stuff and things

12 February 2011

Okay, I Figured It Out!

So it turns out I'd caught a terrible cold from Andy. I tried to brazen through his all-night coughing sessions for the last five days, but it finally caught up with me. That's the reason for last night's self-pitying post. Usually I tend towards the chipper side, and I should have realized that last night's needy part was coming from my acute need for bed and rest. I even was sweaty and freezing cold, yesterday, at the same time ... Sigh. Do we ever become more tuned in to our 'stuff'? Anyways, those of you who follow my blog, please excuse the last post as an anomaly. :) And Love to all of you ... and anyone with any recommendations for sore-throat and cough remedies, please comment! :) Oh, but still, any recommendations on quilting the "Morning After the Storm" sashing parts are very very very welcome :0

11 February 2011

Raving on a Friday Night ... (and not in a good way)

"Bromeliad Beauty," 23.75" by 22.50", c. 2000
When free-motion quilting on organic, natural subjects, or even trucks, I seem to do alright. Ellen Anne Eddy taught me to be fearless with machine free-motion, and Hollis Chatelaine, in whose class I started the above quilt, taught me her exacting quilting methods, which she, in turn, learned from Caryl Breyer Fallert.

"Hawaiian," 15" by 15", c. 2003.
I enjoyed learning how to paint with thickened dyes from Hollis, and so on a play date with Sue, I drew and painted, then subsequently quilted, "Hawaiian," above, a beat truck from a vacation photo I shot in Hana, Maui. I think the free-motion machine quilting came out great.

I even like the quilting on "Morning," below, even though it's a UFO that will need a lot more hand-stitching ... and more something, anything (suggestions, Please!) ... before the dancer and the heart are suitably defined. Yet the quilting, energetic, emotional and playful, works for me.
"Morning," 21.25" by 17.50," c. 2006
"Morning After the Storm," still in progress.
If I'm okay at free-motioning subjects in representational quilts, then why can't I quilt a simple curved line around a square within a square? I seem to go all limp when trying to quilt geometric blocks, as, for example, the diamonds and squares within squares (click twice on the image to see closeups on the blocks in question ... fellow quilters will know that as the "sashing,") ... on my "Morning After the Storm" quilt, a venerable pattern known generically as "Storm at Sea," above.

As with my previous quilt discussed in Artelicious, "Night Star,"  the straight lines and perfection really get to me. Even Leah Day, kindly, as she is a Quilting Goddess, wrote me back with some suggestions, but -- have you seen her quilting? She's a force of nature! I ended up begging asking Kerry to finish Night Star's quilting, especially the black squares and quarter triangles of its background ...  barely but beautifully making it to its debut deadline at the Critique Group Member Show at Visions Art Museum.

What is the message here that I'm missing? I guess I'm a fake, no-talent, quilter wannabee ... so the next time I talk to you about art or quilts or -- anything-- you can just laugh in my face. Many of the super-intense quilters I know own longarm machines, giant contraptions that take up an entire room and make it simple to quilt a large quilt. But I don't have room for that. In fact, I should give up my nice studio to Andy for his office ... Andy, who actually earns a living wage around here ... and move to a garrett, where I will live on nothing but Wonder Bread and San Diego tap water and Edith Piaf ballads. Argggghhhh!

08 February 2011

Tuesday's Salady Something

Peppie misses his other half.
I made a yummy black bean salad and wanted to share it with you. I was in the mood (okay, craving) two things: romaine lettuce and black beans. (I know, most people's cravings involve chocolate, but I'm weird.)

On the way home from work I stopped by the local co-op, Ocean Beach People's, and picked up a can of unsalted black beans; an orange bell pepper, christened Peppie, above; a tomato; a cuke; a bunch of cilantro; a small bag of frozen corn; a romaine lettuce; some taco shells; and some salsas. All organic. I drained the canned beans and dumped them into a large bowl. I chopped the tomato, a nice, ripe one, and added some lovely sherry vinegar and plenty of Kosher salt and pepper, then dumped that in, too. Then came half the pepper; half the cuke; half the cilantro bunch; lots of lettuce; a small grating of mozzeralla cheese, and a teensy portion of braised duck breast, courtesy of Chef Andy. Mind you, this is for two people, and we ended up with leftovers. You would probably double the amounts for a family portion, or for a potluck offering.

A tiny drizzle of olive oil, a bit of Balsamic vinegar, and a tad more salt and pepper finished it off: then a hand tossing to mix it up (fun 'cause you get to lick your fingers afterwards!). We heated up the taco shells -- normally I would have used plain old cheapo corn tortillas, but never go shopping when you've just taught a vigorous yoga class and you're starving!

Andy pronouced it yummy and didn't even put any salsa on it. I put way too much extra-hot La Salsa Chilena on mine but loved every minute of it. No duck breast? Use a bit of leftover cooked chicken or even some high-quality canned or fresh tuna. Vegetarians can leave that out ... vegans will leave out the meat, of course, and the cheese, as well. A sprinkling of "nutritional yeast" would add a cheesy flavor for vegans. However you make it, enjoy!