Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Embroidery - Paperclay Doll

After finishing up a large list of January deadlines, I was able to have a bit of fun and finish this paperclay doll - The Embroidery.

She sits working on her heart embroidery..

The base is foam covered in clay and bits of a sewing pattern.

She is a sweet paperclay doll - approximately 5.5" tall.

I'm adding her to my Big Cartel and I think she is the perfect Valentine gift!
Have a Paperclay Valentine? Link up!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Small Town Church - First Art Quilt of 2014

On the way to work a few weeks ago, I drove past this small Presbyterian church in Magna, UT. Its beauty struck me and I literally had to pull the car over to snap a few pictures on my phone. The lines are so clean, the colors so bold and true. I loved the modest and perfect beauty of this home of worship. It is in stark contrast to the huge and somewhat glamorous temples that are so commonly linked to the state of Utah. I knew immediately that I wanted to create an art quilt of this image.

Wouldn't you know it, the next week Project Quilting started up again. The first challenge was to create a quilt with fabric strings (fabric no wider that 2.5" across").

I roughly sketched out an idea of the quilt on graph paper and began slicing up the fabric I wanted to use.

I then glue basted all the strips on to muslin. After fussing, snipping and finally completing the layout, I then basted a grey felt back and a white, small weave tulle on top. Why the tulle? Since I don't use fusible webbing, the fabric can begin to lift. If I quilt with a discreet tulle layer on top, it keeps the fabric laying down.

And this is the final quilt; it is approximately a 20" square. I am shipping it off this week for consideration in a publication and upon its return, I will donate to the church. Maybe they would be happy to display it?
Here are some detail pics..

I've really embraced what I considered to be my "style". I am not fully abstract nor am I a realist artist. I truly like to focus evoking an emotion and giving more of a memory of an image, rather than an exact replica.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Quilt finishes at the end of 2013 and start of 2014

For the last couple of months in 2013, I had two quilts hanging over my head and stuck under my sewing machines. Both of the quilts were for my husband and were gifts. I finally found some quilting mojo in December and finished them.

This was his Valentine 2013 quilt gift - the color choices were based upon a single Michael Miller fabric I found. I loved the sweet fishing motif and the cheerful colors.

My husband's favorite part of the quilt? He loves the single block on the back. My quilt backs are usually very boring and I'm happy that this small departure is appreciated.

The second quilt was from Luke Haynes' QAL at WeAllSew.  The QAL is for a wall hanging, but I've made so many deer art quilts for my husband, I felt the need to break away. I pulled from a collection of his old jeans and created a small lap quilt. It's the prefect size for him while he relaxes in the recliner with a beer.

He loves it and doesn't share it often with anyone else. I'll take that as a compliment!

One of my first quilts for 2014 is inspired by a line from a poem..
"I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night."
It will be another liberated quilt in dark shades of black with a pop of a white star here and there. I'm very excited and always looking for time to sneak off and sew a bit more on it.

I'm still enjoying my Paperclay as much as ever. I have two figures under contruction right now. I'm almost done with this piece - The Hand Quilter. It was fun to blend my two favorite past times..

Have you started any projects yet?


Friday, January 3, 2014

Spicy Chocolate Brownies Recipe

When Kiddo was just a baby, I had an online bakery and kept busy entering culinary contests. I've always loved to be in the kitchen and in my younger days, I dreamed of becoming a pastry chef. However, the hours are long and the stress is high - not my ideal profession. I do not create recipes nearly as often these days with the three children at my feet, but I know one day I'll return to this passion. This brownie recipe is one that I created a few years back and actually had for sale. One of my clients made this into a regular dessert at their restaurant. It's spicy, full of chocolate and deliciously rich. It is the perfect treat to make for Valentine's Day (which is just a little over a month away!!)

Kick You In The Pants Till You're Nutty Brownies

* 1 cup butter, softened
* 2 cups of white sugar
* 4 large eggs
* 1 tsp. vanilla extract
* 1 1/4 cups flour
* 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
* 1/2 tsp. baking powder
* 1/2 tsp chipotle or chili powder
* 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts OR slivered almonds

*1/2 cup butter, melted
* 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
* 2 cups powder/confectioner sugar
* 1/2 tsp. chipotle or chili power
* 1 tsp. vanilla extract
* 2 tbsp. milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13" pan.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and chipotle powder. Gradually stir into the butter mixture until incorporated. Spoon into greased pan and gently spread mini chocolate chips on top. Bake for 35 minutes.

To make the frosting, beat butter, cocoa, powder sugar, chipotle powder, vanilla and milk in a large mixing bowl at medium speed until ingredients are moistened. Spread over the baked brownies and top with nuts.


I know you will love these and would love to hear if you make them.

Happy New Year!


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Marriage Equality for Utah - Art Quilt

I've always been very supportive of LGBT rights. I remember in junior high that I would cringe when peers would use the word "gay" as a negative slur. Maybe it's the part of me that wants tolerance in the world or fairness. Not sure. 

Marriage equality is very important to me for a number of reasons, but there is one that you may not know. My husband is Latino - so we are considered a "mix race" family/marriage. I can't say I ever think of us that way, but there it is. It was not all that long ago that our marriage would have been illegal. I can't even fathom that. I can't imagine someone trying to explain to me how our love and commitment was wrong or less entitled than others. It makes me ill and I refuse to accept this for other consenting adults. Love is love, and that my friend in my opinion is what this world needs more of.



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