Road Trip

I've had this post "in limbo" for several days...I needed to locate my notes and a gallery guide so I could give proper credit to the fiber and textile artists I've featured in this post.

The Carnegie Center for Art & History, New Albany IN

Last Thursday, a friend and I went on a day trip to New Albany, Indiana.  The Carnegie Institute of Art and History was featuring an exhibit of textiles created by the Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists Group.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Embroidery with beads by Leigh Payne

Multiple layers of dyed and printed silk broadcloth, fused to backing, embroidery and beads as embellishment by Pat Sturtzel

Grandma's Gift Cotton fabrics and found objects by Sallie Manassah

by Sallie Manassah
Chestbuts Roasting hand-dyed silk shibori shawl by Pamela Mattel
Zion Sunset  Cotton fabric, dyed, overdyed, flour paste and soy wax resists, screen printing, textile paint & machine quilting
by Marti Plager
Silk thread on noil, hand embroidery by Bette Levy
My friend and I had a lovely time...there were lots of cool little shops in downtown New Albany, and lots of neat little cafes.  We lunched at Toast...what a great menu!  I'm looking forward to going back to New Albany in a few weeks for a one-day Indigo & Itajime Workshop.


Feeling the Fall vibe...

The weather is still muggy in our little corner of the world, but a cool front is set to move in overnight wiping away the humidity and bringing lovely weather.  This has, so far, been an easy summer...it just seems like all of the rain has been bypassing us for the past several weeks.  I'm looking forward to the bright yellows and oranges of autumn...mums, hay bales, fall decorations. The world of Pinterest is filled with autumn images...

In the meantime, I need to be in the present...enjoy whatever comes my way and finish up on my summer reading list.  In the mail today...Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield, author of The Thirteenth Tale.  It's an advanced reading copy, and I'm anxious to settle into it.  Nothing like a gothic novel to accompany a gloomy summer afternoon!  Pour the tea, please.


Favorite New Recipe

Photo via Pinterest from A Hint of Honey.com
Earlier this week while pondering my dinner-time fate, I found this picture on Pinterest.  Clicking through to the link, I found that I had all of the ingredients for this already...a good sign, I think.  I pinned the recipe, went straight home, and pulled started prepping.  
Photo via Pinterest from The Lemon Bowl.com
While the chicken chunks were sauteing, I mixed up some tzatziki sauce from a pin from this site.  Easy, also on-hand ingredients.

This was the most delicious meal I've made in ages!  As much as I like to cook, it seems like I've fallen off the wagon when it comes to fixing real meals...hard to do for one person.  Sometimes that bag of microwaved popcorn just has to do!


Summertime Learning Adventures

I love to learn new things, and there seems to be an overabundance of web-based classes to teach you anything you'd ever want to know.  This summer I've indulged in a few e-courses:

 Flora Bowley's Brave Intuitive Painting
 Dawn Sokol's Doodle Camp 2013
 Jeanne Oliver's (taught by Jen Rizzo) Santos Doll Class
Jeanne Oliver's  Creatively Made class

It's a good thing these classes can be accessed long after the course has started.  As with everything, I always think I can do/accomplish more than I actually can.  As always, I am wrong.  It has been big fun getting my supplies together for the classes, and it was especially nice to be able to do all of the shopping from my personal supply closet.  


What a difference a day makes...

By the time yesterday afternoon rolled around, I found that I had tamed the wild goings on in my head and had formulated a do-able program plan for September and October.  I guess that's part of my problem...I'm always thinking and planning ahead for my job, and feel like I'm skipping over the "now."  Take a deep breath and relax!
I found this cool little package of yarn at JoAnn's yesterday...100% cotton, thin yarn--rather like single strand embroidery floss.  Just looking at those cute little skeins makes me smile!  I was actually looking for a ribbon yarn I purchased several months ago, similar to ~~ and I say this not knowing what I'm talking about ~~ sari silk ribbon...only much less expensive!  I've come up with a really cute "treasure necklace" for a class and it hangs on sari silk.  No go, JoAnne's!  Instead, I went online and purchased it from a supplier on Etsy. 
This (above) is a sewing stiletto made from a turkey lacer.  I saw it on Pinterest (of course!!) and we talked about making them in the Dear Jane quilting class.  One of our members made us each one and presented them to us at the luncheon carry-in.  Super cute and handy too!  Can't wait until the turkey lacers are in stock at the supermarket for the coming holiday season.  

I'm looking forward to Monday's class...a mixed-media embroidered and beaded cuff.  We have a full house for this class and it should be really fun!


Want to's, have to's, and what I end up doing...

Once again my head is a swirl with different projects, ideas, and activities. This usually happens when I'm busy with work things...or have to complete something under a time limit.  I can always think of so many other things I'd rather be doing.  Since I'm pretty undisciplined at this stage in life, I tend to blow things off and do my own thing.  Not always a good idea.

I'm struggling with my Dear Jane quilt squares.  We had a meeting this morning and several of the women brought in their stash of completed squares.  They're truly beautiful.  I always leave those meetings inspired to go home and sew.  In the hours between the end of the meeting and actually going home, something always seems to get in the way.  By the time 6PM rolls around, I'm no longer in the mood to sew...or clean house, or do laundry, or any of a number of chores on my "to do" list.  It's surprising that I still continue to write a weekly "to do" list.  While sorting through boxes in my storage room (aka, the big bedroom), I came across a notebook with lists from 2006.  Not too much was crossed off that list, sad to say.

Want to do:
Complete my Dear Jane quilt top
Simplify my "craft"/hobby equipment **(see note below)
Get books together for a donation to the library book sale
Go through kitchen stuff...do I really need all of the gadgets and gizmos?
Retire...need I say more?  Not gonna happen any time soon...I'm so jealous of all of my retired friends.

Have to do:
Basic home maintenance and cleaning, laundry, etc.
Work stuff...planning programs and classes.  This also falls into the "what I do" category...lots of my time is spent sitting and thinking, dreaming up possible fun things to do at work.

What I do:
Sit in my chair and contemplate...read, and watch television--whether there is anything of interest on or not.  I start each day with the best of intentions...I'm usually up by 5 or 5:30 and I don't have to be at work until 9.  This is where it all starts...drinking lots of coffee, watching the news, reading, then rushing to get ready for work and out of the door on time.  Precious time wasted on a daily basis.  Color me pathetic.

So far for this summer, I can honestly say that I'm happy with my potted front porch steps garden.  I walk by these plants on a daily basis;  the location is handy for watering and weeding, and I enjoy the scent of the herbs as I walk past them.  Usually by this time of year, my plants are neglected and sun-scorched out in the back yard.  Out of sight, out of mind.  At least this is one improvement I've instituted and have stuck with.  One "atta-boy" for me.

One thing that I've wanted to do, and have completed is sending in a mixed-media jewelry project for a national magazine.  Hope I get published!  

**I have begun divesting myself of things I know I will never put together or make.  The first item I listed on eBay sold at the "buy it now" price within a few hours of listing.  Now I need to list more "stuff".  Awesome.


24 Karat Cookie Bars

My friend Helen entered a recipe in the Pillsbury Bake-off.  She's made it into the semi-finalist round (60 entries), and now votes are being tabulated to enter into the next phase of the contest.  Try these out, or just read the recipe...looks and sounds delicious.  Then...visit this link Pillsbury BakeOff Voting, and vote for Helen!  Here's the recipe:

24 Karat Cookie Bars

24 Karat Cookie Bars
Prep Time
Total Time
24 servings
package Pillsbury® Ready to Bake!™ refrigerated sugar cookies
bag (11.8 oz) Green Giant® Seasoned Steamers™ frozen honey Dijon carrots
teaspoons ground cinnamon
cup Pillsbury BEST® Self-Rising Flour
cup Pillsbury® Creamy Supreme® Coconut Pecan Frosting
tablespoons coarse white sparkling sugar
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Arrange cookie dough rounds evenly in ungreased 13x9-inch pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Remove from oven; cool 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, microwave frozen carrots as directed on bag. Cool 5 minutes. In large food processor bowl, place cooked carrots. Cover; process, using quick on-and-off motions until finely chopped, scraping sides occasionally. Add cinnamon, eggs, flour and frosting. Cover; process, using quick on-and-off motions until mixture is blended.
  3. Pour mixture evenly over partially baked crust. Bake 25 to 30 minutes longer or until top looks dry and center springs back when lightly touched.
  4. Remove from oven; sprinkle with sugar. Let stand 5 minutes. Run knife around edges of pan to loosen; cut into bars. Cool completely, about 45 minutes. Serve at room temperature. Store covered in refrigerator.
Nutrition Information:
1 Serving (1 Serving)
  • Calories 170
    • (Calories from Fat 70),
  • Total Fat 8g
    • (Saturated Fat 2 1/2g,
    • Trans Fat 1/2g),
  • Cholesterol 15mg;
  • Sodium 115mg;
  • Total Carbohydrate 21g
    • (Dietary Fiber 0g,
    • Sugars 1g),
  • Protein 1g;
Percent Daily Value*:
    • 1/2 Starch;
    • 0 Fruit;
    • 1 Other Carbohydrate;
    • 0 Skim Milk;
    • 0 Low-Fat Milk;
    • 0 Milk;
    • 0 Vegetable;
    • 0 Very Lean Meat;
    • 0 Lean Meat;
    • 0 High-Fat Meat;
    • 1 1/2 Fat;
    Carbohydrate Choices:
    • 1 1/2;
    *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.


    Gardening in Miniature

    I've been enjoying this book~~Gardening in Miniature by Janit Calvo. It's filled with ideas and plans for constructing your own miniature garden.  Even though I really like having a real life-sized garden, I don't have the room for much of anything other than the basics...herbs, a few tomato plants, and lettuces.  With this book as a guide, I can construct my own "Secret Garden"...a place for my mind to wander in the upcoming heat-infused months.  


    No weather complaints from me yet...I'm just happy that Spring has finally found us!


    Weekend Fun

    Yesterday was the Ohio Valley Art League's Kitchen Tour, just across the river in Henderson, Ky. Five kitchens were on display scattered all over town, and there was a chef stationed at each location. We sampled seared Ahi tuna, graham pralines, old fashioned homemade banana pudding, bananas Foster bread pudding with rum raisin sauce, and finally...the best for last...pizza from a wood-fired mobile pizza oven. Delicious pizzas...Bee Sting Pizza, a breakfast pizza, white pizza, and my favorite--Fig & Pig pizza--a fig and prosciutto pizza topped with peppery arugula. So good.

    The kitchens were beautiful. I can't imagine cooking in a few of them...they were too perfect. Beautiful homes, beautiful landscaping...maid and gardener service required.

    I picked up ingredients for pizza making...fig preserves, prosciutto, cheese...and had dough ready from my bread machine. I used the recipe from the Pioneer Woman's website...delicious!


    Busy, busy, busy...

    Sometimes things just get a little out of control around here.  It's been a busy week at work...painting class on Monday, faux flower making class on Tuesday, and Dear Jane quilting on Wednesday.  Whew!!  Now I have all kinds of ideas percolating in my head...new classes and programs for July and August...plus personal DIY's to do for me...and friends.  Seriously...my head is spinning.  I like to push people into things...going beyond their comfort limits and climbing out of the box.  I need to do that for myself...not so much getting out of my comfort zone...I do that on an almost daily basis.  I need to create things for myself...to actually make/do things....instead of carrying all of this "stuff" inside of my head.  I saw a really cute fabric cuff on Etsy a while back, and made one a few weeks ago.  I've collected beads and findings...I need to manufacture.  Coming home and going to sleep is just so much easier.  Spring is still playing hide and seek here...maybe that's part of the problem!


    Bring it on~~Spring, that is...

     We've been having roller coaster weather here...sort of warm one day, freezing rain and sleet the next.  I'll be glad when things moderate a bit...I'd like to play in the dirt!
    In the meantime, I decided to craft a terrarium necklace...simple, yet "green" enough to satisfy.

    I used small bottles obtained from Hobby Lobby (the Tim Holtz Idea*ology set @ $5.99 less 40%), and filled them with chartreuse reindeer moss.
    I had some silvertone chain in my jewelry-making supplies, and a hammered necklace clasp made in one of the classes I've taught at the library.  Easy-peasy.  Now to roll some little eggs out of robin's egg blue Fimo clay...a little colorful addition to the terrarium.


    Think Spring!

    A quick trip through Fresh Market yesterday, and an empty tea canister from this morning...the start of a windowsill herb garden!


    Minutiae...live it, learn it, love it

    by Flora Bowley...Brave, Intuitive Painting

    I woke up this morning with a few things on my mind...nothing too heavy, but they are weighing me down nonetheless. The year began with my word for 2013...optimism. Trying to look on the sunny side; not so much the glass half full thing, nor the finding the silver lining thing. Just trying to hold out hope for the best...in life, activities, friends and relationships--both professionally and personally.

    Some days I tend to get caught up in the minutiae...those little pesky things that can throw you over the cliff or under the bus {{both phrases I am sick-to-death hearing}}. Lately I seem to be fighting the minutiae on a daily basis...either through interpreting things for others, or trying to read too much into things--"overthinking" has been my strong suit of late. Maybe I should just stop thinking...as one of my co-workers says (constantly) "I am not paid to think"...that surely can't be the answer.

     Referring back to previous posts---I must have been previewing this feeling back in the summer of 2008---my "mini-rant" in July and my "something to think about" in June of the same year. Maybe I need a real vacation...away from the cold and frozen car doors. Away from demanding and unappreciative people...away from thoughtless and careless people. Heck...maybe just away from people. What a concept!

    File this one under "pity party"...


    Dear Jane

    This quilt picture hung around my sidebar for at least a year and a half...the Dear Jane quilt.  I started constructing blocks in 1999...and stopped in 1999.  A couple of years ago, I bought the software that will let you print out the patterns--and still didn't work on the quilt top.  This year marks the 150th anniversary of the completion of the original Dear Jane...so I decided to create a library program around this theme (it's EVPL's Centennial this year) so we could have a support group of sorts...we had our first program this morning and there were ten of us in attendance.  Some novices, some dabblers, and some quilters...this is going to be fun {{if it doesn't kill us first!}}.  We will all have our own quilt tops by years' end.


    Sunny Monday

    Rumor has it that all of the snow and ice hanging around these parts will be melted by weeks' end.  That's exciting news!  The sky is ultra blue today...and the sun is shining brightly.  I really couldn't ask for more.  The day started out with a painting session in the basement of the library.  I was joined by two other people, and we had a great time.  I'm working on two canvases, and I really have no idea of how they'll end up.  Ronda finished her painting, and Sandy worked on three canvases.  Ambitious.

    Our work is on display at Central Library, beginning today.  Click the link, and you'll be transported to the online version.  So exciting!

    New stuff...not finished.
    Where I left it today...1.7.13


    Ten weeks until Spring

    Unknown Source

    Sunday morning, as usual, finds me watching CBS Sunday Morning. The first thing to catch my ear this morning was the statement by Charles Osgood saying that it's ten weeks until Spring. That's manageable...days and weeks tend to fly by...ten weeks. Time to check the floral department of Schnuck's to see if the primrose, cyclamen, and the other late winter-early spring specimens are available.

    Plenty of time to think about starting seeds, too. This year, for certain, lots of Black-eyed Susans, both the plant and the vine...love the yellows twining around blue bottles on my soon to be constructed bottle tree.

    by Teresa


    Weekend Plans...post number 555

    It's going to be a typical weekend here along the river...puttering around the house {{trying to keep warm!!}}, reading, listening to music (and looking for my mis-placed iPod), movie watching, soup-making, and bread baking.  This weekend's reading list includes:

    My other "read" is for book discussion...The Shoemaker's Wife.  The books are so very different it won't be too much of a stretch for my brain.  One is a want-to, the other a got-to.  Makes a difference!

    As for movies...it's going to be a Joseph Gordon-Levitt film fest...Premium Rush and Loopers.

    My soup for the weekend--Ina Garten's Italian Wedding Soup:

    Italian Wedding Soup

    For the meatballs:

    3/4 pound ground chicken
    1/2 pound chicken sausage, casings removed
    2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
    2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
    3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
    1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
    1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
    3 tablespoons milk
    1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    For the soup:

    2 tablespoons good olive oil
    1 cup minced yellow onion
    1 cup diced carrots (3 carrots), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
    3/4 cup diced celery (2 stalks), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
    10 cups homemade chicken stock  (cheating...using prepared stock)
    1/2 cup dry white wine
    1 cup small pasta such as tubetini or stars
    1/4 cup minced fresh dill
    12 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed


    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    For the meatballs, place the ground chicken, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, drop 1 to 1 1/4-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 40 meatballs. They don't have to be perfectly round.) Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.

    In the meantime, for the soup, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan.



    The beat goes on...

    Via Pinterest

    I don't think there has been a Friday in the past year or so that I haven't had the words from that YouTube sensation Rebecca Black go through my head..."It's Friday, Friday, got to get down on Friday..."  Kind of starts the day on an "up" note, regardless of how annoying most (probably all) people feel about this so-called song.

    Facebook was filled with a pay-it-forward creativity post yesterday.  I reposted the comment on my "status"...I think it's kind of cool, and definitely reminiscent of the blog pay-it-forward deal from a few years ago.
    2013 Creative Pay It Forward: the first five people who comment on this will receive a gift from me in the next calendar year-- baked goods, jewelry, book craft, or art. I will send it to you whenever I "feel" it is the right time to do so. The catch? You have to post this on your wall and pay it forward! Message me your address after you comment here and repost! Who's in?
    I'm going to open this up to blog readers...just repost the above message on your blog, with appropriate edits regarding the nature of your gift.  First five commenters to play...send me your address via email (hit the button on the side bar).


    It's back to work I go...

    People who know me (and read my blog) will be sighing and thinking "why is she dragging a picture of that painting out again??"...but I thought I'd share anyway.  If you've been reading my blog for any length of time--and have hung in there through the posting droughts--I seem to be a crafty person...sometimes the MacGyver of crafty people, by using odds and ends and trying to make something out of nothing.  "Artsy", I'm not...but I aspire.  Late last spring, one of the people who attends classes and programs at my library told me about an artist and a book.
     Flora Bowley and Brave, Intuitive Painting.  Truly...it changed my world.

    Truly, a life-changing book...click here to be led to Amazon.com

    Here's my first attempt at "being brave, and painting intuitively"...this is a 48" x 48" piece...pretty huge, and full of color.  My friend Ronda (see past posts to look at her work), and I bought a sheet of Masonite, and the fine folks at Home Depot cut in in half for us.  We both primed the surface with Kilz, and then began painting late last fall.  Layer, upon layer, using acrylics and mark-making tools (bubble wrap, pallet knives, bottle caps), bottles full of runny paint to dribble...and here's the end result.  I'm proud of my first effort, and have since progressed to using canvas to paint on...much easier!  I'll get permission from Ronda to post her painting here later today.

    Edited to add:  "Solace" by Ronda H.

    Now it seems I have a new hobby...painting--and I love it.  The bright colors of paint will get me through this gloomy winter.  Optimism...day 2.


    New starts...2013

    I loved this quote from the moment I first read it.  The words truly speak to me...it is all so optimistic, and that is what I hope 2013 is filled with...optimism.