No Sew-sational

Adventures in No Sew Blankets

Hola Intertubers!

How goes your month? Mine has been filled with excitement and days off. I’ve relished in the ability to lounge. There was once a time when I was not able to lounge, but I trained hard and I am proud to say that I have taken my lounging to the next level. I’ve been known to sit on the couch, knit and play video games. Isn’t being boring and lame the best on occasion?

Anyhoo, despite my crafty nature, I’ve never made a no sew blanket. Why? I figured, my ability to sew negated my need to make a no sew blanket. Also, the fringey bits seemed fugly and lame. So I avoided them for just about a decade. Then Mr. McCluckin’ destroyed my dreams of never making a no sew blanket by asking me to help him make a no sew blanket.

Nevermind the man foot in the background, that's a finished blanket in the foreground.

Nevermind the man foot in the background, that’s a finished blanket in the foreground.

My love for that masculine chicken melted my distrust for the no sew blanket trend. I hopped on the bandwagon just to help that big lug. His boss at the Sprocket factory requested no sew blankets to donate to hospitals. Apparently wee babies require warmth and blankets sometimes come in handy. So we wandered to the craft shoppe and purchased a yard or two of fleece. That night, by the glow of the television, we cut and tied our way to blanket heaven.

Showing off his mad blanket tying skills.

Showing off his mad blanket tying skills.

Hooray for us! Hooray for those soon to be warm babies! Hooray in general! Whelp, that’s my tale of not sewing a blanket. What did I learn? Well I still think the fringe is fugly and I don’t plan to make any of these blankets ever again. So the moral of the story is, sometimes you just gotta take one for the team and make some babies warm.

Oh my! The night sky is ablaze with the craft-mergency signal! I must go, there’s some sort of craft-tastrophe afoot. Last time I  answered the signal’s call the first lady was caught in a web of rickrack. Luckily I was able to walk her step-by-step through the untangling process. Soon enough she had herself a lovely loaf of rickrack to show off to all the other first ladies and queens.

Toodle-loo,

Henny Penny

Whimsical Tidings!

Ahoy there Internet Lubbers!

I can’t believe it’s Thursday! Wait, is it Thursday where you are? Maybe I accidentally jumped into the future. Nonetheless, I wanted to bring you a few newsical notes from the desk of moi. So here I am and here you are and here we go…

  • Last week I stitched up a bra in just under 9 hours. It’s a doozy of a bra and while attending the class I definitely drank the “sew your own bra, love your boobs” kool-aid. I of course, continue to love my boobs, but I am not so sure I want to start sewing bras all the time. You never know what the future may hold! I could grow a third boob and then I would definitely need a specially made bra. At least I have the skills to handle that triboob situation. Soon though, you will see a bra sewing-stravaganza in an issue of Ye Olde Periodical (for which I am gainfully employed) and it will be authored by moi.

    Hooray for fun!

    Hooray for fun!

  • A few weeks ago I made this bad ass card. It’s rather fancy wouldn’t you say? I’ve been thinking of posting a tutorial on how to make it. Might you like to know the secrets of my card making ways?
  • This week I have been obsessing over WhimseyBox! It’s a crafts by mail subscription service. Once per month I will receive a box with a complete craft inside. I will of course immediately plunder the contents, revel in all the glory and love the crap out of my creation. Why? Because if there’s nothing I love more than crafting it’s mystery crafting. Want to join in on the fun? Normally boxes cost $15 per month, but if you click here you can get a box for only $5 (and to be perfectly honest I will get a free box if you sign up, however you qualify for this same offer as soon as you sign up, so if we keep the crafting chain going we’ll all have free crafty boxes and giant crafting parties [wow this is a long parenthetical add on]).
  • Secrets, secrets! I have been working on so many secret projects lately I can’t stand it! I want to show you all of them and reveal my world of craftiness. Alas, of you fine few readers out there these gifts are for 12% of you, so you’ll just have to wait.
  • Do you know of Alie and Georgia? They are super-duperly fantastic gal pals from California! Here are the ways in which they are fantastic:
    Alie and Georgia! (Photo courtesy of Cooking Channel, click this photo to see more Cooking Channel).

    Alie and Georgia! (Photo courtesy of Cooking Channel, click to see more Cooking Channel).

    They invent fancy-ass cocktails for your mouth to love.
    They podcast from a pillow/blanket fort.
    They wear the cutest dresses ever.
    They are friends with fabulous people like Hannah Hart (of My Drunk Kitchen) and Mamrie Hart (of You Deserve a Drink).
    They have a brand new show about traveling, drinking and being BFFs! We should have a viewing party, what do you say? I’ll bring the liquor cabinet, you bring the ice!

So that’s that!

Now you know what’s been rattling around the treasure chest I call a skull. I must leave you for my MLM (Maniacal Ladies in Masks) meeting. Are you a member? I might never know! If you are wink thrice at me then offer me a cup of loathing punch. If it is I behind the mask I will respond by drinking the punch in one gulp and belching the maniacal alphabet.

Toodle Loo Darlings!

XOXO,

Henny Penny

 

 

Listed Sisters

What’s cookin’ chickadees and chickadon’ts?

I’ve been mired in the bog of responsibility lately, however I thought I would pop in to give you a quick update as to the Henny and Mr. McCluckin’ whereabouts. Here’s a list of all the exciting activities we’ve been up to (most of which are true):

1) Redoing my crafty Shangri-La for a fancy magazine spread. I was selected to share my craft room in an upcoming publication. There was a fancy photo shoot and many quotations sprang from my lips. What did this really entail? About 6 hours shopping at Ikea and other curio shoppes for cute and matching organizational tools, a week’s worth of work pulling everything off the shelves and a weekend putting things back on the shelves in a delightful and enticing way. You may recall the look of my craft room from a previous post. Well things had been a-changin’ prior to the shoot and woo-whee did that speed up my time table for projects. There was so much organization, it was like a Martha Stewart wet dream. I would love to show you my new and delightful room, but I am not allowed to scoop the magazine. I promise to show you all the fancy happenings as soon as I am allowed.

2) Training the wee pooches for the next itty bitty Iditarod. It’s not too hard to get them to pull a sled and they are slowly learning what “mush” means. The worst part is getting them to leave their passenger, Madame Tatiana alone. Madame is a teacup pig and just loves riding in the sled. Our theme is “watch this tiny pig fly” I think the judges will love it! Cleo and Rita will be dressed as airplanes.

3) I have taken up the dreaded craft of knitting. After avoiding this for a solid decade, I finally figured it might be worth it to make my own socks. Plus down the road I want to make a sweater dress, so I better get my crap together. I just today borrowed my first needles and have been trying my hand at the pointy stick manipulation. I am not impressed so far.

Oliver3.5) I met this bird Oliver on Sunday.

4) Mr. McCluckin’ was nominated for a Nobel prize! Of course, by Nobel prize I mean U.S. patent and by nominated I mean submitted the necessary paperwork through his work fellows. In 3-6 years we’ll know the outcome. He’s developed a widget that clamps onto the big toe of rabid roosters. This way you always know which roosters are rabid. Granted, the frothing at the mouth and attempting to peck you to death is a sure-fire way to know which rooster is rabid, but that’s neither here no there.

5) I’ve been working on a present that’s a big surprise for someone very fancy. It involves a hoop, a needle and piles of floss. I’m sure you can guess what I’m up to.

How about you? Have you been terribly busy? Can I just say, working full time is for the bees, we birds need a rest! Well, I am about to collapse into a heap of snoring lady parts, so I best be on my way. Please tell all the children in your neighborhood that I intend to steal their candy.

Sincerestly,

Henny Penny

A Wish Listing We Shall Go!

Howdy-doo Misters and Mistresses?

All I can positively say about 2013 is that at least 1/12 of it is over. Between the illnesses, bad news bears’ extended visit, and the bat cave cave-in (resulting in a very costly sinkhole), this year has been a bit of a jerk. I’m quite ready to jump ship and move straight to 2014. However, Mr. McCluckin’ hasn’t finished his time machine, and insists he never will if I keep nagging him.

I had a wee chat with my lady-boss about promotions, duties, and my career future last week. She asked me to provide her with a list of goals I would like to accomplish in the next 6 months and she would do her best to make them come true. This was very flattering and I was happy to oblige. Of course, my first run at it included many items such as build my own palace, learn to speak fishwich, and moonwalk across the Americas.

After some pondering I whittled it down to a list of 13 items. The first is to learn more about the Adobe creative suite. To achieve this goal I created a wish list collage. I intend to print it and post it in conspicuous areas.

Henonthetown21013

I may have mixed up levitation and meditation. We’ll see, maybe one will lead to the other. Additionally, I am hoping to write more. Might you have heard about the Calendar of Tales? The lovely and princely Neil Gaiman partnered with Blackberry to write 12 tales this year based on ideas submitted via Twitter by lucky readers. One of our dear friends was re-tweeted by Mr. Gaiman! Perhaps her tale will be picked! Nonetheless, I find this quite the pot of inspiring soup. I’m plotting a writing goal involving story telling and feel as though this might be just the starting point I’m seeking. Nothing has been solidified, so if you have any suggestions, I’m all ears.  Here are the subjects of Neil Gaiman’s Calendar of Tales:

Why is January so dangerous?

What’s the strangest thing that ever happened to you in February?

What historical figure does March remind you of?

What is your happiest memory of April?

What is the strangest gift you’ve ever been given in May?

Where would you spend a perfect June?

What is the most unusual thing you’ve ever seen in July?

If August could speak, what would it say?

Tell me something you lost in September that meant a lot to you.

What mythical creature would you like to meet in October?

What would you burn in November if you could?

Who would you like to see again in December?

I must ponder this a bit more. This shall require all the tea I can find and perhaps a digestive biscuit or two. For now I bid your adieu! Enjoy the other internet lands you shall visit today!

Toodle-loo,

Henny Penny

 

 

 

 

A Farewell to 2012s

Bonjourno Internet Citizens!

Well the year is quite nearly over. Can you believe we made it through Ragnorak? I didn’t think we could, but as it turns out the magic was inside us the whole time. We didn’t even need the “hubcap of ultimate power,” it was in fact useless.

InfinityThis holiday season was a blur! My tip to you, fair readers, is do not visit another mystical land for 2 weeks in December. It makes the holiday rush so terribly stressful. I did manage to make one infinity scarf for my darling lady friend. I am confident it will keep her neck warm, or at a minimum provide a conversation piece as she attempts to exit it’s many looping folds.

Mr. McCluckin’ and I have been known to host the Feast of the 7 Fishes! This year we had a very serious discussion about the feast and decided to keep it small. Instead of inviting everyone under the sun, we tried to keep the gathering to friends, family and beloved neighborhood scamps. In the end we welcomed 20 people to our home instead of the usual 40 and we served them fishes like never before. There was a trout pate and green curry salmon (these were brought by guests). We made cioppino (fish gut soup), baccala balls (rehydrated fish rolled into balls), sausage and peppers (from pigs) and marinara and noodles. In case you were wondering, I don’t much care for fish. I do on the other hand care for feasts and traditions. So we made our house smell of cat food, no worries, everyone had a ball (made of fish)!

Maybe it was the savagery that came with Ragnorak on the 21st, but this holiday season was insane-pants. Every time I turned around I discovered 7 unfinished tasks. Even as we enter 2013 I realize there’s so much I had hoped to do. On the plus side, there are very few Mayan apocalypses in 2013, so I think it might be a productive year.

Let’s talk about resolutions! I like to make grand resolutions that rarely have any grounding in reality (just like everyone else).

I plan to:

Figure out how to use the Flickr app on my phone.

Ignite my Apple abilities by using the crap out of my iPad.

Overthrow the leaders of Banana Republic and plunder their natural khaki resources.

Read more (expect exciting things on this subject soon!)

Teach the wee dogs to moonwalk.

Visit not-too-distant lands, like Glenwood Springs, Columbus and Boston.

Invent a new language.

Whelp, those seem to all be in order. I expect you internetters to hold me to them! Let’s ring in the new year right with our ____________ (crafty tool) at hand and our _______________ (favorite animal) upon our laps!

Wishing you, yours and the other people you know but don’t count among your inner circle, a very merry new year!

Cheerios,

Henny Penny

Irish You a Merry Winterfest!*

Hallooooo Hungry Hippos and Sneaky Petes,

Where on Earth have you been? Well I can tell you where I’ve been, Ireland. It’s true. I’ve been traipsing about the Emerald Isle without you. Don’t fret, the customs officers revoked my rights to the internet upon entry into the country, so it wasn’t your fault I wasn’t able to speak with you every minute of my trip.

So what’s a holiday in Ireland like? Oh-so-wonderful! It was like walking on cotton candy while having sexy fireman feed you ice cream from a trumpet. Or to be more exact, it’s like wandering through a kaleidoscope of green and blue. Everyone we met was friendly and delightful. Oh yes, did I neglect to mention, Mr. McCluckin’ accompanied me, because as we all know a well-refined hen doesn’t leave the country without a proper gentleman escort. Also, he was paying.

First off, the booze, there was much! Thanks to the help of two high-spirited Irish lads we discovered a new whiskey called Greenore. It’s yummy! Though I doubt they’ll be putting that on the bottle any time soon. It’s very fancy and refined. Also, we toured the Guinness Storehouse and the Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre. Both of which were delightful in their own exceptional ways.

Secondly, the food was almost 100% fabulous! The best of the best was either Cornucopia in Dublin (really, you must try it) or Ard Bia in Galway (again, a do not miss). Followed closely by The Gourmet Tart Co. in Salthill and Wagamama in Dublin. So divine! Anyone that’s told you Irish food isn’t delicious is lying. They are trying to trick you from visiting this fantastic country and making new friends and singing many songs.

Oh and there was singing! So much singing! At Mr. McCluckin’s request we attended a traditional Irish music pub crawl in Dublin. After learning the culture of traditional music playing, the instruments involved and how to identify real, jigs and slip-jigs; everyone joined in on a bit of singing. Oh it was divine! mr. McCluckin’ sang a Billy Joel song and I piped up with a folk song my father used to sing. We were lucky to be on the tour with a group of Swedish tourists with excellent singing voices. All in all, it was a night of excellence and it wrapped up in time for us to hop out to a pub and drink ourselves silly.

We celebrated my hatching day abroad with fine drink and shopping. In fact there may have been a bit too much shopping. I’m not sure we left much of anything in Ireland of other tourists. I haven’t even peeked at our credit card bills just yet. Maybe in a week or so when I feel well-rested again.

I’m working on putting together a Flickr of my photos, until then, enjoy this shot of all the treasures I brought home from the land of Ire.* In fact I best be hopping into bed if I hope to make it to work tomorrow.

From left to right, top to bottom: Row 1: McCluckin’s new murse, Tulamore Dew Warehouse special whiskey, Ireland travel poster, VERY VERY FANCY PILLOW, Row 2: Historical Ireland tea towel, a Claddagh ring, a Guinness soccer ball, clover growing cans, apple syrup, Guinness truffles, a smattering of books, a Guinness cap with a bottle opener on the brim, a jar of strawberry marshmallow fluff, a tin of toffee marked “thanks for watching our pets,” a hand-knitted lady sweater, a cashmere scarf of many colors, Row 3: Artisan Irish chocolate bars, a scarf from Rebecca (so lovely), a tote bag with a unicorn on it, a tin of whiskey fudge, an artsy photo of a monastery, a colouring book, bright orange cashmere gloves. Row 4: More candy!!!, a tiny sheep, Guinness playing cards, a magnet, a claddagh necklace, pub bookmarks, a silver key, Tulamore Dew whiskey truffles, a gaggle of old postcards, Guinness socks, fancy ass chocolate, silly sewing notions, a white manly sweater.

Expect more about Ireland in upcoming posts, including:

How I danced with the ghosts of Clontarf Castle and lived to tell about it! the best way to drink your 7th cup of tea! Where the wild sheep roam! Cheddar and onion crisps, the true enemy at the door!

Smooches for now loves,

XOXO,

Henny Penny

* Phrases marked with this fine and upstanding asterisk may have derived their cleverness from outside, young librarian shaped witsicle.

A Recapping We Shall Go!

Felicitations Darlings!

It’s nearly mid November, that seems the perfect time for a Halloween recap…don’t you think? Let’s see here, this year was a little bonkers. Directly following All Hallow’s Eve I was scheduled to appear in a tutorial video for an upcoming DVD. This was so very much work that it ate my will to live for nearly 2 weeks. The worst part is I can’t show you my videos because they belong to a company that privately releases them to specially selected audiences. {Oh my, that sounds a bit nefarious, but I promise it’s all above the bar…mostly}

Let’s let the pictures do the talking for me, what do you say? Here’s a lovely set of images from my Halloween…

All right, all right perhaps I should do some of the talking. Mr. McCluckin’ and I happen to live next door to aspiring costume designers. So as the kiddies came knocking for candy we also saw our lovely next door buddy skulking about the shrubbery.

 

 

 

 

My new office loves Halloween! Seriously, loves it so much they might marry it. Here we almost all are in our Halloween finery.

 

Also, I decided little Miss Rita should attend Halloween festivities as an Ewok. Isn’t she the best dog model ever?

So that’s about all there is to say about Halloween. Well, I mean there was a chase through a labyrinth and a pants off dance off in the high court of Gandhiville, but that’s a tale for another day.

Toodles for now chums! I’m off to conquer horrors unknown (and have soup)!

XOXO,

Henny Penny

 

 

 

 

Let Funtober Begineth!

Well hey there hooligans and germaphobes!

So glad to see you again, it has truly been ages. Woof, Blergtember is over and I have much to show for it. I spent nearly every waking moment that I hadn’t already promised to work or the chickadees auxiliary club sewing a quilt top. My promises of quilting up something lovely for one of my wee lady friends had proven quite a challenge. Despite the sore claws and lack of meal breaks, I persevered and managed to get the top together before her birthday party.

It’s a flying shuttles pattern and soon I will be shipping it away to a long arm quilter. Then I promise myself, I shall perform a quilt shunning for a solid 3 months before returning to the quarter-inch seam world. If there is one word to describe my experience quilting it would be: woof-sweet-baby-cthulhu-this-shall-be-the-death-of-me.

 

 

 

On to more exciting topics, like presents! Mr. McCluckin’ really decided I was due for some spoiling and surprised me all last week. Each morning he arranged for me to discover a note and a set of embroidery patterns. All of the patterns came from the Stitcher’s Revolution line of Colonial Patterns. They are so ridiculously nifty. I have many plans for their deliciousness. Maybe I’ll just take a few of the patterns to the nearest tattoerie and get the neck ink I’ve always wanted. There’s no telling what these patterns and I will be up to in the coming months.

As you may recall I encouraged you to visit the Craft Ninja‘s mitten-palooza last month. It was a day I shall never forget, and aren’t you sad you missed it? First off, Becky the HNIC (head-ninja-in-charge) was crazy nice, which might be a ploy to lure you in and kill you with craftiness. Beth, my co-worker and hopefully soon-to-be-friend, taught most of the mitten lesson. Plus she even made the pattern (download the pattern here and make mittens for your next game of hammerhead hopscotch). I started making a pair of mittens but then became very busy helping others in their quest for mittendom. Nonetheless, my mitten monsters are laid out and need a bit assistance to become handworthy, but then it’s all mittens all the time.

I intend to attend the upcoming sugar skull thunderdome project hosted by the Craft Ninja’s so here’s your chance to experience the glory of the 3 Kings Basement. RSVP soon to save a spot next to me.

In other news, I needed to have a headshot taken for my worky work and they dolled my face and hair up to the extreme. This is the most makeup I have ever worn and here’s hoping it is the most I will ever wear.

Let it be decreed, Funtober hath begun and the soon all of the fun shall be had. Let us rejoice! To the field of rakes!

Chip, chip, cheroo!

Henny Penny

No Rest for the Crafty

Welcome Winners!

The past few weeks have been a bit hectic. My new digs have kept me quite busy. The fun part is that this career includes crafting. Last week I made antiqued envelopes for an upcoming photo shoot. I spent way more time than necessary getting them just right. More than likely they will be barely visible. Plus I am learning machine embroidery! It seems most of the work is in learning how to get the fancy pants machine to do your bidding. Tomorrow I am going to build a shrine to the goddess of Bernina in hopes that she will grant me luck in my stitching.

Just when I thought I had a handle on my new worky work routine it was time to visit Portland for a long weekend Mr. McCluckin’ and I planned months ago. I spent much of my time talking to seamstresses that were turning a profit or just living it up in Stumptown. More on this to come…so stay tuned blog readers!

While in Portland we slept in an apartment decked out in 60s and 70s decor. It was so sublime! The best part (for me at least) was the dressing room with a day bed to lounge upon while considering your wardrobe choice for the day. Seriously, all my little girl dreams came true!

Ta for now, I must make the sleepy face for a few hours.

Smooches,

Henny Penny

 

What Else?

Salutations Lovely Readers,

Where on Earth have I been? Mostly I have been sulking in bed with a nasty sinus infection. I was convinced my superior immune system could fight it off without the aid of medicine. Alas, I was wrong and a week and a half later I submitted to a good old fashioned doctoring and came home with drugs. Piles and piles of drugs. Huzzah!

Needless to say the craftiverse and I haven’t been hanging out much during my infirmary period, but I thought you might like to know what I have been up to otherwise. Ooh and this week I tried to make all the pictures roughly 7% lovelier, do enjoy.

First off Mr. McCluckin’ really proved his title of Exceedingly Generous Ultimate Husband by buying me a car. The short version of this story goes like this: we have a bit of pillow chat about how I am sad roughly 2 weeks ago, the next day he buys me a car to make me happy!* And what a car, I am the proud owner of a Mini Cooper S. It’s used but who cares? I promptly named my fine little lady Jujubee the Honey Badger or Jujubadger for short. I am so content. Clearly he is due some crafty goodness as thanks.

Next up on the roster, I went to the zoo with several neighborhood scamps, including the Wee Vs and Mrs. Ryan. I refused to take pictures of anything caged, so in other words all I have to show for it is a picture of a peacock. Mysteriously I received my infection a day or so after the zoo, so what does that mean? You can never trust a caged gorilla. Yes I made out with a gorilla, what’s it to you?

Then there’s the discovery of the exciting and thoroughly delicious Gnome’s Nook, a small shoppe of candy and gnomes here in Denver. As best as I can tell the gnomes are afraid of the internet as their website doesn’t offer too much, meaning you will need to pop in to learn why it’s so magnificent. The entry level is painted as the forest floor and the second story is the forest canopy, also that’s where they keep the candy. All they sell are gnomes and candy, but soon they plan to offer craft classes. I intend to visit them again quite soon.

The only crafty business I have been up to is winding two skeins of yarn into balls. I bought the skeins on holiday and neglected to ask the wool mistress to use her ball winder at the time. I have been kicking myself ever since. I simply can’t understand how to make a nice even round ball. What ever did we do without ball winders?

Oh and in other news, I have decided to become an expert in something. I am open to suggestions. So far I was tossing around learning all about the steam engine or the theoretical concept of crepe making (no actual making of crepes). Then again perhaps I should trust my instincts and work on ingesting all there is to learn about some form of craftiness. The history of wool carding might be a fine start.

Well I am off to enjoy the meatloaf!

Cheerios,

Henny Penny

*The long version of the story goes like this: the hen house has been living the good life with only 1 vehicle and 2 commuters for the past 2 or so years. At the dawn of 2012 the ever-so-wise-and-not-ridiculous-in-any-way-transit-system canceled the bus that dropped Mr. McCluckin’ off at the salt mines. Not only did they cancel it they failed to offer any alternative to get him within a mile and a half of his bossman. Then I came down with a case of the blues and we started talking about all the changes I would like to make. Not once did I say “let’s get a mini cooper because everything little is delightful.” But his magic rooster ears heard my secret pining (so secret I wasn’t even aware it was present) and went out to fulfill dreams. Presto! Jujubadger arrived with a pretty red bow! The End