Sunday, December 27, 2015

Mission San Miguel at Christmas

My husband and I visited Mission San Miguel yesterday. It really is a very beautiful spiritual place. Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas or Happy Hanukkah. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

On the Design Wall Now

Been very busy finishing up Christmas 'stuff', like making cookies, cookie dough for sugar cookies, wrapping presents, blah, blah, blah.  Yesterday I spent a couple of hours cleaning and sorting in my studio.  It was a huge mess! Found all sorts of buried treasure.  Rediscovered and remembered at least three or four UFOs that I want to continue working on and put away some that I have lost interest in.  Picked out some fabrics to jumpstart my next two quilts, one being in reds, greens, blacks and yellow and the other the same except interchanging the red for the orange.

On the far left is an arashi shibori.  There are three that are marbled fabrics, in yellow, orange and blacks with circular motifs, and the remaining ones are itajime fabrics.

I like having projects in multiple stages, incubation, physically putting pieces together and finishing up, i.e., quilting or embroidering, in this case.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Beautiful Skies and the Best Almond Brittle

We've been having such gorgeous skies in the early morning streaked with yellow, oranges and pinks.

With quarter grades due at the end of the week and Christmas around the corner, didn't get to any quilting this weekend.  Today I made my 6th or 7th batch of Almond brittle to give to relatives, friends and co-workers.  It's a great recipe I got form our former wood-shop teacher at the middle school at which I teach. We haven't had the woodshop program for twenty some years, unfortunately, but I always think of him when I make his recipe.

 In his classroom, he had the following sign on all four walls:  Measure twice, Cut once.  I try to remember that when I'm cutting fabric for projects.  It's a very good rule.  And his recipe is a very good one too.  I have it below exactly as Brian wrote it out for me.

Don't try doubling the recipe.  It sure didn't work for me.

Almond Brittle

1 cube (4oz) butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup raw almonds (I use Trader Joe's)

Dump (yes, that's the word  he used) all ingredients into a heavy fry pan (not cast iron).  Cook stirring constantly with a wooden or heavy metal spoon (Ask me how I know that) Keep stirring until all butter gets stirred back into the candy syrup.  Be careful not to burn.

Below are pictures of some of the stages it goes through:

Butter melts,

then the butter sugar mixture gets thicker and lighter in color. the first time I made it, I didn't think it would ever turn out.

When the mixture starts looking more golden brown and you hear some snapping of the nuts, you are about done.

Pour and spread out the brittle onto a metal pan to cool. In the picture it's looking a little green, but it's really a lovely golden brown.  The lighting in my kitchen made the color look off.

Hope you give it a try and enjoy it.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Off Kilter Show at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art

Yesterday was the opening for my Cutting Edge Fiber Art Group's show of 19 art quilts at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.  I  gave a talk about Women as Artists and Quilts as Art followed by a descriptive walk through of  all the qults in the gallery.

To my left is "Spring" by Joan Bruce and to my right is my quilt, "Helianthus".  We had a wonderfully receptive crowd.  Thank you to all you who were able to attend.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Revealing of New Ice Dyed Articles

Well, here's how Sunday's Ice Dyeing turned out. All the dyes are from Dharma with the exception of using a black from Pro-chem along with a Dharma black hoping to get a true  black.  I did get some true black on the orange shirt below but not the white one.  It's always a surprise with ice dyeing!

I used Cerulean, blue Violet and Raspberry for this one.

I used Pomegranite, Cerulean and Deep Orange.

This was a white shirt dyed with emerald, plum blossom and blue violet. I really like this one. 
 I made it intending to give it to a friend, but not so sure now.

This was an orange shirt dyed with green and black.

Believe it or not, this one was ice-dyed using only black and orange. Was quite the surprise.