Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Textile Jewellery

Some friends and I have been having a discussion about making and swapping Artist Trading Pins. I like the idea of having some textile"jewellery" for the lapel of the jackets I'll be wearing to work this winter. It will be as if I can take something of my obsession with me to work.
I promised that I would put some photos on the blog, so that they could see the textile jewellery I have made in the last couple of years...

This brooch measures 6.5cm x 2cm. The background is a gold paper. The coloured section is a tiny bit of dyed silk tops, which was trapped under organza. I then stitched with a gold thread, and added some beads.

This next one has been made into a pendant. It measures 5cm x 5cm. It was made in a goldwork embroidery workshop with Doris Gordon from NSW Embroiderers' Guild. We played with our initials to make designs, so this is based on an "R". It uses various metal threads and beads. The tiny greeen and purple bits are french knots done with metallic threads. The scary thing about this close-up is that I can see all the usually invisible couching stitches...and they look very uneven!
I don't wear this much...ever since I decided it looks like a dog sitting down with its nose in the air. Don't you just hate it when that happens? And, yes, I've tried turning it on its side, or upside down, and the design just doesn't work that way. Sigh.

Saturday, 21 April 2007

A flower?

Just playing again. The framing always helps...and I quite like things that are almost escaping from the frame.

Lime Muffins Recipe

Lisa wanted the recipe for the lime muffins, so here it is. I can't claim credit for the recipes, only for thinking of combining the two.

The first is a microwaved lemon butter, or curd, that I have been making for years in my 650 watt microwave (but for this I use limes). It's from the Margaret Fulton "Microwave Cooking" book. If you're using a more modern, more powerful microwave, just be careful that you don't overcook it!

Lemon Butter

125g butter
1 cup sugar
¾ cup lemon juice (I used lime juice)
Grated rind of 3 large lemons (or limes)
4 eggs

Place the butter, sugar, juice and rind in a large bowl. Cook uncovered for 3 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.
Beat the eggs into the mixture. Cook for 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens, stirring every 30 seconds.
Allow to cool before spooning into clean, dry jars. Seal.

This muffin recipe also uses lemons in the original recipe. Again, I just substituted limes.

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
(from Muffin Magic – Diana Linfoot)

Wet Mix
½ cup margarine (I use butter or oil)
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk or yogurt
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind ( or lime)
½ cup lemon juice ( or lime)
¼ cup poppy seeds

Dry Mix
2 cups self-raising flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 200C and grease the muffin tins. Blend the butter and sugar and beat in the eggs, milk, lemon and poppy seeds. Fold the dry mix into the wet mix, spoon into the muffin tins and bake for about 20 minutes. Makes 12.

To make Lime Poppyseed Muffins with Lime Butter -
Let muffins cool a little, then make a couple of slices into the top of the muffin, joining the slices at an angle (Make a “V”). Remove the slice and fill with lime butter. Replace the slice on top.

Saturday, 7 April 2007

An answer for Sheila

Sheila had a look at the coffee cuffs I made in January, and asked what they're used for.
Well, my favourite coffee shop makes great take-away coffees, but the cups they use are far too thin and I burn my fingers while carrying it back to the office. The coffee cuff adds that extra insulation. So, they're practical as well as pretty. Here's how it looks on the cup -


A trip to Western Plains Zoo yesterday provided some much needed inspiration although, in most cases, it wasn't the animals that provided it. It was the trees and plants. The eucalyptus bark in particular. As eucalypts are evergreens, many of them shed their bark in autumn, rather than shedding their leaves. This can give some great textures and colours. Here are a couple -

No, the next one isn't tree bark. It's giraffe skin! Western Plains Zoo is a large open range zoo which features endangered plains animals from all around the world, and some of them come quite close to the edges of their compounds, resulting in some "up close and personal" encounters. Not quite this close, I must admit, but the zoom lens on the camera came in handy...