Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Gayest Cake!

Captured this cake at The LGBT Center in St Louis.  May not be the prettiest or cleverest cake, but that it is there at all makes it my favorite so far.  Much Love

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Cakeway to the West

I love public art!  The randomness of coming upon a piece of art in a surprising location always delights me.  Sometimes the piece is not inspiring, but I appreciate the intent.  Back in my yarn bombing days, I hoped my little knitted things delighted those who saw poles wrapped with bits color. I know when I find public installations, I am like, "Yay, ART!"

Lyons Park, the first cake I found
Back in the 90s (remember those days?) everyone was inspired by the cows on parade.  Cities everywhere jumped on that bandwagon with their version of "whatever" on parade.  St. Louis even did a similar thing with people on parade, it was kind of lame to be honest.  With this year being the quarter-millennial anniversary of my home town, St. Louis city planners decided to revise this idea with four foot fiberglass birthday cakes.  The goal is to have 250 cakes placed in the St Louis metro area.

Chatillon Demenil Mansion Wedding Cake
I have seen several of these cakes popping up all over town.  I gave them some thought, but not much.  Last week I was having lunch with a friend and she mentioned the cakes and how she wanted to see them.  I felt I would help her by taking some photos of the cakes in my neighborhood.  I am up to 13 cakes, if I were to continue I would have 237 more to go.  I am doubtful that I will be that committed to cake hunting, but you never know.

Cherokee Street Cake, Beautifully Decorated Cake
I actually met other cake hunters today, so I am not the only one looking for these installations.  I actually, talked to a mother and daughter today who were up to 80 cakes.  I told them I really loved the crazy cake at Venice Café in Benton Park.  This cake has a slice out of it and you can see it is made of BRAINS!  So cool.  They looked at me like I was weird and moved quickly away to their car.  Takes all kinds, I guess.

St Louis Silly Hall Cake (see this one 5 days a week)
I found a website with information about the cakes (http://www.stl250.org/cake.aspx).  The site is very helpful and advertises an app.  The app looks like a fun way to keep track of the cakes you have found.  Looks is the key word, in practice the app sucked and did not work.  It does help finding the cakes, but the game function I tried 4 times to capture a cake never worked, GRRR...  Once I stopped fooling with the app, I enjoyed just taking photos of the cakes and posting the photos on my social medias (facebook, twitter, instagram).  I even used hashtags for the first time, #stl250. 

Venice Café Cake, My Favorite
As you can imagine some cakes are better executed than others.  I am posting a few of my favorites.  The Venice Café cake is my favorite so far.  Venice Café is known for their crazy decorations, on first sighting the cake looked rather bland, but once I walked around it, I knew it was the perfect cake for them.  It was awesomely oozing blood.  Anyway, love them or hate looking for cakes was a fun way to spend a day.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Building Block #4, or A Third of the Way There


Yay, I finished block #4 in the Building Blocks project.  Putting me a third of the way to getting the throw done.  This block was about increases and decreases.  I broke out the purple yarn to make the eyelets stand out.  I have been deep into knitting another project so I almost put off starting on this block to later in the month.  However,once Natalie cast on her block I relented.  It is always so hard for me to have more than one project on sticks.  I always feel like I am cheating on my other project.  Next month the block is all cables, excited to be cheating on my other project to do some cabling.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Wedding Crashing

Last night I felt like a wedding crasher, but I swear we had an invitation.  One of Natalie's co-workers ask her several months back to come to her son's wedding to his partner.  I think she asked us because it was a same-sex wedding and she was searching for same-sex couples to flush out her quota of guests.  Natalie has known the woman for several years now and we thought as elder queers we should be supportive.  It is so rare that Natalie asks me to attend these types of things, I immediately said yes.  Yes to making the investment in the couples social obligation bank, an account which finds me in the red more often than not.



The service was at a local community center.   I will not lie, I walked into the hall only having met 2 of other attendees once: the mother of the groom and another gay co-worker of my spouse.  There was an awkward moment, but I will get to that.  We were seated at a table where we knew no one, and were the only same-sex couple at the table.  However, Natalie and I  discovered we had been together the longer then any of the couples at the table, which was weird because one of the couples was significantly older than us.  We were a diverse group of people and backgrounds, but when we all went our separate ways each goodbye ended with a hug. 



The decorations, flowers, candy bar, and buffet were lovely, but the service was the jewel of the evening.  The young couple wanted a short, but sweet service and they got their wish, but those 20 or 30 minutes were packed with love and affirmation.  Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, co-workers, and friends witnessed the service offering support.  The best man and brother to the groom gave the toast.  He brought tears to many eyes when he ended the toast by telling the grooms how much he loved his "2 brothers."  Admitting I was one of saps looking for a tissue.

I was enjoying myself and had just finished my chocolate cupcake when both grooms came over to say hello.  One of the grooms gave me a very warm hug and then looked at me with a questioning look.  Of course Natalie, my ticket to this shindig, had taken this moment to be somewhere else.  I stood there looking awkward as I explained who I was and why I was there.  The newlyweds just smiled.  Natalie of course showed up right after they had left.


The wedding and reception were a wonderful way to spend the evening.  Having Natalie by my side brought back so many memories of our own Commitment Ceremony.  We did not invite a lot of family because we knew they wouldn't come.  Times have changed for the better, and to see such a supportive family was heart warming and affirming.  Soon same-sex marriages will be recognized throughout the country, but will be called marriage.  Wishing Ryan and Justin so much love.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Oh Ho Ho It's Knitting, You Know

For the past week I have had the song "Magic," by Pilot stuck in my head.  Over and over, never believe it is not so.  I heard it in a restaurant and it has taken possession of every waking minute of my life.  Usually, I cleanse my mental radio with humming the "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."  "Magic," seems to be impervious to this cure.

 

To the soundtrack of this song I have been knitting waffle stitch washcloths.  On ho ho that stitch is magic.  Much like the song stuck in my head, I got stuck on that stitch and made 3 washcloths.  I love how squishy the knitted fabric turns out.  I started to think of all the stash yarn I could use up by making washcloths.  It got a little ugly for a few minutes as I started realizing how many single balls of cottonish yarn I have available for washcloths.  The morning light of reason hit me and I decided to give the waffle knit stitch a break.  I was able to stop myself and move on to another project. Now if only I could get the music in my head, crazy music, to stop, it would be...MAGIC!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The First Step is Admitting You Have a Problem


Okay, I am admitting I have problem.  Because I knit I have lots of yarn.  I am sure there are others with stash issues larger than mine, but whatever I am talking about my problem, not theirs.  Sometimes I buy yarn with projects in mind, but sometimes not.  In 2009 I made a hairpin lace wrap for my mother with 6 skeins of a cotton / acrylic blend yarn I bought in a rainbow of pastels for the project.  The DK weight yarn was 250 yards per skein.  I thought it would be just enough for a nice wrap.  The pastel colors when laid out side by side they reminded me of the marsh mellows in one of my favorite morning cereals, so I called it the "Lucky Charms Hairpin Lace Wrap."  I liked the end product and my mother seemed to like it too.  However, it left me with about a half a skein of each color or I thought about 750 yards of yarn. 


I put all the yarn in a bag and shoved it in my pie safe trying not to let it bother me that I had these half skeins just hanging out in my stash.  Most of the time I could forget they waiting in there unknitted, but occasionally it would nag at me. I would say to myself I should get that yarn out of my stash.



One day while looking at a knitting pattern book I saw just the thing for the waiting yarn, a cowl.  The design was called the "Ice Cream Cozy Cowl."  As you can guess the pattern used pastel colored yarn.  I thought that is the perfect pattern for eating up all this leftover yarn.  Now I had two things nagging me, using up the yarn and making the cowl.  Until one day I gathered the yarn, the pattern, needles and cast on.  I was convinced this cowl would relieve me of these leftovers.  Magical thinker me.



Well, that didn't happen my friend, once I was done, I still had yarn.  Lots of yarn, over 300 yards of yarn.  I guess I had more than I thought in those skeins.  Instead of just getting rid of the leftovers from the leftover yarn like a sane person might do I decided to knit a towel.  Well then I needed to knit another towel.  Still I had yarn, so in desperation I knitted a doily out of the scraps.  When done with the doily I still had about 18 inches of yarn left.  I gave myself a pass on those last inches of yarn, but I am not going to lie I kind of wished I could have used it in the doily too.



In total I knit a hairpin wrap, a cowl, 2 towels, and a doily.  I wish I could have just said no to my obsession with using up all of my yarn, but I just couldn't.  MUST knit to the last inch of yarn...At least I am admitting I have a problem.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Fiestaware Goes Back to Their Roots

I woke up this morning with no idea the good people at Homer Laughlin were going to rock my world today.  First the good news, they introduced a new color today, Poppy.  It is a very sassy red that looks very similar to the vintage fiestaware red from the 1930s.  You know the red that had the distinction of being just a little radioactive.  The color got pulled because of that added ingredient (good decision).  I guess the company decided it was high time to bring back the color sans radioactivity.  A very vibrant color it is, I am sure a nice selection will come to live with the rest of my collection. 

The Announcement
After getting over the excitement of a new color I read a little further on the announcement and was shocked to hear they will be discontinuing my favorite color, flamingo.  I know you think I wailed and gnashed my teeth, but I did not.  I decided I just need to make sure to stock up on the flamingo fiestaware pieces, I want.  This, of course, means I will need to take a trip to Cornucopia, the local purveyor of brightly colored dishes,  and do some shopping.  That thought made me happy, very happy.

Gusto Bowl in Flamingo and Vintage Red Disk Pitcher