There was a sew-in a couple of Sundays ago that I could not attend, due to illness, and I was impressed that they had 75 volunteers from nine quilt stores putting quilt tops together. By the end of the evening all of the donated blocks (over 300 at last count) were set into over 30 quilt tops. I picked up two that had already been pinbasted to machine quilt. I have until early February to get the quilting done and then someone else will do the binding. Jill, the owner, gave me some wonderful variegated thread from YLI to use for the quilting and I will definitly post pictures once I have completed my quilting.

I also found out that there are still some Quilt Pink quilts, to support Breast Cancer research, left on EBay from last year's charity quilting through Sunflower Quilts. If you know someone who would appreciate a pink themed quilt you might want to check them out.

This shop is always invovled in unique charity sewing work. For Christmas they are gathering 'One Yard Hugs' for a local hospital. One of their customers makes these on an on-going basis and Sunflower supports her efforts at this time of year by gathering these little blankets from its customers. Essentially the hugs are one yard of infant themed flannel with the edges finished. I made a few last year with fabric from a Jo-Ann's flannel sale and finished the edges with my serger threaded with pink and blue wooly nylon I had picked up and never used previously. Simple concept but I know the mothers and new borns appreciate the effort.

One last thing - I picked up the girls yesterday as my son has to work most of the weekend and he felt they needed some running around time in my yard. He also gave me some huge rice bags that his girlfriend's father had been saving for me. The goal is to see if I can recyle these into totes or other bags for donating to various craft fairs I have promised to supply so they can raise money for various causes. I hope this works out because they have wonderful graphics and the fabric is very strong. I have seen similar bags sold for anywhere from $20.00 for 3 small zipper pouches to $75.00 for a yoga mat carrier. I'll let you know how they turn out.

That's all the news that's fit to print. Hope your weekend is going as well as mine.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Martha Stewart Felted Sweater Basket

I think I mentoned before that when I was in Canada seeing to Dad I picked up a bunch of 100% wool sweaters to experiment with felting (or fulling for the purists out there). They were very inexpensive but very bulky. The first one I played with ended up being dyed with Kool Aid and turned into a table top container for bits and pieces. (see Spetember 18) The next one I tackled was a white Aran style sweater.

Martha Stewart has instructions on her site for turning a similar sweater into a knitting basket...If you would like to see her instructions log into her site and search on knitting basket.
I did several things differently than Martha. I kept the sides tall rather than folding them into the basket. Since I kept the sides tall I needed something to stiffen the sides so I added some Timtex. I went for a round base rather than the oval she recommends because I could not draw a nice even oval. Since I used Timtex to stiffen the sides I lined the whole thing in grey Ultrasuede. Here is how it came out:

I intend to store balls of knitting yarn in it as I seem to have been acquiring a lot of yarn recently. Even if I never use the yarn stored in my new basket, Alex does not go after my yarn so I can leave the new basket out to be admired.

Update to the four seasons quilt swap - here are a couple of pictures of the quilt I received from Fiona in England. Her site is What I particularly liked about her effort is that she did things she had never done before like satin stitched stems, yo-yo flowers and a pieced back. Thanks Fiona!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Four Seasons Quilt Swap

I finally finished my submission to the Four Seasons Quilt Swap. For some reason I had a lot of trouble with this one. I have had a thousand ideas and started at least five of them only to have something go radically wrong or the attempts turned out to be something I didn't like. In the end, I went for a discharged shadow quilt similar to one I had made in the past. The technique is something I have taught to several ASG groups and the results are very different each time I try it. The illusion is quite remarkable and I really like the different fabrics used for the leaves as they are patterned on leaves from the Over Cup Oak in my backyard. It is very simply quilted but it holds up well to washing and drying. It is going way far away...can't really say where until it is received by my partner . I hope she likes it!
Here is a long view of the quilt.
Here is a close up of the illusion.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Evil Devil Child

Yesterday was my son's 29th birthday. We had dinner together with his girlfriend, her sister and her sister's boyfriend. It was a good evening that was slighty marred by my complete lack of an appropriate birthday present for him. Instead, he gave me a present. I am now the proud owner of the latest Zelda game for my Nintendo DS. I have spent almost every waking minute since he lleft last evening playing this game. It is absolutely addictive. I had planned on finishing a swap quilt I am late on and finishing a felted basket a la Martha Stewart. Thanks for the game, Paul, but you have made it way too easy for me to shirk my obligations... you evil devil child you!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Carol Taylor Class

On Friday I took a class with the Kingwood Area Quilt Guild and Carol Taylor. The class was called Arc-I-Texture. In class we were to create a 15" x 15" fabric collage from squares of fabric, outline and quilt the squares with yarn by couching with a zig-zag stitch, couch additional yarns in circles and, finally, to bind the quilt invisibilly. Carol's quilts can be found in her gallery as Arc-I-Textures at

A member of the local American Sewng Guild neighborhood group, is also one of the program directors for the quilt guild, and let me know about the class. I think I am going to have to re-join the quilt guild to hear about these classes on a more timely basis. In addition I heard about a new sub-group they are forming to concentrate on wearables. Since at least three of the people who are interested in such a sub-group are aso ASG members it should be a good group.

The class was held at It's A Stitch a local quilt store. The classroom was incredibly well lit and everyone had a lot of table space. The issue with the room was that the Dry Cleaning store next to the shop has their hot water pipes drain uder the classroom. By noon anything on the floor was almost too hot to touch . I unfortunately was sitting at the end of the classroom with the hot floor and ended up leaving an hour early being too hot to continue.

The class was great and I really enjoyed the group. Here is photo of the fabric collage I created. Mine did not end up square as everyone elses did due to a brain burp.
The couching around the squares was Lion Brand Suede yarn in Black. I did not do a simple zig-zag but opted for a multi-step zig-zag, which you would normally use for elastic insertions. This gave me a couple of extra spots to hold down the yarn which made it easier to turn corners and hold down the raw ends with a couple of extra stitches.

I purchased yarn from Carol for the circles. It kind of pissed me off that I ended up buying a couple of hundred yards of yarn when I only needed a couple of yards of each. Maybe Carol can figure out a way to sell yarn packets rather than full skeins. On the other hand I now have some incredible yarn for other projects. Isn't it fabulous!
Today I couched the circles which took longer than I expected. I'm not as pleased as I could have been by the results but, with patience, I know I will try to use the technique again. What do you think? Not to leave good enough alone I decided to take the fabric I had created, circles and all, and use it to make a purse. I got a coply of the Sew Simple gifts issue the other day in the mail and decided to try its evening bag pattern. Mine did not turn out quite the same as theirs as I had trouble getting all the layers under the presser foot of my sewing machine. I added a tassel as a zipper pull. I love the all the colors and can't wait to try it out.
While I was struggling with the purse the dogs decided to destroy something. I found them rolling around on the carpet in a bunch of fiber fill bits. I have no idea what they destroyed but I know I will find some decapitated toy in the next couple of days. Here are some photos of the guilty parties.

And another one of the really, really guilty party all tuckered out from his adventures today.

I hope your weekend goes as well as mine has so far. In addition to the purse I went to the Quilt Room in Huffman for their anniversary sale. A weekend that includes fabric shopping and some time at the sewing machine .. it doesn't get much better than this. And to my Canadian friends - Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Odd Things

A friend sent me a long list of odd facts that I hope you will enjoy as much as I did. Here are some of them:

Look at your zipper. See the initials YKK? It stands for Yoshida Kogyo Kabushibibaisha, the world's largest zipper manufacturer.

40 percent of McDonald's profits come from the sales of Happy Meals.

315 entries in Webster's 1996 Dictionary were misspelled.

On the average, 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily.

Ketchup was sold in the 1830's as a medicine.

Leonardo da Vinci could write with one hand and draw with the other at the same time.

Because metal was scarce, the Oscars given out during World War II were made of wood.

Leonardo da Vinci invented scissors. Also, it took him 10 years to paint Mona Lisa's lips.

Bruce Lee was so fast that they actually had to slow the film down so you could see his moves.

By raising your legs slowly and lying on your back, you can't sink in quicksand.

The "pound" (#) key on your keyboard is called an octothorp.

The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.

It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.

In Chinese, the KFC slogan "finger lickin' good" comes out as "eat your fingers off".

There are more chickens than people in the world.

The thumbnail grows the slowest, and the middle nail grows the fastest.

There are more telephones than people in Washington, D.C.

The average four year-old child asks over four hundred questions a day.

A person will die from total lack of sleep sooner than from starvation. Death will occur about 10 days without sleep, while starvation takes a Few weeks.

Colgate faced a big obstacle marketing toothpaste in Spanish speaking Countries because Colgate translates into the command "go hang Yourself."

China has more English speakers than the United States.

Babies are born with 300 bones, but by adulthood we have only 206 in our Bodies.

Coca-Cola was originally green.

In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.

The cigarette lighter was invented before the match.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Antarctic Update

I have been enjoying a blog from the Antarctic and came across this request the other day. Although I have no idea who this guy is I am definitely going to send a postcard. As a former boarding school kid, I know how much fun it is to get mail... even if it was from my dorky brother or parents. You can catch up with Dave at

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Send me a postcard, drop me a line!

Calling family, friends and random readers!

It's less than a month till the first plane comes in, bearing new fruit, faces and messages from the outside world. Yeah, I know we've got 24/7 email, but the post is always better.

So, please surprise me! Ironic twee postcards and challenging compilations CDs are most welcome.

David Vaynor Evans
Halley Research Station
British Antarctic Survey
Falkland Islands
South Atlantic

- Please keep it light (letter size) as every gram on the planes is precious. Ta!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Everthing Really is Bigger in Texas!

When I first moved to Texas, about ten years ago, I was horrified at the size of the bugs I found in my yard... and sometimes in my house. Even the ants seemed twice the size as those found up north. Today I'd like to share with you three new things that seem bigger than anywhere else.

The picture below is of a spider web that stretches about 15 feet from a neighbor's tree to a bush in my yard. When I mow these days I first remove the spider webs with a yard broom or risk ending up with a bunch of yuck in my hair.

The snake below is from IKEA and I thought the dogs would enjoy it. I almost shrieked in surprise this morning when I opened the back door to find it staring at me from the back patio. I think they must like it as they seemed to be pulling it around the yard all day today.

My current knitting project is a felting kit I won at the Yarn Harlot presentation. I thought it would be enjoyable to try out intarsia. Intarsia is a method of knitting with multiple yarns. The yarns are not carried from one area to another along the back of the work like in your old ski sweater but the yarn is wound on bobbins and each color change has its own bobbin. Not difficult to figure out... right? WRONG! It takes me an additional 5 - 10 minutes every row to untangle the mess my bobbins made. Maybe I will need to buy official yarn bobbins, rather than a cut up cardboard envelop, before I try this again.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Reverend Countess Alice the Recumbent of Eschaton End

what a fun site! See who you really are... the link is down on the right. I don't remember where I got this one from but I like being a reverend countess. I wonder If the title comes with any perks like estates and serfs?

Here's Alex's - Emperor Alex the Fiendish of Lesser Wobbleton - I think its spot on.