Monday, November 29, 2010

Furthur To the Yarn Sale

The yarns that I will be selling on Saturday are from the studio of well-known Saskatchewan weaver Kaija Sanelma Harris.  If you are not familiar with her work, this is an example below:

You can see more at the Darrell Bell Gallery link here .
At some point there will be a showing of her work with working drawings and weavings together..  In the past you might have seen works at the Sask Craft Council Gallery, or at the Mendel Art Gallery, or many other places. 
So, you can see this is an amazing opportunity to obtain high quality yarns in lovely colors. 
Don't miss it!!
or you will be sorry!!
For reals!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Yarn Sale

 Spread the word, if you live in the Saskatoon area!! 
Yarn Sale for Weavers (and Spinners and Knitters)

Due to the retirement of a long-time weaver from Saskatoon, I have been entrusted to find new homes for the lovely yarns that were in her stash.

 You will have the opportunity to purchase a variety of all natural fibers next Saturday, December 4 between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.  at my home in Asquith.
 There is quite a bit of wool, in weights ranging from very thin (2/24) up to very chunky, from manufacturers including LaMieux, Louet, Borg’s of Sweden, and Cottage Craft,
Linen is also well-represented, with a wide range of colors in No.4 and No.8, and other weights in natural linen.
There is also some silk, cotton, and mohair.
I can also take offers on an electric bobbin winder and a spool stand.

Why not make a date with your weaver or fiber loving friends and come out together??

Most of the yarns will just be sold on a weight basis, for example wool will be $2.50 and $3.50 per hundred grams. (Very inexpensive prices - mostly we want the yarn to get to people who will find it useful!)

Hope to see you then!    email me if you need directions to Asquith!       

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Houston Fall Market 2010! through Pat's eyes,

This video is by Pat Bravo, who is the designer of the Art Gallery Fabrics that I love!! We will be having a lot of them arrive in Jan Feb and March.  I think this gives a nice taste of what it's like at Market,

Craft Sale Day

The pre-Christmas Craft sales are happening lately.  Today I had a really great time at the Albert Community Center, where the Spinner's and Weavers Guild had a show and sale on the 2nd floor, and the Potter's Guild had a sale on the 3rd floor. Sad to say, but I did not have camera with me to show you the excitement, but I did bring a few things home with me.
 I got a beautiful glossy pear, and a soft satiny apple, (pit-fired by Thelma Howard)
 A lovely woven scarf by AlisonPhilips, -- Yes, the yellow rug is also new, but I will try to photograph it tomorrow so that I don't need to use the flash, so that you can see the colors better.
 My favorite find of the day was the bracelet and choker made by JacQueline Keller, who weaves the bands and adds crochet. 

 On the home front, I learned how to make the flowers folded from paper.  You make several sections and glue them together.  These ones were made from 3-inch squares of printed music paper.
 And last night I had to sew up a couple of tea towels with this cotton-linen fabric we had at the shop.  The printed twill tape just arrived yesterday and it was so easy to sew it on the side, making a loop at the top,

I will be having a sale at my house next Saturday, too -- selling the weaving yarn that I mentioned earlier, e-mail me if you'd like more information, m

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Food and Recipes

 What is this, you might ask?  Some new quilt design?
No! it is a selection of Chocolates!  Somebody brought them by the shop today, and they are very artsy.  They have beautiful little designs on the top surfaces.  Really too pretty to eat.
I went to my coffee group this morning and our lovely hostess had begun to put up some Christmas decorating.  It was so pretty, and made the cold outside retreat a bit in the face of such festivity.  So i came home and found these little wooden nutcrackers that I got at the dollar store a couple of weeks ago. 
I don't think this is quite Christmassy enough. 

Now for something different---- a recipe!
I've never talked about food too much here, but as you know it is a big source of enjoyment in life. 
I took a bit of baking to the retreat we had last weekend, and promised to share a couple of recipes, so here they are:  I'm sorry that there are no photos, but I can't make them again so soon-- maybe closer to the holidays..

Pralines (The pecan "fudge") -- (this makes a Lot of them, you might want to make half)
4 cup white sugar
1 cup broun sugar
1 cup butter
1-1/2 cups of milk
1 more cup of butter
4-5 cups of pralines, chopped or whole
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
Place the milk, 1 c of butter, salt and both sugars in a large saucepan.  Bring to a rolling boil and cook to softball stage, stirring often--( this could take a while, like 20 minutes).  Remove frrom eat and add the remaining butter, beating constantly.  When you feel it beginning to thicen, add the nuts and vanilla.  When thick, drop quickly by teaspoon on wax paper or foil  Leave space between each candy for eac one will flatten like a pancake.  Or if you prefer, just pour into a buttered pan and cut into squares.   I have found that if they don't set, you can just scrape it all back into the saucepan and reheat it and boil a little longer. 

Carrot/Apple cake
1 cup sugar
1 cup oil or margarine
2 cups flour (white or a mix of white and whole wheat)
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon and any other spices you like, such as ginger, cloves or nutmeg
2-3 cups of grated carrots
1-1/2 cups of grated apples (skin still on, it is not noticeable later)
optional 1/2 cup of coconut
1 cup of walnuts or pecans

Beat oil with sugar, and beat in eggs.  Stir in the dry ingredients, then add the carrots, apples and nuts.  Grese a cake pan and pour in the mixture.  I often double this recipe, so I use a large lasagne pan, but have also cooked it in loaf pans.  Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit until knife inserted comes out clean, about 40 minutes.  This is a very moist cake!

Cream Cheese Icing
1/4 c butter or margarin
4 oz package of cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup of icing sugar

Beat together the cheese, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy, and continue to beat while adding the icing sugar.   If you want chocolate icing, add some cocoa powder with the icing sugar.  

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Retreat show and Tell

 While at the retreat this past weekend, I was able to piece a simple quilt top...
 and its not so simple backing:
 The pattern is by "Thimbleblossoms" and it was quite fun to sew.  It starts with a jelly roll, and some white fabric and a border, -- most of the strips from the jelly roll are sewn into the backing of the quilt.
Today I managed to baste it and start quilting,
 I also put together a small kit I picked up in Houston.  It is from a pattern by "Lakadaisies", who used to make a lot of redwork pattern.  Now she has designed some simple collage patterns.  This was really fun to make.  The heart is a dark green wool, and the birds are cut from a page from an old dictionary.  I need to frame it now.  I think I should also soften the white of the letters with some tea, 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Quilt Retreat Weekend Part 2

 On Saturday night we had a show and tell after dinner, and these were some of the projects people had been working on:

I had a lot of fun there, and got one quilt top done, and a small collage, and I knit a few slippers too.  guess there will have to be a part 3 post too!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Our Quilt Retreat Weekend Part 1

 I went to the Retreat Center on Thursday evening to get settled in so that I'd be there and prepared with refreshments when people started to arrive on Friday morning. 
The building is a huge timber frame construction that used beams from an old elevator.  It is beautiful; light filled and open, out in the countryside in a river valley.  This is the main hall where we set up our machines.

Some people brought their supplies in lovely co-ordinated travel containers:
We had common tables set up on which to do our cutting and ironing:
 It is a funny thing how quilters are very sociable -- at any time there were lots of people away from their projects just visiting with others.
 I like that this quilter was working on a snowy scene with another snowy scene just outside the window!
 This is another view from a window:
 Lots of lovely stacks of fabric wherever you looked:
 And partially sewn quilts:

 We also had 4 artists join us.  Some worked with pastels, and also acrylic and watercolor:

Although it's over now, there are a lot of nice memories. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

weekend plans!

Well, this weekend is our Quilt Retreat at Shekinah.  I am busy getting a lot packed right now.  I am also keeping a worried eye on the weather outside, since here in Asquith it is starting to look like a blizzard.  :(
I've been piling things in the dining room that need to go, and it seems to be getting alarmingly larger.  I think that the packing and moving things out of the house to the vehicle and into the building and vice versa, is the only un-fun part about this whole thing.  And I do not like all that sideways snow coming down!!
I'm not sure if there is wi-fi at the place we're going to be at, but my camera is packed.  (not like the day when we had our show and tell at the store for the Sampler blocks and I left the camera on my dining room table!  I did borrow a camera that day, but don't have the data from it, )
However!  I am going to just "plough through" all I have to do today! (ha ha, pun intended)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

some Felty Loveliness

Ready for some felt-love?
Yesterday (and a few other moments here and there) I finished up a few felt projects that I had wanted to do for a little while.  I love working with felt!
First up was a bracelet kit I had purchased in Houston.  I made it primarily to use as a sample at the shop, since I placed a substantial order with the company.  This is a teaser-- you will go bananas when you see it all arrive.
The bracelet was not too hard to make, assuming you have a couple of basic jewellery making techniques, such as opening and closing jump rings,
The main difference between the felt balls made by this company and the previous felt balls we had from the Artgirlz company (which seemed to go out of the felt ball business to pursue other endeavors), is the absence of a hole drilled through the ball.  Instead, you use a large, flat needle that separates the felted wool fibers and opens up a temporary hole for you to poke the wire through.  It took a few tries to get the hang of it, but then it was pretty clear sailing. 
The wire is strung with a couple of other beads, and then the straight end you coil into a spiral.  Then you attach all the little beads, about 50 of them to the bracelet's main chain with jump rings. 
This is my finished bracelet in a tray along with some other felted goodies that I'm gathering together for the display when the order arrives.
After that, I pulled out some green felted wool fabric, and wrapped it around some cardboard cylinders that I happened to have around.
I decorated them quite simply with some scraps of ribbon, and a few felt beads.
And what is that little animal you may be asking???
That little puppy is a needle felted dog!
 He is my first attempt at making a three dimensional figure out of wool roving and a basic single barbed needle.  He took about an hour of poking at the wool, and I only jabbed myself about 3 times.  You have to be really really careful about that!!  He is a bit stumpy, but I like him!
 Finally, do you remember the time when I started to knit a sweater and then had to stop because I couldn't buy any more wool to finish it?  Well, I did NOT rip out the sleeve that I had knitted.  Instead, I have turned it into a purse.
 I added a bit of crochet along the top edge, and sewed up the folded up sides.  There it languished for a month or two --( how time passes!).
 I decided to use this lovely turquoise silk to line it, also adding an iron on interfacing to give it a bit more body.  The lining is definitely necessary so that the bag does not stretch all out of shape>

 When I picked it up by the handle, of course it slumped.  So I merely cut a piece of wood dowel a little shorter than the width, and encased it in another piece of the lining and slip stitched it across the top edge:
 Did you notice the strap handle????
I love it!  It is by Sang Woo company, and it is Detachable!! Yes, you can buy one handle and use it interchangeably on more than one bag.  Brilliant!
 And that concludes Felt Friday for michelle!

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