Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blanket O' Fun

If you've been reading my blog for a bit, you've probably noticed that I volunteer for the Saint Louis Walk Now for Autism Speaks and shamelessly beg for donations to our walk team (still accepting funds, eligible for 2009 tax deductions for a couple more hours! HERE)

Recent prevalence studies indicate that 1 in 110 kids in the US are diagnosed on the autism spectrum. My 7 year old nephew is one of those kids, so I tried to think up something special for his Christmas present this year. I am told he is a whiz with the computer and other household electronics, loves Thomas the Tank Engine, and is as fascinated by tactile yummies as I am. (I, however, usually remember to ask before stroking somebody's arm because their shirt fabric is so scrumptious!)

I had the softest baby blanket in my gift closet, plus own an embroidery sewing machine, so starting on the top right is my nephew's name, with colorful crayons to accent. In the corner is a red STOP button:

My 'signature' is on the bottom right with "Love, Aunt Laura" and three 'Ants' with a yellow SLOW button:

I found a design of a small dragon on a computer, and it went on the top left with his nickname and a green GO button:

And on the bottom left are puzzle pieces, used often in promoting autism awareness and signifying that it is time to find the missing piece. The button in the corner of this one is a glass charm with waves of dark red:

If you follow those circle outlines in the above image, you will find this purchased RECYCLE symbol in plush green on green (of course!):

Along the bottom are strips of interesting fabrics: a super-plush sock (I got two pair and have the blue ones on now!), brown saddle leather, black pebbled leather, yellow butter-soft leather, and a silky faux-fur:

The reverse side of the blanket sports appliqu├ęd medallions cut from Thomas and Friends fleece fabric: 

This is a little pocket of palest blush pink "cameo" silk dupioni, a remnant of my wedding dress from this past May. The swirl motif and silver piping echo the tooth fairy pillows that I transformed for my nieces from their flower girl/ring-bearer pillows:

Finally, here is a scrap of the material from my sister Heather, aka Kyle's Mom'a, wedding dress. Super-soft double-sided silk satin with a store-bought rhinestone motif:

Kyle loves it, and I have gotten compliments from my sis and the autism specialist that helps with him.  I briefly saw Kyle via Skype this past week, though he wouldn't talk to me (no surprise.) I was able to see my darling nieces this past spring when they flew in to be in my wedding, but Kyle stayed home with his dad as he does not travel well. Love you, big guy!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Peace, Hope, Love and Joy!

The Baklava and Spanikopita are out of the oven and cooling. I am adding the final bows and such to the wrapped presents and look to be in bed by midnight!

Have a great holiday, even if you only celebrate it as a day off. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What Religion is Your Bra?

What Religion is Your Bra?

A man walked into the ladies department of Myer's

and shyly walked up to
the woman behind the counter and said,
'I'd like to buy a bra for my wife. '
' What type of bra?'
asked the clerk.

'Type?' inquires the man, 'There's more than one type?'
' Look around,'

said the saleslady,
as she showed a sea of bras in every shape, size, colour
and material imaginable.
'Actually, even with all of this variety, there are really only four types of bras to choose from .'
Relieved, the man asked
about the types.
The saleslady replied:
'There are the Catholic,
the Salvation Army,
the Presbyterian,
and the Baptist types.
Which one would you prefer?'

Now totally befuddled,

the man asked about
the differences between them.
The Saleslady responded,
'It is all really quite simple.

The Catholic type 
supports the masses;
The Salvation Army type lifts the fallen;

The Presbyterian type keeps them staunch and upright;
The Baptist type makes mountains out of molehills.'

Have you ever wondered why A, B, C, D, DD, E, F, G, and H are the letters used

to define bra sizes?
If you have wondered why,
but couldn't figure out
what the letters stood for,
it is about time
you became informed!

(A} Almost Boobs...

{B} Barely there....

{C} Can't Complain!..

{D} Dang!...

{DD} Double dang!...

{E} Enormous!...

{F} Fake...
{G} Get a Reduction...

{H} Help me, I've fallen

and I can't get up!...
{I} I can't believe they actually make 'em in this size...
{J} Jeez Louise, enough already... 

They forgot the Lutheran bra:

Okay, I admit I added the I and J, as those are the sized that I wear. Did you know they also do EE, GG, HH, etc. as a half size in-between?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Habitat for Humanity STL

I had a great time at the Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis  Volunteer Orientation this morning. Earlier this year I had the opportunity to work their first commercial De-Construction at an old Schnucks Grocery. I learned some good techniques from the veteran workers and it prodded me into finally getting a tool belt and steel-toed boots (Redwings which are the warmest, most comfortable winter weather shoes I now own.) My Christmas list this year was mostly hand tools I realized that I don't own, but would be useful on a build site - and in my own home!

Now I am ready to take on an actual build, whenever the schedule is posted, and depending on my employment situation. Today I learned that all 24 of the 2009 STL houses built are LEED certified at the Platinum level! Also, the new homeowners are not given the houses, they are provided loans at no interest and must put in a bunch of sweat equity, the hours equaling pretty much a down payment.

Hey Saint Louisans - are you interested in joining me on a build? Any former APO-ers (Alpha Phi Omega, national co-ed service fraternity) jonesing for a service project? Anybody in need of service hours? No construction experience needed, just the urge and orientation!

The next Volunteer Orientation is Saturday, January 9, 2010, 9:00am - 11:00am in the building attached to ReStore.  I've mentioned ReStore before, as a wonderful place to pick up good used appliances and materials, along with new stuff from construction overruns or overstock from retailers and manufacturers. A bargain for homeowners and a wonderful resource for art or craft projects.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hello, Redbud

Last week some mysterious lime-green circles appeared on the sidewalk easements in my neighborhood. Then some wooden stakes sprouted out of the circles. Finally, yesterday the City of Richmond Heights came around with a trailer full of trees and played Johnny Appleseed. Welcome to our lawn, little Redbud!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

NaBloPo...wait, we're all done with that

Back from my day of rest after the 30 days of my first attempt (success!) at NaBloPoMo. Now what do I write about?

With a hard freeze coming, I have been weatherizing the house: putting away the hoses, turning off the outdoor spigots, draining the rain barrel. I've also been adding weatherstripping to many of the main floor windows, as I've already bought the supplies, and any energy we can save before we spring for new high-e windows in money in the pocket. Actually, money to the bank to pay for the new furnace!

I also balanced the accounts in Quicken, which I bought  yesterday at Best Buy for only $39 (instead of $59). I had done this for almost a year 3 years back, but couldn't recover that file. I like keeping an eye on all the accounts, and knowing where the money is going.

Till next time,