Monday, May 22, 2006

On a lighter note

Not such a cross stitcher today - I think I have worked out a solution for my cross-stitch, but more about that later. I have made a new bag. These fabrics have been lying around for a while waiting for me to get around to it. I bought some rick-rack recently and realized that the colours were perfect to go with the fabrics, so they were included in the design. The result is a summery bag that will go well with my new jacket, if I decide to keep this one for myself. I really need to clean out my hallway closet to make space for all my handbags - or I might give this one away - that might be easier... ;-)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

A cross stitcher

I mentioned earlier that I was working on a cross-stitched piece as a present for a friend. A whole group of us are making pieces to be put in a photoalbum where the pockets are 5 x 7 ". I measured and calculated ever so carefully before I started, created a layout based on some free patterns from about, and stitched happily away. Yesterday I finally finished this piece and started to mount it, only to find out that I have miscalculated! I had decided to make a card to mount it in but realized that the d*** thing is too big. If I am to end up with a 5 x 7 card I'll only get about 3/8 of an inch frame around the whole thing, making it look cramped and akward. So the question now is what to do?

  1. Forge ahead and decide that it is what it is,
  2. come up with another clever way of finishing it or
  3. stitch something else before mid-June?

Sigh! I'll have to sleep on it, and might yet come up with a solution, but it just makes me so irritated with myself. Why didn't I check my measurements better? Arrgh!!!

There, that felt good - I've got it out of my system and no doubt, by tomorrow I'll know what to do - I think...

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cake in a tie

This is a first. I haven't blogged about any kind of food I've made before, but I'm quite pleased with the cake I made today, so I felt like showing off :-). The occasion is my nephew's confirmation party tomorrow and I wanted to make something suitable for a young man. After several hours of googling cake decoration sites and noticing some nice formal cakes made to look like suits, I decided to do something similar, but more informal.
The theme colours for the party are a soft green and turquoise (remember "the old days" when we just used whatever party decorations we had?) so that was my starting point. A formal suit didn't seem right for our happy-go-lucky young man, so I decided that a shirt and tie would be better. As I was working it occured to me that forced to wear a tie it wouldn't be long until he had loosened it and opened the top button on his shirt, so I decided to do it that way, and to pull the tie to one side. This gave me a chance to make litle marzipan buttons as well. The pocket has a line of "stitching" all around and there is a small label with his name on. I hope he'll like it!
The cake itself is actually just an ordinary sponge cake split in three layers and filled with thin layers of strawberries blended with a little sugar and a generous amount of whipped cream mixed with caramel mousse. The shirt, tie and details are all made from marzipan. Not all that professional looking, I know, but still, I'm quite pleased with it!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Things beginning with "p"

I have made a few new postcards. These are phototransferred images that were printed on the wrong setting so they came out a little faded, and I tried enhancing the images by adding some machine quilting. The scanned images of the finished postcards also became a bit faded. I tried adjusting the colours a bit on the computer, but they do look better in real life!

This is a pincushion I made for an exchange. The pattern is from Martha Stewart. I loved the look of them in different shades, colours and sizes, so I might have to make some more, even though the others in my quilt group teased me about it. Apparently you can buy tomato pincushions for next to nothing at the quilt shop, but they are of the mass produced variety and not half as nice as these homegrown ones, I think! I bet they are just jealous ;-) The picture at Martha's reminded me of long summer days in the country with my grandparents when I was a child. On Saturdays we kids used to walk to the nearest farm and use our allowance to buy left over tomatoes from the weeks pickings. Our fistful of brown coins would be exchanged for a big brown paper bag filled to the limit with these lovely juicy "sweets" in all sorts of odd shapes and shades. I can still remember the taste when biting into a tomato still warm from the sun: like liquid sunshine. We'd start eating them on our way home (in spite of gran's instructions to wait until after dinner) and by the time we got back we'd have little room left for dinner. We'd have tomatoes with our lunch for the rest of the week, but nothing could rival that first bite on the way home. Forbidden fruit, mmm ;-) But I digress - I was talking about pincushions. I also recieved one from the same exchange. A lovely star-shaped one with lots of machine embroidered details:The yellow and green fabrics are bali fabrics with a gold scroll print on top on one side, which really gives you two different fabrics to play with (I have the same one in pink and turqoise, that's why I know!) and here it is used to great effect with the gold side out on one side of the pincushion and the "plain" side (which really is the most beautiful one) on the other side. What a lucky girl I am - thank you Camilla!