traveling bag

I was working on a shawl watching videos on Instagram and I had an urge.  No, it was a compulsion.  I decided to make myself a leather messenger style bag.  A traveling bag. 

I blame it all on Jason Momoa.  He carries a saddle bag most places and in on of his movies.  I decided I needed something similar.  I have the skills.  There were supplies.  Why not!

I ask the boyos what leather I could use and they picked this.  It will change color as I use it into something I like better.  Or I can always add black or dark brown leather dye to it.  I liked the cow shaped edges so I tried to incorporate them as much as possible.


I used the dimensions from my grocery bags.  A little bit bigger actually.  Because it was my traveling bag of course.  I sewed it on my treadle sewing machine.  It was a little bit difficult but not too bad.

The most difficult part was how heavy it was!

I also gave it two inches of depth which I normally do not do with my grocery bags.

I had an elk button from a Turkish coat I had my to wear to Renaissance fairs but took it part a few months ago.

Two pockets.  Wrap tie closure.  It is pretty lovely.  I am very excited to use it tomorrow.  I am traveling to New Orleans to see an art installation done by India Flint.  Since she is Australia based, this is one of the few US locations she will be showing at.  

I am VERY excited!


annotto as dye

There has been a lot of velociraptor holding going on here.  He settles for me when he will not settle for anyone else.  It makes life a bit interesting.  And life feels a lot like I should be holding be holding on with both hand while the road winds.  It is good and I am grateful but it is a ride.

Which means things I am working on are taking more time then I thought they would because time and attention.  Dye pots are fun because I just have to remember to stir them.  I had a friend ask me if I ever dyed with annotto.  I told her I had cooked with it but I had not tried dyeing with it.  

That conversation made me curious.  I went to the grocery store and all I could find was ground annotto but I decided I could work with that anyhow.  I have been looking for oranges so why not.

I took a picture of the silk I dyed while it was wet.  It is much more intense this way.  I would like to see if adding more annotto to the pot makes it more intense.

I did dye some cotton.  One piece was also dyed with iron added to the pot.  I wish to add more plant dyed fabrics to my quilts.  In another words, taking a long process and making it even longer.  Yes, that sounds about right!  But I enjoy it very much and it makes me happy so I think that is what truly matters.  

I have a pot of eucalyptus going right now.  I stirred it today and decided to let it go longer.  I will be curious to see how it turns out.  I hope to attend an art installation this coming weekend with lots of plant dyed and printed pieces.  I am pretty sure I can make it happen but there is those curves in the road that come up.  Since it is in a different city and would require a small road trip, I am keeping my fingers crossed!



Mondays and cooking the wolf

I recently talked about keeping food around for when people are hungry.  Soup is really one of my go tos.  But what happens when no one know what is for dinner?  I start looking through the refrigerator to find something to make into dinner.  None of us are very found of going out.  

Lately, I find I have been making casseroles that are rifting on Mexican flavors.  I try to keep a couple jars of cooked beans in the refrigerator at all times.  That way I CAN have soup any time I wish.  There is normally cheese and recently, there have been tortillas.  The boyos find they are a helpful side.  If there are any meat bits, they can go in.  I can add vegetables if there is something that fits the flavors.  Then the possibilities are endless.

The one pictured above is quite simple.  I really only had tortillas, cheese, and beans.  But I warmed the beans, flavored them milder then I normally do and added oregano, and layered with cheese and tortillas.  I popped it into the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until bubbly.  It tasted like enfrijoladas but in a casserole.  The only problem was there was not enough leftover for the boyos lunches.

One that I did not take a picture of, I used a green chili enchilada sauce as a base.  And soup. I used soup as one of the layers.  It was put together very similarly to the first one but I think I had a little leftover ground beef.  It tasted totally different.  But this time there was enough for the boyos the next day.  Then my Beloved started figuring how cheap it was to feed the crew for two meals.  It was about $3 a meal per person.  He was comparing this to going out.  But it was food that was close to being inedible.

This last week, I made something that was vegetarian again because I had no leftover meat bits.  I did have some cream cheese that was close to going bad so I blended that with a jar of cooked beans to be used as a sauce.  I heated four jars of plain beans and seasoned them spicy this time.  I had Koda Bear grate cheese for me and he and my Beloved layered beans, cheese, bean sauce, salsa, and tortillas into the casserole pan.  I baked until bubbly and it fed everyone at the table.  It fed the boyos the next day.  Plus it was my lunch and the Tall Short Persons.  

I have started with the Imperfect Produce boxes and I will see how that changes thing.  We do eat veg but Mondays have seemed to be using leftovers.  But I can be creative.  I did laugh at the bunch of turnips and the bunch of beets.  They were both one huge one!  But I like both roasted so it is all good.  I wonder how that roasted veg would taste in one of these......


playing with quilts

I decided to do something different with the quilts I am making.  This is it.  I still really love the nine squares so they are a component but I wanted to see what happened when I added larger pieces of fabric.  I have done some of the backs of my quilts this way and people seemed to really like them.  

This is the top.  I had thought about just using a large piece of thrifted flannel for the back but decided to piece it as well.  It will be interesting to see what happens.

I am also dyeing fabric for my quilts.  I have purchased used 100% cotton sheets at thrift stores and have started to put them in dye pots of dye made with plants.  I am very curious what will come of that fabric and quilts that will be put together with those fabrics.  I have a feeling they will be quite harmonious in a strange way.  Combining two things I love will be so cool.

I am hoping my schedule for this week goes better then last but we will have to see.  I am starting to count how many bowls of dough or just dough I have going at any one time.  I will have to share Koda Bear's favorite bun soon because it is pretty fabulous as a cheese sandwich with prosciutto.  That and some fruit, veg, and tea, I could drive cross country.  Yes, ice cream and cookies would also make it pretty spectacular but I could go many miles before I sleep with his favorite buns!  

Life has not slowed down any at all but I have adjusted to the current new normal.  It will change when we start building the sharpening truck.  I will be helping to design and build that before I start doing mobile sharpening.  I am actually very excited.  I could put a small stove top in it for making tea and plant dye.  I have thought of this.

The sharpening truck could mean never again stepping into an office!  In some ways, I hope the truck cabin takes off too!  I just feel like I need to hold on to life because it is going different ways then I could every forsee!


How to cook a wolf

I am really not cooking wolves.  I am referring to the book written by MFK Fisher called How To Cook A Wolf.  Basically, it is a well known treatise on who to make ends meet in a very common sense way.  It was written in 1942 and still is very wise.

Where it comes to play in my life, is that we have added three people to our household.  Plus the boyos in the shop.  We have money for food but when there are no plans for food, what to eat at 7 pm becomes difficult.  Because the food in my kitchen is food that needs to be made into something most of the time.  Which means that food for dinner might not happen until 9. 

Also, Koda Bear can come home from school hungry.  I do not plan snack food.  There is usually bread but what if more is wanted.  Or needed.  He is growing.

One part of the solution is to make sure there is soup in the house.  I took a potato bacon soup that Koda Bear did not really like, greens that really needed to be used, beans, and vegetable broth and put is all into the slow cooker. 

I let it cook all day.  Then blended it.  I adjusted the seasonings and all was good.  I served it to family company later the first evening.  I ate it before I went coaching.  It is just nice to have in the refrigerator as a go to.  And it is made!

More of this is happening in my life.  It also cleans out the refrigerator a bit.  When I have veg that is not at its best, I can always blend it into soup.  I do admit, most of these come out vegetarian but it does all depend on what bits and blobs are left over from past meals.