Monday, June 30, 2014

In Which I Finish Something In UNDER SIX YEARS!

So here's some aliens I made shortly after I got laid off in 2009.


And then I got a job and put them in a box.

So now, three years into the second job since that lay-off, they are finished!

Alien Totem Pole

I took it to my quilt guild last week; we didn't have a full show-and-tell so I didn't have to say anything, but a couple ladies asked me about them, and, "Well, they're aliens. We can't really understand them." They're still letting me come to the retreat.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Beer and Cat

Beer and Cat

Smokey guarding my FUZZbräu from its namesake.

FUZZbräu is the beer I make. This is my second attempt, a German-style wheat I call Fuzziwheat. My first was a Belgian wit style I called FUZZiwit (my German beer-drinking expert pronounced it "süffig" which I believe translates to "I did not go blind"). Currently in the fermenter is a second German-style wheat I will call FUZZirazz after I add three pounds of raspberry puree.

OK, naming things is not my best talent, which is why FUZZ named himself. OTOH, I am good at slogans. "FUZZbräu! Taste our disdain!"

[Obligatory promise to blog more instead of just tweeting.]

Saturday, April 12, 2014

This Feels Like Yesterday

But it's been five years.

It was delightfully chilly that day; I wore my new Mackintosh over my Milwaukee Brewers hoodie, and I really needed the hood for warmth on my first full day in central NY. I had purchased a book on the shores of Lake Ontario the night before after I got into town; I thought the lake might make a reasonable substitute for Lake Michigan but after a few long walks I loved it for itself.

The start of a new adventure.

Today in central Indiana it's too hot to go outside. But that is somehow OK, because there are no lakes or adventures. I bought a new blue and green shower curtain; it is not enough but it's all there is.

Friday, March 28, 2014

In Which I Almost Admit I Have A Problem, But Decide I Don't Have To

My company is having a clothing and textile drive for a local organization that teaches "women in need" to sew and work retail--they sell the usable clothing and make stuff to sell from the rest. The organizer assured me they would take anything (FOOLS! I'll show them ALL!). I said "AHA! I can move out all those apparel fabric remnants and assorted used home furnishings I've been collecting for 15 years because I could make something from them some day and I'm starting to think it's never going to be someday!"

Do I even have to type the rest? I started opening boxes I haven't opened for at least three years, and immediately went "Oooh! This is awesome! And you can't buy fabric like this anymore! I could totally (if I bought some stabilizer and some different thread and took a week off work) make something from this! And this is real matelassé from that church rummage the year I taught that textile lab, I may never be able find affordable real matelassé again! I love this color, and it will never come back into fashion again..."

(I also have an ugly shirt I bought at a mall last summer because it was real swiss dot, with the dots woven in instead of glued on. Yup. It was $7; you couldn't buy a yard of real swiss dot for that in 1999....)

So my new goal is to move out at least half of it, and when the rest is still here unused when next year's clothing and textile drive rolls around, re-evaluate. The matelassé may persist, but the knit velveteen is already gone so I'm declaring victory.

Sunday, March 9, 2014



I hate spring.

Made the year's first trip to the zoo today; the butterflies don't officially go on display until next week but there were a couple of early emergers out in the conservatory. The polar bear was offline, but the rhinos were little more active than usual.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


File photo of Satan's Little Helper drinking my coffee, as he's trying to do right now:

Breakfast at Radish's

He used to wait until it seemed I had finished before he would stick his face and paws in the mug, now I cannot leave my coffee unguarded...not even C2H6O-enhanced dessert decafs. At first I thought he just wanted the cream, but he ignored cream poured into his dish. And then he ignored coffee poured into his dish--it's gotta be in a mug. My mug. Of course.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mixed-technique Valentine

Only two weeks late! Good thing the cats don't care (not to mention I could work faster if they didn't insist on sitting on my hands every time I sit down to work).

Mixed-Technique Heart 1

I need to devise a name for the technique where I fuse little (about 1/2") scraps from another project to a backing fabric, then layer with a sheer fabric and machine stitch. It's not original, but if I give it an original name I can sell it (except I will never make a critical mass of these things, because I really only use scraps from other projects--I don't want to turn a yard of good fabric into 1/2" scraps--and it takes an astonishingly long time to fuse them all down flat with no background showing).

But I like this mixed-technique look, and love the flower sequins.

And The E.B.E. Project rolls on. This one says his name is Melvin.


Saturday, February 22, 2014


Today is National Margarita Day (break while I lol at this sort of thing needing an "official website"). Also the first warm sunny Saturday of 2014. So of course, I spent it at work, after working long past beer o'clock last night.

But this is a bragplain; my stuff is righteous, my boss brought in lunch, and I scored an afternoon off in the middle of March, date TBD, when unlike today it's not too muddy and floody to do anything. Bwahaha.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Scrapbag 10-in-10 Challenge: Münchner Ausländer

In December, my Local Quilt Guild announced the 2014 challenge would be to create a list of 10 UFOs (UnFinished Objects) numbered 1 through 10, and for each of the first ten months of 2014 they would pick a number and you have until the next month to finish the project. The random number makes it harder to work ahead on something big, or schedule something small for vacation.

Once I applied the "this project has 11951 hand-sewn pieces and was designed to take the rest of my life to complete" filter, I did not have 10 UFOs (although I hope there's a box in the garage because I thought there was a table runner...), so I had to fill in a few months with new things and a charity quilt.

First up for February is Münchner Ausländer, a mutation of The E.B.E. Project. Why should the Münchner Kindl get all the Bier und Radieschen?

Münchner Ausländer

I'm not entirely certain how to explain this to a group of ladies who mostly make table runners and baby quilts and wedding presents (and I have to practice pronouncing "Münchner" because it kind of sounds like a hairball).

1 down, 9 to go. I wonder where I left my list.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sign of Spring/Inappropriate Words

Spring 2014

The Robert Indiana exhibition opens to the public tomorrow: that makes tomorrow spring.

I saw it today. Here is my Autoportrait, that I created with an iPad app that accompanies the exhibition:

The app rejected "BEER" as an input into my self-portrait: "Please do not use inappropriate words." And it took me about three tries to figure out that was the word they were objecting to--I was trying to find the hidden dirty word in "LAKEMICHIGAN."

This is an art museum. They have artwork hailing Dionysus, a tapestry created from liquor bottles (one of my inspirations), and even Baby Jesus' weezus on full display, but "beer" is an inappropriate word. (On the bright side--guess they won't be mounting any Tracy Emin exhibitions in my lifetime. Heh.)

They have Sun King on tap in their cafeteria, but "beer" is an inappropriate word.

I'm so amused.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday Brunch

I say "the birdfeeder is the best cat toy evah!" but I spend most of my weekend mornings watching the action myself (as I type this, the cats are asleep well away from the backyard windows, harrumph).

The feeders are squirrel-proofed, but I accidentally bought a seed mix with peanuts and the birds here don't eat them, so I've been scattering the peanuts in the snow when I refill the cardinal feeder (next batch of seeds is only black oil sunflower, millet, and cracked corn). They've been crawling under the store, and jumping from bootprint to bootprint, and when one finds a motherlode, he'll chase the other squirrels away...but while A is chasing B, C will move in and start digging around. Hours of entertainment you can't buy in stores.

Sunday Brunch

I haven't been keeping good track of which birds I've been seeing, but off-hand: three different kinds of finches, juncos in the winter, titmice, woodpeckers, blue jays, and of course cardinals.

Snowy Sunday Morning

Also have a few starlings, who will move in and empty the suet feeder in an hour. Attention people from NYC who get all butthurt that the hix from the stix don't all admire you 24/7: Start with the fucking starlings.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Friday, February 7, 2014

Beer I Am Drinking

Herrmannsdorfer Schweinsbräu Weisse

This was a random purchase at a random Hy-Vee in Davenport: It is impossible to pass by a beer with a photo of a pig wearing pearls on the label and not pick it up. The words "Bavarian Hefeweizen" ensured it came home with me. It was a darker color than I expected, but very tasty with hints of carmel not found in most hefeweizens I can buy in the U.S. I enjoyed it, and at the end of the glass wished for a second. Alas, I only bought one bottle.

I have decided beer is the best way to learn German geography, so I looked up the brewer; Glonn is not too far from Freising. There is a Käserei und Handgemachte Würste. ♪♫These are a few of my fav-or-ite things...♪♫

...and after six or seven years of drinking wheat beers, I finally wondered how they are able to claim they comply with the Reinheitsgebot, since wheat is not barley, hops, or water. The answer: Bavaria had their own beer purity laws that included wheat when they joined the German Empire in 1871, and were allowed to keep them until 1918, when the law for the whole country was modified. In 1987, German beer laws were changed again to allow the importation of Bud Light. It's a sick, sad world.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Beer and Cat

Not my cat...and I was going to say "not my beer" but I've swilled this one at baseball games.

 Don't judge me!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Beer I Am Drinking

Weihenstephaner Kristallweissbier

Hard to find German beers in Hendricks County for some reason, but the liquor shop on the corner carries a couple, notably Weihenstephaner. The clerks always tell me that's a really good choice, and I always tell them I've been to Freising.

Mittagessen mit Radler

I see on their website they offer an English-language tour. I will begin nagging Freund to take me, if I ever get to leave the country again.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What's for Dinner: Bratwurst Meatloaf

While looking through assorted meatloaf recipes in printed cookbooks and online over the weekend, I noticed most are covered in a sauce comprised of ketchup, sugar, and vinegar. Extra-sweet, extra-acidic ketchup? Secret Stadium Sauce!!!  And what goes best with Stadium Sauce?  Bratwurst!!

Bratwurst Meatloaf

I adapted this recipe from a 1986 church cookbook from Iowa.  I get the Bratwurst Seasoning from the Spice House in Milwaukee.  The onion will be crunchy.

Bratwurst Meatloaf

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 small white onion, chopped finely
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 TBSP Bratwurst Seasoning 
  • Dash or two of Worchestershire sauce
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Mix well and form into loaf and put in oven-proof dish.
  • 1/4 cup Secret Stadium Sauce
  • 2-3 TBSP sweet pickle relish
  • Squirt or two of yellow mustard
Mix well, smear over loaf.  Bake loaf for 60-75 minutes (pork should reach 145°F in thickest part of loaf).

Pair with a Milwaukee craft brew if you're lucky enough to live somewhere you can buy them, Leinie's if you aren't.

How Cold Is It? Hoosiers have stopped laughing at my hat.

This is my Wisconsin hat. I love this hat with the reckless, unreasonable love normal women reserve for shoes. I love the fur. I love the earflaps. I love how I feel when I wear this hat: warm, snuggly, smarter than the hatless idiots bitching that the HVAC in The Room With The Blue Ceiling must be broken because it's not 65°F 24/366.

The last two winters I've not needed to wear it--there has been no winter in Indiana when I have lived here. I wore my hat to work once last January--sartorial comfort food since it wasn't cold enough to warrant more than a knit cap--and my cow-orkers laughed at it.


They're not laughing now. Several of them openly admired it last week, when the highs were single-digits and I was toasty warm.

This morning it was -10°F when I woke up and warmed up to -8.0°F while I was drinking coffee; time to go to work. In my hat.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Quando Omni Flunkus...

Quando Omni Flunkus...

My birdfeeder has brought hours of entertainment to my backyard--for myself and the cats, who were both sleeping in another room when this guy wandered through. Harrumph.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Makin' Pie Like a Samurai

Chocolate Cream Pie

Thursday was National Pie Day.  I never know about these things ahead of time, but the important part is I have pie now. Mit Schlag.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday...with words

Quilt Inspector

Wordless Wednesday is a thing from about ten years ago where a blogger just posts an image--something that evokes a mood or tells a story without using words.  Quilt bloggers sometimes use them to post progress on a project, or to inspire a new project.  Some people create a new image for Wednesdays, others post an image they came across on someone else's blog but really like.

I have kind of a thing about only using images I created myself, but I'm not hung up on "recent" or "new."  I like to go back and look at old pictures (I realize on the internet anything more than a week ago is "old").  If you need a title or location, click on through to Flickr--or ask in the comments.  I like comments.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Nashville TN/Bowling Green KY

Three weeks seems like a long time ago. I think I'm done uploading photos to Flickr. Most of them were more interesting when I was taking them than they are this morning. This one would be an interesting composition for a quilt.


On the way home we stopped at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green KY. Much fun with the camera there.

Pace Car

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Beer I Am Drinking Today

Backpocket Pennywhistle

Freund really liked this one, a very traditional Weizen.  Picked it up at a Hy-Vee on the way home from my last trip to Iowa.  I wouldn't go to Iowa just to get it, but if you have to go to Iowa, you can mitigate the trip with this beer.

Yuengling Lager
Went to Nashville for New Years and grabbed a case on the way home because it's unobtainable in Indiana.  Other beers consumed in Nashville:  Yazoo, Sweetwater, Turtle Anarchy, and the ubiquitous Blue Moon.