Monday, December 26, 2011

A most unusual Christmas present

I received a lot of cool presents this year, including a bicycle (which hasn't come yet), a chafing dish, and some wasabi lip balm, but this is the most unusual.  My friend Andy found it in a shop some years ago, but he doesn't know where it might have originally come from.  If anyone has any ideas about it, I'd love to hear them.  In case it isn't obvious, it's a woman giving birth, assisted by three other women.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Atomic Nativity

And in contrast to Annie's fabulous First Nativity, may I present The Atomic Jesus Family. Like wow, man.

Merry Christmas!

Here is my Christmas present to you all: Kirk Munroe's "The Mince Pie Prince." It was my mother's book, but it must have originally belonged to her mother or her aunts. It was published in 1897. The pictures were "tinted" by the hand of some unknown child relative. Sis -- who do the pictures remind you of?

Oh my, it's the spitting image of him, is it not?! I always loved this book as a little kid, but I also found it a little scary, in the way the best fairy tales are. And since mince pie was my favorite holiday dessert it was something of a cautionary tale as well....I didn't want to turn into the M P Princess! xo, Sis

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve!

The First Nativity

Good morning, Sis!  House is spotless, presents wrapped (fingers crossed behind back).  Do you like my picture of Ogg giving Urg-a a Christmas rock?

Enjoy your party!

Merry Christmas Eve!

Good morning, Annie
Is your wrapping done? Your house clean? Stockings hung by the chimney with care? Hopefully your chimney repairs are completed so that Santy will be able to deliver the goods!
Merry Christmas and Happy Sewings in the New Year!
xoxo Sis

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Laptop

What a day! Annie and her wonderful husband-person came over and set up my new laptop for me! Actually, the only laptop I've ever owned! I really appreciate the help...I could never have done it myself. At least not in such a short amount of time. I would have been sweating and cursing over it for days. While the genius husband-person wired everything up and made it all work, Annie and I decorated the green tinsel tree in the bathroom. Didn't it turn out well?
I've also been working on making fingerless gloves since it's so @#$88-ing cold at work and space heaters are not allowed. I've used Marcy Tilton's Vogue 8703 for a starting point and I'll be doing a little fine tuning as I go along. The sample pair is quite plain, but I like the tiny bit of decorative stitching at the top and bottom. I think I will narrow them a bit to make the wrist a little tighter and add some ribbons and/or buttons for trim

Sunday, December 11, 2011

All little girls like to dress up

Minkie wearing frizz she pulled off the scratching post.  Oh, pretty girl!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

You are invited to take a look...

... at my old book collections.  (See links above)  This is from my newest acquisition, Costume design and illustration by Ethel Traphagen:

Kitteh Hat!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Oh my! Another present!

My friend Pam just gave me another present, which she made herself!

Isn't it just the sweetest thing?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Guest cats!

Here are a couple of pictures of my friend Steve's boys, who heard a can opener.  His girl cat, Hettie, is too much of a lady to get in line with these guys.

Meanwhile, Jack the Cat had a strange and undignified accident.  Somehow, after he used the box, he managed to fling the heat register cover across the room.  (It belongs on the space above the box.)

We have no idea how he managed it, and he's refusing to say.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Turning a stupid mistake into a pretty design feature

Hot Patterns come not on tissue paper, but on good heavy paper so your pattern will last.  So, I traced out the size I wanted on Swedish pattern paper and started to cut out.  When I reached the front facing piece I mistook my own markings, and cut on the grain marking line instead of the cutting line. 

Many, many bad words were said before I realized it didn't have to be a disaster.  First of all, it's on an inside piece, which won't be seen very often, and secondly it was a chance to make my coat even prettier.

First I darned the cut neatly closed.

Then I spent a long time in Nancy's wonderful ribbon room deciding which ribbon would bring me the most hidden happiness.  Finally, I decided on this one, and stitched it neatly in place.  Now it is so very pretty!  And like no one else's in the world.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Annie returns to sewing!

This morning I cut out a jacket I'm going to call Silver Moon.  I'm using Hot Patterns 1030, Weekender Shine-On-You-Crazy Parka, shorter version.

And this is the just too gorgeous fabric:

It's from Marcy Tilton, and it's called Silver Moon.  It's a rather hefty cotton fabric, essentially pillow ticking, with a beautiful silver laminated on one side.

It's going to be a drop dead beautiful jacket.  Right?  But just in case I blow it, I'll just pull the post off the interwebs.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Jack the cat

Jack the bottom sniffer
Jack the mentalist

This really creeps me out.  He's exerting his mental powers to make me get up and feed him, and he's been sitting there for hours.  It's like "Now I'm watching Roger."  He's never noticed that Minkie doesn't bother and she gets fed anyway. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Here is my cat, Lucy Fur, who is always in a bad mood.  Especially at Halloween, the only time she's allowed out of the closet.

I never got around to getting out the Halloween decorations this year, just the crabby cat and the big bowl for candy.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Homage to Constance Contraire

Sis made these:

This is in response to Constance Contraire's poem "Why don't you leave?" found on page 56 of Trenton Lee Stewart's wonderful book "The Mysterious Benedict Society : Mr. Benedict's book of perplexing puzzles, elusive enigmas, and curious conundrums," published by Little, Brown and Company, 2011.

Wien, nur Wien!

Caryatids everywhere you turn.

Goethe, in the courtyard of the Hofburg.

Beautiful gold art nouveau building near the Naschmarkt.

Cafe and gift shop at the Naturhistorisches Museum.

Art nouveau shop front off K├Ąrntnerstrasse.

Peterskirche , where we heard Mozart concert.

Homemade sauerkraut at the Naschmarkt.


Venus of Willensdorf in her temple at the Naturhistorisches Museum.

Sis's Venus of Willensdorf story (she was in kindergarten):

"It was clay day (my favorite day!) and all the other kids were making clay snakes and blobs. So unimaginative! I had seen Venus in your (or someone's) art history book and wanted to re-create her. Mrs. Myers was outraged. I remember trying to explain to her that the Venus was a significant Neanderthal fertility artifact but she wouldn't listen! I was sent home in ignominy."

This is what happens if you're a superbright child with several superbright older siblings.

Homemade vinegars at the Naschmarkt.


Beautiful water taxi, waiting to whisk an unsuspecting customer on a wild ride.

Gorgeous breakfast room at the Hotel al Ponte Antico. Bruno will beg you to allow him to make you a crespelle.

Gondoliere really do sing!

A view from the Piazza San Marco.

Looking back across the Grand Canal at the hotel (red awnings).

Enjoying a spritz (Prosecco and Aperol) on the balcony before departing for a leisurely dinner.

An unexpected present!

My friend Pam embroidered ant napkins for me!  And gave me 4 ant plates to go with them.  Thanks, Sweetie!  I can hardly wait to picnic.  What fun to get a totally unexpected present.

See the line of ants on the plate?