Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fearless color


What an amazing day! Even the people who said they had no hang ups or problems with selecting colors, amazed themselves with their results.  I can't tell you what the limits  I gave them were, but I can let the outcomes speak for themselves,  one very happy group of happy campers who were working entirely out of their color comfort zones. 






These next few used an image for color inspiration.
Ignore the advertising logo at the top and focus on the rest of the page.

There was much more, but this is a taste.  Tomorrow is another day and another class. Can't wait!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Meet me in St.Louis

 Arrived here today and so far, I am impressed.  My host Wendy and I headed over to the gorgeous art museum this afternoon and spent an hour with the contemporary art.  Some of it, honestly, was a hoot and can only have been created with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

On the other hand, there were some very cool works, only a few of which I was able to capture.  The two following are opposite edges of the same canvas.u

And the next one needs no introduction, despite my rather crooked photo of those famous edges.  Can they ever be done in cloth?

Tonight I spoke at the guild meeting and for the next two days, I teach.  So enough blogging for now.
'Nite.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Mostly lazy

With all good intentions to go and do and accomplish, I stayed and don't ask what I did not do.  The list is too long.

On the other hand, I listened to an interesting teleconference call, one of a series sponsored by Morna McEver Golletz. (don't ask me why this is suddenly speaking in italics - I am typing on my Zagg bluetooth keyboard and it has suddenly decided to reformat my life- ok, fixed).  This teleconference was great but right in the middle of the day is the worst time for me.  I listened to the first two afterwards but decided that I should listen live today.  It didn't make any difference, except that I had to move 20 things so I could close the door to my sewing room to block out the vacuum cleaner.  I will go back to my original schedule of tuning in to replays.

After the teleconference, I went back to the website redesign I have been plodding through and after wasting too much time, decided I need to outsource this job.  Closed the laptop and went over to the sewing machine to finish stitching the three year old Ohio Star UFO.  THAT was my big accomplishment for the day,since I am teaching Reinventing the UFO next week and I can take this quirky piece as an example.  Maybe tonight I will face it while I read a book. It is 27x30 and It needs a name.
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A little before 5:00 I had an errand to run, and for the second day in a row I left the car in the driveway and walked the half-mile to my destination (and back).  Weather gorgeous -- milder than yesterday (when I also walked to my errands) and a perfect autumn day.  I don't live far from the banks, the jeweler, the craft gallery, and the CVS -- but mostly, in the name of efficiency I stop on the way to somewhere else as I am driving wherever else I am going.  Today I was not being efficient (although I am multitasking now because I am blogging while I am eating dinner.  AHA - dinner!

I live alone, for the most part. And yes, I am lazy. But not too lazy to make sure I eat well.  Earlier this week I roasted some beets, cut them up, added some wine vinegar and dill and ate a few.  They were fine, but how many times in a row can you eat beets?  Yesterday, I put on the grill and threw on an eggplant that had been languising too long in the fridge.  Roasted it, put it into the food processor with garlic, salt, lemon juice, cilantro a bit of tahini and a dash of plain yogurt.  Nice snack with pita or crackers.  

Tonight, as part of my lazy day, I didn't want to cook (and didn't have anything to cook, anyway). But I have a dozen cans of tuna in my pantry, thanks to a trip to Costco.  Now, I am not a big fan of tuna.
But I do love the Italian tuna in olive oil, which is far superior to the dry white stuff you get in water.
So, I opened the elegant Italian tuna, scrounged around, and here was my dinner.

Elegant and delicious.  Feta cheese, tuna, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, the eggplant salad, olives, anchovies and a green onion.I love making something from nothing, don't you?

 Now what, you may ask, is that pink stuff?  Well, I was reading the NYTimes food section earlier and there was a small article about vegetable yogurts (instead of fruit yogurts). AHA!  I dumped the leftover beets into the food processor, added some yogurt and more dill, and oh my, it tasted like borscht.  Then I boiled a couple of small potatoes (I never have potatoes in the house, but just happened to buy some the other day) and threw them into the borscht puree. FAB.
And I have more left for tomorrow.

So that's my story of a delinquent day.  I have to go sew the facings on the other two sides of that quilt and then I will curl up with a mystery while I sew.  

Tomorrow, I'll do what I didn't do today. Maybe.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Thank goodness it's Tuesday

Technically, it is.  But since I am up late Monday night, it is still Monday in my head.  Glad this day is over.  I had my 13th annual life-saving procedure this morning and did pretty much nothing for the rest of the day.  

Tonight, struck with a sudden case of second wind, I got busy stitching a piece that has been sitting around here for about 3 years, partly done.  Remember the Ohio Star block challenge from 2010?  I cut up the ugly quilt and sent some blocks out to my readers to reinvent.  Got back some wonderful pix, a few of which ended up in my book.

I sliced up a block, made some random units, and started to make a sample.  It has been sitting around, annoying me. So this weekend, with nothing to do but fast, I finally decided to finish the damn thing.

I laid it on a background and when I went to iron it to my fusible batting and the back, I realized that my 5 year old Panasonic iron with the titanium plate had died.  Nothing to do but plug in my American Beauty iron from the 1940's or thereabouts.  Remember when irons had no steam and you had to sprinkle the clothes with water?  Remember when irons were so hot that you could burn yourself by looking at them?  When I put this on low, it was about as hot as my modern irons are when they are on the hottest setting. What a pleasure!  But I digress...



I added a couple of rooftops that I had sitting around (leftover log cabin blocks cut on the diag) and started stitching.  Here it is, about half-done. Maybe I'll finish it by the end
of this week.

My string blocks are on the wall and I haven't gotten around to making any more -- but I will probably alternate them with stitching this baby.  We shall see.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

out the door



Have been in the house all week tending to paperwork and chores -- and last night I actually did some sewing. (really???)  

During the week I put a sleeve on Emma's quilt because Jessica wants to hang it on her wall now that they have moved and Emma has a big bed.   Till I put the sleeve on it I hadn't realized that it was larger than most of the art pieces I make.  Well, maybe it is now an art piece, since it it going on the wall.

I had another quilt that could qualify as a baby quilt that I was going to give as a gift, but have not finished it yet.


Last night, as I was packing my supply suitcase for the color class I am teaching, I was musing about how so many quilters are worried about colors "going together." You all know how I feel about THAT! So, after I tripped over the 5 gal plastic bag of nothing but strips, I decided to return to my roots.

Even before I took a class and made an actual quilt, a friend of my mother's showed me how to make string blocks by sewing strips to squares of newspaper.  It wasn't till years later that I learned to make a quilt the official way - by hand.  Over the years, I have made a number of string quilts that ended up as baby quilts.  Every so often I would sit and sew (I guess an early version of "therapy" sewing) and when somebody had a baby, I pulled out a bunch, assembled them, et voilà.

So last night, when my brain was so shut down I couldn't even make a phone call, I cut a bunch of 6-1/2" squares of newspaper and started sewing.  Got as far as 4 blocks, which I threw at the wall before I went to bed. They are not sewn together, nor will they be for quite some time.  Maybe tonight I will make a few more.  The hardest part is tearing off the newspaper from the back after the strips have all been sewn on and trimmed to size.
But I can't figure out how else to do this.

In the meantime, I did say I was out the door, didn't I?  Wanted to post  before I left to do a million errands - bank, a few gifts, and the dreaded visit to my mother's apartment to see call some dealers and see what I can haul out of there, or at least organize. OMG.  

Before I close, I want to let you know that I am delighted to be one of Terry Jarrard-Dimond's guests on her thread nest site:-).  Go over to the sidebar, click on the image at the top and take a look at my thread nest.  Then check out the others - it's fun and interesting to see how different they are!

Ok - enough avoidance!  

Thursday, September 05, 2013

art and rugelach

You are all the best!  Thank you for being there.  I didn't get to respond to every one of you before the day was over because Comcast gave me grief and told me their server did not recognize me.  Don't ask how many hours I spent with an idiot who could not help me.  I finally got it to work through trial and error -- better errors than the Comcast customer service person made. So far, so good.

ART

The whole week has gone by and I haven't posted any pix from our day in NY over the weekend.  Sunday, we went into the city to spend the day with friends and we came back on Labor Day.  Between the Monday and the Wed-Thurs holidays, it has been a deliciously short week.

Sunday noon we headed over to MOMA, where there were a couple of exhibits we wanted to see.   One was American Modern: Hopper to O'Keeffe. This was one of my favorite paintings and it was by someone whose name was not familiar to me (and which I cannot now remember).
Then we spent some time at the Mies Van der rohe architectural exhibit. Fascinating, but overwhelming.  As we left the museum and looked up, we saw this skyscraper and crane across the street, looming over us.  With the history of cranes falling in NY city, we thought we should high-tail it out of there.

 As we left, I spotted this mural on a wall outside the museum and wished I could take it home with me.  Isn't it wonderful? 
 RUGELACH 

If you don't bake or don't care - feel free to skip this part.  I got this recipe when my ex-husband came home with a box of these beauties that his student teacher had baked. They were to-die-for and she generously shared the recipe with me.  This was probably 40 years ago and they are just as wonderful as they ever were.

The Dough
Divide into 4 balls and refrigerate overnight. 
1/2 lb butter
2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup orange juice (or a little less)

The Other Stuff
3/4 cup cinnamon sugar
filling - chopped walnuts, raisins, chocolate chips

Process
Next morning, roll out each ball of dough into a circle  on a generous amount of cinnamon sugar.  Cut into 8 wedges, sprinkle with chopped walnuts, raisins, choc chips and roll up toward the point.  Shape into a crescent. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350, 15-20 min.

**Disclaimer

To get more/but smaller rugelach, I divide into 8 balls, roll them out smaller.  Also, you can use any kind of chopped nuts: hazelnuts or almonds are fine, too.

That's the story.  Enjoy!





 


Wednesday, September 04, 2013

it's that time of year again

A couple of weeks ago after I posted about something-or-other, I received an email from an irate person who said "I thought your blog was supposed to be about ART." I wrote back and told her that art and life are inseparable.  The next day I got a notice that she had unsubscribed to my blog.

I've been too busy dealing with a family crisis to post about boring blogs, or even to worry about my own blog being boring --but so be it.  Nobody can be thrilling all he time...and I find it difficult to write about my art if I have not been making any.  Perhaps I should invent something.

In the meantime, on another subject --
Rosh Hashanah is upon us - the Jewish New Year is early this year, coming on the heels of Labor Day! Good grief - summer has hardly ended and here we are!  Even worse, Chanukah is so early this year that it falls on Thanksgiving!  As we say - the Jewish holidays are either early or late -- they are never on time.  

Early or not, I've been cooking and baking for tomorrow night's family dinner to usher in the year 5774.  This was tonight's activity - making ruglach, which I do once a year. I made the dough last night and put it in the fridge. Tonight, I rolled i out and filled it with raisins, choclate chips and nuts.
Then I rolled hem up into these little crescents and baked for 20 min or so.
They are so flaky and wonderful -- these are the last few before I put them into an airtight container.
I looked to see if I had ever posted the recipe and couldn't find it.  If I get any requests, I'll get around to it. If not, I won't.  Tonight, after spending almost all day in the kitchen, I think I am ready to rest up for tomorrow's houseful of kids and grands

For those of you who celebrate, I wish you a sweet year ahead.  In fact, I wish everybody a sweet year, no matter when it begins.

sewing and drinking thé à la menthe

Not at the same time, as I am bound to spill whatever I am drinking on what I am stitching. My cousin France got me started on mint te...