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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pizza Pizza



A shout out to my Bestie in food and fiber, Deb. Deb is a baker -- a wonderful baker (and cook too), quilter, knitter, crafter, singer, actress....the list goes on and on. 

We get together every Tuesday morning. We talk and share new ideas with each other. We are excited and giddy by the time the morning is over, at potential new projects and recipes.  We both love "new and shiny" ideas.

Years ago I baked lots of bread and even ground my own flours from whole grains. I loved it. It took too much time so I stopped baking.

Deb told me about the Artisan Breads in 5 minutes a day. She helped me get started with my first loaf, which was a success. We have been enjoying the Artisan breads for the last couple weeks.

I mixed up some pizza dough earlier in the week and Saturday night, we had pizza night. I baked all 6 of pizzas!

We didn't have any pizza meats so all 6 were meatless. We didn't have any prepared pizza sauce so we made it from scratch. It is not likely that I will go back to store bought pizza sauce. We decided to make all 6 so we could experiment with ingredients, baking pans, baking stone and baking times.

We used our normal ingredients -- mushrooms, green olives, sauteed onions and green peppers, and shredded cheeses. The star of the show turned out to be fresh mozzarella balls in and herb olive oil marinade. Oh goodness no more shredded cheeses for us.

 This pizza has our porch tomatoes and the fresh marinated mozzarella. The bits of cheese that are browned on the pan are crispy and crunchy goodness a treat.



This pizza has some shredded cheddar along with the fresh mozzarella., and other ingredients.  

Pizza night was a success, Keith and son-in-law Juan said they do not want to have any other pizzas EVER again. I am excited to make more.

Thanks Deb, for another awesome idea. Next time you will have to come for the party!!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sheba is finished--Tuesday art show



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This is the finished product of the painting Mom started in August 2012. The painting was already framed and my phone camera would not take a straight on view so Sheba looks a little wonky. 

The bottom of the painting makes it look like she is walking through tall grasses. The detail is amazing.




This is the original sketch. What a difference. Mom has been experimenting with alcohol inks and I think she has mastered it.


Have a great Tuesday,
Nancy

Monday, September 24, 2012

Design wall Monday disappearing 4 patch


We had a workshop Thursday at our weekly quilt meeting. Floy taught us the disappearing 4 patch. It was so much fun. 

I decided to use some of my hand dyes fabrics. My daughter and I dyed many fabrics and I haven't really used them. So this seemed like the perfect opportunity. 

I think I have decided to stay with 15 blocks and will just add a wide black border and a scrappy binding from the same fabrics as the blocks. Maybe though I will make some more blocks. Hmmm..... that is a decision for another day.

Head on over to Design Wall Monday at Patch Work Times and see some fabulous projects.

Happy Monday, 
Hoping you have a sunny day to enjoy.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

20 Little Dresses for Africa and one Special Lady

Mom made 20 more Little Dresses for Africa in 9 days.

My quilt guild had a request for Little Dresses. One of our members is traveling to South Africa and was hoping to bring 100 dresses with her.

Mom has made many of these Little Dresses in the past, but decided to challenge herself to finish all 20 in nine days! 


We put together kits to add to solid fabric panels that were furnished by the guild. It was a good way to use stash fabrics. 


A huge part of the fun for Mom is that she designs each dress a bit differently than any others.

As you can see there are dresses that are similar but no two are identical.

She is one amazing, talented and giving lady. There will be 20 more little girls somewhere in Africa that will smile each day because of her kindness and generosity. 

You TOTALLY ROCK MOM!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Progress on Mom's Birthday quilt




You can see the more about Mom's birthday quilt. Worked today on the first arm of eight on the quilt. It is a little tedious but I love the result. Mom spent many hours working on the placement of all 128 units. Closeup below.









First two rows of 1st arm. There are 4 rows in each arm, so 32 rows of 4 units. Will keep you posted...more tomorrow.




 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A New Relaxing Knitting Project




Today I needed a new project to knit. So I decided on a pair of mittens for charity. I am frustrated with my Lazy Katy shawl and finished my easy shawl.

The pattern I chose is very easy. It is a two needle mitten. The hint was to knit both at the same time using a center pull ball of yarn. You knit one mitten from the yarn that comes from the outside of the ball and the other from the yarn that comes out of the inside of the ball. I have knit lots of mittens this way. So no big deal.

Easy right? Relaxing right? NOT AT ALL RELAXING 





While I was with my good friend Deb for our weekly get together, we worked together to untangle the yarn several times. I have spent more time untangling the yarn than it would have taken me to knit the mittens.

Lazy Katy is coming along nicely, but the lace edging is fine on the long side and wonky on the short side. Gotta ravel it tonight and see how to fix it.

Close up of the lace border--the good side.


My Easy shawl that I just finished. The knitting is super easy and the yarn makes the statement.

The yarns are both hand dyed mohair, the thicker yarn is a boucle and then thinner just a fine mohair. Glad to have this one done.

Happy Tuesday evening,
Nancy



Saturday, September 15, 2012

Porch Tomatoes


Dad always had a huge garden and a green thumb. Mom always had flower gardens and enjoyed fresh flowers all summer. The arrangements were varied and many. She had dozens of different types of flowers in her yard. 
Keith and I are not yard or garden folk. This year we decided to have some tomato plants. We bought them late in the season but have been enjoying many delicious tomatoes over the past couple of weeks.
Last night we had a mozzarella and tomato salad. The mozzarella balls are from Costco. They live in a yummy herbed olive oil marinade. One of our favorite salads in New York was this one. The cheese was cold and so good. Yay for porch tomatoes.

The plants had to come and live inside the porch as the birds decided they should sample every tomato that started to turn pink. That is a gallon plastic jug in between for perspective. The plants are starting to wither. They  must know that autumn is here. Next season we will buy more plants and buy them earlier. Boo birds--Yay porch tomatoes




Saturday Art Show



We have been hearing so much about the new alcohol inks that Mom decided to try them. 
Part of Mom's birthday present from us were the inks and various tools, sponges, and some special paper needed for this technique. 
One day soon maybe Mom and Amy will allow me into their "play time" to take some pictures. I have only heard about how the magic happens but would love to see it in detail.


I think we need to make sure that they don't run out of paper or supplies. I have lots of walls to fill!!
These are some of the paintings Mom has finished.

 This was my birthday present this year. Mom captured pure joy in this painting. The colors are my favorites. It  is hung in my studio right over my clock. So when I look at it I can remember now is the time to be joyful. Thanks Mom. I love you.
Here is a closeup. The bright white spot is a reflection from the camera flash, not part of the painting.
 This is another one of Mom's recent paintings. It really looks like you are under the sea. 

If you look closely in the upper left quadrant it almost looks like a fish is emerging from some seaweed. 



This is an oil painting that has traveled with us from home to new home over the years. It is a biggie--27x33. It hangs over our fireplace in the family room and 
we love it.
This is especially for Keith's Man Cave. The colors are just right for his room.
He loves this, what is not to love?
Close up of Keith's painting.

Friday, September 14, 2012

A new Lazy Katy shawl



This is a shawlette that is knit in the shape of a crescent. You only increase on one end so it automatically makes this shape. There will be a lace edging on two sides. 

The yarn is from KnitPicks and it is the Lollipop colorway of Chroma fingering weight.

This is just the happiest yarn. It reminds me of a fabric palette Jennifer and I dyed years ago called Tutti Frutti. It is happy, happy,



Almost time to add the lace edging.
Close up of the color changes. I love this yarn. 


Mom's Birthday Quilt





This is the print in Mom's bedroom that we used for our inspiration of her birthday quilt. Sorry for the grainy pictures, but you can get the idea.

This is a Karen K Stone pattern called Unusual Lone Star. It is featured in her book Karen K. Stone Quilts

Mom and I had great fun deciding which fabrics were appropriate for the star. We also had to decide how many fabrics for each color group. We so enjoyed that process.

There are 128 pieced units in the star. Each unit has 6 pieces. The units are a diamond shape. 

Mom has taken the units home and has laid them out on her bed to decide where  they all should live in the star!! 

Placement of the units is a job that is tedious at best. If you move one unit then it changes the look of all the surrounding units and will likely begin a chain reaction of switching units. She has finally after a number of days decided the design in just right. 

Mom took several days to work on the star. She is a fine artist, a painter and told me that the way she paints is to work on the painting and then go away from it and to come back later and to see how it looks. As wise woman she is. 

Next she is marking each unit with a code for exact placement in the star. I will sew them together and then we will have the fun of auditioning fabrics for the background. 

The star only covers the top of Mom's queen size bed. We need to design the rest of the quilt.

I will keep you posted on our progress. 

In the meantime have a wonderful safe weekend,

Nancy


Closer look at the units in the center of the star

Cloeup of one of the 8 arms of the star