Tuesday, August 27, 2013

End of Summer Fun

This has been the busiest of summers, lots of fun with the grand kids and with school starting next week so we're trying to get in the last of the beach days!

Is there anything more fun than jumping the big waves?

Everyone tries the skim boards.

It is hot and muggy here, the shoreline shows the humidity.

We're so blessed to live so close to the beach.

I did go to a wonderful lecture/tasting last week entitled "Pesto and Pasta". My favorite herbalist Marsha was the speaker.

She made 3 different recipes for pesto. (she used food processors). My favorite was the traditional recipe:
2 cups of fresh basil
1 cup fresh parsley
2 Tbs. fresh sweet marjoram (optional)
1/4 cup pine nuts (you could use other nuts, walnuts, almonds etc.)
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2-3/4 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese
3/4 olive oil

put all ingredients except for oil and cheese in food processor. Blend until smooth. Slowly add olive oil while blending on low speed. Stir in cheese just before serving. Serve immediately on hot cooked pasta.
I've only eaten store bought pesto but it does not compare to fresh made. To taste this is like you've died and gone to heaven.

Marsha also made pesto using kale, spinach, pumpkin seeds, garlic, olive oil and Parmesan cheese that was also very good. (using the same measurements and procedure of the traditional).

The only problem is having enough basil!! I think I might have enough for one batch.
One more recipe Marsha made that I have a lot of is made with:
chives, parsley, garlic, walnuts, olive oil and Parmesan cheese.

In my dye studio I've been adding new shelves made from old sewing machine drawers. I've had one for years and didn't know where to use it, then my son bought me three more from a estate sale, I found the perfect place for them. My husband put up two here.

And above my antique stove two more.

I think I may need a couple more, these will fill up fast with dried natural dyes.

I love my studio!

My rose bush is full of  hips this year, the biggest I've seen in a long time. I'm not quite sure what to do with them, I know their high in vitamin C and they make tea from them. I'll have to study on it, What do think Peggy any ideas?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Silk fabric and American Quilters Society, Grand Rapids, Mi.

Silk has been coming in and out of my life a lot in these last few weeks, starting with my natural dyed silk from hibiscus flower and vinegar.. I left this piece in the dye a couple of weeks (with the little piece of wool). After washing it I have this wonderful mauve brown. I'm thinking of ordering some raw silk from Dharma and playing around natural dyeing it.

My girlfriend Cathy O. just finished piecing this wall hanging (Karen Stone pattern). It is made from neck ties from all the men in her life, her husband, son, brother, father and father in law. It is beautiful, pictures just don't show the wonderful richness of silk.

Last Wednesday I went with my girlfriend to the AQS traveling quilt show in Grand Rapids, Mi. the following are just a few of the highlights. I've been quilting and going to quilt shows for almost 30 years so I'm always drawn to new ideas, not that I don't love the old traditional quilts but here are a few pictures of things I loved.
We'll start with an exhibit of Claudia Pfeil's quilt journey. She started like most of us with traditional quilts made from cotton. This exhibit showed her quilts in progression right on to the silk quilts she's creating now.

They all were beautiful but here a couple of my favorites.

This magical mermaid castle has so many details.

And lots and lots of machine quilting.

Beautiful mermaids,

and sea horses.

Fire and Ice.

Full of beautiful quilting and glass beads.

I don't remember the name of this tropical one,

full of tropical fish,

and beads.

The men were back from Egypt demonstrating their hand applique.

The use large needles and scissors to do very intricate

They had 30 or more pieces there for sale. Wish I brought one home with me, maybe next year.

This was a cute display with large spools of thread

and needles. The booth was selling their specialty needle.

This is Max Hamrick a natural dyer from Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. He gave a lecture about textile dyeing in colonial times. He has a new book out called Organic Dyeing available through AQS.

This piece was in the show, it is all thread work!! Looked like a painting.

This was a cute  wallhanging called Zucchini. It shows how it takes over most of the year in a gardeners life.

This piece was interesting it is made with felted wool and needle-felted.

It's a picture of a cave, Baudelaire National monument.

This was a merchant from California Carol Ziogas who deals with Japanese textiles. Her shop is called KimonoMomoI. Loved her booth.

Lots of old and new kimono fabrics. This is her blog if your interested www.theardentthread.com.

I bought this piece from her. It's the collar from an old vintage kimono from early 20th century Japan.

It is hand woven cotton, double ikat (kasuri). indigo.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Natural Girls Night

My girlfriends invited me over for "Girls Night" last week. We started the night with a natural facial cleanser and natural mask. The cleanser was made fresh from Greek yogurt, honey and grape seed oil. We each cleansed our own skin, 

then put on the facial mask made fresh with avocado and homey. What a great beginning.

Next a little natural fabric dyeing, first up dried hibiscus flower,

we tried using it with vinegar in the water.

We laid out wool for scarves. On it we scattered flower and herbs, rolled them up and steamed it.
(pictures next week of the finished scarf)

In another pot we put in onion skins, Windi rolled hers up tightly like a rose,

soaked it then onion skins, then open it up to revel beautiful printed silk.

Some of the wool came out of the onion skin pot with a green shade,

and some came out gold. The silks were beautiful.

After going to the hot tub Windi demonstrated how she made her copper and silver pins.

She works the wire into a pleasing shape,

pounds some pieces flat,

and ends up with beautiful broach. This tree of life is my favorite.

A few days later the fabrics came out of the dyes. Silk and wool from the hibiscus.

Becky was a little excited about her new wool scarf!

The wool from the onion skin pot.

The silk from the onion pot.

I love hydrangea plants, especially the newer variety of lace cap. They root very easily. I have a variety in my window, some from my parents yard, to  lace caps from a neighbor.  (I am cutting off the flower and most of its leaves, it needs all its energy to grow roots).

I found this rue herb at the Farmers Market, the man who sold it to me was from Puerto Rico he said they use the leaves to make a tea for upset stomachs and indigestion. They also soak the leaves in alcohol and rub in on they sore muscles. My friend from Mexico said they also use it as a tea for indigestion.
Then I looked it up in two of my herb books and both said that a lot of people are allergic to the leaves and will break out into a bad rash and the herb should not be eaten. So, I guess I'll just plant it in my flower garden and enjoy the cute leaves.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo