Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Grits are Great!

After I blogged about oatmeal a few months ago, Gay Ousley commented that grits made a great resist. Grits aren't something I keep in my pantry, after a disappointing experience eating them a number of years ago, so I filed that information away for "someday".  Then I saw a recipe in the newspaper a few weeks ago for cheesy jalapeno grits.  Hmmm - cheese, butter, jalapenos - how could that be bad?  So I decided to try them - for breakfast and as a resist.

Now I am a full blown grits convert. Not only was the breakfast casserole great, I loved the pattern they created on cloth. I had no idea what sort of water to grits ratio to use, so I tried two versions on one piece of cloth. The left side was 1 package instant grits to1/4 cup water.  The right side was 1 package instant grits to 3/4 cup water. I love them both. Thank you, Gay for the suggestion! So, I see I need to do some more experimenting with grits. Off to the store, because I finished the last of them for breakfast!

Update 1/10/11 - The link to the grits recipe is no longer valid, so by request, I have included the recipe below. 

Cheesy Jalapeno Grits (recipe from the San Antonio Express-News)

2 cups quick cooking grits
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1 stick unsalted butter
3 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
3 large eggs, well beaten
2 jalapenos, finely diced
1/4 cup chopped canned green chiles
Garlic, salt to taste

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook the grits according to package directions. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Stir well.  Pour into buttered 9 inch baking dish.  Bake for 1 hour. Cool slightly before serving.

I've omitted nutrition information.  You really don't want to know!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Another Thanksgiving Day. Rather than the typical dose of turkey, potatoes, stuffing and family, I usually spend Thanksgiving in the studio. For the past 6 years, my husband has had to work on Thanksgiving, so I have started my own tradition. It seems appropriate - what more to be thankful for than a day alone creating? I usually take a more relaxed pace on this day. Yes, I work in the studio, but I take a break to play with the kitties and read the paper. Today, I spent some time admiring our new wildflower garden. We planted it a few months ago and the weather has been so warm, the flowers are blooming!

Now don't feel sorry for me, we had our Thanksgiving feast yesterday. And boy it was delicious. So now, while my husband works, I get to have lots of leftovers. (Don't feel sorry for him, either. His employer treats him to a Thanksgiving meal at a very nice local restaurant.)

I'll take a pass on reciting a list of all that I am thankful for. Somehow it ends up sounding trite.  I'll just wish you all a happy Thanksgiving and a very enjoyable day.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Layered Screenprinting

Last weekend I taught a class on screen printing at the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio.  It's a fun class that covers some of my favorite techniques.  I know, I know, I say that about every class. I guess I just don't sign up to teach techniques that I don't enjoy doing.
Anyway, the class focused on multiple layers of screen printing with dye and the use of resists to block out white space. We also layered sheer fabrics on top of each other so the printing would penetrate both layers.  The great thing about working with thickened dyes is that the fabric stays soft, and it's fun to see how the colors blend and interact as they are printed one on top of another.

We used soy wax and gel glue as a resist directly on the fabric and on the silkscreen.  We also used masks, such as shredded paper, leaves, masking tape and freezer paper stencils to create a pattern on the fabric.

I'm doing another class in January by special request. If you are intrigued by the photos below and are interested in taking the workshop, let me know and I'll keep you informed of the dates.


Screen printing with soy wax on the silkscreen

Multiple layers of screen printing with soy wax on the fabric and on the screen

Screen printing with shredded paper under the screen

Multiple layers with freezer paper masks

Adding background color

Multiple layers of printing with gel glue resist and a sequin waste stencil

Adding a leaf to round out the design

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Just Have Fun

I'm back from a whirlwind trip to the Quilt Festival in Houston.  This was my first time teaching.  I had two demos and three classes, so it was pretty hectic. I spent the previous two weeks creating handouts, boxing up my supplies (all 14 boxes), making fabric samples and trying to stay sane. 

When I arrived for my first class on Thursday, I was a bit frazzled, having just driven the 3 hours from San Antonio, and unloaded everything into the teacher's room.  After I set up for class, I had some extra time, so I sat quietly to try to center myself.  As I did, a voice in my head said "just have fun."  I smiled and realized, "Yes!  I don't need to worry about anything - I love what I do and I'm here to share that with others and enjoy it!"   My perspective shifted in that instant.  And I did have fun.  It was exhausting, grueling and hard on my feet, but it was also exhilarating, inspiring, and a blast!

I met so many wonderful people, saw some amazing quilts and got a boost of creative inspiration. I'm going to stay on that high for today.  Unpacking all those boxes can wait until tomorrow!
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