The Life and Projects of An Avid Hobbyist

Sunday, October 7, 2012

New Commute...Old Love

My first ever textile craft was needlepoint...cross stitch to be exact.  My childhood babysitter created small projects to keep us busy after school and during the high heat of the summer months.

Over the years, I have strayed away from this craft except when it has been necessary, mostly only to create embellishments on other knitterly or sewn projects.

So as  I prepared for my new longer commute to work, I desired to dust off my needle point skills with a sampler project.  I have long been a fan of Mary Corbet’s blog Needle ‘N Thread.  It has lots of patterns and techniques that I find intriguing.  Several months ago, I came across a post that she did on hand embroidery text and lettering found here.  I had to try to create my own.  I purchased a Sublime Stitchery Most Awesome Tea Towel from my favorite local fabric shop Rock, Paper Scissors.  I also dug out all of my old threads and needles and hoops...please note I use the plural for all of these things (I've always been a bit of a craft hoarder)... 

Using Word, I created this display of fonts using ancient latin text historically used for typesetting (more info here...gotta love Cicero).

Next, I'll have to create a light box to transfer the image onto the cloth.  Let's see what all I can remember....curiouser and curiouser...~ksp

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Till You're Dizzy...

Somehow, I am always down to the wire getting ready for the NJ State Fair...drop off is this weekend.


This year I made it a priority to put the quilt I made for my friend Adina in the show.  That meant that I have been sewing until I made myself dizzy...

Now off to the drop. I'll share more photos later. ~ksp

Monday, June 25, 2012

Do Something - For Adina

A dear friend of mine was assaulted in April of this year. While the circumstances were horrific, it was compounded by the fact that she was so far away from me.  I felt compelled to do something...anything...but what could I do?

I pulled out my copy of Tonya Ricucci's book Word Play and started to organize bins of scraps and strings.

I did some color planning using Microsoft Excel.  This helped me to best plan the transitions from one color to the next.  I then made a list of action words that I either wanted her to do or to do myself.  Using Kona White as the typeface color and I got right to work.


Things progressed quite nicely an, due to the size of he quilt, I had to use my bed as a design wall.  Here is the quilt without the borders.

Do Something!
It was an interesting process and my first improvisational quilt.  About 4 words in, it started to get really fun and I've got lots of compliments to everyone I've shown it to.  I still have a fair amount of work to do on the quilt so that I can enter it into this year's NJ State Fair.

What'ya think? ~ksp

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

How was my Father's Day?

Father's Day Dinner

...nuff said.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads and dad-figures out there. ~ksp

Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm an Auntie...Again!

This is my Mango*, Ari.

Tell me that you've seen something this cute in a long time?

She is the most alert new-human that I have ever encountered.  She is the most curious and attention-grabbing kiddo.  Oh, and she has a kung-fu grip... 

This post are both long overdue as she will be turning one next month.

* I had a dream once involving her and mangoes...since then, the name stuck. ~ksp

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Tale of Two Soups

If I wasn't a dumpling in a previous life, surely I was a soup.  I absolutely love brothy soups. I especially love ethnic variations on a chicken broth soup.

First up, is Vietnamese Pho.  There is a great recipe here. If i don't make a pot at home, I go to Binh Duong in Bloomfield.  It's a small, local-to-me place that has pretty good ratings and is always busy.


My other favorite soup is chicken pozole (or posole). It's a traditional hominy-based Mexican stew closely associated with the Pacific-coast state of Guerrero.  I first had this soup at a best-ever dinner party in November 2011.  Since then, I harassed the hostess for the recipe. 

Yes, there a whole chili in there.

Pozole for 5 – 8 people: in a humungous soup pot: heat 2 T olive oil with garlic and add 3 chicken breasts. Sear the skins until beautiful golden brown and tasty! Then fill the pot with water and boil gently, adding the drained Hominy grains (I use a huge 5 pound can about 10 inches tall, which I find at Mexican grocery stores-you will want a lot). Add 3 T Mexican oregano and simmer pozole for about an hour or so. When you know the chicken has released its flavor to hominy and broth, remove them to cool, remove skin, and then gently pull apart the chicken into sizes you enjoy (some make it like thread, others like larger chunks in the soup) and return to pozole pot.

As you simmer, it’s easy to prepare the ingredients that await the pozole on the serving table:
  • Thinly Slice lettuce
  • Small diced white onions
  • Thinly sliced radishes
  • Oregano pieces
  • Lime wedges
  • Mexican hot sauce (El Yucateco-Habanero Roja is my favorite it can be purchased at Amazon here.)
 So, if you are in the soup mood, I strongly suggest either of these soups as a welcome change from the ho-hum chicken and rice. ~ksp

My American readers...don't forget to file your taxes by April 17th!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Happy Springtime!!

I love this time of year...planning the garden, the spring thaw, longer daylight hours...

Pardon the craptastic photo.
At this year's Philadelphia International Flower Show I purchased some Scottish broom sprigs to make a wreath for my door.  I loves it. ~ksp

Saturday, March 24, 2012