Friday, November 28, 2014

Almost to the end of a month of Posting

Almost to the end of November with two days left and the posting everyday challenge experience over for November 2014.  We have talked about the mundane, metalwork, photography, blogging, food, sewing, throwback Thursday, Pennsylvania, list Monday, ETSY, 'on the bench', Pinterest and The Pennsylvania Wilds.  With two more days, I am excited for it may not seem like it, but, I can see how this November has put me in more of a groove of keeping up with posting.

November rainbows still make me smile with running out to snap a photo every time.

“It was November--the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines. Anne roamed through the pineland alleys in the park and, as she said, let that great sweeping wind blow the fogs out of her soul.” 
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

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end of summer travel

www.stephaniedistler.com

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Giving Thanks


Such a lovely holiday- just give thanks, that's all that is required....perhaps loosening your belt a bit too, lol.  Thank-you everyone for all that you do for you are pretty spectacular!

Spectacular-  adj.  Sensational in appearance or thrilling in effect

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www.stephaniedistler.com


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

For the love of a good SOFTIE

After Sunday Breakfast with friends and hearing about how Nancy is all about gearing her muse towards sewing, my urge to design a line of Softies or Stuffies has begun again.  I don't know if 'line' is the best word choice, maybe yearly birth or the sporadic softie project or the perfect alignment of stars softie, lol.
Back in 1999 when I started beading ArtDolls these lovely stuffies kept coming up when searching for different stitch techniques, across the web for bead embroidery, until I became obsessed with creating my own style.
2006 to 2010  starting top left:
  • Machine pieced w/glass eye and felt eye structure doll 
  • Simple poodles machine pieced
  • Simple squared elephant made from my oldest daughter light blue corduroy pants and Eeyore inspired tale
  •  Pincushion w/vintage buttons and embroidery floss
  • Pieced, machine stitched raggedy Ann, inspired rag doll
  • The last doll machine pieced body, upcycled jeans, pieced, hand sewn felt coat with bead and thread embroidery and ultra suede face that was Prisma pencil sketched.  The hair was a collection of fibers resembling Johnny Depp at the time :) :)
A team effort between machine work, dry felting, embroidery and hand stitching were used not in all work but, most.
little birds sewn from a pattern on HERE and this is the designer Michael Fulkerson in Philadelphia

Here is a handful of softie fabness that caught my eye in 2006 and are still going strong today with their creativity:

  1. LoobyLu
  2. Wee Wonderfuls
  3. Mimi Kirchner
  4. Hillary Lang
  5. Look What I Can Do
  6. Merwing
  7. Three Green Apples
  8. Molly Chicken
  9. Wee Folk Studio
  10. Oh Albatros 

Yes, yes, yes, I trolled these sights over and over years back and revisit now and again still

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First machine sewing project March 2007

www.stephaniedistler.com
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Monday, November 24, 2014

List Monday- BIG list of wants and maybe some needs thrown in

Every once in a while putting it out there for the Universe to take note of that crazy list carried around inside of you for far too long is necessary. This is getting it out of your head and on paper (more or less) helping an obsessed type, like myself, see what is doable or perhaps logical in the real world.

THE list:
  1. A www.potterusa.com hydraulic press with all the accessories or as many as are attainable 
  2. Arbor press 
  3. Rolling mill, preferably the Durston brand
  4. Metalsmithing workbench
  5. Large, very, very large steel anvil
  6. Pepe Guillotine shear to perfectly cut sheet metal
  7. Knew Concepts jeweler's saw with the swivel handle
  8. Fretz hammers and stakes
  9. Exhaust for a soldering station like this wonderful set-up from Connie Fox
  10. Bench Mate system 
The hydraulic press is CHECKED off, there are still accessories such as more pancake dies or texture plates to be bought over the next few years.  The press is going to be here at some point in the next couple weeks.  Today I am having an argument with myself about the jeweler's saw, watched the video a few times today falling head over heals in love.  Brilliant design.


Studio since 2011, WOW I need more room

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 black & white 2014


www.stephaniedistler.com

Sunday, November 23, 2014

What do they say about old dogs?

I am always amazed at the simple things in life one of those being my husband, loving shrimp now after 28 years of marriage.  The man hates soup in any form and can bring me to tears with his pretty strong protests, but, now enjoys this firm, flavorful yet bouncy morsel.

The Japanese phrase 'Puri-Puri' (POOR-ee POOR-ee) describes the texture or mouth feel when prepared perfectly.

Our Sunday day trip was to Altoona after a wonderful breakfast with gracious friends at their home of buckwheat pancakes and strata.  The Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice coffee was a bonus :)  We were heading out around 1:00 then with a bottle jack from Harbor Freight, that is actually needed to complete the jeweler's hydraulic press set-up, on the list as well as picking up groceries for Thanksgiving being THIS coming Thursday.

What is on your menu for the holiday?  Sweet Potato Pie is the only new addition the rest is Thanksgiving dinner as usual.  Brined Turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, cole slaw, cranberry, dried corn, buttered peas, rolls and pies-  same old, same old.   I would not have it any other way, nothing like a house filled with those aromas and the leftovers.

Do you have the perfect brine?  Or stuffing recipe to share?  What makes your spread your very own?

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Boyer's candy factory in Altoona, Pa. Is a favorite stop while there with DH buying 5 lbs of imperfect peanut butter cups every time.
www.stephaniedistler.com



Small things- chopping garlic with sea salt and herbs


minced garlic with fennel seeds and sea salt being chopped for a pot of New England Clam Chowder
An easy way to give deep flavor to your dish is to chop garlic cloves, salt and herbs/seeds all together into a paste.  The addition of salt breaks down the garlic, allowing a paste consistency to be created by the edge of your knife. 

In the above photo a whole garlic head (6-8 cloves), 1/4 teaspoon of fennel seeds and 1 teaspoon of smoked sea salt are chopped fine, then smashed with the knife edge making a powerful flavor combo. This mound of flavor was then put in a pot of New England Clam Chowder while simmering enriching its flavor profile.

Many different mixes can be made such as parsley/thyme salted garlic for fabulous red skin potatoes, basil salted garlic, minced then added to unsalted butter for garlic bread or maybe cumin seed salted garlic added to the chili.

What mix can you see yourself making?

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Botanicals and SDAJ

www.stephaniedistler.com 



Friday, November 21, 2014

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