Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
I do find that I have to adapt my projects to my lifestyle. Right now, I am better at completing portable projects than ones that require a lot of space, materials, or equipment. I find it easier to follow someone else's pattern or design than to make up my own. I like the challenge of modifying designs and creating my own works but it is comforting after a long day at work and taking children from one place to another to sit down with a pattern someone else developed and reproduce their design. These projects improve my technical skills and often teach me new things about fibers and color giving me tools to use when I have the time to sit down and work on my own designs. I like eating bread that I baked myself and wearing socks that I knit myself.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
At my house, we celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas throughout the month of December. We fit in traditional family holiday rituals with basketball games, karate tests, chorus concerts and work related trips out of town. Many of the holiday traditions that have been handed down for generations involve food. Hanukkah is not complete without Neil's Potato Latkes, although in my house we may eat them while we decorate the Christmas tree.
Peel 4 large potatoes. Grate potatoes and onion, if desired, in food processor. Put grated potatoes in cheesecloth and squeeze out liquid in sink. Put grated, dry potatoes back in food processor. Add 2 eggs, 1/2 cup flour, and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix into a smooth batter. Drop batter by serving spoon (1/4 - 1/3 cup) size spoonfuls into pan with very hot oil. Cast iron pan and peanut oil work well. Fry over moderate to high heat until brown on underside. Turn to brown on top. Lift out of oil and drain off excess fat on paper towels. Serve with sour cream and applesauce.
Another essential part of the holiday season is Christmas cookies. I made some snickerdoodles and chewy gingerbread which have already disappeared. If I get ambitious this afternoon, I will get out the cookie cutters and rolling pin and make one of Grammy Baugh's cookie recipes. The simplest one is Grammy Baugh's Cinnamon Crackers:
Cream together 3/4 lb butter and 1 lb sugar (2 cups). Add 3 eggs and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. Mix in 1 lb of flour (4 cups). Using more flour, roll out dough and cut out cookies. Bake at 350 F for 10 to 12 minutes or until brown. Thinner cookies may bake faster.
If you are an ambitious cookie decorator, you can make royal icing and decorate these in very fanciful ways. If you are not an ambitious cookie decorator, you can sprinkle colored sugar on top of the cookies before putting them in the oven to bake. Even better, you can have a small child sprinkle the sugar on the cookies.
Monday, November 12, 2007
I have been stitching from my stash and have been working on a Mosey 'n Me Pattern called Scary Scraps -- the Mummy. Scraps is stitched on a piece of bright pink linen in anchor floss, needle necessities, and Rainbow Gallery threads. The individual sections of pattern are relaxing to work on and I think that he will be a very fun Halloween decoration when he is done. I also have all the Prairie Moon Halloween ornaments and stand ups to stitch -- if I get them done and finished, I could have a lot of Halloween decorations next year. I tried to concentrate on finishing Christmas decorations last year instead of stitching new ones and have a lot more things to put out. You can see some of my stand ups on the flickr feed on the side of the Blog.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
I finished my first piece for Susan Sorrell's Creative Embroidery - Organic Design class. The class is offered through Joggles. Her style of embroidery is very interesting -- much freer than anything that I have done before. This piece is supposed to be a Zen embroidery piece -- an abstract design using different stitches and threads. I used a variety of silks, appleton wools, cotton threads, and some DMC linen in various threads on a piece of hand dyed quilting cotton. Quite a departure from the rest of the charted cross stitch that I have done this month.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
I have been stitching too but I don't have any finished things to share right now. I am knitting my second sock, working on parts 5 and 6 of Chatelaine's Elizabethan Sweet Bag and I finished another row of over one stitching on Anne Depauw. I should have some things to share later in the week.
Recently, I purchased some new books. I found a copy of Macrame: Creative Design in Knotting by Dona Meilach on the Friends of the Library used book shelf for $1.00. It has the Berry Knot necklace my mother made in the 1970s on page 150. I still have my mother's necklace. I also bought Bead Embroidery: The Complete Guide by Jane Davis at JoAnn's fabrics. It contains different methods of attaching beads to fabric, beaded fringe patterns and beads incorporated into surface embroidery and pulled thread embroidery stitches.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
A stitching blog should sometimes have pictures of stitching. Here is the front and back of a pincushion that I made for an exchange. It is a Whimsey & Wit design from their Charming Elegance Series. I planned to make a biscornu but quickly realized that it would be enormous so I made a stuffed square instead. It is stitched on tobacco linen with chestnut weeks dye works.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
I have been in Florida for two weeks at a training class for work. I visited St. Augustine while I was there and visited the Fort Matanzas National Monument and the Garden of the Oldest House. The Chapel door at the Fort is shown in the picture, it has an interesting pattern on it.
While there I did some reading and some stitching and a little bit of knitting. I have been back since Thursday night and have gone through all of the mail, celebrated my daughter's birthday, attempted to get caught up at work, and in the yard work. I plan on doing some stitching tonight and may have some results to share tomorrow or the day after.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
I have been trying to catch up on the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge. Here is a stitching sample that contains buttonhole wheel, cast on stitch, and crested chain. I need more practice with the cast on stitch but I think that the rest came out reasonably well. I sketched an owl this morning that I also plan to stitch using these same stitches -- I will post my progess later.
I am continuing to read books by Chicago or Illinois authors. I finished Driving Blind by Ray Bradbury. I read many of his books and stories when I was younger. I still remember one story that I believe he wrote -- in it men are living on the moon. They have found life there in the form of some kind of animal and have the ability to turn into the animals and go out on the moon surface. One man makes the transformation and discovers how marvelous it feels to be free on the surface in the animal's body. He never returns to the space station. My next Chicago book is Because of the Rain by Daniel Buckman.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
I came back from Texas to find my lovely pinkeep exchange waiting for me on the dining room table along with the package that I should have sent before I left. Here are pictures of both of them. The lovely purple heart and the brittercup designs pattern came to me, the Ewe and Eye and Friends flower basket and the JBW designs heart are on their way to their new owner.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
I bought a copy of Photoshop Elements the other day to play with. Above you can see the results applied to a photo of my latest flower, fruit and vegetable share. There are pie cherries, blueberries, peaches, yellow beats, green peppers, dill, cucumber, basil, spring onions, zucchini, eggplant and lettuce.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I bought him a digital camcorder as an anniversary present -- now he can be a true karate Dad and videotape the kids fights and kata. I tried installing video editing software on my laptop and found out that I need to upgrade to Vista to make it work. I got the upgrade but decided that tonight is not the night to upgrade my operating system.
I did find a cool link on another blog you can create your own name or phrase at spell with flickr.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
Also, after much ripping out and starting over, I got my sea cell shawl started. I am adapting a scarf pattern from Interweave Knitter's magazine. When I counted correctly doubling the width of the scarf worked and you can see the lace effect and some of the color changes.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
I have collected different neutral colors in threads and ribbons made of cotton, linen, rayon, and silk. There are some seed beads, bugles and some natural stone beads. I think that they will be fun to play with. I should get the first class lesson tomorrow.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Thursday, July 05, 2007
The flowers, as always, are beautiful and I enjoy having them in the house. We have flowers in our garden, but we grow random perennials and do not have much of a cutting garden. I love all the different colors of sunflowers that we get throughout the summer, you can see a deep red one on the right side of the arrangement.