Saturday, April 24, 2010

Icon Quilt: Madonna of the Sweet Kissing

Ted's Goddaughter Ivy is making her First Holy Communion next Sunday. Since I've already made her a rosary, I decided to make her an icon quilt. The icon is called The Madonna of the Sweet Kissing. I made a similar icon quilt for my sister Karen last year.

The quilt measures 11.5 x 15.5 inches, and is quilted using a variety of variegated threads.

I've made many icon quilts over the past few years, and have had commissions for them. CLICK HERE to see a gallery of past icon quilts.

I'm really excited because Monday I take the Amtrak train to my sister Pat's in Illinois, and then we're driving to Ohio to Ricky Tims' Super Quilt Seminar. We are going to have a fantastic time! While I won't have a podcast this week, I promise to report on my blog, and I hope to share a photo or two, too!


Monday, April 19, 2010

Silk Ribbon Dyeing

I've been doing a lot of silk ribbon embroidery lately and have noticed that silk ribbon is getting difficult to find in my area. The other day I bought every package that Hobby Lobby had, and Jo-Ann didn't have any at all. Maybe silk ribbon embroidery is not in vogue at the moment?

So I had the bright idea of buying white silk ribbon in bulk from Dharma Trading and dyeing it myself. Three spools arrived today (4mm, 7mm, and 13mm), and I dyed eight lots of 3-yard lengths. I have silk dye, but I decided to use Setacolor fabric paint (which is a form of dye). After using a tiny amount of the Setacolor full strength on the cut ribbon pieces, I soaked them in white vinegar, rinsed in cold water, and ironed dry.

The cool thing is, I can now have ribbon in colors I've never been able to find in stores -- gray, brown, and black, and I can make variegated ribbon in any color array I want.

Here's a photo of the ribbon I dyed today. I made variegated blue/magenta, bright aqua, melon orange, black, variegated green, brown, gray, and medium blue.

I can't wait to try other color combinations! I have a ribbon embroidery project in the works for an upcoming podcast, and I'll also provide a tutorial on dying your own silk ribbon in case you, like me, can't find ribbon in your area.

Meanwhile, if you want to buy plain white ribbon, CLICK HERE to go to the silk ribbon page on Dharma Trading's site. I've ordered from them for years, and they have wonderful products, fair prices, speedy delivery, and excellent customer service!


Friday, April 16, 2010

Bottle Cap Pincushions

Recently I've been making these adorable bottle cap pincushions, inspired by Jen Segrest. CLICK HERE to visit her fantastic Flickr page, which even has tutorials on how to make your own!

I've been giving these to friends and family (I have no plans to sell them). A word of warning: There is no way to make just one of these little sweeties -- they're highly addictive!

Thanks, Jen, for sharing your tutorials!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Your Host Isn't Going Anywhere...

at least for the time being. I wasn't hired for the job I mentioned on the podcast, so I'll return to blogging/podcasting/creating full force!

Now that the stress of wondering is over, I can get back to my "normal" life and take care of stuff I had let slide a bit.

It's all good! And I will say that I'm heartened to know that there is a company like the one where I interviewed out there -- gives me hope for the future of software development!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Podcast 015 - Spring!

Total length of this podcast: 38:50

CLICK HERE to listen to Podcast 015. Right-click on the link to save it to your hard drive, or better yet, so you don't miss future podcasts, subscribe via iTunes or PodBean using one of the links on the right side of my blog.

You can skip to whatever segment interests you -- check the minute markers for each segment.


The bumper music for this podcast is a 150-year old song from the American Civil War called "The Housewife's Lament."

Here's the cover from Teddy's concert -- he is in the center circled in yellow.
And here is Teddy after the concert.
THE FIBER ARTS SEGMENT [Podcast minute marker: 12:55]

Utility Apron

And here are a couple of closer views of the bib and the pocket placement on my apron. (Remember, you can make your pockets any size you want, and put them anywhere you want!)

Here are some photos of the pockets my sister Pat added to her apron. They are paper pieced following Carol Doak patterns.

Click the image below to view and download the free Utility Apron pattern.

THE PAPER ARTS SEGMENT [Podcast minute marker: 20:10]

3-D Butterfly Card

Here is a photo of the card that Margit made. She sent me the photo, which reminded me of all the cool templates I designed years ago. I'm going to start resurrecting them and offer them as projects now and then.

Click the image below to view and download the free Butterfly Card template.

CLICK HERE to download the instructions to make an envelope (from Podcast 001).

THE RECIPE SEGMENT [Podcast minute marker: 25:55]

Tea Sandwiches

I recommend using Pepperidge Farm White Sandwich Bread for this recipe -- it's the perfect consistency!

Here's a photo of my sandwich prep. Remember, you can use just about any herb mixed into your cream cheese -- and try other vegetables or fruit slices! Be creative!

Click the image below to view and download the free Tea Sandwich recipe.

THE GRAB BAG [Podcast minute marker: 33:12]

CLICK HERE to download the MP3 file of "The Housewife's Lament." (That's me and my trusty ukulele.)

And remember . . .
creativity isn’t a race
it’s an adventure!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bonus Recipe: Vermicelli With Basil and Garlic!

I'm in the process of creating a second edition of my family cookbook (first published 15 years ago), and I've been soliciting recipes from family members.

My sister Karen submitted a recipe that I tried the very day she sent it because it sounded just so fabulous (and also because I just happened to have a nice bunch of fresh basil from my brother-in-law John and his wife Peg's prolific basil plant).

So, for your eating pleasure, CLICK HERE for my sister Karen's recipe for Vermicelli With Basil and Garlic. It's a a fast and easy delicious vegetarian meal, or you can top it with grilled chicken.

Buon appetito!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Butter Poodle

Years ago I saw a butter lamb, which is, I believe, a traditional decoration on the dinner table at Eastertime. I decided I wanted to make one, but back then (in the olden days) I couldn't access the Internet to search for a mold, and I couldn't find a mold in a store. So I decided to carve my own lamb from a pound of butter.

My first attempt in the pre-Internet dawn of time looked much more like a butter poodle than a butter lamb, and we all got a good laugh out of it. Over the years, I've had varying degrees of success carving butter lambs (even though butter lamb molds are much easier to find). Sometimes my lambs look like poodles, sometimes like labrador retrievers, and sometimes they actually look like lambs.

The lamb I carved for this year's Easter feast first looked like a butter camel, but Teddy urged me to refine it. It did end up looking something like a lamb. You can be the judge. The halo and banner are traditional additions, which you don't get if you use a store-bought mold.
So, how, you ask, does one carve a butter lamb (or poodle or camel)?

Start with a solid pound of butter (quarters won't do), and then carve away all the parts that aren't lamb (or poodle or camel).


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Problems With Podcast 014 - iTunes not Indexing

I just found out today that iTunes has not indexed Podcast 014 yet (and it's been a week!). Tomorrow when I'm refreshed I'll find out what the problem is and address it.

Meanwhile, you can listen directly from my Web site by CLICKING HERE, or you can always subscribe to my feed on my bloghost, PodBean by CLICKING HERE.

Thanks for your patience!


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Eggs

Today Ted the Younger and I colored Easter eggs. Normally one uses white eggs and egg dye tablets. We buy our eggs from a local farmer, so all we had on hand today were brown eggs, and I worried that they might not take the dye well.

Teddy reminded me that we had good success last year using McCormick food color dyes, so I didn't buy dye tablets.

And here are our fabulous eggs! I think they turned out quite well. The brown eggs took the food color dye well and are very intensely colored.

How did your eggs turn out?

Aiea (aka 'thann, aka Ruthann)