Monday, March 23, 2009

Baking, Blackwork, and Berries

The English muffin experiments were more successful on Friday. The new recipe worked better for me and also worked well being halved. The other recipe did not work very well when halved to begin with, so trying to force it into success was going to be difficult. This time I think the kneeding went well via the Kitchen Aid, but I still must have added a little too much flour. There were not as many nooks and crannies as I would have liked. I did decide to try cooking them on our large cast iron griddle. I think that this worked out much better than using the small griddle that I used before. I could get more muffins on at one time, and if I had been more patient in allowing the iron to head up evenly, I think the browning would have been even more even than it was. Here they are all lined up:

I also had a wonderful time at Needle in a Haystack for my Blackwork class. It was taught by Lucy Barter of the Royal School of Needlework. I learned a lot, and even though my work from that day does not seem to show it off as well, I stitched for a good four hours. It was a great class, and I recommend any classes taught by Lucy highly. She was delightful. I learned about shading techniques and also tried my hand at working on linen. I have never had the guts to work on an even weave fabric and usually use Adia style cloth in my cross stitch and embroidery projects. I do have to say the results of stitching on cloth is beautiful, but I think I would resort to using a magnifying glass in the future. It is very hard to look at the threads and find the holes between the weave when you are staring at a piece for more than five minutes. I am surprised that I did not lose a contact. This was my humble attempt at the dragonfly design she provided us with:

Here is a close up of the stitches:

On Sunday I decided to celebrate the Spring Equinox by buying some early season strawberries. I got a good deal since there were not that many people at the market due to the overnight rain and morning winds. They smelled so good that I could not pass them up. Now I need to come up with a dessert I can make with them, so they get finished before I leave for the Vegas Trip this Friday. They looked so pretty, I had to take a picture.

On the plate for today is the start of a new, more intense exercise program. After trying on clothes all Saturday and finding that my bottom does not seem to fit into clothing as well any more, I am back to the treadmill. I also want to add in weight training and some yoga. I am going to also try to do this five days a week. I hope that I can keep committed to it. I am also working hard on finishing up the embroideries for that belt. The faux shisha are coming along, and I am dreaming of some other embroidery stitches I now want to add around the belt. I think it is going to be a knock-out when I am finally finished. I also found a great new set of music while at dance class on Friday. I am pretty sure I have my music picked out for the show, but I don't get the cd until Wednesday. I guess I will be choreographing in the airport! :) Well lots to do before this trip, including getting an appointment with my hairdresser. I need to call her.....

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