Monday, August 25, 2014

T Stands for Tisanes

Today I'm taking you to my herbal garden

where we will be talking about tisanes.  Tisanes are any beverage made from an infusion (steeping) or decoction (boiling) of herbs.  Tisanes are also commonly known as infusions, botanicals, herbal infusion, or herbal tea.  Technically, they are not "tea" in the true sense of the word.  Common tisanes include mint and rooibos.

I was anxious to try my chocolate mint, and all I needed to do was cut some, especially since I had been avoiding cutting it.

I wasn't sure how much I would need, so I cut enough to fit in an infuser.

While I was at it, I decided to cut some of my spearmint, too.  I want to add it to some fresh peaches I bought at the grocery store.

After gently washing and patting the mint dry, I got out my stacking cup and teapot that has no lid.  I thought it would be perfect for this experiment.  I used the strainer/infuser in place of the lid,

placed the bruised leaves in the strainer/infuser

(I bruised them by rubbing them and rolling the mint into a ball),

then poured the boiling water over the bruised leaves, which I pressed down even more with a spoon as I poured the water over the leaves.  

I removed the strainer/infuser and replaced it with the strainer holder that accompanies it.  I was pleased at how well the metal holder fit in the tea pot (Oh look! My fingers still have remnants of paint and spray mists).

I played the waiting game while the tea "brewed."  Just to be on the safe side, I thought I'd pour the tea over the leaves as I added it to the cup. 

I was thrilled that I got a lovely yellow color in my cup, which meant it had actually brewed.

I added lemon for taste and a tiny sprig of the chocolate mint for decoration.   I kept seeing the cup through the viewfinder, thinking my tea was still brewing (which I knew it couldn't be)

so I rotated the cup and realized it was just the late afternoon shadow.

I really enjoyed this tisane experiment, and will do something similar again soon.  After all, I have loads of mint.   BTW, the word tisane is pronounced tea-SANE.

Now it's your turn.  What's been brewing (pun intended) at your place this week?  Please join us with your drink related post.  Anything is possible as long as you can relate it, in some way, back to a drink.  Photos do not have to be taken on Tuesday, but you must link below in order for Bleubeard, the "T" gang, and me to visit.  Or drop by to say hello and consider joining us in the future.  We'd love to have you.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Craft Barn's 17th Quotes and Lyrics Challenge

This fortnight the words we are to use for Craft Barn's quotes and lyrics challenge are peaceful and grace.

Although I looked for quotes for these two words, all I could find was the word peace.  Then I remembered the beautiful song "Amazing Grace," but didn't know the lyrics.  When I searched for them, I found Amazing Grace is also called "Peaceful Easy Feeling," which is also the title to a song I attribute to the Eagles from my high school days.

For this piece, I started with a sheet of copier/printer paper, to which I added one of my handmade shimmering mists on bubble wrap.

Next I used my handmade cross stamp

using pigment ink.

While these were drying, I cut and added decorative stitches around a heart I made from some hand dyed fabric I had left over from a previous project.

I then took the completed piece, except the heart, to the office where I printed the lyrics to the song:

Amazing Grace (Peaceful Easy Feeling)

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind but now I see

And I've got a peaceful, easy feeling
And I know He won't let me down
Cause I'm already standing, on solid ground

~ Unknown lyricist, religious song

I finished the piece by gluing the heart to the paper, adding the No. 17, and gluing the entire assembly to my substrate, a used file folder.

As always, I was able to visit everyone this fortnight, including the gals who are on Facebook, and Fiona in Spain who ALWAYS leaves me a lovely comment.  Unfortunately, I can't return the favor to you three gals.

EDIT:  When Julie Wheatman showed her same song, different lyrics, I began to wonder why they were so very different.  When I originally searched for the lyrics, instead of using the words "amazing grace," I put in the words from the challenge and found both here:

After reading Julie's comment and seeing her lovely tag, I searched for amazing grace lyrics.  I found the exact same information Julie shared.  Thanks Julie for setting the record straight.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Cover experiments

I'd like to begin by showing

this again.

In other words, it meant I needed to start over again.  This time I decided to get out my inkjet ink refills, and instead of using the thinner, most of which I used last time I tried this technique, I decided to use my 91% Isoprophyl Alcohol as the wetting agent.

For these pieces, I made a few folds.  In the end, it didn't make any difference, but at least I knew what to try the next time I use the inks.

Both the fabric and the Viva paper towels underneath, are gorgeous.

You can tell I used more alcohol on the piece on the right, because the colors aren't as bold.

But none of that mattered much after the pieces were dry, which took about 10 minutes in the heat.  The brightness of the paper towels shows how much color was lost in the fabric as opposed to the towels.

I used a lot of my handmade shimmering mists to dye another fabric.  Yes, these pieces are strips of an old bed sheet that came from the thrift store.

More subtle than the printer ink, but lots more glitter.

Finally, not certain I had enough fabric to cover two books, I decided to cut up a pair of my old shorts

and use my shimmering mists to color them, too.

I was now ready to reread the directions for a fourth time and try to make some sense to them.  Thanks for looking because I still don't know how these will turn out!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Journal 52, week 34: Alphabetical

For week 34 over at Journal 52, Chelle's prompt was Alphabetical.

I started with one of my recycled file folders and TRIED to use some red pigment ink 

using the Direct to Paper method.   Instead, I got a nasty mess when the "pad" started disintegrating all over the file folder.  As you can see, I've rubbed all the raised ink pad portion right off the base.

Next, I added the alphabet to the mess.

Finally, I used my handmade ABC stamp as a frame around the alphabet.

A couple of detail shots that show the alphabet stencil,

the stamp, and the week number

then one final view to show my take on this week's challenge. 

Thanks as always for visiting, because I'm not on Facebook or flickr.

No Friday Smiles, but a lot of fun, anyway

Friday Smiles, brought to you by Annie at A Stitch In Time is on hiatus.  She has finally moved, no small fete it seems, for which everyone is happy and definitely smiling. Unfortunately, she has no internet service, thus the hiatus.  But that's not stopping me from having my own Friday Smile.

Some of you may recall, my friend Kathy and I were out and about a few weeks ago, and we finally reached our destination, the Reno County Museum.  Reno is one of 105 counties in Kansas, and there are several small towns in the county.  Of the 50 states, 48 have counties that divide a state into regions for various reasons, such as geography or politics. Alaska and Louisiana are the two exceptions, with Alaska having boroughs and Louisiana having parishes.  Functionally, they are the same or equivalent.

Since I suggested that my International friends might not be as interested in this museum, I chose not to show these photos during Friday Smiles.  But since I was of the impression there would be no Friday Smiles this week, I chose to show the museum.

I'll try to keep comments to a minimum and let you peruse the museum the way Kathy and I did.  Yoder is one of the small towns in the county, and the town I always stop in for those awesome cinnamon rolls I share with Kathy. 

Yoder has a large Amish community.

You can see each town is represented with artifacts and products from their town.

It took me awhile to realize RCM stood for Reno County Museum.  Have I mentioned I don't do acronyms well (grin)?

I have one of those same plastic egg separators, but mine is red.

Don't you just LOVE those grain elevators?  When I first saw them, I thought they were salt and pepper shakers.

Next came the car and other vehicles room.  I didn't realize I had captured Kathy in the photo until I enlarged it.

I took lots of photos in the vehicle room, but when I looked for them on my camera, they were nowhere to be seen.  I also noticed I'm missing photos from the room we had just visited, but have no idea where they went, since I hadn't removed any photos from my camera/SD card when I accidentally deleted the zoo photos.


Both walls above show old photos of Memorial Hall and a part of one of the columns from the original building.  I KNEW I remembered white columns from before, but you might recall

from a photo I showed before, the new ones had been painted green.  There were even photos of the flooding in that building and how high the flooding was.

I fell in love with the room full of old tools.  People who know me, know my love of tools.  Kathy and I had fun looking for each of the tools listed on the charts.

There was a step stool for children and short people like me to climb up and see these tools.  That pocket knife looked like one my Grandfather owned, right down to the scrimshaw handle.

A photo of the wall that is still in Memorial Hall, the building with the green columns, had kisses of every shape and size.  We were told we could also leave our kiss on the Reno County Museum wall,

so even though Bleubeard wasn't with me, we both left a kiss!  So did Kathy.  I even bought a few of them to take home with me.  Quite a bargain, too: 10 for twenty five cents. ($0.25 US).

These are some of the people who were shown on the outside of the building, and those who had adopted and/or restored the window.

Wouldn't you LOVE some of those images to use in your mixed media art?

As we wound our way to the second floor, the photos were incredible.  Who doesn't love old photos?

Then we entered the room Kathy was most interested in. 

Just like I was drawn to the tools, Kathy was drawn

to the jewels.

Since Kathy loves to make her own jewelry, this was the room that most interested her.

While Kathy continued to ooh and ahh over the jewelry,
I headed to the kids area, where I found this beauty.  You KNOW I had to get at least two shots of this rocking horse.  And those of you who don't know, I have a rocking horse collection that now exceeds 450 rockers.

I leave you with an overall view of part of the kids playroom.  You will see more of the telephone display soon.

I hope I didn't bore you.  I could and should have broken this into two posts, but I guess I was ready to end the trip I took to my friend Kathy's when we explored a few of the sights and sites in her home town.  Thanks as always for visiting, because I'm always grateful you stopped by.