Do It With All Thy Might
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Keeping Baby Warm
The tabs of the shaped cuff are not wadded, with the lace stitched on thru all layers
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
A Christmas Biscuit
Tried to find him a coat in town, but no one had anything small enough, so I bought a pair of socks and made him a lil make do jacket. Did we need another puppy???? No. But golly, who is going to say no to a gift of Love on Christmas?
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Lord Have Mercy & Deliver me from Soie Ovale!
I am not a quitter, but I gave in~ yes, my name is Rachael, and I am indeed a quitter. I cannot hang. I cannot endure another second working with this horrible thread. I had planned to work the entire trinket box in ovale, because, well, I didn't like it and wanted to make myself like it. Nope. Not happening. I got the two little end panels done and quit! Thats It! Im done! I would rather lick the pavement after a rodeo parade than ever thread this thru my needle again~ e-v-e-r.
Why. Well for those of you who have not tried it, I will try and contain my utter frustration and explain....
It snaggs on everything~ and I mean everything! I even wore surgical gloves! If it wasnt snagging on a microscopic piece of skin on my hand, it was snagging on my slate frame or the silk satin background fabric...yes~ it even snags on such a soft fabric!!!! I use a handmade Japanese needle so the eye wont cut the fibers, and every other stitch the blasted stuff would come out of my needle's eye so would have to rethread....knots...horrible! It is very difficult to get it to lay flat, even with a laying tool and making sure to not twist my needle as I pull it thru.... and I find it really bulky! I'm not stitching anything particularly small, and felt that a thread half the thickness would have been better~ forget trying to separate a strand~ not happening. I hate it. period. You will get no good review of it from me! Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh.
I was in tears yesterday~ it looks so hideous! Too much negative energy~ just thinking about working on it would put me in a bad mood~ and a bad aura will show up in your stitching! I first wanted to rip it off the frame and throw it out in the dirt and stomp on it~ really! But all that swearing...and I did swear...a lot... and the time it took to get this pathetic little panel finished...I will use it~ a badge that I did not totally give up.
I couched gilt Elizabethan twist round little bit of it, and I do like how that sparkles~ its (the Elizabethan twist) is pretty~
Oh and what else have I learned.....dark background~ NEVER again! I know I don't like to stitch on black, that caused me to nearly go blind a few years ago...thought that the emerald satin would be OK~ nope~ I cant see a thing~ cant see the black design lines I drew on, cant see my needle as I bring it up thru the fabric...this whole thing is horrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, December 08, 2014
No~ It's Not St. Nick!
Thursday, December 04, 2014
Molded Gingerbreads for the Tree
There are a few tricks to getting a good impression with springerle cookie molds, but don't worry if you don't have any~ you can get out your regular gingerbread man cutter and use that too.
After your dough has rest at least a day, its time to press them out~ don't bother to preheat the oven tho, because these will set at least 24 hours to dry before baking~ it helps to set the impression in the top of the cookie. Gather your springerle molds, flour, foil, spatula, rolling pin,knife, pastry brush, something like a skewer with a pointy end to make the hanger holes, dough and a parchment lined cookie sheet. Do you really need parchment??? yes.
Be sure they are safe from pets and snack snicking husbands.....
3&1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
3/8 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1&1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup molasses
4 tsp water
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl with a whisk. In a separate bowl, mix the oil, water and molasses until its thoroughly integrated. Pour the wet bowl into the flour bow and mix well with a spoon until a stiff dough forms~ I use a folding motion with a big spoon~ don't use an electric mixer!
Put in a sealed zip bag in the fridge for 24-48 hours.
Press cookies then let dry 24 hours before baking.
Bake cookies on parchemnt lined cookie sheet at 300 degress f, for 10-15 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like them.
Monday, December 01, 2014
To again revisit the early collection of lampwork glass cake decorations we acquired earlier this year, I start with one of my favorites~ it will need much work to restore. It was originally on a long glass spike like the cupid arches, but just the nature of the thing made it impossible to display any way but standing straight up and down (more on that later)~ so to display it, the thick glass rod it was on was snapped off and it was then very sloppily glued to a scrap chunk of wood. They were not careful how they broke off the spike, and left a long tail, so the center was drilled out of the wood for it to fit...but then, it must still not have fit very well, as they used the broken glass rods as props to jet in underneath of it all around, to help keep it up on its hideous base. The whole lot was then absolutely smothered in an animal base glue, that will have to be soaked off slowly. YUK!
In Flowers of the Renaissance by Celia Fisher, (page 149), The 17th c representation of strawberries was such that “The white flowers and red fruit stood for purity and for Christ’s redeeming blood. The three parts of a strawberry leaf reflected the doctrine of the Trinity, that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were distinct entities joined in one God”. On the flip side, in the 17th & 18th c some felt strawberries
represent lust and temptation...their inclusion could be a reminder to resist temptations and remain faithful~
all would befit a young couple just getting married...... not to mention, wild ones were plentiful and hardy.
*a frog was a cover that could be placed over a vase or container, with cross cross net/wires or holes in the top, that flowers could be placed thru to keep them in place in a floral arrangement
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Happy Thanksgiving Dear Friends~
Monday, November 24, 2014
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Friday, November 14, 2014
Solid & Spun Glass....I wouldn't Recommend for Eating....
Lampwork is the term used to describe the method used to make glass works such as these. It has been around since the 1400's~ A worker would sit at a table with an oil burning lamp that had either a bellows underneath of it or a tube he could blow into to direct his breath toward the flame to make it burn hotter. Rods of glass were held into the flame until they melted to the right temperature, and then he would form them into figures and all sorts of fanciful things. 16th and 17th c lampwork figures commonly are built up over a wire stick form, with some of the rods of glass even containing minute wires of copper within them to give the figures strength. (None of my pieces have any wire in them). It is quite amazing if you consider that todays lampworkers use acetylene fired torches!
ohhhhh to have been there and have gotten to watch how they were made~ what a dream that would be!