Sunday, August 28, 2011

The joys of “H-Mart”

On Friday, we drove to Atlanta to take my son (Brian) and his wife (Amber) out to dinner.  Much to our delight, they picked the food court at “Super H-Mart”

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With their encouragement, we ordered from the Korean diner and enjoyed a spicy soup that was filled with strips of beef, leeks and wonderful mushrooms…..SAM_1885

Brian was determined to not let a single bite go to waste…..SAM_1886 ….and ended up making “a happy bowl”  (at least that is what we called it when the kids were little)…..

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Afterwards, we walked thru the store which specializes in Asian food….mostly Korean.   It reminded us so much of our shopping trips to Carrefour in Kunming, except that there was a LOT more English!!!

There was the typical aisle of rice…..

DSC00545 …..HUGE bags of red pepper…….

DSC00546 ….and who knew that they made SPAM “Lite”!!!! DSC00548

We bought several items that we don’t normally find at home, including a bag of “Sweet Rice” which is used to make one of the desserts that we loved in Thailand.

I did some “googling” and came up with a recipe for “Sticky Rice With Mango” and we had a fun time preparing the rice and the coconut milk based sauce.  It was great with Mango…..

DSC00551 ….and even better the next day served with sliced bananas!!!

A fun weekend revolving around food!!!!

Oh, there was a bit of sewing going on as well, but I cant share that yet!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fiber Frenzy – Part 2

At our last Fiber Frenzy group the program was about making Deconstructed Screen Printed fabrics and was presented by Anita and Mary Ann.

They started out by showing us how to make a screen.  First step is to place objects under the screen, only using things that are fairly flat…..

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Next you use a squeegee to cover the screen with a thickened dye……

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Lift the screen up, remove the objects and allow the screen to dry.

Next, place the dried screen on a piece of PFD fabric and squeegee it with print paste…..

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Lift the screen and see what has happened…..DSC00436

Move the screen over, apply more print paste to release more dye…..DSC00438

As you keep going, more and more of the dye releases, causing the print to change……everyone is a bit different from the previous one!!!

Here are two more examples….this one was made with thin spaghetti underneath the screen……

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…..and this one showed the progression as more and more of the dye began releasing from the screen……DSC00445

THANKS Ladies for showing us such a fun technique……DSC00458

Monday, August 22, 2011

I am FINALLY sewing…..

…..but I cant show it to you!!!

IF it turns out ok, it will be a gift so it has to stay a secret for now, but here is a TINY preview……

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I am having SO much fun!!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Art by Aling

When we were in Kunming, China, we visited with a previous acquaintance  by the name of Aling.   She is originally from the southwest part of Yunnan Provence, close to the Burma border.

HERE is the post from my first meeting with her…..

She is a master of many crafts, starting with making bags, then turning to jewelry,  and ending up with photography and  painting.   Some years ago she started using the scraps left from her bags to make mosaic fabric art and this is what captured my imagination!!!

She uses a paste made from rice flour and water to stick the snippets of fabric to a stretched canvas, making a very durable art form.

This is the third time that we have visited with her and each time have brought her some fabrics from the US.

On this trip we learned that she had opened a store to feature her wonderful work.  It was there that we saw this piece……

DSC00528 Well, Michael and I both fell in love with it and decided that we had to have it.

Aling and her husband were visiting the US in July to put on a show, so they shipped the piece along with the show art and then sent it on to us when the show was over.

It arrived on Thursday and we are SO enjoying having it hanging above the piano.  It is in the perfect spot so that I can view it while relaxing in the living room.

AND….it even has a bit of one of the Kaffe Fasset fabrics that I took to her…..

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It is a fun and colorful reminder of some of the good times from our trip!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fiber Frenzy Report

Last Friday was the meeting day for our Fiber Frenzy Group.  We had a wonderful 2-1/2 hours together.  As a matter of fact, we all looked at our watches and realized that we had over-shot our ending time by 30 minutes!!!!

The first thing that we did was present our “Leaf” challenge projects.  I did not prepare a challenge piece this month, but had a wonderful time seeing what everybody else came up with.

 

Mary Ann was first to share and brought out this delightful piece…..  DSC00401 Anita showed this piece that was made by stamping the fabric with a leaf that had leftover paint from a deconstructed screen printing project…..

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Nancy prepared this thread painted fern leaf….cant you just see it unfurling…..DSC00403

Jodie wasn’t there but sent in her fused leaf collage……DSC00404

Shirley (who never makes anything small) brought in this delightful applique.  She is debating about adding more to it and turning it into a queen size quilt.  I love the fabrics and colors….makes me think of Autumn and cooler weather!!!!DSC00399

Finally, Madeline blew us away with her leaf…..

DSC00404 She said that the piece used a smorgasbord of techniques ranging from paints, paintsticks, thread and anything else that she could think of!!!!

It is such fun to see what everyone comes up with!!!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Charity Donation Quilt

Today I have been working on a donation quilt that our guild is giving to a local organization.  They will raffle it off to raise money for their work.

We ask our guild members to make parts of the blocks and try to stay with pieces that can be made too big and then cut down to size.  We have found that 4 patches and half-square triangle squares work the best for this process.

For this quilt, we didn’t set a color way and instead just went for “all-out scraps”.

I was worried that there were too many colors in the pieces, but as you can see the pattern carries the diverse colors……

DSC00497  and it actually looks better in person….the camera doesn’t give it much depth of field.  In person you really see the squares formed by the triangles…..

So we just have to add borders, get it quilted and  send it off to Interfaith Hospitality!!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Congratulations Mrs. Arnold….it’s a boring quilt!!!

Ah….it didn’t start out to be boring…..

The idea was really good.   While in China I took the following photo of a group of bamboo trees…..

_6072807 ….and my creative juices started working overtime.

So, when I had some time to play in my studio, I pulled out the green and yellow fabrics and off I went.

The first step was to make paper patterns that were approximately 3 by 6 inches and the paper piece them in alternating green and yellow stripes…..

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When I had twelve of them finished I started playing with how to put them together. 

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As I fiddled in EQ7, I came up with an arrangement that looked something like this…..

bamboo My husband particularly liked the way the blocks floated on the background so I proceeded to lay out the blocks and start piecing.

I found that it was easiest to piece in long strips and had fun trying to figure out the best way to make it work.  DSC00461

At one point, I realized that I had pieced one strip incorrectly, so simply moved it to another spot so that it would fit.

Here is the final quilt top…..

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Now the problem…..it looks BORING!!!!!    I am going to have to add something to it to spice it up a bit, but the question is what to add????

I have thought about painting bamboo leaves, using Shiva Paintsticks, appliquéing leaves, layering net or mesh leaves.

PLEASE help me make this quilt un-boring…..what are your suggestions??

Thursday, August 11, 2011

More Produce Boxes

We have been enjoying our produce boxes for the last couple of weeks.  This one was a doozie……

DSC00258It included eggplant, lettuce, micro greens, potatoes, tomatoes, figs, sweet peppers and Edamame.

I spent the first night looking up recipes for some of these items.  We started out with potatoes, onions and red pepper  cooked in foil packets.  The “meat” for the night were fried eggplant slices that had been dipped in egg and bread crumbs, and sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

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Dessert was made by dipping sliced figs in sugar and then sautéing them until they had caramelized.   It was excellent served with ice cream!!!!

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Planning for the second night meant that I had to find out exactly what Edamame was!!!   A quick Google search taught me that it was Soy Beans!!!

I started trying to shell them and found that it was incredibly hard.  So, back to Google, and found out that you should cover them with boiling water for 3 minutes, dunk them in cold water, and the beans pop right out!!!!  Hurray for Google!!!!

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We used these the next day to make fried rice using onions, carrots, soy beans and rice.  We seasoned it with soy sauce and red pepper.  We fried more eggplants and enjoyed some of the yellow tomatoes as well.

 

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OK….so much for our dinner menus!!! 

Hopefully I will someday again write a post about quilting!!!   I am doing a bit, but dont have anything to write about just yet!!!

Thanks for hanging in there with me……

Friday, August 5, 2011

Another new purchase

While we were traveling, I realized the need for a smaller camera……not that I am going to give up my Digital SLR  but sometimes you want to be surreptitious and you just cant do it with a camera that size.   During our recent trip, I used my cell phone as my “sneaky” camera and also for videos, but the quality just wasn’t quite up to par.

So, once home I started researching various small cameras.  After talking to a lot of people and reading a lot of internet reviews I opted for the Sony Cybershot……

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It is a 16 mega-pixel camera with a 10x zoom.  There were several features that I really liked about it, including a great panorama feature.

The next day we left for a few days at the beach with our friends Roy and Diane so it was the perfect time to put it thru it’s paces. 

Here are a few of the things that I learned…..

 

It works well for the “hold the camera out and take a photo of yourself” shots….DSC00016

The zoom really ZOOMS……DSC00049

 

The “Macro” feature lets you get up close and personal……DSC00174

Long distance scenery shots are great……

DSC00052By the way, this shot was taken at Cumberland Island….only 300 people on the entire island and many of them were out bird watching so that meant a VERY empty beach!!!!!

The panorama feature is amazing……DSC00078

And it will even let you do a little bit of playing with it……
    

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It takes great stained glass shots and believe me, those are sometimes hard to get…..DSC00183 

It handled the low light really well……DSC00235

I also used it to film a video of some of the shore birds and loved the quality of the video but also the quality of the audio. 

 

But the best part of the camera…….DSC00215

This great photo on our last night!!!!

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