jodi's weblog

jodi's weblog

 

 

tea

tea lady

I want to make this tea cosy from a 1940s pattern book. Yes, the one with the little lady sticking out of it. Obviously.

Posted by Jodi Green on July 21, 2014 at 2.23pm

blue

blueflower

Asiatic dayflower. A pretty little weed that grows all along the sidewalk in the narrow space between our house and the neighbours’.

Posted by Jodi Green on July 18, 2014 at 11.09am

three kinds of sauerkraut

sauerkraut (3 kinds)

On the left, a fairly small batch of half collard greens, half cabbage, with a bit of dried dill weed.

In the middle, mustard sauerkraut (recipe from Issue 10 of Taproot Magazine)

On the right, straight up plain green cabbage.

Posted by Jodi Green on July 15, 2014 at 1.52pm

photo

creeper

Virginia creeper, slowly covering over our basement window.

Posted by Jodi Green on July 2, 2014 at 12.23pm

notes on mustard, volume 10

We have been all out of mustard for a while now. Sauerkraut and soaking soybeans have taken up the precious bit of counter space where mustard used to age. It is well past time for some new batches.

Up until now we’ve been focusing on medieval mustards, adapted from period sources, that sit for weeks until they’re deemed mellow enough to put in the fridge (although, in practice, the mustards we’ve been making around here start out so strong that they never wind up in the fridge, never losing their potency). I have plans to branch out to some more modern recipes soon, but for now, here is a basic medieval mustard that was put up a few days ago.

basic mustard #1

It’s the simplest mustard we’ve had yet.

Basic Mustard #1:

1/2 cup black mustard seeds, finely ground

1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds, finely ground

about 1 cup of vinegar

1 cup of bread crumbs OR ground almonds, whatever is your preference (I use almonds)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Put the ground mustard seeds into a glass or ceramic container and dribble enough vinegar into it to make a thick, gravely paste. Cover and let this sit for about 8 hours or overnight.

In the morning, put the soaked mustard into a blender with the other ingredients and blend until it reaches a good thick mustard consistency. You can add more vinegar, or strain some out, as needed. Put it all into a crock or jar, cover and let sit for six weeks before serving.

basic mustard #1

Notes for this batch:

-it uses chive blossom vinegar because there was an old batch in the pantry that had lost its lovely pink hue and needed to be used up. It was made by steeping chive blossoms in white wine vinegar.

-it uses plain, white, granulated sugar, just to try and get a sense of what the plainest possible mustard will taste like.

In a stroke of perfect timing, a day after this mustard was put up the latest issue of Taproot arrived, and in it there are several recipes for fermented mustards. So of course we are going to try them all.

Posted by Jodi Green on June 14, 2014 at 9.58am

photo

Easter weekend at my sister-in-law’s: a lovely chalkboard drawing of dinosaurs.

martha's chalkboard

Posted by Jodi Green on May 1, 2014 at 10.55am

file under: unfinished

Here is another project abandoned around 1998 or so, recently rediscovered.

book embroidery

It’s an embroidered panel designed for a small book cover, for a book roughly 8 by 10 centimetres (3 by 4 inches). Somewhere in the attic is the book it was intended for, probably about 6 signatures of 3 folios each, sewn on linen cords, rounded and backed and trimmed, with endpapers sewn in and board covers laced on, naked and waiting.

The cover’s design is based on 16th century embroidered bindings such as those found at this link. The vertical floral motif in the centre is designed to run down the spine, and the horizontal gold bands will line up with the ridges formed on the book’s spine by the tapes the signatures are sewn onto.

Like every abandoned project in the history of forever, this one was entered into with loads of enthusiasm and worked away at like gangbusters for a good while. And like every abandoned project, the fun parts (outlines, filling in the tiny sections of colour!) went quickly but the promise of a beautiful finished object shone more dimly, from further away, once the tedious background-filling was practically all that was left. Add to that a growing disappointment with the low contrast of chosen colours and this pretty thing was doomed.

Will it ever get finished? Hard to say. The base fabric isn’t nice enough to just leave unstitched, but the dark blue is deadening. It should be picked out and replaced with red, or pale blue, or pink. But the thought of picking out embroidery stitches from a 15-year-old dead project isn’t an enticing one. The book would probably have to be remade as well, since after 15 years in a box who knows if the covers are even on straight anymore.

For now, this little panel is out of its tin work-box and pinned up onto a corkboard in the studio, where it can act as a reminder of every creative failure ever. Also, because it’s pretty to look at.

Posted by Jodi Green on April 17, 2014 at 1.24pm

sketchbook 2014

sketchbook april 9

A portrait in progress.

Posted by Jodi Green on April 15, 2014 at 11.43am

photo

cornbread

My first-ever skillet cornbread.

Posted by Jodi Green on April 10, 2014 at 11.37am

in which a failure to follow through is not a new trait

During a recent partial reorganizing of the attic, Peter and I sorted ruthlessly through two large bins full of fabric and got rid of a whole lot of stuff (like, about three quarters of what was in there) that we are never going to use. Among the things that were spared (for now) was a large bag of little quilt pieces from a quilt that I began and abandoned back when we lived in London.

abandoned quilt blocks circa 1998

A quilt that I abandoned IN 1998.

Nineteen ninety-eight.

Which explains these fabrics:

abandoned quilt blocks circa 1998

It’s a collection of batik and block printed fabrics gleaned from secondhand clothing and table linens gathered from thrift stores, paired with black broadcloth. Most were bought in the mid 1990s but there’s at least one fabric in there (top left in the image above) that’s cut from a dashiki that I remember wearing in art school possibly as early as 1989. Every single one of them looks like a sarong you would wear to Sunfest while reeking of patchouli oil, eating frozen yogurt, and shopping for those thin cotton blankets printed with crudely drawing Celtic knotwork. I both love and hate each one of them.

There’s quite a large pile of the batiks cut in equilateral triangles and sewn together with a triangle of the black to make a three inch square. A very few of these are sewn together with the batiks butted up to make points. And then there are many, many more batik triangles cut, including some patterns that aren’t represented above. I had a wild idea, once, to sew this entire quilt by hand, and so most of the squares are hand-stitched. At some point I realized this was folly and switched to a machine.

The original concept was to put them all together in a pattern of giant tiled diamonds with tiny diamond centres, like this:

abandoned quilt blocks circa 1998

But now that I’ve hauled the whole thing out and decided to try and finish it, I’m leaning more towards something like this, with arrows:

abandoned quilt blocks circa 1998

Or maybe chevrons:

abandoned quilt blocks circa 1998
(just offset those little blocks in your imagination, if you don’t mind, so they line up like chevrons instead of like woggly zigzags)

Or tiny diamonds, although I feel like this could get super boring:

abandoned quilt blocks circa 1998

(suggestions are welcome)

So, you may have gathered, I intend to finish this quilt. The look of the whole thing may feel a bit dated, but I still wear patchouli oil, so I’m sure this quilt and I will be just fine together.

Posted by Jodi Green on April 6, 2014 at 5.35pm