Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cream cheese

One of the staples in my refrigerator is cream cheese. I use it in a lot of recipes, but my favorite is a simple concoction using another wyrdbyrd kitchen staple, wasabi, a Japanese horseradish that you can find powdered or in a tube at your local grocery. Mix to taste, then chop a few green olives and mix in as well.  If you want to get fancy, roll the mixture into a ball and coat with toasted sesame seeds. Serve with your favorite crackers.

What's your favorite cream cheese recipe? Leave a comment and share your cream cheese ideas!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Back to the Beginning

So I've been tooling along, talking about blackwork and sharing my patterns, thinking everything is hunky dory.  Suddenly it hits me. I never explained what blackwork was.  Yeah, there are a thousand sites that tell the story of Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII, and Holbein. And yeah, there are some really great tutorials out there with wonderful diagrams.  Why should I reinvent the wheel?

I'm not, really.  I'm just consolidating information, making it easier for you when you come to visit.  And besides, I have these nifty pictures I took and they shouldn't just take up space on my hard drive.

So here it is. The Basics of Blackwork.

Work the stitch in passes, or journeys.
On the first journey, work the even-numbered stitches: 1,3, 5 etc.

On the return journey, work the 'in between' odd-numbered stitches: 6,4,2 etc.

You will end up where you started.

Side trips are worked as their own little journey.

Work the element in one direction, turn around...

...and join back to the main path

Voila!  In the traditional sense, blackwork looks the same on the back as it does on the front,
though modern blackwork may or may not hold to that tradition.