Monday, November 21, 2016

Quilting in Progress! (sort of)

My quilting time is definitely limited these days, but I persevere. The quilt sandwich is complete, and I rushed a bit... this was my mistake. I did go through and pin baste. But, I tried skipping my usual stitch in the ditch then free-motion quilt process and have paid for it dearly!

My toddler is now totally intrigued by the sewing machine, and every time I was manipulating the quilt doing free-motion quilting, he kept running at me and the machine to slap and try to stop the fly wheel, which is a most obvious no-no! So, I'd stop sewing, and he'd run away cackling. In the meantime, I wasn't smoothing the fabric and I ended up sewing several pinches of fabric on the back side of the quilt!

((big sigh))




Ah well. One of my online artist friends said to keep it as a reminder of the the moment. It's an idea. I don't know if I can though, as the fabric just gets worse and worse pinched as it gets further away. I may leave one in, and un-sew and re-sew the worst ones.



Monday, October 3, 2016

The DIY Mojo is Back!


Watch out! I'm getting that itch to make clothes again! Bought a sewing pattern after receiving some lovely new fabric from a friend. Bought yarn for the first time in over a year, and am now putting together some new DIY projects. 

Knitting:
Sadly our local LYS, the Loop & Leaf is closing, and Celeste the lovely owner of the shop had to sell all her yarn stock to prepare for the sale of the building. This meant steep cuts in price to the yarn and so I bought two small lots of yarn: 5 skeins of Juniper Moon Farm's Zooey and 7 skeins of Berroco Maya. We didn't have any stockists in Germany who carried Juniper Moon Farm or Berroco yarn so I was happy to finally get to try some of the more American brand yarns in warm-weather varieties. The Zooey is a cotton/linen blend and the Maya is a cotton/alpaca blend (chain structure).  I don't have too many warm weather yarns so it was perfect.

My first swatch in over a year! (Juniper Moon Farms Zooey)

Berroco's Maya yarn

Sewing:
We took a short trip to Germany, and I was able to catch up with friends. One of my friends is going super-minimal-no-waste in her household so she foisted some beautiful fabric on me (see the first pic). It didn't take much to convince me to take it! I want to make a blouse and a skirt for work.

Quilting:
Finally, I finished both sides of the fun "blue-green" patchwork quilt I started last year. So now all that's left is the actual quilting!


And that's what's happening in my craft-room (which is also the living room and art studio and general multi-purpose room)!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Bright & Cheery Tea Set


Project Brief: Design a cheery tea set for a Sunny client. 1x tea cup, 1x saucer, 1x napkin

The brief called for the design of a teacup, saucer, and napkin... but who could resist not designing the entire set?! Not I! I love tea!

What should it have on each piece? I'm not a big fan of the lacy, teensy, frilly flower on my tea sets as many traditional ones do.  And lately, I've been really enjoying working with traditional printmaking methods especially linocut. I made a bunch of patterns and arrangements using stamps I made on my own, and some I took into the digital realm and began testing repeats that way. I was really excited to use my recent patterns on something I'd love to own and see every day. I'm a big fan of tea and the paraphernalia that comes with drinking it.

So I set about sketching and came up with a concept that I'd love to have in my own home. The sketch gave me a general idea of how I'd present my work, and then I set about testing colors.
My first tests with pink...

Oh, I was so unhappy with this color combo! It's not me at all! I'd never buy it. After asking my fellow finches why I hated this so much, they reminded me I don't usually use pink in this way... and they're right, this is not really my shade of pink, nor do I own any pink tableware or pair it with sunshine yellow. Out went the pink!




Once the bright aqua and seafoam green went in, I was gelling. The work just came together so quickly. I knew I had to have sugar tongs and a sugar container, a little creamer, too! Finishing touches...



And lastly, I went to work balancing the tea-set. I wanted to have a nice mix and match tea set and napkins that could work in many different combinations. So the second saucer carried the more intense color, and the mugs match. The tea tray got a nice under-pattern and texture to match.

There you have it! Tea for two... a cuppa for me and one for you!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Simple Guacamole Recipe

Looking for a simple, delicious guacamole base that your kids will eat? You can add spice to your own batch, but this one's plain delicious and even toddlers will eat it (at least mine does).



The most basic ingredients:
2-3 Hass avocados
1 small/medium red onion
1 handful cilantro
1 clove garlic
Lime juice to taste
Salt to taste

...
After that, add what you like! We usually add tomatoes if they're in season. My partner loves adding spice so he usually adds jalapeƱo pepper and some cayenne.

Also, for best results, don't eat it immediately. Let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so, to let the flavors blend together.

Enjoy!!

(You can see the large version of the illustration here on They Draw & Cook )

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summer & June Gloom

My Summer Finch for the Finch & Foxglove site!

Did you know about June Gloom in Southern California? I just learned about it at the end of last month. I actually really like it!

So what is it? It's this weather phenomenon where clouds form over the ocean along the coast and the winds move these clouds onto land creating a foggy, cool atmosphere. I LOVE the cool mornings!

All this talk of beach and clouds and such has me all in a tizzy making artwork about fish and water! Did you see my new summer finch up top? It's now live on the Finch & Foxglove homepage, too.

Thinking about the beach...


And the water...

And I've been sewing too, I just haven't had the chance to photograph the garments I've made for my son and me. I participated again in MeMadeMay but again didn't post photographs. I wore lots of me-made clothing for Surtex in fact! I must do a sewing recap post soon.