Thursday, June 30, 2022

Lemon Meringue Pie--Out of the Oven

  I haven't made a lemon meringue pie in quite awhile, although it is one of our favorites.

  I make it from scratch from a very old Farm Journal Cookbook that I have had for over 50 years at least.

Just came out of the oven. Sometimes I get the meringue allot higher but this still looks nice. Larry will love it

Monday, June 27, 2022

Bag Update & Linking With Rain's Art Date

   I spent this morning making another bag pattern and then cutting it into pieces for the fabrics. This is working out easier to figure out the piece's layout. I will see how this one sews up, and then can always cut it up differently.

  This first bag includes fabrics using: Procion dyes, rust dyes, Pebeo sun paints with salt, natural mimosa dyed-the pretty yellow piece.  The book suggests adding 1/4' to 1/2" on all the sides of the patterns-I chose the 1/2''. This allows for the pulling in of the stitches and also to make sure the cloth underneath is completely covered.

I have always loved fall colors so most of the bags will reflect that

I always loved the beautiful yellows one gets with the mimosa leaves. Much prettier than dyeing with goldenrod-and the goldenrod is tricky-have to pull the cloth out at just the right time The triangle piece next to the yellow was dyed with Pebeo sun paints and salt

   So now I will take a break and then lay these fabrics out correctly for sewing. The book suggests using glue stick for that-who knew?  Never would have thought of it.

  Happy Monday

Update: Wednesday-linking up this post for Rain's Art Date  Thinking these hand dyes could be considered art.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

T Stands for Tuesday

 Good Morning Dear Readers,

     Welcome to the weekly T event where we gather together with friends and link up with our hostess Bleubeard and Elizabeth. Many share their latest art or crafts with the required drink related photo.

    I also wanted to mention Food Wednesdays here at the top of my post. Our next Food Wednesdays will be next week on July 6th where I will also be announcing some very exciting news about our link up event. I am very excited about the new direction and will announce the news on the July 6th post and link up. Hope you all will be as excited as I am. 😀

  Towards the end of last week, I worked on my bag project-going through my hand dyes etc, and spent a few days cutting out pieces for 10 bags. if interested in the process more here   So now that I have a blank "canvas" for the front design I will be going through my bags of rust dyes, sun dyes and my hand dye pieces and cutting up pieces to cover the fronts-similar to a crazy quilt  Then the next stage is to design the sashiko stitch patterns I want to use.  I am still waiting for a couple stencils and also the washable marking pens. I hadn't realized that these were coming form England when I purchased them, but they had the best price with free shipping. So hoping they will arrive by first week in July

  Being in my mid 70's now it's way past time to start using and creating with these fabrics. Hand dyeing fabric has been very rewarding for me-I did allot with natural materials from our woods home, really enjoyed rust dyeing, sun painting-dyeing, and even flower pounded pieces.  I think these bags will be a fun project to enjoy my pieces and to learn something new as well. The most rewarding of this project is using them finally-instead of being stored in bags-and shared. So a win win for me.

  Sunday we finally got lots of rain and most of all a cool down. The cool down just feels so good after weeks of mid to high 90's F here in the Ozarks. We will be in the '80s F for a couple days before it heats up again.  

 The "deck duck" (Valerie named her) visits most every day. Larry believes she is a mallard duck.

  This photo came out interesting so I  kept it

Sorry below a bit blurry but it was raining a bit at the time-and taken from indoors through the glass

We have many different bird visitors-many small birds, lots of woodpeckers, doves,  cow bird-very fun to watch them early mornings (I put the seed out around 5 am)

  Over the weekend we had fish and french fries.  This was the catfish and crappie that I had fried when our Wisconsin friends came to visit. I had lots left over and this fish froze so well. I froze them on a cookie sheet first, and then placed them in a big freezer bag once frozen. I heat them up in the oven with the french fries and the fish tastes like it just came out of the fryer.  

For my drink share, I searched my cups for my favorite Yellowstone coffee cup-inside the cup is the map of the park. It had gotten pushed way to the back of the cupboard. (we have allot of lime here in the water as the filter shows after I wash it) (and to keep the coffee maker running well I use distilled water to keep the coffee maker clean and it makes good coffee too)

Happy T everyone, enjoy your new week

It's Raining

 It's raining early this morning, with a little thunder.

   First rain and drop in temperatures this month-so good to hear the rain (it's still just before light)

Friday, June 24, 2022

Happy Friday & Bag Project Updated

   Hi Everyone, 

 Wow we are nearing the end of June already. It's been so hot here every day that it seems like it is going slow but here we are at the end of the month next week.

  We had our 6 month doctor visits this week, the family doctor we had been using since the move to the lake, we both were not crazy about and had been thinking of switching to the other doctor in the office-and then I got a call that ours was retiring so I could easily switch. He is the only doctor in the clinic now, young from Russia and we both really liked him allot, and very professional and on top of things unlike the other doctor. So we have eliminated a stress situation-a good thing.

  Since I needed to get off the allergy pills a couple months ago, my head just feels like it is in clouds haha.  I took myself off of them, because I have been on and off of those since I was a child and I just needed a break and my extreme leg cramps are mostly gone now too.  So with that and this continuous high heat with humidity has me feeling tired most of the day-ugh

  My garden plans have been halted do to this weather, we will see what fall brings us.

  Today I wanted to make the little purse pattern so I could start cutting out the fabric. The little bag is reversible too, so I can showcase hand dyes on both sides.  I shared this in another post that comes from the Sashiko and Boro book I picked up.

  I was happy that making the pattern was easy for me, something I just don't grasp sometimes. The instructions in the sashiko book were very clear. I am working on the wood flooring so I can spread out.

  At first I was wanting to use the packing paper that I have lots of but it was not quite wide enough and piecing it together was not accurate. So then I grabbed parchment paper which is working out well. I copied the page from the book for the instructions on how to measure this out.

I had a couple pieces of this one that I never cared for. Forgot what happened but I never liked these purple blotches-too tie dye for me haha  They will work out for these little bags though. This is a good quality kona cotton so it can be used finally

This following piece is more to my liking, and I have three green pieces too  I need to cut two of these pattern pieces. I will switch up the different fabrics so each bag will have two different hand dyed fabrics.

I will be adding patches to one front side and then practice with the sashiko stitches. I think this will be the perfect small project for slow stitiching.

   I did want to mention that since my T post  I have learned there is also a difference in the teas labeled for iced tea and for cold brew tea. 

    I tried the iced tea that I have on hand so I can get it used up-and it was not very flavorful. I contacted the Luzianne tea co about this and she said No the labeled iced tea will not work for the cold brew method. She told me the cold brew teas have added natural flavorings that will cold brew into a good tea.  This is true because the iced tea bags I made with the cold brew tea method had no flavor very blah haha.

Happy Friday and weekend!!

Update:  I thought I would add this here since it goes with this post.  After cutting out around 10 pieces I went back and re read the instructions again-and I missed something.  I had it my mind of what I wanted to do, but after re reading a better construction method to go with the instructions that I missed. 

   I had it in my mind to add just a few patches here and there and slow stitch on those. but then there is the issue do I want the patch to be raggy on the edges or turned under?  

  The instructions which I hadn't caught at first, is using a piece of cotton as the base and then totally covering with patches-instructions how to do that so no raggy edges. This will give a cleaner look too, so I would not want to use my hand dyed fabric for this as it would be totally covered.

  Ok so I went into my quilting stash of fabrics and found a big bag of allot of yardage of good weight muslin-one I would have dyed first and then used for a back of a quilt.  So I probably should have put this through the rinse cycle and dry to get more of the wrinkles out-but I steamed pressed it a couple of times tonight. It will be ok to cut out the pieces-tomorrow

 So instead of having pieces cut for 5 bags I will have pieces cut for 10 bags-using this muslin for one of the 2 pieces for a bag.  I had planned on making 8-10 bags so all is good.

  Ok I think I have this all sorted now--my mind works slow til I get it all figured out-always been this way haha

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Surprise Visitor on the Deck

   We are always fighting off the squirrels early mornings as they want to eat all of the bird's food that we throw out on the deck and on the railing

   A surprise visitor the other day, still coming every morning Never know what we will see out our wall of windows haha

Monday, June 20, 2022

Figuring out a Slow Stich Project

    Good Morning Friends,

     Starting around Friday, I dug out two bags that had my hand dyes, flower pounded pieces, rust dyes etc to contemplate a shawl, cocoon type shawl, or a jacket using a recent pattern I had purchased.

  Also first went through some of my fabric stash, I ran into a 1930's piece from one of my Grandma's sewing stash, and also pulled out a piece that was patchwork-India or hippie type fabrics that was a skirt I had found at the resale shop-intending to use for a sewing project.  

  I thought I would sew this into a cocoon wrap after adding patchwork pieces stitched with sashiko stitches.   Well this is just way too busy for me haha  and the patches would just add more caos.  I may still just sew into a wrap for around the house, or this may become a light couch quilt.

  Back probably around 2005 soon after I was newly retired I explored dyeing. I really loved it and did procion dyes, natural dyes, pebeo sun dyes and rust dyes. Dyeing was always so much fun for me as it was always a surprise when it came out of the dye pot and dried.

  My first ever procion dye project was a gradation of colors-taught by an artist in a yahoo quilt group way back then. I learned so much from him. This first project came out so lovely that I only used a couple pieces in a quilt.  I never cared for that mustard color and have one other piece so would use that instead.  However after getting out my jacket pattern, this will not make enough fabric as the  pattern is set up that each side is one piece for front and back and then you sew the two halves together-different than I have seen.

  I do have allot of yardage but it is not the same weight as this kona cotton so would not work out for this garment idea

  At least all these pieces got refreshed, pressed and enjoyed again lol

  So late yesterday I am thinking I need a smaller project to play with-patches on cloth with sashiko stitches.

  I got out the book again I had purchased on Sashiko and Boro and looked at the projects again. They have a really cute simple little bag pattern that would be perfect to store little items for a small project.  This one uses blue jean legs to make the deep pockets. This can be designed anyway one would want.

This book also had this cute little bag that I like even better and I think I will be making this one, easy to use with hand dye fabrics and I found a couple pieces of flower pounded pieces that have aged nicely

  Soooo that's the plan now haha  Happy Monday

Sunday, June 19, 2022

T Stands for Cold Brewed Teas and Coffee

    It's T time again over at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog.  This link up is for sharing and commenting on each other's posts, only requirement is to share a drink related photo.

   Last week I shared my cold brew tea in my lovely vintage crystal pitcher  I enjoyed the lemongrass tea with citrus peels very much. The second time I made it I left the tea to brew in the refrigerator for around 36 hours-I got a better flavor and also the extended time smoothed out the citrus flavors.

   Over the weekend I ran into a box of Bigelow large tea bags for cold brewing tea. I found I had two large tea bags left, and my pitcher was the exact size I needed -so perfect.  I had forgotten about having this in my tea stash..

 A peak into my frig shows it already has a lovely color

    When I made this up Saturday morning, I got to thinking is there really a difference between cold brew tea and a homemade iced tea?

   In the summer time my Mom would steep a bunch of tea bags in very hot water, let sit for while, and then she would pour it all over a pitcher half filled with ice and add fresh sliced lemons(and lots of sugar.   I remember it seemed quite the process at the time  I don't put a sweetener in my teas

     So I did an online search From here  and from here lots of information and both mentioned  flavors-which tastes better? 

   from the second link I agree with  them This link they stated: With Cold brew, the slower brewing process creates a sweeter brew that is more delicate and nuanced. There is very little bitterness and astringency in this process, even if the leaves are left in water for a longer period of time. Darker and roasted teas tend to have a bold, deeper, and more complex flavor


I have one more link to share here  Cold brew teas and coffee

    This link is full of information and it also shares what I had read about years ago maybe back in the 90's or earlier:  that sun teas can grow dangerous bacteria-

   So although sun teas are fun to brew I no longer make them.

 With our extreme heat and humidity continuing for who knows how long.  I will be making pitchers of cold brew tea for us this coming week, Larry may even enjoy some cold brew coffee. (smiles)  Of course you can spruce up your cold brew coffees-with cream, sweets and more-we usually just like teas and coffees plain without all the extras. A bit of kahlua is nice though in cold coffees too.

   I received two lovely cards in the mail this past week-I love my slow mail friends thank you both.

From Deb this very pretty handmade card I really love it makes he happy

and from another dear slow mail friend at Hill Top, along with her handmade stationary (handmade is so much more fun) she made a tag for me, and I also love her stamps on the envelope and her papers-and a cool postage stamp too.

I have one more drink share.  Most of you know I love Yellowstone, and back when I was planning my visit there in 2017 I picked up a couple of these really wonderful Liberty water bottles-made in the usa.  I am adding a little ice in the bottom fill up with cold water and add a tea bag and put the lid on. I don't drink enough liquids even in the hot summer time so thought this would help me drink more water during the day (and tea) I also have a couple mints growing so I snip off a few leaves and add them in water too along with a little lemon.

 PS I deleted this post to get rid of a problem with a link that I couldn't fix-and I shortened this post too. so that's why you may see two in your feed.

   Will write a stand alone post about my hand dye fabric pieces and sashiko jacket project-ongoing with ideas

  In my previous post-if interested- I posted a discussion about link ups, you are most welcome to join in the discussion.

  Happy T everyone, hoping you can stay cool in this heat if it has reached you too.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Thoughts on Link Ups

  I was going to write this up for one of the T posts, but decided to just put this out there for discussion on a post on it's own. Those that visit me during the week besides T  I consider my blog friends so I value your opinions.

 Been discussing with a friend about how some choose not to visit everyone that has linked up on T, even though they were visited.  

  One of my blog friends linked up and one week just had a handful of visitors even though every week there is always at least a dozen or more link ups usually around 16 on T. So when one visits everyone on the list and they only get a few visitors-that is disheartening.  I do have a few on T that rarely will visit me for T-so the last few months I have stopped visiting them, figure if they are not interested in visiting me than I don't need to visit them.  When one always visits and doesn't get the return visit then for me at least I figure they don't like me or they just link up but then never visit any one-I don't check to see if that is the case or not

  So what are your thoughts when you participate in a link up?  Do you make a point to visit everyone on the list? or just a few people that you like or have time for? 

  I personally always felt that if I join a link up, than I feel obligated to visit everyone that linked. If I know I  won't have enough time to visit  than I don't share a T post that week.

  I will admit though that for art journal journey, there are just so many participants that link up-that I just don't have the time to visit everyone-so there I am doing what I have an issue with  not good     I have considered to still participate in some of the monthly challenges going forward but just not link up any more for AJJ  

  Friendly discussion welcome

The coffee is on

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Watercolor Inks Practice Piece-Updated & Rain's Art Date

   Happy Midweek Friends,

     Of course it is still very hot and humid here, which keeps us indoors most of the day.

     Along with a little house work decided to try painting another mountain scene mostly with inks.  I am really liking the black walnut ink I made to also use for painting now, also grabbed a few of the watercolor inks, and a little watercolor paints

    This time I did the sky area last instead of first, I am not real pleased with it so far-once dry will work on lightening it more. I used the blue watercolor ink and even watered down was pretty dark.

    I started with the mountains and then really watered down the black walnut ink to cover the bottom of the page. Used inks for the grasses and little dots of flowers, also the tree is watercolor inks and black walnut. I did mix a little watercolor paint into the black walnut  ink to color the tree trunk. I also used watercolor green for the leaves

   I don't think it's finished but this time will let it sit a bit instead of jumping right in like I usually do haha Not sure what it needs yet perhaps more trees?

  Honest opinions and painting advice always welcome for this very newbie "painter"

I am using watercolor papers torn from a spiral. I was using painters tape to tape down my piece but it tore the paper so that did not work out. Now I just use a large clip on one end. When finished will weight it down.
   I really do not like this dark blue sky at all and looking at these photos, for some reason the grasses look lighter in the middle, perhaps the camera did that

Ok I am finished now, friend Barbara suggests less is more in the back of my mind-smiles.

    I added a little melting snow-or mist to the mountains, added in a few more grasses-in person the middle green is the same shade as the others

Updated:  I have been working on this watercolor practice-learning piece off and on most of the day today. One suggestion for improving the composition was to add something to the left side.  So a few hours later I messed around and added another tree-however I didn't have anymore of the same watercolor inks mixed up and ooops the tree turned out way too dark, and I didn't get a nice shaped tree for this one either--but I decided to go ahead and share for Rain's Art Day   I also worked on lightening up the sky a bit too.

    I am a work in progress with painting, so I am putting this piece out there any suggestions always welcome for improvement  I will say I really enjoyed working with the my handmade black walnut ink and winsor newton's watercolor inks for this piece.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Books & a Journal Page Just for Fun

   Hi Everyone, Yesterday morning (Monday) began our string of extreme hot and humid days here in the Ozarks. It's close to 80 f degrees already by 6-7 am so just not healthy for either of us to be working outdoors.

  I got out my watercolors and tried again for a mountain scene in the back with a meadow in the front. I made the mistake of adding in a wide path with rocks that just really ruined my painting.  I used my black walnut ink for the mountains-and I loved it-will work with that again for sure. I need to remind myself all the time that I Must let it dry first before I can move on.

  So this morning instead of tossing the whole piece in the trash, I cut out what I liked and made a mixed media journal page with it and stamped on my only fish-I need to look for a smaller fish stamp.

  I decided to add on the opposite page a few other components of my painting to remind me about using the black walnut ink. The back of this journal page is a sheet of textured paper.

These rocks are not quite the right shape, will be working on that I did like my sky this time, I stamped the fish on a piece of the sky

 I am not going to share this one on AJJ, I mostly put a page together because I love those black walnut ink mountains.

  With being "stuck" in the house all day I got out some books that I bought over a year ago and had gotten side tracked with other books to read.

   I enjoy the 1700's-1800's period of time in our country. When I had finished reading a book about the Oregon Trail-a modern day adventure, I started looking for a few other books. This 3 book series includes actual letters written that were sent back home or diary entries. Before each actual writing the editors give us the history of the person and time period.  I have finished the first book and started on the second. This was a real eye opener for me of what really happened on the trail to Oregon or California. Hadn't realized all the deaths that occurred so many babies and young children lost their lives. Also the living conditions one doesn't think about during bad storms etc. they had to deal with. At the close of the first book one of the daughters later married John Muir. I recommend these if you are interested in this history.

In one of my last posts I mentioned sashiko and boro slow stitching.  I got two books in last week.

  If interested in the history (rural Japan mending clothing)  and how to-I highly recommend this one. I had to search online a bit to find a price I would pay.  This book really covers everything about this subject. I knew this was for mending but hadn't realized the history that was involved-the book is worth reading for that alone.

  The two authors go into detail about the supplies and how to's with projects at the end of book

This next book I just got in yesterday. There are quite a few books out on this subject. This one got really good reviews, the bad reviews-the readers just didn't "get it" haha.  I haven't started reading it yet but looking through it I love it already-lots of photos.  This is another one I needed to search around for a lower price-I ended up winning with a low bid and free shipping on Ebay.
  Years ago when I was much younger I would do allot of mending with patches on my jeans-I wish this book would have been available back then

  I have a cotton piece of fabric that was a skirt that I had already taken off the waistband and opened up all the seems.  It was a patchwork of India type prints or hippy era prints-so I think I will play with the stitches on that piece. I am waiting for marking pens that will wash out of fabrics and a stencil to get started on that. more later.  I am thinking of adding patches to it, turn it into a shawl or pillow, we'll see what happens.

  Another new book I bought as a suggestion from one of my blog and slow mail friends is about Soups. This is a huge book by Reader's Digest. I don't have a soup book so thought I would do a search. The price was all over the place for this one too, but I found one for $4.00 free shipping in like new condition-amazing for a very old book. Scanning through it-everything about soup I think is in here. haha

When I search online to buy books I compare prices on Ebay-which usually has free shipping, and Amazon.  I usually do better on Ebay for most books I am looking for.  I do a search at other online book sites too but they usually have shipping costs added.  I buy books since we live so rural, no close access to a library. I do love books though so it's ok.  

  I got one more book in that was suggested to me from Amazon. It is an historical fiction about Hamilton's wife. I hadn't realized that I have the author's other book in my library to read yet. This got really good reviews, and I have read a few books already on Hamilton.  Again the price was all over the place on this book too, but I found a really nice soft cover (not the cheap mass produced small print paperbacks) for $4.00 free shipping. I am excited to get into this book, but will finish the covered wagon women books first and then dig out the other historical book by this author.

I will close with "diamonds on the lake" a quote from our dear friend Eileen 


Sunday, June 12, 2022

T Stands for Tuesday

 Hi Everyone, Happy T 

   We are in for many days in a row of mid to high 90's F here at the lake for the next two weeks or more.  We have been enjoying lovely cooler weather with a little rain thrown in so this will be a shock to the plants for sure-and me too haha  I am not all that thrilled with weather this hot and for many days in a row.

 We did enjoy our Wisconsin friends Rob and Rich for a few days last week. Good eats, they caught lots of fish to take home with them, and nice for us to have visitors for awhile. (more in a previous post)

 I have a handful of slow mail friends that I really enjoy writing to, and look forward to receiving mail as well-it's always a surprise to see a letter in my mail box and makes me happy. This past week I received art along with their letters.

 From Iris in Germany a lovely drawing and Henry

I love these stamps

and from one of my Debra slow mail friends (I have three Deb, Debra, Debbie friends) I received another beautiful painting and she sent me a 40th wedding anniversary card too. Thank you so much to the both of you-hugs

For my drink share this week I bought a new tea. It is one of Oliver Pluff & Co's cold brew teas made with lemongrass, dried lemon and orange peels, and rose hips. Since I bought a lemongrass plant thought I could dry some of the leaves and then buy the rest of the ingredients. It was cheaper at this point to buy the tea and it also came with a large tea strainer.

I wanted to just make a quart but I didn't have a container wide enough for the tea ball-then I remembered I had this lovely small vintage crystal pitcher that I received as a wedding gift from my cousin Ray all those years ago-perfect.

   I needed to empty the tin to find the tea ball

 This was a nice refreshing tea, next time I will let it brew a bit longer-I needed the frig space at the time. I do really like this tea company they have mostly historical tea blends and I love the packaging too

   Lake photos

We enjoyed watching this man and his dog fishing one early morning

Heavy fog early Saturday Morning

About an hour later as the sun came up and allot of the fog lifted

The lake was crazy busy most of Saturday-there is a boat parade going on trying to break a Guinness world record, and other activities Sunday morning revealed they fell short again but didn't say how much-afterward there was also a dog jumping event more here

I started drying bee balm for teas I have lots of flowers now so harvested more over the weekend

  I also tried out this wine one evening,  The wine was on sale from the local small grocery store nearby I always enjoy a glass of merlot once in awhile


Happy T and new week