Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Muffin Month

February has been a party month for me: a bridal shower, neighbors coming over for dinner, and my book club meeting here for "breakfast for supper." Actually the neighbors' gathering was to eat up the food that I had prepared for the book club, which meeting had to be rescheduled because of hazardous driving conditions. As it worked out, cupcakes or muffins figured prominently in this entertaining. For the shower, we ordered bakery cupcakes decorated with hearts. Friend and neighbor Genie bought a cupcake tree to display them. For the neighbor dinner I made some strawberry muffins. I used the excellent muffin recipe in my BEST RECIPE cookbook and added about a cup of cut up, fresh strawberries. I froze the uneaten muffins and pulled them out of the freezer yesterday and discovered they were as delicious as first baked. When the book club came the week after the cancelled meeting, I used the same cookbook to make what the authors call individual coffee cakes, but I'd called them cinnamon struesel muffins. This morning I made some banana muffins using the same recipe used for the strawberry ones, but with three mashed, very ripe bananas. I couldn't resist taking pictures of them. Here they are in the muffin tins, just out of the oven. (I've learned that the tins, given to us 50 years ago as wedding gifts, are smaller than today's tins. A recipe that supposedly makes 12 actually makes about 18!) And then I displayed them just for fun on that neat cupcake tree. I am having a hard time giving this back to its owner Genie! Daughter Susan and youngest grandchild Dawson are coming for a visit next week, so now those banana muffins are stowed in the freezer awaiting their visit.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Snowing in Waco!

This is the second time this winter, but this time it's sticking and has been coming down since mid-morning.  I've been trying to get some decent photos of the snow.  I've had fun playing with black and white as well as color images. 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dreaming, Planning, and Playing

One of the most fun parts of a quilt project for me is the dreaming and planning stage. And then once I've purchased the fabrics or pulled them from my stash, playing with them as I plan. I'll be attending Quilting Adventures in March. This is a 5-day workshop in New Braunfels, TX, that I have attended the past two years. This year I'll be in a class called 3-D Explosions with teacher/quilt artist Cara Gulati. We are to come with 2 yards of 3 different stripes, and then with gradations of complementary colors for each stripe. These gradations need to be not flat solids but subtly patterned, solid-reading fabrics. Gathering these from my stash and from online shopping has been fun but challenging. Yesterday I tentatively decided on some of my choices. We can have 6 gradations of one color (hard to come by!) OR 2 color sets of 3 gradations each. I chose the latter way to go. So for my chiefly-orange stripe I have a turquoise/aqua gradation and a blue one. Amazing how long I played with these! But here is the result of my play-day from yesterday. I took these picture in natural light on my patio; it's an overcast day. What's fascinating to me here is that looking at a picture of the stripe, it looks as if the magenta jumps out at me more than the orange! Too, the differences in these sets of blues/turquoises is not particularly apparent in the photo. Let me see if close-ups of the gradating fabrics will be more accurate.Add Image
First are the ones I call my "true blues," which range from the cobalt through the medium to the light blue. Next are the turquoises/aquas. Strange how taking a digital on a cloudy day of these shed an aqua tint over even the white towel on which these lay! In person, these aquas are more dramatically dark, medium, and light than they look here!
Now a look at the stripe by itself. What do you think? Is the magenta more prominent than the
orange? Just checked my handy 3-in-1 Color Tool by Joen Wolfrom, based on the Ives wheel, which is a bit different from the traditional color wheet where the primary colors are red, blue, and yellow. On the Ives wheel, the prmaries are yellow, magenta, and turquoise/cyan. So, if it's primarily magenta, I am technically good to go with my turquoises. Pushing it a bit with the blues, but oh well. Looks as if I'll be taking a big suitcase jammed full of fabrics for teacher Cara to advise. After all, that's what teachers are for!