Sunday, November 29, 2009

'Tis the Season

Have a Wonderful Day!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Quilt for a Fall Afternoon

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! We've had all our kids and grandkids here and that made this a wonderful holiday for me. I've been laid up a bit after knee surgery, but everyone helped out and kept reminding me to go sit down. (That's REALLY hard for me to do!)

This is the quilt I wrapped up in on the couch while icing and elevating my knee..

I made this a few years back, but it's one that gets lots of use. It's the perfect size for two to cozy in while watching a movie. The half-square triangles went together quickly, and the random layout makes for some interesting value shifts.

Family time for the rest of the weekend. We're thankful for each other, every day!

Make it a Wonderful Day!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Yo Yo Cookies

Okay, not real cookies. Just ornaments that remind me of decorated cookies.

I'm participating in an ornament exchange, and this is what I came up with. I wanted to use things I had on hand, and make use of as many recycled or scrap supplies as possible.

The yo-yos are recycled from a dress my friend Monta made for me as a gift years ago. I cut out fabric circles using a CD. (I considered saving them for a circle quilt!) Then I made the yo yos using this handy little tool made by Clover.

The yo yos are sewn through the button centers to the green felted wool leaves and to the batting scrap circles that have been fringed and glittered.
I made a cardboard template to cut out the felted sweater circles and the batting for the stuffing. I trimmed the batting circles about 1/4 inch smaller than the sweater circles. (And for a few, I snipped the little bits left from cutting out the batting circles and used that as stuffing instead. It made for a rounder ornament.)
I made the "hook" from a small twist of tarnished silver pipe cleaner that came on a roll, twisting the loop and then cutting it off the strand with old scissors.

I sandwiched four layers of batting between the sweater layers and blanket stitched them together with 3 strands of embroidery floss. (Insert and sew in the hook with your last few stitches.
Don't these look like cookies?

I debated how I would attach the yo yo part to the cookie part. Sew? Or Glue? I decided to glue.
I used a glue designed to attach embellishments to fabric, and it worked very well. (I could have sewn them to the cookie layer top before blanket stitching, but with the glitter, I didn't want to over handle them. I think it worked well to make them as two units and then attaching them to each other.)
So here they are: recycled dress, skirt, sweaters, and buttons. Scrap batting. New pipe cleaner, glitter, glue, and embroidery floss.

I'm happy with the way this recycling recipe worked out, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of the "ornament exchangers" make!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Guard Dog"

Have a Wonderful Day!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

November Quilt Group

Our little quilt group met on Friday, and here are a few photos.
This is Barbara's, made from a block swap the group did a few years ago, before I was part of the group. This one is a cute Dick and Jane quilt by Marsha...

Michelle, our hostess for November's meeting, made this one in red, white, and blue to donate to American Hero Quilts. An injured veteran will love this expression of love.
(Thanks Michelle for the yummy lunch too!)

Terry, one of our long armers, did the quilting on this Halloween Circles for Ardith. This is the back view...

...And here is the front. Yes, circles live on in our group!!

Terry brought her beautiful blackwork embroidery quilt.

Check out those mitered corners, the perfect embroidery, and the wavy cross hatch quilting...

Here's the pieced back...

This Christmas circle quilt by Terry is from our block swap we did over a few months last year. It's been fun to see how everyone put these together, and how the different border fabrics really influences the overall feel of the quilts.

This one is by Nan, and it has a more traditional feel that makes the circles remind me more of ornaments...
Denise, our resident paper-piecer, shared a little work-in-progress...

... And this fall piece with log cabins and leaves.

Some how I missed getting photos of Helen's! (Sorry Helen!!) And I know I missed a few other quilts too. I'll try to be more organized with next month's pics!!
I brought a couple works in progress, but will share those with you in another post.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Art Club Visits Australia

Our current project uses acrylic paints and recycled paper bags.

The subject of our paintings is the fauna of Australia and the style is an homage to the Dreamtime paintings of the Aborigines, the indigenous peoples of Australia.

We're using a limited palette of warm earth tones, and I love some of the sophisticated colors these young artists have mixed up! We're also working on making the positive and negative spaces of our compositions interesting.

There are several steps to these paintings, beginning with the drawing in pencil and then inking with Sharpie. The next step is one that really surprises the kids- I have them crumple up their artwork, as if they were going to throw it away, and then repeat that about three times. Then we mist the papers with water and iron them flat again. This really softens the paper, giving it an almost bark-like texture and making it a great surface to paint on.
Once the large areas are painted, we'll begin adding the characteristic dots of the Papunya Tula "dot art" movement. The last step will be to clean up the outlines if needed or desired.

We won't finish these until after the Thanksgiving holiday, but I couldn't wait to give you a sneak preview!

Make it a Wonderful Day!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pumpkin Hot Cakes

When I was growing up, my dad made Sunday Breakfast. It was usually Hot Cakes with Sausage or Bacon. He made small cakes we called "silver dollars". We ate them with maple syrup and butter, rounding out the meal with a glass of Extra Rich Milk. (That's milk with cream added to it!) No worries, I guess, about calories back then!
These Hot Cakes are a bit different than the ones I grew up with. Pumpkin, apples, and nuts make these perfect for a fall morning. Or have them like we did, for dinner! (Yes, another pumpkin recipe. I can't help it, it's my favorite fall flavor.)

These are so easy to make, and the soft texture contrasts nicely with the crunchy nuts.

And I love these thrifted (Value Village) brown transferware dishes. The fringed napkins were also thrifted, and one of these days, I'm going to do a little embroidery on them. (Or not.)
Pumpkin Hot Cakes
1 Cup of your favorite dry pancake mix (the kind you just add water to)
1 Cup canned pumpkin
1 Cup grated apple
1 Cup toasted pecans, chopped
2 Cups milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix ingredients, adjusting milk to a thick but almost pourable consistency. Cook on a lightly greased hot griddle or pan over medium high heat. Flip when bubbles appear on surface. Serve immediately with maple syrup and butter or with vanilla yogurt.
Make it a wonderful day!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

In the Rain

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Art Club Drawings, Continued...

Here are a few more ... This first one required a bit of cutting when the artist started coloring in too many orange legs...

This dancing elephant is in colored pencil...
Under the sea...

I feel the same as Garfield about pie...
And I love the colors of this one... (I made a quilt in red, yellow and green that this reminds me of.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread

I like foods with flavor and color, and I love to use healthy ingredients too! This Pumpkin quick bread captures the colors and flavors of fall using whole wheat flour, along with pumpkin and walnuts.

I used this King Arthur flour- It's 100% hard white whole wheat, which has the same fiber and nutrition as traditional red wheat, but a milder flavor. It has all of the wheat germ and bran, and it's not bleached or anything like that. (Oops, didn't mean to do a commercial for them! But I like this flour!)

See all those yummy bits? Sweetened dried cranberries, golden raisins, toasted walnuts, and crystalized ginger. I LOVE the sweet/spicy bits of ginger!

The bowl with nuts in the background is thrifted (Value Village)-that green is one of my favorite colors, so it had to come home with me.

I think I'll have a slice for breakfast, along with my oatmeal and blueberries...
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread makes 3 delicious loaves
3 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
1 1/4 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. Ground Clove
3 C. Sugar
2 C. Pumpkin (canned)
1/2 C. Vegetable Oil
1/2 C. Applesauce (unsweetened)
2/3 C. Water
4 Eggs
1 C. Walnuts (toasted*), chopped
1/2 C. Sweetened Dried Cranberries (Craisins), soaked for a few minutes in water to plump a bit, drained
1/2 C. Golden Raisins
1 Tablespoon Crystalized Ginger, chopped medium fine (edit: I think I'll double the ginger next time!)
Beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin, oil, applesauce, and water together in large bowl.
Sift in flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and clove. Mix well.
Fold in toasted walnuts, raisins, cranberries, and crystalized ginger.
Pour/spoon into three (7.5x3.5) greased and floured loaf pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool on wire rack.
*Toasting really brings out the flavor in the nuts- I think it's worth the extra step. I like to have some toasted and stored in the freezer to sprinkle on oatmeal or to toss on a salad. Toast walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat stirring frequently until just browning, being careful not to burn.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Few More from Art Club

Here are a few more from our drawing unit. This one is colored pencil.

And so is Bugs Bunny. (This student is so fast, literally drawing this in less than 10 minutes. The shading didn't take him much longer than that! His mom says he's been serious about drawing since he was three!)

Markers were used for this puppy with flowers.

This squirrel in pen only, was done by a sixth grade boy. I love it.

We've moved on to our next project, but I may HAVE to show you some more of their drawings- I think they are wonderful!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Art Club Cartoons

I teach after school art classes at three elementary schools near by. I started out years ago helping Donna, a very talented artist and teacher, with her classes at one school.

When she moved away, I continued teaching there and then added two more schools.

Donna always began the year with a drawing unit based on the approaches developed by Mona Brookes in "Drawing with Children". I've continued that tradition.

Students learn to see like artists by first identifying line types, then drawing them.

So Garfield isn't eye, ears, mouth, and nose. He's curved lines, dots, circles, angles, and straight lines.

Every year, I'm so impressed by what these young artists, grades 1-6, are able to do!

Make it a Wonderful Day!