Thursday, May 28, 2009

Kimono robe

It turned out just as I hoped - and I mean turned out literally because I used an old Threads issue on linings with directions for sewing the lining to the fabric and then performing Houdini contortions (on the robe) to turn it out properly! I still need to sew along the edges and make some kind of loop inside the neck. The photo is taken in our former dining room which we now refer to as the Japan Room. Inspired by our school's Around the World Week, we removed most of the furniture and brought out all our gifts from Japan. We also have a map, library books, and origami paper. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Kimono robe

This is the Nani Iro fabric from way back that became a bedspread and is now a little bathrobe. I lined it with terrycloth and it is divine. I will post finished picture this week. I saw Super Eggplant has this fabric pattern in a stretch knit in red and white. I can see the danger of going all "Nani Iro" in Japan and coming back with suitcases of gorgeous fabric. I've been wanting to make some little sundress tunic things to wear over jeans with a little cardigan and this Heather Ross pattern is perfect - I have the Nani Iro fabric she is wearing!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rhubarb magnificents

Mr Lear came back from the market Saturday with armloads of rhubarb - an armload for the sorbet, an armload for the crisp, and this armload for the compote - all courtesy Mr. Lebovitz. It was the edge of a leftover ricotta orange pancake dipped in the remains of the rhubarb crisp that inspired magnificents - it was like suddenly thinking things and being able to speak them in Hungarian - crusty, moist, both sweet and sour with salt and wine and spring. 

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Daniel Carasso's Yogurt

Daniel Carasso's obituary in Saturday's Financial Times inspired me to make yogurt again. Sometimes I stumble on tradition. I am so wound up on re-creating that I stop enjoying. A few Summers ago I read about the carbonated fruit flavored tea drinks on the menu at Mariage Freres in Paris. The article was similar to this post at TeaMuse by Karen Burns, "France has never been a big tea-drinking country...this is an advantage because the French never developed fixed traditions regarding tea, and so they're open to new flavors, new blends, and new varieties."

The Mariage Freres web site explains, "Day after day, we ask ourselves what tomorrow's tea should be like. So in the field we constantly seek the most delicate harvests, while in the lab we devise the most expressive blends."

I'm going to adapt David Lebovitz's Lavender-Honey ice cream into a Fage Greek style homemade yogurt. "Day after day, I am going to ask myself what tomorrow's creations should be like. So in the marketplace I will constantly seek the most delicate harvests, while in the kitchen I will devise the most expressive blends."

Friday, May 15, 2009

Books for Japan

I'm hunting down children's books set in Japan and looking for some historical fiction for myself. I also want to make a fantastic daybag that is part How to Wrap Five Eggs and part waterproof nylon that looks like antique silk. I'm reading Write It Down, Make It Happen and I realize that many of my projects come to life because I write them down here first!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ceramic bottles

More images from the Mingei book - these ceramic bottles would be lovely in the kitchen with cork tops. I would glaze the inside and use it for meyer lemon concentrate - which tastes incredible chilled in tiny tea cups!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


A friend lent me this fantastic book of Japanese folk crafts. The Japan Folk Crafts Museum in Tokyo was founded in 1926 by Soetsu Yanagi to preserve the everyday handmade, functional objects being replaced by factories. The textiles are mostly kimonos made from indigo dyed cotton, linen and hemp.  

This next photo is not a kimono, but a kimono comforter! A cotton quilt in the shape of a kimono. The caption reads, "Wrapped securely in symbols of good fortune, wearers could drift off to sleep peacefully." 

>This fireman's coat has resist indigo water waves across the back...

...and embroidery on the sleeves.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Poffertjes grows

I'm adding the diamonds and connecting the circles in the Poffertjes pattern. The Alchemy Synchronicity is so beautiful that I don't want to add anymore circles in anything else. I'll border this piece with panels - a pillow? a wall hanging above the bed? a blanket? a table runner?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Fire everything!

The new Star Trek movie is great. This is the Sonia Delauney quilt I'm thinking about emulating with some machine washable fabrics. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I am going to make fancy mustards and can them for gifts. This is white wine and sage with honey 1.0. I cooked it too long. The next batch will be lighter, smoother, and I'll make a porcelain mustard spoon! Maybe it will look like a sage leaf.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Knitted quilt pillows

This is the blanket pattern from Holiday Handknits made of garter stitch diamonds sewn into squares. The yarn is all leftovers. I don't love it enough to commit to a blanket. This is a very large swatch - a pillow. I think the final blanket will end up being a central 36" square pattern from the Sonia Delauney book bordered by huge plain panels of garter stitch like an Amish quilt. 

Monday, May 4, 2009

Poffertjes blanket

I found a skein of gold Alchemy Synchronicity in my closet and managed to eek out 4 Poffertjes circles. I have another skein in a bronze color. Perhaps this will become a large reading pillow instead of a queensize blanket. I like tweedy wools next to the silks.