Thursday, April 28, 2011

Litany Against Fear

If you've spent any time with my patterns, you know that my work is generally smalls: squares, circles, repeating patterns that are quick to stitch and make for striking but simple ornaments and gifts. It is rare for me to make the foray into the world of samplers, but upon the request of a friend some months back, I designed Litany Against Fear.

The litany is from the science-fiction classic, Dune by author, Frank Herbert. I haven't read any of the Dune books, but a thorough search of the Internet gave me the inspiration I needed.  The stylized hawk's head is a common icon in Dune memorabilia.

The font is from one of my favorite stitching tools, 120 Alphabets by Carol Emmer.  

This book has given me plenty of inspiration and ideas.  This is just one of many wonderful alphabet books at the Leisure Arts website.  One or two or three should give you all the lettering ideas you could possibly want. 

Only 9 wedding invitations to go!

Stitch well, stitch happy!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pulp Fashion in San Francisco

I love fashion.  I myself am not fashionable, but I am fascinated by the art, creativity and skill that go into creating a work of fashion.  
That's what really amazes me about Isabelle de Borchgrave.  
She creates fashion, and she creates it with paper.

Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave
February 5, 2011 - June 5, 2011
Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave is a painter by training, but textile and costume are her muses. Working in collaboration with leading costume historians and young fashion designers, de Borchgrave crafts a world of splendor from the simplest rag paper. Painting and manipulating the paper, she forms trompe l’oeil masterpieces of elaborate dresses inspired by rich depictions in early European painting or by iconic costumes in museum collections around the world. The Legion of Honor is the first American museum to dedicate an entire exhibition to the work of Isabelle de Borchgrave, although her creations have been widely displayed in Europe.

Pulp Fashion draws on several themes and presents quintessential examples in the history of costume—from Renaissance finery of the Medici family and gowns worn by Elizabeth I and Marie-Antoinette to the creations of the grand couturiers Frederick Worth, Paul Poiret, Christian Dior, and Coco Chanel. Special attention is given to the creations and studio of Mariano Fortuny, the eccentric early-20th-century artist who is both a major source of inspiration to de Borchgrave and a kindred spirit.

You can watch a wonderful documentary here:

On the home front: I'm halfway through the wedding invitations. I'm happy with my progress.

May the day's blessings bring you hope and joy.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Not your ordinary chicken soup

My niece is getting married and I'm stitching my pattern "First Step" for the invitations, which takes a fair amount of my stitching/blogging/design time, so I thought I'd share a recent kitchen success instead.

This savory dish isn’t your ordinary chicken soup. It’s a great way to use a chicken carcass. It takes time (chill overnight), but trust me, it’s worth it.

1 whole chicken with giblets
2 cups water

Roast chicken as desired, retaining carcass. Place giblets in water and simmer until water has reduced by one-third. Reserve and refrigerate giblet broth. Discard giblets unless you have something better to do with them. They are no longer needed.

After most of the meat has been removed, simmer carcass in 4 to 6 cups water for at least one hour. Remove carcass. Pull remaining meat from bones and add into the broth. Add giblet broth. Discard carcass.

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 slices pepper bacon

For a milder pepper taste, rinse bacon. Cut bacon into small pieces then fry until crisp. Drain on paper towel. Pour off all but 2 TBSP bacon grease then sauté onions and garlic in bacon grease until tender. Add to soup. Add bacon bits to soup.

3 potatoes, peeled and cubed into bite-sized pieces.
1 15 oz. can white beans, drained

Add potatoes and beans to soup.

1/8th to 1/4th tsp cayenne to taste
1 tsp salt to taste

Simmer soup, uncovered, over low heat for at least 2 hours. Transfer soup to refrigerator and chill overnight.

At least one-half hour before serving, bring soup to a slow boil and simmer until hot. Serve with pepper sauce if desired.

Great with grilled cheese sandwiches or corn bread.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Helping a Friend

My friend and schoolmate, Walt Pennington, needs a kidney. Can you help?