Friday, October 21, 2011

A Dapper Skeleton and a Fabulous Soup

i finished my Iron Craft project by the deadline this week, but i haven't managed to blog about it yet.

the theme this past week was Imaginary Friends, and participants were asked to make a friend for themself or for someone else.

this was perfect timing, because i went to a retreat on saturday, and Berene's skeleton stuffie fabric had arrived, so she brought mine for me (i'd seen it on flickr and HAD to have it!). i actually thought i'd get mine done that day, which shows you how dillusional i am about time management! however, Krista did manage to get hers done, so if you follow her blog, you'll have already seen hers.

anyway, i finished my Outfoxed Quilt at the retreat, and saved my skeleton for this week. it came together very easily, even for me, and i'm incapable of making stuffies!

if you're not familiar with Berene's work, you might not understand why it was so easy. one of the most wonderful things about the VMQG has been the people that i've met through it. Berene is one of those people. she's perfectly lovely. she's trained as a graphic designer (the same as Cynthia, who's also incredibly talented! coincidence?), and she's used those skills to develop a line of fabulous stuffie patterns and kits. the patterns are printed directly on the fabric, and her instructions are very clear, which makes the stuffies oh so easy to make.

she designed the skeleton plushie for a contest on spoonflower, and checking out the other entries in the contest really made me appreciate Berene's skill at this. did you or a relative ever make anything out of a panel of fabric when you were a kid? i remember making a few things, and they were always crap. they never included enough seam allowance, or if it was a stuffie, it was completely boring and 2 dimensional, with lots of puckered seams, or they didn't line up properly, or the fabric was cheap, or you could see the white edges. there was always some reason why they sucked! so, the difference between Berene's designs and the boring panels that you buy are that, first, hers are hella cute! but second, and equally important, is the way that Berene tests the designs before she produces them. she puts so much effort into them, from ensuring that the patterns fit together well to testing different kinds of polyfil to include in her kits. they're printed via spoonflower, which allows you to chose from several fabric options, and all of the options are great quality.

for instance, her skeleton comes in two sizes, the miniature 12" skeleton and the larger 27" skeleton. for my miniature skeleton, the quilting weight cotton is perfect. it's not too bulky for the narrow limbs, but the quality is really nice. for the larger skeleton, the upholstery weight twill or the linen-cotton canvas would be a sturdier choice.

but anyway. enough gushing about Berene, you want to see what i'm talking about!
(but you should definitely check out her etsy!)

hi there

skellie joints

skellie hat

i'll post more about the hat another day - but it's cute, isn't it?

and as for why my Iron Craft project was late?

i'm sick. and whiney. and really doped up on cold meds. for most of the week, i couldn't even keep track of what day it was, much less motivate myself to blog.

i don't have kids, and no longer work in an office environment with people who pride themselves on never taking a sick day (no matter how contagious they are), so i don't actually get sick very often. but it seems like when i do get sick, i get SICK. it might just be the fibro - when otherwise healthy people get sick and are achey, that sucks, but when folks with chronic health conditions get sick, that achey-ness is on top of what they already live with, and is often a last straw sort of thing. whatever it is, flu shot or not, i'm super miserable when i'm sick. as a side note, when did the definition of flu change? when i was a kid, the flu meant you were puking, but now, with flu shots and H1N1 drama, it seems to mean something else. speaking of H1N1, this post is perfect. i love that tweet. anyway, i'm sleeping in 4 hour increments, i drift to sleep listening to the odd sounds my breathing makes, and as soon as the cold meds wear off, i wake up coughing my head off. i think my neighbours hate me, i'm sure they can all hear me coughing constantly. my cat definitely hates me. all i really want to do is spoon with someone in my super comfy bed, and have that same imaginary person make me tea and soup. being sick is one of the few times when i really begrudge being single!

however, one thing that i'm reaalllyyy appreciating, is that last month i tried out a recipe for Smoky Refried Bean Soup that was SO GOOD, and i froze some of the leftovers. i found the recipe on this site, and loved the fact that it was for the slowcooker. i'll save my adoring love of it for another time, but suffice to say, i own three of the same slowcooker! anyway, the soup. ohmygod. it's a bit spicy, but not too much. enough that i can taste it, even with my cold, which is why i'm so thankful for it!

smoky refried bean soup

i couldn't find roasted corn - the only non-fresh corn options we have here are creamed or niblets, and creamed freaks me out, so it isn't really an option anyway, and my chili powder wasn't chipotle, but otherwise i followed the recipe. oh, and my stewed tomatoes weren't plain, they had some spices already added. i made two batches, and the first batch was awesome. the second batch was for a party, and i tried to make it go a bit further and the spices were a bit weaker. i definitely should have doubled them for it. the soup is vegan and gluten free, so it's pretty much perfect for potlucks. if no one's vegan, you can add some grated cheese on top, which is also super yummy. basically, it's the awesomest soup ever, at least this week!


felicity said...

Sorry to hear you're feeling so lousy, Amy! That soup does look awesome - so awesome that I hope it has medicinal qualities to help you get well. I love your little Skellie too!

quirky granola girl said...

that skeleton is adorable. i think your post just sold me on it. :)

Poppyprint said...

You said it, about Berene. She so rocks, as do her designs. You and your skellie looked adorable last meeting. Get well soon and thanks for the soup recipe. It looks like something we'd really like, AND I have chipotle chili powder and frozen corn in da house!

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