“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way--things I had no words for.”

~ Georgia O'Keeffe

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Inspiration - Crochet

Just look at these colors: gold, green, fuchsia, ivory! I must remember this color combo AND hopefully remember where this image came from. The diamond pattern is unusual but looks fairly do-able. Once I'm finished with the 5, (yes, five!) afghans I'm currently working for Christmas gifts I will concentrate on figuring this one out.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Oh, the Bounty

I stopped by The National Heirloom Exposition the other day to check things out. It was a quick visit, right down the street from my house, so how could I NOT go? The event was a swift kick in the pants that Summer is over and Autumn is here. The bounty of the season was literally piled in huge mountains, it was quite impressive!

"In the garden, Autumn is, indeed the crowning glory of the year, bringing us the fruition of months of thought and care and toil. And at no season, safe perhaps in Daffodil time, do we get such superb colour effects as from August to November."
 ~Rose G. Kingsley, The Autumn Garden, 1905

"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting 
and autumn a mosaic of them all."
 ~Stanley Horowitz

By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer’s best of weather And autumn’s best of cheer.
 ~Helen Hunt Jackson

“O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained

With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit

Beneath my shady roof; there thou may’st rest,

And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe;

And all the daughters of the year shall dance!

Sing now the lusty song of fruit and flowers.

~ William Blake

I wrote about the upcoming season 2 years ago, in this blog post. It pretty much sums up how I feel this time of year. O, Autumn, bring on the bounty!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Forgotton Finds

I completely organized, cleaned and rearranged my studio over the weekend and boy was I surprised at some of the things I found. I came across several piles of quilt blocks I had worked on months and months (and months) ago with much enthusiasm and excitement at the time, only to be tossed in a drawer and forgotten about. Well, my enthusiasm and excitement came rushing back when I found this stack of "disappearing nine patch" blocks.

How gorgeous are these fabrics? I'm so enthused that I have hung a makeshift design board in my hallway to get these blocks arranged for a quilt top!

Back when Sandi Henderson's Meadowsweet II came out I fell in love with all of the juicy shades and decided to mix in some Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks, Chocolate Lollipop and a dash of Amy Butler's Midwestern Modern.

I'm thinking I might sash these blocks with a very neutral fabric so the blocks really stand out, ...stay tuned!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Lemon Verbena Mint Iced Tea

My daughter walked into the kitchen today and caught me taking pictures of my glass of iced tea. She already knows I'm crazy so it didn't really phase her, plus, she stopped questioning my madness a long time ago. Anyway...I hadn't planned to take pictures of my iced tea but when I tasted how delicious it was I thought I'd share. Iced tea is my drink of choice since replacing my Diet Pepsi habit which replaced my red wine habit years ago. I like to brew my own and experiment with different blends and flavorings. I keep a little planter of fresh herbs at my back porch and I decided to snip a few sprigs to infuse into my plain, old Lipton Tea. It was delicious, I tell ya!

Here's what I did:
In a medium saucepan bring approx. 1 quart of water to a simmer. Add 3 teabags of black tea (I used Lipton) and several large sprigs of fresh herbs (I used Lemon Verbena and Peppermint, awesome combo!). Remove from heat and let sit for about 5 minutes and then strain. I usually drink my iced tea unsweetened but decided to add touch of sugar to bring out the flavor of the herbs. Stir in 2 tablespoons of sugar until dissolved. Now here is my little trick which I think (I know) makes all the difference. Pour hot tea over a large (pint) glass filled with ice and THEN pour back and fourth several times between another glass until very frothy. (a martini shaker would work wonderfully!). This technique is referred to as "pulling" and is common in Malaysia, Singapore and Morocco. The "pulling" process helps to cool and mix the tea but it is also said to give the tea a better flavor. I heartily agree! The end result is a delicious, frothy, iced tea. Who knows, once you try it and fall under it's spell you might be found taking pictures of YOUR glass of frothy, delicious iced tea to share with others. See, there IS a method to my madness, there is! (Note: this recipe makes about 3 pint-sized iced teas)