In my studio…

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This week I will be finalizing my display and preparation for the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair.  The Festival itself starts this coming weekend and lasts an entire week.  There are music, theatre, and art performances throughout the week…all for free.  It culminates in the Street Fair on May 28th from 10 AM – 4 PM.  An average of 10,000 people go to the Street Fair.  I’ll be busy.

I’m actually hoping to work more on Dancing Tree this week.  I have picked up my studio sufficiently that I can get in there again and do some work.

Aside from that I have two online courses starting this week, so I expect my time will be taken up there as well.

Hope everyone has a great day! 🙂

 

Weekly Review

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Awaiting new hang tags

Hmm…I actually gave most of my weekly review yesterday.

I did manage to finish photographing all my wall hangings…at least the 6″ square ones.  I notice I have to replace hang tags on some of them.  Then it’s into zippered plastic bags they go to protect them from little fingers at the Street Fair.  Seems there’s always lots of ice-cream and ketchup at the Street Fair!  And rightly so.  What would a street fair be without hot dogs and ice-cream?

I also posted 25 draft listings to Etsy.  They will go live after the Street Fair.  And, fair warning, I will be shutting down the option to buy from this site after the Street Fair.  I am streamlining things so I don’t have two people trying to buy the same item at the same time on two different platforms.  So if you are interested in purchasing any of my work, please go to my Etsy shop, JLT Studios.

An update on my rug hooking class for the two students I tutor.  Apparently they both were busy as little beavers and worked until they ran out of fiber.  They came back this week all excited, asking for more fiber to finish their pieces.  So I gave them some.  They wanted all fresh new cut wool.  No worms!  What a hoot.  I cut it for them while they worked on another project.

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Ready to go!

WIP Thursday

I’ve been working on the knit cellular baby blanket again.  But not very much.  I’m about half finished now.

And I’ve been preparing for the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair.  Mostly I’ve been playing with the display for the booth.  I’ve also been sorting through my wall hangings and double checking to make sure I have photos of them and appropriate hang tags on them.  I’ve also been packaging up the extras in clear zippered plastic bags for people to look through, should they decide they don’t like what’s on the display panels.

That’s about it for WIPs for this week.  I’ve been reading a lot in preparation for a teaching course I’ll be starting in a week’s time.  There are five books to go through in 6 weeks.  So I’m getting a head start!  One and a half down, three and a half to go!

 

Inspiration Wednesday

I had a lovely Mother’s Day on Sunday, complete with the first BBQ of the season. Hubby manned the grill, while a friend and I made the rest of supper inside – Caesar Salad, hamburgers, pan fried onions and mushrooms, and Strawberry Shortcake.

Today it is rainy and overcast…just like yesterday…and the day before…  It is good for the land.  We badly need it.  However I did not get my patio garden planted beforehand.  We’ll see how long it takes to dry out and clean up to prepare for sowing.  Hopefully we can plant it next week.

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Mother’s Day roses

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Our wet backyard

Ginger Stir Fry

Chicken stir fry

It seems everyone in my family has their own version of stir fry.  Some use leftovers, some use fresh foods only.  Some use different spices.  My stir fry is a light stir fry of fresh vegetables and thinly sliced pork or chicken, with fish sauce and ginger to flavor it.

Here is what it is and what I do…

Ginger Stir Fry
Serves 4

1 lb. chicken or pork, cut in strips and then bite sized pieces about an inch or two long.  Pan fry in a large fry pan in a bit of sesame oil or canola oil.

Add:

2 medium or 1 large carrot, sliced thinly on an angle,
2 medium stalks celery, slice thinly on an angle,
1 medium onion, cut into 8 wedges

Cook in the fry pan until the onion is sauteed.  Add:

2 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. ground ginger

Cook till carrots are almost done.  Stir and add:

1 c. broccoli florets
1 sweet pepper (could be green, yellow, red or a combo) cut in long thin slices from top to bottom of pepper

Cook until broccoli is steamed, about 5 minutes.

Serve over a bed of rice.  In our case we use brown basmati rice, but it could be any kind of rice.  We have soy sauce at the table to add if desired.  Some people like soy sauce more than others here. 🙂

 

 

In my studio…

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This week I will be focusing on preparing for the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair.  I already had the beginnings of the display set up in the living room.  I’m slowly putting up work.

As part of this process I am creating draft entries on Etsy for the work I pulled out of Traditions.  That way, if the wall hangings do not sell at the Street Fair, it will be a quick matter to list them on Etsy for sale.

Aside from that, I am seriously de-cluttering my email accounts.  Plus I will continue working on Dancing Tree.

Weekly Review

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Well I did accomplish more on Dancing Tree.  But I am not saying when I will complete it anymore!  I have about half of the sky to hook, and then there’s the blocking and finishing.

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I also knit an extra couple of inches on the cellular baby blanket.

This week I’ve been adjusting to having a new boarder in the house. He is very congenial, but has a wonky schedule.  I provide supper for him, and his schedule is making it difficult to find time to cook and eat, what with everything else we do.

I have also been doing a bit of extra tutoring, which looks like a permanent side gig till the end of the school year.  I enjoy the little tykes.  They have personality and they are not afraid of saying what’s on their minds.  However I do have to attend to shopping for supplies as we are mostly doing project based learning.  And that is taking a fair bit more time than I anticipated.  We are currently meeting three times a week.

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I’ve prepared the rug hooking lesson for the two boys.  A big shout out to Karen Miller for giving me an idea on how to approach it in an affordable way.   We went to Michaels craft store and picked up the supplies.  I hope this will work for the boys.

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And tonight is pizza night at our place!  The boys are staying for supper with their mom and making pizza from their own pizza cookbook. 🙂

Hope everyone has a great weekend! 🙂

 

WIP Thursday

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I’ve been busy working on Dancing Tree, as you can see.

I have also been working on the knit cellular baby blanket, but no photo of that today.  I’m in a hurry to get out to an appointment.  Will post more tomorrow.

Have a great day everyone! 🙂

Inspiration Wednesday

I’ve been having a great time tutoring two little boys.  They keep gravitating to my rug hooking frame and trying to hook.  They are six and eight years old.  I think I’ll try them with a piece of linen and a frame the next time I see them.  Their mother is in favor of me giving them “life experiences” and “doing crafts” with them, as well as teaching writing…which is what I was originally asked to do.  So today they sat down and drew a basic picture on half of an 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet of paper.  Friday I’ll show them how to transfer it to backing and start to hook.

Part of our lesson yesterday was to make some blackberry ink and use it to write a letter.  Well the boys made it and drew on paper with it using calligraphy pens, but they decided it would take too long to write a letter with it.  So we re-arranged the sentences we had written previously, editing out some unwanted ones, and I ended up typing the letter on the computer.  They, though, drew pictures with labels on them, to accompany the letter.

The blackberry ink recipe we used?  One half cup blackberries, 1/2 tsp. white vinegar, 1/2 tsp. salt.  Mash the blackberries real well.  Put them through a sieve so you just have juice.  Add the vinegar and salt to set and preserve the ink.  Use as a wash in drawings/paintings, or to write.  I have no idea how fugitive this ink is.  I’m testing it now.

So here are the blackberries and the equipment for the experiment.  I have to admit, the second container of blackberries was eaten…

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Korean Hot and Spicy Soup

Korean hot & spicy beef soup

This is so delicious folks! We’ve put it on our repeat list. It was quite expensive to make, but as Hubby commented “It’s a lot cheaper than going to a restaurant to eat!”.

Korean Hot & Spicy Beef Soup
(from “The Complete Book of Korean Cooking” by Young Jin Song)
Serves 2

3 oz. (75 g) dried fern fronds OR shiitake mushrooms (I used mushrooms)
9 oz. (250 g) beef flank steak
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. chili powder (I used Korean chili powder from our Korean grocer’s)
1 cl. garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp. canola oil (or other vegetable oil)
1/2 c. bean sprouts, trimmed
1 leek, sliced
1 green onion/scallion, sliced
3 oz. (75 g) enoki mushrooms

Boil the beef flank for half an hour on fairly high heat in water to cover. I actually added another inch or so on top of it. Then remove the beef and save the liquid. Slice the beef along the grain really thinly. And maybe slice across the grain into smaller pieces (about 1 1/2″ – 2″ long). Add sesame oil, chili powder, garlic and coat meat. Heat canola oil in large pot. Add meat, shiitake mushrooms, beans sprouts, leek and green onion. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Reduce heat and pour in the liquid from boiling the beef. Cover and cook 30 minutes or so, until tender. Add the enoki mushrooms and simmer another 2 minutes. Add salt (it needed it!) and serve.

This makes 2 servings. I doubled everything but the mushrooms to make four servings. It was very good. Don’t skimp on the chili powder though. It will taste watery without it and the salt. Course, more mushrooms would have helped, but they were really expensive here…$7.50 for the mushrooms alone!

In my Studio…

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Our new boarder from China moved in on the weekend.  Today, without warning, he gave his mother an iPad FaceTime tour of our place, including my studio.  I was appalled!  My studio is in its usual state of disarray.  He said he wanted to show him mother what I used to make my work. Moral of story = always leave my studio picked up at the end of the day.  Sigh.

It’s been a busy weekend.  No rug hooking to speak of.  Lots of tutoring though.  And lots of errands.  Hubby is in great angst about whether to retire this year or next, when he turns 65.  He spent yesterday crunching numbers and the evening talking to me about his results.  I told him to do what he wants.  He’s put in over 30 years supporting the family.  I think that’s enough.

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So, back on track this week.  I sorted out the tax mess last week.  So it’s back to rug hooking this week.  I’ll be working on Dancing Tree.

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I removed my work from Traditions Hand Craft Gallery a couple weeks ago, due to a change in commission structure.  So I have all that inventory to reintegrate into my system at home and prepare to post on Etsy.  Ideally I would like it posted by mid-June.  But it’s a lot of prep work as there are close to thirty pieces to add to my Etsy shop.

And I’ll be starting to think about my booth display for the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair the last Saturday of May.

Oh, plus two days tutoring.  A busy week for me.

Weekly Review

Well this week didn’t exactly turn out as planned.  I spent a lot of time on tax stuff.  My email has been acting up.  So I ended up making more phone calls than I’d like.  But it’s done now.  It’s solved.

Also spent time planning and preparing for our new boarder to move in, including two or three grocery shopping trips different places and times.  Normally I do one run a week.  But this week I renewed my Costco membership and did a serious shop there.

I also spent time preparing for my tutoring sessions this week.  I’ve signed up for a free class to brush up on teaching K-3 kids.  I have not done it in a while and feel I could use a refresher course.  It starts mid-May.  However I have access to some of the resources now, and have been reading them.

I also have hooked a bit on Dancing Tree, but have not hooked as much as I would have liked.

And I have not knit a stitch on the Cellular Baby Blanket.

I have been doing a lot of future planning this week.  For some reason spring is when I like to do my planning, not the New Year.  Hopefully next week I’ll get on track again.

 

 

WIP Thursday

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My only work in progress that has progressed at all is Dancing Tree.  Here’s hoping I can accomplish more this afternoon!

Inspiration Wednesday

Hubby beat me to the punch and already planted some radish seeds in the patio container garden.  They sprouted this weekend!  I really want to use the sprouts in salads, but Hubby wants to see if they’ll actually grow roots on the bottom.  In the past our radishes have grown tall and leggy, but no globes on the bottom.  Not happy.  Hubby loves radishes.

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Radish sprouts

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Chives

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Yucca

 

Rhubarb Custard Pie

rhubarb custard pie

This pie is in no way low calorie, or gluten free, but it is to die for! And rhubarb is something we have plenty of on the prairies.  I cheated with this pie and used a store bought unbaked pie shell. Normally I would try to make this a bit more healthy (?!) by making a canola oil crust.

Here’s the recipe. 🙂

Rhubarb Custard Pie

Put 4 c. of rhubarb in an 9″ unbaked pie shell.

Mix together:
1 1/4 c. sugar
3 tbsp. flour
2 eggs

Spread evenly over rhubarb.

Topping:

1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. margarine or butter

Cut in butter so mixture is like small peas.  Sprinkle over top of pie, spreading evenly.  This really makes a full pie!  But don’t get worried.  Rhubarb shrinks a lot when it cooks.  If you’re concerned about it overflowing, place a cookie sheet with sides or other pan with sides on the rack underneath the pie to catch drips.

Bake in a 350 F oven for 15 min.  Then lower temperature to 300 F for 45 – 60 minutes (until custard is set).  Pie will be dark golden with a crumbly top.  Serve warm or cold.  We had ours plain and cold.  But you could easily serve it with ice-cream or whipped cream.

Enjoy!

In my studio…

Good morning everyone!  It’s a beautiful sunny day here in Regina.  However it’s still cold at 4  degrees Celsius.  But I can still throw a sweater under my spring coat and go for a walk in the fresh air…which is what I intend to do. 🙂

This week will be plenty busy.

  • I have some tutoring to do.  It’s really more life experiences.  The students and I will be making kites.  I haven’t made a kite for close to 20 years, so this should be interesting.
  • We have a new boarder moving in.
  • I have to sort out a tax mess.
  • I want to finish Dancing Tree.  I’ll finish it yet!
  • It would be nice to knit more on the cellular baby blanket.

And that’s enough for this week.  I hope everyone has a great day! 🙂

 

Weekly Review

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It’s been an interesting week.  I have hooked some on Dancing Tree, and I have spent time dyeing fibre blue .  Mostly dyeing fibre.  Each batch of fibre takes 1 hour to dye.  Plus prep time and clean up.  All told I’d say 1 1/2 hours from start to finish, if you don’t count soaking the fibre overnight so it will accept the dye more easily and thoroughly.

I am also starting to prepare for the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair.  Checking over inventory and prioritizing what I might want to put on display for sale.  It’s that time of year to organize my thoughts and design a booth to share with my friend.

I am also neck deep in tax season right now, and busy with putting out wild fires in that area.

Hope everyone has a great day! 🙂

 

WIP Thursday

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Not many works in progress.  I knit a few more inches on the Cellular Baby Blanket.

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I dyed more pastel blues yesterday.  I’m trying out the colours in my Pro Chem dyes.

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Today I’ll be dyeing more pastel blues and hooking more on Dancing Tree.

I also hope to go outside and enjoy the sunshine.  I hope everyone has a great day!

 

Inspiration Wednesday

It’s another beautiful day today!  Blue skies!  Hmm…and speaking of blue…  Look what came from the kitchen yesterday morning.  And today I’ll be dyeing more blue.  Time to replace some of the lighter colors in my palette.  Have a wonderful day everyone! 🙂

Dye day 1a

Dye day 1b

Dye day 1c

Dye day 1d

Shipwreck

Mexican Skillet 1

This is comfort food in our home.  The Shipwreck I knew as a child was made from leftovers.  This is just as good, even without the patina of age.   We find it can be a bit bland with diced tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes.  So you might want to play with the spices a bit if you use diced tomatoes.  We just add ketchup at the table to give it a bit more flavour.

Shipwreck
Serves 6-8

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 green pepper, chopped
2 1/2 c. frozen kernel corn
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (OR 1 19 oz. can crushed tomatoes)
8 oz. macaroni, dry
1 1/2 c. water
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Cook meat over medium breaking up with a fork.  Add remaining ingredients and stir to mix well.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10-12 minutes, or until pasta is tender and liquid is absorbed.  Serve hot.

Mexican Skillet 2

In my studio…

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This week I am focusing on the background for Dancing Tree.

It is also looking warm enough to open windows and dye some mid-tone and light blues.

And I want to be thinking about what to hook next.  I’m seriously thinking something scrappy might be in order.  For those of you who do not know, a scrappy rug or piece of hooking is a piece made of leftover scraps (also known as worms) from other projects.  I have a huge bag and some boxes of worms that seriously need to be used up.

Weekly Review

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It’s been pretty busy with people around here.  I like that.  I’ve been working on Dancing Tree.  I have a few changes to make to it.  I think my goal of finishing it in one week was a bit optimistic, what with everything else that’s happening.  However, maybe next week?

I’ve been able to go on walks almost every day, which is a joy for me.  Lots of inspiration and exercise.

And some exciting news I can’t tell you just yet…but it’s good news! 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone! 🙂

WIP Thursday

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My only WIP is Dancing Tree, and shopping for kite making supplies for two little boys.   Not sure we’ll make the kites this week, but I want to be ready to go for the windy season here when it warms up more.

The knit cellular baby blanket has been put on hold.  I am finding I just do not have one hour of free time at any given point in time, which is the amount of time it takes to knit one full repeat of the pattern.

Today I’m hoping to hook more on Dancing Tree.  Tomorrow will be a busy day with friends and tutoring.  Saturday we’ll be busy with friends again.  A busy fun-filled weekend ahead.

Inspiration Wednesday

Hubby and I went for a walk last evening and enjoyed the sights and sounds of spring.  Birds singing, plants popping up out of the ground, buds bursting…motorcycles revving down the streets, bicyclists skidding around sharp turns on gravel alleys, people walking and running their dogs…yep, it’s spring here.

And speaking of buds bursting…here are a few buds about to burst…and plants popping out of the ground. 🙂

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