Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And sew on. . .

I have been sewing, really. I made my mom two new flannel hospital gowns. Much softer and comfortable than the standard issue version. I swear they make those things out of brown paper towels. I took an old one apart and made a paper pattern. It takes about an hour to cut and sew one up. I found a bowling pin print so now she has a bowling shirt.
And I made my friend Julie's daughter some winter themed flannel baby blankets. Little Lily was born 2 weeks ago. As her dad said, she is a lucky little girl, she already had a horse and a dog when she was born. (Though I am not sure she is lucky with Willy, that bugger tried to bite me today. Skittles does not have the market on cranky evidently!)  
The quilt above is called Couch for short or Sunday, Fort Lauderdale, 3 pm. for long.
I have the background done though it may change. It needs some paint and stitching. And it is big, something like 74" wide and 50" tall. Last weekend I went to the Medina Flea Market and bought 2 1940's photo albums so I have several new ideas lined up. Have to do some scanning and photoshop work and take them out for printing. Staples can print 24 x 36 plain paper black and whites for pretty dang cheap. Couch only has 4 pieces of paper pieced together. When I did the 11 x 17 printer I would have had maybe 20 pieces to piece. Much better! Though it is tricky to get the larger pieces lined up and glued down. But then again I like a funky-not-perfect look. 
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Food Mysteries

My mother was a thrifty cook and growing up in the fifties we had many meals that were concocted to feed six ravenous children. One was called Summer Slungullion. I know! It is stewed fresh tomatoes, corn cut fresh off the cob, hamburger meat and macaroni. All cooked together with a dash of worcestershire sauce. 
My mothers nod to exotic food was chop suey. An extra pork chop was cooked and the next night it was cut into pieces and combined with onions, celery, pork gravy, and bean sprouts. It was served over rice with rice noodles and a hard boiled egg sliced on the top. This accounts for my occasional cravings for hard boiled eggs sprinkled with soy sauce. Strange.
I love chinese food and I have spent many great lunch hours in Cleveland's Asian neighborhoods eating at the local restaurants. I have never seen a hard boiled egg on top of any food, which puzzled me until a couple weeks ago when I was looking for a peach pie recipe and came across the LaChoy pamphlet dated 1949.  Mystery solved.
Now does anyone have a good peach custard pie recipe? My mother made one that had a carmelly bottom and a custard filling with a crumb top. Yummy!
And next time we will talk about jelly on top of fried eggs.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The tale of two shows

There are two shows I have been wanting to see. One of them was the Ohio Designer Craftsman Best of 2009 which is showing at the Wooster Art Center in Wooster, Ohio until December 19. It opened in Columbus in June and has traveled the state, stopping in Portsmouth and Mansfield on its way to Wooster. It has a wide variety of media; jewelry, pottery, textiles, glass, woodworking, and paper. It's a wonderful show because of the variety. Additionally there is a great variety of textiles, Susie Shie's diary quilt, Sue Cavanaugh's shibori, Rumana Hawa's weaving and Rita Steffenson marvelous thread work among others. Sue is in the Quilt National exhibit that is traveling the US currently. I went on a Wednesday afternoon, all was quiet but the show was in 2 rooms that were warmly lit. I was inspired but some of the fabulous jewelry. Some very conceptual pieces.
Saturday I went to see Nancy Crow's Solo exhibit at the Howland branch of the Butler Institute of America. The show is open until January 10, 2010. Surprisingly there were no visitors on  a Saturday afternoon. I was able to examine all the quilts at close and far range. The show left me a little depressed and puzzled. The quilts had titles such as Anxiety, Yes, No, Maybe. Nancy describes her angst as she ponders a 1/4 of an inch placement of stripes that would change the composition. I was really interested in her whole cloth screen printed and monoprinted quilts. They were great, but the dates of the pieces were smack in the middle of all the strip pieced quilts. It seems she led us somewhere and then dropped the story we hoped to learn. Hopefully there is more screenprinting. Of course, this just my take. Sad, there were no viewers on a decent weather-wise weekend afternoon.
The quilt above is my One Windy Day which is traveling with the Best of Ohio Show.