Friday, 29 August 2014


I spent my last Friday afternoon off "canning" or "preserving".  My nephews (bless their souls) harvested their garden and brought their aunt some beets and cucumbers.  Since I hadn't done this before, I had to search for recipes, then go shopping for items that I didn't have.  

Boiling the beets alone took almost an hour.  Then cool, rinse, peel and slice, make brine, then water bath.  

But, look at that red!!!!

Now onto the cucumbers - shred all seven of them, plus four large onions (made me cry), add spices, sugar, vinegar, boil, fill jars, then water bath.  While in the water bath one jar broke and I had to clean up a big mess and begin again.

My reward - lots of cucumber relish.

Next time, instead of making my own, I'm going on a road trip with my sister to my local market to pick up ready-made jars - way less work, cheaper, only buy the one jar that I need,  and I get to spend time with my sister.

Sunday, 24 August 2014


Lately, there's been a lot of talk about "street art" vs "graffiti".  Street art is constructive, adorns the urban landscape, stretches your mind, is about the audience, says "have you thought about this?", done with a smile, takes skill, is great.  Graffiti scars and accelerates the decay of the urban landscape, is a slap in your face, about the tagger, says "I tag, therefore, I exist", done with a scowl, takes balls, is great when gone.

I've been working on this piece for a while.  The painting of fabric is easy, but takes quite a while to dry in between each addition.  As the base, I used part of an old quilt top that I didn't like and had been stashed away on my shelf.  I covered it with acrylic paints, bubble wrap prints, stencilled letters and numbers, Shiva paint sticks, metallic rubs, spray inks and rubber stamps.  I even added my own tag.  After all of that, it became riotous and graffiti like, but still needed something else - a calming effect.

As you may know, I love black and after auditioning many ways to use it, landed upon the idea of a silhouette over the graffiti, to give the viewer's eye a resting point.  Not just any silhouette would do.  I didn't want to use images of flowers or people.  I thought about looking at the graffiti wall through a window and maybe add some window frames. Straight lines in a grid pattern did nothing for the piece, so back to more thinking.  Then after speaking to my sister one Sunday morning, while she was on her way to church, I got the idea of using a church window frame.  I started to work and changed the orientation of the piece to better reflect the height of a church window.  Then removed the eyes (they freaked me out) and the tag (it was too big so made it smaller).  

After adding the silhouette, I thought about how it showed the juxtaposition of the harsh outer world of chaos and the inner sanctum of the church.  The piece is now "street-art" and complete.

Sunday, 3 August 2014


Recent travellings have yielded lots of goodies from many quilt shops.  I've tried to support each quilt shop that I entered along the way.  If you don't purchase from them, they won't stay in business.   Check out the fabrics - Tim Holtz, Christmas fabrics, Halloween prints, fabrics to finish a half-complete quilt, baby quilt blues, grey & orange modern quilt - wow, I love it!

And look at the patterns, notions ...  Turning Twenty book, Duffle Bag kit, Edyta Sitar, Laundry Basket Quilts patterns, a couple Tote Bags, Welcome to our Home laser cut fusible appliqué, circle cutter (because I broke mine) and fusible web.  Whew!

I thought that I had a lot to complete with just the Shop Hop blocks and the Row by Row Experience rows.  I'll be quilting at least another month. YES!