fledge capable of flying, from Middle English flegge, from Old English -flycge; akin to Old High German flucki capable of flying,
Old English flEogan to fly -- more at FLY
intransitive verb, of a young bird : to acquire the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity

Friday, December 6, 2013

"I am ready."

"I am ready. To go into the light. Or into the dark. To board that ship. I am ready."

- John's final words.

There's A Ship Rolling Home by Vera Lynn on Grooveshark

You may have been ready, even though I am not. But, as my sister held your one hand and I the other, you took your last breath and went in love and in peace. You are loved.

John Everette Langdon, 90, passed peacefully from this life in the presence of loving family, Sunday, December 1, 2013. Son, farmer, sailor, student, engineer, husband, father, grandfather, colleague, true friend, Jack-of-all-trades, man for all seasons, John, a direct descendant of Mayflower crew member John Alden and passenger Priscilla Mullens, was the eldest of five children born to Everett (E.J.) and Fannie (Shirley) Langdon, October 13, 1923, in Hornersville, MO. John’s early life was spent on the family cotton farm, where he learned the value of hard work. John’s fascination with anything mechanical began already in toddlerhood when young John would unrig the cultivators by hammering on the tail nuts with any tools that the hired help (much to their chagrin) may have left laying about. John was sworn into United States Naval Reserve on December 31, 1941, and achieved the rank of Electrician's Mate First Class. “Red,” as he was called by his shipmates, was honored with the Navy and Marine Corp Medal for saving the lives of 12 capsized British sailors from turbulent waters without regard to his own safety. Honorably discharged in January 1946, John enrolled at the University of Missouri, where he played football and received a degree in Agricultural Engineering. In 1951, he married the only gal tall enough at the college dance, his “pretty lady,” Marilyn L. (Schmadeke) Langdon, and raised their two daughters in Phoenix, AZ and Racine, WI.  John and Marilyn enjoyed 41 years together before her untimely passing in 1992.  An engineer with the J.I. Case Co. for 40 years, John travelled the world on behalf of Case, including within Cold War Soviet Russia, developing and improving machinery for different conditions. If there were a better way to do something, John would work until he found it and was assigned four patents. John’s lessons to his family were to work hard, put others before self, take responsibility, continue to learn, and to act with common sense, integrity, courage, dignity and honesty.  Private services with full military honors will be held and he will lay to rest alongside Marilyn in Racine, WI.

Saturday, November 30, 2013


"I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don't believe I deserved my friends." -Walt Whitman


I am thankful for my friends. And for you, Jen. Thank you for all you've done.

I am also thankful for every miracle, including the Internet, Mozart's concertos, allergy medicine, running water, dolphins playing in the surf, weeds that find there way through the asphalt, the growing up of my children. 

Jack and I volunteered at the Salvation Army on Thanksgiving (okay, I volunteered Jack to volunteer...). As Thanksgiving goes, I usually find myself relegated to the kid's table. In the case of volunteering at the SA, I was at the table of high schoolers, while the grown-ups attended to more important matters, like stuffing making. One task assigned to the kids was to write Thanksgiving messages to Meals-On-Wheels recipients. What to write? Whatever I might ever even conceive to write has been much better written by Emerson, Thoreau and Whitman. Goes without saying. So, I pull out my go-to quotations to write in these notes. To my dismay, these high schoolers, most in their senior year, had never heard of Emerson, Thoreau and/or Whitman. In my view, you simply cannot send young people out into the world without having read Emerson, Thoreau and Whitman, am I right?

Since everyone of a more mature nature was already tasked with stuffing making, turkey carving, and green bean casserole making, the last task, making mashed potatoes fell to me. That meant using the big Hobart. That's right, the Hobart: Suck it, stuffing makers!

I like volunteering on Thanksgiving, because, if I am frank, Thanksgiving makes me feel a bit resentful and I usually need a good dose of perspective. But let me whine, a bit, okay? I'm the mom, right? And although there was a rather successful women's liberation movement (for which I am immensely thankful: Thank you, sisters of today and of yore!), here I am  to be tasked with lots and lots of shopping and cleaning and cooking, cooking, cooking, all whilst the fam can go about and do as they enjoy. Cooking. With Mr. Roper.


Because the flames on Mr. Roper's cooktop only exit to the right, and because the oven is heated only from the bottom, there is quite a bit of pot turning and content rearranging to avoid what one would otherwise think impossible, but Mr. Roper makes probable: Burned and raw at the same time! 

But I got through it. And have found a couple of new favorite recipes that go great with poultry: artichoke gratinata and cranberry/ginger/apple chutney! Holler! (I made the chutney with about half the vinegar of the recipe and I liked it). I also winged an apple cake recipe! Which I will share, once I make it again and figure out exactly what I did.



Other details: I have these old 50s "Go to the Head of the Class" board game pieces, so for place cards, Jack was Cowboy Joe, Anna was Bonnie, etc. etc. 


I hope your holiday was full of hope and joy and fun and yum and laughter and hugs!


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Times are a changin': New Studio Tantrum Shop


Well, it's high time I got a groovier online shop going. And so, slated for November 4th, I will move my ZenCart online shop over to a SquareSpace site. Since switching servers can take up to 72 hours, the shop may closed for moving. We will also be having a moving sale, which I don't think you will want to miss.

But more than a new site, I am bringing in a lot more energy to the shop. That energy, renewable and sustainable, is none other than our dear friend, Jen Coe. You may know Jen from her days operating Fabric Bliss, one of the best online fabric shops of the time. One of Jen's daughter's developed an extremely rare and very debilitating condition, which, among other things, made the Phoenix, Arizona gal allergic to sunshine.  Of all things to be allergic to in Phoenix, it had to be sunshine, am I right? At any rate, Jen closed the Fabric Bliss shop to devote herself to healing dear Kennedy.

Fast forward to a coupla months ago, when Jen emails me and says she wants to help me. "Fine," I say, "I've lost the wind in my sails, but she's not sunk yet, so climb aboard!"

The reason my online shop has lost steam is all because of me. The Internet has grown and changed since the days when I could post a single photo of a sewing pattern and the orders would come streaming in. Now, it's all about Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and elite tiers of the bloggosphere, with which I have not kept pace. A good idea is not good enough anymore. I need to change with the times. I, frankly, am not a very enthusiastic self-promoter. In addition, there have been times in recent years when I have become so frustrated with my designs being mass manufactured, that I really lost heart. And this business is all heart, let me tell you. And if my heart isn't in it, I am de facto out.  I would spend more time and money with lawyers than with designing. And who wants to do that?

But, thanks to Jen's indefatigable enthusiasm, good humor and belief in this work, we're patching up the leaks in this sinking ship, sometimes with chewing gum, and keeping her afloat. It helps that Jen is a bit crazy: I mean, she made Minecraft quilts for her kids. I hope you will sign up for her newsletter: It promises to be at times irreverent, at times informative, and always full of surprises.

The hope is to make the new shop true to my mission statement, which is basically these three interdependent principles:

Have fun.
Make money.
Do good.

As for No. 3, we will be making ePatterns available for download, most or all of the proceeds of which will benefit charity. I have two in the works right now, which I hope to have ready for purchase in plenty of time for holiday sewing.

For my wholesale customers, I hope you will like the new shop and level of customer service. For the rest, we will be rolling out retail purchasing soon.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 13, 2013



The Old Man and the Lake



We love you, Dad.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Scardey Kittyboo! Miese Miezekatzen!

The Love Cats by The Cure on Grooveshark

Remember these little guys? The Bad Mummies?


You can see how I made them here.

Erinnert ihr euch noch an diesen Jungs vom letzen Jahr? Hier die Anleitung die für die Bad Mummies.

You have a cat, right? So you've told me and every last other non-cat owner how amazing cats are. They are so amazing, that even the Ancient Egyptians revered the cat and went so far as to have a cat goddess named Bastet. Some Egyptians chose to take Kitty along with them into the afterlife by mummifying him. So that your little Bad Mummies from last year have a feline afterlife friend as well, this year I have made Scardey Kittyboo™. Scaredy Kittyboo is a bendable, poseable Halloween decoration* treat that contains a glow-in-the-dark trick.

Aber eine Katze haste, nicht wahr? Und jedem Nicht-Katzenfräuchen (wie ich) erzählste ja, wie toll Katzen sind, nicht? Wie sogar die alten Ägypter die Katze verehrt hatten, gar eine Katze zur Göttin, Bastet, anbeteten. Ja, es haben so mache Ägypter ihre Katzen wohl auch in das Jenseits mitgenommen, in dem sie diese mumifizierten. So das deine Bad Mummies vom letzen Jahr auch ein Schmuzetierchen haben können, dieses Jahr sind es die Miesen Miezekatzen.

Miese Miezekatzen sind biegsame, posierbare Dekostücke*, die unter Umständen recht mies erschrecken können, denn diese sind auch Nachleuchtend!

*Not intended as toys for small children; Für Kleinkinder nicht geeignet.


Cool for Cats by Squeeze on Grooveshark

The materials/Werkstoffe:

  • 12-gague aluminum floral wire
  • Poly fiber fill or cotton batting
  • Cloth-based glow-in-the-dark utility tape (Duck brand works well)
  • Wiggle eyes
  • Super glue

  • Dicker, doch schön biegsamer Alu-Blumendraht : US = 12 Gauge --> laut Wikipedia sei das auf DIN Durchmesser 2,05 mm; Querschnitt 6,53 kcmil 3,31 mm2
  • Glubschaugen 
  • Nachleuchtende Panzerband. Bei uns gibt's die Marke "Duck Tape" und hat alle mögliche Farben und Muster, auch nachleuchtend. Vielleicht gibt's das inzwischen bei euch auch. Sollte dies nicht bei euch geben, geht auch natürlich weiße Panzerband. Die Katze könnte frau dann wiederum mit Nachleuchtende Farbe mahlen. Dies gibt's z. B. in der Spraydose.
  • Sekundenkleber

Step 1/Schritt 1:

For a Kittyboo that stands approximately ear-to-foot 7 inches tall,

  • Cut one piece of floral wire approximately 50 inches long
  • Cut a second piece of floral wire approximately 6 inches long

Für eine miese Miezekatze, die vom Ohr zum Fuß ca. 18 cm hoch steht,

  • Schneide ein Stück Alu-Blumendraht ca. 125 cm lang 
  • Schneide ein zweites Stück ca. 15 cm lang

Step 2/Schritt 2:

  • Bend the long piece of wire into a big loop.
  • Twist one end of the wire loop to the other approximately 5 inches down from the end. You will have a big loop with a tail hanging off. This bit tail bit will be your kitty's tail.

  • Biege den langen Draht zu einer großen Schlaufe
  • Verwinde das eine Drahtende zum anderen, doch ca. 12 cm vom Ende. So hast Du eine große Schlaufe mit einem kleinen Schwanz. Dieser Schwanz wird zum Katzenschwanz.

Step 3/Schritt 3:

  • Beginning at the tail, bend loops for the two hind legs, approximately 4 inches long each.
  • Leave straight part for the torso.
  • Bend two loops for the front legs, again, both approximately 4 inches long.
  • You should have a good-sized loop for the neck/head.

  • Fange am Schwanzende an und biege zwei schmale Schlaufen für die Hinterbeine je ca. 10 cm lang zurecht.
  • Ein Stück für den Mittelkörper gerade lassen.
  • Zwie schmale Schlaufen für die Vorderbeine beigen, wiederum auch ca. 10 cm lang.
  • Dann hast du noch angemessen Draht für den Hals und den Kopf übrig.

Step 4/Schritt 4:

Bend the neck and head as depicted here. Make the nose end a bit pointy.

Den Kopfteil wie abgebildet zurechtbiegen. Die Nase spitz drücken.


Step 5/Schritt 5:

  • Bend the second piece of wire as depicted here. The two little loops are for the ears.
  • Das zweite, kürze Stück draht wie abgebildet zurecht biegen. Die kleinen Schläufchen sind die Katzenöhrchen.

Step 6/Schritt 6:

  • Tear two thin strips of cloth utility tape approximately 6 inches long and 1/4 inch wide. Tape the head/ear piece in place to the main body piece.
  • Vom Panzerband zwei ganz schmale Streifen ca 15 lang und 5 mm breit reißen. Der Stoffband läßt sich sehr einfach reißen. Das Kopf/Ohren-Teil an den Katzenkörper binden.

Step 7/Schritt 7:

Roll small pieces of poly fiber fill between your hands into "snakes".

Kleine Stückchen Watte zwischen den Handflächen zu "Schlangen" rollen.

Step 8/Schritt 8:

Twist the poly fiber fill "snakes" around the fire body frame. It helps to turn the frame in your closed hand. The motion is sort of like sharpening a pencil in a hand-held pencil sharpener: Hold one hand around, for example, one front leg with the poly fiber fill snake twisted around it. Now, with the other hand, turn, turn, turn the body of the cat while the other hand holds the fiber fill "still". The fiber fill will form around the frame like cotton candy around a stick.

Die Watte-"Schlangen" um den Katzenkörper verwinden. Es hilft, den Körper in deine geballte Faust zu drehen, so das die Watte sich um den Draht herum anformt. Stell' dir vor, du spitzt einen Bleistift: Du hältst beispielsweise das eine mit Watte herumgewickelte vordere Katzenbeinchen lose in der linken Hand. Mit der rechten Hand, du drehst, drehst, drehst die Katze in der Linken Hand, so daß die Watte wie Zuckerwatte um den Draht herum formt.  

Step 9/Schritt 9:

Cut pieces of the glow-in-the-dark utility tape into 12-18 inch long pieces. Tear these pieces into thin lenth-wise strips, approx. 1/8 - 1/4 inch wide.

Stücke vom Panzerband ca 30-45 cm lang abschneiden. Diese Stücke wiederung längst in ganz schmale Steifen reißen, ca. 5-7 mm breit. 

Step 10/Schritt 10:

Wrap, wrap, wrap those thin strips of utility tape all around the frame.

Die schmalen Panzerbandstreifen um die Watte 'rum herum, 'rum herum, 'rum herum wickeln wickeln wickeln, bis die Watte nicht mehr zu sehen ist. 

Step 11/Schritt11:

Wrap around the ears. Mould and shape the head and ears as you wrap.

Steifen um die Öhrchen wickeln. Dabei die Ohrenspitzen formen.

Step 12/Schirtt 12:

Glue wiggle eyes onto the face with super glue.

Glubschaugen mit Sekundenkleber ankleben.

Step 13/Schritt 13:

Lay one strip of utility tape around the eyes and give your Boo Kitty a bit of facial expression that way.

Noch ein Streifchen Panzerband über/um die Augen ankleben, um die Katze etwas Gesichtsausdruck zu verleihen.

Step 14/Schritt 14:

If you have a bit of tape left over, make a little ball for Kittyboo to play with.

Solltest du noch etwas Panzerband übrig haben, kannst du daraus einen Bandball als sein Spielzeig wickeln.


And why is Scaredy Kittyboo a bad Kittyboo? Because Kittyboo is a scaredy cat. But he doesn't get scared, no: He scares YOU! BOO!

Just right before your little one snuggles down to sleep, be sure to leave your Scaredy Kittyboo under a light for several minutes to "charge" the phosphorescence. Then hide Scardey Kittyboo somewhere, where your little one might see him once the lights are turned off ("Night, night sleep tight."). ...Now, wait... wait for it ... wait ...


(Hee hee!)

Happy Halloween!

Und warum ist Miezekatze eine miese Miezekatze? Weil Miese Miezekatze gerne Streiche spielt, vor allem dich erschrecken. BUH!

Kurz vor du deinen Kleinen ins Bettlein zudeckst, die Miese Miezekatze unter einer Lampe für einige Minuten stellen, um das Phosphor "aufzuladen". Miese Miezekatze ja dann irgendwo im Kinds Schlafzimmerlein verstecken, wo Kind sie vielleicht vom Bettlein erblicken könnte ... dann "Gute Nacht. Schlaf gut. Licht aus." ... warte ... es kommt ... warte ....


(Hi hi!)

Happy Halloween!

Stray Cat Strut by Stray Cats on Grooveshark

© 2013 Mother of Invention Inc. • All Copyright and Utility Design Rights Reserved • "Scardey Kittyboo" ™2013 • For private use only. The above instructions and/or the intellectual property contained therein for the cat and mummy decorations or their like may not be reproduced in whole or part without express written consent.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Carpe'd the heck out of that diem

Recently spent a day on the Channel Islands!




This day happened, by coincidence, be the day the Chumash people, the original inhabitants of the islands, were celebrating their heritage by welcoming a tomol, a traditional wooden plank canoe paddled by a team of about ten men and boys from the mainland. This canoe is heavy and rather difficult to maneuver in the very choppy waters. The trip from the mainland can take 12 to twenty hours.







Finished the day with the best fish tacos, evah, in Ventura.

Stuff I saw yesterday

Walls, mostly.

Davis Bros. Tires Culver City


Phoenix Rising Melrose Ave.

Paul Wall Melrose

I fly.


Just trying to stretch my photographic wings. Practice, practice, practice.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

2013 International Surf Festival Velzy-Stevens Paddleboard Race


This is the look of enthusiasm...


And so is this...


Because my son is totally stoked to wake up at 5 AM to enter a two-mile paddle board sprint. Right? Right? That's my story and you're sticking to it. See how that works, son?

Local color...


Starting line...


Finish line...


Aha! There's the stoke! 2nd place in his division, 8th overall.


See, son? It was fun after all, right? Right? Hello? Hello?

One word: Fifteen.


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