Oh my gosh...I'm back!
My computer is back online. Thank God.
I swear, I felt as if I were cut off from the world.
So back to more regular posting. Whew.
Here's a teaser, for those of you not willing to read a long post to discover what is in store.
I talk about this:
I woke up this morning to a rain soaked day.
That might not be a novelty for the folks reading this, but here, where rain hasn't graced the yard for over 150 days (that mist a few weeks ago doesn't count), this is something.
I used to hate the rain, but I've come to appreciate the way the air smells, the way the clouds sway, the fun of wearing wonderful sweaters and jackets, and the advantages to cuddling and snuggling.
What the rain brought forth in me today was the need to bake.
Uh, this kind of weather isn't really what bread craves, but I had to give it a go.
I baked cinnamon swirl bread today.
The old fashioned way, with yeast, and rising times, and the incredible smell that wafted through the house and out into the front (where two of my brothers were praying they'd discover what that aroma meant. I brought them out hot slices with butter that they 'yummed' over).
Seriously, can it get much better that?
That is one fine afternoon, my friend.
Oh, and HOT bread, you say?
Please, do you think I could wait the recommended two hours for the cooling progress?
It's like how Krispie Kreme features hot from the oven glazed donuts--that way they melt in your mouth.
I forgot to add the raisins to my cinnamon swirl bread, and I won't post the recipe because it's not the best one I've ever made (it's good for toast, but I prefer a more dense and chewy variety, oozing with slurpy goodness. That is not what the author of this recipe desired. She wanted toast. That's fine).
I will tell you, however, that one of the best snacks on the planet (thanks, debs) is cream cheese spread onto a toasted cinnamon raisin English Muffin, with fresh avocado, and freshly ground pepper.
Seriously, try it.
But I'm off track here. I'm just dying to catch up and have to condense a gazillion thoughts into one post.
I do have to mention that I passed up the Festa in Little Italy today (how do they create chalk drawings in the rain?) and I watched my beloved cooking shows on PBS.
Everyday Food, Rick Bayless, America's Test Kitchen, and my new favorite--Diary of a Foodie.
The latter featured a chef so passionate about his food that I just had to smile.
Joy in fresh ingredients, creative application, and a surprise of taste...that's just Heaven to even hear about much less experience first hand.
But I digress yet again...
I finally completed my amulet bag for The Purse Project
You know, the project that was due LAST month?
I actually have a finished project to post!
Albeit late, but...better late than never.
Some things are a given: the sky is blue, and Barb is always late. Sigh.
Anyway, I took forever deciding which direction I wanted to go with this project.
I considered making a bag to hang in my car, either inspired with feng shui, or with elements symbolizing safe travel.
I considered making something for my pet business.
Perhaps some wishes for critter health and safety.
In the end, I just looked at what it is I find sacred, and over and over again I came back to the sea.
The bag itself is an amulet, though it may certainly be filled with applicable charms within as well.
I started with doodling out ideas.
I wanted to start with a seagull, and add some symbolism.
I started out with the symbols for the basic elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.
I chose simple circular pagan symbols (many versions and variations of these symbols exist, depending on regional and religious differences).
The circle dissected with crossed lines is both the symbol for the four elements (also the four seasons, and four directions North, South, West, East), but is also the symbol for Earth.
There are also materials and colors associated with these symbols, but I opted not to get that detailed.
Bird body is a raindrop shape = Water
It's also a leaf shape = Earth
I liked the idea of a bird with horns, or sitting atop a horn.
The horn for me stands for The Ram, or Aries, which = Fire (sign)
The horn shape also resembles a wave = Water
A simple symbol for the Ram is also lines that look like two candy canes back to back.
I decided these could be feet.
I used to have a roommate who had a tattoo of The North Wind.
It was a man's face, his lips blowing, and from his lips came swirls, representing wind.
So I played around with swirls.
(you'll have to click on the image to enlarge the detail--Flickr didn't like the width on this one)
I liked the one on the right I have circled, until I realized it coincidentally looks too much like Amanda's logo
Instead, I used the swirls like feathers.
So feathers and wind = Air
Here's what I came up with.
The finished size is about 3 inches by 4 inches, not including the crocheted handle.
Real twig = Earth
Blue felt and blue variegated thread= both Air and Water.
The blue 'window' is a reverse applique of the Earth/Elements symbol.
White felt = Air
Brown and beige felt, brown variegated thread = Earth
The 'pom-pom' trim is the four symbols (light felt with dark embroidery on the front, the back side is dark brown felt with blue thread).
The vintage button features a crane (shore bird)= water
seagull = water
This is the first time I have worked with wool felt--a really lovely material.
Had I desired a softer texture and appearance, I could have washed the felt prior to crafting with it.
I'm pleased with how this project turned out.
The pieces were finished with a blanket stitch, put together with a whipstitch, and detailed with a backstitch or a running stitch (because these are the only stitches I know).
I didn't need a lining, but I loved the contrast of the chocolate brown felt, so that is the interior of this bag, just waiting to filled with charms.
Labels: food, Purse Project, sewn by me