rayna gillman's blog         improv quilts & an improv life

Updated: Aug 9

Dear All,

I am trying to move my blog from its current host to another platform and start again. This is because WIX requires posting only from a computer; it is not set up to allow posting from iPad or iPhone; you can only read there. I am away so much that it has become increasingly difficult and inconvenient for me to post -- which is why I have been silent in larger chunks. BUT I need to post on the go from my iPad and can't unless I migrate my blog elsewhere (which is another long story). For the time being, my website stays where it is.

So, I am still alive and very frustrated. I also cannot migrate my subscriber list - WIX doesn't allow that, so I will have to figure that out once I switch to another host and another platform. I am in the process of a learning curve. If I can add you manually, I will (there are more than 500 of you!). Otherwise I will post a link in this space to have you come and sign up again. Still not close yet; I am waiting for my new domain to migrate.

www.raynagillman.com not up and running yet.

Please don't give up on me. It has been a frustrating couple of months. Meantime, I hope you are all behaving yourselves - staying in, staying busy, and most of all - staying healthy.

On the plus side, I have been in the studio almost every day. Finally, yesterday, my tile genie finished the backsplash and I am immeasurably cheered. Here, the before and after. I am still missing a cabinet because they sent the wrong one and now every non-essential business is closed. Ha - the least of my worries.

I finally have a garbage disposal and a dishwasher, which were the reasons for this in the first place.

View from the studio part of the apartment. Oh, joy.

Meantime, at home I have been baking sourdough bread and making ice cream. Trying not to eat too much of either...

And since the restaurants are all closed, we can't get to our favorite Indian spots. Fortunately, I have a number of Indian cookbooks and last night I made this fabulous, easy, quick Garlic Shrimp recipes from Meera Sodha's cookbook, Made in India: her mother's home cooking. To die for!

5Whenever I get my new blog up and running (learning curve!!) I hope to have a recipe section, since over the years I have blogged about food and have so many to share that I think it deserves its separate section. We'll see.

I started a blog with Blogspot.com in 2005 -- a very early adopter. Some posts from 2017 are still there, but I can't find the earlier ones. studio78notes.blogspot.com. Oh, well - onward.

Will keep you posted - and promise to blog soon! Leave a comment and tell me what you are doing to stay sane during this terrible time.



Updated: Aug 9

Saturday I treated myself to an indigo workshop at the art center! I never take workshops, but I was due for a break. I had never done indigo dyeing and of course it involved shibori, so I couldn't resist. (unintended pun). I wore gloves, so don't ask me how one nail on each hand turned blue.

But it was worth it! I came away with six pieces, all different and all interesting. I had grabbed a bunch of scarves to experiment with. Silk, cotton, rayon, and linen in various sizes and weaves.

What I love about shibori is its unpredictability (are you surprised?). You never know what you're going to get and unfolding every piece is like opening a gift!

I took a shibori class a few decades ago but it involved a lot of heavy buckets and some stitching and it wore me out. I did dye some beautiful fabric, but shibori doesn't play well with others so for the most part, I find it difficult to use. However, wearables are a different story. I can't wait to wear my favorites of these. Scarves are great for making a plain old solid t-shirt into an outfit. Ask me how I know.

Indigo is beautiful but I'm going to do my dyeing with MX dyes. I am in the midst of tossing, organizing, and generally cleaning out the supply closets in the studio. Of course it gets worse before it gets better, but I'll be there again today doing more. The place is a serious mess, especially because my kitchen there is in the middle of being redone and on the floor there are bags and boxes of canned goods and every other non-perishable from my cupboards.

I'm headed over there now to wait for the plumber.

Stay tuned.


Yes, I am in the studio: accidental photo. I must have just come in, dropped my purse on top of the pile of Curated Quilts and Quilt Folk magazines, and am contemplating what is on the design wall across from me. (The cardboard box contains a cabinet for the kitchen, all of which are scattered around waiting for the rippers-out/installers to call me).

But alas, I cannot seem to concentrate on any one thing. Ever have the same experience?? Six different ideas and I am too scattered to start something new. So I am working on a third panel for this future piece, which you are probably tired of seeing.

Top left will not be staying there -- I am just getting started making and plunking on the wall. It has been sitting around for months until I was in the mood to work on it.

Meanwhile, back at the apartment I have been busy in the kitchen. My brother Jon had sent me his baguette recipe after he was here for a visit. Haven't tried it yet because I got it into my head that i needed to make sourdough baguettes. In any case, I bought a baguette pan. Have you ever seen one? Neither had I, until now.

Many years ago I made sourdough starter by mixing flour and water and putting it out on my porch. Before I knew it -- bubbles! I fed it, it grew bigger, and so on -- in just a few days. Fast forward about 40 years... from New Jersey to Florida. It has been about ten days and my sourdough starter still isn't where it should be. Plenty of bubbles but it hasn't grown any bigger. Climate? Water? who knows? But I've learned patience since living in Florida (everything and everybody is slower and the traffic lights last for five minutes (only when they are red!). So, I figure that eventually the starter will move.

Here are two batches, sitting in the oven with the light on to give them some warmth.

Tomorrow morning around 8:00 I will dump out most of it, reserve 4 oz, add 4 oz flour and ½ cup of water and wait another 12 hours to feed it again. Eventually, maybe I will have something that will work.

What has your bread-baking experience been like?


 all text & images ©rayna gillman 2019