What People Are Saying About Penny

"I like to think of you as a high priced call girl that the unwashed masses can't afford--like Woody Allen's Whore of Mensa. It's not your fault that people offer $10 blowjobs on the street corner. It's not an insult if somebody doesn't buy your art." -Alexandra J Walters

"Once Penny was making her own silk thread, and a midget appeared. Before he could open his ugly mouth, without looking up, she exclaimed, 'Rumpelstiltskin. Now get the fuck out of here.' Fairytale Over."- Beth Featherstone

"Penny can push a needle through a telephone pole without a thimble." -Shane Blaufuss

"When a man asked Penny, 'What’s the meaning of life?' She looked at him for exactly 3 minutes, completely still, until he cried. That man’s name was Steve Jobs."- Beth Featherstone

"A demon from the pits of bitch cunt." -W.C. Hurst

"pulitzer for you too." -John Lurie

Monday, December 28, 2009

Looking for a New Year's Resolution?

It's the time of year when most of us dust off our best intentions, and attempt to revel in “the spirit of the season”. Even in these ridiculously depressing times, we try to remember what's important and count our blessings and our loved ones.

Many of us gave handmade gifts this year, maybe hand knit socks or embroidered linens, or a snarky cross stitch for that friend with a rotten sense of humor. But how about supporting a charity that teaches people how to do needle work? People who desperately need the solace and confidence that comes from learning how to do something by hand?

Fine Cell Work is the “unofficial charity” of Mr. X Stitch.

What is Fine Cell Work?

Fine Cell Work is a social enterprise that teaches needlework to prison inmates and sells their products. The prisoners do the work when they are locked in their cells, and the earnings give them hope, skills and independence. 

Our mission is to rehabilitate prisoners by giving them the opportunity to earn and save money and the chance to reflect on and rebuild their lives through craft and achievement. Prisoners do Fine Cell Work for an average of 3 years: the benefits can therefore be profound”

Fine Cell Work is now done in 26 prisons

• 80% of the stitchers are men
• In 2008, 403 fine cell workers earned a total of £61,890

The inmates are taught by 50 volunteer instructors 

All our classes have waiting lists

In 2008 we had roughly 150 offers of volunteering

In 2004-08 we had enquiries from 63 prisons which we did not have the resources to meet

“Fine Cell Work gives these men dignity in work and through this, dignity in life. When a man gains self-respect he may start addressing his offending behaviour” 
Officer, HMP Wandsworth

There's an onine shop where you can purchase beautiful needlepoint pillows, or you can participate in their Sponser a Prisoner program and purchase commissioned work using a color pallet of your choosing. And of course they accept donations-

£10 would pay for materials to stitch one tapestry cushion

(100 hours of creative work)

So, if you're looking for a place where you can make a huge impact in someone's life, (and by extension their community when they're released), I urge you to take a look at Fine Cell Work. I wish we had more programs like this.

Click HERE for more info.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Happy Holidays Everyone! My gift to you is the Dr. Pepper Glazed Ham recipe.

Here's the recipe! It's Stupid Easy-
One 10-pound, bone-in smoked ham, skin removed and fat trimmed to 1/4 inch
3 cups Dr Pepper (not diet)
2 cups water
1/2 cup pitted prunes
1/3 cup yellow mustard (I use whole grain)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons of water

Preheat the oven to 325° and position a rack in the bottom third of the oven. Set the smoked ham in a large roasting pan.
Score a 1/4-inch-deep crosshatch pattern into the fat at 2-inch intervals. Pour 2 cups of the Dr Pepper and the 2 cups of water into the pan and roast the ham for about 2 1/2 hours, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the ham registers 120°.
Increase the oven temperature to 425°.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, simmer the prunes in the remaining 1 cup of Dr Pepper until they are plump and the liquid is slightly reduced, about 10 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the prunes to a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Whisk the mustard, brown sugar and vinegar into the liquid in the saucepan and boil until very thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes.
Drizzle the syrupy glaze over the ham and roast until glossy, 20 minutes. Carefully transfer the ham to a cutting board.
Pour the pan juices into the saucepan and spoon off the fat.
Boil the sauce until reduced to 2 cups, 10 minutes.
Whisk in the cornstarch slurry and the prunes and bring to a boil.
Simmer the sauce until thickened, 2 minutes.
Slice the ham and serve with the Dr Pepper sauce.

***After you've Hammed on It for about a week, because that's how much leftovers you'll have, pick the bone and make stock. It will be amazing and it can go in anything... Beans, Grits, Soup, Greens, Sauces...
***Also, this is sweet, but not as eye watering sweet as you'd think it would be. The mustard and the vinegar really cuts through.
****This is not an original recipe, It might be Alton Brown or Food and Wine. I can't remember because I just have it saved as a DOC on my computron.
But this will be the fourth time I've made it, AND IT IS AWESOME!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oh, Hilarious internets

This came from my site meter, totally awesome-
Best query ever that led to my blog
This came from a Facebook referral. Totally awesomer-
The peanut gallery has spoken

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

FIESTA! (Completely unprepared for my close up)

Our sweet, talented friend Rich just finished his new documentary titled Fiesta! It's about Texas expat artists living in Portland. Because we're completely self indulgent, we've cut out the clip that pertains to us for your viewing pleasure!
You can view the theatrical preview HERE, and contact Rich for the entire movie, or many of his other awesome documentaries. Or, if you live in the PDX area and aren't creepy, you can come over and watch it, (Tara).

P.S. The stupid watermark is because I'm too lazy to find a decent DVD converter.
P.P.S. I don't why he's callin' me "Wells". He's well aware my fake name is "Penny".

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mr. X Stitch does it again!

Panika Detail 2

He says, "After longer than I care to mention I finally finished the piece that started all this Mr X Stitch shenanigans. Panika is about 15 inches wide and about 8 inches high."
He's featured in Cross Stitcher Magazine Issue 221! Go Jamie!
Click on the photos above to go to his Flickr stream, or better yet, go to Mr. X Stitch!