In my studio…

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Sketch I will base my Blue-eyed Grass on.

It was a busy weekend.  I dropped The Barn, Wascana Creek, and Dead of Winter off to be exhibited in the Art Gallery of Regina 40th Salon Show.  Now to focus on this week.  I’ll be busy finishing Sprouts and starting my next piece.

I think my next piece will be a tall, thin, blue-eyed grass wall hanging.  I’m thinking of trying to bleach some nylons for the background for it…to mix with wool and silk yarn and fabric.  But first I need to put the pattern on backing.  So I’ll be enlarging it considerably.  The piece will be about 3′ high.

Weekly Review

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Well, once again “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”.   We are arranging to have another boarder in the house.  As a result there’s been a few distractions. We’ve been doing some last minute cleaning out of the basement, where they will be staying, and still have more to do.

However I did manage to prepare my work for the Art Gallery of Regina 40th Salon Show.  Will be dropping that off tomorrow.

Plus I’ve worked more on Sprouts.   I’m close enough to finishing that I am contemplating my next piece.

 

WIP Thursday

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One third done!  Still chugging away on the cellular baby blanket. I decided I need to focus on one or two things and finish them before going onto something else.  Otherwise I just don’t get anything done.  So the cellular baby blanket it is! 🙂

Inspiration Wednesday

As I contemplate my day this morning I realize I have not prepared my blog post for today.  That doesn’t mean I lack inspiration though.  Sometimes inspiration comes from places further from home.  Like trips to conferences.  Check out some of the photos I used for sketchbook inspiration last fall.  I see a couple of good rug borders in there, a good all over design, an abstract…   I think a change of scenery can do an artist good every now and then!

 

Geddes Syrup Scones

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The original recipe is courtesy of the Highland Fling Cookbook my parents picked up in the ’70s on a trip to Scotland.  As always, I’ve adapted it. 🙂

Geddes Syrup Scones
Makes 8

2 c. flour (or GF flour mix)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/8 tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. butter (I use canola oil)
2 tbsp. maple syrup (or other sweetener equivalent)
3/4 c. milk (or milk substitute)
1/4 c. raisins (optional)

Sift together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.  Cut in butter or oil.  Combine syrup and milk and add to mixture.  Mix to make a soft scone dough.  Quickly tun onto a floured board and knead lightly.  Divide in half and roll to 1/2″ thick.  Cut in four pie shaped wedges.  Repeat with the other half.  Place on lightly greased pan.  Poke top with fork a couple times.  Bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes.

 

In My Studio …

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Entries for the Art Gallery of Regina 40th Salon Show: “Dead of Winter”, “Wascana Creek”, and “The Barn”.

I hope everyone had a good weekend.  I know I did. 🙂  On my plate in the studio this week…

  • I have to put proper labels and tags on my pieces for the Art Gallery of Regina 40th Salon Show.
  • I need to buy sturdier dowels to hang Wascana Creek and The Barn.
  • I also want to finish Sprouts, which was forgotten in the excitement of the return of Moose & Mountains. 
  • If I have time, I have to sit down with my portfolio again and see what I’m missing.

What’s up in your world this week?

 

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WIP: “Sprouts”

A nice surprise!

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Moose and Mountains – Deanne Fitzpatrick pattern -18 x 31″ – $450CAD

It’s been an interesting week.  Look who came home!  Yep, Moose & Mountains found its way from my place in Regina, to O’Hare International Processing Centre in Chicago, and then we lost track of it.  It was supposedly heading for South Carolina, but never showed up.  That was last spring.

Fast forward to September.  I am on my business page on Facebook one day when a post appears.  A lady named Alice had Moose & Mountains in Philadelphia!

The story is it actually showed up in a shipment to a Philadelphia auto shop.  They didn’t know what it was, but knew Alice to be a crafty lady.  So they gave it to her to deal with.  She did an Internet search and, with a bit of sleuthing, turned up my business page on Facebook.

However that’s not the end of the story.  Alice went away for holidays and I didn’t hear from her for a long time.  I figured the wall hanging was gone for good.  Imagine my delight at seeing an email from Alice last weekend saying she was sending it via UPS and it should arrive in two days!  Well, it took four, but it arrived…safe and sound!  Thank-you Alice!…and UPS!

So now it is adorning the back of my living room love seat.  I look at it and marvel at where it’s been and the power of the Internet.  So glad the lost is found.  Moral of story: use UPS to ship items to the USA.

WIP Thursday

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My works in progress Thursday has been sidetracked by the news I’ve been accepted into the 40th Salon Show of the Art Gallery of Regina.   I’ve been busy devising an appropriate hanging system that will hang securely from nails, and will be working on proper hang tags today.

I’ve already decided to display Wascana Creek and The Barn.  I have one more framed Prairie Sky – Cirrus piece I will enter in the exhibit as well.  It will be interesting to see how my work shows in that space.  It will be crowded.

I always attend this show though.  It’s a great cross-section of local artists and art.  It is a great place to view up and coming artists’ work as well as more established ones.

Well, I better get to it!  Hope to see you there! 🙂

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Inspiration Wednesday

Spring is in the air!  I can smell it!  And it’s only February.  Normally we don’t see spring till late March or even into April.  But it’s coming soon.  I know because I can take these pictures of all the snow melted on my perennial bed. And my patio garden is slowly being exposed.  It’s in the shade most of the day!

Have a great day everyone! 🙂

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Perennial bed

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Patio garden

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A variety of yucca.

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Patio garden

Raspberry Granola Parfait

Yogurt Parfait

A favorite breakfast.  Greek yogurt, topped with homemade fat-free sugar-free granola, topped with raspberries given to us by a friend. Can’t get much better than that! Yum!

The granola recipe is from Dr. Phil’s “Ultimate Weight Solution Cookbook”. I highly recommend you take this out of the library or buy it. There are a lot of good recipes in there for people wanting to lose weight or just eat healthy. As always, I’ve modified the recipe a bit. 🙂

“Forget-the-Fat” Granola

3 c. uncooked old-fashioned oats (NOT quick oats!)
3/4 c. wheat germ (I used wheat bran on occasion)
1/3 c. whole raw almonds, roughly chopped
2 tbsp. shelled raw sunflower seeds
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 c. unsweetened apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 c. dried cranberries (or raisins, or chopped dried apricots, or…) – optional

Combine oats, wheat germ, almonds, sunflower seeds, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add juice concentrate and stir well. Spread evenly on a lightly oiled large rimmed baking sheet (I use a spray oil). Bake at 325 F 15 minutes. Be sure to stir every 5 minutes so it bakes evenly. Bake till golden. Cool. Add dried fruit (opt.). Pour into an airtight container to store. Good for two months.

Hubby and I like to add fresh fruit to our granola when we eat it. So that’s what we do, instead of adding dried fruit. Though the raspberries in this photo came ‘fresh’ from the freezer! 🙂

In my Studio…

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This week is time to knuckle down and do some hooking.  I’m moving along on Sprouts.  Hope to finish the entire piece this week and have it on the wall by next week.

I’m already starting to think about the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair in May.  I’m hoping to have enough new work to make a different showing at the booth.  I’ll have the usual smaller wall hangings there for people to buy and enjoy.  But I’d also like to take some newer medium sized pieces.

It’s also time to plan the display for the CVAF Street Fair.  I’ll be pulling out my photos from previous years to see what I can change up for better effect this year.

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Weekly Review

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I managed to start Sprouts this week.  I had a difficult time cutting strips as my cutter is on a low bookcase in front of a window.  I’m thinking I need to raise it about 6″ to relieve my back pain.  Will have a chat with Hubby this weekend and see what we can come up with.

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WIP Thursday

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Still knitting away on the cellular baby blanket.

Also cutting strips for Sprouts.  Finally sitting down at my frame today.

I must admit I’ve been sidetracked getting rid of excess in our home.  And helping Hubby with preparing the basement bath for a new boarder.  I also had a brief talk to give to my church ladies group.  Plus I had fun with company on the weekend.  It only took me two days to recuperate. 🙂

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Inspiration Wednesday

Have you ever tried to look for triangles around you?  They are everywhere!  Here are just a few I spotted a few years ago.  I’m loving thinking of design possibilities with this lot.

 

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

SandS meatballs

This is a modification of recipes from Jean Pare’s Company’s Coming: Appetizers cookbook.  Once again, I change it to suit my purposes.

Meatballs

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/3 c. quinoa flakes (or quick cooking rolled oats or bread crumbs)
2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce (or regular soy sauce)
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp rum extract

Mix all together and form into 1″ meatballs.  Bake in the oven, uncovered, at 375 F for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, make the sauce…

Sweet and Sour Sauce

1 c. white sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 c. vinegar
1 1/2 c. water

Combine dry ingredients and stir to mix.  Combine liquid and add gradually to dry, stirring.  Heat to boiling, until the mixture turns translucent and thickens.  Remove from heat.

Serve with steamed broccoli and brown rice.  🙂

In my studio…

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Today is technically a holiday here in Saskatchewan, Canada.  It’s Family Day weekend, meaning we have Monday off to spend with family.  My family does not live nearby, so I will not be spending much time with them.  Instead, I’m going to work on a new piece.

I spent some time going through my sketchbooks with a friend this weekend and picked a couple of designs out to use up some pieces of odd sized backing I have laying around here.  I prepped the backing, enlarged the drawing, and traced it onto backing.  It was a lot of fun for my Saturday evening.  🙂

So today’s plan is to finish colour planning this wall hanging, which will hang over the archway in our dining room, and possibly start to hook it.  Depends what Hubby has planned.  Could be I end up helping him with chores.

“The Barn”

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“The Barn” – 23″x16″ – $365 CAD

As you can see I’ve finished The Barn.  Hooked in #6 wide wool strips, hand torn silk fabric, silk sari yarn, and various types of wool yarn on primitive linen backing.  23″ x 16″.  $365 CAD.

The story behind this barn?  We were on vacation in Southern Saskatchewan and decided to stay just outside Grasslands National Park.  My plan was to do some plein air hooking while there.  Unfortunately the mosquitoes were so bad all we could do was hunker down inside or under cover of serious bug jackets.  It’s pretty hard to hook wearing a full bug jacket, so I was reduced to hooking the scene looking out my second story window.

It turned out to be an okay thing.  Hubby worked on writing his book, while I hooked a small scene.  Eventually, when we came home, the small scene evolved into a larger scene.

The barn itself, was very small as barn’s go.  It used to house a stable plus farm equipment.  It has since been turned into a picnic shelter for visiting tourists. 

We had a wonderful time on our vacation, despite the mosquitoes, and would recommend Grasslands to people, outside of mosquito season.

The Barn Study

“The Barn – Study”

WIP Thursday

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I’ve knit a bit more (about four rows) on the Cellular Baby Blanket.  Wish I could remember which knitting book that pattern is from!  It had lots of neat patterns to knit out of cotton for babies and toddlers.

I couldn’t sleep one night.  All my other projects were downstairs, so I cracked open the rhododendron needlepoint kit from Dimensions and decided to start it.  Well, I taped the edges. I organized the yarns last night, or tried to.  The last needlepoint I did was over 35 years ago.  I think I’ll have to look at the colours in daylight to make sure I have them in the correct spot.  From what I can see, one colour is missing in the kit.  But I have lots of leftover yarn from a friend that will probably have something that will work.

Well I’ve been working hard on The Barn and will report on it in a separate post tomorrow.  Other than that, though, I haven’t done much else.

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Inspiration Wednesday

Last week was circles.  This week is squares.  Individual squares, squares within squares, squares that contain other designs…  I find perfect squares harder to find around me.  Lots of rectangles, but not a lot of squares.  As you can see from my photos, I cheated a bit on the squares.  Rounding corners makes a square more appealing to my eye.  My favourite is the round candle on the square stone candle holder.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

This is a well loved Internet recipe that I’ve doctored many ways to be healthier…leaving in the chocolate chips of course!  These make a great snack for hook-in days with friends. 🙂

I have used stevia when making these for myself.  But I find stevia is an iffy ingredient.  I prefer using smaller amounts of sugar when making these for others to eat.  If I use stevia I try to let the finished product sit overnight before serving or eating.  Otherwise there is a bitter taste to it.

These taste better warmed in the microwave before serving.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Makes 12

1 c. mashed bananas
1 large egg
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c. sugar (or 1/4 tsp. powdered stevia)
2 c. flour (can be half and half whole wheat and white, or a gluten free flour mix, as I used)
1/4 c. milk (Or alternative milk. I used almond milk)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine mashed bananas, egg, applesauce, milk, and vanilla extract. Stir thoroughly. Add sugar and stir. Add flour and baking powder and stir to mix thoroughly. Add chocolate chips. This is a muffin batter, so be careful not to stir too much! Just enough to incorporate everything. Scoop into oiled/greased muffin tins and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.

Enjoy! 🙂

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In my Studio…

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A different kind of weekend this past weekend.  I taught rug hooking to a beginner Saturday.  We had a great time!

Company arrived shortly after my student left to help make sandwiches for a local homeless shelter.  They left after tea and I prepared a quick supper.  Afterwards Hubby and I settled down to watch all 3+ hours of “Gandhi”.

Sunday found me at church, followed by a potluck lunch, celebrating birthdays.  And an afternoon of sleeping!  The latter was totally unplanned and unexpected, but obviously needed, as I slept long and deep.

We enjoyed dinner out before coming home to enjoy a fire in the fireplace while chatting.

Today I’m back at my frame and eagerly anticipating finishing The Barn.

I also have no excuse to avoid my portfolio.  It may mean taking new photos, but we shall see.  I’ll manipulate what I’ve got on my computer first.  Thankfully the weather is nice and warm and, if need be, I can take wall hangings outside to the patio for proper photos.

 

 

Weekly Review

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Hmm…these are sounding an awful lot like my WIP Thursday.  I’ve been having a great time hooking The Barn.  It’s almost finished.  I must admit I’ve been sidetracked by preparing handouts for an upcoming class.  I did finish that job though and am ready for the weekend.

Tomorrow I’ll be teaching my first “From Start to Finish” class.  I’m teaching it over two afternoons, with hooking time in-between, so the student has time to finish her work before we address the various ways to finish a hooked piece.

I’ve also been thinking about the portfolio…but still not doing.  My big catch, as I mentioned before, is photo quality.  I will be working on that today, along with The Barn.