A blog about my interests, which include crazy quilting and various and assorted other artsy pursuits and sometimes known to contain mumblings of a random nature.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Yummy summer recipie

No pictures today, but I do have the recipie for the salad I just made to take to friends tonight. This one is really nice for a warm summer day. I haven't made it for awhile even tho it is a special favourite.

GARDEN SALAD PIE
small pkg. lime jello
1 cup water
--
1/2 cup applesauce
2 T. lemon juice
---
1/2 c. shredded zucchini (including skin)
1/2 c. shredded carrot
2 T. fine chopped green pepper
2 T. fine chopped onion
--
1 cup dry cottage cheese (I sometimes use just the regular & drain it a bit)
1 tsp. fine shredded lemon peel
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp. salt & a little pepper

Combine jello and hot water. Add applesauce & lemon juice. Chill til partially set. Fold in the vegetables. Turn into a 9" pie plate. Chill til firm.
Combine cottage cheese, lemon peel, sour cream, salt & pepper and spread over jello layer. Chill. Cut in wedges to serve. I sometimes just put it in a bowl if our pie plate already has pie in it!
Enjoy.

Friday, August 11, 2006

More flowers!


Do these looks better than yesterday's offering? I should hope so! This plant is one of the 'volunteers' that came up in the vegetable garden. It stands over 6 feet tall.

Today we're off to the city to pick up #2 son and his girlfriend. So I guess there won't be any crafting done.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

New plant discovered!!


Our garden is sporting a brand-new species of plant today. It's very uncommon and not likely to be seen anywhere else. Flowers can come in many different colours but in this case, only white. They also come in many sizes. It's best to stake the flowers with something or they can be too heavy for the plant to support. Without further fanfare....I introduce.....the bra plant!!

Yep, your eyes aren't deceiving you. Isn't it beautiful? Once this goes to seed we're definitely keeping some for future years.

I won't mention the fact that this has been hanging in the sunflowers for at least two days since we last did laundry...I hope! Could have been from the time before. Funny, the neighbours didn't mention it.....

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Bet you don't know what this is!


Yesterday was a lesson in frustration again with getting onto the internet. I'm pretty sure it's a server problem, but have to wait for my computer guru to come home to do some other fiddling first. So...that's the reason there was no post yesterday. My apologies to my loyal reader(s).

The day wasn't a complete loss though. I started working on my chocolate swap piece. For those of you that don't know I have signed up to take part in an art/recipie card swap with the ArtChix yahoo group. I have to create a choc-themed piece of art in 3"x5" format and include my favourite choc. recipie on the back. I send off 30 copies of my work and receive back 30 different pieces of art (and recipies!). Sounds cool? Well, the picture today is the beginning of my 'art'. I tore pieces of card stock and glued them down haphazardly onto another piece of card. Then I painted the whole thing with acrylics in an ivory colour. After it dried, I brushed on some brown stain and rubbed much of it off to end up with this piece of paper for my background. I don't think the picture does it justice, but I was pretty pleased with the result. I wish my scanner was working so I could show you what I did next. Today I have to get good photocopies of my artistic part and it's ready to put in the mail.

For those who might be interested, this is the recipie I'm putting on the back

HUNGARIAN LAYER CAKE
5 eggs, separated
1 c. icing sugar
1/4 c. cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
----
Whipped cream
----
1 square unsweetened chocolate
1 T. butter
2 T. boiling water
1/2 c. icing sugar

1. Beat egg whites with a dash of salt until stiff. Mix egg yolks with 1 c. icing sugar, cocoa, and vanilla. Fold chocolate mixture into egg whites. Spread on cookie sheet and back 10-15 mins. at 350. Let cool
2. Cut cooled baked 'cake' into 4 pieces and layer on serving plate with whipped cream between layers.
3. Melt together the unsw. choc. & the butter. Add the boiling water and icing sugar. Drizzle over top of cake.
WARNING: Isn't exactly a thing of beauty to look at, but wait til you taste it!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Anybody want a Rolex look-a-like?

Can you guess how frustrating it is to finally get onto the internet and go to your email, expecting to read great and exciting things, only to discover there's nothing there but idiots trying to sell me Rolex look-a-likes; some sort of med plan; and how to increase the size of certain parts of anatomy that obviously don't apply to me? Where do these people come from anyway? They have brains the size of a pea!

You can tell by the above rant that I quite obviously have done nothing creative today and also quite obviously haven't taken any pictures of the nothing I have done today. I suppose I could have taken a picture of my dining room table set for the company we're having tonight, but quite frankly, it's not all that interesting.

Yep, I got nothin.....

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Yard sales and Creative Roots

So far it's been a great day! We had a nice drive up north to where my SIL's church was having a yard sale. You know those country yard sales where there's a whole lot of things and you never know what you're going to find? Well, I found some neat stuff! Do you remember those long wooden matches you used to find in wooden holder next to the wood stove? Dunno if they still make them. Anyway, I ended up with one of those which in itself wasn't a 'find' BUT it was chuck full of knitting needles which IS a find. I got a box full of new bottle caps, which are 'in' right now in the art circles for use in collages, jewellry and such. I picked up a new pkg. of "Made With Love By___" labels and roll of 1/4" masking tape which I quite often use to mark my stitching lines. A Manuscript Music Book (the picture on the front is pretty cool & the inside pages aren't even marked on), which is also good for art. An old book full of wood engraved pictures of flowers (also for art). Oh, and some pretty dessert dishes too. Jack got some 'man-things' ie. tools.

The big 'thing' of the the day is that I ended up coming home with two (count 'em) chenille bedspreads - one is at least a double bed size in white & looks brand new. I'm not sure what size the yellow on is (still in the washing machine). I happened to mention to my SIL in passing one day that chenille was back in style and people were making jackets and teddy bears out of them...so she saved these for me. Better yet, she paid for them. Pretty good haul, wouldn't you say?

Part two of this post is about "Your Creative Roots' which is the topic on Studio Friday this week. The first creative thing I can remember doing is, after watching my much-older aunt, learning to crochet making one of those hummungous granny-square afghans using cheap nylon yarn. Around and around in mind-numbing boredom until the thing got so huge I couldn't stand it anymore. To this day I don't like granny squares! She semi-taught me how to crochet and I went on from there to learn from books and magazines. I remember thinking it would be a wonderful thing to make everyone on my Christmas list that year a hand-crocheted vest (most likely using Phentex!!). I'm sure everyone, after the initial try-on, put them away, never to see the light of day again. Can't say as I blame them!

I went on from there into many and various crafts over the years. I can remember belonging to some sort of club (from the US) whereby you got a craft kit each month. Pretty cheap-looking stuff as I recall. I have learned pretty much all I know about crafts from books and have had very little formal teaching, other than taking ceramics and folk art classes.

I suppose my roots go back a couple of generations. Both of my grandmothers were quilters. My mother was good at drawing (which I really wish I had inherited a talent for). She spent a number of years in a tuberculosis hospital and learned to do a great many artsy things there, but never really pursued any of it in her later years. I have some of the tatted items she made from that period. My grandmother also did extremely fine knitting, mostly used for edging on sugar sack pillowcases. My dad was a farmer, but enjoyed making wooden things. We have a few of the pieces of furniture he made.

I guess you can say my interest in making things by hand is something I come by honestly. Right now my favourites are hand embroidery; crazy quilting; paper arts; and some knitting. I still like to crochet, but don't get around to is as much. Hand embroidery is by far my favourite though. There's something so soothing about making something with your hands.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Day 26 of 100 Details

I'm closing in on the rest of the pack now having just finished Day 26. The fact that the rest are most likely working on Day 46 has no bearing on my feeling of elation! Day 26 detail was that of a woven spiders wheel done in 7mm silk ribbon to make roses. You can see my version in the mid-left of the picture. Leaves were also worked in a finer ribbon with french knots for addional detail. I have yet to get the right degree of looseness for my ribbon, but overall I'm happy with the results.

Had my bone density done this morning, which isn't a big thing. Surprisingly easy actually. I guess its something the doctor would like done once you reach 'that' stage of life. I suppose my lactose intolerance might have some concern at this stage too. Anyway, that's the final test - for which I'm glad.

Now I'm off to stitch Day 27!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Further Mumblings

Yep, I gotta mumble today. Nothing has happened, nothing is happening, and it's altogether a nothing day. So far I've done nothing but housework (which is really classed as Nothing!!).

Question for you. What is your least favourite household chore and why? For me it has to be dusting, hands down. It is a totally thankless chore. Nobody can tell you've done it; it has to be done on a regular basis or you can't breathe. You can't point to the job and say "Look! I've dusted! Doesn't that look wonderful?". They look at you like you have two heads and wonder if you've finally gone off the deep end. Besides, it's dead boring. By the time you've rubbed a certain item down with a cloth for the ten thousandth time, it tends to get to you. There ain't no genies in a bottle in my house or I would know by now. Dusting isn't like washing fingerprints off the walls. At least with the fingerprints you can tell you've done it, because the paint colour changes dramatically and people tend to notice that. Washing the floor isn't like dusting either, because with two dogs, three cats, and three humans in this house the floors really guk up in a hurry and THEY change colour too, once they're washed. Cleaning the bathroom isn't like dusting because once the mirror is done you can see yourself without having to peer through toothpaste and shaving splatters. Even cleaning the light bulbs is more rewarding than dusting...at least you can see much better at night. Yep, dusting is a thankless job.

Ok...mumbling is over for today. Aren't you glad?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Day 6 detail and interesting day

Sorry about the no-post yesterday. I ran out of time. Todays picture is of Day 6 in the 100 Details series (www.inaminuteago.com). I'm actually working on day 26 right now, but I'm sadly behind in the picture-taking. Anyway, this detail had me a bit worried since I've always felt intimidated by long and short stitch. However, I think my butterfly didn't turn out too badly for a first try. Another good thing about this series is that it gets me out of my comfort zone, which can't help but be a good thing.

And speaking of comfort zones...I have to admit I was certainly out of mine yesterday (in more ways than one, because it was extremely hot!). My friend Kym (aka Boop) insisted that we really needed to see The Yarn Harlot (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee...www.yarnharlot.com) speaking at a knitting guild in Aurora (about an hour away). She conscripted Jack to drive us (poor, long-suffering man for whom she has promised a pr. of machine-knitted socks). I went under a great deal of durress because things like this are waaaayyy out of my comfort zone. However I decided that if she could go looking somewhat like a chipmunk and barely able to talk after having had five teeth removed last week, I could manage. Plus which she insisted it was my birthday present to go. Actually I had a good time (which I shouldn't admit publicly because I know Kym will be reading this!). Stephanie is every bit as funny and down-to-earth as I had expected. The ladies at the guild were friendly and the knitting shop was lovely. Sure wish I had a project in mind, because I sure could have found nice wool there. Anyway, if you haven't read Stephanie's blog, please check it out and be prepared to laugh.

Went to lunch yesterday with my friend Jan and she gave me the most unique pair of earrrings (seems like my birthday has gone on for weeks this year!). Anyway, remember string art from the 70's? Well, these earrings are a miniature version of that, only done with what looks like sewing thread. The outside part that 'holds' the thread looks somewhat like a spring from inside a pen. Sorry, my description is lacking and I can't post a picture til I get my scanner fixed. Love the earrings anyway!

Enough mumbling for today....