Sunday, March 29, 2009

Felicia's Half Marathon

Congratulations to Felicia, the CrabbyCrafter on running the half marathon this morning.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My favorite hat

My good friend Kotomi made this hat for me before I left Japan. I love it. I wore it almost every cold day this year. I was thinking of putting it away today, but I think I may need it one more time before warm weather sets in for good.

Kotomi's father also made something for me.

He harvested wood from the forest near his home, then carved it into chopstick holders. My favorite part about them is that he wrote the kind of tree the wood came from on each holder.

I know that the one on the left front says sakura, which is the famous Japanese cherry blossom tree that is at the end of its bloom in Knoxville now. I can't remember what the others are, but maybe Kotomi will comment and tell us...

Friday, March 27, 2009

fresh local eggs for breakfast

I got this dozen eggs today. There are no blue eggs in the batch this time, but I'm sure they are as rich and delicious as always.

There was the cutest story in the paper yesterday about the family farm that I buy eggs and honey from. Click here to read it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Migoto Chou's bracelet tutorial

I wrote an article for the newspaper about the Knoxville-based Etsy seller that makes these beaded cupcakes (read it here).

The artist, Amanda Hinson, was kind enough to let me make my first video tutorial of her demonstrating how to make the Treasure Tube bracelets she often has in her shop.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

More vintage fun

I found this image (cover of McCall's Needlework and Crafts Fall/Winter 1962-63) on my newest favorite blog. Cathy of California is a vintage craft loving window designer in Southern California. Her blog is a resource for information on craft and design and full of fun images like the one above. I have spent a lot of time this week reading back into her old posts. I hope her collection of craft books and ephemera ends up in a museum one day so people can explore it.

I love the respect she gives this stuff. I think a lot of people are influenced by the design from the 1960's - 1970's, but that it's sometimes thought of as kind of a guilty pleasure. For me, Cathy's blog has somehow validated my love for some of the color combinations and design elements of the era.

And as long as I'm talking about this time period, here's a cool clip my musician boyfriend found. You've got to love early 60's television.

Elizabeth Cotten on Rainbow Quest with Pete Seeger

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Find: vintage food photography

When I spotted this book on a shelf of children's books at a thrift store, I opened it thinking I might find a Hansel and Gretel story. It's actually a book about German cuisine with amazing photography, entitled The Cooking of Germany. It's from the Foods of the World series from Time Life books, published in 1969.

Henry Groskinsky planned and photographed the pictures for the book made in the test kitchen and Ralph Crane traveled around Germany in a Volkswagen bus to take the field photos.

The caption reads, "Floral patterns of carrots, cucumbers, hard-cooked egg white, tomatoes, and leek tops beautify these pork chops in aspic."

Writer Ursala von Kardoff is pictured holding a crock of goose-fat spread.

I want a portrait of myself standing in front a cupboard full of my pretty dish collection and a tub of pimento cheese or something.

The cutest mushroom foray I have ever seen

eye candy

That's like the stove that Gretel pushes the wicked witch into on the right page.

Just look at that table cloth!

"a supermodern supermarket in West Berlin"

In case you are as into this as I am, I saw that the book is available on Amazon and here's the link: The Cooking of Germany (Foods of the World)

Monday, March 16, 2009

New sewing magazine

I think this one’s got potential. I LOVE the cover. In fact I found the magazine visually inspiring throughout. There’s a how to on getting into design school, an easy to read account of how the fashion industry began with a go-getter in 1800s, fun, trampy waitress dresses and a few other edgy little tidbits.

You can download the entire first issue for free. If you like it, subscribe.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Photography tips from California

pattern © Linda Roy 2009
This is what I got done in yesterday's trapunto class (read about the class here). The red thread is just basting so it will be taken out after the quilting. I just love those puffy circles.

Marisa Zucek, who writes the very good Quilt Otaku blog , has come up with a guide to photography that you should check out. She is giving away a bit of fabric she designed to those who post a photo of a handmade project both before reading her tips and after reading them.

This is my before picture. I just read the guide (after taking the picture) and got a lot of ideas to try out. Look for an improved version soon.

Going green...

My boyfriend brought over a poster for his band's St. Patrick's Day show. I took one look and wanted to make it green. We spent some of the afternoon painting posters with watercolor.

I also found a tie perfect for the occasion, though I'm not sure he will wear it. He did nix the idea of me embroidering a shamrock on it.
UPDATE: He wore the tie.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Trapunto, my newest technique

pattern © Linda Roy 2009
I took my first quilting class today. Of course my teacher, Linda Roy, did the beautiful work above. It was one of several examples she made for the class, which was entitled "A Touch of Elegance." She gave us the patterns she designed and during the class, taught all three techniques used in the piece above: ruching, trapunto, and stippling.

Rusching (pronounced roo-shing) is what makes the scrunched up flower in the center of the picture above. It's kind of a very sophisticated yo-yo.

Trapunto (which means embroidery in Italian and comes from the Latin "to prick") is a technique used to make something three-dimensional by outlining a shape then stuffing it with yarn or batting. Yarn makes those oval outlines and polyester stuffing makes the little circular puffs.

Stippling is the type of quilting used inside the oval outlines. The stitches are REALLY close together and function to flatten down the area it is used in.

The photo is Linda demonstrating stippling. She is very comfortable with this kind of intricate work. Look at her Irish Creme quilt to see why.
Linda recommended the tools and supplies she uses and even put together a kit full of some hard to find things for the class. It was organized and though I was probably the least experienced quilter there, I had a good time and learned so much.

I have tons of ideas for adding stuffing to my projects. Some of the other students were saying that if you used a colored yarn to stuff the ovals, the color would peek through to slightly tint the quilt. I like that.

The class was organized by the Smoky Mountain Quilters, a quilting guild that I belong to. They offer a lot of classes. One I really hate to have missed was a workshop given by Nellie Durand teaching her technique of collaging small scraps of fabric. Here are some examples of work from that class.

The Smoky Mountain Quilters are still accepting quilts for the show in May. More information about that here.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The end of color week

After yesterday's visit to my mom and dad's house, I have the picture that I wanted for the blue day of color week. This is a teacup and saucer from my mom's Willow Blue dishes. She gave me this pair to add to my mismatched set of dishware.
Thank you Mom and Lynn at The Little Red Hen for hosting color week. She says she may make it an annual event. I plan to submit this year's photos to the beautiful color week flickr pool this week.

Stitches in Time

I bought six of these raffle tickets yesterday at the Cleveland Museum's annual "Stitches in Time" exhibit. It usually runs from about January to March. Yesterday was the last day to view this year's display of 90 antique and contemporary quilts from the area. If you are traveling on I75 next year, stop and see the exhibit.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


I love when my African Violets bloom.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I don't have a lot of blue. I made this doll because I wanted to give my friend's new baby something handmade, but I wasn't thrilled with how it came out.


This man is selling zunda mochi, sweet edamame (green soybean) paste and rice cakes, in a Japanese train station. Zunda mochi is one of the specialties of Sendai, Japan.

This was crocheted by my aunt Josephine for my granny. I love how green it is.

I took this picture as a part of the Eyes on LaFollette project when I was in a photojournalism class at the University of Tennessee.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Those are the lights from Fuji Rock Festival 2007.

My school's play kitchen set is cute, but it's nothing compared to this.

Scroll down to see more from color week.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


As a part of color week, I was looking for orange. I live in Knoxville, Tennessee, home of the Big Orange. The University's school colors are orange and white. I took this photo when I was in a photojournalism class.

I thought that was the only orange in my life, but then I noticed my coffee cup.

Monday, March 2, 2009


I'm participating in The Little Red Hen's color week. Here's the plan for the week:
today: red
Tuesday: orange
Wednesday: yellow
Thursday: green
Friday: blue
Saturday: violet
Sunday: all the colors of the rainbow

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Roy G. Biv

This is a quilt that I was making this time last year. I made it for a fundraising auction for my school. Lucky for me, I babysit for the family that bought it so I still get to see it sometimes. I have some note cards with the quilt image in my etsy shop.

I'm participating in The Little Red Hen's week of color. Today's theme is the colors of the rainbow. Here's another quilt that will have all the colors of the rainbow once it is finished.

I started working on it after I saw some of the Gee's Bend quilts. I love how they were made from big salvaged pieces often without any pattern. This quilt will be a display of my fabric stash arranged to look like the color spectrum.

Keep checking in with me this week for lots of color. Tomorrow's theme is red.