It's a curious thing... I've ignored my blog for ages. Years in fact. So many things have changed and yet so many things remain the same. I am still making jewelry. I am making journals and field notes. I am teaching the Zentangle method to anyone who will sit still long enough. Life is good.
My studio is great - it's a mess right now because there are lots of projects going on. The dogs are both sound asleep. That's always nice. I swore that I would not let the main work table get messy and that I would always clean it up. Ha. I've had to add tables to accommodate the overflow.
Perhaps it's time to start blogging again. Perhaps it is not. If I can figure it out on my phone, then it really is.
Now I'm also fascinated with Zentangle Mendalas. So wonderful to work on - puts your brain in a peaceful mood. The one above is 16"x20". Most of the ones I've been making are on the 3.5"x3.5" cards.
Below is a really old stained glass window a friend of mine found in her mother's attic as she was cleaning it out. The lead had fallen off most pieces and many of them were broken, so I repaired it and did the foil wrapping Tiffany style instead of lead caming. The pink jewels and the amber glass are all that's left of the original. I love the colors.
I've always loved the stained glass mosaics that David Chidgey creates. Since he teaches classes in San Antonio, I am sincerely hoping that he doesn't mind that I was so inspired by his work that I had to make two for the new studio. I apologize that mine ended up looking much like his - obviously not as good as his - but since I was just learning and feel like when you're learning the best thing to do is to copy, I did. There you have it. My confession. They aren't for sale - just for me to learn with. I do plan on making more using my own mandala designs. I find the process to be very meditative - particularly with the mandala. The top one (that will give you seizures if you watch it too long) is my own design. The one below is very similar to one David did.
As you can see, the barnlette where my studio will soon be located is coming right along. The roof went on Tuesday and Jimmy started framing the studio yesterday. It hailed last night on the brand new tin roof which made quite a racket!
Let's take a closer look at what's happening behind the barnlette this morning.... some idiot put a burning couch in the ditch and the volunteer firemen had to come put it out.
What's the next one? I bet it's money (paper, not coins) falling from the clouds...
Dandelion Jelly has a wonderful honey flavor. I used lemon extract which gave it a nice citrus like flavor. It was a big hit at Easter dinner on the dinner rolls. Also good on cream cheese and English muffins or crackers.
As requested, here's the recipe. Enjoy!
Donna Bohaty of Rockford Illinois
2 cups dandelion blossoms
4 cups water
1 pkg (1 3/4 oz) powdered fruit pectin
5 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp orange or lemon extract
1. In a large saucepan, bring dandelion blossoms and water to a boil; boil 4 minutes.
2. Line a strainer or colander with four layers of cheesecloth or one coffee filter; place over bowl. Place dandelion mixture in prepared strainer. Strain mixture, reserving 3 cups liquid. Discard blossoms. (at this point, the liquid is a rather unappealing pond-water color. Just so you know...)
3. In a Dutch oven, combine pectin and reserved dandelion liquid. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar; return to a full rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
4. Remove from heat; add extract. Skim off foam. Ladle hot liquid into hot sterilized half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot mixture. wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
5. Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool.
Yield: about 6 half-pints.
This recipe is from the Country Woman magazine. My Mother-In-Law passes the magazine on to me... it's full of great ideas and inspiring stories about independent women doing fabulous things on/off the land. This edition also had a recipe for Dandelion Soup, Dandelion Salad and Dandelion Potato Salad.
A few weeks ago I started doing Zentangle every day. I can't believe how much better my brain is feeling now. Every morning I sit at my desk and learn two or three new tangles and then create a Zentangle tile.
Above is today's tile... I added some color with watercolor pencils.
Below is one of the first tiles I did. Above is done using a template and then filling it in.
As soon as I can get in, I plan on attending a Zentangle Seminar and getting certified to teach. Honestly - it's the only yoga I could ever teach and it is so good for the brain!
Rumple and Scootch along with my husband and I live out in the country on a peaceful acreage with a pond. I create with glass and sometimes copper, brass and silver all the livelong day. Life is good - "Living Life on the Gravel Lane"