Thursday, November 28, 2013


Yesterday afternoon, for no particular reason other than that I had the time and I've been wanting to do this for awhile, I made baklava.

Some time ago, I bought a package of phyllo dough and used half of it for something else that was, shall we say, less than successful. But no matter.

Since then, the other roll of phyllo dough in its box had been taking up space in the freezer.

For several years now, baklava has been one of my favorite desserts. I think I became most familiar with it when it would show up in Christmas gift baskets at the place I used to work. I absolutely love the honey-infused juiciness when I bite into a piece.

Anyway, I found this recipe. Seemed simple enough. The only ingredient I had to purchase was the walnuts. And since I had only the half package of dough, I cut the quantities in half.

It turned out to be one the quickest, easiest things I've ever made.

And without doubt, one of the most delicious.

Fresh out of the oven
In their individual cupcake papers

Friday, November 22, 2013

Dave's Sox

If this year has been any indication, it can take anywhere from two or three weeks to a couple months to knit up a pair of socks. Granted, they're never the only project in progress, and I have been known to set them aside to work more exclusively on something else.

However, I am happy to say that it took me less than a year to make good on last year's Christmas gift to the members of my sister's family, as reported here and here and here.

This included one false start, where I got nearly to the end of one sock originally intended for Elaine, before concluding that it simply would not fit her. Not sure what went awry — I had made a swatch. In any event, I had to start over.

Earlier this week, I mailed off the last pair to my brother-in-law Dave. And this morning I received this:

Before I sent them, I took a photo of them flat — or sort of flat anyway. I couldn't find my sock blocker inserts.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Strange Things Found in Thrift Stores

This morning, Tim visited a nearby Goodwill store in his continuing quest for an old-fashioned, manual wind-up watch.

On an earlier excursion, he had picked up this object.

It customarily lives in the kitchen near the cookbooks, and occasionally serves as a mail holder.

It now has a baby.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Yesterday at Green Lake

Now that the clocks have been turned back, it's not pitch black when I go to walk around Green Lake in the morning.

I would have posted these photos yesterday, but I encountered technical difficulties transferring them from my iThing to my computer.

Looking west across the lake

One of two resident herons

Monday, November 11, 2013

Flower Basket Wall Hanging

After I finished painting the spare bedroom this past summer (before and after pictures), I needed to make something to prettify the corner with the cover to the circuit breaker box.

It needed to be a tall, narrow piece, because there is a window just to the right of the cover.

I don't remember how I decided on a wall hanging with flower basket blocks. However, I didn't care for the flower basket blocks I saw in my reference books. The specific pieces showing the floral print were too small. So I came up with my own redesign, which features two large pieces showcasing the floral print, spilling exuberantly out of the basket.

Two blocks would have been sufficient, but I went ahead and made three, even though the bottom one is hidden by the dresser.

Who knows, maybe someday it will hang somewhere else where the third block is needed — maybe the back of a door or a high-ceilinged room.

For a view of the entire wall hanging, click here.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

At the SAM

Today we went to see the exhibit of Peruvian art at the Seattle Art Museum. It was extensive and quite impressive. Photography is generally not allowed in these special exhibitions, and anyway, I had forgotten my camera.

After we were through touring the Peru exhibit, we wandered through some of the other galleries on the fourth and third floors. Most of the items we had seen before, but there were a few new acquisitions.

On the third floor, there was a small gallery with some recent acquisitions of modern pieces that draw on aboriginal influences. They may have been included in an exhibit we saw last year, but I can't say for sure.

However, one piece really caught my eye. I took two pictures of it with my iTouch, one of the whole piece and one close-up. The photo of the whole painting did not turn out well — it's a little blurry.

But the other turned out well enough.

Unfortunately, I neglected to make a note of the artist and when it was painted, and this particular piece is not featured on the SAM website.

The entire painting is about 4 feet tall by 8 feet wide, and covered with these elongated teardrop shapes. I can't imagine how long it took to create it. When you see the whole of it, the way the small dabs of white coalesce into these flowing waves is amazing. There is a sense of movement, but it is smooth and soothing, even meditative.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Modern Quilts

Also at the Quilt Festival exhibit was a display of modern quilts.

Here is a good explanation of what modern quilting is. And here is another blogger's thoughts on the subject. The first and third links at the end of her post are also helpful (the second leads nowhere).

These quilts contrasted quite noticeably with the rest of the exhibit, primarily in their stark minimalism.

I have yet to decide what I think about the modern quilting movement. It reminds me of the class in modern art I took last spring. The instructor had a concise way of summing up art history.

Classical art — This is art.

Renaissance art — This is art!

Modern art — This is art?

Some modern quilts I like, some not so much, but by and large they don't make me say "Wow!"

To any quilt-y readers: I'd like to hear your thoughts and opinions about modern quilting. 

Solid Love, Kelly Smith, St. Louis MO

Scattered, Katie Pederson, Seattle WA

Bull's-Eye 1, Colleen Wootton, Clinton WA

Detail, Bull's-Eye 1

Fireworks Quilt, Tara Faughnan, Oakland CA

Detail, Fireworks Quilt

Oddballs, Alissa Carlton, Los Angeles CA

Untitled, Lindsay Stead, Toronto, Ontario

Box of Rain Quilt, Karen Anderson-Abraham, Santa Barbara CA

Detail, Box of Rain Quilt