Monday, December 31, 2012

Oddball Update

The Western Region Oddball Knitters have been busy. Below are the blankets that have been finished since November on which I had the honor to knit a section.
started June 2012
Little Frog Prince
started October 2012
Garden Vegetables
started June 2012
Sand Dollar
started July 2012
Peter Pan
started June 2012
Faerie Delight
started July 2012
Around the World
started September 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

Foreign Friday - Guest Post

Vending Machine
April 2012
Today, Sheila shares some vending machine photos.
Vending machine outside a plumbing shop
April 2012
In the late 70s vending machines (seen in this previous post) were commonly seen on the side of the road. The machines sold cigarettes, beer, soft drinks, snacks, nectars, and magazines. Note: the magazines were the "adult" variety.

More on Japanese vending machines on this post by Michael Weening.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Winter Storm

Winter Storm
Western Region Oddball Baby Blanket
started December 2012

Red Heart Sparking (White)
Size 9 needles
Box Stitch

My white section must have prompted the 3 - 4 inches of snow that fell on Christmas Eve. The snow was too light and fluffy to contain much moisture, but it was welcome just the same.

Update: March 15, 2013

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It's Finally Finished

Butterfly quilt #2
65 x 89 inches

I am glad this project is finished and ready for the long-arm quilter. I am relieved that the outer borders are flat and wave-free.
Corner detail
Previous posts about this quilt can be found here and here.
Quilt back 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

a favorite ornament from the 50s or 60s
 my mother hung tinsel strand by strand on the Christmas tree

Wishing you a Joyous Christmas
and a 
Happy and Peaceful New Year

Monday, December 24, 2012

Fruit Smoothie

Fruit Smoothie
Western Region Oddball Baby Blanket
started September 2012

Since the knitter of the lavender section only added three inches (four inches are required), I knit five inches to compensate for the shortage.

Caron Simply Soft (Grape)
Size 6 needles
Checks and Ridges stitch

Update: March 23, 2013

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Coloring Contest Winners

Coloring Contestants: Kristi,
NancyKay, Chan,
Sheri, Tea Mouse,
Kathy, Bev

Grand prize: Kristi

First prize: NancyKay

Kristi and NancyKay will have first choice on the prize offerings; however, each of the contestants in the contest will receive a prize for participating. Please contact me with your mailing address.

Thank you all for picking up some crayons or markers and for becoming a child again.

Deck the Walls

Holiday Decorations
Lapeyre Restaurant
Riverton, WY
December 2012
Isn't this a great way to decorate a large wall and to add some holiday cheer?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Contestant #7

Today is the LAST day to enter the coloring contest. Entries are due before midnight. Complete "rules" can be found here.

Chan, aka SissySees
She wrote, "The Knight helped. Colored with
Sharpies and dry-erase markers."

Don't you love the clothes pin?  How about that
beautiful cowl?

Contestant #6

Today is the LAST day to enter the coloring contest. Entries are due before midnight. Complete "rules" can be found here.

She wrote, "Thanks for such a fun idea. I had a lot of fun coloring,
making paper snowflakes, and framing the picture."

Foreign Friday

Shinto Shrine
Southern Japan
Spring 1980

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Memories

December 1958
Second-grade Christmas party
Mrs. Blair's classroom
My mother took this photo of my second-grade Christmas party. I'm the one wearing the white top directly in front of the teacher. I think the four students around the teacher are helping to distribute gifts.

I remember playing Heads Up, Seven Up during elementary classroom parties. (Do you remember playing that game?) At Christmas, we also sang carols, had special treats, and exchanged an inexpensive gift with the person whose name we had drawn earlier.

From first to sixth grades, we made special Christmas gifts for our parents. Some gifts I remember making and giving - a bread board in the shape of a pig, and a wooden serving tray with rope handles (the varnish was still tacky when I took it home), a plate with a specially painted edge, and a plaster plate with my hand-print.

Mrs. Blair's classroom was in the two-story, brick building built in 1940 or 1941 and directly to south of the high school building. Mrs. Blair's room was located on the south side of the ground floor. Next door was Miss Schaper's first-grade classroom. Mrs. Dewey's third-grade classroom was across the hallway and next to the girls' bathroom (the boy's bathroom was around the corner next to the stairs. Mrs. Mitchell (fourth-grade), Mrs. Gordon (fifth-grade), Mrs. Bond (sixth-grade), a teacher's work room and a paper closet were located on the second story. The playground, which was outside the first and second-grade classrooms, was between the school and the road that led to Mrs. Maxey's house.
Back: J. Hippe, R. Six, M. Hornecker, C. Ray, C. Rohn, T. Goodwin.
Middle: S. Jarnagin, R. White, N. Stearns, B. Gies, B. Fabrizius,
P. Hansen, Mrs. Blair. Front: J. Willman, J. Adams, C. Wempen,
M. Williams, R. Burnett, G. Taylor, S. Jensen.

Ten years later, I received my high school diploma with four of
these classmates : C. Rohn, R. White, M. Williams, and G. Taylor
Additional information:

In the mid to late 50s, Mrs. Blair lived on the farm north of Pavillion that my brother leased in the 60s and purchased in 1971. I wrote about that farm here.

Note that the photo at the beginning of this post was printed in August 1959. It was common for film to be in the camera a long time or for the exposed film to be tossed in a drawer until it was discovered and sent for processing. Nearly all the film was mailed to a processor in Nebraska. I don't remember getting film developed locally until the late 60s or early 70s.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gingerbread House

Chan posted recently about decorating gingerbread houses at a Junior League event. I have always wanted to try it, so when I saw a kit at a local grocery store, I slipped it into my cart.

I was pleased that the kit included a building tray, the house parts, icing, and candies. The box also had great instructions and a website address for a video demonstration. How could I go wrong?

The building tray was a great feature: it had 1/2 inch channels for the house to set inside and those channels give the cookie pieces some stability.

I wish the kit had another bag of icing because I ran out and didn't have enough to trim the side windows, the chimney, the back of the house, and the second gingerbread man - I ate him instead.

It would have also been nice to have a smaller tip to add the finer details on the tree, the gingerbread man, and the door. The icing bag was great for the larger areas, but clunky for the finer details. For example, my gingerbread man's smile looks more like a beard, and there was no way that I could outline the tree shape as shown on the box.

Overall, the project was fast and a lot of fun. On the scale of 1 - 10, I'd give it a 7.

I'll definitely purchase a kit next year, but I'll purchase or make additional icing and pipe it around the windows and chimney before assembling the house.

Note: Don't forget to submit your coloring contest pictures to me before midnight, December 21, 2012.   Email your photos to

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Jamie's Needles

Fremont County Fiber Guild Co-president, Bea R. and Lucy O.
are intrigued with Jamie D.'s new knitting needles
Jamie recently commissioned a man to make these special knitting needles for her. She intends to knit wool roving into rugs with the giant, wooden needles, and I hope to get a photo of her knitting with them at the guild Spin-in early in January.

Jamie is also in my Tuesday night knitting group. She knits clever baby hats and fun projects that she designs.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Contestant #5

Looks like everyone is having fun preparing for the coloring contest

Sheri (no blog) "Rebel Follower"
She wrote, "Here is my entry. Choose me!!"

It's not too late to enter the contest. Entries are due before midnight, December 21st. Complete "rules" can be found here.

Contestant #4

Looks like there has been a run on crayon sales, as more coloring contest entries are arriving:
Tea Mouse
She wrote, "Thanks for the contest. It bring out the kid in me.
This reminded me of Christmas as a child. My Mom would
draw a large Christmas scene, and we would help her colour it.
My mom always colored with us. It was especially fun at
Christmas as we sat with our Christmas coloring books and
64 box of crayons, tree twinkling, and carols playing. Thanks
for the memories!

I reduced the size on my work copier, colored it with my newly
purchased 60 box of pencil crayons, cut around it close, then
glued it to some red construction paper and trimmed it. This is
on my fridge when I get home!"
It's not too late to enter the contest. Entries are due before midnight, December 21st. Complete "rules" can be found here.

Contestant #3

Looks like it is "game on," as more coloring contest entries are arriving:

She wrote, "Hi Nancy. I was catching up on my
'reading' and saw your contest. I have so much to
do. We are having our family Christmas early.
I thought I just don't have time.  Well, I thought
again and thought heh I can do this before I go to bed.
I was trying to take a picture with my camera and the
timer. Brian was wondering what all the clicking was
and got out of bed and took the picture. Anyways, I
got my "colouring' done. Hopefully, I can go to sleep
now. So here is the little snow man with googly eyes
wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!"

It's not too late to enter the contest. Entries are due before midnight, December 21st. Complete "rules" can be found here.

I Didn't Listen. . .

No doubt, you have inner voice that has cajoled and pleaded with you from time to time.

Lately, my inner voice has been working overtime.

Even though the little voice was persistent, I didn't listen when it whispered at my ear, urging me to steer clear of a quilting project.
You may remember this quilt I made for a friend from vintage, butterfly blocks constructed of muslin and cotton. That quilt was fun to assemble because the blocks were well made.

Knowing that the poly-blend blocks would test my patience, I returned them to my friend a couple of months ago, secretly hoping I would not see them again. Yet, in a weak moment, I agreed to turn them into a quilt, and my little voice was not happy.
As I took the pile of poly-blend butterfly blocks and a bag of fabric for the second quilt from my friend, my inner voice echoed through my head, but it was too late - I was committed.

My little voice grumbled and grumbled and then began to laugh as I attempted to work with the blocks.
The butterflies were difficult to square because many of the seams were overlapping and gaping instead of laying flat. For no apparent reason, this set of butterflies have machine-stitched seams as well as seams that are hand-stitched, resulting in seriously wonky blocks. Some sections in the blocks are weak; others, strong. It is maddening to work with the butterflies because the poly-blend background fabric (even a bit of nylon thrown in to complicate things even more) allows that part of the blocks to stretch more than the cotton wings and body sections. This combination creates waves in the quilt's borders. (Thank you, Ann for offering advice on how tame those pesky waves)

Since I had to trim the blocks to make them somewhat square, some of the hand-stiched seams were clipped, making them even weaker. I hold my breath every time I handle the butterflies.
For over a week, I have been fussing with the blocks and cursing myself for ignoring the little voice that knew much better than I that, "just because you can doesn't mean that you should."

It may be time to get my hearing checked.

Do you listen to your inner voice?

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