Friday, July 15, 2011

For You Friday: Darlene Zimmerman free "Happy Homemaker" patterns from Robert Kaufman fabrics

My Mom told me about this super-cute collection of free patterns* by Darlene Zimmerman for Robert Kaufman fabrics, and I thought I'd share it with you here because they are called "Happy Homemaker" and are designed by a fabric designer whom I really appreciate.

The “Hi Honey, I’m Home” Apron, Table Runner, and Placemats are designed, assembled, and quilted by Darlene Zimmerman, a fabric designer who creates a lot of her designs based on historic fabric designs.

* The patterns, fabric, et cetera have no connection to me or, and I am not an authorized agent of Robert Kaufman Fabrics or Darlene Zimmerman to distribute the patterns. I just like them and thought that you might too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

House No. 194: Toll House

House No. 194: Toll House
cookie dough
10 in. x 12 in. x .75 in. thick
194/365; 07/13/11

Directions for Making a Toll House [Recipe from Nestlé]
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup [2 sticks or 1/2 pound] butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups [one 12 oz. package] semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional) [I recommend English walnuts]

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs. Gradually beat in the dry ingredients. Stir in additions. Mold onto ungreased cookie sheet into shape of house making sure that no part is thinner than the other to prevent burning. Lining your pan with foil, parchment, or a silicone sheet is  helpful for moving the cookie and for clean-up.

BAKE in preheated 375-degree°[F] oven for for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. [I turned pan halfway through to promote even cooking.]

SCORE warm cookie with dinner knife.

COOL on pan on wire rack.

REMOVE excess cookie from house using a fork for the tight window openings.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

House No. 193: Sparklehouse

House No. 193: Sparklehouse
sequins on paper
3 in. x 5 in. x 3 in.
193/365; 07/12/11

Today is the anniversary of July 12, 1979, the day disco died. What better way to remember than a disco ball house?

It is so very hot in Virginia today. For today's house I would have liked to make a life-size igloo to curl up in, but we don't even have an ice maker.

It is so hot that my pets are all furry puddles splayed about in the rooms of our house that have window units. And that is where you will find me too when I get home.

All of this has nothing to do with today’s house except that one can glue sequins while reclining in front of an air conditioner, which is my one requirement for projects at the moment.

Monday, July 11, 2011

House No. 192: Carved Encaustic House

House No. 192: Carved Encaustic House
encaustic on carved wood
3.5 in. x 4 in. x .5 in.
192/365; 07/11/11

Today's house is another encaustic piece, this time on carved wood, which was a collaboration with the Werepanda and his Dremel tool.

I drew the house with a thatched roof even though my friend Beth has me completely terrified of thatched roofing because she told me snakes like to live in them.

After I drew the house, Phil carved it for me. Then I started the process of gradually heating the wood in the oven and adding the wax in layers.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

House No. 191: Spice Rack House

House No. 191: Spice Rack House
design and plans
projected size: 16 in. x 32 in. x 8 in.
191/365; 07/10/11

A few years ago, I read a review by Frank Bruni of the late restaurant Elettaria entitled A Doll’s House with a Spice Rack. I remember little more about the review other than thinking that I absolutely had to have a dollhouse spice rack.

The design is based on Second Empire architecture.

The interior is going to be lined with chrome wire racks that hold 4 oz. glass spice bottles.

Many advance thanks to the Werepanda, who will be helping me with the power tools.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

House No. 190: Portrait of Home

House No. 190: Portrait of Home
undetermined size
190/365; 07/09/11
In addition to making a house everyday, I have a much bigger house project. It is over a hundred years old and about 3700 square feet of restoration project. When it was time to get some changes approved by our city's Architectural Review Board, I drew the plans that were part of the proposal.
Today I drew a simplified version of this drawing and started another collaboration on a house with Amy Black of Trademark Tattoo. She will be tattooing the this drawing onto my husband, who met with Amy today.
What kind of a good sport is he to get one of my daily houses permanently affixed to his person? That's my awesome werepanda!

Friday, July 8, 2011

House No. 189: Rose Cottage

House No. 189: Rose Cottage
upcycled cardstock
4.75 in. x 4.5 in. x 2.5 in.
189/365; 07/08/11
While I was working on this, I had stuck in my head Elvis Costello's A Good Year for the Roses, which is quite possibly the saddest song ever written and has nothing whatsoever to do with this house other than this house has roses on its roof. Still, it's a really great song, so I thought I'd mention it, salient point or not.

The cardstock came from Ralph lauern paint finish books that I have had in my scrap collection for over fifteen years. Some quite nice printing on those pieces.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

House No. 188: Queen Anne House at Night

House No. 188: Queen Anne House at Night
colored pencil on upcycled matboard
10 in. x 10 in.
188/365; 07/07/11

Some more scavenged materials: this time a lovely piece of mat board discarded after being cut out of a larger piece to frame something. It is neatly beveled edges.

I wanted to work in reverse and create a ghostly glowing house in the moonlight, which is why I chose a high Victorian style, as they are ornate and always a bit eerie. Those Victorians were such a macabre bunch.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

House No. 187: Homage to Cy Twombly

House No. 187: Homage to Cy Twombly
colored pencil on upcycled cardstock
5 in. x 7 in. x 4 in.
187/365; 07/06/11

I have a memory of first seeing the work of Cy Twombly — one of his blackboard paintings hanging adjacent to the coat check in the entrance of the Museum of Modern Art — when I was visiting during a high school art history field trip. I am not sure if my memory is accurate or created or even altogether fabricated.

It seems appropriate that I struggle to pinpoint that visual history in the thick fog of memory because that is how I view Twombly's work: impressions of visual and oral history in layers of imagining and reimagining, of remembering and forgetting and reinventing, all erased and re-drawn and partially obscured.

For the most part, the Abstract Expressionists struck me as all bravado and chest-thumping. Their work was machismo of cigars and bourbon and fast cars and sex. Not Twombly. His work, like his life, was elusive and introspective.

Unlike most of the hard-living Abstract Expressionists, Twombly lived into old age and continued to work and evolve. Yesterday, at 83, he left this world with a legacy of work that defines a moment in modern western art and continually redefined visual storytelling. For me, his work changed the way I saw and thought.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

House No. 186: The Burrow, Part 1

House No. 186: The Burrow, Part 1
undetermined size
186/365; 07/05/11

Today I started a collaboration on a house with Amy Black of Trademark Tattoo.

The Burrow is the home of the Weasleys, a wizarding family in the Harry Potter books. Their house is a mishmash described as looking pieced together and held up by magic. It reminds me of my crazy house, and in many ways, my life. Molly Weasley is my favorite character from the books. She is a fierce and awesome mother figure.
I started with a pencil sketch based on the descriptions of the Burrow in the Harry Potter books, and here you can see Amy’s notes and additions on my sketches. I can’t wait to see what Amy comes up with and the finished piece on me!