Wednesday, July 28, 2010


This post is basically a mélange of whatever the heck I feel like talking about right now. It’s a quickie of what’s been important to me as of late. I’ve always loved the word potpourri and somehow I always knew what it meant. Probably because I used to make it with my grandmother. She had plenty of rosebushes lining the walkway of her Corona, California home. And being the fabulous lady she was, she and I would make potpourri. We would pick the roses, dry their petals in her dehydrator along with orange peels (Grandpa was a citrus rancher), and then mix in plenty of her perfumes and sometimes cinnamon sticks. We’d spread this mix in her beauiful crystal dishes around the house and waft in the fragrance of it all. I miss my Grandma so much as of late that I just had to share with you the sweet (no pun intended) potpourri-making story.
Switching gears, the teenage girls I work with at my church had no idea what the word potpourri meant. What? We were playing Jeopardy and well, you gotta have a category called potpourri when playing Jeopardy. They, along with the teenage boys, couldn’t even pronounce the word. A whole generation of children who have no idea about rose petal or game show potpourri is. Kind of sad.
Anyway, back to my mad-mix of what I’ve been up to.
It’s been hot. (I love the heat!) Really hot. Duh, it’s July and I live in a desert. The high desert, but still, a high hot desert. As much as I love to bake, I have put a moratorium on all things requiring the oven due to summer, instead opting for chocolate milkshakes each night instead of chocolate cake. Today I couldn’t take it anymore and had to bake some of these Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies.
Stacked and delicious looking, they tasted even better.
Let me add to that: They tasted even better with a glass of milk while reading a book on my new Nook.
DSC_0397 copy
And who knew you could ‘borrow’ books from your local library on e-readers? No more going to the library, just download them. The program libraries use for e-books is called Overdrive and chances are your library uses it too. And no more late fees for this absent minded woman. The books simply disappear when your 3 weeks are up. I don’t know how it works….I’ve only had the Nook one week but I presume that little fairies turn it on in the middle of the night and delete the almost overdue books before I can incur late fees. Sweet deal America! (Said with my best Bernie Mac impression.)
So this is how you’ll find me these days after 4pm. Avoiding the hottest afternoon sun. No doing housework after 4pm has always been my motto. By 4pm I can’t take the laundry, sweeping, and cleaning anymore. So I like to read a book. (Unless of course I have avoided all those chores before 4 o’clock, then I reluctantly do them after 4 o’clock.) But nobody said I had to like ‘em.
I hesitate to tell you, my bloggy friends, about the best part about owning an e-reader. I have texture issues. Not issues that require medication (not that there’s anything wrong with that) just well, some issues with rough scratchy things like wooden spoons, cheap paper back books, and the wrapping on Crayola crayons. (I always begged the kids on the first day of school who got the el-cheapo Rose Art crayons in their desks, with smooth wrappers, to trade me for my rough-paper-wrapped Crayolas in my desk. Either that or I would peel off the paper before using the crayons.) Anyway, I often have to put lotion on my hands before I sit down to read a book, particularly if it’s a cheap paper back.  They have the roughest paper in my opinion. Don’t ask why, lotion just changes the  feel of the paper in my hands. Well, those lotion days are gone thanks to my Nook with it’s smooth plastic-y cover.
And don’t I look comfy leaning again my newest pillow? I made it on Monday. It has made my couch happy again. The couch gets bored without a new bright pillow every 2 months or so. It’s just the way it is.
patchwork pillow
So there you have it. I haven’t been up to a whole-lotta good this summer, have I? That’s the way summers are supposed to be. A potpourri of fun.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fabric Dyeing

color your clothI don’t need any new hobbies. I simply don’t. Time is precious so I am constantly reining myself in. However, dyeing fabric really isn’t a new hobby. I consider it just an extension of sewing. That’s my story and I am sticking to it. I love everything created by this gal. So when she wrote a book, I had to buy it. I have purchased some of her fabric before which can be found in this quilt of mine.
It’s a beautiful book filled with all things colorful pertaining to batik fabric. And if you know me, you know I love color. I crave it the same way I crave chocolate cake and buttery avocados. I see beautiful pictures out there of serenely decorated homes with soft colors in pastels and think how beautiful they are. But it’s not me. I just can’t ever pass up the opportunity to decorate with lots of color. Like I said, I crave it. A friend once told me color is simply a part of my Mexican DNA. Claro que si! 
Batik fabric is gorgeous. And I like simple geometric designs, so I thought, what the hey, why not dye my own fabric? News flash: I am officially hooked. It’s loads of fun and a great way to be creative with fabric before I even sit down at my Bernina.

How cute is this design above? It’s just the cardboard end of a roll of embroidery stabilizer dipped in hot liquid wax and stamped onto some Egyptian cotton.  The fun part is dyeing the fabric. See how vibrant and saturated the colors are in the fabric below? I used all kinds of stamps—carrots, potatoes, and cardboard. I use Procion Dye which can be found all over the web but I bought mine from Dharma Trading.
And here is a bag I made with some delicious new fabrics. It’s totally unique and because I dyed the fabric I know this is a one-of-a kind design. Nobody else in whole wide world has a bag just like this. It’s totally Cynthia.
batik bag

So thanks to Malka and her fabulous book. I learned everything I needed to know from her perfect directions and dye ‘recipes’. (The only bad part is that this can’t be done in the home—I have to do it in my garage which means once winter comes, this new found love will have to take a 5 month hiatus. Stupid Utah winters.) But for now I am in love.


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