An A-Fair to Remember

Felicitations my fine fellows and fellowettes,

This weekend my fair city, hosted the 2nd annual Denver County Fair. Rest assured, I attended the resplendent event. I missed out on last year’s fair and have been kicking myself ever since. I love that our fair holds hundreds of competitions for anyone that loves crafting, baking, gardening, or toad hollering.

The fair ran Friday-Sunday and Mr. McCluckin’ and I made plans to attend Sunday. We took a wee friend along to help us judge how much fun a little person might find. Unfortunately we arrived about 4 hours before the end of the fair and everyone was very low energy. Nonetheless we pushed on and tried to rustle up some fun.

Adultwise there was the geek pavilion which hosted many a video game, science fiction amusements, and quite a few steampunk booths. I marveled over the little gears of steampunk creations while Mr. McCluckin’ challenged our 4-year-old companion to some old fashioned Dance Dance Revolution. We considered entering the Freak Show area but there was a demonstration of “How to Hammer Nails Into Your Nose” and decided that wasn’t appropriate for any of the age groups in our gang. Of course, shopping in the craft arena was lovely, but I didn’t find any gems.

As for our wee person, she had buckets of fun. There was a pony ride, bouncy castle mayhem, cotton candy galore, and goat feeding. She could have also enjoyed the petting zoo but opted out. We saw variations of chickens never before spied, fluffy little rabbits that looked nervous, and 2 varieties of goats.  Oh, and there was a cookie castle that had been built during the fair and Sunday afternoon they launched it from the top of a staircase to its doom. Apparently at some point a unicorn had been available but not while we were there. I later learned it was a mock unicorn, just a pony with a taped on horn.

It was also super exciting to see my colleague, Beth Bradley, win second place in the sewing competition with her fantastic purse. I wish I had been present Saturday for the speed knitting and crocheting races. Plus there was the sew something in 15 minutes challenge on Sunday that we managed to miss due to late arrival. All in all it sounds like there were many fun and exciting happenings that were missed due to poor planning on our part.

Final conclusion: Everyone I interviewed said that Saturday was a hoot. I think Sunday afternoon was just the end of a very busy weekend for most vendors. Next year I will make it a point to attend earlier in the weekend. Alas, fun could not evade us and we went home rather happy. Favorite things for each member of our group:

Mr. McCluckin’: The Blues Brothers Car, the robot building competition in which someone entered Crow T. Robot from MST3K, and the scrumptious chicken and waffles he smuggled out of the food truck roundup.

Wee Friend: The pony ride! Oh and the cotton candy.

Henny Penny: This weird little diorama titled Dr. Rabbitfoot’s Mysterious Knowledge and Information that might have been entered in competition or perhaps was just there to amuse. Clearly this is the dream house for Voodoo Ken. I also had a hoot feeding the goats. What is it about goats that makes you want to buy a herd and walk them in public? I just love the little rascals.

 

 

So that was my weekend, well mostly, I neglected to tell you about the terrible and mystifying events of Saturday. That tale is best saved for another time when there are fewer internet miles between us and when I am holding a flashlight under my chin.

Have yourself a merry little Wednesday!

Most assuredly yours,

Henny Penny

P.S. I made my first meringue pie and it was AMAZING! I intend to only eat pie from here on out, so if my crafting posts are just ways to make fluffier meringues, I apologize in advance.

Tip-typing Away

Good even tide captains and stow-aways,

My museum days have come to a close and I am now working hard for the money at 3 different sewing magazines. I cannot fathom that at the beginning of the year Mr. McCluckin’ and I were on vacation (in the Valley of Dogs, fighting for our lives) and we had a conversation about dream jobs. My list (in order of preference) included:

1) Shepherdess of a manatee/alpaca hybrid (manpaca or alitee?) flock

2) Staff at a sewing/crafting magazine

3) Carnie

4) Work from home pajama model

Now almost all of my dreams have come true. If only scientists could figure out how to breed manatees that can breathe on land, or alpacas that are skilled swimmers. My first 3 day week has been exciting, tiring, commuterific, fun, a blur, and maybe a wee bit overwhelming. I can’t wait to go into work next week and take it to the limit. I have a sewing room at the office, who could have seen that coming?

To celebrate my return to the writing world, Mr. McCluckin’ gave me the lovely gift of a typewriter from the 50s. I have named my clickety-clack machine Mr. Fantastic. I have been typing up anything imaginable on it of late. I have always loved typewriters, but seeing Silvi work on hers at Maker’s Faire sparked my interest indubitably. Just a week ago we saw a poet for hire here in Denver. He had set up shop at a local farmer’s market and was offering poems for donation. Mr. McCluckin’ and I bought a poem for our friends Team Mullis.  I have a theory of selling a typing service in which I sell people lies. Ideally these lies would be fantastical in nature as opposed to dastardly.

During my week between careers Mr. McCluckin’ and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. We ate hot pot and bought each other culinary gifts. I received a new tea pot and pancake pen. The next morning I tried my hand at drawing exciting pancake figures. The unicorn looked promising until I flipped it and he lost both his horn and a leg. It would seem a bit more practice is required.

Lastly, I have been staring pretty much non-stop at the photography over at Boffoli Photography. The miniature scenes are incredible. I am so inspired to put tiny men into exciting situations.

For now though, I am off to beat back the laundry beast before an evening of boat drinks and fisticuffs.

Have yourself a merry little weekend!

Yours truly,

Henny Penny

 

 

Craft Room Antics

How do you do Internet?

I am quite well. This week I spent an entire day cleaning and reorganizing my craft room. I also entered a cross-country bobsled race, but I have months to train for that.

My crafty haven had evolved into a hazardous area requiring hard hat, steel-toed boots, and pudding popsicles (because there’s always room for Jell-o). Hester (RIP) had been so easily frightened that in June I set up a spot downstairs for crafting. Each visit to the craft room during this period required me to don a shrubbery disguise so as not to interrupt the nesting of Groucho, Harpo, and Flo-Jo. As such, the craft room became a derelict spot and several squatters took up residence. When the squatters found my secret stash of Icelandic wool, things got ugly. I didn’t smuggle that wool legally through customs just to have it soiled by ne’er do wells looking to play cat’s cradle while singing show tunes.

With a vengeful vacuum and several hours of podcasts I took the craft room back. It was slow going and the space still feels a little crowded, but the room belongs to me once again. Enjoy this photo collage I created just for you:

All the colors on the walls are named after foods, boysenberry, celery, pumpkin spice, and hot cocoa. The yellow table in the center doesn’t match at all, but I love it, so for now it stays.

Cleaning up helped me realize that there are so many organization projects I would love to complete. For instance I could make box covers that match the wall colors, or hang a clothes line and string up my knick-knacks of inspiration. One thing’s for sure, I don’t need to go to the craft store any time soon. I have enough stuff to complete 100s of crafts. Perhaps I should host stash busting parties and charge my friends and loved ones admission to make something sublime.

Ah ha! I think I’ve hit upon an excellent get rich quick scheme. Assuming by rich I mean $7 and by quick I mean in several months.

All this talk of organization has really been exhausting. I better power up with fro-yo. To the bobsled!

So long for now, keep your chin up, don’t eat your weight in spam…etc…

Sincerestly,

Henny Penny

A Letter in Three Parts

Dearest Readers and Skimmers,

I would like to start my blog today with some complaints, followed by superb news, then wrap the whole thing up with a fun use of technology. For your reading pleasure I have labeled the following parts and you are welcome to skip the ones that don’t concern you. So here we go…

Let’s start out on the wrong foot with a few Complaints:

Tearing tickets and selling tickets at the museum, once an exciting port of call for my resume, has recently been a bit less than perfect. Nearly everyone on the ticket slinging team has been out of town creating goofy schedules aplenty. Meaning my free time for crafting and speaking sweetly to my sewing machine has shifted from regularly to nearly never.

Also, I would like to complain about the earwigs that invaded my in-laws porch. Whenever we stop by to say hi the earwigs visit us and are creepy.

Let’s see, I would also like to take a moment to argue that honey is way to slow at leaving it’s happy bear home. Get a move on honey.

With that said I think it’s time for some Superb News:

During the past 2 weeks I have also been applying, researching, and thinking nonstop about a job opportunity I spied on craigslist.org. All of that mental energy paid off, I am now the editorial assistant for Sew News, Sew It All, and Creative Machine Embroidery. Well technically speaking I will be after my last 2 weeks at the museum. Can you believe it? I am joining an awesome team that might just be made up of unicorns and sewing wizards. Soon I will be paid to sew and write. Huzzah!

Now would be the perfect time to discuss Technology:

Mr. McCluckin’ downloaded the Craft Studio app from Martha Stewart. I gave the app a test drive and it is rather fun. I am not the biggest Martha Stewart fan, but this app is clean, cute and has many options for killing time. Maybe you need to wait in line often, well this iPad app is for you! Consider using this app to create and spread propaganda about your least favorite relatives. How about running your campaign for HOA president with elegantly and virtually crafted cards?

Basically the app allows users to use photos in a lay out that is similar to a scrapbook page. You can print using a variety of means and there’s a tutorial video with Martha narrating. I made three little cards just to get my bearings. I have to say the glitter shaking is clever. Whenever you use glitter you write with a pen then shake the entire iPad as though it were an etch-a-sketch to glue down your chosen shade of glitter. Of course, the app would like your money. There are several theme packs to buy filled with different stickers and stamps to help you create the cards of your crafty dreams. I haven’t purchased any yet, but maybe someday when I am in need of a summer camp theme or disco laser theme, I’ll hop over to the shop. Right now the app is free, but not for long, eventually it will cost $4.99.

That’s all I have time for today. Watch out, because next week will be craft-licious. Best of luck in your upcoming llama race!

Toodle-loo,

Henny Penny

Crafting for Good and Not Evil

Good tidings to you my favorite rascals!

Today I bring you news of many exciting happenings and even a mundane event as well. First off, the chicks have flown the coop. As they became fluffy little birdies we named the surviving three Groucho, Harpo, and Flo-Jo. Today the last two took to the sky with only the slightest lack of ease. It’s really a terrific tale. You see, Mr. McCluckin’ was tending to his daily ablutions at about 6 am this morning, when he heard cries of bird distress coming from the back patio. He raced downstairs to discover Tom, the neighborhood tom cat and ne’er do well, stalking our little friends. Harpo had attempted flight and landed on the patio stairs. The little bird was fine but not quite ready to become cat breakfast. Mr. McCluckin’ rallied the wee dog troops and sent them out to bark the cat away. Up on the windowsill Hester and Flo-Jo were tweeting with concern, but in a flash Tom ran off. Then of course, our wee dogs turned their attention to Harpo but all they wanted was to sniff to chirping fledgling. Luckily, Harpo took this as a sign that he should attempt flight immediately, and he did in a most spectacular fashion. With the immediate danger gone, Mr. McCluckin’ returned upstairs and popped into the craft room to discover which chick was left. Flo-Jo gave him a very serious stare down before flying away. And so ends our tale of windowsill pals… it would seem I have my craft room back.

Onto more crafty topics! I received news that Fancy Tiger is hosting an event to assist the displaced families from the recent wildfires nearby. The sew-a-thon will be this Sunday July 8, from noon to 5 pm. I am hoping to finagle my way out of work early to make it down. Inspired by a need to help, a local father and son created a monster sewing pattern and are putting it to excellent use. The dolls will be donated to families in need of a little comforting. Oh, and did I mention, the monsters are super cute. You can learn more about the happenings by visiting the Fancy Tiger event page. They need plenty of helpers, meaning even if you don’t know how to sew you can still help out.

Additionally, Sew News magazine has just announced Operation Comfort Doll in their August/September issue. Essentially, this is another way to put your sewing skills to charitable use. The little lady dolls will be given to victims of domestic abuse. The pattern is super easy and would be a fine way to learn sewing basics. I’m thinking of putting together a sewing rally offering friends and family booze, snacks, and companionship as they assist in the creation of a doll or two. If you’re interested and want to get started download the pattern from the Sew News website and fire up the sewing machine.

Lastly, in mundane news, I had eggs for breakfast.

There you have it! I really love the idea of sewing for people in need. Most likely this stems from my very practical roots. I want my projects to be useful and enjoyed by the recipients. I am always trying to think up new ways to enhance my life through crafting. Of course, there is always an argument that art enhances everything, but I find that while I brainstorm ideas of arty goodness, the practical projects are the ones finished fastest. For now I am going to stick with the idea of sewing for good and not evil.

I’m off to a tiddlywinks championship; there’s a third grader named Jimmy that can’t be beat. Perhaps this is how I will make my first million.

End transmission,

Henny Penny

Zombie Protection Plan

Good news everyone!

I have tinkered a bit more with the Grafio app and created another flowchart for your amusement. This one is a call out to my favorite internet-lebrity Leslie Hall and her band Leslie and the Lys. While I prefer “This Is How We Go Out” due to its many crafty lyrics, this flowchart is an homage to her smooth jam known as “Zombie Killer.”

So there you have it! Perhaps this will enhance your Monday. Perhaps you’ve just realized you’re a zombie, if so look out! I’m off to make all my dreams come true.

Have the best day ever!

Fare thee well,

Henny Penny

Junelillium Falcons

Yodel-lady-hoo to you!

All things are coming up Henny Penny this week. Here are just a few of the spectacular happenings of the past few days:

1) Hester the Nester’s eggs hatched revealing wolverines with beaks. The little chicks are a bit weird looking, but as a non-bird expert I would say they are progressing nicely.

2) Mr. McCluckin’ downloaded Kings Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella, a game that was very near and dear to my heart as a wee lass. I have played quite nearly through the entire game and it’s spectacular. That said those witches in the skull cave better look out! I am coming in, and I’m not leaving without your shared eyeball.

3) Cupcakes! Today I walked/took the bus to work to honor Bike to Work Day. After I completed 4 miles of walking I decided I deserved something sweet. Luckily Cake Crumbs was open and willing to assist. Red velvet used to mean nothing to me and now I can’t live without it.

4) I’ve successfully taught the dogs how to bark in French.

5) Version 2.0 of the index card wallet is taking Mr. McCluckin’s notations to the next level. You might recall the “Hipster PDA” from an April post; well I took the same design and improved it for my ever-lovin’-McCluckin’. I upgraded the closure from sew-on-snaps to Velcro, and I stenciled a design of The Dude and Walter on the outside. My only complaint is that I made the pen loop a little too big this time, but last time it was just a wee bit too small. I suppose my third pen loop will be just right if we follow Goldilock’s law.

BOULDERDOME 2012 went swimmingly. As a special surprise we attended the Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s production of Richard III. The acting was superb, the theater delightful, but the costumes were just weird. Some characters wore very traditional Elizabethan dress and others wore weird outfits that were both modern and retro. For instance two of the characters were wearing scouting uniforms while Richard wore leather pants and jackets with mandarin collars. Ultimately, I found the costume choice distracting. Had the director chosen a theme for the clothing and stuck with it, I really feel it would have been at least 34% better. One a side note, while in Boulder I decided to purchase a new owl-adorned wallet; it is sublime.

Alright I’m off to my usual daredevil tricks. Hope you find your other shoe. Have you checked the nearest office supply store?

Tally-ho!

Henny Penny

Watching the Bird

Ahoy-hoy Fiends and Goody-two-shoes!

I have terrible and terrific news for all of you. A lovely robin has nested on the windowsill of my craft room. This is terrible because she is easily frightened by my moving about the crafty space. This is terrific because there are 4 beautiful eggs in her nest and I can’t wait to see them hatch. I’ve named her Hester the nester and she seems to be a lovely and decent bird with excellent morals. She even had a friend pay her a visit yesterday.

This has of course hindered my crafting ability of late. I managed to set up shop in a nearby abandoned coal mine and started making over a few shirts I picked up at the thrift store years ago. The first completed number has gone from plain tee-shirt to spectacular tube top. I am planning to make up a tutorial once I have worked out all the kinks. Several other shirts are on the chopping block in preparation of perfecting this approach.

What else is new in my world? So glad you asked. The answer is simple, very little. I’ve been baking bread and otherwise kicking kitchen ass. Tomorrow Mr. McCluckin’ is taking me to Boulder for an adventure we’ve titled BOULDERDOME 2012! We shall attempt such feats as tea drinking and crepe cake eating, not to mention the possibility of purchasing items from shoppes. Mainly we intend to run amok and cause trouble.

Hope you are living la vida loca. I must get some beauty rest before confronting the foothills head on.

Smooches,

Henny Penny

Surprise Bunting!

Howdy-do Looky-loos and Enemies,

So glad to see you again. This weekend I set up camp on the couch and put my fingers to work on a bunting. A lady friend was out of town, you might know her as Selma Hayek from a previous post, and had a birthday coming up. I personally love surprises and therefore assume all people love surprises (especially those including BRAND NEW CARS and lifetime supplies of cheese whiz). I had Saturday off and spent much of it watching Sherlock, which might I say is fan-freaking-tastic, but you probably already knew that. During my viewing I made a wee bunting to adorn my lady friend’s door.

Apparently that damnable Sherlock was too intriguing as I managed to only complete the Happy Birth portion of Happy Birthday. It was 11 pm when I finally threw in the towel. I had pretty much decided to give up and either hang what I had (hopefully confusing the neighbors into thinking there was a new baby) or finish it up later in the week and save it for another occasion. Needless to say that night held many frustrating dreams of masked men trimming paper and wearing capes of double-sided tape.

When I awoke the next morning to discover it was a complete banner hosting all the letters of Happy Birthday I was quite surprised. Was it elves? Perhaps my dogs learned how to craft overnight? It was in fact Mr. McCluckin! He woke up early and made the day which decidedly put a new and exciting spin on our day.

After he dropped me at work he popped by Selma Hayek’s home and put up her banner. All of this skulduggery and sneaksmanship was wasted when later that evening I decided I wanted to pop by just to see the bunting and low and behold Selma Hayek had just arrived home and spotted us.

Regardless of our less-than-sleuthy-ways Selma was pleased and surprised and aging all at once. We were thrilled with her reaction and perhaps now that Mr. McCluckin’ has delved into crafting we can begin a bunting assembly line for all the upcoming events in our life.

That’s all for now chums, thanks for popping by. I must venture out into the world to seek my fortune (and groceries).

Tally ho!

Henny Penny

Flow Chart-a-thon

Salutations Webernauts,

I am absolutely certain that you have been wondering what I’ve been doing all week. Well the answer to that question has three parts:

1) Working for the man

2) Participating in several chili dog eating contests

3) Playing with Mr. McCluckin’s new iPad

He has this app that allows you to draw fantastic flow charts for all of your multi-step situations in life. The app, iDesk, has a free version and a more than free version. I am sort of in love. I have added my favorite flow chart for you to enjoy.

Whelp, I’m off to slumberville, where the men are all ponies and the women have 7 eyes.

Have a lovely eve!

Henny Penny