Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
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Monday, August 20, 2012

Savory and sweet, to start the week...

Oh, yum!  My friend Mary 2 (there are three Marys with the same last name, here in Belle Plaine, and all three are friends of mine, thus the number) brought me bags of fresh herbs from her garden, last week... a few different basils, rosemary, sage, dill, and lemon balm.  She grew masses of them, but aside from the typical basil-in-pasta-sauce kinds of recipes, she didn't know how to use them.  I suggested she try them in salads, using them just like greens, if she had that many. 

I really do mean use them generously.  Don't be shy.  Pile them on!  I love big fat basil leaves shredded in a salad, or tossed with balsamic vinegar and heirloom tomatoes, or piled on a roast beef or cheese sandwich, in place of lettuce.  Mint and melon are incredibly fresh together, and lemon balm and rosemary with berries, this week's discovery, are amazing!
Sliced strawberries and plump blueberries were mixed with shredded lemon balm leaves, and finely chopped fresh rosemary, then topped with a splash of balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of honey.  I let that sit for about an hour, then served it over greens.  It was fine with spinach, but a dark leafy lettuce would have been better.  This is my new favorite fruit salad, and I'm definitely growing lemon balm next year! 
After spending most of the past five days working on magazine pages, tough work that involved photographing a lot of yummy food (somebody has to eat the props, no?), it was fun to take a break and teach an art class.  Faithie is my only Artgirl these days, as my work schedule is now too full to take on new students, but that's okay.  She makes my Mondays sparkle all on her own!  We're starting a unit on weaving.
We made the pin board from a piece of bulletin board, covered with cotton batting and muslin.  Faith chose several ribbons from my stash, and decided to create an embellishment for a T-shirt, as a gift for her little sister.

We cut a square of fusible interfacing a little bigger than her heart motif, and laid it face UP on the pin board.  Faith ran a series of parallel (warp) ribbons over this, pinning them on only ONE end.  It's faster to weave across them, if one end is loose, and you flip these up, rather than trying to slip the weft ribbons up and down between them. Faith pinned down each weft ribbon at the starting end, wove it through, then pinned it in place on the other end.  Once her square was finished, and with the pins in place, we pressed it with an iron, using a press cloth, to bond the interfacing to the back.  (choose ribbons that can take the heat!)

Here you see Faith cutting around her heart template.  We saved the scrap for another project, of course.

Faith sewed the heart onto a T-shirt, using a wide zig-zag stitch, then embellished the point with a bead dangle, which not only looks sweet and sparkly, but hides a little pucker at the point.  There's not much that can't be fixed with a little bit of fancy!
This was the first of a series of weaving projects we're doing, exploring how this technique is used for everything from fine silk fabric, to the wire fencing that will keep Bucko Bunny out of my herb bed, and all sorts of glorious art things in between.  Of course we'll share our adventures, and we would love any suggestions for favorite materials or projects.

For the rest of the week, when not ever-so-slowly (but happily) building pages for the bookazine, I'll be finishing last week's Tuscany mural, in time for Thursday night's blog post.  Check back Friday morning, if you're waiting to see how that comes out.  Other murals can be seen on my website, theartofthehome.com.

If you have questions about any of the techniques featured here, please feel welcome to ask.  I'll be glad to share any secrets I know!  Leave a message by commenting below, or email me at dawnmariedelara@gmail.com.  

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