Monday, 23 November 2009

... absolutely exquisite Cornish Pasty, among other treats

The amazingly, wonderfully welcoming website The Handicraft Hash House is really beautiful. I feel like I am sitting in someone's busy oven-warmed, aromatic kitchen when I am browsing. The pages look like they are the obviously well loved pages of my own cookbooks. You know when you have found the right recipe because you can barely read it through the food stains, if you manage to open the pages that were glued stuck by a sauce dripping.

Tuesday is Bag Ladies Night. If you know me, you know this has been a regular crafty, quilty, chatty night for a group of friends for at least the last 16 years. The greater number of our evenings have been in my basement sewing room but we started out travelling from kitchen to kitchen. We would show up at one or another of our kitchens with our bags of stuff so that we could craft. [hence "bag ladies"]. We did podgy, tole painting, ribbon making, scrap booking, glass painting, glitter shaking, Ginger Bread House decorating, sewing, gluing, cutting, bow tieing, flower arranging, animal stuffing, Easter Bunnies, Sock Monkeys, Teddy Bears, photo albums, decorative boxes, plaster casting, papier mache, paper making,  generally anything that could be put together once we found the bits and pieces and of course, quilting! Okay, sometimes we just use the time to bitch a bit and that is okay too.
And those who know me also know that I moved out of town this past year so it is a bit more of a challenge to get together with my friends. We meet at another friend's house still in town. There is just a bit of time after work and before everyone shows up. This is why I bring my own dinner out on Tuesday Nights.  This is a good thing. See those delicacies in the photo below... mmmmmmm.
The ripple-edged Cornish Pasty is sooo delicious. Tender flaky pastry filled with lovely bitefuls of steak, a bit of veg and apples. I reheat this in my dear friend's toaster oven and it is heavenly. I think I fell in love with Ted's cooking when I had my first forkful of his Shepherd's Pie.
So it is Tuesday and I am hoping there is another Pasty left in the freezer......

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Saturday sew-in

We are working away at the Poppy Quilt.

    2 cappucinnos with Kahlua
+ letting dogs in and out of the house
+ Minestrone soup, spinach and fresh fruit salad, crusty bun and water
+ lots of conversation and laughs
+ Tea and Portuguese custard tarts
÷ 7 hours
= 2 Poppy Buds

It takes a long time to sort through the 5000 zip lock baggies containing the 1886 cut pieces of fabric. Reading the directions can be a bit confusing too.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

a nifty idea and give-away for clothing sewers

Here is a neat idea, fabric for sewing clothing "yardage guestimate" credit card sized reference cards that are designed to be carried around in your hand bag. Gwyn Hug has created these. There is a giveaway here (until Nov. 11). You can find the cards here if you want to order some.

You will have to click the link to see these as I was unable to link to the product image itself, but if you know a clothing sewer they will appreciate this tool!

Sunday, 8 November 2009

weekends can be wonderful

There were hundreds of geese resting on the shore, as we approached they took flight into the sky.

I love this amazing texture. I love texture as much as I love colour. I need to let myself play with them as much as I dream about them. I want both to meet traditional challenges so I can master the skills that the exacting work demands as much as I want to enjoy the inspirations that excite me when I look at colour and texture.

Isn't she a cutie! She joined the wild women for another wonderfully rejuvenating weekend that ended far to quickly.

This is the sunset over Lake Huron last Saturday night. My friends have been following my toes having fun on Face Book.

...and here are the aforementioned place mats in action!

Friday, 6 November 2009

the placemats are done...

I realized that I only need 7 gifts. What'cha think? The hardest thing was to cut into yardage to make the backings. I dug through my strip scraps, my calico scraps to build out the blocks. These ended up to be 13" x 20 1/2" rectangles. Lots of room for a plate, our wine, great bread and dessert!

I am so looking forward to this weekend. Our group of "sisters" has been getting together for fun a few times a year since 1984. The wonderful sunset over Lake Huron, the wood stove, the damp, the warmth, the laughs, the stories, the quiet, the tears, the shopping, the food, the wine, the hugs and the absolutely overflowing treasure chest of memories we have been creating together. The weather outside never matters, we did not even know the road washed out one year, once I followed a snow plow down an empty road most of the way there - when I arrived I found out that the roads had been closed. We have shared May, November, February - whenever we can make our schedules match. We are so very lucky that our friend shares her cottage home so generously.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Orphan Blocks into Placmats

Once upon a time there was a swap. 12 inch, green themed blocks. We would each make 12, or was it 16 blocks and they would be swapped at a central location.
Sometimes swap participation stretches to the extent of my gambling comfort zone, I will end up with something though, no matter what (unless the postal system fails me). In any case, about 6 years ago, or more I received a bundle (7) of green and white blocks, and I had another bundle (9) of my own twisted log cabin blocks - we ended up with only 8 swappers. The only problem was that the blocks were so dissimilar I could not imagine them ever being together in a single quilt - and I love anything green.
I have pillaged this stack for various smaller projects over the years, this week I may well decimate it. I want to make a set of 8 place mats to take as my "party favours" for my weekend away. These will end up as a set of 8, but rather each will go home with a friend.
I have pulled out some complimentary fabrics and we shall see how it goes. This is the "before" photo:

Gratuitous rainbow image. About 5 minutes and 4 miles down the road I could see the far end of it. Today I had time to pull over and take pictures with my BB (I actually stopped 5 times) of the brilliant sun and dark clouds facing off.

(as always here, these images are clickable so you can see them full screen)