Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Friday, March 24, 2017

Orbs, Spheres, Balls

Whatever you call them they seem to have a universal appeal. I have a small collection which I will share wth you today

These blue and white balls were very popular several years ago. I keep this bowl of them on my table on the deck year round. In the winter they get covered with snow, but the china bowl and the balls don't seem to mind a bit. When it's time to get the deck ready for summer I put everything in the dishwasher. You can see how dirty the table is now.

I bought this orb several years ago on a trip to China. It all carved out of one piece of jade. There are four spheres nestled inside each other. Amazing workmanship.

This collection was acquired bit by bit over the years. Starting with the large ball at the top and going clockwise. The blue ginkgo ball was purchased at the fabulous Japanese Gardens in Portland, Or. It is a phenomenal place to visit, as good as any I had seen in Japan. I have a fondness for ginkgoes and blue so it had to come home with me. The dark blue ball is a signed, dated piece made by a local artist and gifted to me. The white china openwork was purchased recently at TJ Maxx. The blue ball with the star was given to me by my son. It is a Temari ball, made from string and yarn. The turquoise paper weight was bought for my late Mom, who loved the color turquoise, and now it's mine. And the last one was also a bargain from TJ Maxx.  These all sit at one end of my mantle.

So there you have it. Do any of you collect orbs?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Healthy Lunch

Avocado toast has been on the trendy healthy list for the last year or so and I must say that it is delicious. I usually put about a half of an avocado onto two pieces of toasted multigrain bread. Yummy with some freshly ground pepper and sea salt. 

BUT, I recently tried it without the s & p and instead topping it with fresh raspberries cut in half. Oh, my, so yummy. Good for breakfast or lunch. I do love raspberries, but would often get discouraged when they would get moldy the next day after purchase. I don't know where I saw this trick, but it works. When you get your berries home, put them in a solution of white vinegar (just a little in the bottom of the bowl) and water. Swish them around so they all get wet, then drain and put on paper towels on the counter. Blot dry with more towels and let them sit for an hour or so until they dry. Pop them back into their container and refrigerate. They will stay fresh for at least a week and no, you cannot taste the vinegar. I have been buying double boxes at Costco and have never had to throw one berry away. Try it, if you love raspberries like I do.


Thursday, March 9, 2017


A few years ago FANE, one of the fiber groups of which I am a member, had an exhibit in which we were to make kimono inspired pieces to be displayed on T-shaped stands. You can see the exhibit here. I used my shibori in mine and after they were in another exhibit mine got rolled up and put in a closet with many other projects.

I recently bought a new dining room table and chairs for my smallish dining room. My old set came from my former much bigger house and I had been talking for years about replacing it. I found something I liked and it is a much better scale for the room.

I don't know what prompted me to think to get out that kimono piece, but I did and I do like the way it looks as a runner on this table.

I didn't want to use a centerpiece, as I usually do, because I didn't want to hide the center and opted for these hurricane globes with red candles.

 The two pieces that made up the "sleeves" of the kimono are at either end of the table. The circles were made using the stitched method of shibori and the big stitched circles were done by hand.

Two different pole wrapped shibori pieces were used here and the center is stitched shibori again.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

External Forces

My FiberWorks group has embarked on a new project called "External Forces" that we plan to do once a month. Each member was challenged to come up with a theme or motif for the year and each month we will apply some technique or idea to that theme. Each member put 3 techniques or ideas into a bag and everyone drew one for the first month.

My theme is "Suns". One of my favorite shows on TV is Sunday Morning on CBS. It has been on for over thirty years, each week from 9-10:30 AM. It is a magazine of sorts with segments on the news, art, entertainment, etc. The current host is Jane Pauley, who recently took over from Charles Osgood who retired after many years. He was preceded by Charles Karault.

 There is their official logo sun, which is on at the beginning of the show.

Between each segment is a different sun, often in the same theme as the segment. If you go to their website and scroll all the way down, you will see more info about the suns. I often wondered where they came from. Did they have a staff that was so incredibly talented? Well, I'm sure they do, but a lot of them are sent in by viewers. You can send in a photo and if they like it, you will get a letter saying that they may use it at some time. They don't say when and you don't get credit. Most of the suns have faces.

The card that I picked was "fussy cutting", apparently put in by one of our more traditional quilters. It means cutting out some section of a fabric for the ideal shape you are looking for. You might cut a little tree out of a landscape print, or you might want the exact same design in each section of a nine-patch. You get the drift.

I almost always now use my hand-dyed and/or surface design fabric in my work so  I had to go through my many piles of commercial prints to find circles, which I wanted for the center of my sun face and found these two batiks in my stash.

And here are my suns. The pieces were fused on and then edged in machine buttonhole stitch. I machine stitched the faces on, using free motion satin stitch on the first and free motion straight stitch on the other.

Our pieces are all to be 8 inches square. I plan to use blues from my six gradations of this bright blue for all my backgrounds. If I like them all when finished I will put them together into a small wall quilt called, of course, Sunday Morning. Who knows, maybe I'll send in some pictures and be on TV!!