Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wild reishi

Found these beauties in Marquette Michigan last weekend.  They were perfect and bigger than my palm.  I've grown my own reishi but its so much less work just happening upon them in the woods.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Yellow drop stitch cowl

I'm happy to say that it will soon be too warm to wear this cowl, but I wanted to show you before it got packed away for the summer.  I fell in love with this pattern when I saw a friend post the one she knit.  Its the drop stitch cowl by Spider Woman Knits.  You can get the pattern for free on  Graciously modeled here by my roomie.  I used Patons classic wool roving yarn.

Photos by David Wesley

Friday, April 11, 2014

Striped Large Bowl

Going to play catch up and post some pieces I've had done for months now.  I have some exciting ceramics related news coming up!  This is a wheel thrown medium sized bowl that is perfect for pho.  

Photos by David Wesley

Friday, March 28, 2014

Foodie Friday - Sprouted Lentils

     I made lentil soup and boosted the nutritional level a bit by sprouting the lentils first.  Soaking also makes the legumes release phytic acid which is good because we can't digest it.  Phytic acid is also an anti-nutrient, meaning that it binds to minerals in our foods and makes it so we can't absorb them.  Weed 'em and Reap has a good article explaining the benefits of sprouting and soaking different foods here.  There is also a great infographic on how long to soak different seeds and nuts.

     Sprouting is very simple.  All I have here is a mason jar with a sprouting lid that has holes for straining.  After soaking, you just rinse twice a day and let the excess moisture drain from the upside down jar for a couple days.  The lids only cost a couple dollars but I imagine if you're the DIY type you could drill little holes in a lid you have or cut a circle of craft canvas to go under a regular jar ring.

Sprouted lentils are also a great treat for chickens in the winter when they can't scratch and peck for other greens and bugs.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Foodie Friday - Quail eggs

Besides being so cute, quail eggs are also said to be packed with more nutrition than a chicken egg despite its much smaller size.  Another interesting tidbit is that quail eggs don't cause egg allergies.  I'm thinking it would be nice to have a couple hens for eggs.  Even in cities where farm animals are not allowed, you can still have quail because they are considered a pet.  I've even seen them for sale in large chain pet stores.

Fried zucchini and quail eggs

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Camping achievement patch

I went for a hike through the state park the other day and was fondly reminded of the winter months I spent camping there.  A couple years ago I challenged myself to camp out every month of the year.  I started in May of 2009 and went through April of 2010.  To be honest, the winter months were much easier for me than a couple of the summer months.  As long as I was able to stay dry, I was able to stay warm.  In the heat of the summer, there's not a lot one can do to get relief out in the woods.  And if there are bugs swarming too....that's just miserable.

After I accomplished my camping goal, I wanted something to commemorate it. Sort of like when I was in girl scouts and would have gotten a badge.  I thought it would be neat to make a quilt with achievement patches both to motivate me to continue trying new things and to tell a story down the road.  So far this is the only one I've done.  It looks like it'll be a long time before I earn a quilting patch.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Knit cotton wash cloths

Photo by David Wesley
I knit up a couple of dish/washcloths recently.  Its knit regular on straight needles but the decreases make it angle like that.  I finally found a purpose for that robot button I made at swap-o-rama-rama.  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Blue and White Knitted Cowl

I love visiting with my Aunt E.  Not only is she a kindred spirit but she has a craft store addiction.  I knew I got that from somewhere.  Occasionally I benefit from her overflowing stash, which is where the yarn came from for this cowl.  Its just a basic garter stitch done on 15 needles but I LOVE the color.  

Photos by David Wesley

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Old school NES

Here are some Nintendo themed crafts I made for swaps.  
Mario Bros. Coasters.  Made with Perler beads and a cork base.

ATC made with felt and paper
Blogger doesn't want to cooperate with me and turn my picture right.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Natural dye - Red daylily

I find natural dyeing fascinating. Fixing the beauty of nature to fiber is like capturing it in time.  Flowers that would otherwise die and fade from memory, can be used to extract the color, and fashion into a piece you can have and remember for years to come.  These red daylilies grow outside the mansion where I work.

Photo by RaeRaggs

Photo by David Wesley

Another thing that is fascinating is that you don't always get the results you expect.  The same dye can have a different effect depending if you use cotton, wool, silk, iron mordant, alum mordant, etc.  This is lovely green is a result of using silk and alum in my daylily dye pot.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Fox bowl

This is my largest wheel thrown piece. I started with 8 pounds of clay.  I used sgraffito to carve the fox, but I couldn't carve enough detail without making it a muddled mess so I decided to paint it in with underglaze.  I'm not happy with the eyes but the rest of it turned out alright.  He looks like he hasn't had rabbit in a week. The field mice aren't cutting it and he's jonesing for some hasenpfeffer.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Friday, January 17, 2014

Practicing cutouts - yarn ball

Here is another piece I did cutouts on.  Its a knitting needle holder and I cut the shape of a yarn ball into it.  The top holes are to weave yarn pretties through, but I need to dig through my stash to find just the right fiber for the job.
Photo by David Wesley

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Throwback Thursday - ATC's

Three ATC's I made for swaps...

Tarepanda - This is a cutout in the black paper and laid over the white.

The Beaded Side of the Moon.  Beads, glitter and paper.

Vampire - Glitter paper was used for the lips.

Practicing cutouts - owl

One of the new techniques I wanted to try was cutouts.  This was intended to be some unidentified nocturnal creature but everyone has been calling it an owl.  I REALLY don't like it. I'm almost embarassed to post it.  Lots of people told me they like it though.

Just passed the leather hard stage

Photo by David Wesley

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