Wednesday, 15 February 2012

WOW: 'Inheriting' WIPs

WOW = WIPs On Wednesday

After all these years I have spent teaching my DDs the importance of *starting a single project and finishing it before moving on to another* (I know, I know, wishful thinking), I discover that not only has my DD abandoned her WIP, but did so in my sewing studio... apparently 2 weeks ago!

Yes, I have to face the reality that my DD has inherited my multiple WIP habit and worse, has opted to pass her WIP on (to me) with no intent on actually completing it now (or ever) herself. It sure looks like I have inherited my own bad WIP / UFO habit.
Bad WIPPing habits do not go unnoticed. Even when they are craftily stored temporarily in a dedicated sewing studio. If I could start my quilting adventure all over again and rewind 11 years, I'd stick with a strict 01 project until completed rule.

But then again..... 
100% merino wool, 8 graduations of colour, 5% completed
Were oh where did she get such extravagant ideas from???
Fabric News:
My parcel from Paducah still hasn't arrived and I have decided not to expect it any longer. I am moving on and moving forward regardless.

Mystery BOM 2012 News:
I am now delayed with the release of the BOM, but after the suggestion in the YahooGroup of releasing it on Feb 29th, I've really taken to the idea. Hopefully once the new fabric arrives I will be able to move quickly on with the month.
Back to what wednesday is all about...WIPs!

Monday, 13 February 2012

St Valentine ...and other excuses

St. Valentine's Day, a good excuse to bake a cake.

I have been eating healthily and trying to avoid indulgences, especially as Oct - Jan is a very indulgent yuletide in our household and I must admit, I did over do it over the festive season.

This is not good and so I have been making amends these last 2 months. How quickly February has arrived!

I have been married 37 years and have never cared for Valentine's Day, but I do love any occasion to bake a marble cake. This one is moist and easy. The bundt heart tin means the decorating is done without any extra effort during baking and the slicing is gorgeous too.

I'm very keen on Bundt tins, but they do require care when greasing - if you get that bit right, the cake will slide from the tin cleanly and beautifully.

To do it right you need warm butter. If your butter is not soft to touch, run hot water through the tin so that it heats up. Dry thoroughly and while still warm smear the butter into every dip and crease. If you use spray oil it can taste bitter and if you dust with flour it can leave white patches over the finished cake. Getting the oiling right is really important.

For my three flavours I opt for cherry, chocolate rum and vanilla. For the cherry I added a good dollop of tart cherry conserve and a teaspoon of red food colouring. For the chocolate I added 2 tablespoons of quality cocoa and 2 tablespoons rum. You can't taste the rum once baked, it simply adds a depth to the chocolate flavour. The vanilla is lovely. I always use a good vanilla extract and the zest of a lemon, so the vanilla or plain part of the cake has more lift. The sourcream makes this cake moist.
250 grams butter
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
3 large eggs
2 cups self raising flour

1st bowl
2 tablespoons cherry jam
1teaspoon red food colouring

2nd bowl
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons rum

Preheat oven to 180c fan forced. Grease tin. Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla together until thick and pale. Add eggs, one at a time. Add flour and sour cream until just combined. Separate mixture into 3 bowls to add colour and flavour (cherry and chocolate).

Spoon into cake tin. With a tin that has slice sections this small, spoon in with a teaspoon to achieve the marble look. Otherwise, if you ladle in with a large spoon you won't see the marbling as clearly. Run skewer through mixture to marble the colours. 

Bake for 60mins in a 180c fan forced oven or until a skewer comes out clean.

With a bundt tin, you need to alter recipes by 10-15 minutes as these tins often bake faster.

Test from 45mins onwards.

When ready, I place a large plate over the cake pan for 5 minutes- this traps the moisture in the cake and helps the cake slide out of the tin easily. Very easy and delicious.

I love it when the cake slides out effortlessly. Then simply dust with sugar.
Of course you could drizzle with melted chocolate or coat with a ganache (very effective with this cake tin shape) but I have gone the simple way.

I used a large spoon to mixture in my 3 colours and as the slices are small due to the cake tin shape, the marble effect isn't as clear as it would be in a normal tin. Use a teaspoon to add the mixture in turns if you want a visual marble look. Personally I love the changing flavours per slice as below!

Three things I love today
good coffee in the morning
a spotlessly clean kitchen
ingredients for dinner in the pantry (and no shopping required)

My Paducah order from November still has not arrived. The replacement order I made with another supplier is arriving any day. Today I hope...

This means that my Mystery BOM is behind schedule as it is due to be launched on Wednesday.
It's likely now that the BOM start date will have to be delayed.
It's simply too important to rush.

It's frustrating and I have been quite annoyed about it all last week. However, I started the fabric process in November and I don't reasonably think I could have expected to still be waiting for it in February!!

I will let you know when the fabric arrives. I have very strong feelings about this Mystery BOM and with my samples down (beautiful!!) and the patterns painstakingly drawn, I'm simply not prepared to do or start any part of it with less than 100%

Updates soon...I hope!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

WOW: Colour Picking for the New BOM

 WIPs On Wednesdays

At the moment the New BOM has 2 names...and how to decide? Well at the moment I can't! Why is naming new quilts so hard? I can feel that the naming of the BOM will be a last minute thing...

FEB 15th is the launch of my New Mystery BOM for 2012: it's applique, it's floral, it's a wall hanging.

It's high time that my living room received a new wall quilt - at the right size and full of florals that I love. Red Delicious has been retired for a while, and well, it's time for something new. I am very excited to be getting on with another Quilt from my Quilty To Do List. This is another quilt from my quilt "bucket list" so you know, it has to be very special and feel just so in my quilt collection.

Will you be joining me on this Mystery? I think it's the best so far -of course, I might be biased!

Everyone wants to know...what is the mystery all about? It's about my favourite flowers in my favourite combinations - I want to be able to look at them all year long regardless of the season. They will always be in bloom for me. I have been thinking about how to describe this quilt.

Romantic? yes. Naive? not really. Folk Art? no. Abstract? no. Contemporary? no. Does that help?

These are a selection of my new hand dyes. I am aiming for realistic tones.
And I've been going through the stash for some foliage greens too.

The only way I can think to describe the pattern style is a kind of romantic realism...I am aiming to bring nature into the house in a beautiful, purposeful and stated way. I'm sure everyone who makes this quilt will make their own wonderful version to bring their own garden to life. In fact that's one of the reasons I love sharing my work so much - I get to see it being made by many different hands in many different styles. It's always a real treat to see my designs interpreted by others.

So I have been rather impatient waiting for my fabric this week. I have been waiting for my old fabrics from Nov 2011 to arrive and my newly ordered fabrics to arrive as well. Will they show up? That is the question.

Whilst waiting, I have been busy hand dying special colours for the flower details. The wait has been so hard to take that I have resorted to these desperate measures!

The background is a commercial print range. I will be showing the pallette right here (when it arrives).

Will you be joining in on the BOM?

How is your wednesday coming along?

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

WOW: WIPP-ing up Inspiration

Do visit his website by clicking on image (or name below)

WOW = WIPs On Wednesday

Claude A Simard is a talented painter who's work I am always drawn to. The colours, the shape, the style...everything about it basically inspires me. This video above is a clip of Claude A Simard working on a painting. It goes for 6 minutes and if you watch it, I'm fairly certain it will leave you as speechless as it did me. The moment it suddenly becomes a breathtaking. If only I could WIP this fast!

I've spent a lot of time looking for inspiration this past week. Looking for a new colour scheme sounds easier than it actually is. I expected that with my fabric stash I would have no problem finding new colour ideas. But nothing worked. And I messed up the stash looking. All fruitless. I went through lots of combinations and possibilities. Fell in love. Changed my mind. Repeat! It feels like once I have decided on a scheme...I become a bit inflexible about changing it. Did I find my new scheme? Yes...eventually. Now that I've chosen it, if feels so predicatble and I don't know why it wasn't my first option all along. You'll know what I mean later in the week. I finally think it's an improvement on the previous choice.

Why is choosing the right combination of colours so hard? Well it is always difficult for me and something I always find myself second guessing. Maybe it's all down to too much choice? I will have to keep working on it and hope that I improve.

No parcel yet.

UPDATE: I have just realised after browsing his website, that Claude A Simard has a new book for sale....appropriately titled "Inspiration". Can you believe it? Now I will have to find extra shelf space...this book is a must for me!

Saturday, 28 January 2012

You Look Nice Today

This is a sign created by a US artist called Tori LaConsay in and for her local neighbourhood. The reason I know about it is because I was sent an email from another blogger who wanted to get the word out about what happened to this artist. So, this last week I have been following this drama with dismay and interest.

The original sign beside H&M's copied goods

It happens that the major store H&M designed several items almost identical ( I would say identical) to her design and claimed the design as their own. Then branded a doormat and towel set with the design.

Tori LaConsay contacted H&M directly. Their response?

"We employ an independant team over over 100 designers. We can assure you that this design has not been influenced by your work and that no copyright has been infringed"

So then ordinary people began contacting H&M with their concerns.

Word quickly spread and in response to literally over a thousand comments, H&M responded as below:

"..we have merely been inspired.."

As it stands now, I have heard no more updates concerning how H&M will be compensating Tori LaConsay, hopefully there will be further progress on this during the next week or so.

For the record, these shots have been provided to me - I didnt go out and source them. I did, however, visit H&M's Facebook page to verify the above was actually occuring...and yes it is all unfortunatly too true.

What has been really interesting to me, is the flagrant abuse of someone's copyright. Do people understand what copyright means? How could a designer for a major brand like H&M think it was possible to get away with this? How many other designs are stolen...and get onto the maket without recognition to the real artists work?

Unfortunately, if thousands of people had not left comments on H&M's Facebook this would never have been (on it's way to being) rectified. I say unfortunately because it's a real problem when it takes this kind of effort to have existing Copyright laws observed. It shouldnt be like this.

Are we living in a culture where other people's work is simply up for grabs? A few tweaks (or not, as the case may be!) and it's a 'new' piece?

As fellow bloggers, I'd love to know what you think?

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

WOW: Waiting for the Postman

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

Today my favourite washing machine broke down. 1 month out of warranty! I sometimes wonder if machines these days are programmed to self destruct as soon as the warranty runs out.

I am still waiting on the postman and my parcel. I was in two minds about posting my last post, but I am glad I did, as I now know another Melbourne Quilter (thanks SoozeM!) received her package which was sent out a week before mine...(Nov 21 2011) just last week. So I have hope it may just arrive...soon.

In the meantime, I am considering other colour options and ideas because I feel like I have to be prepared either way.

 It's been very hot here, 35c yesterday and already climbing today. The chillis are loving it  and when it cools down tonight I will be picking these for my DH!  
I visit each and every linky posted here - if you dont see a comment from me it's because I was unable to comment. I have been having trouble with Blogger again regarding posting comments. Reading blogs, I hear that this is happening quite a bit at the moment. Please dont feel neglected!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Mystery BOM Colour Scheme...hiccup

This is a picture of an Australia Post Van. It plays a somewhat important role in my day to day routine. Especially lately. You see, I've been looking out the window for it... spending the morning wondering about it....reaching the afternoon realising it wont be coming (again) and just generally being on the look out.


Because on the 27th of November 2011, Hanock's of Paducah sent a rather exciting parcel my way - a package full of new fabric purchased especially for the new Mystery BOM 2012. The fabric had to be new, it had to be special and it had to be available for any BOM Quilter who might happen to want to buy the same fabric range as I used.

So what's going on? It's not here yet! Yes I've made all the right calls and done all the right things and Australia Post is as unreliable and tardy as ever. I am not surprised that they have managed to not deliver my parcel. I've been informed that they are hearing this alot from Australian buyers. Interestingly, a parcel was sent out on Jan 04 2012 and arrived just fine this week. But it was only batting.

So now I have a dilemma. Do I wait? how much longer can I wait? The pattern is finished, the tester is done (and yes, it's beautiful), now I'm ready to jump in with the New Mystery BOM...which I love and which I happen to feel needs exactly the fabric I purchased. I am feeling like I will have to now buy another range...but have not been able to face that thought... until today. Now I am pressed with a deadline and a fabric crossroads.

For those of you who will be taking part in the Mystery BOM starting FEB 15th, I will be showing my full chosen pallette along with what fabric combinations will be paired together so that you can make a choice regarding your own selection of fabric for this BOM.

The only question now is, will it be my original colour scheme
or a whole new one

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