Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tangled Textiles Reveal

Yesterday was the reveal for the latest Tangled Textiles challenge.  The theme was Green- so I was a happy camper, since I love the color.  And since it is spring, I chose to celebrate the color in nature.  I originally thought I'd use more limey greens with red violet, but the piece wanted to go a different direction- so here it is.

City Creek Walk, 2012

My processes and thoughts are on the Tangled Textile blog, and you can also look at what others in the group have done.  Here's a closeup look at the quilting and embroidery--

I had fun with this one.  The embroidery is from my own photos.  I'm hoping to come back from my trip to Reno and the Sierras with lots more photographic inspiration, and a much better understanding of my camera and how to use it.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ugly Fabric

At least that is what Barbara, who sent fabric to a couple dozen dyers, said it was.  I'm sure some people got ugly fabric, but mine was not in that group.  The only 'rule' was that it had to be changed, and at least one layer had to be MX dyes.

It was a lovely shade of orange with lots of yummy texture.  The color reminded me of a sunset, so I decided to stick with that idea.  First I overdyed it with Dharma's Light Red, scrunching it in a tray and pouring the dye down the sides of the tray so it only hit the bottom of the scrunched fabric.

This made it look even more like a sunset to me.  I wanted to do some discharge, so I used Soft Scrub with a thermofax screen I'd made from one of my photographs that I manipulated.  I made screens in three different sizes- I like being able to use the same imagery in different scales.  That Soft Scrub discharged FAST- I really had to move to keep it from taking too much color out.

I also used pearlescent white paint and metallic gold paint with the screens.  I tried to make those images subtle rather than 'in your face.'

After a few days of looking at the piece on my design wall, I decided to add one more element- Shiva paint stiks with a rubbing plate.  This plate is turning out to be one of my favorites, it is so versatile.  I used iridescent pink, orange, and light gold on this layer.

I'm happy with how this turned out.  Now I'll just have to figure out how to use it in a quilt!

Monday, May 21, 2012

More Moab (and a bit of a teaser!)

One of the side trips we took in Moab was to the Hole in the Rock.  It's a home that a couple literally carved out of a huge rock.  No photos allowed inside, but it was fascinating.  This is the official website for the place, and at least shows a photo of what it looks like from the outside.

What fascinated me was the unique sculptures they had on the grounds.  Most were life size or larger, made of bits of rusty metal.  Like this bull--

Neat, no?

I loved this golfer, who was taller than I am.

And if you can't tell what he's made from, here's a closeup of his hand--

Apropos, no??

This jeep looks like you could drive it away- until you give it a close look.

Those tires would provide a rather rough ride, I think!!

And lest you think that I've been doing nothing in the studio, here's a teaser of my Tangled Textiles piece, which I should have done by the end of the week.  I've got to have it posted before I leave for Reno Saturday!

This one took a different direction from what I'd originally planned, but I'm pleased with the results so far.  Reveal is this weekend!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Catching Up

I have not been very present on the blog.  I have not been spending as much time on the computer, because I have actually been spending it in the studio!  I've made good progress on my 'Green' piece for Tangled Textiles.  A good thing, because I have to finish it and get it posted before I leave for Reno on May 26.  Sorry, no pictures until the reveal!

And I still have lots of pictures I took at the Moab car show to post.  So here are some more- when it came to the cars, I was in to front grills and wheels.  I had fun with this!

  I played with this one in Elements- I think it has definite possibilites as an inspiration for a pieced quilt.  Love the green reflection on part of it!

 Wasn't there a poem about wearing red and purple together when you get old?  Maybe that's why I liked this one so much.

 I think this is on a rusty road rat.  Out of the ordinary, for sure!

 This was one classy car- I'd never seen a hood ornament with color before.

 Look at that combination of straight and curved lines!

I swear some of the paint jobs looked three dimensional. 

Look closely, and you can see me and my friend Phyllis in the reflection.  I think I could have fun with this one too!

I am off for the rest of the week, traveling for work.  Then one more week before I take off again for a week of camping in the Sierras with my brother.  I am so looking forward to relaxing, hiking, and picking his knowledge of photography and cameras.  And, I am looking forward to a relaxing train trip there and back- no airport hassles, no having to drive!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Dessert Alert!

No quilt content here, but plenty of yummy dessert!   I've been wanting to make cake pops again, and a co-worker's talk about her love of caramel made me decide to try to make caramel cake pops.  I surfed the web again, and much to my delight found Stephanie of 52 Kitchen Adventures who also prefers her cake pop made from scratch, not with box mixes or canned frosting.  Her Salted Caramel Cake Pops sounded wonderful, so I used her recipe as a jumping off point.

My co-worker's talk about caramel also reminded me of something I'd done many years ago- making caramel by boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk in a water bath.  Stephanie made caramel from scratch, I decided I would try making it with the sweetened condensed milk.  I spent three hours watching carefully over the can of milk in the water bath, making sure the water never got below the can. I left it to cool until the next day.

Meanwhile, I made the Brown Sugar cake on Stephanie's recipe, only I did it in a 7 X 11 pan.

After getting some chores out of the way early this morning, I made my frosting.  

Simple- a stick of softened butter, about a cup or so of powdered sugar, vanilla, and about two-thirds of that can of caramel.  Yes, my boiled milk caramel turned out perfectly- that's it sitting next to my mixing bowl.  

Next, I crumbled up my cake.  This time I took the easy way and used my food processor.

Add the frosting- not all of it, just enough to hold the cake crumbs together, and throw it in the frig to get cold.  Once cold, I rolled it into cake balls, and popped it back into the frig to get cold again.

Stephanie dipped her cake balls in chocolate, but I didn't want anything to compete with the caramel.  So I used white chocolate, which is a lot more finicky when it comes to melting.  I learned that using a double boiler setup is the way to go, and also found that adding a bit of canola oil can help smooth it out.  Once I got them all dipped and sitting up on my styrofoam, they went into the freezer to get good and cold before I decorated them.

I used dark chocolate and the caramel sauce to decorate them, just drizzling it over the pops.

Here they are, partway through the decorating.

And here are all thirty, decorated and sprinkled with a bit of kosher salt. Having had one for dessert tonight, I can say for sure they are delicious!!