Saturday, April 5, 2014

hexagons

Hi friends.  Since I have a stamping class next week, I thought I should get started on my samples.  Today's inspiration challenge on SCS was just the push that I needed.  I chose the sixth sample given for my inspiration, because it looked like brown paper bag. 

I used one of my new frameworks dies from Tim Holtz/Sizzix to die cut a piece of paper bag and then cut a few more from different colors of cardstock.  I paired a larger hexagon from Sizzix with these for the sentiment.  

Thanks so much for stamping by. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

homemade yogurt

Hi friends.  Recently I saw some instructions online on how to make yogurt in the crock pot.  I love using my crock pot, so this sounded like something I'd like to try.  The only ingredients you need are milk and plain yogurt with active cultures.  Last weekend I made my first attempt.  Alas - it was a total failure!  The yogurt did not thicken AT ALL!  I even tried reheating it, but it curdled, so I drained off the whey and used the 'cottage cheese' in some lasagna. 

Now I am not someone who would normally try again when my first attempt is an utter failure, but this just seemed like it should not be that difficult.  I thought maybe that I did not get the temperature correct, so I forced myself to take another shot. 

Yesterday, I started the batch and after the time given for the milk to heat, I put my candy thermometer in and could see that it was nowhere near the temperature (around 180 degrees) it was supposed to be, so I added anywhere from 1/2 to 1 hour at a time and kept testing the temperature.  I'm not sure exactly how long I cooked it, but eventually it was within about 10 degrees, so I went to the next step, which was cooling it back down to around 110. 

The next step was adding in the yogurt and then wrapping the crock pot up in a big bath towel and leaving it sit for 8 hours or overnight. 

This morning when I removed the towel, I was excited to see SUCCESS!  YAY!  I drained off the whey and put my yogurt in some pint jars.  I will most definitely do this again. 

Some of the sites talked about cooking down the whey and making a kind of cheese.  Since I had all the whey from my previous batch, plus a small amount from this one, I put them together and went for it. 

I cooked it for hours (during which time someone in the house rather loudly complained about the smell) and finally, it had cooked down enough to carmelize and thicken.  I let it cool a little and then I tasted it.  Rather salty and almost a 'vinegary' flavor.  Certainly not what I was expecting.  I don't think I'll try this again.  Next time I'll just toss the whey. 

Thanks so much for stopping by. 

neglected

Yes, I've really been neglecting my blog.  I can't believe it's been over a month since my last post.  I suppose that is mostly because I haven't really been creating much.  Not that I haven't done any crafting, because I have.  I made cards for my classes, I've been doing a bit of crochet, and I started quilting another one of those quilts that have been sitting for a couple of years waiting for me to stick a needle in. 

Here are two of the cards from my last class.  The first one is called a double dutch fold

I used the SU hostess set simply sketched and colored the image with a waterbrush and intense pencils.  I love those and really need to get the big set of 72.  I only have 24 and it always seems like the color I really need isn't there.  I guess I need to save some money so I can get those. 

The second card is a whitewashing technique -- so fun.  You embossed the image in white EP and then color it with white ink and a waterbrush.  I chose to leave mine neutral and not add any additional color. 

And I have another card that I made for today's inspiration challenge on SCS.  I chose the 2nd sample given as my inspiration.  I used a new background stamp from SU called hardwood -- awesome stamp. 

I have something else I worked on this week, but I'll save that for another post. 

Thanks so much for stopping by. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

it's finished!

Hi friends.  Remember that quilt I talked about in my last post?  Well, I've been working on it a little bit every day.  Today, I finished it.  What a wonderful feeling of accomplishment! 
This is called a scrap quilt, because each block uses different fabrics.  The flowers and background fabrics are all different.  I think I may have repeated a couple of the greens, because I didn't have enough different ones.  The continuity of the quilt is the same pattern for each block.  I love all the variety of fabrics and colors. 

When I started working on this last week, I already had the flowers quilted.  I just needed to quilt the edges of each square and bind the quilt. 

First, I quilted around the edges of all the internal blocks.  Then I sewed the binding to the front edge of the quilt and trimmed any excess fabric and batting.  Then I quilted around all the edge blocks.  You can see some of the quilting detail in this next photo, especially on the purple flower. 

Then it was time to stitch the binding onto the quilt back and add a label.  I print my label from my computer and then trace it onto muslin with the help of a light box.  I use a pigma pen and heat set it with an iron.  When I attached this label, I placed it under the binding, so it was a little bit less work stitching it on. 

This last picture is one of my favorite blocks from this quilt. 

Thanks so much for stopping by. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

quilting

Hi friends.  It has been quite awhile since I've worked on any quilting.  I checked back on previous posts to see when the last time was that I had worked on this quilt.  Seriously?  Over three years ago.  It has literally been sitting where I last worked on it.  It disturbs me that I have so many unfinished projects, so I've been pushing myself to complete some of them. 

I was in need of some quilt therapy, so I pulled it out.  I had been quilting without a frame, but decided it would be a little bit easier to use my circle frame, so I brought it up from the basement and cleaned it off (dust and cobwebs).  I set it up in my bedroom.  (No, the block isn't all crooked, even though it looks like it.  The quilt is just very loose in the frame.) 

I've been working on it just a little bit every day.  The flowers were all quilted previously, so what's left is quilting around the edges of each block.  I also still need to bind the edges, and will have to do that before I can complete the quilting of the outermost row of blocks. 

Because I don't have really good lighting, I really can't work on it at night, so I've just been quilting on it during daylight hours - anywhere from 30 minutes to a an hour or two at a time.  Today, the tips of my fingers are a little sore from pulling on the needle, so I guess I went a little longer than I should have. 

I don't think it'll take me too long to get this done as long as I work on it consistently. 

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

faux washi tape

Hi friends.  Today's technique challenge on SCS was to use tape. 

I like the look of washi tape, but don't have very much.  Since I have no blue, and that's what I wanted to go with my card, I made my own washi tape using scor-tape and a coffee filter.  I filled one side of the filter with the scor-tape.  Then I used several different blue distress stains to color the filter.  After drying it with my heat gun, I cut apart the strips of tape and then stamped some patterns on some of the strips, using ribbon stripes from Gina K Designs.  The one real disadvantage of this faux washi tape is that it is permanent; you can't lift it off and move it like regular washi tape.  The coffee filter is also less transparent than regular washi tape. 

I inked the background (leaf & floral - hero arts) with bashful blue & misted lightly with water before stamping. 

The main image is from don't worry (our daily bread designs).  I used inktense pencils and a water brush to color it. 

Thanks so much for stopping by. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

spirelli window

Hi friends.  When I saw yesterday's technique challenge on SCS - to put some real stitching on your card, I knew I wanted to play along. 

I think spirelli is such a beautiful technique, that I decided to make a spirelli circle that was actually a window on the card front.  I was going to make it a single layer card, but then realized that the not so pretty back of the stitching would show on the inside of the card, so I made a separate layer, with an opening behind the spirelli to make a window card and the image on the inside of the card. 

It's not really blurry; the thread shadows just make it look that way.  Stamps are SU simply sketched, stamped in black stazon and colored with red and green markers. 

Thanks so much for stopping by.