Hitchhiker's Guide to a Birthday

 "All right," said Deep Thought. "The Answer to the Great Question..."

"Of Life, the Universe and Everything..." said Deep Thought.

"Is..." said Deep Thought, and paused.
"Forty-two," said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.” 
― Douglas AdamsThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

My husband loves birthdays. In general. All birthdays. And so, as his birthday approaches the excitment builds. Always. And, when we can pull it off, we go for a big party with a theme, friends, food and drink. And this year, we pulled it off. 
Sign on the front door
Yes, this year my husband turned 42. Being an amazingly awesome nerd, this meant only one thing. He needed to have Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy birthday party. We weren't sure what that meant, exactly, but it had to happen. So I got to work. There is really not much out there in internet land on Hitchhiker birthdays. (Weird, right? Ha.). So, I got creative and got to work. 
Of course, there had to be dolphins. Dolphins leaving the earth right before it's destroyed by Volgons.

“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”

 So, we had Dolphins. I found a party supply store that shipped FOR FREE and then I got them filled at Dollar Tree. Speech bubble added by us, of course. 
"So Long, and thanks for all the fish!"

Who doesn't love a dolphin?

Dolphin Kisses to the Birthday boy.
You'll notice the 42 towel. A towel is an essential part of galaxy travel. 

“A towel, [The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. "

I made "42" towels for decor- and guests were encouraged to take one home (I mean, what would we do with 20 towels decorated with the number 42?)
I used the freezer paper stencil method that's been floating around internet craft land. My sister had already tried it and confirmed it as an awesome technique. To make it easier, I used a Cricut machine (but I'm still pining for a Silhouette, if it must be known). The freezer paper worked in the machine wonderfully. I ironed the stencil down, painted with fabric paint, and let it dry. Then I peeled off the freezer paper and I had a fantastic little towel. 

I hung them around as part of the decor. 
42 towels and dolphins
The weather held for the day and we had a perfect back deck party and BBQ.  We had galactic lights strung and ready for the evening. 

 It seemed almost too convenient that petunias are part of a great scene in the book AND are currently being sold at every garden center right now.

"Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was 'Oh no, not again.' Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now."

 We had pots of flowers all over the deck... nice to have decor that isn't thrown away when we are done with the party.
Petunias falling to the ground
The petunia scene came up in a couple of outfits people wore. Not only did this friend have a pot of petunias he wore the entire party- he had a tiny whale pin that looked like it was falling with the petunias. 
bathrobe, towel, petunias and whale!

“Another thing that got forgotten was the fact that against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet.And since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this poor innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity as a whale before it then had to come to terms with not being a whale any more."

And, one particularly fun (and camera shy) 13 year old wore this shirt:
From "ThinkGeek.com"
And what did we serve for food and drink?... well, along with normal BBQ fare we had goldfish and Swedish fish ("So long, and thanks for all the fish."). A friend brought homemade chips and salsa with custom signs in it.

 And of course, our own take on the Pan Galactic Garble Blaster.

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol. It says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. The effect of which is like having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick."

We decided best to make the drink family friendly and allow for adults to add brain smashing ingredients as they saw fit. Basically I mixed containers of limeade, lemonade, grapefruit juice, and 7up. I sliced up lemons and limes and let them float in it. We put this sign next to it:
An amazing graphic from internet land...
For a take on the infinite improbability drive, husband covered the alcohol choices in paper. Adding it to your drink was a hit of the improbability button- anything might happen!

"Side effects of using the Infinite Improbability Drive include temporary (and sometimes permanent,) changes to environment and morphological structure, hallucinations, and the calling into being of large marine mammals. An incredible range of highly improbable things can happen."

Infinite improbability drive
Of course, we had cake. The cake. was. awesome. I bought a cake from the greatest place in town- they wrote on it for me- then I made mice.

"These creatures you call mice, you see, they are not quite as they appear. They are merely the protrusion into our dimension of vastly huperintelligent pandimensional beings."

 I melted white chocolate in the microwave, dipped maraschino cherries in it, attached a Hershey's Hug and used sliced almonds for ears. I put them ALL over the cake. Delightful. 

Ack! There are mice on that cake!

ready to blow out the candles

white mice- the smartest life form on earth. Kind of. 

It was a general, smashing, wonderful time. So great to see friends, so great to be able to include our daughter. Fun to enjoy some unusually nice weather for April. Glad to toast another year with a great guy!

The lemon hat, to get his brain going

Our real answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything

Relaxing together


At the zoo

We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo! How about you, you, you? You can come too, too too, we're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo.
-Going to the Zoo by Peter, Paul and Mary.

Today we took the new jacket out for a run at the zoo. A long trip to the zoo. It was a delightful, rainy day-the bright jacket served us perfectly.

I love the bright fabric. Just love. In the past, I don't think I would have picked it- but the bright colors match baby's bright personality. And the jacket turned out beautifully. What a sweet pattern. We couldn't use the flash in with the elephants- the baby elephant was running and playing- so this one turned out a little blurry, but it shows the hood. 
Such a sweet little thing. The hood of the jacket is so sweet, but it will never get worn. Even in the rain, baby pushes that hood back and puts her face up to the sky. She's a little outside girl. 
The 2T size proved to be a little big- meaning I get to roll the sleeves back and show of the lining fabric. I love the blue lining, I think it tempers the bright jacket a bit. 

It worked well for hippo rides:

 And elephant rides:
 And camel rides:

I love seeing her ride the same statues I did as a kid. 

The process for making the jacket went well. The sleeves were the hardest part. Working with the larger pieces proved easier. Using the lighter weight fabric probably made it easier too. 

Lovely lovely. Something sweet for such a happy girl. It doesn't get better. 


For Spring, We Begin Again

"The beginning is the most important part of the work."
Plato The Republic

With my graduate class behind me, and no more classes until the summer... it's time to get my creative on again. I had to dig my machine out of the sewing room- a sign that it's been much too long since it's last use- and get her set up again. Not that I have hours to spare, but I have a few moments I can make some choice about how to spend, and I CHOOSE SEWING!

So, I find myself at the start of a project.
It's time for another School Days Jacket. How I love oliver & s. I still love the jacket I made the first time around with this pattern. So perfect. 

This time I'm going for a spring/summer jacket- so I found a light-weight, bright corduroys and I'm lining it with a quilting cotton. So, I've jumped in to it. I traced pieces (size 2T) onto Swedish Tracing paper, ironed the fabric, and pinned it all down. 

In just a short bit, I had this:
A pile of cut pieces. Now I've got all the pieces ready to go- time to fire up the machine and turn them into a jacket! As great as my graduate class was...(and it really was awesome)...it's nice to be creating again.