Hot mama

I almost wanted to flag this post as containing "adult content".  Have you ever seen so much fondant cleavage?  I may have went a little overboard with this fondant figure's chest area but really, this is what happens when you're eight months pregnant.  I was only being anatomically correct.  This cake was made for a co-worker's shower yesterday.  The colours correspond to the baby's nursery colours.  The mother-to-be was so tickled with the cake that she asked everyone if they would be ok not cutting into the cake so that she could bring it home to show her husband.  Luckily there was a back-up sheet cake that was served so no one minded.  I've never had anyone not want to eat my cake before but I guess it's a compliment!

Pictures of a Picture

I can't believe the amount of work that went into this picture.  When I saw it at the bottom of a Goodwill heap, there was no question in my mind that it was meant to be mine.  I love those little golden knots and every single whipstitch on this loosely woven canvas.   Unfortunately it isn't framed, but I can fix that, or maybe I'll just tighten it up on a new board as it's gotten a little saggy.  I was picturing it hung up in my craft nook, but visitors would have to descend into the basement to admire it.  :)  And I think this sort of stuff needs to be oohed and ah-ed tout le temps.  Perhaps I will incorporate it into my autumnal decorating of the mantle.  I confessed to friends over the weekend that I had a whole dresser drawer full of branches, pods and pinecones from last year, so I'm pretty much all set.  I hope that came off as normal behaviour.


Mini Me

It's no secret how much this one and I clash.   Mr. J says it's 'cause we're the same person.  Have you ever tried arguing with yourself?  It's an impossible battle to win.  We're not exactly the same.  I haven't a clue from where she gets this sweet curly hair, and she's crazy pretty.   My mum permed my hair a few times in my youth, and my hair stayed limp and heart-breakingly straight, and I was super nerdy.  It was the giant glasses.  Honest!  Her witty and dry off-hand comments usually floor us.  Do I do that too???   I guess we both get choked up and passionate about silly things.  I once went in to speak to her Principal, and it wasn't long before I was crying, and the lady sighed and noted that sensitivity must be a family trait.  So what!  We're artists!   No sooner did I bring home my new camera, she had my 'old' one in hand snapping a hundred pics a day.  In fact these photos were completely her idea.  The wall was changing colours, and it never occurred to me that it would make a great background.  It's gut-wrenching when the mentee surpasses the mentor.



The fall officially begins tomorrow and as much as I've been complaining about the cool weather that fell upon us on Labour Day, I secretly love it. The fall means apples, boots, cozy sweaters, and best of all, using wool again! Welcome back wool, oh how I've missed you. This baby sweater is for a co-worker who is due in October. She and her husband have chosen not to find out the sex of the baby, hence the neutral colour. It was a quick knit, as most baby items are.
This is the start of a complicated cowl neck for this sweater. I'm still not sure if I got the pattern correct but this is what I translated it to be. The cable pattern is turning out to be quite fun to knit once I somewhat figured it out and just gave into the pattern. You know what I'm talking about.
Here is a tiny apple pie. I used a muffin pan to make up a few of these. The apples used in the filling are called SweeTango. It's a "new" apple that was developed by the University of Minnesota. They were really tasty but for some reason I still feel weirded out that there is an apple breeding program at the U where all they do is breed new apples. I suppose that everything we eat these days has been genetically modified in one way or another. On that note, I'm going to find a snack before bed. G'nite!

Doors Open

How can moths - our archnemeses - be so pretty?  The Canadian Agricultural Research Centre was very educational, and it took all afternoon to tour it.  I was astounded by all the work that is being done to control infestations, soil amendments and genetic weaknesses.  For a moment, I imagined being a scientist hunched over a microscope dressed in a white lab coat and scribbling notes on a chart.  It was quite spectacular.

The next day we took in the Museum of Archaeology, and we got to see a real pow wow! 
I totally would have danced had I not been lugging around a heavy soapstone carving kit and a bajillion flyers and my camera.  I was the juggling act! :)



Souvenir Shopping

I couldn't be in the vicinity of so many wonderful yarn shops and not pop in to a single one.  My three family members understood this and sat at a nearby coffee shop to sip on hot chocolate and scarf down a mountain of cookies while I browsed the Mother Ship.  After all the neon florescent knitting I've been working on lately, I chose a few skeins of muted pastels which were much easier on my eyes.  The two skeins at the top are Romni Angora Silk in a pretty pale pink - just enough for a small shawlette, and the bottom two skeins are Fleece Artist Big Merino for a couple cowls or hats - whatever floats my boat I guess. :)

I think I was quite restrained especially after missing the biggest knitting fair of the year last weekend in favour of attending Photocamp.   This decision was to save me from spending lots of money as the conference was free, and I would probably have dropped a load on wool plus meals and transportation expenses.  As it turns out, I am now dreaming of spending hundreds of dollars on lenses.  I can't seem to win.

Speaking of free events, Doors Open London is on this weekend.  I'm itching to check out the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada  research centre.  I'll take my camera and report back!

Happy Saturday.

Holiday in the City

We're back from a little trip to the big city.  We learned lots of new things and remembered lots of what we already knew.  For instance, when we chicken out, we chicken out together - we're solidly afraid of heights and speed.   Our dreams of eating at a nice restaurant may never be realized - our attempts are amusing at the very least, and our next visit  promises a free appetizer.  Rather than be wasteful, Mr. J can eat thirty Swedish meatballs.  After a year, I've finally learned to appreciate having two cell phones thus being able to locate where the other half of us are.  We all snore to some degree.  We have the ability to write a Family Guy scene in almost every situation we find ourselves.  The littlest is hooked on all things Katy Perry and can eat some form of french fries for every meal.  Both girls would like to dress as Egyptian queens or Greek goddesses for Halloween next month.  We can't seem to escape raccoons.  I still want a sheepskin, but not in an animal-killing way. 

There was lots of laughter and fun, but I think the four of us agreed that we can now say we've been there, done that.  And man, we were pleased as punch to be back at home and in our own beds. We would make horrible rock stars.


After school snack

It's funny what you remember eating as a kid. My mother always made home cooked meals and baked every week for my sisters and I. Almost all of the food that we had was made from scratch, save for sliced bread (wheat, never white) and the occasional bag of McCain's frozen french fries. I now realize that it couldn't have been easy for her feeding four kids a healthy diet while working three jobs. All I remember was wanting Chef Boyardee ravioli from a can. I saw commercials for it in between after school cartoons and begged for it (do you remember "thank goodness for Chef Boyardee"?). There was something about that bright red sauce that called to me. After what seemed like months of begging my mother, the day finally came and a dish of Chef Boyardee ravioli was placed in front of me at dinner time, amidst the bowls of rice and soup and vegetables that the rest of the family was having. I dug in, took a mouthful of slippery, nearly neon coloured sauce and pasta and immediately spit it out. It was not what I had expected.

Fast forward a few years, ok, 25 years, and although I've eaten Chef Boyardee pasta from a can a few times and find it almost edible, I can now fully appreciate my mom's home made meals and snacks. There's nothing like food that has been made with your own hands, or better, by the hands of someone who loves you. So here is a quick, three ingredient recipe that my mom used to make for my sisters and I. It is still one of my favorites.

Mom's Oatmeal Bars

3 cups quick oats
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mixing with a fork until well combined. Press firmly into a 9x9 square pan and bake at 360 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden around the edges. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before cutting into bars. Bars are easier to cut while still warm.


Today you're 8.    I love you just the way you are.
  • You make friends everywhere.
  • You make the most boring task fun.
  • You like simple food.
  • You dress good.
  • You give life to books.
  • You ooze excitement.
  • You leave drawings everywhere.
  • You dance and sing unabashedly.
  • You hold your own with your teenaged sister.
  • You say thanks, and I want to thank YOU.
  • You let me hug you as much as I want.
  • You go with the flow.
  • You LOVE parties and vanilla cake and balloons.
  • You make us all happy.
You rock. 

Love Mum

PS.  You were most excited today about no longer being legally required to ride in a car seat.  How do you wrap up a gift like that? :)

Labour Day at the Lake

She wrote with feathers in the sand.  Mostly her name and initials all over the beach.  Kat and I set up some chairs and knit the best we could with the wind whipping about us.  It was the perfect way to spend the last day of summer.  School starts up again tomorrow.  Have I ever mentioned my dislike for packing lunches?   Oh well, I'll always have Saturdays and Sundays.
It looks like she has feathers up her noodle.  By the way, I was silently screaming inside my head about how dirty those feathers were, but the doodle is still alive and well.

I can not believe how anxious I am about the oldest heading to high school tomorrow.  That's super big.  I have to stop thinking about it.  It's making me old, grey and wrinkled.


Promise Kept

The Bumblebee was as sad as she can be (which isn't very sad at all) when her end-of-year school trip was cancelled in June.  I pinky-swore that I would set aside one day this summer to take her myself.   She didn't let me forget for a moment!   So with the summer coming to an end, I took a day off work, and we spent the day at one of her favourite places.  We packed a picnic and her swimming suit, and she ran around excitedly for five hours.  Then we came home and flopped down and rested a bit.  Good times.

I love that she held on to Humpty Dumpty's hand.   It did occur to me while I followed her around and snapped pictures, that this little one is growing quickly, and sooner than I'd like to think about it, it will be me dragging her along rather than her dragging me along on adventures.  Oh dear.  That broke my heart a little.  I'd like her to stay this age forever.  Her birthday is a week away.  Maybe she'll forget.


It's fantasy time

As in fantasy football. I made these cupcakes last year for Mr. T's football draft party and they were a big hit with the drafters so I made them again this year. Did I mention that I hate football? I don't even like being in the same room as football. I think there's something about how slow the game is combined with how silly people look while playing it is what bothers me most. But football shaped Oreo truffles atop a cupcake with"grass" frosting is right up my alley.And I suppose one good thing about the football season starting up is that I can go back to shopping at Target on Sunday afternoons and the store will be virtually empty. Leisurely cruises down the aisles of my favourite Super Target can be had once more. Now that's my fantasy.