Saturday, September 18, 2021

$7 Bread Revisited

 I posted this recipe back in 2017 and have just made it again, since I am feeling a bit Autumnal. For this version I've added sunflower seeds, both white and black sesame seeds, poppy seeds, oatmeal and what really makes it ...dried onion flakes. 
With each iteration, I hope to improve on the previous one, and this time I found just the right pot to bake it in, an 8 cup Cuisinart sauce pan with glass lid. It is non-stick coated and is taller and narrower than my previously used pot which resulted in too wide a loaf. The picture in my previous blog post was a fluke. It has never turned out as nice as that looked back then. ( No wonder I photographed it!)
Also new this time, I made change in the second rising. Taking a new white cotton napkin, dusted heavily with flour, I lined a colander and placed the ball of dough in it to rise. Then when it was time to place the dough in the preheated (450 degree) baking pan, it was easy to tip it in without losing any of the height of the risen dough. That pan is in the picture below.
 I've placed a gorgeous ripe pear here for size comparison, which is still misleading. This is a loaf requiring 3 cups of flour, and it definitely weighs up at over pound. I would say exactly, but it is mostly eaten already. FYI, as it baked, I made up another batch, which sits in the fridge overnight to rise slowly, developing its flavor. The longer it stays unbaked (covered, of course) the closer it gets to that fermented sourdough stage. This one night only version is not the least bit sourdough-y, but deelish anyway.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Fall Begins Next Week!

It is more than half way through September already, and we are starting to think ahead to cooler weather and items that will keep away the chill.

This a light weight merino shawl made from Willow Yarns Verbena and Malabrigo Silky Merino. It is an adaptation of the Dots and Dashes cowls I made last winter, but this time in a shawl shape.

I've been knitting along all year, even in the hot summer weather, because I wanted to try out new shapes and stitches and expand my reperatoire. As per usual I will be offering these knitted items here on the blog and on Instagram and my prices are (weirdly) based on the cost of they yarn, and not the time/labor involved. I want to be knitting and not have lots of items piling up in the closet. Where I live, in this very mild climate, there aren't many cold days, so I tend to think in terms of smaller items like cowls or scarves, but am amenable to making big wonderful cuddly shawls and ponchos upon request. Being a yarn snob, I really love to use the fancy high end merinos and blends incorporating silk. I don't like scratchy wool to knit with or wear, so I don't collect that type of yarn. 
Speaking of collections, I have moved my yarn stash (don't ask how big it is) to my studio closet, where it is kept away from doggie hair and dust and where I can pretend it is small and not taking over the house. Every imaginable color is available to me, and many are graduated colorways which offer variety in every row or stitch. This shawl is an example of that type of graduated colorway. I love using more than one yarn per item, but will agree to a single color if necessary. Like white or gray for example, where the fancy stitching really must be defined.
I don't mind making repeated items, and just this past season I made 15 Dots and Dashes Cowls and three Sideways Cowls. So if you see something you like, and it is already taken (as is this shawl above) don't be shy about asking for a version of your own. 
Ok. That about covers it, and I will be posting new and exciting items in the weeks to come, so plan on visiting here often to get a first crack at what I've made for you!

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

New Collages

Blue House. 
Monoprinted and stamped papers. Ink, paint pens, gel transparency, collage, colored pencils. 10" square, mounted on cradled wood panel.

Why did I name this obvious orange house, blue? I don't know. Crazy. SOLD.

Orange Tree.
Monoprinted and stamped papers. Ink, paint pens, collage, colored pencils. 10" square, mounted on painted cradled wood panel. Available for $100 plus postage. Email me.
I'm really feeling good about this now.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Paper House #1

Paper House #1.
Monoprinted collaged papers, painted and stamped papers. Image is 10x10", mounted on painted wood panel, 12x12". Available for $100 plus shipping. 

In order to find my way with this stuff I decided to think of these patterned papers like quilting prints. Beginning with a house quilt format, I realized that my hand dyed fabrics had that watercolor-y look and the monoprints didn't, so I had to actually paint the background and some papers to replicate my fabrics. The tree lines are an example.

So why do this in  paper when I have boatloads of fabric already? Good question. I think the drawing part is what interests me. That and making my own patterned papers. 

And of course there are those people out there that prefer materials like paper and paint over fabric...they get that stuff. 

I can't really grasp all my motivations, I just gotta try things.


Sunday, September 5, 2021

Why I'm Posting on Instagram

Floating Ferns #1 and #2. Collaged monoprints, gel pens, ink, graphite and acrylic paint pens. 
I'm experimenting and trying to find my footing in this medium. I have waded into deep waters and my confidence is shaky. The accomplishments of other gel printers are who I have put my work up against, if you could call it that, and I'm receiving some feedback from those artists which may or may not give me the courage I need to continue. I don't think they come to my blog, so I have to be seen where they post.
In the meantime I am knitting like mad and will be posting new items for the cooler months here soon. So don't give up on me, especially if you want to get a jump on the gift giving season. Many of the items I am knitting are much more affordable than the cardigans and sweaters I've offered in the past. Cowls, shawls, scarves....hats maybe!

Friday, August 27, 2021

Stripes #3

 Stripes #3.  Mono-prints, ink, stamping, paint pens, stencils, drawing and collage. 12x12" mounted on painted wood panel. 

I am having a wonderful time making these collage paintings. Right up my alley! Instead of getting out of my comfort zone, I have taken up full residence. Why not? Should I instead strive for anxiety? No way! I hope art can smoothe out the lumps and bumps in life and bring about some peace. God knows we need it.
Available for $100 plus shipping. Email me at fibermania at g mail dot com. SOLD

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Stripes #2

 Stripes #2. Gelli mono-printed papers, ink, drawing and collage. 8x8" mounted on stretched canvas.
These monoprinted papers serve as a platform for further exploration of marks, or in some cases stamping and collage. I am using paint pens, fine point permanent markers and brush pens. SOLD.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

In search of a method

Collage 8/25/21. monoprinted papers, ink, and paint pens. 8x8" mounted on stretched canvas,
The search for the best way to compose a collage continues. My enthusiasm for fusing paper with Wonder-under was short lived. After one day my composition began to bubble and pucker and my heart sank. So I got out my iron to smooth out the surface and that made it worse. So nevermind. For this piece I coated the back of all my papers with matte medium, let it dry and then constructed my design on the release paper from the W-U and protected the surface with a teflon cover sheet. When I was happy with the design, I was able to peel it easily off the release paper and work into it with ink, and paint and then using matte medium again, mount it onto an 8x8" stretched canvas. Phew!I think at last I have found the method I will use...I hope!

Monday, August 23, 2021

Paper, Paint and Fusing

Stripes #1
Gelli printed papers, mounted on painted
10x10" wood panel. Image is 8" square.

This morning I got all excited about making some painted papers using my smaller gelli printing plates. I used the 3x5" and the 5x7" plates, and printed a bunch of surfaces with stamps, stencils and string. Then I trimmed off all the borders and got out my bolt of Wonder-Under and fused just the smaller 3x5" papers, butted together in a line, not overlapping. I was trying this idea to get away from using glues which often resulted in the papers buckling or bubbling. Plus I didn't want to have to paste my papers onto a base or matrix, making the collage stiffer and usually causing warping, which would have to be dealt with later.
So with fusing, I could construct my design onto the release paper of the Wonder-Under and then peel the whole composition off when I finished my design. This worked just great and I am thrilled. 
After completing the design I just mounted the collage directly onto a painted wood panel and used my iron to secure it permanently. 

Friday, August 13, 2021

Clicking Needles

 While it may be the Dog Days of Summer, I am gearing up for fall, in the nice air conditioned house. Long time readers are aware that I love to knit and love to make things that other people can wear and love. So each year I offer up a design and colorways and see if anyone bites. To amuse myself, I try out my ideas first and see what I enjoy making, since I often will be making multiples of the same design. Don't wanna offer something that is a beast to knit! For example, I have made a gorgeous shawl which included double decreases and increases on alternate edges, and which meant paying attention and often un-knitting the thing to get it right. The end result doesn't show the annoyance it gave me, but I don't want to make it ever again. Ha! On the other hand, I have two shawls which I loved making and will make again at the drop of a hat. Then there are my fave cardivests and triangle shawls which are now featuring the dots and dashes of last year's cowls, so everything I love to knit is coming back again this fall. 
 Some things are still a work in progress, because when I get a new idea, I put aside the current project in favor of trying out the thing that sparked my imagination. But the finish line is near on those which were set aside. I know if I want to keep the sample for myself, it will be the very thing that others will love too. So I will be ready with lots of yummy yarny goodness in just a few weeks. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

2 of 3 panels

Two of the three panels that will be the new Dark and Murky quilt. So far, before quilting each panel measures 18-19" wide and 57"ish long.  
Despite the original title, it sure doesn't look so dark as I had imagined. I am happy.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Remaking Dark And Murky

I made and blogged these blocks in 2011 and just saw this image again pop up on Pinterest. Here's the finished quilt;
I used the flip and sew method and remembered that is was a fast and easy way to assemble and quilt the blocks. I sold this quilt and now I figured it was something I could make again and use some of my collected Dark and Murky hand dyeds. 
I invited my pal Patsy over to help cut the fabric into strips and squares and we divvied up the fabric and decided we each could make a quilt from our cuts. I suggested an 18" block and we went off to sew, each in our own sewing rooms. 
Here are my blocks, just placed on my table. Then Patsy came with her blocks and we added just a few strips to make them all larger than the initial 18" (for seam allowances) and then cut them into quadrants.
 Somehow, we each got a mixed pile which included both hers and mine and now the assembling fun begins. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Meow #5 In Amongst the Agapanthus

Meow #5 In amongst the Agapanthus. Hand dyed and commercial cottons, fused, hand embroidered and machine quilted, mounted on painted wood panel. 9x12".  $100 plus shipping. Email me fibermania at g mail dot com SOLD

When I am in house cleaning mode, I often move the furniture to get at the tumbleweeds of collected doggie hair hiding underneath. This sometimes results in a better configuration and it has happened for this room. I recently brought a small desk in and now it holds stuff that might previously been on the floor. Not good. And my wheely chest of knitting accessories slides neatly under it and opens up the floor a bit more.  That ottoman and bench are really there for the dogs to help them jump onto the bed. Without them, they whimper, which I cannot ignore. This gingham fabric came from tablecloths I ordered ages ago from Amazon. It's a heavy cotton, and just right for upholstery, pillows and summer bedcovers. Hmm. I have enough leftover to make arm covers to match. I'll get right on that. 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Meow #4

Having a wonderful time making these kitty quilts. This one went to Rosalind and hand dyed and commercial cottons, fused, hand embroidered and machine quilted. 11x14" mounted on painted wood panel.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Meow #3

Meow #3
Hand dyed and commercial cottons, fused, hand embroidered and machine quilted. 11x14" mounted on painted wood panel.
I am having such a wonderful time making these kitty quilts, as if you couldn't tell. I love their individual personalities. This lovely fellow reminds me of the cat my husband had when we met. He rescued him from a friend who was not a cat person and we all lived happily ever after. So essentially, he was our first cat, of many to follow.
Here he is keeping an eye out for intruders on his garden domain.

Available for $100 plus shipping to your home. Email me at fibermania at g mail dot com SOLD

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Meow #2

I am happy to present Meow #2, made by request for Kathy in California. 

Hand dyed and commercial cotton, with gold foil, fused. hand embroidered and machine quilted. 12x12, mounted on painted wood panel. 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Our neighborhood

Our neighbors have their house up for sale and the listing has these great overhead drone pictures of the houses in our 'hood.  The red X is our yard and their house is next to us with the trees right at the street edge. They are wonderful neighbors and I pray that the new people are going to be just as nice as they are. Our street is a real busy one, especially since the state is putting in some sort of highway around the bend at that top end. Loads of huge dump trucks pass by daily and with any luck the whole project will be completed this year and we will have quiet again, and maybe less truck traffic. Our town is part of Collegedale, but is called Ooltewah and is the home of Little Debbie snack cakes just fyi.
In back of our yard you can see a dense woods which is where those rascally deer live and come to my yard to eat my hosta, tomatoes and peas. I will be getting a real fence later this year.
Here's a better view of the hill behind us:

We enjoy the sunrise coming up over that hill and especially love the mists that hang below the top. The name of our neighborhood is Misty Valley, and is exactly the description I would choose.
For me living here is a dream come true, altho I never dreamt I would be living here, if that makes any sense. I always wanted to live in a place that is beautiful, with really nice people and a safe environment. 

Here's the backyard shot: Several families have pools in their yard and it makes me wonder why don't we? I'd love one, especially if it came with a pool boy. Just sayin'.