Sunday, September 6, 2015

- Random amusements

I don't obsess over horoscopes, but they are fun every so often, especially since Don and I share Gemini birthdays (one day apart). The Austin American Statesman publishes horoscopes by Holiday Mathis and I find hers to be more interesting than most. Take today's reading for Gemini:
The thing you do just to amuse yourself is more special than you know. It may seem random and arbitrary, but that's what's great about it. The importance of small, joyful acts cannot be underestimated. 
We've been amusing ourselves so much recently it's hard to know where to start. So I'm just going to troll through the pictures on my iPhone and comment along the way.

As noted earlier, my daughter and her family have moved into a new house, where almost-three-year-old Griffin is learning the joys of paved driveways and the perils of the streets beyond. So Don fashioned a sign ...

PopPop and G

the better to stop by ...


Our St Louis kin were not left out, as I had traced the outline of Baby Jace's high chair cover ...


when we were there to celebrate his first birthday last month ...



along with big brother Jackson's third ...



The pattern got transferred to an old pillow sham and quick stitched on the machine ...


I took further advantage of the machine being up and running by repurposing this thrifted cotton skirt and some placemats gifted by my mom many years ago ...


After cutting off the placemat borders and edging them in the cotton, I applied a coat of Grace's walnut dye to the center ...

Pre-wash color

I've also been experimenting with different ways of setting colors, having just gotten a set of the much-discussed Inktense pencils.  Thanks to Grace I was convinced the full set of 72 wasn't essential, so I got this set of 48 that came in a nifty wooden box instead (oooo, ahhhh) ...


I created a quick test strip to see how water, aloe vera gel and Golden GAC 900 fabric medium would work ...

Note, when I started stitching on the plain linen, I realized how addicted I've become to layers
so I basted on a backing of harem cloth, which made everything much, much better

then heat-set only half of each section (the left half of WATER, the right half of ALOE VERA, and the left half of MEDIUM) ...



The WATER and MEDIUM bled the most, leaving heat set half of the ALOE VERA (on the right) the clear winner in terms of blending, not bleeding into the white, and not washing out (so far)...

Note: only the ALOE letters were stitched

So now I'm doing a similar test on some patched linen touched up with Grace's walnut dye ...

Before laundering: top half aloe vera, bottom right fabric medium, bottom left untreated

After laundering: hmmmmm


Meanwhile, I'm continuing to accumulate linen patches ...


some of which I randomly laid out upside down, just to imagine how they might go ...

Since they are different heights, I turned the patches upside down to be sure they were oriented correctly

then deciding I needed more white, I pressed up lots more strips, now that I realize how quickly they can be stitched up ...

I daresay I can't wait to take Jude Hill's new workshop in October!

Last, but not least, I concocted a new recipe with the very seasonal Hatch, New Mexico chili peppers I picked up at the store ...

Okay, not the prettiest picture, but "taste over presentation" is my motto

After blessing the Hatch peppers with a little olive oil, Don charred them on the grill along with a sweet yellow onion. I peeled and seeded the peppers, then laid them in the bottom of a Pyrex dish that had been rubbed with olive oil. Leftover rotisserie chicken, grilled onions, and a combination of cheddar, Monterey Jack and Cotija cheeses got layered on. 15-20 minutes in a 350 oven was all it took to reach toothsome goodness. The peppers still had a bit of crunch and weren't overwhelmed by added seasoning, although the dish was definitely enhanced by the addition of tomatillo salsa. Next time I think I'll try it over rice, but tortilla chips served as a welcome accompaniment this time around.

19 comments:

Marti said...

Random amusements, huge joys: it is always such a treat to come here and see what the Ackerts are getting up to, stop signs and high chair covers and cloth recycling, oh my!

Love those photos of your precious grandboys...grandchildren give us the world anew.

Plethora of cloth patches and in such warm autumn colors, what patience to make such a great pile..

Walnut dye always great to have and now you have inktense pencils as well.

Hatch chiles, YES! Normally I too roast my own chiles but we have family coming for Christmas and so we decided to buy 25 lbs of Hatch (HOT) chiles and have them roasted. Rich had to drag me away when the guys were done roasting our chiles because I could just sit and smell that intoxicating chile roasting smell and watch the tumbler go round and round...almost puts me in a trance. We vacuumed sealed nine pouches of chiles, about 10 large chiles in each pouch and they will be great stocking stuffers...they are tucked away in our freezer.

Liz Ackert said...

I have to confess that I got mild chilis and could have used a little more heat ... I'm sure your family will love their gifts of New Mexico sunshine!

Sharon Tomlinson said...

Hi Liz, I just love random post and the stop sign is absolute genius for city kids. One of those why didn't I think of that.
But the reason I'm commenting is about the Inktense. I love that you are exploring. I wanted to tell you a little secret you may or may not know about Inktense. At least is was a secret to me for quite a while after I got mine 5 or 6 years ago. The one thing that sets them aside from all other water soluble pencils is this secret; they become permanent when dry!!!

Yes you must activate them with water first and when they dry, THEY ARE PERMANENT. Of course on fabric you can hurry up the drying process by using an iron. I put my piece between two pices of muslin. That is because my fabric is very wet and a bit of color will bleed onto the ironing cloth. Here's the fun thing, Once you put a layer down and dry it, then you can go back and add another layer and dry it, and on and on until you get the intensity you want.

Unfortunately my blog tags are not so complete but if you use the blogspot search in the top left for "inktense", a little something will come up that might be helpful.
or copy and paste this http://allnorahsart.blogspot.com/search?q=inktense

Forgive me for this long share but I've been seeing others discovering Inktense and I'm thinking this fun fact about them will be helpful.

Liz Ackert said...

Thank you so much ... I love getting input on process!

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

THANK YOU, Sharon!!!!!

Dana said...

What a fun post Liz...You and Don are very good at amusing yourselves! Mike's and my birthdays are also one day apart, although we are Pisces. I am enjoying the experiments with Inktense and walnuts.

Liz Ackert said...

Aren't joint birthday celebrations great? We always combine ours with a family trip to the Outer Banks, but we keep outgrowing vacation houses (much as you stretched to get everyone around your table last weekend).

And yes, experiments with no preconceived notions of how things "should" go ... which is a good thing since I've been truly surprised by some of the results.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

what do you think went on with the walnut? am so surprised that it washed out

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

the stop sign is brilliant. when my kids were this age, i used to draw and write things
all over the sidewalk at the boundries, with colored chalk. this would have been great.
will show it to my son for his little one.

Liz Ackert said...

Operator error???

Liz Ackert said...

I'm tickled that you like it ... another one is in the works for the St Louis grandsons.

How old is your son's little one?

jude said...

yes they are....

jude said...

you are a natural born what-iffer.

Liz Ackert said...

Cross pollination happening ...

Liz Ackert said...

I'm late to the game, but perhaps that just make it all the sweeter. While I wish I had been a part of the original "What if" diaries, I'm thinking that ultimately it's our own discoveries that root most deeply and have the potential to truly change the way we see things.

yvette dopheide said...

Sigh and love you!

Liz Ackert said...

So good to "see" you here ... best always

deemallon said...

love to see pix of family! and those little squares make me swoon. I like the scale, the palette, the potential resting there.

Liz Ackert said...

Thanks Dee ... I'm lucky to be able to see the world through young eyes. Likewise that there is so much to try that I've never tried before!