Mar 112018

Cherry pie, baking.

It even looks like pie!

Cherry pie, baked.

I think next time I’ll drop the temp a bit and bake it longer. Used a premade crust that had zero flavor to it, so that is a big change, too. Although, the usefulness of these improvements is debatable because I make pie so rarely. I love pie, but eating an entire one before it expired is not likely.

Mar 092018

Friday and The Captain, snuggled on the sofa.
Friday and The Captain, snuggled on the sofa. This is right next to my spot and usually only The Captain will visit for pets and naps when I’m there. Friday does not like to visit me on the sofa, but she seems to be quite comfortable napping there without a human. I wonder if she decided to curl up there alone, then The Captain wanted some warm snuggles and came over and sat on her. He tends to do that.

Mar 062018

small painting from Sketchbox supplies
Got the March Sketchbox Premium over the weekend and made this painting. The box included a small canvas panel, which is uncommon, but it was nice that I had something to paint on immediately. Something besides the box, which I often do. I have very artistic trash. The bronze color is a Liquitex acrylic metallic ink. It was unusual in that it was thicker and more viscous than regular acrylic ink, and also more fluid than other metallic inks I have. Used the Princeton velvet touch brush (the handles on these are like a micro-flocked or short nap velvet feel, posh) to spread the ink on the canvas and the viscosity left swoops in the coverage. After it dried, hours later, the swoops were still there and looked like falling, twisting leaves, so that is what I went with. The box also contained a Faber-Castell Polychromos (my fav cp brand, I have the 120 set and love it) color pencil in “Orange Glaze” color, which I used to add body to the leaves. Next was a Kuretake #7 brush pen. Got one of these in the first art supply box I ever received, over a year ago, and I like it still. Did leaf outlines and details in black with this pen. Finally, the Copic opaque white watercolor ink, which has a fine, long brush tip on the end of that silly cap on the bottle. I used it for leaf highlights, but it was pretty opaque so I knocked it back with water and a stray tissue.
That’s it. Art from an art supply box, made entirely on the sofa.

Mar 042018

Third this winter, this year, anyway.
Homemade pizza
Not great.
Dough undercooked – lower temperature and longer parbake. Maybe longer, warmer rise time, too.
Dough taste – used an ale instead of cheap-ass beer. Prefer taste with cheap-ass beer.
Leftover chicken as topping – fine
Cheese – blend of provolone, asiago, and mozzarella on base; topped with more mozzarella. Fine.
Allover – lower temperature and longer bake time.
Sauce – go back to original sauce recipe, the more marinara style was okay, not good

Mar 032018

Cats investigate the new toy.
Games like The Sims added a new vernacular to anyone wishing to shorthand an emotion or specific feeling. Human behavioral references for nerds.
Anyway, this is The Captain giving the full battery of cat investigation tests to a new item at The Arches. Oz watches on – in confusion I imagine.

Feb 262018

On the weekends I have time to bake things, but this especially happens in the winter when the weather is inhospitable. I don’t want to leave the house and it is cold outside. These things contribute to my baking, which doesn’t happen much at all in the summer.
Last weekend I made pizza dough, and some pizza sauce.
Pretty tasty looking; it was good.
I also made some cookies while I had my mixer out and thought I’d use it instead of a bowl and spoon. Low-grade fun.
I made them with some chocolate (obvs), but at the end thought they might need a bit of oomphf to register as special. I pressed pieces of pearl sugar, which I have for making the extra-fancy dough waffles, into the tops before baking. Gave it a gentle, sweet crunch.
I also made some quesadilla sauce, pretzel dough, and banana walnut bread, but I didn’t take pictures of any of that, so there ya’ go. Need more groceries, now.

Feb 242018

This whole “Saturday Morning” + thing title theme was feeling prosaic and tired, but now that it is something different each Saturday, I rather like it, in an obstinate sort of way.

Almost done mixed media pieces.

This morning, I wanted to do a collage, although I ended up painting quite a bit more than I thought I would. More of a general mixed media piece instead of collage. Coffee and music and art – such a good time. Some parts have to dry before I can finish it, but this is pretty close to done. I used the recent stamp test sheet from making niece’s fabric for the bag lining. Cats, skulls, stars, all very me. Had a good time. Think this Saturday morning art stuff is the cat’s pyjamas.

Feb 232018

Friday the workshop companion cat.
When I give Friday enough attention, she likes to take my comfy office chair in the workshop. This way she can keep an eye on one of her humans, enjoy the space heater, and get more fur onto my quilt. HER quilt, I should say. Look at that thing!! I even cleaned off a kitten’s worth of hair from it earlier this week. Already worse than it was before. But, look at that sweet kitty face!

Feb 202018

The weather app this morning reported that today’s temperature would be a high of 18F and low of 5F and the current temperature was -9F. This is a critical logic flaw. I understand how it happens, but I want our systems to be developing and improving – not us humans accepting something that is obviously wrong and going about our lives. Clearly, this is similarly represented in our entire country and the majority of Americans.

Feb 132018

On Friday night, as I was laying in bed and NOT falling asleep, I was thinking about singing wineglasses and crystal bowls – that particular sweet sound their resonance makes when played. At the same time, I was remembering the cold outside that I’d spent an unusual amount of time in, earlier in the day. (At one point I realized I was thinking poetry about the cold and had to grab a notebook and catch the words, but I diverge – the poetry is not part of this.) That night was a foggy, wet cold we don’t often get in dry Wyoming, with the temperature at 7F (-14C) at that time. Those two things blended together with the mental inventory I had of the excessive fabric scraps in my workshop. I’d spent the previous evening at the sewing machine mending (blech) some clothes and had to keep clearing spaces. So, as I finally drifted off on those Alpha waves towards sleep, I had the visual and texture of my too many blue and violet fabric scraps laying around, the feel of that clingy, damp cold against my face from earlier (alongside the even-colder, black, night a few feet away), the sound of singing crystal resonance, and an ardent desire to sew for pleasure.

This is how quilt inspiration works for me – I tend to think in concepts. Ymabean and Christina have both mentioned to me that the explanation of my inspiration enhances their experience of my work and they’d like more of that. I’m trying it out here and plan on making small zines exploring the inspirations for the quilts, or other items. Although, background inspiration for smaller items like paintings or pouches won’t fill a zine – those will probably be a postcard size.

Cut to Saturday, fresh baked goods are done and I’m in my workshop. I love Saturday mornings in the workshop; it’s the best feeling. Quilt “planning” based on the inspiration that gelled the night before. Some friends gave us a HUGE crystal bowl as a wedding gift – it has an incredible sound – and YouTube has a variety of pieces played on glass harps by hard-working musicians around the world. Bach’s toccata and fugue in D minor by Robert Tiso got played many times.

Music-inspired sketched flower and stamp.
While high on coffee and music, I was compelled to draw and the lines were all very long and swoopy. I ended up with a simple flower in my nearest sketchbook and turned it into a small carving. There’s also a separate leaf I shaped from the off-cuts to go with it.
I threw some almost indigo colored procion powder into the dye pot. I’d thought to stamp it after dying, but I found a small pot of Jacquard Color Magnet which is a dye attractant. It is meant for silk screening, not stamping, and I can understand why; this stuff has the viscosity of ectoplasm from the movies. Slimer-type stuff right out of Ghostbusters. A bit of water and I mostly got it onto the stamp and partly onto the fabric before being dried thoroughly, then going into the dye pot. It worked well, considering my inability to get it onto the fabric neatly. Gloopy! The pic below is post-dye-processing.
Dyed fabric with dye attractant stamping.

You can see the Dye Magnet worked as titled. Everywhere I did manage to glob this stuff on pulled more intense dye concentration than surrounding areas. I’ll use this stuff again, but will have to put some more thought into the handling and thinning of it. Then I used a mix of black and violet fabric paint to stamp on top of the same spots as if it was a surround glow background.
Dyed fabric with stamping.
A closer look at a single stamping. Looks okay, especially for something I’m planning on cutting up and adding to a small-scraps quilt.

Dyed fabric with stamping.
I did another piece of fabric in a more blue-gray shade and without the dye attractant, only with fabric paint stamping on top of the dry, dyed fabric. I like this better – the look is cleaner. The lines in the fabric are because I did a gentle accordion fold on the prepped fabric before putting it in the pot and then didn’t stir it around at all, just let it sit in the dye pot for 10 or 20 minutes. A sublte, resonance line echo.

Thus, without purchasing any new supplies, I was able to have brand new, custom, inspired fabric to use in this quilt. This quilt will look similar to Tintamarre with its small-scrap base, although this will be more harmonious in the color palette. Progress to come!

Feb 122018

On Saturday morning I was full of energy and decided to bake some tasty stuff for us to eat over the weekend. It was quite cold and I didn’t want to leave the house at all. Hence, baking!
First up, a simple quiche.
Used a frozen pie shell because making dough was going to be too much bother for me when I wanted to get to sewing. Ham, swiss, green onions, and a bit of Dijon mustard. Fast, easy, and simple ingredients so there was nothing to deter the picky-eater, Slick. It was pretty good – there are even a couple pieces left.

Banana bread
While the quiche was in the oven, I brought up my bread machine and made use of some fairly ripe bananas. I didn’t have any walnuts, which would have tasted best, so I used almonds in the loaf and candied pecans on the top and upped the spices to sorta balance the flavors. It worked. The taste is best when I slice it, pop it in the toaster oven for a minute, and dot it with butter. Yum.

The house smelled fantastic and I will put walnuts on the list so I can make the same use of those last two bananas this weekend.

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