Sunday, March 29, 2015

More: Owl, Bowl, Pause in Lent

Olly is back, but too frightened for me to get a better picture of him. This was as good as it happens on zoom lens. He is present only in the early morning, before sunrise; our neighbor says he is likely inside the box sleeping during the day.

Just the moment I got a bit nearer and steadied the camera on the fence railing, as I peered into the camera for a snap, he was gone.

More fabric bowls finished yesterday in prettier fabrics:


Today is Palm Sunday and I join in with Floss in A Pause in Lent, where Henri Nouwen's comments can be seen here on Path to Writing.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fabric Bowls and Laundry Line

As usual, when Elizabeth posted her pretty fabrics bowls here on Washing-Line Tales, I had to copy her and make a fabric bowl also.  Monkey see=monkey do.

I had a bit of trouble envisioning how to start off the center part, but Link #6 below from Crafty Stylish gives a good picture of the beginning of the vortex of covering the laundry line.

Using up odd bits of fabric from the closet and discarding the rest, it was a good way to not only have fun seaming up a quick bowl, but it helped in de-cluttering pieces of fabric previously used in Liturgical Art projects.

These links will give you all you need to know about how to make a fabric bowl if it does not come to you intuitively. Links will also lead you to some very pretty bowls made by other bloggers.

1 here (Mrs. Tittlemouse)
2 here (Radiant Home Studio)
3 here (Pretty Prudent)
4 here  (This Year's Dozen) explains continuous strips and a button decoration idea
5 here  (Cynthiaf) her dog sports one of her bowls on his head, sweet!
6 here for Crafty Stylish
7 here for Craftsy coils at the end
here  Wikihow shows the zig-zag stitch in detail

Besides reading and learning from the links above, my further suggestions include the following:

  • Cutting the strips of fabric about 1.25 inches wide on the bias makes twisting the fabric around the laundry line much easier and cleaner looking

  • Use a cording foot; my trust old Pfaff machine came with one in its box of attachments

  • use coordinating fabrics (I did not, so the resulting bowl looks like it was made out of Depression era materials)

  • Take your time and enjoy the process!  It took me about two hours total to make a bowl out of half a package of $5 cotton laundry line purchased from True Value Hardware

  • Find a decorative piece of jewelry or crochet a flower to cover the ending tale of the bowl

  • Now go out and do as I say, not as I do!

    Monday, March 23, 2015

    Spring Luck

    As I have previously said, Jeans Knitting is one of the first reads of the morning when sitting in my chair, or actually my husband's chair, after I get up and turn on the fire and have coffee in hand.  She blogs daily and wakes me up with her perspective on her coming day.  Jean makes lists of things that she needs to accomplish that day. And updates me, for of course she is writing to me from Edinburgh, telling in her quaint ways of what on her yesterday's list was accomplished and what yet needs to be finished from her uncompleted list.  Most days she gives herself  a 100 percent rating, but a few times she laments that she was just too tired to finish one or two of her self assigned tasks.

    Seems I follow Jean closely because I think of her as my one-generation-older friend who is keeping it together in her own way.  So maybe a list is the thing to keep in the forefront of my mind as I try to age with grace and wisdom.

    So back to Jean's list, or my list, for the day.  Half of her day seems to involve taking care that her octogenarian, somewhat cranky husband, as she gets his lunch and keeps his writing files in order. That part of my day, compared with hers, does not exist, since my husband is in a reverse role with his own mother and ensuring she is fed and watered,  Although she still lives independently, except for not driving and having severe macular degeneration and not being able to read much or change the time on the clock or figure out how to order on Amazon.  But he needs no care whatsoever, other than being listened to, and occasional affectionate words and kisses.

    Then Jean's list goes on to her knitting.  My, what a knitter she is, even to the point of designing her own laces and looking into software to aid in her motif designs.

    My knitting, sorely neglected as of late, consists of this pair of socks on the needles, using picture yarn.  Google it and you will see clever yarns that have been mathematically designed to create pictures within the pattern, no matter the gauge you are using.  Here is a picture of my watermelon socks.  Notice those little black dots of color that play into the reds for the seeds within.

    these are The Perfect Fit Socks, Abi Grasso Etsy Shop yarn

    On the cooking front, two recipes I made this weekend are absolutely the best: carrot cake and hush puppies.

    No pictures, but the carrot cake was found here, originally published by Southern Living. It has the usual suspects in the batter of grated carrots, crushed pineapple, with a little surprise of coconut.  We liked it, the neighbors liked it and I am serving it to friends today at coffee and tomorrow (frozen, but thawed) to the pinocle card group.

    I was looking for an old fashioned sweet hush puppy like my grandmother used to make, but times have changed and what I found was from Paul Prudhomme, found here. We had fried trout with the couture hush puppies. Those puppies have onion, green onion tops, red pepper and only one egg, but after setting for a couple of hours in the fridge, the juices from the vegetables incorporate themselves into the flour and cornmeal and give an excellent texture. Beware these pups are fried, and I used only a film of grease, but they soaked up every bit of that canola oil. Not low calorie, but delicious. (And I did not find one recipe that called for just cornmeal, flour, egg and sugar, like Mom used to make.)

    Saturday, I thought I was buying plain ol' johnny jump-ups for a splash of blue color on the patio while waiting for anything to rear its pretty head from the cold soil.  When I got home, I looked at the label more clearly after planting it and was happily surprised to learn I had purchased Rock Cress Axcent Lilac plants, a perennial.  What luck!  I needed new perennials.

    The husband reminded me of what Garrison Keillor said:

    “Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known. ” 
    ― Garrison KeillorLake Wobegon U.S.A.

    If you are following Angela in A Pause in Lent, I have written a piece on Path to Writing concerning what I heard yesterday in church since we are just two weeks away from Easter.  (It is under revision, in case you click on it and do not see it.)

    Have a great week, and haste ye back in a few days to see the laundry line bowls in progress, thanks to the tip from Elizabeth, seen here when she writes about Washing-Tale Lines.