"One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes." -The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Sunday, February 27, 2011

As Black and White as It Seems?

I was looking for her everywhere.
The Rue. . . what was it called?
I can not for the life of me remember
How long has it been?
She has been missed. She is missing.
The flight to Amsterdam was a short flight.
I sat in front of the Van Gogh
hoping and thinking
She surely wouldn't do what I feared, would she?
We were walking from the tower in the city of lights
To walk on the hard marble floors
hours and hours we walked
we saw the Mona Lisa Smile behind the GLASS?
Then it happened.
It fractured.
Her shin.
Hobbled we did to the nearest
No healing came quickly.
There was no elevator in Dutch land
this hotel was five stories high.
The last I saw her
she was in the room with the windows
open wide.
The rooftops were amazing.
I would meet her for coffee.
She had to walk down those stairs.
She had to walk a few blocks.
I should have stayed to help.
I have been looking for her.
Things are not always black and white.

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

What I Am Really Trying To Say Is. . .

It is all about fiber
Is it possible to overdose on color
or fabric
or yarn
on joy

It is all about thread
and photography. . .

looking for something new. . .
Inside myself
It has all been done before. . .
So What. . .
Do YOU ever ask yourself
just what am I working so hard to accomplish?

Trying to keep it fresh
and spontaneous

Thinking about this silly blog
Working within the limits
I have in  my life
Of time

Friday, February 25, 2011

When Good News Comes to Greet You

Beautiful Blood Oranges

Upon The Morning Table
 Set For a Friday
With Orange and Pistachio Scones
Clotted Cream and Fresh Orange Marmalade
Thinking of Sunny Days To Come. . .

Fresh Chives upon the Savory Salad
Bed a Mess
But Who Cares

When good news comes to greet you. . .
Open The Door!
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Thursday, February 24, 2011

How Cute Is This

This is what makes it all worthwhile
My friend Patricia, she does so many good deeds
for children in this world.
She has an adorable little daughter
Patricia is very creative and shares her talents
with people all over the world.
She made this lovely headband
after dyeing white yarn with Kool-Aid
by knitting and she crochets a bracelet with a cute
elephant button for her little one.
She includes her daughter in her activities such as painting,
paper folding, and many other wonderful activities.
I love it when people spread their knowledge and art spirit
to children.
I believe you need to work with children when they are
very young to show them how  much fun it is to learn new
things and how this applies to their scholastic studies.
This is a practical way to use math by measuring, and counting,
and as an experiment in science. I teach children color theory by
mixing Kool Aid to obtain other colors and how it affects
Patricia's blog is in Dutch and there is a translator link there, as well.
She is also a very wonderful photographer as you can see in her photograph above.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Presidents Day ~ Mini Quilted Piece and Chocolate Cherry

Mini- Quilted Piece Ready for Embroidery
With Silver and Silk
Recycle is the word
Photo  of thread painting incorporated
Some words too
Silk Yarn Ready to be made into something lacy
Claudia Hand Painted Yarns

Silk Thread ready to do Sashiko stitches

Bread ready to go into the oven for dinner
Rain today
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" I learned: the first lesson of my life:

nobody can face the world with his eyes open all the time."

Salman Rushdi

Below in the previous posts you will find a "tutorial" of sorts
of how to do a Japanese dyeing technique  using safe things
in the kitchen. I did this for a couple of friends who have little
children. I use this same technique in the summer outside using
very large vats of indigo and very large PVC pipe with fiber.
So, now I am on to other things.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Part 4 Kool Aid and Shibori

You can stop where we were
or you may want to over dye
Just do the same thing with another color of Kool Aid

Here I am holding the fabric over the dye pot with blue

Here I am sprinkling some powdered Kool Aid onto the wet
previously dyed silk 

If you want you can leave part outside of dye bath and dye it that way
or I use two mason jars with  dye already mixed
and dip each end of the fabric inside
Then I microwave for 2 minutes and let it rest for a couple of minutes
and then repeat this until you have had it in the heat and dye
for about 10 minutes, or so.
Leave it to cool and exhaust the color.
Then hang it to dry

Finished fabric

another shot of same fabric

And yet another.

I hope this is clear to you
Enjoy yourself!

Part 3 Shibori ~Kool-Aid

I usually hang this to dry at this point

Here you see I have carefully removed the thread binding

This is when it is completely unfolded.

These pleats will be permanent

Now go to the Part 4

One Form of Shibori ~ Mini-Pole Wrapping ~ Dyeing With Kool Aid Part2

Pour enough water into your container to cover the fabric on the mini pole
(PVC Pipe)
With Kool Aid it is pretty much what you see
is what you get
I usually add two or three packets
into the water.
It is important to bring the water temperature up to but not boiling
Silk has to be maintained at a high temperature for at least
an hour
Then when it has been in the dyebath for an hour
let it set off of the heat source to let it cool
Wait until the water is clear
which means that the dye is exhausted.

keep the fabric submersed in the dye

Here you can see that it has taken up the color.
I have now pushed the fabric off of the tube
See you can see some white showing
This is the point of wrapping
it resists the dye

Now on to Part 3:

Dye Silk Shibori With Kool Aid Part 1

A length of silk cloth
which has been pre-washed
is folded into fourths
length wise
then attached to end of pvc pipe with a rubber band
at a diagonal.
Begin rolling the silk onto the pipe

Use strong cotton thread to tightly secure
the silk onto the pipe
When you are finished with that part
push it down to the bottom of the pipe being careful
not to slip it off the pipe
Like this
then roll more of the silk onto the pipe and do the same
until all of the fabric is secured
end by putting on another rubber band to the end
Using some warm water in a glass with a drop of
Synthrapol if you have it or not
soak the now wound silk on pipe
while you prepare the dye bath.

Now, find a ceramic like corning ware container
which will accommodate a few inches of water
You will need to submerse your fabric.
Silk must be heated to almost boiling point but not quite or it will damage the fiber.

Because Kool-Aid is a food stuff it is alright to use on your kitchen stove.
Just be careful about breathing in the particles. This is just common sense.

Get out the Kool Aid
and read part 2

Friday, February 18, 2011

To Quote Salman Rushdie

"There was one more serious problem... they failed to notice the immobility of my eyelids... they observed my icy blueness, but there was not the slightest tremor; until Amina took matters into her own hands and reached into the cradle to stroke my eyelids downwards. They closed: my breathing altered, instantly, to the contented rhythms of sleep. After that, for several months, mother and ayah took it in turns to open and close my lids. "He'll learn, Madam," Mary comforted Amina, "He is a good obedient child and he will get the hang of it for sure." I learned: the first lesson of my life: nobody can face the world with his eyes open all the time."
  • Source: The Fisherman's Pointing Finger
You know sometimes I think life can be a bit tough for all of us. Sometimes, it seems that circumstances are more than we can bear. I find that there are many things in life that can be worse than THIS problem of the day.
I quickly discover that a lot of friends have something going on that is much much worse.
I teach a little boy who has a father in stage four leukemia, that is a lot for a little boy to deal with. He could lose his father any day, now. I have a friend who is watching her mother die with cancer. My son-in-law is in Afghanistan. I am worried for his safety and more worried about my daughter as to how she can deal with the fear and trying to care for her children all by herself. My heart goes out to everyone.

I have been reading books (Midnights Children ~ Salman Rushdie) and working very hard on complete mind involvement with whatever I am working on at the moment.

Yesterday, I finally found the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes. I had bread making paraphernalia all over my kitchen while I set a pot of Black Beans Cuban Style on the stove to cook. Black Beans and Rice with a Boule' of bread in the making at the same time as I was dying fabric with Kool Aid so I can show how to do this with photographs. Multitasking is what my daughter always says she is very good at doing, for me it is taxing  my brain to concentrate. This is usually how I end up making a huge mistake. But, it IS a great way to close my eyes to the world.
It is a very good thing that Kool Aid is non-toxic and is considered a food. At least I am not poisoning anyone
when it becomes time for dinner.

Yoga Breathing
I need to breath, you need to breath.

Yellow Makes Me Happy

Simple materials + Simple Form = Simply Lovely
Makes Me Happy When My Mom IS Happy
Isn't she something else?
I hope I can do things like this when I am her age.
This was completed this week.
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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Snapshots of My Life 2

Sunday and yesterday I baked a Lemon Mousse Cake
from Victoria Magazine
March/April 2008

This is one of the best cakes you will ever taste.
There are three layers with lemon mousse between each layer and
as a base crumb coating for the frosting.

It calls for a lot of fresh squeezed lemon juice which takes a little while to
do but it makes your house smell like lemonade.
Lemon zest is added to the batter, too.
Lemon curd is piped onto the top after the frosting is applied.
Then you also pipe on more frosting
for decoration.

Finished cake
but, the reason why I did this
is. . .
To celebrate LIFE
I took this to my husband
to share with his employees.
I also set up a blog for him.
That will be fun to see!
Just because. . .
But, do you see the mirror music box above?
When my littlest grand daughter was a little baby
I used to swing her toward the mirror while the music box played
while she laughed out loud.
When she got a little older she would turn the wind-up knob
to hear the song. . . There Is A Season. . .
Turn  Turn Turn
Here I am a grandmother.
I miss my family so very much.
I have been thinking about
how short life is
how fast each day goes by
how important it is to leave something
good behind
The memories we leave behind of the life we lived
That is all there really is. . .
When people think of me 
I want it to be to remember how funny I am
funny. . .silly. . . is more like it
and how  much I cared about them.
How much I love nature
How I stuck my finger in the back of the clothes dryer(while it was still running) 
trying to fix it and cut the end of my finger off
how much I love working with children. . .
you know, things like this.

What about you?
What do you want to be remembered?

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