Saturday, October 27, 2007

Yea! My daughter is home from college for a three day weekend. We had not seen her since late August! It was, maybe, the longest stretch of time that she has been gone without me going to see her. She still has homework, so she is reading a lot. And I still have tasks I need to accomplish each day. We may go to a coffee shop, she to read and me to grade papers and of course, we will have coffee and maybe something sweet to eat! Or maybe we will stay home to do it. I found a Napoli Panettone and brought it home in honor of her visit and her 23rd birthday next week. It is a wonderful Italian sweet bread we see in stores about now till Christmas. It is much more reasonably priced in the stores, Walmart or Sam's, than online. Also, we have a wonderful homemade pumpkin bread sent by her "mother-away-from-home" who is also more like an older sister in age. My daughter lives with a homeschooling family on some acres out of town and has enjoyed the children, chickens, etc. this past year during her studies at the university.

More about the panettone. I have modified and combined several recipes for panettone to come up with a yummy version in my bread machine.

2/4 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter, chopped up
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Next ingredients subject to taste and availability:
1/2 - 1 1/2 teaspoons anise seed (really a must if you want the authentic flavor!)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cups dried and candied fruit
dried fruit like cranberries, currents, and golden raisins
candied orange or lemon peel
1/2 cup mini dark chocolate chips

My daughter believes that this bread tastes best when torn rather than cut but it does cut nicely and makes a very elegant tea sandwich when spread with cream cheese and jam!

We may also do a craft project today. We both need to make gifts for Christmas. If we manage this today I will post pictures!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I found time to pull out yarn, wool, and fabric Friday evening when a friend came over to play. She had seen some of my raw edge applique picture quilts and had a desire to make a fall quilted hanging with pumpkins. I showed her how to use needle felting and fabric on a felt background. I did a little color blending but didn't seriously work on my own project being more interested in enjoying the visit. I finished these little experiments the next day.

Saturday morning I went to an awesome huge charity garage sale. I stood in line to wait till it opened at 8:30 and made a bee-line to the "notions" area where I found a beautiful supply of wool tapestry yarn, embroidery floss and pearl cotton. Then I looked at the neat bundles of fabric for wool to felt and found 2 yards of creamy off-white wool knit and a yard of woven wool fabric. I plan to dye these to use in doll making and art quilts.

I looked for wool sweaters to felt but there were none to be found! I don't know if they had been purchased the previous day. I did find several garments to wear.

I saw such a wealth of discarded items that I am quite inspired to do more without buying new from stores! Of course that garage sale is not available year round and going regularly to small garage sales is time consuming! Oh well, I have enough now for a lifetime of art and crafting!

Friday, October 12, 2007

I just found the funniest AND most thought provoking blog I have read in a long time. I started with this post about junior high and just kept reading.

I usually read blogs by women who are artists and or mothers,... dealing with questions and problems sort of like mine. I read book reviews, view craft tutorials, and travel around the world seeing sites, viewing and commenting on art and life.

Brant Hansen is definitely male, a Christian, funny, and very creative! All this and serious at the same time. (Do I need to say that I don't necessarily agree with everything he says?)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Here is an old photo that I came across recently. We were 19 years old. I am glad that I can spin for the fun of it. I don't do it of necessity.

I have been consumed, eaten alive, by the start of school and the weight of my world. I have had some short bursts of energy to spend on fibers and dyes, but most of my little time in the studio of late has been spent organizing and cleaning. I am ashamed of the volume of stuff I have. I am behind and overwhelmed in almost every area of my life and consequently feel like a failure. What I think I need is a month off, to stay at home! Is that a common feeling these days? I think so, from talking to many people I know.
We have a running dialog, at this house, about the technologies that effect our lives either positively or negatively and can't agree if it is a net gain. I am very thankful for hot and cold running water, air-conditioning, cars, and yes my computer and the internet. But the speed and complexity of the business of life... the paperwork, the news, economics, bills, maintaining all those laborsaving devises, budgeting, various activities that children need transportation to, overseeing homework, grocery shopping, nutrition... As well as the time needed to maintain relationships.
I can hear, "It is a matter of priorities, making lists, delegating, and simplifying." When I manage to actually do that I will let you know... but don't hold your breath!