Thursday, June 22, 2017

Frankensewed Hamilton Shirts

Hamilton It was late one night...I was cruising the internet (don't judge me)...and I pushed "BUY" four times for "Hamilton" shirts. My intention was to modify and customize these shirts for Linda and Kim (who were taking me with them to Chicago to SEE HAMILTON).
The first shirt arrived in time for the Hamilton Women luncheon. OF COURSE Lilly got that one!
Because the other shirts did not arrive -- I decided I'd have to Frankensew shirts for my friends. I knew these shirts would be ALL ABOUT THE WORDS. And it is very difficult and time consuming to paint words on fabric.  Paint takes too long to's hard to load enough paint on a brush to make letters without it being splotchy...

I decided ink was a better way to go. I went to the local office supply store and bought a bunch of markers and pens.  I spent almost $30. But, I can afford that because the shirts I'm using only cost 88 cents!!

The first decision was how to stabilize the fabric.  I could tape the shirts onto a board -- or use an embroidery frame.
The second decision was what words I wanted to use...
THAT was easy, because Lin-Manuel Miranda is such a genius -- every song is wonderful! 
I rolled up a towel, and put it in a plastic bag to write on the sleeve.
You can't go wrong with a crisp white Jones of New York shirt.
Kim's shirt had these words ALREADY going down the center back of the shirt.
Of course, I had to tweek it just a little bit.
For the front of the shirt, I cut away the elephant that HAD been there -- and added a panel with nothing but words...Then, of course, I sewed on a new bottom to the front of the shirt..

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Lilly sings Hamilton

I apologize for my crappy video skills. But last week, Lilly was so pleased to be wearing her Hamilton t-shirt...and I really wanted to try to make a video of her singing one of the songs.

Today, I' ll be in Chicago actually seeing the play. For the first time. Oh, yeah, I'm a lucky, lucky girl.....

Unfortunately,  I started  with my camera sideways -- but I figured that out after the first 50 seconds or so.

I'm only going to leave this video up for a couple of days...but I wanted you to see Lilly's level of obsession..

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Hamilton Lyrics

My current MOST FUN PROJECT is to Frankensew some Hamilton shirts.
I found this shirt in my stash...but the words weren't exactly right.
So, I used a marker to write the words, and some hem tape to iron on the Hamilton lyric
Lilly's outfit for the Hamilton Women Lunch.
With Sandy, one of her honorary Grandmothers.
The berry pie had strawberries, blueberries, was GREAT.
Lilly loved learning more about Peggy Schuyler.

Linda P. and her daughter Kim bought "single seats" for this performance months ago. Long after they had planned their trip, I invited myself along on their Chicago/Hamilton adventure....and I bought the LAST seat in the theater. It was clearly marked "obstructed views" -- but it was still $167. Which, come to find out, is quite a bargain!!

Hamilton has completely taken over my life. I listen to the music for two or three hours every day. Lilly has made it her mission to learn all the words...and when we get in the car, Warren, from his seat in the back, always says, "can we play Hamilton, Grandma?" We drum along, with chopsticks (Warren uses a toothbrush)...and turn it up REALLY LOUD...then we sing along..

How does a bastard, orphan, son-of-a-whore, dropped...
In New York City you can be a new man...
Here comes the General...
You will never be satisfied...
Rise up! Tell your brother that he's gotta rise up...tell your sister...
If you stand for nothing Burr, what will you fall for?
We'll teach them how to say Goodbye...
Are you out of your Goddamn mind?(Lilly especially enjoys the songs containing curse words)
You need your right hand man back...

I woke up this morning, thinking I should jump in the shower before John does...and before my feet hit the floor, my brain was saying...

"How does a rag tag volunteer army in need of a shower defeat a global super power?"

Monday, June 19, 2017


I cannot tell you how absorbed I am with ALL things Hamilton!! Lilly has become obsessed with the lyrics to this wonderful Broadway play -- and she can sing about 8 of the songs from beginning to end. As a matter of fact, she was the entertainment at the end of the day for my Iron Range Luncheon. You can see a little snippit of her performance on my Facebook page:

This week, I am GOING TO CHICAGO TO SEE HAMILTON. Wednesday morning, I'll drive to Chicago with Linda P. and her daughter Kim (from Texas).

As RITALUCK WOULD HAVE IT -- the June program for the Scott Community College Lunch and Learn was, "The Hamilton Women". ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? TMBC (the four of us) had purchased our tickets before Lilly even heard the music. And, of course -- the event was SOLD OUT.

But I decided to take Lilly with me anyway. I figured there would be a few no-shows, and I'd be able to buy her a ticket at the door. OR -- worse case scenario -- I'd give her my ticket...and she could enjoy the program with her three honorary grandmothers...
Before lunch was delivered, Lilly played with banagram letters...
Sandy took this picture of me, with Lilly and the two Lindas...
The actress played the parts of Eliza (Hamilton's wife), and her sisters Angelica and Peggy...
She shared a lot of stories about their lives
She put on this hat to become Angelica -- and a shawl to become Peggy. It was very effective.
I forgot to take a picture BEFORE I started eating.  Lunch was creamed chicken over biscuits, with a side of succotash.
Lilly was the only child in the room. AND SHE LOVED IT..!!
MMWI:  243.6....  Sandwich loaf, vacation, plateaus...who knows?  (yes, it's almost a poem).  But I am not discouraged.  I went to the pool almost every day last week, I'm feeling terrific, and my ass is not as big as it once was. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Iron Range Lunch Sew and Tell

To review, both Sandy and Linda P. NEVER missed a single block from the year-long Splendid Sampler project. Their commitment and effort was impressive.
Sandy and LP are sisters-in-law....and they shared their love of the Splendid Sampler 
All along,  LP was sewing TWO VERSIONS of every quilt block!
Because she has twin daughters -- she always planned to make TWO quilts...
It was a daunting task...
And she NEVER missed a block...
Sometimes, the blocks would be VERY different.
Sometimes, the differences would be subtle.
Remember -- there were TWO blocks every week...
And many bonus blocks as well.
She NEVER missed a block.
Both Sandy and LP were religious about doing EVERY BLOCK. AND then, the big mission was to figure out how to put the blocks together, using a Quilt As You Go technique. WHICH WE FIGURED OUT ALL BY one of our Library sewing events.

But, alas -- not quite yet.  Linda's girls get to see them FIRST

Monday, June 12, 2017

Iron Range Dessert and Sew and Tell

P.S.  I left my computer cord in Pennsylvania, so my blogging has been off.  Not to worry, tho -- it's in the mail!!  Right now, I'm borrowing Ross's computer -- and I did have a few "draft blogs" already in the chute.

But I wanted to tell you that I did come home and weigh in on Monday.  The MMWI:  244.5.



It was time to move on to the dessert portion of our lunch.  Nancy had sent a wonderful Potitca. If you live in the Iron Range, Potitca is a part of your life. This rolled, strudel type cake that is eaten at EVERY special occasion. The secret is to get the dough so thin, you can read a newspaper through it.

No kidding...
All I had to do was THAW the Potitca. Then, I sliced it...and served it with some fresh coffee. YUMMO
LP also brought some blue frosted cupcakes for the baby shower portion of our celebration!
Sharalan kicked off the Sew and Tell.
Since she bought her Featherweight, she has been quilting like CRAZY.
THIS special day was going to be the giant REVEAL of our first Splendid Sampler Quilt!!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Sandwich Loaf

The Sandwich Loaf: I’d ordered a loaf of Pullman Bread from HyVee. It was $5.99, and they made it on Saturday (because of the holiday). I put it in the freezer.

I spent three hours Monday afternoon making the three fillings:   ham salad, egg salad, and olive/cheese filling.

#1:  The traditional ham salad is, of course, made out of bologna. I used my food processor to chop the bologna, and added mayo and sweet pickles. 

#2:  For the egg salad, I used my Mom’s homemade mayonnaise.  It's a lot like the boiled bacon dressing the Pennsylvania Dutch made famous.  Very sweet/tart.

#3:  For the olive/cheese spread,  I used the recipe from Pioneer Woman, and it was PERFECT.   Here's the link to her recipe, which is excellent hot -- but also delicious as a cold spread.

For the “frosting” I put three bricks of cream cheese in my big stand mixer, and fluffed them up with some ranch dressing. It made a nice spreadable frosting.

Monday night, at about 10:00, I was ready to assemble my Sandwich Loaf. The bread was partially frozen when I cut off the crusts…and I think that helped to make the three horizontal cuts…altho it was nerve-wracking, and I was sorry I hadn’t bought an extra loaf, because if I messed it up, I had no Plan B…(and it had been heavily advertised as a menu-item.)  I have since learned that it would have been much easier if I'd used an electric knife.  (thanks, Nancy)...

I buttered each slice of bread (so the filling didn’t soak in and make the whole thing soggy)…and, one layer at a time, built the giant horizontal sandwich loaf tower. Mine went: Bread, olive/cheese spread, bread, ham salad, bread, egg salad, bread. Then, I frosted the whole shebang with the cream cheese frosting. It was hard to get the frosting to stick to the filling layers, so I decided to consider this my “skim coat”.

I put it in the frig to set up overnight -- and the next morning, I gave it a second finished layer of frosting and decorated it. OMG…IT WAS STUNNING. Absolutely stunning.

There’s a good chance it was the prettiest thing I have ever made. I know for sure it was the most time-consuming. AND it used up the most kitchen utensils, appliances, pans, dishes, etc. Every square inch of my previously-spotless-kitchen (Thank you, Carrie) was covered with things-that-needed-to-be-washed. AGAIN.
Here it is. The finished sandwich's a work of art, right?
Honestly -- when I sliced this thing, I was THRILLED to see the ribbons of filling inside.
In the interest of full disclosure -- I was exhausted...and I ran out of steam and little tiny slices of, there WAS a backside to my Sandwich Loaf. (undecorated!)
On Monday night, when Ross got home from his second shift at the hospital, I was in the middle of assembling this whole thing. I explained how these things were popular in the 50's,  now only live on in the Iron Range.  I thought he was impressed with all the time and effort I'd put into it...but then, he said, "So, sandwich loaves are a lot like crocodiles."

I said, "huh?"

He replied, "crocodiles should have died out with dinosaurs, but nobody knows why that didn't happen."

Yep.  That's right.  Near as I can tell, Sandwich Loaf went extinct in the early 60' only lives on in the Iron Range of Minnesota.  Where, Nancy assures me, it is still available as a lunch special at several restaurants.  And I know for a fact that you can buy it in local grocery stores... 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Iron Range Lunch -- Let's EAT!!

When Mary came to visit this winter, she brought a loaf of Cardamon bread. We didn't get a chance to eat it during her visit, so I wrapped it and froze it. THIS loaf of bread was my inspiration to have the Iron Range luncheon. Because after I went to visit Mary for the Aurora Featherweight Workshop -- her friend Nancy started to send me ALL THIS FOOD...

Anyway, after the Grandbaby Shower portion of the event -- we moved over to the dining side of the porch.  And the first course was the Cardamon Bread, porketta and Lefse.
I wrapped the bread in foil and heated it for about 20 minutes.  It was PERFECT. We ate the whole loaf.
I've gotta say, Mary did NOT do a good job of selling lefse.  She calls it "dried paste"...Please note Aunt Rozella's Silver

On my way home from Beaver Dam in May, I stopped at a little downtown diner in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin.  As I was leaving, I noticed they also had PASTIES on their old fashioned chalk menu board.  I ordered two of them "to go".  They were HUGE. I took them home, wrapped them in foil, and stuck them in the freezer. 

Mary Mulari says Pasty is pronounced with a soft "a"...think about the PAST.  (as opposed to the hard "a", which makes you think about a part of a stripper costume)

On the day of the lunch, I took the pasties out of the freezer, put them on a tray and covered them with foil…but they didn’t get done as quickly as I’d hoped. Which is why we ate the lunch in “courses” which worked out great.  BECAUSE THERE WAS A LOT OF FOOD.

I was worried about the Pasties...because they looked so different from Mary's...
See what I mean?
THESE pasties were so large, I cut each one into four pieces. 
The pasties were TERRIFIC.  Filled with savory hamburger, and other root vegetables…we tasted potatoes, rutabaga, onions and carrots.  The inside was hot, and the outside was flaky.   They were GREAT…and I’d drive back to Mt. Horeb to buy them again...

Next -- Drumroll, please....IT IS TIME FOR THE SANDWICH LOAF!!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Iron Range Lunch: Baby Shower

The Iron Range Luncheon turned out to be one of the best days of my life.

First of all -- Thank God I have a cleaning lady!! Carrie came on Monday and helped me get everything whipped into shape. While she was working in the house, I finally got the porch all put together. Ross had his old mattress out there, and everything is covered with that layer of spring pollen. We've had so much rain, I hadn't brought the cushions up from storage until now (they live under the basement stairs in the winter). Fingers crossed, I even laid out my zebra area rug.

Tuesday morning, I got out of bed at 6:00 to get things out of the freezer. John had boned the fresh pork roast the day before, added the spices, rolled it and wrapped it.

I had two porkettas, so I put one in a heavy dutch oven.
The second roast was put into my graniteware roaster.
And I preferred the Dutch Oven. In the same amount of time (4 hours) -- that roast got up to 210 degrees…and was very soft. The other one was at 190…and not nearly as soft.

Most of the other food just had to come out of the freezer and/or refrigerator...

It was only 7:30 -- so I decided to GO TO SWIMFIT. I met my cousin Jackie (visiting from North Carolina) at the YMCA, and we spent an hour in the pool, visiting and doing a round of exercises. I’ve been going every day, and I find I don’t need the actual class so much any more. I get more done when I’m the only one in the pool (that happens a lot).

Because the luncheon was also a surprise grand-baby shower for Jackie, I’d invited a few extra guests. Our high school friend, Sue, was coming. And so was my sister Ronda. Sue and Ronda got here about 11:30, so they helped me get out Aunt Rozella's silver, and set the table. 

We decided to hide the baby gifts until after everybody else arrived.

The attendees were: Linda P. and Linda K, Jackie, Sandy, Sharalan, Ronda and Sue.  By Noon, everybody was on the porch. The pasties (in the oven for 30 minutes) were still frozen…so we started with the BABY SHOWER element of the event.
Another special Guest, Frankie -- was thrilled to have so much company!
Jackie just welcomed her FIRST GRANDCHILD -- so we thought a surprise Baby Shower was a great idea!
My sister Ronda actually MADE the blanket, of course!!  (it's her job to make the rest of us look bad)
Sandy, our official camp photographer, took these pictures -- THANK GOD!!  (my camera ran out of battery power).
Linda P. and Jackie -- who was COMPLETELY SHOCKED.  We got her good!!
Sharalan got her snowbird self back to Iowa just in time for the Iron Range Luncheon!!