Archive for March, 2007

Birthday Wrap-up

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

Here is a birthday card I whipped up for Steph. Mia liked it because it was “all silk.”

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Stephanie loves coconut and chocolate. I found this recipe for a very decadent Deep Dark Chocolate Coconut Cake. First, you make a roll of coconut mixed with sweetened condensed milk and an egg white and put it in the fridge to chill.

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The batter has two types of chocolate.

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After the batter is in the bundt pan, the coconut roll is made in to a circle and placed in the batter and buried.

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After it bakes and is cooled, a chocolate glaze is poured over.

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This is what it looks like when you cut it — a tunnel of coconut – yum!

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And this is what my grandchildren looked like at the end of spring break. I think their Mom is ready to have them back in school!

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This afternoon, I was not feeling well, so I sprawled on the sofa and watched Marie Antoinette – what a visual feast! I also took a couple of Aleve and I feel better. I think I have one of those achy viruses. Hope you are having a great week-end.

Thursday This and That

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

I have a lot of things to get caught up on. Where shall I start?

First: It was a perfectly beautiful day in our neighborhood. Lots of sunshine and a no fleece kind of day. I walked almost 11,000 steps and did 74 minutes of aerobic walking.

Food Stamp Diet: Someone left a link to Hillbilly Housewife in the comments. Thought some of you might be interested in checking out this site. There is an Emergency $45 menu for a family. There is a shopping list and recipes. So, I will be going back here if and when we decide to embark on this program.

This Day in the Life: I took part in the national diary day for working women on Tuesday. I was not sure that they would want me, but when I said that I was excited about the possibilities for creativity and work after one retires, they asked me to participate. Here is a link to their website. Thirty of the diaries will be selected for publication in a book next year. The big thing that I noticed is that I did not piddle (a term I got from Karoda’s latest blog post) while I was keeping a journal of my day. I was very focused and got a lot of work done. Hmmm! It was somewhat like being on a retreat or in a workshop where I have others watching how I am spending my time. Maybe I should put up a webcam n my studio and let you all keep track of me!!

Mail call: I did a postcard swap with Beate Knapp from Dusseldorf, Germany. Mine arrived today. I love it.

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Robin of Quilt Antics blog lives in Hawaii. I met her at Art Quilt Tahoe. She recently posted about hearing an NPR blurb about the costly mess of plastic grocery bags in the landfill. She showed a shopping bag that she purchased and a knock off that she made. I teased her for the pattern. She not only sent me the pattern, but I also received this awesome Hawaiian shirt fabric to use to make the bag. I plan to make several of these and to stop using plastic bags. Trader Joe’s puts your name in a drawing for free groceries if you bring in your own bags.

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The circles and lines piece: This may end up being a quilt by committee. I love hearing all your comments. One major change that I made was to make a new orange section. I used a hand-dye which is more complex and picks up more of the colors in the small circles. I put in some slivers of green, but I used a more toned down hand-dye. With trepidation, I am posting it as it looks on my design wall, now. Nothing is seamed. It is folded and pinned. The gray organza may get cut and I’ll have two sections going horizontally. Don’t know how to test this without cutting it!! Diane wondered what I wanted it to be about. She couldn’t see a focal point. My idea is to get a very simple Asian aesthetic. I was looking at photographs of Japanese gardens where there are rocks and a few plants and the soil or sand is raked. I am a bit worried that the orange is too strong, but sometimes they have a splash of color. I may make that strip much narrower. So here it is:

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Last, but not least, Birthday Greetings to Stephanie: Friday is my baby’s birthday. Stephanie, my tall, lanky daughter is in some ways the least like me and in many ways, the most like me of my three children. She is a very private person, a stay at home mom and an accomplished home keeper. She is brilliant and wise. She sometimes makes me feel like the child because she always knows the right thing to say and do, and I often don’t. In that way, she is like her father. When we moved here a year ago, I didn’t know how we would get along. I have tried very hard not to be too involved in her day to day life with her family, and she has done the same for us. I think we have a very comfortable relationship. Being this close to family means so much to me. and I treasure my relationship with her and the time I have with my grandchildren.

Here is a photo of Steph in a hat that she just made. Cool, isn’t it!

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Check out this wonderful drawing corner that she made for M & M.

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And just look at these stuffed things that she has made:

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There will be many more stuffed woodland objects for a show she is doing with Lisa in San Francisco in May. Here is the invite:

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Tomorrow night we will go out for Vietnamese food and then birthday cake back at the Barnes’ house. The big question is will I have time to make a cake or will I go to the bakery?

I am so excited because I am getting an eye exam tomorrow and there will soon be new glasses!!

Spring Break with M & M

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Yesterday was an exhausting and exhilarating day. M & M arrived home from their camping trip on Tuesday. I called Steph and asked if they could come and spend the day with us. They arrived fairly early. We packed up a snack and headed for the Rhododendron Garden. We fed the ducks and took in the beauty of the spring colors, especially the pink snow.pinksnow.jpg

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Then we got in the car and headed for Burgerville for lunch.

Back at the ranch, after sharing some Girl Scout shortbread cookies, we settled down to do some work. Miles and Mr C played a rousing game of Slap Jack and then went to the basement to make a tugboat. Miles had brought the directions with him.

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Mia read all of the comics that she could find in our house and then played on the Pollypocket.com website. I folded two loads of laundry and made some discharge samples.

The sun had come out in earnest by 2 pm so we mixed up some homemade bubble mix and headed to the front yard. We made our own wands out of pipe cleaners and plastic lids. Maggie just loves shiny bubbles. She ceases to act like a 12 year old dog when bubbles are in the air.

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And, look! M & M were both wearing Crocs!

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You can see all of the Spring Break photos here.

I have appreciated all of your comments on my work from Tuesday. I am taking it all to heart and hope to get back in the studio, today.

Discharging Black Cotton

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

I promised Quilt Art list that I would post the results of my discharging tests. Here they are:

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The top two samples were done on a heavier fabric which might be a cotton/linen blend meant for Sashiko. The Softscrub and the discharge paste did not penetrate the fabric as easily. Also, the colors are a little browner in the top sample than what I scanned. The second fabric is a little yellower. I don’t know why the true colors would not scan as the others are almost spot on.

A Good Studio Day

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

Today, I got in to the studio early and stayed late, working on the other piece that has been on my design wall. I removed the portion with the organza overlay and cut work. Then I discharged some circles on the black section, using freezer paper stencils and Softscrub cleanser.

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Here is what the circles looked like after they were washed with antichlor and dried.

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I decided I didn’t like the linear design of the circles. It looked like I was trying to line them up, but missed. So I discharged some more circles.

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Not sure I like this either, but more about that later.

I found three different kimono fabrics that coordinated with the circles in the batik piece. I cut circles and fused them to a strip of the black fabric and then covered it with green metallic silk organza (not shown in this photo)

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I decided to audition a hand-dyed lime green piece under the gray organza piece. The organza over the kimono circles will be stitched and cut. I did a small sample today to see how it would look. So, here are the two possible designs. Do you have an opinion? I could always go back to plain black under the organza overlay.

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