My husband Ty has this thing about birthdays and giving gifts on consecutive days. Last year I didn’t have much to give him, but this year I’ve had the time and the resources to really find some cool gifts. His birthday is tomorrow, but I’ve been giving him gifts all week.
He still hasn’t received the coolest gift, that one is reserved for tomorrow. He has received all of the handmade/recycled/hand-modified gifts.
First off, if you don’t know Ty, he likes to wear vintage shirts. He looks really good in them. Some of the shirts are super light weight, and perfect for wearing to the horse track, or for the summers in The South. They usually have metal snaps on them. I found a second-hand lime green shirt from Sears in the 1970s, and embroidered the pocket with his initials.
After seeing the Sparkle & Twang exhibit of country & western wear from famous folk on display at the Old Statehouse Museum last year, I was inspired by Nudie Cohn to embroider flowers on western-cut clothing. I developed a list of favorites to quiz my husband about to camouflage the important favorite, “What is your favorite flower?” I admit, it is an odd question to ask a man, and I almost ended up just guessing Bells of Ireland or Mohawk flowers to honor his heritage. He answered me with morning glories, and even told me the story about when he lived in Denver, he’d plant them every year next to the trellis that covered his bedroom window. One year he even planted the ones that only bloom at night.
With a story like that, I knew I had found my answer and went on an internet search for morning glory line art. After finding some, I modified it and transferred the pattern and the mirror pattern to an awesome white, short sleeved country western shirt.
I used Appleton wool to shade the flowers and leaves, fill in the vines, and french knot the stamen.
Tomorrow I will attempt to make him “Grandma Jo’s Wacky Cake”. It is a cake recipe developed to only dirty one pan. Ty’s mother usually just mixes it in a 9×13 glass casserole dish. She showed me how to make it in October for my birthday, and even left me a xeroxed copy of the mimeographed copy of the recipe! Here’s the recipe:
Grandma Jo’s Wacky Cake (Wacky because it has vinegar in it? Wacky because it asks you to “make holes”? Wacky because it is a miracle of modern science!)
3 C flour
2 C sugar
6 T cocoa (heaping)
2 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
Sift together in baking dish. (Recipe suggest 8.5×13 pan)
Do not grease.
Make 3 holes:
In one hole put 3/4 C vegetable oil,
in one hole put 2 T vinegar,
in the last hole put 2 tsp vanilla.
Then pour 2 cups warm water over all and mix thoroughly.
Bake at 325F for about 30-35 minutes or until done.
Top with only freshly whipped cream! One can only greet another orbit of the sun with freshly whipped cream, and my husband definitely deserves it. Happy Birthday!