Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 - A Year In Review

Another year is coming to an end. As I look back on 2008, I do so with ambivalence. I am not unhappy to see it go. It was a difficult year for me, in terms of health issues. In the first few months of the year I totally lost the ability to walk. I began having trouble taking care of my personal needs, such as dressing and bathing.

I was in constant pain. I could not get out of a regular chair and I could no longer get in and out of my bed. As a result, I spent my days and nights in an electrical reclining chair. It became impossible to get up and down the stairs. I could no longer leave my house.

The doctors were stymied. I saw a total of six neurologists. They could not agree on a diagnosis. There seemed to be no treatment, except painkillers, which I ate like candy. It was hinted that perhaps my symptoms were psychological. In May I entered Sunnybrook Hospital for a course of intravenous steroid treatments.

From there I was sent to West Park Healthcare Centre, a rehabilitation hospital. I still did not have a definite diagnosis. Things like MS, Lou Gehrig's and Guillain Barre Syndrome were thrown around as if they were just minor discomforts. It was frustrating! I spent many hours on the hospital's computer, looking for disorders that fit my symptoms. I no longer trusted the doctors, or their treatments.

I finally saw another neurologist at a large teaching hospital in downtown Toronto. This doctor finally diagnosed my condition as a rare auto-immune disorder. My body was identifying the nerve cells in my body as foreign invaders and killing them off!

I left West Park in much better spirits than I had been in for the first half of the year. I now had all sorts of gadgets to make my life easier - like a stairglide, a hospital bed and a scooter. Since then I have been exercising and trying to get my life back in order. I am getting stronger each day. The nerves in my back, legs and feet are growing back.

I am lucky to have a family that is understanding and helpful - a husband who looked after me and took over the housekeeping chores (cooking, cleaning, caring for our furry critters, the aquarium, my indoor plants and garden... the list is endless) during my illness - my friends who were there for me to talk to and of course, my fellow bloggers! You guys are the greatest! I get so much inspiration from reading everyone's blogs and from seeing your beautiful creations!

And when I have a problem, all I have to do is ask and someone is willing to help. Someone recently asked what I love most about blogging and I said it was the fact that the whole world fits into my computer and is only a keystroke away.

In a few more hours the new year will arrive. I am very postive about 2009. Things can only get better! I know I will regain my strength and ability to walk again. I have too much living left to do.

I wish everyone a Very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Changed the Look of My Blog!

Well, I finally did it! I changed the look of my blog. I have been playing around on this computer for the better part of today. I wanted to put some things in my sidebar and was not able to get into the 'layout'. I thought I would never be able to figure this stuff out, but then I changed the template and everything just fell into place. I think I was still using a very old template from when I first started my blog. Speaking of that.... it is almost exactly three years ago (3 years and 2 days to be exact) that Mimi thought she wanted to tell the world about my creative endeavours! Thanks Mimi. This blogging is the greatest!


Friday, December 26, 2008

Sunshine on Cherry Blossoms

Now that Christmas is over, I can show you the little wall hanging I made for my DD. This was another project I had put aside for quite awhile. The pattern is called, "Cherry Blossoms" by Designs to Share with You. It is 19"x23" (48cm x 58cm) and is machine pieced and hand appliqued. The quilting was done with machine stitching in the ditch and hand work using the classic method of Sashiko. The cherry blossoms are small yo-yos gathered in four places to create little five-petalled flowers.

I took this photo a couple of days ago when we had sunshine. Yes, we actually had sunshine!!!! It doesn't help to give a better photo, but I just love sunshine in the winter months, when the sun is so low in the sky that the rays reach across the room and brighten up even the darkest corners.

Hope you all had a good Christmas. Mine was quiet, but nice and relaxing - time well spent with close family members.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

Okay! Now Christmas can come. And it can snow all it wants to! I am finished my 'Let it Snow' wall hanging. At last! I must admit, it was a fun pattern. I started it at a Quilt Retreat in the fall of 2006. We spent a wonderful weekend there - just sewing and quilting - no cooking or cleaning or answering the telephone! We stayed at Scottman's Point. This is a view of the lake.
And a view of the beach and the last of the Kawartha autumn colours. It looks warm, but we had ice and snow on the drive up and frost overnight. But we were warm and happy in the main lodge, creating away at our machines!
That's me in the blue top. This was before my 'scooter' time. Don't I look happy? The woman standing was our president at that time, Sue. And the woman in the front left was my roommate, Julie. Oh, wow! Great memories!
And finally, a photo of my retreat pals with their creative endeavours. We were allowed to work on anything we wanted, but the Let it Snow pattern was provided by the organizer of our wonderful weekend, Linda.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Another Big Finish!

I finally got this thing done! Think I started it in my first year of quilting. I saw a similar tree shirt at a local quilt shop. It was being offered as a one-day class. The pattern was free. I would only have to pay for the class. The original one had rooftops and trees around the edge, with Santa and his reindeer in the centre. I fell instantly in love with that skirt and signed up for the class, even though it would be held on a Friday morning and I had to work. I decided to play hooky. About a week before the class, I went back to the shop to buy my supplies. To my great sadness I was told that the class had to be cancelled, because the person who was to teach it was not available. I was devastated. I was so looking forward to making that skirt. At the time (these were my early quilting years) I was very intriqued with Debbie Mumm fabrics and patterns. I bought a Debbie Mumm Christmas pattern. I seemed to me that I could make my own skirt, using Debbie's patterns. I had no idea how to go about it. I had never done machine applique or anything round, but I decided to try it anyway.
It was too much for me that first year! I drew all the applique pieces and cut them out of fabric. But that is as far as I got. It was already long past Christmas by then and I decided to finish it the following year. Over the past years I have brought it out occasionally and tried to decide what to do with it. I didn't have very interesting fabrics at that time and the ones I used just weren't talking to me. One year I cut the circle and ironed everything on. But the next year I found that most of the little pieces had come off. The task of sewing down each piece seemed like a daunting task. I sewed a few down and left the rest for another year. When I took it out this year I gave a lot of thought to what to do with this skirt. It would be easy to just leave it in the bottom of the UFO bin, but that was not my goal this year! I decided it needed to be finished. And it needed to be under a Christmas tree! So I fixed and re-applied and sewed and quilted. And now it is finished and I am satisfied. It really didn't turn out too bad after all! I am going to give it to my DD. She is going to have a real tree this year and I think she would love to have it.

I also worked on several other UFOs over the past couple of weeks. (They are presents, so I can't show them yet.) But even when I have to finish long overdue items, I just can't keep myself from starting something new. I think its a common quilter's affliction! I found a lovely free pattern on the Internet - the Nine-Patch Christmas Scrap quilt. It looked very easy and I already had lots of 2 1/2in. strips of Christmas fabrics cut out. It was just a matter of putting it all together. I am not finished it yet, but I am close. I don't want this to become another UFO for future years. Not this year! Not when I am trying so hard to clear out that bin! Felix likes the bright Christmas colours. He is my helper. He keeps me on task and sits with me while I sew.
Oscar seems to like the quilt too. In facts, he looks totally mesmerized by it. But then he always looks kind of dopey! Mimi hasn't come to find out what I am doing. She has a different agenda I guess - sleeping and eating and sleeping some more.

And just sitting regally in amongst the plants in the solarium. As is befitting royalty!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Few More Finishes!

I completed a few more UFOs! Yippeeeee!! It feels really good to get these things done. I don't feel very good about the place mats though. They were supposed to be done by the end of last month so that they could have been donated to the Meals-on-Wheels program. Our Guild was asked to make them, but I wasn't finished in time. (Sew what else is new?) When I was at our last meeting I found out that they already had enough Christmas themed place mats, so I didn't feel too bad. We were told that they needed some everyday place mats. These are going to be given out to new Meals-on-Wheels clients when they join the program. It sounds like a wonderful idea! So I decided to just finish these and keep them myself. They will brighten up our holiday season and later on - like maybe next year - I will make a few of the everyday ones to donate. I got the idea for putting the flying geese along the sides of the place mats from Sherri at A Quilting Life. I had made those flying geese blocks during my first year of quilting, so they have been around a long time. I love this block! It is one of my favourites!
The little block is an orphan from the Christmas Sparkler. I had originally auditioned a dark green, but then decided that the quilt needed a brighter green, so this little block was left over. I finished it so that it can be used as a hot pad for Christmas.

Then there is the little square miniature. It was also supposed to have been finished a long time ago too. I had wanted to enter it into our Guild's Quilt Show - as part of the silent auction. But needless to say, it didn't get done in time. (sigh) Oh, well, now I have to keep it! Hurray! This mini was paper pieced. It is only 14in x 14in (35cm x 35cm), but there are 336 pieces of fabric in it, not including the border. Each strip is only 1/4in finished. I only used scraps, but it didn't even make a dent in my stash and I doubt if I could have done this one if I hadn't paper pieced it.

Now on to other UFOs. I am working on something right now that is to be a present, so I can't show it until after Christmas.

Yesterday I told everyone to go to Freda's Hive for a give-away. Hope you left a comment. Today I am going to direct you to Ems Scrapbag for another give-away. Good luck!

Monday, December 08, 2008

My Postcard Arrived at its Destination!

I decided to send one of my postcard to see if it would arrive, safe and sound, at its destination. I am happy to say that it did! It was a birthday card for my sister, whose birthday is tomorrow. Happy Birthday Sis!!! She got the postcard today. I wish I had taken a photo of it, but I guess I was so excited about sending it, that I forgot. Instead you get a shot of a trumpet flower, blooming inside my solarium. Even with the snow outside, I still have some colour indoors!
Oh, and I also want to tell everyone to go over to Frida's Hive and leave a comment. She is having a really cool give-away this week to celebrate her one-year anniversary. Happy Anniversary Nanette!

Friday, December 05, 2008

A Frosty, Frivolous and Fun, Fickle-Feline Friday

It was the kind of morning when you just don't want to get out of bed. The temperature outside was -6C. With the wind factored in, that made it feel like -12C. My joints were stiff and sore. I pulled the covers back over my head. Did I really have to get up? Maybe I could pretend to be sick and someone would bring me breakfast in bed. But no, that wouldn't work! No one was home. It was just the cats and me. Oh, well.
After a hot shower and a steaming cup of coffee I decided to do some quilting. The sewing room was in a royal mess and I couldn't find anything! It was my intent to finish a couple of Christmas presents, but that was not to be. Novelty fabrics, scraps and postcard ideas were everywhere. They were sucking me into a void - a postcard void! As I felt myself swirling around and around, I started tracing and cutting and pasting and then sewing around little motifs of Christmas trees, Santas, leaves and penguins. It was impossible to stop making these little postcards. It was a fun, but frivolous feat for a frosty Friday. Why fight it?
I looked for Mimi. I wanted to show her my little postcard creations. I went into the solarium and found her, sound asleep, on the cat blanket I made last week. That fickle feline!
"Hey, Mimi! I thought you didn't like the cat blanket with the 'd' word on it!"
"I never said that!"
"You did so! You made a big case out of it!"
"Well, a girl can change her mind, can't she?"
"Oh, f....udge!" Oh, no, not another f-word! Enough is enough! I will save that one for my Friends in the Federal Government in Ottawa!

Thursday, December 04, 2008


I have been experimenting with fabric postcards over the last few weeks. I found a lot of information on the Internet and also a book of ideas at Michael's, but I still have a few more questions. Have any of you, out there in blog land, ever made one of these? Can they actually be mailed? I am getting mixed messages. I would like to send some off for Christmas, but I don't know if I can just put a stamp on them - will it stay on? - or should I put them into an envelope?
Please leave me a comment if you have some experience with these things. Thanks.

Mine are about 4-41/2 to 6-61/2 inches. Do they have to be a certain size? I still have to quilt them and put some sort of edging on them - maybe just some zigzag or something. Please help! It is getting close to Christmas. But I'm sure I don't need to remind anyone of that!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

My Little Version of the Christmas Sparkler

This is not a UFO. I started and finished it this month (or so). I saw the pattern on several people's blogs. It was free! You can see more of them and get the pattern at the patchalot's gallery. I decided to stop at nine blocks. That way I could get it finished! Finishing things is very important to me right now. Don't ask me why. Maybe it has to do with the limited space and too much 'stuff' that I have! I didn't want to add another UFO to my bin to carry over to next year! I really should not even have started it, but I loved the friendship star blocks. They are one of my favourite blocks! I used some Christmas and Christmas-type fabrics from my stash, so that was good.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

That's Because Santa is Finished! Finally.
I finished another UFO. Yippeeee! This little wall hanging came from a kit which I bought at The Quilting Patch, a local quilt shop, about three or four years ago. I don't know why it took so long for me to finish it. It was a very easy project. The whole thing is fused with Steam-a-Seam. I went around each piece by hand with a blanket stitch. It was almost totally completed when I put it away after the last time I worked on it. (perhaps two years ago) All I had left to do was to sandwich and quilt it. And sew some binding on. I am happy to report that I did all those things and now the completed quilt is hanging on my DD's wall.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Layer by Layer - What I Created in Gloria's Class

Just thought you might be interested in seeing my progress from last Wednesday. This is the wall hanging I started in Gloria Loughman's class. Her technique has five layers. The layers in this pattern included a sky, a hill with rocks, a flat area with a river, a lake or ocean and an underwater scene.

I have not completely finished my layers yet. I am still a little hesitant about the ocean or lake part. I don't know if I am happy with the colours that I used. Maybe I am being too critical and have to take some time away from this thing in order to see it differently. I also have to read Gloria's instructions again. I think each layer is machine appliqued, embellished and quilted before it is added to the rest of the quilt. The good part is that I have Gloria's email address in case I don't understand her instructions. But I think I will figure it out. Hopefully I will be able to show you a finished wall hanging in January. For now I think I will have to put this one aside and work on my Christmas projects. Sew many quilts! Sew little time!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Quilt for the Felines in Our Family

A couple of weeks ago, Nynke (aka the Dutch Purple Rabbit) showed a cute little quilt which she had made for her cats. Mimi really liked it and wanted me to make something especially for her, just like Nynke's. So I put away all the UFO's I had been working on and made this little quilt, using bits and pieces from all sorts of cat prints. I made a whole bunch of four patches, but when I placed them on my 'design floor', I realized that they were too similar in colour and value. I decided to add some colour by alternating the four patches with blocks of yellow. Then, because I had a few strips of blue left over from another project, I put a blue inner border on to add even more colour. Still, it turned out kind of drab and not at all like Nynke's Sorry Mimi. Yours is just sort of bland.

"That's not all it is! You put that yellow fabric in there! It has the 'd' word on it!"

"The 'd' word? Like dentist, dumb, dragon - what?"

"The 'd' word silly! DOG!"

"Oh, dog. But it has cats on it too. I know you will like it when you try it."

"Don't bet on it!"

"Well, I don't care what you say. Oscar and Felix like it! It can be their quilt and you will have to wait until I make another one - like next year, maybe."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Update - On a Wonderful Day!

A Conversation with Mimi
Me: Mimi! Mimi! Wake up!

Mimi: What do you want? Can't you see I'm taking a nap?

Me: Yeah! Sure! I can see that, but I want to tell you about my day.

Mimi: Oh, I think you've mistaken me for someone who gives a damn!

Me: Oh, Mimi! Okay, okay, be that way you grouchy feline! But I am going to tell you about it anyway. We had a terrific workshop with Gloria Loughman! She was fantastic. She was very organized and had everything set up so that we could start right on time. We had a lot to do! I didn't get my wall hanging done, but I made a good start. We worked all day, with a very short break for lunch. We traced, chose our fabrics and cut and ironed and sewed! Everyone's work looked amazing! With her patterns and her colour advice, we couldn't go wrong. When I have more time I will take a photo, so that everyone can see what I did. Right now I am completely worn out! It was the first day that I have been at a workshop in over a year! I sat in my wheelchair the entire time so my feet and legs are killing me! I think I will go and lie down for awhile. I need a nap.

Mimi: Meow! We all need naps! Speaking of naps - that was a very nice story, but, can I get back to mine now?

Me: Okay. If you want to, you can come and sleep on my bed.

Mimi: Meow! I am really quite comfortable here, among the plants. Hmmmm. Will you stroke me if I come?

Me: Oh, Mimi! You drive a hard bargain. But, okay. I'll race you!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm Primed! I'm Psyched! I'm Ready for Tomorrow!

Gloria Loughman was the guest speaker at our Guild meeting this evening. She is an Australian quilter, lecturer and instructor. Her talk this evening was inspirational! Her life has been very interesting! She has a great sense of humour! She paints on fabric and is wonderfully creative! And she is an exquisite quilter! The following are just a few of her quilts and also some of her student's quilts. Sorry, I don't know which is which. But they are all so beautiful!
The best part of all this is coming tomorrow. Gloria is going to instruct a day-long workshop on her techniques to members of our guild. I signed up as soon as I heard about the workshop.

I must admit though, these gorgeous works of art are a bit intimidating. I hope I will be able to make something that comes even halfway close to these wonderful pieces. I can hardly wait to try. My machine is oiled and ready. My fabrics are in a huge bin. And all my other sewing things are packed and waiting by the front door.
The workshop is titled, "Layer by Layer". We will be making an abstract landscape wall hanging, similar to the ones above. My original idea was to do something based on works of the Group of Seven, like Tom Thompson's "Jack Pine" or maybe "West Wind". (I am including Thompson in with the 'Group'. He is my favourite!) Harris' "Northern Lake" and Lismer's "Bright Land" might also work. But I would have to draw them up as a template and I am really not sure what, exactly, we will be doing. So I think for tomorrow I will do one of the patterns that Gloria will provide for us - at least until I learn the technique. She has four patterns to chose from and all are equally wonderful.
I hope to have some more photos to show you tomorrow. And maybe a WIP (Work In Progress). Yes folks! I'm primed! I'm psyched! I'm ready!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

OH, NO! Hope This Wasn't My Fault!

I spent last evening working on this week's UFO project. I worked on it until well after midnight.
It's a wallhanging with the words, "Let it Snow!" on it. And then it snowed - all night! We woke up to about 3 inches of the white stuff.
It's really very pretty. I love the way it is all piled up on branches, trees and fences, But it is a little early. Don't you think? I mean, it isn't even December yet. And winter doesn't arrive for another month! I took a photo out my front door. That's as far as I was able to get. I don't dare take my scooter out until the ramp into my house is cleared of snow. Don't want to get stuck out there, ya know! It's cold! Cold, but beautiful!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I made applesauce today! I got the apples at Highland Farms. They were very nice looking MacIntosh and Courtland apples! And the best part is, they were grown right here in Ontario on Highland Farm's orchards. Sorry I didn't take a photo of them. I was too excited to get started! (Yeah!, right!)

I peeled, cored and sliced 50 MacIntosh and Courtland apples! Then I cooked the apples in a small amount of water until they were soft. I also sterilized some jars and then filled them. I got the canner out and processed 4 batches of jars. It was a lot of work, but it netted me 23 jars of applesauce. Yummy! And that's applesauce without sugar, salt or colouring! Yaaaa!

Well, that's it for domestic chores for me for awhile! It's nice to do some simple pioneer-type stuff once in awhile, especially in these crazy economic times, but it's a good thing I don't have to do this every day. I'm exhausted! Think I'll go back to my sewing machine now!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Skirt Completed!

Thank Goodness! The 'Talking Tree Skirt' is Done!

It was really annoying to have to listen to that thing nagging at me all the time! And since I wrote that last blog my DS has totally disowned me! He says it was just too weird to read about his mother talking to a piece of fabric - a piece of fabric with attitude at that!

This tree skirt was pieced entirely by hand. That means I started it many, many years ago, when I was still afraid of my sewing machine. Each year after I started it I would take it out just before Christmas and look at it. Sometimes I resolved to finish it, but most of the time I just gave up on the dauntless task of hand sewing all those pieces. There were only three pieces left to finish this year! Can you imagine? It only took a few hours to have a finished tree skirt! I think I gave up the last time I worked on it because it looks as if I had put those last three pieces in backwards or something and after I took them out, my enthusiasm for this quilt must have left me. That's when it ended up in the bottom of my UFO bin! But it is finished now.

Thank goodness it had a voice, or I may never have completed it! And even Oscar, my most demanding and descriminating quilt inspector, gives it his thumbs, I mean paws, up!

Right Oscar?
Yeah, man! I love this thing!
I didn't have any Christmas fabric that was big enough for the back of this skirt, (it's about 50 inches square) so I pieced a giant nine-patch. Then I machine quilted the whole thing. I think it turned out okay. Times have changed. I'm not afraid of my sewing machine any more. Hurray!
Oh, boy! I can hardly wait until Christmas so that I can put a tree on top of it. Not a real tree, of course! That would be cruel! Just a little artificial one from Canadian Tire. That will do us just fine.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sail Away Felix

What do you do when life gives you lemons? You make lemonade, right? But what if your Guild gives you a "Quilts from the Heart" kit that contains some really cute boat fabric and also some of the ugliest orange sky stuff you have ever seen? The pattern for the quilt was supposed to be a sort of "Puss in the Corner"block. The ugly sky fabric (turquoise with orange clouds) was intended to be the main fabric in the centre. And not only that, but the clouds would have been going up and down! Never, without a few margaritas, have I ever seen a sky like that! This called for some creative thinking on my part. Good thing I love that sort of thing. I cut that ugly sky fabric and used it in smaller portions throughout the quilt. And I drew sailboats on the back of some "Steam-a-Seam" and did some simple machine applique. This is the result. I am quite happy with it. I think a small child will love the bright colours! And Felix loves it too!

I put some star fabric on the back I used this quilt to practice some machine quilting. I'm not very good at it yet, but I am getting better. I'll just keep making these charity quilts and using them for practice!

Oops! OMG! What was that? Oh, my goodness! It's a UFO! An unfinished tree skirt just fell onto my machine! And, wonders of wonders, it talks too!

Pardon? What's that you say? You think I should stop with the charity quilts and the summertime themes and start catching up on the Christmas things? I still have time!

What? It's only how many days until Christmas? 45? That can't be! I still have so much to do! How will I ever get everything finished? Oh, well. There's always next year.

What's that? You're tired of sitting at the bottom of my UFO bin for how many years? Oh, come on now. It can't have been that long! Really? Oh, give me a break. No, I didn't mean to break anything! Oh, please spare my machine! Okay, okay. I'll do it. From now on I will only work on Christmas stuff. Except for that workshop I plan to go on at the end of the month. Can I please go to that? It's still three weeks away.

What? I have to finish three things before I can go? That's one per week. You drive a hard bargain, but okay. I guess it's for my own good. I am such a big procrastinator! Guess I'd better get off this computer and get started.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Finished Disappearing Nine Patch Quilts

- well, almost finished.

A few days ago I promised to show you the disappearing 9-patch quilts I had done. Sorry! Life, the great weather we are having, as well as Seabiscuit and Wilbur got in the way of that. I will show them to you now. This first one has already gone to one of the shelters here in Toronto. It is a 'Quilts from the Heart' quilt, so most of the fabric was supplied by our Guild. Because I wanted to experiment with the disappearing 9-patch, I used some of my own fabric too. As I
had some fabric left over, I decided to make another 'Quilts from the Heart' quilt by adding a bit more of my fabric. This quilt was the result. Because all the blocks were the same, I pieced it in rows, (one quarter of a block each) rather than in large blocks. This worked out really well because I could press the seams in opposite directions and everything lined up nicely.

Since I made two quilts out of one kit, I had to play with the batting and backing material in order to make them fit. I pieced some left over batting strips to finish this quilt, which was around 34inches by 45inches. Then I found some really cute fabric in my stash. Unfortunately it was just not wide enough for the back. The selvage sides had a cute border print. I decided to cut the fabric in half and add a couple of inches to the middle in order to make it fit, but then changed my mind because I thought it would look as if I ran out of fabric. Instead, I cut the fabric for the back into thirds and added two strips of another fabric to give me the length I needed. This was the result. I think it worked.

And finally, the top of the last disappearing 9-patch. I have not finished it yet - still cutting strips to create a sort of piano key border. But I think this block is out of my system - for now anyway. Now onto Christmas stuff. Time is going by too quickly!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Wilbur's Wonderful Witty Wednesday Words! Wow!

"Oh! Look! These are just like the eggs I came from! Hey Mom! Can you make me a brother?"