Tuesday
Jun282016

playing with fabric

This is just a very small portion of the fabrics that I brought back from Washington, with the pause in Utah.  I pulled this stack out and can envision them as a quilt all by themselves.  I have to admit that I just keep looking at the fabrics I brought back and wish I had more time at home so I can sit at my sewing machine.  The spinning wheel has taken a backseat this week.

There may not be many more posts this week.  The traveling finally got caught up with me in terms of not finishing many things.  I have many bits in process and more fabric ordered.  After doing more reading about dyeing today, I ordered new fabric to work with.  It is very exciting but it means more waiting.  Just like waiting on the apron dress pattern I ordered.

I also admit to being a bit worried and down.  My best friend's Mom is in Istanbul.  She is okay but world events are just overwhelming.  I might need to take a pause.  A deep breath.  Just a time to be calm.  I have been running to hard.  

Or I could just talk about the little bits.  I will see what I need tomorrow.

Monday
Jun272016

try try again

I am home safe and sound.  It was an easy trip but I am still getting the bugs out of the car.  Now, if I can get the Check Engine message to trip for the mechanic!

I came home to a box of plant dye and that was exciting.  Before my travels started this summer, I had started to play with plant dye.  There is hibiscus and red cabbage in the picture above.  But the linen I dyed was a very old linen nightgown and it did not seem to hold the red cabbage.  After a wash, it came out basically white.

I got two red cabbage and decided to try again.  I soaked my very old linen nightgown in soda ash for the mordant.  I cooked the cabbage in water for 45 minutes. I strained out the cabbage solids.

In went the nightgown.  With the soda ash, the cabbage give a light green.  I let the nightgown soak overnight.  Actually, it was more like 24 hours.

                                                  photo courtesy of Koda Bear

The nightgown was a lovely pale green.  It was not the lavender blue I was expecting but it was pretty.  The next step was to wash it and let it dry.  The mordant is supposed to help the dye sink into the fiber and become fast.  Unless I understood incorrectly.  Which is extremely possible.

Because when I washed it, all the colour came out.  It does appear cleaner and whiter which is one aspect of soda ash. 

I have some alum which I think I will try next.  I need to pick up two more cabbages and give it another try.  I would sigh but I figure I am learning more by trail and error then I would learn in a class. 

That is where my life is.

Thursday
Jun232016

taking care of business

This has been a week of taking care of business.  I got through the work week which is the was an accomplishment in itself.  I said some home truths today which may be a good thing or may be looking at new ways to create wealth and a lovely life next week.  Work life is interesting.

Home life has been a lot of catch up.  Time was spent at my machine mending instead of creating.  Koda Bear had to help so there were times that I had to take out stitching through pockets.  Four hands on a piece of work makes it very hard to control what is happening.  But I have to admit that it makes me laugh and I would not miss it for the world.

The boyos have been living on bread.  And bread goes on adventures.  Which means that I am baking every other day.  Basic every day bread.  I would like to make a batch of sugar brioche just for myself.  Maybe next weekend.  While I try to clean some of the weeds out of my garden.

But I am headed back to Utah tomorrow.  The automobile is no longer broken.  I will go there tomorrow and fly back.  I am thinking about stopping to eat in Albuquerque.  I like stuffed sopapillas.  I have a recipe!  The funniest thing about all that is I will come back from driving half way across the country more relaxed then staying in town.  I like gallivanting.

Maybe creativity will happen next week.  I do get to go through my new stash of fabric.  Postive things to be looking forward to.

Tuesday
Jun212016

nor'easter

When we were walking so far in New Orleans, we stopped for a late brunch or lunch at Kenton's.  I am pretty sure we got their lunch menu.  I had their crispy grits with wilted spinach and a pulled pork.  There was a sauce involved but I cannot remember what it was.  I know my mouth thought heaven arrived.  My Beloved had the breakfast sandwich with homemade potato chips.  I am not a fan of either and I could have eaten every single bite.  I just had enough to taste.

I had a nor'easter to go with it.  Kenton's description is food and bourbon so I wanted something with bourbon in it.  A nor'easter was described to me as a bourbon moscow mule.  I would say not.  I looked up the recipe when I got home.  I needed more limes anyhow!

I used less lime then the recipe called for because I find most recipes are just too heavy on the lime for me.  I have been using ginger syrup and soda water because that is what I have but light on the soda water.  The recipe suggests to make a batch, except for the soda water, and store it in the refrigerator.  I find that works well.

So here is my recipe with my small changes.  An easy go to if it is sitting in the freezer.  Easy to make.

nor'easter

Note:  I used the nytimes.com recipe as a go by.  I doubled the quantities because I do store it in the freezer.

2 ounces maple syrup

2 ounces ginger syrup

juice from one lime

8 ounces bourbon

2 ounces soda water.

Mix everything in a mason jar except the soda water.  At this point, you can store in the refrigerator if you wish.

Fill a highball glass with ice or use a 2 inch ice cube.  Fill the glass about 2/3 with the bourbon mixture.  Top with soda water until about 1/4 inch from the top of the glass.  Or no soda water at all.  Stir.  Drink.

This is enough bourbon base for two drinks.

I would love to drink this in front of a fire with a book.  Maybe in November.

Monday
Jun202016

and where am I sleeping this weekend?

I admit to never having a summer like this before in my life.  I have not been home for a weekend except once since the first of May.  This last weekend was New Orleans.  Another home.  It rained.  I walked.  It was lovely.

I had gotten a text on my way back from Estes Park asking when New Orleans could happen.  Business needed to be done.  Knives shown.  Rolled into New Orleans Friday when it was hot.  Business finished and beverages and food were needed.  Just a bit of rest and shade.

A few more miles, and a tent was set up.  Across the lake cooled down at night so that was lovely.  There was rain which also cooled things down a bit.

How do I do New Orleans?  I find a place to park, usually in the Marigny.  Then, I walk.  I sometimes use the street car or a bus but it is really about how far you can walk, what you wish to eat, and how much can you drink.  Going to grad school in a geology department in New Orleans has that tendency.

I did a lot of window shopping and got ideas for Christmas.  I bought a few pictures and a silver tea ball.  I have been looking at antique tea things online and I know where to go to find a brick and mortar (truly) store in the Quarter that carry such things.  Makes tea even more lovely.  I will haunt them next for crystal glasses.  They need to be just right.

I tell people who come to New Orleans with me it is:  how far can you walk and how much you can drink.  Elevenish miles later, windows looked in, food eaten, a new bar tried that I really liked, and my day was close to being finished.  The Pride parade did stop forward momentum for awhile but it just gave me another chance to eat.  I need to do elevenish mile type mile days more often.  My joints liked me for it.

New Orleans will happen again in autumn if not before.  I need to do some stocking shopping.