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What can we do to promote world peace?
"Go home and love your family."
-Mother Teresa

Friday, July 31, 2009

More Wonders from the Natural Kingdom

We had the honor this summer of witnessing one of the most exciting transformations in the world! We watched a mysterious caterpillar become an even more mysterious (and beautiful) butterfly.
My children love fennel. Not bulb fennel (which they greet with apathy) but the herb fennel, which grows in long hairy stalks. They each have their own plant, and they munched on it happily this spring until we told them to stop or they would kill it. Then they came outside one day to find that they had competition: three caterpillars had eaten more than half of my son's plant. We decided to move two of them to my daughter's plant, and bring one inside to watch it transform. We (logically) fed it fennel-- from my daughter's plant, of course. It ate about six inches of fennel stalk a day for a week and then promptly stopped eating. In about five hours (while I was working, unfortunately) it made itself a chrysalis. Then we waited. For about a week and a half. And suddenly, one morning when we looked in the jar, the chrysalis hung empty and the butterfly was there! We had expected a yellow swallowtail (our best guess based on the appearance of the caterpillar) but we were delighted with what came out instead: an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (I think-- if anyone knows otherwise, leave a comment please!) Whatever it was, it was gorgeous and provided our most exciting entertainment this summer! My son was very pleased at how friendly it was when it came out. He is pictured with his great-aunt.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Birthday Flowers and Doll Dresses

My daughter had her birthday recently, and I had a long bout of tiny sewing to keep me busy. She requested a new doll dress and a Little Red Riding Hood costume to go over top. I sewed the dress out of yellow and blue calico, with a bodice I embroidered by hand (free-form). The cape is made of red cotton velour lined in rose-patterned calico. It was fun to make, but I have to admit I was glad to get back to my knitting. Deadline sewing stresses me out. Who can disappoint a 7-year-old on her birthday?

This year her choice for cake was lemon cheesecake, and we had an enjoyable (if lengthy) time making lemon cheesecake with a lemon curd topping. (Triple Lemon Cheesecake from Luscious Lemon Desserts.) This is a truly delicious cake... The kind you want to eat waaay too much of.

Just want to let you know that this post marks the arrival of my high-speed internet! Thank you, Comcast (and our boss who made the installation possible!) So hopefully, I'll be posting a little more frequently now. I also have begun dividing my crafts for kids (Buttercup Corner) from my own sewing and knitting projects (now at my new blog Threadblossom.blogspot.com.) Feel free to come find me there now too!