Thursday, August 30, 2012

Home Made Pasta, Yum!

My husband recently found a supplier for '00' flour for pizza dough, so we took a little field trip on Monday and what a store we found!  It's called Big John's Pacific Food Importers, and it's in Seattle.  Along with the pizza flour, we bought their pasta blend of '00' flour with semolina for pasta, semolina by itself, special risotto and paella rice, as well as some other supplies. 

Tonight was pasta night!  I mixed the pasta dough, let it rest, and then my oldest son cranked the pasta machine while I guided and caught the dough, and finally, the noodles.  We were working in limited space, and I think we should have thinned it one more notch on the machine, but they were great with my home made spaghetti sauce!

Pasta just after cutting:

The yummy spaghetti we had for dinner!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mt. Ranier - Journal Artwork

My husband is a much better photographer than I am, but his pictures are his end product, while mine are mostly inspiration for some kind of art.  While I took less pictures at Mt. Ranier National Park than he did, I had brought my journal and some art materials to try working outside, with the supplies I brought.  We travel by car, so of course, I brought too much stuff to really carry, but was able to pick different supplies from a larger bag in the car for each hike or project, which was nice and I learned a lot!

Working in my smaller, 5" x 7" watercolor journal, these wild daisies were sketched lightly in pencil, then watercolor was added, finishing with my black artist marker.  

The daisies I was painting:

While we were by the lake, I attempted a charcoal sketch of Mt. Ranier.  I guess it's not bad, considering it's the first time I've worked with charcoal.

One of the pictures I took from that location:

Things I learned:

  • It really is best to travel light.
  • Make sure to take a few graphite pencils for sketching.
  • Charcoal is messy, take wet wipes to clean up.
  • Trying to stand and hold everything while painting is a pain - need to find a solution.

Wish list:

  • Easel, or at least a drawing board.
  • Something to sit on - lightweight stool?
  • Backpack that is more accessible for my supplies.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mt. Ranier

We took a little photography trip to Mt. Ranier recently, and although we were worried the weather was going to be foggy and cloudy, it turned out to be perfect!  Many of the wild flowers were in bloom, so I was able to get some inspiration pictures to use in future projects, as well as some classic pictures of the mountain.  This was the best place to take pictures of the mountain:

Because we arrived before the visitor center opened on the second day, I was able to get a clear picture of the words of John Muir, that have been carved into the steps at the Paradise visitor center.

Although you can find these all over, there are lots of these tiny, wild lilies in the shade near the lake.

The lupines are almost everywhere, and they are at their peak at this time of year!

It amazes me that we work so hard to get some flowers to grow in our gardens, while others will grow wild in the most inhospitable spaces!

If you pay attention, you can find flowers everywhere, even along the road.  This one is very tiny, but I love it with all it's details!

We were able to find this beautiful field of flowers on our second day and wished we had found it the first day so we would have been able to spend more time there.  Well, that's a reason to make another trip...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Firefly Sewing Envelope is Finished!

My Firefly Sewing Envelope was begun in Sue Spargo's class during Quilter's Affair in Sisters, OR this past July.  It is the first time I've been able to get into one of her classes, and I had a wonderful time!  There are so many different textures to play with, and then you can take the embellishing as far as you want with embroidery, beads and ribbons.  It was one of those projects that was hard to pot down, although not possible for me to work on in the car.  I've been continuing to work on it, and have finally finished it!  She demonstrated many stitches and techniques in class and also taught us how to make the felted balls to decorate the zipper pulls, so I'm finally able to make whatever color I want, although it will be trial and error to make them in other sizes:-)

Anyway, this is my cover.  The bird off to the right is a covered button to keep it closed.

And here is the back:

It is a tri-fold design, so this is how the outside looks when laid flat.  The left section has pockets, upper ones have a flap to keep contents inside, while lower pocket is divided to hold tools / pencils, and the back cover is a large flat pocket that could hold a notepad, stencils or small cutting mat.

The inside of the sewing envelope has zipper pockets on each side which could be left as one large space, or divided.  I chose to divide each of mine in half to hold medium sized tools, threads, or other things.  The center of the interior has a needle book and a flower applique with a pincushion center.

All that's left is to fill it with my tools, so I can begin using it!

(I wonder if I could use the tri-fold idea to design something to take my sketching / painting with me - of course I wouldn't embellish it nearly so much.)

Friday, August 03, 2012

Summer Travel

Oh, the places I've been!  As I look back on the last couple of months, I think I've been busier than ever.  There's been two large trips and then lots of weekend trips, with a few days to try to regroup and then off again.  

My husband and I took a road trip to Eastern Washington, and a little of Western Idaho, then South and around to get home again.  We found lots of wheat fields and some beautiful old barns.  While the weather wasn't at it's best (and even when it was nice) we were able to take some pictures from the side of the road, by pulling the car over and rolling down the windows.  

When the weather was nice and we could stand outside, more pictures were taken and I was able to do some sketching.

July took me to Sisters Oregon, meeting up with friends for a week of Quilter's Affair classes and the Sisters Quilt Show in Sisters, OR, where I was also invited to do a book signing at the Stitchin' Post for two afternoons after class!