Sunday, November 22, 2009

Close-up stitch paper garland

I tried some close-ups of the stitch paper garland today, and here are the results.

tree and bell

purple and blue

red and blue


The process I used was:

1.Make stitch paper using Christmas music and paint with metallic paint and gloss glazing liquid

2. Cut out two shapes for each ornament and stencil with white paint

3. Emboss using clear embossing powder. I used clear as the stitch paper is somewhat tacky and extra embossing powder sticks to it. The clear embossing powder doesn’t show like colors do.

4. Embellish stenciling with extra lines with Pitt extra fine pen, and paint writers

5. Add beads and sequins (the beads and sequins made it hard to stitch in the next step, might just glue them on after final step)

6. Sandwich ribbon between matching ornaments and zigzag all around. Using paper clips helped to hold the two ornaments together while stitching.

7. Touch up stitching with gold metallic paint

8. Finish ends of ribbon for hanging

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Stitch Paper Christmas garland

I’ve been busy making a Christmas garland with my new addiction, stitch paper, a fusion of fabric, paper and glue. This garland is a prototype, so I have learned a lot about how this medium behaves and the best way to stitch and assemble.

stitch garland2

The underlying paper is from so old hymnals. I cut out the Christmas songs and glued them to fabric, then painted and embellished. Lots of fun!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Warning: blog contains graphic photo

Last weekend, Tom and I went to Merritt Island on a bird watching, hiking and photography expedition. It is a beautiful place less than an hour south of us. It was created in 1963 when NASA purchased the land surrounding Cape Canaveral as a security buffer for the space program. Conservationists saw it as an opportunity to transform the property into a wildlife refuge. The refuge and the adjacent Canaveral National Seashore have flourished.

We were looking for Roseate Spoonbills, but they not making an appearance on Saturday. However on a hike, we came upon a pile of feathers which we determined to be the remains of a Great Blue Heron. Every other bird photograph that day was taken with a telephoto lens, but this guy met his end right in the middle of the trail.

Heron remains

…and the companion photo shot in a Publix parking lotpoking things

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My New Favorite Condiment

chipotle en adobo

Last weekend we were with friends in Santa Fe, New Mexico and a group of us attended a class at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. One of the recipes our chef Rocky made was a cream of tomato soup with Chipotle en adobo, which means Chipotle peppers in marinade.

Santa Fe Tomato Soup

4-6 Roma tomatoes

4 medium onions

4 garlic cloves

Olive oil

1 t. ground oregano

2-28oz cartons tomatoes with no citric acid (I used Pomi)

1 carton low fat silken tofu

2-3 t. chipotle en adobo

Slice Roma tomatoes in half, peel and quarter onions, peel garlic cloves. Toss all with olive oil and roast in 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes.

Toast ground oregano in pan on cook top, add tomatoes and stir until mixed. Set aside until vegetables are roasted.

Put tomato mixture, and roasted vegetables in a blender or food processor and blend until pureed. Add 2/3 carton silken tofu to mixture and blend well. This may need to be done in several batches. Return pureed mixture to pan, stirring to mix thoroughly. Heat just to a simmer and stir in chipotle en adobo. Assess, adjust, proceed.


I added about ½ t. salt since the tomatoes I used had no salt. I did not skin the tomatoes either before or after roasting. I used tofu, but you used cream you would probably use about 1/2-2/3 cup cream. Just be sure to not boil it after adding the cream. Making it with tofu did not produce the same result as making it with cream, but we liked it enough to repeat it. The Chipotle en adobo is my new favorite condiment. We’ve put it in black bean soup and chili, and the results are delicious.

Friday, November 6, 2009


UFPC totepycling, a term for making something better out of what was likely to go in the trash. Similar to recycling, but the end project should be as good or better than the original. Last May I made the teacher appreciation gifts for all the teachers and workers with youth and children at our church. I purchased canvas tote bags, used Leslie Riley’s transfer artist paper, and ironed the images to the totes. The image is of an art quilt that is displayed in our church. Maybe some day I’ll blog about the process of making the art quilt. The recipients were pleased with their gifts, and I was happy to make them.

But in any new art project, there are practice pieces. Several totes were rendered unsuitable in the learning process. So rather than throwing them away, I added two layers of fabric, ironed a new image to canvas and stitched the whole thing over the ruined image on the tote. I’m happy with the results.

However I will say that it was much easier to just iron the images directly to the bags. I suppose that is the point of upcycling, it takes longer than making the original.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sock Monkey Baby Quilt

Several years ago I found this fabric collection in a quilt store in Boonville, Indiana. My quilting group at church liked it too, so we ordered bolts of it and divided it among ourselves. I have made at least six of them, and I still have enough for two or three more quilts. Whenever I start working on one of these sock monkey quilts for a baby, I get the urge to start singing, to the tune of "Matchmaker" from Hello Dolly. "Sock Monkey, Sock Monkey, make me a quilt, make it so strong, sturdily built...." It is a sturdy quilt ready to take outside for a picnic, throw over funiture to make a tent, wash and dry again and again, and eventually be used to wrap furniture when the youngster grows up and moves out.

I've need to get this in the mail tomorrow for the Manley Bambino.