lunes, 21 de noviembre de 2011

End of November.

It is almost the end of November and want to open this post by sharing a significant picture of the place where my great grandparents and grandparents lay to rest. The Day of The Dead is quite special in Mexico and is full of respect and reverance to those departed. I was able to make the trip out of my city to visit this place and was happy to see it in full bloom by the many flowers that adorned the place, especially the "Cempazuchitl" flowers that were "Flowers of The Dead" for the Aztecs. Such flower is known as Marigold in other countries.

Still talking about flowers here are three more pictures of the newest roses blooming in my garden. The Elizabeth Rose:

An Orange Rose:

And finally my "Hechicera" (Sorcerer) Rose:

To end this post, here is a picture of my latest project finished. My "Praline Tunic" that took me forever to finish at its' stitch -a St st all the way- would become pretty overwhelming after a while. I am happy with the results and the fact that I did finish it after all!

Thanks for visiting!

More coming soon!

sábado, 17 de septiembre de 2011

Autumn is around the Corner!

Hello again readers! I thought of starting this post by showing you the picture of yet another finished knitting project. The Off-the-Shoulder Pullover by Vladimir Teriokhin.

I started knitting it in January 2008 and it certainly took me a while to finish it. I have found that this happens to me frequently, I love casting on and starting new projects, then when they bore me I start another the end I end up with so many projects to knit that then I take time to finish them. I just think that if by any reason one particular project starts being boring then there is no reason to keep on knitting it. Knitting should always be something you look forward to doing, not a chore. So yes, I have more than 3.....I should say more than 8 projects on my needles right now. I did however stopped casting on and decided to shuffle my choice according to my mood around the already started projects. Anyway, there is no better feeling than finishing something, isn't it?

On other things, I have just finished reading one of the best narrated books about the time of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. I praise the author for creating a book that traps the reader into a most fascinating journey through history: "The Other Boleyn Girl" by Philippa Gregory.
In my view, the novel goes beyond a historical review and transforms itself into a most thrilling story. Very soon after I started going through its pages I realized something that has made this novel one of my absolute favourites: its capacity to relate to present times for women in general.

I think that the magic of Gregory was to challenge the reader into placing one's beliefs as women in relationships with men even in our own times. I am a woman of my time and getting to know the perspective and ever so difficult situations three main characters were always put through the story made me rethink about them and many times even see them as women of my time too. They were women of endless courage but moreover, women of high intelligence. I can only admire them now whatever their destiny was sealed by selfish men, particularly one, either that be seclusion, oblivion or death. This being Catherine of Aragon, Mary Boleyn and Anne Boleyn. Their reasons for acting in one way or another were always around the desires of men, and this relieves them from any guilt that fell upon them.

So keeping up with this post I want to share a recipe with you all. I caught it after a sleepless night while watching RAI International TV (Italian TV) and could not wait to do it. It is "Polpette di Melanzane"......"Eggplant Dumplings". If you are a fan of eggplant like I am then you will like it. An important note: there is some cooking experience required to do this recipe. The quantities for the ingredients varies according to personal taste, and what it may be required to make the perfect dumpling.

Ingredients: 2 eggplants, 2 garlic heads, parsley, oregano, salt & pepper, 2 cups of breadcrumbs (and some more), 2 eggs, mozarella cheese, 1 cup grated parmesan cheese.

1.- First you start by cooking the eggplant. After washing and peeling their skin off, you cut the eggplants in little dices. Then you place them in a saucepan with enough water to cover them and kosher salt. You bring everything to the boil, lower the flame and place a lid on top. You need to regularly stir the eggplant so it does not stick or burn. When you see it has already cooked, then take the lid off and wait for the rest of the water to evaporate. Then proceed to cool the eggplant in a cold dish.

2.- In a well sized bowl, place the cooked eggplant and mix it up with minced garlic, minced parsley, oregano, salt & pepper, the 2 cups of breadcrumbs, 2 eggs and the cup of grated parmesan cheese. Leave the mozarella on the side.

3.- Mixing everything with your hands it is important to have extra breadcrumbs ready on the side. This is because all the mixed ingredients need to stop sticking in your hands, so as needed, you add up more breadcrumbs. The mixture will be ready when it no longer sticks on the bowl or on your hands.

4.- Dice the mozarella cheese in little pieces and put them on a plate. Then using cooking oil (try to avoid olive oil as it burns very fast) use a stir frying pan.

5.- The next part is to start making the dumplings with your hands. Try to cover the palms of your hands with more breadcrumbs to achieve the balls/ dumplings with perfect results. Once the dumpling is made place no more than two dices of mozarella inside and cover the cheese perfectly. The key is that the cheese remains inside the dumpling and does not stick out as this will be a problem once you start stir frying them, because the cheese will melt out.

6.- Once the oil in your saucepan is ready, proceed to stir fry them until they are very hot and golden brown on the outside. Place the dumplings over paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Once they are cold you can keep them in your fridge. To reheat them I recommend using an oven dish with some cooking oil and heating them inside the oven at about 200 oC / 400 oF.


Finally, another picture of my roses. This time is the turn of my Blue Moon Rose. Lovely, isn't it?

Thanks for stopping by.

martes, 30 de agosto de 2011

Ending August 2011.

Hello again, I start this post by showing you a picture of my new cotton plant. Yes! the Coyuchi plant that likes the weather in Mexico City. I was thrilled to see the new cotton flowers growing each day. Another reason to get a spinning wheel now! :-)

So, I promised my next posting would be to show off my "pumpkin" pullover finally finished. Yes! and I am thrilled with it. Although the project literally "eats" yarn, I enjoyed the results. I do, however suggest using yarns with a bit of a mix either of synthetic or artificial fibers as this project has a tendency to becoming heavy at the bottom due to its weight. Now I just need to wait for the winter to come!
It feels so good to finally close a chapter with this sweater; and closing it with a positive feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction on a personal level.......yes, going beyond the sweater now. I am writing a new chapter in my life now and I am quite happy.

My next comment is about Lebanese food. Have you guys tried it? It has been among my favourite ones since a long time and I was fortunate to find a Lebanese cuisine recipe book here in Mexico City. It was written by the grandmother of the owner of a Lebanese restaurant close to my home, the "Emir". The recipe book is very good and I already enjoyed a recipe from it: "La Cocina de Ventura".

And finally but not least, I show you now my Empress Rose, isn't it beautiful?

Hope to be finishing another two more projects for my next posting here.

Happy Knitting and thanks for stopping by!

sábado, 9 de julio de 2011

In Between Rows.

So I promised that my next post would be to show my finished "Pumpkin" Sweater but I thought that as I am far of less than 20 rows to finishing it, in the meantime I could upload a post that I think would be of interest to weavers out there.

I have been weaving for almost 11 years and I know that no matter how much I may practice I will never finish learning, the picture below is of me practicing on a "Dorothy" loom by Leclerc. It was taken at the National Tapestry Workshop in Mexico City, April 1999 founded by my teacher and mentor, Mrs. Bertha Preciado and her husband Pedro Preux.

So after more than ten years infront of a loom I am still surprised by new techniques I can use at weaving. One of my many sources has always been Interweave with its fabulous magazine "Handwoven". And just this month I took the chance to acquire a highly advertised DVD made by its editor and expert teacher, Mrs. Madeleine Van der Hoogt. "Warping your Loom".

Warping: always such a challenging task that I believe is the main source of producing magic at the loom. This is why it is so important, and I am always open to learning new and easier ways to doing it, not only for me but also to pass along to my students.

My opinion on the DVD: Mrs. Van der Hoogt is always an excellent teacher but if you happen to work on a warping mill rather than a warping board, and more than this, you have a 68" wide, 12 shaft floor loom, with a 53" depth and a net weight of around 221 lbs. like I do, then this DVD is not for you. Everything on the DVD and her tecnique is based at a much smaller and simpler warping board and loom. Yes, probably for the majority of weavers this DVD works fine, but I believe that advertising it for all weavers is not accurate.

Although I learned from some of her experience, I realized that the method I learned from my mentor together with what I added up from my experience suits my work better, as I think happens to anybody who tries to master a particular applied art.

More on the current weaving project I am working on later!

To freshen up things a bit here, don't you love roses? I do. This is a picture of my Burgundy Rose.

Thanks for stopping by!

martes, 28 de junio de 2011

June 2011

Hello again! It is almost the end of June and this month has been a very meaningful one. Time is a healer and during this period I have learned many more things about me. Life is always full of surprises and June has been no exception. I definitely look forward to discovering what comes ahead in the next months.

The above I think is one of my favourite pictures of the month. It was taken late in the afternoon when rain was starting to fall. Out of coincidence I looked out the window from my studio and saw a couple of birds staying very close to each other underneath the protection of a planter at the front terrace. I immediately thought "if that is not an image of love I do not know what it is". I immediately took my camera!

And still speaking about love, you will all agree with me that the way it can be expressed is infinite. I was very fortunate last May to be in Assisi, Italy and finally realize a life long dream of mine. Every corner of it was so beautiful and walking through its little medieval streets was a continuous inspiration. Of the many expressions of love that I encountered two impressed me in a more personal way. I am talking about the few but outstanding examples of spinning and needlework done by a woman who lived only for love: Saint Clare of Assisi.
On the museum located underneath the Basilica di Santa Chiara you can see an example of her needlework and handsewing skills in a night gown done by her. Of course, she never holded anything so lavish.

And perhaps the example that stunned me more was the little spinned ball of cotton yarn exposed there. It is said that throughout her life she continuously spinned and would send cotton yarn to different convents, abbeys and monasteries to be used for knitting.

Complete surrenderness to the service of others. That was Saint Clare's way of loving life.

And now coming back to present times, as promised, here are some pictures of the knitting projects I am working on. The first one is a crochet shawl to be gifted to a very good friend of mine in Italy. It is done in Broomstick Lace Pattern and I am enjoying it very much.

The following picture belongs to my Pumpkin knitted pullover/ dress. As you can see I am almost done, still working on the pattern but very soon will be just working K1 P1 for the long neck. The coming picture will be of it totally finished!

Thanks for reading and keep on expressing yourselves through your crafts!

sábado, 28 de mayo de 2011


Hello Dear Readers, it's been a while....

It is an easy relaxing saturday afternoon and finally feeling at ease I can say that I have been "unraveled". Many times, hopefully the least of them, Life puts us under situations that pretty much feel like being unraveled and there is no stopping of it. The worse part is that it is out of your control.
What I have been through for the past 10 months is comparable to one project I started knitting last October that I named "Pumpkin". As I started knitting it, it soon became my favourite project. I could only dream of the many wonderful experiences and joy I would get while wearing it, when it would be finally finished. At first, I kept a steady pace and soon was able see it start becoming something beautiful (at least in my eyes). Then for reasons out of my control, I would have to put it away for some time -there were more important things to attend, it seems- and although I kept coming back to it, I knew I was losing that steady pace. Then the day came when I had to put it away because there was simply no time (or interest) to keep on knitting it, the many hopes and dreams of exciting experiences while wearing it finished vanished infront of my eyes. This way it was kept for months inside a box, together with my knitting needles.

The good news is that such sweater did not go through the unraveling, but I, the knitter did metaphorically speaking. After being once a "favourite project", very soon I became neglected and then unraveled by deceit and heartbreak.

Time to start taking up my knitting needles again and rediscover the exciting (for me) knitting project that my life is.

I will post again when my "Pumpkin" sweater is finished. Turns out this particular project will be after all a memorable one, because by finishing it I will reinvent it and with it, I will reinvent myself.

I am at Home again.

Thanks for reading.