So here I am, almost at the weekend in this gorgeous area of Switzerland, about 1-1/2 hours outside of Zurich. The mountain changes according to the time of day and the weather. I have been here since last Monday and will be leaving on after the ...

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in the Alps and more...

in the Alps

So here I am, almost at the weekend in this gorgeous area of Switzerland, about 1-1/2 hours outside of Zurich.  The mountain changes according to the time of day and the weather.  I have been here since last Monday and will be leaving on after the weekend.
  I have had a wonderful week staying with my friend Barbara and her husband, sewing with Barbara's friends, and being too well fed and pampered.  Today I got the $50 tour of the area and over the weekend, more.  But it was hard to take photos on those curvy mountain roads, so I don't have any to show right now. 

We had raclette for dinner tonight and it was yummy.  The first time I have had it!  Here are just a couple of pictures of tonight's meal.

Cheeses, bacon, hot peppers, tomatoes, cornichons, potatoes, and roasted peppers.  The cheese was melted, poured over the potatoes, and eaten with all of the other items. 

Delicious!  More, tomorrow.

And the winner is...

Thanks to all of you for posting comments on my blog.  Hilda Bakke is the lucky winner of Cindy's new book; I wish you could all have won a copy!

I'm in Switzerland this week and next.  Next Monday I am teaching near Geneva, but this week I am playing and relaxing with my friend Barbara and some of her friends -- looking at the gorgeous scenery, and doing a lot of eating, drinking, sewing, and laughing.  The laughing is the most important part!

Here was the mountain early this morning.

 And here it is, from a different vantage point, later.   Snow up there.

Bedtime in the Alps at this moment.  Night.

I just read a delicious new book!!

Nope - it's not a cookbook-- it's a gorgeous book on improv quilting that I've already read twice. Cindy Grisdela's new book is hitting the shelves any day now, and if you want a yummy new read with loads of information on how to work improvisationally -- here it is.
(and you can WIN a copy if you leave a comment on my blog!) 
After I read the book, I told Cindy that we must have been separated at birth.  We both work improvisationally, both stockpile leftover units and building blocks to pick up and create with when the mood strikes. We both use color intuitively, and there are lots of other commonalities.

BUT our work is so different  -- having started in a similar place, we've each taken a different road. That's that's the beauty of working improvisationally.  If you are new to working without a pattern, Artful Improv is a great way to get started. Even though I've always worked this way, I have already learned some new things from this book! I don't work with curves, but Cindy has tempted me.

And I especially liked her Five Techniques to add to your Improv Toolbox and her clear, beautifully illustrated section on design principles. 

I've loved Cindy's work for a long time. I always looked forward to seeing her (and her  artwork) at the elegant Palm Beach craft show -- her pieces are so gorgeously quilted,so coloful, and so beautifully presented.  Yum.  
But you'll have to see the book for yourself.  The blog hop continues elsewhere, so check out these blogs, leave a comment, and you'll have extra chances to win this book.  Here is the rest of the schedule.  Enjoy yourselves.  And oh,if you don't win, you can find Cindy's book on the C&T website or on Cindy's own website.  

October 13: Yvonne Fuchs

October 14: Sujata Shah

October 17: Heather Kojan

October 18: Generation Q Magazine

October 19: Cindy Grisdela

Good luck!

Update and some exciting workshop news!

Update on the ice cream:  I forgot to tell you that the fast way to cool the mix is to fill a bowl with ice, pour the mix into a food storage bag, seal it, and submerge as much as you can in the bowl of ice.  Stick it in the fridge and it should be cold enough in an hour or so to put in the ice cream machine.

News: I'm very excited that I'm going to be teaching in France in August 2017, at Clos de Lande Vallée, a fantastic Inn in Brittany!  They have been having painting workshops there for a long time - and I will be the first fiber artist to teach there!  Hooray! 

Just take a look at their website  - it is a fabulous place on the sea, lovely accomodations, and gourmet meals.  I'm teaching in French (and English, if necessary) and after my upcoming workshops in Geneva next month, I should be on my game:-)).

I have deliberately left lots of time in 2017 to be in the studio and do my own work --  the last two years have been nonstop and I'm ready for a break.  Booking now for 2018 with a raft of new workshops.

The rest of this evening I plan to move ahead with the quilt on my wall and maybe sit down at the sewing machine.  Tomorrow and Saturday, cooking for Rosh Hashanah, which begins Sunday night.

If you celebrate the Jewish New Year, I wish you a Happy, Healthy year ahead.

We all scream...

Ok, Ok.  Salted Caramel ice cream recipe(s).  I promised it, so here we go..

The first time I had this ice cream was at Jeni's in Columbus, OH, probably in 2008.  It was the best thing I had ever least in the ice cream category.  

In 2011, I bought an ice cream maker. It's a Cuisinart basic one - you have to freeze the container (I just keep it in the freezer all the time).  If you are making more than one flavor, you'll want to have an extra container frozen, as well.  But I digress...

When Melissa Clark's recipe came out in the NY Times, I decided to make it. And it's about the only flavor I make, these days.

Here is Melissa's ingredient list as she wrote it, plus a link to the NYT cooking page where the whole recipe is, with step-by-step instructions.  There's also a link to download the NYTimes Cooking App, which I can't live without (and they don't pay me to say that).
BELOW this ingredient list is my adaptation, which uses less sugar, fewer eggs, and reverses the proportion of cream and milk.  Trust me, it is rich enough the way I make it. 

Salted Caramel Ice Cream
by Melissa Clark

Yield: About 1 1/2 pints

1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
6 large egg yolks
¼ teaspoon flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
Download The New York Times Cooking App on the App Store. 
Rayna's Salted Caramel Ice Cream (makes 2 pints)
NOTE: The process is the same as in Melissa's recipe. The ingredient proportions are slightly different.
2/3 cup granulated sugar (+ 2 T to add later)
2 cups  whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp kosher salt (or sea salt)
2 large egg yolks (you can use 3, but 2 work just fine for me)
1/4 tsp sea salt or kosher salt

I took these pictures and put the ice cream back into the freezer.  I am going to have a snack and go to bed.  Bad idea, but there it is!

Have fun with the recipe and let me know how you make out.


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