Saturday, November 26, 2011

Dictionary Moment: Fitch

We are grateful for words.  We exercised this gratitude after our Thanksgiving feast by playing Huggermugger, a game that presents a variety of vocabulary challenges.  On one of Scoot's turns, he was to list ten words rhyming with "itch."  Following our advice to go through the alphabet, he said "ditch, fitch..."  We all discounted the one beginning with F, and he went on.  But Dandelionslayer pulled out the red Webster's dictionary, and looked it up, just in case. 

It turns out that fitch is, indeed, a noun.  It means, "the fur or pelt of the polecat." 

You know, skunk fur.  A fashion statement for sure.  But what, then, is an abercrombie?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Scoot is 11!

Scoot had a birthday a couple of weeks ago, and it was a pretty happy one.  We didn't do anything spectacular, but he didn't have any homework.  That has to count for something.

(A note concerning picture quality:  our camera went into a coma on Halloween.  So for the birthday photos we pulled out the new video camera, which also has still capability.  It turns out that it doesn't use many pixels for still shots.  I hope the video looks better.  A week later, I started looking at new cameras, noticing how many megapixels are standard for only a bit more than standard repair cost.  And, lo and behold, the camera revived!  But not for Scoot's birthday.)

We gave him a new Boy Scout uniform, since he maxed out his Cub Scout shirt.  Look at all those pins!  Not pictured is the Arrow of Light, which went straight on his new shirt.

D2 bound, illustrated, and wrote a book for Scoot, in that order.  In accordance with the old advice to "write what you know," most of the dialogue consists of animals saying, "Hi!"

I crocheted a pig for Scoot, using this Lion Brand pattern,

and baked him an apple pie. 

The coolest thing I made for Scoot was a guaranteed gift success--he designed it himself.  Scoot is a talented soccer goalie, as well as a nerd like the rest of the family.  The classic scholar athlete.  He has recently been reading Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  So when we brainstormed for unique goalie jersey ideas, this logo came quickly to mind:

This image is a good reflection of Scoot's attitude as a goalie: he respects good shots, and can't wait to block them.  Bring it on! 
Oh, but go ahead and panic.

I ordered the Nebula goalie jersey from Epic Sports, and appliqued a silver version of the iconic planet.  Naturally, the number on the back had to be a silver 42.

Scoot's teammates may not (okay, definitely don't) understand, but he's a frood who really knows where his towel is, and he's ready for anything.

Keep up the good work, Scoot!

Friday, November 11, 2011


I really haven't had any reason to write the date today.  I have neither filled out any forms, nor recorded any transactions in my checkbook.  But such a date deserves to be written, so here it is.

You probably won't be surprised that I like patterns.  A lot.  I have spent much time in public restrooms, staring at the tiles on the floor and trying to discern their patterns.  I analyze the repeats of prints on the dresses in front of me at church, and I try to arrange menus such that we don't eat the same major ingredients too often.

And yet, I also admire the apparent randomness in the color arrangements of quilts like this, this, and this, all from Cluck Cluck Sew.  If there is a repeating color pattern in any of those, it escapes me.  But each still looks harmonious.

So I decided to try a little randomness in a quilt for D2.  I chose a Disappearing Nine Patch scheme, which can look pretty well-mixed.  But I feared that I would favor certain combinations in the original nine-patches.  So I got out a sudoku book. 

I assigned a number to each stack of squares, then started sewing them together according to the puzzle answers.

The first square did not come out the way my pattern-seeking mind would prefer.  The focus fabrics are all together, with the supporting contrast at the other end.  I knew, though, that each nine-patch would be different, and that everything would change when I sliced them up.  So I followed the sudoku faithfully for the first nine blocks.

Then I couldn't take it anymore.  I've only made small adjustments so far.  Hopefully it will all balance in the end.  D2 will probably never notice, unless he's like me.  If so, his quilt will give him something to puzzle over for a long time.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Twins?

If you look more closely, you can see that

Scoot is a Bat

and D2, a Cat.

Our color and rhyme scheme
the Caterpillar did foil
by choosing to be

a stony Gargoyle.

And Rollo?
His outfit turned out to defy description,
even from his glib tongue.
He designed it himself, based on this model of combat fashion:

Rollo's version is a little brighter:

Isn't that a great shiny jet pack?  I bet Boba Fett wishes he had colored duct tape.
While it was originally supposed to be a Boba Fett costume, Rollo could see the difference, and wouldn't admit to his earlier aspirations. 

The two visions remind me of our clan tartan, though.

Menzies Hunting Tartan

The Menzies plaid comes in Hunting colors,

Menzies Black  & White Dress Tartan

and this more formal Dress style.

I think Boba Fett would prefer the more subdued colors for bounty hunting,
so I present Fett Formal:

You don't want to be in the way when his thermal detonator goes off!

We actually decorated the pumpkins this year.

At the last minute, I foresaw that I would join the boys as a Gypsy:

The shawl worked nicely in the chilly evening air.

I hope you had a happy Halloween!