Monday, February 20, 2012

President's Day Breakfast: Can't Resist

Home Made Pop-Tart (r)
Recipe from Feb 16, 2012 Hartford Courant
by Leah Eskins

Prep: 1 hr
Bake: 30 min
Makes: 8 tarts

1 3/4 c flour
1/4 c corn meal
2 tbs sugar
3/4 tsp salt
12 tbs butter, cut in small pieces
2 eggs
5 tbs milk
1/2 c jam or Nutella

1.  Mix together flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt.  Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture looks crumbly, with chunks of butter no bigger than kidney beans.
2.  Mix the eggs and milk together in a separate container, then add half to the dry ingredients.  Stir with a fork until the dough starts to hold together, then divide the pastry into two equal parts as you push each portion together into a ball or rectangle.
3.  Roll one of the dough balls into an 8x12 rectangle, dusting the top and bottom with flour.  Even off the edges with a knife or pastry roller, and brush the pastry with the remaining egg mixture.  Cut the pastry into four 8x3" strips.  Place about 1 tbs (or a bit less) of filling onto one side of the pastry strip leaving 1/2" all the way around.  Fold the rectangle over and seal the pastry on all four sides.  Push a fork gently into the sides, then prick the top to vent it with the fork. 
4.  Repeat with the remaining dough.  Transfer the pastry onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

5.  If you want (we didn't) make a glaze for the top with some powdered sugar and milk...

So very good, my kids will never go back to the store bought kind again!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Early Morning Studio Time...

There hasn't been much time for sewing lately... or blogging, for that matter!  December was a full month:  we had visitors from Maine, Vermont, and California who spent the holidays with us as we rang in the new year.  School parties, cookie swaps, and Christmas shopping were also part of the festivities.  On top of that- as many of the readers of my blog may know - I started a new job as Editor of Quilting Arts Magazine.  So yes!  December was a busy month!

As part of my editorial duties at QA, I will be blogging through the Quilting Daily website, so this, my personal blog, won't be updated very frequently.  However, I just had to do a little show-and-tell from my early morning sewing this morning...

As Seen In Stitch magazine, Winter 2008

The linen twill patchwork tote which was designed by Susan Wasinger took about 1 hour to make, using all vintage fabrics from my stash.  I had just enough of the funky 1950's feedsack material to make the band of color without piecing a thing... just love it when something like that happens.  

My "studio" goal for 2012 will be to keep working in my studio on the weekends, even if it has to be at 6 am... and to hone my skills in the fiber arts.  So much fabric, so many ideas, so little time...  but so blessed to be doing what I love and living out my dreams.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Spectacular Advent Calendar

Last night I was surfing the web, knowing I should be writing my post for today, but totally underwhelmed by my own attempts at marking the season of Advent.  I've started pulling my boxes of decorations from the attic, hanging some lights, and arranging my collection of nativity sets, but I was still feeling uninspired.

Wait a minute... what is that... could it be...

Yes.  The most creative and spectacular Advent Calendar I have ever seen... and a tutorial to boot!  One of my favorite blogs, Stuff You Can't Have, features the work of Catherine McGeaver from Oakland, CA and she has come up with a great idea for an Advent Calendar that puts us all to shame.  It combines so many things that I love:  secret boxes, sequential artwork, prayer flags (at least their shapes and the hanging of a garland), vintage textiles, and mixed media.  Go to her site linked above for the full tutorial, and let her know that you saw her work here.  What a treasure...  and it is time to open the first box on your own Advent Calendars!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Photo and Fiber Donation

Once again, Virginia Speigel has organized a fund raiser for the American Cancer Society which will take place on Feb. 15 & 16 of next year.  I was so pleased to be asked to make a donation of three small packets to be given as "premiums" to people who donate to the cause.

Here is a quick "sneak peak" of part of my donation...  I have made three ATC's using vintage maps, stamps, papers, and millinery flowers for some lucky donors.  The full packets will contain vintage papers, stamps, and other ephemera to use in artwork.  The three pieces honor the memories of my parents and a close friend, all who died of cancer.

Thank you, Virginia, for allowing me to share my artwork and honor those whom I have loved and lost. And thanks to all of you who will make donations in February and receive mementos from the many artists who have donated their work.

Together, we can all make a difference.  Join me and my fellow fiber artists in supporting this worthy cause!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Music For Turkeys to Cook By

Music For Turkeys to Cook By... how I love that phrase!   This turkey will be baking dozens of rolls, making a pan of apple crisp, and roasting several pounds of brussel sprouts today.

And the music?  I'll start with something classical:  Bach Preludes or some of Yo-Yo Ma's cello pieces will make the dicing and slicing go faster.

I'll be peeling apples to Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant, remembering happy times in my childhood kitchen.

Bread rises best when accompanied by quiet jazz, so my favorite pianist, Cyrus Chestnut, will encourage the yeast with his album "Blessed Quietness".

We will be celebrating the holiday in a home that was built not long after the first Thanksgiving on the shores of the Connecticut River...

What are your plans?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Open Studios New Work

Join me this weekend, November 19 & 20 
from 10am to 4pm at the 
Guilford Art Center 
for my annual

Open Studios!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fiberactions Reveal Day: Structure

I loved the term "Structure" for this month's challenge.  It really got me thinking about how structured  my life really is, and how I rely on certain constants to keep me on track.  When those constants have changed, even slightly, the course of my life has been changed forever.


As I started this piece and was pulling the fabrics from my stash, my family structure was in turmoil.  We were beginning a new school year, our state had been hit by a hurricane, and we had just received power back in our town after spending nearly a week in the dark.  No power for us means no water, electricity, sewer, or refrigeration.  Our structure was shaken to the core.  Fast forward two months as I was quilting and binding the piece to the next natural disaster - a freak snow storm- which left our neighbors to the north in the same situation of turmoil.

Fall Interrupted
I have experienced a natural disaster which change the face of a city:  the 1989 San Francisco Earthquake moved not only buildings, but the city planners as they had to redesign highways and public spaces.  I have lived through emotional shock waves as well, such as losing my parents, and have felt the pain of a young life cut short by a horrible accident.  All of these events, whether physical or emotional, have changed me, the world around me, and my family.  Some of the changes have been for the better, and others have not.  But they all have left their mark on the structure of my soul.

The working title of this piece was "Fault Lines", but I have decided to call it "Fall Interrupted".  It is based on a picture of a rock taken in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, at one of my favorite places in the world.  This is where I go to think, to feel the ocean breeze, and to cast my troubles to the wind.  You can see in the photograph where the granite is split with quartz, and where each sliver of stone has moved, its structure altered forever, by a moment when the earth moved and the strength of the stone was not enough to keep its structure intact.

This is my last quilt with the Fiberactions group.  Thank you all for a wonderful experience of working with challenges and deadlines.  

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