Friday, May 31, 2013

Off the Wall and into the Herb Garden

Volunteer in a crack
I had planted these cute little pansies last year in the planter boxes.  It always surprises me when volunteers pop up the next year in bizarre places.

Sage, working up to blooming

My herb garden is in its third season.  It is a work in progress.  The Thyme has spread out well.  There are some deadwood I need to get cleaned up. My Sage is doing really well.  I love it when it blooms!

Garlic infused olive oil
I love to upcycle things.  I loved the shape of these bottles.  I used one to infuse garlic in olive oil.  It is getting strained into another bottle.

Straining the oil
I use a coffee filter to strain oils and vinegars.  I am really enjoying the herbs and infusing.

Thyme Vinegar
I had cut too much Thyme for a recipe.  So rather than tossing it, I put it in a bottle with vinegar.  This is the strained vinegar.  Again, a reused bottle (Rose's Lime Juice).  Note the fancy pants label!

I love it when the chives bloom!
The real project of the day.  I had remembered that I saw a blog post about chive blossom vinegar last year.  At the time, my blossoms were past their prime and dried out.  So when I saw my chives getting ready to burst open I did a search for Chive Blossom Vinegar.  There were several different blog posts on several sites.

Rinsed then spun dry
I took heed of one post and soaked my blossoms in water and then rinsed and spun them dry.

Packed into a jar
Vinegar added
Only one of the blogs talked about using hot vinegar.  I decided not to heat my vinegar up.  It is difficult to photograph the liquid in the jar.  I set it on my window sill and we will check back in 2 weeks and see how it turns out!


I had received a package on Tuesday containing my brand spanking new Kitchen Aid mixer!  I have wanted one of these big boys forever!  I am going to use him this afternoon to mix up some banana bread.  I am going to have to completely rearrange how my kitchen counters are filled to make space for this guy.

Some weeks you find a lot of inspiration in the studio.  I found none there this week.  I found a lot of inspiration in my herb garden.  I love the various greens and purples that are showing up this week.  I love to brush my hand against the plants, the scent of the herbs is so wonderful and soothing.

This is my Off the Wall post for the week.  Check out what everyone else is up to at Nina-Marie's blog.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Inspiration in a small town

Connie's art piece

Connie's crayon piece.

Show and Tell

Wonderful quilting
Project of the day

New idea for stitching bowls together

I belong to a quilt group in a smaller town about 15-20 miles Northwest of here.  My town, the big town in the area has about 6500 people.  Wales has maybe 250.  The group in Wales has members from several of the small towns in the area. They are a fun bunch.  They welcomed me with open arms when I first moved to the area. A lot of them are traditional quilters.  That is where I began my quilting journey and I still enjoy making traditional quilts even though my focus is now more on art quilts.  Last month I had brought my round robin fabric with me to show.  I talked about how I had started the piece with rust dyeing.  Well this month I had 2 ladies tell me how inspired they were with the idea.  They went home and did some rust dyeing with muslin they had on hand and bits of rusty junk that is widely available in Rural Utah.  Then during show and tell Connie said she was inspired by me to bring some of her more arty pieces to show.  I love the window scene with the lilacs.  Connie is wonderful!  She drives the school bus for the town (the kids go to nearby towns for school) and always has a humorous story to tell! And always has a smile!  I find myself inspired to smile after being around her.  I had showed how to make clothesline bowls at the last meeting.  I forgot who brought their bowl, but she had sewn it together using a 3 stitch zigzag, how inspiring!  I would have never thought to do that, I will have to try that on my next bowl.

I have read some blogs recently where some of the arty type quilt artists feel that they are shunned and don't fit in with some of the traditional quilt guilds. That makes me sad.  I have been lucky to find some wonderful groups in my quilting life. Everyone is welcome and all styles are appreciated.  I am thrilled when I have inspired someone, and am equally thrilled when I am inspired by someone else, especially when it comes from the least expected avenue.  I also believe that the more you give of yourself, the more you get back.  To make a group successful, everyone needs to share and contribute.

This is my Off the Wall post for this week.  Check out what everyone else is up to at Nina-Marie's blog.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Craftsy Free Class day!

Craftsy is offering to give you your first class for free today!  Click on the link.  If you are new to Craftsy, it is free to sign up. The offer for the free class is only good today, May 18th! You can watch the class whenever is good for you and as many times as you like.

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Peaceful Woods

I saw that Amy with Amy's Creative Side is having another online Quilt Festival and decided to participate. 

I made this piece in December for a friend's birthday.  It is 12"x12".  I layered some fabrics to look like woods and then covered it with some netting before quilting it.  I added some dragonfly charms and used a wood grain fabric for the binding.  It was a rewarding piece to work on, I made it in 3 or 4 days.  It was for her birthday, 12-12-2012.

I am entering it in the Art Quilt Category.  Thanks for stopping by!  Check out the main page at  Amy's blog.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

And the Winner is. . .

. . .
I have some lovely pink peonies! They are a favorite from childhood. I love their fragrance.

Thanks to all that stopped by and visited my blog for my giveaway!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Giveaway Day!

It is Giveaway Day!  Sew Mama Sew is sponsoring another blog giveaway party! I had a lot of fun last time and so decided to participate again this time.

Up for grabs is a zippered pouch.  Fun red and gold print and a white with black print for the lining.  Just the right size for a makeup bag for your purse, or for your knitting tool kit.  Or whatever you want to put in it!  Also included are 3 matching fat quarters!  I am willing to ship internationally.

To enter my drawing, leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite Spring flower.  My favorites (I have 2) are daffodils and lilacs.  I will be drawing a winner sometime on Sunday May 12, 2013, probably in the evening.  Thanks for stopping by, I hope you take a minute and look around a bit.  

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Free Mini Classes

I have been enjoying some of the free classes at Craftsy.  I have been knitting and crocheting for almost 40 years (yikes!) now and watching the free class Know your Wool with Deborah Robson has been a very informative class!  Although I use various yarns I hadn't known all about what characteristics they all have.  I  have enjoyed this class.  It is a good way to try out the Craftsy platform.

Since I was not able to attend the first ever Quilt Con show this year, I was thrilled to find that Craftsy has a free class featuring lectures that were presented at this show!  How wonderful to be able to access these lectures!  And another good way to try out the Craftsy platform.

Check out the links below that will take you right to the class information page.  If you are not yet a member of Craftsy I highly recommend that you join this site.  It is free to join and you get access to a world of information in all types of crafts.

Know Your Wool: Do you wonder where your yarn comes from? Learn about different types of wool and the individual characteristics of each.

QuiltCon Lecture Series 2013: Not able to make it to Austin for the Modern Quilt Guild's inaugural QuiltCon? Watch some of our favorite lectures from the event, given by Heather Jones, Angela Walters, David and Amy Butler, Jacquie Gering, and Mary Fons. 

Check out all of the other free Craftsy mini-courses by clicking here.