Archive for March, 2006

Birthday Cake Activity

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

This morning M & M came over to help me make their Mom’s favorite cake. For those who wanted the recipe, here goes:

1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
3 cups sugar
6 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. coconut extract
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk

Toast coconut in 300?Ǭ? oven for 20 – 30 minutes. It should look like this:

Coconut

In a large bowl cream butter, shortening and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Stir in extracts. Here is pretty picture of the batter:

Batter

In a separate bowl, sift flour, salt and baking powder together.Add to batter alternately with the milk. It is best if you have helpers do this:

Bakinghelpers

Miles is amused by his reflection in the bowl.

Reflection

Pour batter into a well-greased, floured bundt pan. Bake at 350?Ǭ? fir 1 hour and 20 minutes or until done. Cool on a rack for 30 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before slicing. Serve with a scoop of high quality vanilla ice cream and fudge sauce.

While the cake baked and cooled, M & M made cards for their mom and birds with party hats for decorations:
Miacard

Mias_artcard

Milesart

The birds were hung on the new chandelier:

Chandelier

Back to the cake. Here it is:

Coconutcake

Add 36 candles and some presents:

36candles

Sing Happy Birthday and blow out the candles:

Candlesoncake

Cut the cake and add ice cream and hot fudge sauce and enjoy!!
Cakeserved

It’s All About Stephanie Today

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

It is Stephanie’s birthday today. She is our unplanned child – at least by Mr. C! I snuck her into the family and after that he had a vasectomy. Stephanie was supposed to be born on March 10th. When she finally decided to make her entrance, it was quite a struggle as she was in a posterior position and back in those days they did not know until it is too late. She was my biggest baby and after the initial struggle, the easiest to care for.

Here she is at her baptism:

stephbaptism

As a baby she smiled often and as you can see loved sketty (spaghetti) and loved lounging in the sun at an early age.

babypics

Those who follow her blog know she loves aprons; she began this obsession at an early age:

apron

Stephanie was the child that many people did not know we had. It was a family joke. When we moved to California, the neighbors thought we had only two children, Mark and Lisa, because they were always outside in the middle of everything. Steph spent her days in her room or the backyard playing and reading. She usually had one or two very good friends, but was not the gregarious, outgoing type like her siblings.

variouspics

In Junior High, she was the preppy queen and an authority. When she started high school, she was shorter than me – maybe 5′ 3″. She was always very thin and we thought she would just stay petite and tiny. Well, now she is almost 6 foot tall – a statuesque blond who still turns heads when she walks in to a room.

Despite her shyness, around the family Steph was a cut up and would have us in stitches all the time. She has a quick wit and is brilliant. ( I am her mother and I can say that!!) Her are some photos of her in some of her sillier poses:
Sillysteph

She started college at UCLA and eventually graduated from UC Santa Cruz. Here she is on graduation day with her best friends:

Stephgrad

When we moved to North Carolina in 1994, she came with us. That is a good thing because she met Jack there. We had a beautiful wedding in a small chapel on the Intercoastal Waterway with a fabulous reception in a tent in our backyard. Here are Steph and Jack floating in to their new life together:

Stephbride

Now she is the best Mom in the world, choosing to live a simpler life so that she can be at home with M & M. Here is a family pic taken in the desert a couple of years ago when we were at a family wedding.

stephfamily

Stephanie has made many friends with her beautifully crafted blog – Little Birds – and more recently she has started an on line shop where she sells handcrafted softies that sell out as soon as she posts them. Here is her latest creation: Little Chick in a Party Hat. Everything she does is done exquisitely and beautifully. She has a sense of style that I would love to take as my own.

Chic_in_hat

I am especially happy to be here in Portland so that I can throw a family dinner party for my Steph tonight, and I will make her favorite decadent coconut pound cake – with some help from M & M!! Happy Birthday sweet Stephanie!! And for a much more detailed description of Stephanie, check out Lisa’s blog.

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

Today M & M came to spend the day so that their Mom could get some work done on her wonderful one of a kind stuffed animals which you can see here. But you will have to look under SOLD because she sells them as fast as she posts them.

We walked down to the farm stand to buy some duck food and some peanuts for the squirrels and then back to the Rhododendron Gardens which are across the street from our home. Spring is just starting to show. Here is the entrance:

Rhodieday4

Most of the Rhodies are still waiting to bloom, but there were lots of other blooms:

Rhodieday6

Rhodieday9

Rhodieday27

There were some Rhodies in blossom:

Rhodieday15

But the morning was all about feeding ducks and being with M & M:

Rhodieday20_1

Rhodieday25

Rhodieday28

Rhodieday34

Rhodieday40

Rhodieday44

Rhodieday45

If you want to see all the pretty pictures of the gardens, you can go to my flickr site: click here.

I didn’t get much else done today – wonder why? After Steph picked up the kiddos, Mr C and I headed out in our respective cars to get our emission check done – a prerequisite to getting your car registered. I was following Steve when he did a strange u-turn. I do not do careless u-turns so I lost sight of him. I didn’t know where to do (and as we find out later, neither did Mr C). I decided to go home as I didn’t have my cell pone and I couldn’t call him. Then I saw the sign for the official test spot. Followed the signs, got in line, no Steve, hmmmm? As I was about to get my test done, I saw him drive in. turns out, he didn’t know where he was going and went way out of his way. Had a big laugh over that!!

Count Down to Jane Dunnewold Class: three days. Supplies I had to order are showing up at the door – three packages today! I have started finding and setting aside such things as string, an exacto knife, all sizes of paint brushes, duct tape, tapestry needles and heavy duty thread.

My New Studio Buddy

Monday, March 27th, 2006

I have been plodding along with the unpacking and getting organized. Some nights I go to bed and feel like I have really gotten somewhere and sometimes, I think I will never get it all done.

Today, I had a goal of finding the five journal quilts, relabeling them and sending them to Quilting Arts for photography. It was my first chance to spend time poking around in the studio. I looked down at the sliding glass door and this is what I saw!! A very curious neighbor…

Mr_squirrel

I opened the door and I thought he was going to come on in. He is quite chubby so I think the neighbors have been feeding him. I have decided to name him Picasso. Then, another neighbor showed up:

Missbluejay

And Picasso chased the blue Jay away:

Picasso

Yesterday, we attended church at the Episcopal Cathedral. After mass, during the coffee hour, I met some members of the Art Commission. They had art done by members for sale. I have been invited to join the group and will be their only fiber artist. They have a first Thursday gallery open house in conjunction with the other downtown galleries. In May they are having an art fair of work by the members of the commission so I am going to try to get some stuff ready for that.

Tomorrow, Mr C and I are going to have M & M for the day. Whoopee!!

Countdown to Jane Dunnewold: Four days!! I have started amassing my huge supply list and hope all the stuff I ordered gets here on time.

A Star is Born and Other Stuff

Saturday, March 25th, 2006

First: Other Stuff

  • I found the missing box of shoes!! They were in Mr C’s office. As he started unpacking stuff, I was able to check boxes on the bottom tier. It’s funny because he swore he had checked all the boxes.
  • I finished my stories and techniques about the selected Journal Quilts and sent them to Houston via e-mail. Now I have to find the actual JQ’s and send them to Quilting Arts in Massachusetts for photography.
  • Mr C and I have been spending a lot of time looking a light fixtures and area rugs for the living room. Today I found the most gorgeous art glass large single pendent chandelier. It cost $1500 and Mr C ruled it out. Twice, now, I have found the most elegant dining room chandeliers which I have had to leave behind in the homes we moved from. I am sure I will eventually find something in our price range.
  • We got all of the boxes in the living room unpacked and arranged the furniture. We have to start hanging art because I need it!!
  • I got one bedroom ready for M & M to come over and stay. They are on spring break next week and instead of going to Cancun, they are coming to our house.
  • Yesterday, we went exploring on the Reed College campus and found the Reed Canyon with a "so called" lake (more like a big pond). There is a nice nature trail around it. We are finding so many neat places to take walks in our new neighborhood.

NOW: A Star is Born

Mia takes a drama/art class once a week after school. Today her group presented the Greek Myth of King Midas. Mia had dual roles because half the cast was sick or left for spring break early.

Here she is as King Midas’s pet leopard:

Mia_the_leopard

Leopardact

Leopardfood

King Midas and his daughter
Kingmidas_and_his_daughter

Oh, look, every thing he touched turned to gold.

Midasgold

The leopard quickly changes into a servant.

Leopardchanges_1

Mia serves tea to the king. It turns to gold and then his daughter turns to gold. (Can’t you see that she is gold!!)

Miaservant

Magic water changes gold back to normal. Look at that face!!
Changegoldback

Milo, Jack and Mia at lunch after the show!

Lunchafter

Countdown: Six days until I fly to California to take a class with Jane Dunnewold at Art Quilt Claremont. And guess who my roomie is? Click here.

There will be dye play, discharging, screenprinting and all kinds of messy surface design fun.