I haven't written a post here in quite some time. I guess I just got lazy after the sight crashed  and I didn't have access for so long. But now I am back and ready to ramble. 

I've spent the better part of my free time this past week working on a smocked baby dress for our dear little neighbor, who will be 6 months old in about a week. She always shares her drool,  gives me pats and  happy baby screechies when I see her, so of course I wanted to so something nice in return.  

I found a darling little pattern that, with minimal modification, would work well for what I had in mind and have put in countless hours smocking it and appliqueing a contrasting band of scallops along the hem - all hand work.  (Normally the applique would have been done on my machine but I got called in to work this week and decided that I could work on it during my breaks and lunch hour so I'd still be making progress even when I wasn't able to get to my machine. 'Probably not the smartest decision I've made lately, because in the end it actually slowed down me down, but that's a whole different rant).  

Last night, after more time spent  forcing my stiff fingers to do even more stitching, I set the  project aside and went off to do my nightly chores. The kids were all happy to be unwinding in front of the TV and I thought everything was fine...up until I turned around just in time to see the youngest (who will be 2 next week) holding my scissors in one fat little fist and the dress in the other! He's just been learning to cut this week, and it was clear that he thought my sewing would be a good place to practice. I gave a shout and one of his siblings retrieved the scissors and the dress without incident. 

Now, more then 12 hours have past, and I still have not worked up the courage to see if he succeeded in his mission, or if my efforts remain un-damaged. ... I'm not sure I can face the indiscriminate massacre of this  little dress. Then again, if it remains untouched, it'll be such a relief!!  Ironically,  should it be intact, I will be sorely disappointed if the little bundle it's intended for doesn't get to make her mark on it when she wears it. How hypocritical is that!? 

Posted Mon, May 5 2014 8:48 AM by chocake2 | with no comments

Amazing inspiration

As many of you are aware, i dabble in many creative pursuits, not just quilting. I am at my happiest when I am creating, whether it's a cozy warm blanket to shelter a loved one from the cold or just a bright bobble to put a passing smile on a stranger's face.  It makes no difference to me. My hands are usually busy. I don't do well if I am not producing ...something.  

Today I passed some time idly exploring on-line artist galleries. It's a fun way to gain new inspiration. I'm generally in awe of all of the variety of talent I encounter in this way.  

In the course of this random exploration I came across this painting by Mary Whyte and just had to share it here:

The subject matter naturally caught my eye, but then on closer inspection I found myself lingering  her skillful rendering of the quilter.  It's almost too easy to believe you are looking at a photograph, and not a painting. The translucence in the skin of this woman is mind-boggling in its execution.  Truely, I believe this is one of the great works of our time!

Posted Fri, Jan 3 2014 9:03 PM by chocake2 | 1 comment(s)

All good things come to an end

I am greatly saddened to report that the lady I made the Chemo Quilt for came to the end of her days late last night. She was awake and aware for Christmas and was able to enjoy that final blessed day with her family before she drifted off to sleep and never woke up. It's as kind an ending as a person in her condition could hope for and I am glad that her family can cherish one last Christmas memory. 

Posted Fri, Dec 27 2013 12:18 PM by chocake2 | 1 comment(s)

And the Adventure continues...

Thanksgiving is over and we are all trying to overcome our annual turkey coma. It's been a slow lazy day.

In our house, the day after Thanksgiving means  we'll be dining on Turkey Pot pie made with the leftover dressing,  veggies, turkey and gravy. This year I decided to be a little fancy and topped it with  the mashed potatoes piped from a pastry bag to form cute little pillows. The kids delighted in it. One of them noted that they looked like marshmallows. That observation was immediately vetoed by a sibling who said no, they looked like Easter Peeps. The youngest wasn't to be out done. He scooped his potatoes onto his spoon, held them high and said "Poops!!"  very plainly.  Alas, I fear that from now on sour-cream potato Poops will have to be a regular item on the  menu...  They'll go well with Peas.

Posted Fri, Nov 29 2013 6:10 PM by chocake2 | with no comments

chemo quilt

At long last the Chemo Quilt made it's way to it's intended recipient. It has been on display at the local Post Office for the better part of two weeks, waiting for friends and neighbors to add their thoughts and prayers. On Friday the son of the patient came in to collect their mail and saw it there. The post master decided it was as good a time as any send it home to her. I guess the son was very touched. I hope she is, too. She was supposed to resume her chemo this week, but is still too weak.  The prognosis is looking bad for her to make it through the holidays. 

Posted Sun, Nov 24 2013 10:32 AM by chocake2 | with no comments

Out of the mouths of Babes

Today was a hectic day. I had to take my eldest son into the city for an appointment . It takes about an hour and a half  to drive from where we live  to the metropolis, so just going is a production. Traffic on main street Mytown consists of a tractor and two farm trucks every 20  min or so.  Drivers offer everyone a cheerful wave to brighten your day. Traffic in the city is usually bumper to bumper . The waving there is far less friendly but it takes only one finger.

Needless to say, the big stores in the more populace environment are much better stocked (and often cheaper) then those nearer home, so as long as we were in town anyway, I made it a point to do some shopping. Today's spending spree took us to a warehouse store in search of special treats for our Thanksgiving table. I was perusing the wine selection when DS piped up "Gee, Mom. That's a big bottle." I was only half listening and replied "UmmHmm. Grandma's  coming to dinner."  (referring to the fact that MiL expects there to be vino on the table for all special occasions, whether it is actually consumed or not). My precious child didn't miss a beat. He promptly replied "oh... You'd better get a bottle for yourself, too."

Posted Mon, Nov 18 2013 6:31 PM by chocake2 | 1 comment(s)

busy bodies and sour prunes

Today I took the "chemo quilt" I've been making to the local Post office to be put on display for a few days. The post master very kindly agreed to put out the word and collect well wishing cards for the recipient before it is delivered - something to give it a more personal touch. When I dropped it off , a neighbor lady was collecting her weekly stack of 1st class, 2nd class and no class mail. She demanded to know what was in my bundle. Yes, demanded. There is very little that is subtle about the woman. I explained the quilt and who it was for (It's a small town, everyone knows everyone else and their business) and asked if she'd like to add a get well card  to go along with it. She proceeded to announce that the recipient is no longer on chemotherapy so a chemo quilt was a foolish gift; she nit-picked the size and my choice of colors; she bad-mouthed others for not helping me with the project... and even went so far as to imply that my creation would be put to better use in her own home for her Grandchildren "to tussle over". I admit that the quilt itself is a humble little throw made from scraps, and completed in a few rushed days, but surely it's not that awful!  I found it sad that she gave so little thought to the intent on that quilt and could not see the comfort I was trying to offer. Someone needs to bake that sour puss a cake and sweeten her up!!

Posted Sat, Nov 9 2013 9:55 PM by chocake2 | 5 comment(s)

thoughts drifting like new fallen snow.

I had to go to the city the other day. While I was struggling to navigate the rat-race a billboard caught my eye. It said "are you buried under unwanted debt?" I had to chuckle at that one. On the surface it's not all that amusing but if you pause to think....  do you know anyone who actually wants debt?? 

Later I passed a septic service truck and the emblem on the back, beneath a picture of playing cards, read "Where a Royal flush beats a full House" Now there's an advertiser who really did set out to get a smile. And truthfully, that company's name stuck in my head far longer then the institution wanting to take my money to fix my money problems . It could be that I'm more in need of their services then I am the other, but I think it was their approach that made it memorable..


Posted Fri, Nov 8 2013 9:10 AM by chocake2 | with no comments

more musings...

I've been working on a fast quilt for a sick neighbor to take along to her Chemo treatments. Unfortunately I didn't learn of her illness until recently and she's already had a couple courses of chemicals. She's a nice lady, the first to welcome us to our new home and welcome us to the neighborhood, and it saddens me that I haven't gotten to know her better.  Hopefully, I've still got the chance.

I remember when my  Mom was still alive. I'd find myself in a conversation with someone and she'd come up. Inevitably they'd say "gee, She sounds great. It's too bad that I never had a chance to get to know her..."  That always confounded me. She was terminally ill, not dead. And yet they wouldn't offer her their friendship... I suppose folks are just afraid of getting hurt when their friend passes. We all over-look the fact that even our healthiest  friends could meet their fate tomorrow, leaving us just as hurt. But we're still better for having known them, and the memories we make are treasures, just the same right?  So, I may be slow in getting around my busy life, but I'll be making an effort on this new friendship anyway. 

Posted Tue, Oct 29 2013 7:02 PM by chocake2 | with no comments

musings of a scattered mind

This was inevitable. Too often my daily chatter is too arbitrary to be considered quilt related, and yet I  have a collection of friends here who actually seem to care about my merry meanderings.  No one seems to mind when I pop up with weird observations about my day.  I've come to the conclusion that there's no getting around it: I'm a blogger. 'Might as well make it official.... So here it is. My first real Blog post in my first blog. Hopefully this will prove a better venue for my off-topic ramblings.

And that brings us to the question:  what is happening in the Warped World of Chocolate cake that is blogworthy? Nothing. ... But I won't let that stop me from sharing it anyway! 

My recent projects have revolved more around glass then fabric. That's not uncommon lately, in large part because Sprout is just too  dang curious about the sewing machine and I live in fear of him sticking a finger under  the needle or pulling it off the table onto himself. Not to mention he steals my tools and I spend all of my time searching for them instead of  putting them to use!  But I can occasionally snatch small little bits of time and create a bead . The beauty of that is that a bead is a completed project all by itself, but once I have made it, I can turn around and use it to create a whole new project! While Dh doesn't  readily recognize the possible traumas of tangling with a sewing machine, he does understand the dangers of a torch, so he can usually be persuaded to keep Sprout busy while I play with fire.  ...As long as I don't play too long. 

After a while I inevitably end up with a collection of  beads that I have no immediate plans for. They are just cheerful  little bits that I have made for whatever whims struck me at the moment I made them. As such, I was delighted to send a bag of 'bead soup' along to the gals attending the Oregon coast Retreat this month in hopes they could find inspiration in it. Even for bead soup, the selection I sent was pretty random. I believe there was a pink elephant, a blue dog, a flower or two, maybe a few  stripies  and a goddess bead.  For those of you who don't know, a goddess bead is a female torso. Someone decided that they represent the Earth Mother, or some such. Anyway, it wasn't too long into the retreat that I received a note from the recipient of that glass creation stating that she'd misplaced it and spent a portion of her evening asking her fellow quilters "Have any of you seen my naked body?"

That was all it took... I was off to the torch to make more goddess'.  Every chance I had to escape my family I was making another little lady.   Tiny bodies started appearing in random places around the house.  Dh sighed and rolled his eyes. Clearly he just wanted it all to end and my latest flight of fancy to be a distant memory. The boys giggled over it. (For them, It must be almost as good as sneaking a peak at a Playboy in the newsstand...) But then DD looked at the growing collection of well rounded little beauties and said "Gee, Mom, Those are great, but they're all chicks. You need to make some dudes, too."  ...  ...   Dang! I hate it when the kid is right!

It took m e a couple of days to figure out how to place my globs of glass and shape it to get the desired effect, but I succeeded  and in short order we had a pile of  David's to keep the Venus' company..  DH moaned and left the room when I showed him the new creations. The boys lost interest in the bowl of beads. And now I think My mania has run it's course. I may finally be done mass producing tiny  headless people.  For now. Now the challenge is to find a good use for all of those nifty little people....

DD Specifically asked for a Blue Goddess before I called it quits. Unfortunately, after I produced the bead,  I found that she planned to take it to school... Not Good!!  So this evening I strung it as a pendant with a little creative embellishment to make it a little less... nekkid. 



As per Carolyn's request, Hee-re's Davie!




Posted Sat, Oct 19 2013 5:24 PM by chocake2 | 1 comment(s)