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  • June 2023
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I know I’ve been absent for a bit. We’ve been busy taking care of some things but I hope I’m back for a while at least. Please forgive.

I’m working on another sampler and really wanted to use a darkish blue fabric I hand dyed.

That color is just too hard for me to work with as to floss. Only light colors show up and I prefer to work with one strand. 18 count aida can work well with one strand but it takes 2 strands to show up on that darker blue. That makes the stitches heavier than I like. So I’ve been pulling different fabrics.

This is a mocha with olive shading I dyed and the floss colors I want to use. The photo doesn’t show the olive very well but otherwise the colors look right.

This is a light grayish blue I dyed with the same floss selections. There are 2 reds that are very similar. I’ll probably eliminate one of them.

My question to you is which one do you like? Both are 18 count aida.

Making protein pudding

I like Maria Emmerich’s recipe for this. Unbelievably, it has 10 boiled eggs in it and you would never know. It’s a very low carb recipe that fits into my diet budget. (I think Beth just scrambles her eggs for the pudding)

There are some tips for making this recipe. It won’t necessarily work well with anything but a Vitamix or Blend-Tec style blender. Other blenders don’t have the horse power needed to obliterate the boiled eggs. I blend mine until there are no visible bits.

I always put my coconut milk in first and then add the cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, and alternate sweetener and blend them together. With the Vitamix on high, I add one boiled egg at a time, blending until smooth. The pudding will get warm. It’s ok.

Keep adding the eggs like that until finished incorporating them. You can adjust the amount of cocoa powder according to your taste. Yield is either 5-6 half-pints or 10 + little jars.

This time, I used vanilla bean paste instead of extract and I used Purecane brown sugar alternate. Substitute vanilla bean paste tsp for tsp for extract. I always add about a tsp of Espresso powder.

As usual, thanks Beth for introducing me to Purecane! It’s a different kind of Erythritol and has none of that icky after-taste. They are always having nice sales.

I wait until the next day to allow all the flavors settle in.

This recipe is so good!

Let’s have a cuppa

Maybe not a cuppa. How about a glass of iced tea instead? I’ve started drinking kombucha again and I’m experimenting with different flavors of tea. I’ve been drinking a mixed berry hibiscus tea mixed with some lemonade that I really like.

Kombucha is a fermented tea that I love. Thanks, Beth for introducing me to Kombucha. My favorite is Tart Cherry Melon by Buddha’s Brew. The great thing about kombucha is that it’s full of probiotics which are so good for digestion. I’ve recently bought 221bc brand and like it a lot. I had Pineapple Basil this morning. Just know that you can’t start out guzzling any kind of kombucha. You have to start with small amounts and increase how much you consume. Too much will give you uncomfortable gassy symptoms.. Those live cultures that keep your gut happy can make things get a bit bubbly inside. I have a friend that happened to.

I researched some tea sites and found one that I think I will enjoy. It’s called The Tea Spot. I just ordered sample sizes so I can find the flavors I really love. The order was here in a matter of days.

Here’s what the Jasmine Petals loose leaf sample looks like. It smells incredible! I also got a sampler with the order and they gave me an additional sample of peppermint tea.

I’m looking forward to trying the Blood Orange and Pink Rose Lemonade. Both sound so good. I’m going to “shop” Beth’s tea store one day! Her kitchen is the best to find different stuff. Fun!

Do you have a favorite place to buy tea?

The life of a cat

or maybe I should say the life of Reilly even though I don’t even know what that really means! Or maybe I should change his name from Tabby to Reilly! Really???

Happy Birthday Chris

Chris is our special son. He is a special gift to us from God. We cherish him.

We had a nice lunch today in New Orleans. We made a stop at Whole Foods Market to get some fruit and see what they might have in the Bakery he could have.

We found a vegan chocolate cake made by Rubicon. It’s a tiny cake so it’s not inexpensive but it is absolutely delicious. Unfortunately it isn’t low carb but sometimes you have to make choices. This was the right choice for him.

According to their web site, their delights are available at many places in our area: Rouses and Whole Foods Market.

He had a delightful day. On the way down to Nola, he said he was so happy to be spending the day with us on his birthday and I reminded we were all together on this day 37 years ago.

Off to another rabbit hunt

Not really but I’m having problems with floss showing up well on that dark blue aida. Light colors don’t look good with just one strand and 2 strands doesn’t look good at all. There’s no stitch definition with 2 strands. Darker colors do not show up much. I really want to use this fabric.

I’ve been looking online for hours at Victoria Clayton Silks, Treenway Silks, and various other silk and over-dyed floss companies.

I want a pretty specific green (Sage) to start with and I just don’t find what I want. I think the answer isn’t one I really want to explore but…..I’m going to try my own over-dyed floss to get those colors. Why in the world would I want to do that? I really don’t. However, I’m nothing if not stubborn to the max.

I’ll see how much white DMC I have and pull out my dye color books to see what I can develop. I’ve never used a paint brush when dyeing fabric but I’ll probably use one in this experiment. I might also see if I can find a base DMC color to over-dye.

I probably won’t try silk floss. I think it needs to be steamed in the process.

Sheesh! Any advice???

Old eyes

I have my annual ophthalmologist appointment today in Metairie. I’m pretty sure I’ll leave with a prescription for new glasses. I got my glasses filled last year at America’s Best and have been very satisfied with them. I’m especially pleased with their prices. I’ve decided to go wild with my glasses this year! You only get one ride, right?

Chris will be with us and since it’s his birthday, we’ll take him to lunch while we’re down there. Our favorite location for New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood Company has still not re-opened after Hurricane Ida. We’ll try a different one tomorrow on Clearview Parkway to see if we like it. We’ve eaten at another location in the same general area and did not care for it. Life is so interesting sometimes!

Happy Birthday Chris!

Getting the aida ready for stitching

Beep, Beep Beep…I forgot to mention that the freezer paper is just to keep the glue from coming into contact with my butcher block. I just throw it away or save the sheet to use on another glue application.

First things first….I was mistaken about thread count on the aida. It’s 18 not 14.

The glue will dry pretty quickly and will not be seen after framing. I don’t glue the orange edges. I have about 3 inches on all sides instead of 4 inches. I framed the other one myself using a Hobby Lobby frame and because I mounted it to a foam board, there was not room to fold and tuck the excess. All the excess will be trimmed away. Those frames don’t have the depth that custom frames have but that’s ok with me.

The fabric looks rippled but that’s just from the grid lines and won’t be there when the grid comes out. I can’t wait to get started!

Dark blue hand-dyed 18 count aida

It’s so difficult to get accurate colors of fabric. It’s pretty frustrating for me but this is pretty close to the actual color….just a tad lighter than the actual fabric. And, no I would never be able to replicate it but I do have enough left over for 2-3 more projects depending on their size.

I’m more comfortable working with a grid so that’s done. I’ve been playing with floss ideas. Vanessa pulled colors she likes and I’ve done a little revision . Here is some of the floss I’m auditioning. Actually choices will come down to what looks best as I work.

I’ve got more Zweigart white aida that I’ll get around to dyeing one day. I love mixing dyes up and seeing what I can come up with. I plan to do some pieces with double process for beige tones. I’ll spray one or more dye colors onto a piece, let it sit, and then spray soda ash water over it to develop the color. I’ll wash it all out and let it dry before making a dye solution bath to scrunch the piece into for an added layer of overall shade. It sounds like fun to me.

When I do that, I’ll try to take pictures and better records as I work so I can share the process with you.

Have I considered selling some of the pieces? The short answer is no. I don’t want a job! If I start selling it, it won’t be fun any longer. It becomes a business complete with all of those headaches. Not at this point in my life. I can buy un-dyed fabric at a lower price, get fun pieces to work with, and none of the demands of a job. In the end I get a good bit more fabric to work with than buying per-dyed pieces. Sounds good doesn’t it? Well, it does to me.

A Sisters Love is framed

I am so happy to have this finished. It’s not a bad stitch even with all the letters in it. The worst part is all the eyelets. That’s not so much fun.

As a reminder, I stitched this on one of my first experiments with hand dyeing aida and linen. This is 14 count (NOT 14 count!—It is 18 count) aida and it turned out to be a lovely shade of green which looks even prettier when framed. I’m so pleased with how the fabric looks with it’s subtle shading. Don’t ask if I could replicate that color because it’s pretty certain it’s a one of a kind!

The pattern is part of the Winds of Autumn book by Blackbird Designs. I bought my copy from HollisHandsCreate on Etsy. You can also get it on FarmersAttic.

The book also has the chart “Mighty Acorn Sampler” that Judy stitched and I think Denise did also. It’s kind of on my to-do list.

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