Please feel free to link to this blog or use the handy e-mail tool at the end of each post. However, all contents of this page are copyrighted by Cindi Huss. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission from the author (Cindi) is prohibited. This includes all images unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New Study

Well, I'm not doing much work this week. Between appointments for me and appointments for the kids and even an appointment for Speedy the leopard gecko . . . and cleaning the house and studio . . . well, I guess that's work in the real sense of the word, and I'm doing a lot of that, but not much of the creative sort.

However, last night while my youngest was at clogging class (another one of those little things that makes life worth living!) I did up a new study for a continuation of my "After the Storm" series:

This'll be a new large-scale work eventually. I'm working out the construction details in my head right now. As usual I'm making up several new techniques 'cause, hey, what's life without a little adventure and tears?!

I finally broke down after years of coveting them and bought a set of 24 Prismacolor artist markers.

If you've ever seen them you know why I waited so long--they are stupid expensive!! And really, how good can a marker really get?! Well, folks, assuming they last longer than the average marker, I am in love with them and am not experiencing any buyer's remorse.

The set has all my favorite lurid colors (as you can see above) and does things no other markers I've ever used can do. Lights can go on top of darks and change what's going on. For example, I added a tan color over my field of grain to fill in the bits of white and darken things up a little. That it did, but it also created the "waving" effect. Which led me to several of the experimental techniques I can't wait to try.

Besides, the case is really, really cool! :-)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

And Another One's Done

Well, I've been so busy doing that I haven't done a lot of blogging--a happy problem I think, at least for me. Here's what I finished yesterday:
After the Storm III
6" x 4"
(c) 2009 Cindi Huss

Working on another "After" piece in fiber as well as a dimensional painting. Also on my plate:
  • Hand quilted/embroidered commission for Sharon Roat.
  • After the Storm: At Sea large-format quilted sculpture.
  • A couple of articles for Quilting Arts magazine.
  • Lecturing in January for First Frontier Quilters Guild: "Can't-fail Quilting Design"
Looks like winter is going to be hopping! All that will definitely keep me out of trouble.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Class Dates Changed

My Crocheted Fabric Pots class dates have changed to Nov. 17 (7-9 p.m.) and Nov. 24 (7-8 p.m.). Still plenty of time to make a pot or two before the holidays.

These make great gifts on the cheap and are a great way to use up those long, skinny scraps left after trimming quilt backs before binding.

I love using mine next to the sewing machine or iron, where the little raw-edge threads inside the pot pull threads right off my fingers--especially nice when my fingers get a little dry and everything gets a little static-y in the winter

Remember, if you can't make it to class but can read crochet patterns, I can send you a pattern for $5 plus shipping. just contact me.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Life is good in MD . . .

Recently I stayed in Kensington, MD, for two-and-a-half delightful days at Chez Colladay. My hostess, Coralyn, was delightful, insightful, and plain spoken, a wonderful combination.

The first evening I had dinner with Coralyn, two Nancys, a Linda, and a Jane, all from the Friendship Star Quilters, and I learned about quilters' bingo and what a different world D.C. is from anywhere else I've ever lived (Kansas City, Mo; Mulvane, KS; Friendsville, PA; Newark, DE; Pittsburgh, PA; Amherst and Belchertown, MA; Kingsport, TN). For example, did you know the CIA has a quilt guild? The Undercover Quilters! Seriously! How good is that? Man, and now their cover is blown and they'll have to change their name!

Also enjoyed talking policy and reform over the course of the weekend with a number of highly qualified women in the know. What a stimulating environment!

Anyhow, Sunday Oct. 4 I taught a one-day version of my "Sculpting with the Quilting Stitch" class for the Friendship Star Quilters. The students were highly engaged and not afraid to experiment, both necessary for a process-oriented class. I had a great time and got some wonderful feedback from the group.

The next evening I lectured at their meeting and despite the potential for disaster that seemed to lurk around every kink we worked out, all turned out well in the end due in great part to my new best (and highly competent) friend Nick, his mom, my Balkan singing voice (to compensate for no mike), and cues from Coralyn when I let my volume dip below a bellow.

I'd like to thank everyone I met in MD for good food and a good time. And a special thanks to Coralyn and Carol for enabling me--glad I could return the favor. I'd also like to recommend the beautiful new BlackRock Center for the Arts, itself a work of art. The glass exhibit there is lovely--wish I lived closer!

A well-timed reminder from Coralyn: Well-behaved women don't make history!

And from me: Muslin is cheap; batting scraps are free! Experiment! Play!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

And another thing . . .

We have some great friends in Vermont who are not afraid of paint. In fact, I think they've elevated house painting to an art and looking at their house just makes me smile--hope it will you, too.

The Fly People

While working today I was listening to the BBC and there was a delightful story about the traditions of naming genes. It's a fun look into the creative and quirky lives of geneticists, and the reporter did a nice job of going with the fun. And for you artist folks, check out the image that goes with the article on the BBC. It's beautiful!

Monotype Class

Monday I took a five-hour gelatin Monotype class with artist Kathy Gibian (offered through the Kingsport Art Guild). I had a great time and learned as much from seeing what other folks experimented with as from what I worked with. Monday we worked predominantly with silk screen inks, but yesterday I did some tube watercolor work with the plate as well. (Kathy was kind enough to allow me to take my plate home.) Interesting the different effects one can get--will have to experminet with combining them next time.

Anyhow, here are some of my favorite experiments. Definitely will take a lot of time and practice to perfect (just as with any artform) but am looking forward both to making monotypes for their own sake and incorporating them into my fiber work.

This is why I took the class. I've been wanting to do some work inspired by local industrial sites, most notably Domtar Paper and Eastman Chemical. The first image (silk screen ink) shows the first pull on silk gauze and the second pull on heavy paper. The silk takes the image very well but leaves a lot of ink and some texture for the second pull.

These three are done in watercolor. Used a wash followed by painted pipes for the first pull. Added three strips of paper for a resist, more watercolor, lifted the strips and printed the second pull. Really nice ghost image from the first pull. Added more painted pipes for the third pull, still have a ghost of the first, shadow from the second.

This is the local farmer's market site after a rain when there was still a lot of (very still) water on the pavement. My reflections aren't long enough, but for a workshop setting I think it's still pretty cool. (This is silk screen ink.)

And here are a couple details of doors and panels on the old industrial buildings at the farmer's market. I especially like the horizontal ghost lines in the top one, left from cleaning my plate, that evoke grain lines. Top monotype is printed with silk screen inks, bottom with watercolors.

Print on 3mm silk habotai mounted on freezer paper (silk screen ink):

Last, but best, are my two favorites from the two days.Tthe first is silk screen ink worked with brush and sponge and is a landscape of Dart Moor in Devon, England.

The second is a three-part watercolor print. Created the background and lifted a print from it. Added the foreground details except the wires and insulators and lifted this print. Once it was dry I went in with a Pigma pen and added the wires and insulators.

I think what I've learned about the two inking media is that watercolor leaves a really nice, even ghost image while silk screen ink is more workable for foreground detail since it's stiffer.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fall/Winter Class Registration Open

Well, I've been pretty sick this week with H1N1 but am finally beginning to feel better. I have gotten some work done in between fevers, mostly because being sick is BORING, so I really relished anything to relieve the boredom--well, anything that didn't require too much brain power or physical exertion. So I updated the "Class Schedule" page on my website with my Fall/Winter classes. Yea!

So check it out and sign up for a class 'cause I'll be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to teach again very soon. I also finished the print version last week, which you can download here.

(Photo coming soon, but the camera is all the way upstairs and at the other end of the house and that's just too much physical exertion right now.)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Early Morning Treat

Well, about 6:30 this morning my youngest bounced on the bed with a birthday gift. This showed a lot of restraint, as the various stages of creation (choosing, making, admiring, and wrapping) had finished only last evening. With light-dazzled eyes I slowly unwrapped the gift (slowly because we use funny pages for wrapping paper and kept pointing out to each other the particular ones we had enjoyed).

Inside the first layer of paper . . . was a second, followed by a hand-made box with lipstick lips labeled "My forever kisses for you" Inside it all was this little darling! Isn't she adorable?!

Now she's hanging on a little 4" wall near my sewing machine, my private little treat. And had to give her some bubbles, too. Can't wait for my youngest to see this after school--my gift right back!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Christmas in September

Just received a yummy batch of wool from New England Felting Supply. Mmmmmmmmmmm ....... eye candy ....... lovely ....... soft .......decadent!

And more is less with their new (and still limited) wholesale program. 26 colors of Norwegian C-1 batts are discounted $12/pound with a minimum total order of $250 and a retail certificate. Not bad!

I've felt (no pun intended) a little distant from my studio for the past month as I rushed to catch up on all the things I neglected in favor of studio work in July--things like getting my Tennessee driver's license after a year of living here--quick before the Massachusetts one expires on my birthday--Friday! Ah, procrastination.

Fun workshops coming this fall--I'll post them all soon. Meanwhile, consider joining us for ongoing second Monday Indpendent Study classes--$10/session, $30/4 sessions. You bring your project, I provide moral support and guidance when necessary. Please let me know a week ahead if you plan to come. Class size 1-6 students.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Finished Product

Here it is, the final product--"After the Storm II." Color slightly off but close--good enough until I can get a professional photo taken.

You can see the nuno felted trees and bushes and a little of the very dimensional quilted field here. The green field in the background is nubby raw silk, and the background trees are composed of a variety of cotton and silk fabrics.

If your guild is interested in learning any of these techniques, just contact me. I love to share the joy!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Extreme Quilting

Well, my solo exhibit, Cindi Huss: Extreme Quilting, is up at the Kingsport (TN) city hall. Yea! Here's a tour:

Main wall with "After the Storm II," sign about my work (with an image of "Wending Onward" which is currently at the Belger Arts Center in KC, MO), and "Contemplating Madness."

Smaller works wall with "Night Life," "After the Storm," "Labyrinth," "Molehill," and "Mapping the Subconscious Mind."

Wall of studies with "Labyrinth II Study" (photography), "After the Storm II Study" (watercolor pencil), "Stone Wall Study" (acrylic and quilting), and "Ralli/Shisha Study" (for a commission in progress, embroidery and quilting).

The process wall, which has some touchable samples of hand dyeing, needle felting, and extreme quilting.

Up Against the Wall Gallery framed "Contemplating Madness" and "After the Storm II" and did a variety of other things to help me prepare for this show. Just have to say that they were great to work with. Frequently I left the store with a smile after having entered in a tizzy. Everyone there was kind and patient with my sleep-deprived, highly caffeinated self.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

American Quilter Magazine

Just got my contributor's copy of the September 2009 issue of American Quilter and my article "Auditioning Your Quilt Design" (page 62) looks great! In the article I explain two methods for auditioning the quilting design on paper before you commit to needle and thread.

Another tip for folks who might still feel a little nervous about committing to needle and thread: Do the first bit of your quilting with water-soluble thread (no, I did not get paid to add this link--Superior Threads is just great to work with).
  • If you like it, go over it with regular thread then dissolve the water-soluble thread.

  • If you don't like it, dissolve the water soluble thread, dry the quilt overnight, and try again in the morning.
Either way, it all comes out in the wash--literally!

This avoids tedious ripping and gives you the freedom to experiment with something new and perhaps unusual for you.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Down to the Wire

After the Storm II

Working like a maniac to all hours to finish this in time to have it framed to hang next Thursday. Not time for a long post, but thought I'd keep documenting the process.

Have created "speed nuno" for the trees (on silk) and bushes (on kona cotton). There'll be more dark bushes in front of the trees on the right as well, but haven't cut the felt yet. Also, field'll be a little less tilted (but only a little).

Had originally planned a straight edge for the field (my traditional roots are showing) but found the curved edge evoked the sense of motion I needed. I passed several fields like this in the Midwest last summer and snapped one photo from the window of the car to remind me I wanted to make this.

This work isn't based on the photo per se, but rather is a melange of memorable images.

The whole thing will be constructed on canvas wrapped stretcher bars and framed.

Later . . .

Final composition more or less, but the angle of the field is just a tad too flat. Pay no attention to the white bit--it's the paper placeholder for the field, not actually part of the quilt.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Less is more

My starting place, but too little contrast and too literal

Added some basic trees without many layers, got better definition.

Removed some layers on other elements for better definition and like where it's going. Less literal, more suggestive.

Thought I was going to sculpt with layers, but looks like I'm back to sculpting with the quilting stitch. Not that I mind. A couple of years ago I thought I would soon break away from purple, green and gold, too, but hey . . . :-)

Why knock a good thing?

I have a tree!

Just finished my first tree. Well, it's actually more of a bush and will actually be mostly behind everything else, but I figured that made it the best one to start with.

Anything else I need to do will, I hope, become clear as I finish more pieces of the picture. Has been fun for me to realize I needed to invert all my shapes--the trees all needed concave rather than convex curves and pointy bits rather than rounded bits.

I frequently beat up on myself for working too slowly, but really I'm coming to realize that I can't rush when I'm trying to figure out how to make something work--I need time to stew and ponder. Once I've found a solution I'm happy with I work pretty quickly, but if I rush in before I'm happy, inevitably I'm very unhappy with the final product. It's all part of my creative process, I guess, and fools rush in.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Check it out!

Just visited the Kingsport Art Guild's website for the dates of an exhibit and found my piece at the top of this page. Cool!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Narrowing it down

Ex-per-men-ta-tio-on, Ex-per-men-ta-tio-o-on, it's makin' me gray!

(you know, like anticipation and Heinz ketchup?)

(and yes, I know there's an "i" in experimentation, but it didn't fit in the song--artistic license and all that!)

Spent the day yesterday closing in on my method and think I'm getting there.

Nope. Not enough shape, too much difference in texture from middle to edges. Do like the distortion the stitching caused and will try to figure out how to make that happen on purpose.

Nope. A little better at evoking a "bushy" feeling, but don't like the lines crossing from one layer to the next.

Nearly there. Need to create a "trunky" bit or some brush at the bottom, though. Think I might create some nuno brush. Has its own texture and color variations and great to sew on since stitches sink down and hide in its depths.

Hopefully color will help, as well, since it will add visual depth and interest to the "trees."

Tomorrow I must begin using the actual materials--no time to procrastinate. Darn it--I think this creating quickly and on a deadline might be good for me! Mom always said things like this build my character and she may be right. Double darn!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

One of these days . . .

. . . I might do a quilt that doesn't require me to tackle a construction conundrum (sure would save a lot of time)
. . . but I don't think so.

I need to make trees. Abstracted trees that have the texture and general shape of trees without being either too literal or too cartoonish.

So I started fooling around with scrap batting and remnant wool fleece. Needle felting always is near the top of my mind but wouldn't work at all in the materials (a variety of fabrics, including dyed cotton batting) and at the scale I wanted. And while batting is cake to needle felt, layers of batting are not. So nix that idea.

Got out the SetaSkribs to see about shading with them, but realized quickly that wasn't the solution because they pick up fibers from the batting like mad AND I've finally faced the fact that I'm a purist and would far prefer to create shading with my fiber materials rather than paint or a marker.

That's not a judgment, 'cause loads of folks use paint and ink to tremendous effect, and now that I've said it out loud (-ish), just watch--I'll have to eat my words on my next work. Anyhow, nix on this approach, too.

Well, looked back at my study and began playing with layered batting again, this time without needle felting, and realized I might finally have stumbled on to something good. Really?! I know you're looking at this thinking, "O.K., if you say so, but I don't really see it," but my mind was racing several steps forward and I thought I was on the right track. So . . .

Kept on playing around with batting and muslin and think I'm still heading in the right direction. Will have to fine-tune my method AND figure out the best way to contruct them, but that's the fun part!

I'll be using this variety of fabrics I dyed, including aida cloth, cotton batting, muslin, Kona, and silk gauze. That should be the final ingredient in creating the texture, shading, subtlety and abstraction I'm aiming for.

If I'm really honest with myself, I must admit that these puzzles, though sometimes frustrating in the moment, invigorate me. They stimulate me to push the boundaries of what I think quilting can accomplish. DH had it right when he said that if I ever make a quilt I'm completely happy with it will be one of the saddest days of my life 'cause I'll have to give up quilting for something with more challenge. I'm happy to report that I still finding quilting plenty challenging--and rewarding!

Oh, and by the way, finishing this quilt quickly is now very important because I'll be having a solo exhibit at City Hall in Kingsport, TN, from Aug. 3 to Oct. 1, 2009, and need it to anchor one of the main walls. If you're local or passing through then, stop by! Woot! (It's been a pretty good couple of weeks!)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Award of Merit

The Beach at Castle St. Gregory
(c) 2007 Cindi Huss

Happy day. Am in the middle of a fun visit from family and found out today I received an award of merit for "The Beach at Castle St. Gregory" (above) at a fine art exhibit at the Renaissance Center here in Kingsport. WOOT! WOOT!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Amber Waves

Despite summer busyness I'm making progress on the first (and most labor intensive) part of my current work and (after realizing that my clever new method of binding small quilts absolutely does not work) have nearly finished rebinding the color study for my current commission. Hope to finish both this week.

Here are the amber waves of mown hay I've been working on:

But alas, that is as far as I'll get today unless I pull some late-night work time because the day is full of other summer busyness and fun. Why is it that summer lasted forever when I was a kid but flies by now?

Tree Down

One of the things I find awesome (in the old-fashioned sense of the word) around here is the weather. Last week we had a doozy of a storm. The rain came sideways in sheets, or maybe blankets. We were at a lesson in a third (and top) floor office and decided to go down a couple of flights for a while because the storm was that violent. Didn't last for long, though, went back up the stairs, finished our lessons, and went home.

To find this:For scale, the girl standing near the tree is approximately 50 inches tall, so say about four feet. And this enormous Southern White Pine just tipped over in the storm, roots rent from the ground. So now we're waiting for the ground to dry enough that the tree guys can bring their trucks to the bottom of the hill (where the tree is) without tearing up our yard.

The most ironic part of all is that we have two enormous pines--and this is the one we were going to keep! Can't argue with Mother Nature, though.

And the best part? Well, there's just so much interesting stuff to see--in the roots, among the branches, along the trunk. I've been taking loads of photos for inspiration!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Studio Tour

Well, it hasn't been quite a year since we moved and at last I have photos of my new studio. I'm pretending that this is like wedding presents--you have a year to do it before you're really a social pariah.

So . . .

First is my shelves covered with zip-off white shower curtains. Lightens the place up a little and gives me a place to pin things I'm not actively working on but am actively thinking about You can also see my classroom tables (that double as more workspace, of course):

And my sewing area with one table that can be either countertop or table height--where I do most of my needle felting (since the bins with my wool are behind curtain #2 above:

(In theory the wall behind my sewing machine will be my design wall, but don't like the close quarters there, so might move shelving there, move sewing machine farther into the room, and use the long wall. Researching design wall materials for now, enjoying having my studio put together, and will probably wait until the fall to tear it up again. Besides, the shower curtains work well enough for now!)

Then there's the little alcove where the TV and comfy chairs are. Hand sewing of all sorts, come computer work, etc. happens there, and hubby can join me in the evenings (since it's the only TV in the house):

And last but not least, my current project storage and office area. The bathroom and laundry room are in this corner as well, and an outside door, so the studio can be completely separate from the rest of the house when I have students here.

Having the bathroom and laundry room is handy for dyeing and felting, too, of course. Boy, I love having all this convenient space--and not having the stuff all over the rest of my house!

And that's about it. The wall you haven't seen has two more storage shelves for the kids' craft stuff and will (hopefully not too far in the future) also have LOTS of bookshelves for our library. We still have eight boxes of books we haven't unpacked as well as an entire bookcase double stacked. (DH's hobby is collecting excellent fantasy and sci-fi, which I happily enable and enjoy.)

Well, now that I've given you a tour, it's back to ripping stitches, then quilting up the orange field in my newest piece (on curtain #4). Have a fabulous day!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Please excuse this temporary interruption . . .

Just when I thought I'd gotten back in the posting groove . . . my two left feet betrayed me! Was heading out to the deck to water the tomatoes and potatoes (that I haven't killed yet--they're actually thriving!), tripped on the threshold, and ended up losing a tooth (has been reinserted), getting 5 stitches in my bottom lip (they've been removed), and scraping and bruising both knees and an ankle. Yeah--ouch! I've healed remarkably quickly, though, thank goodness.

Didn't stop us from going on the trip we planned for VA and DC, but that's because Sir Robert, Knight of Damsels in Distress (so dubbed by my mother with a hearty second from me) managed most of the preparations and all of the driving. I'm mostly recovered now, but still can't bend my left knee all the way, so will hold off on dyeing but am back to stitching and such--Yea!!!

So will try to get back in the posting groove again--here's a start!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nearly a year in Tennessee

Well, we've been here nearly a year and feel very at home. We've made the transition pretty well, the kids are thriving, DH loves his job, and I am in heaven in my studio. The weather is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, there's almost always a little wind, and the clouds (and thunderstorms) are way more impressive.

One of the hardest things to get used to is that things like pita bread are considered exotic here and only show up seasonally in most grocery stores. I haven't really figured out what the pita season is, but that's what the lady at the deli counter told me.

The other unexpected oddities are a couple of expressions.

A friend of ours is a physician's assistant (also a transplant to the area). When he first moved to the area he'd ask a nurse or an orderly to do something and they'd reply, "No, I don't care to." He, of course, was a little taken aback at this challenge to his authority, but figured he just had to earn his wings as the new guy and do it himself. But when he went to do it he'd find it already done. Turns out that in NE TN, "No, I don't care to," means, "Sure, I don't mind."

Folks also use this expression in a statement, not merely as a reply. For example, DH got a message asking him to "Please give me a call back if you don't care to."

And then there's "Bless his heart." You can say anything and add that at the end to make it all right, like, "That whole family has enormous heads, bless their hearts," or "He just can't hold a woman or a job, bless his heart." Now if anyone blesses my heart I wonder what they really mean. :-)

Northeast TN doesn't have a lock on strange expressions, though. Took us years to get used to the dual meaning of "Are you all set" in Western MA. If you're in line at a sandwich counter in western MA and the wait person asks "Are you all set?" . . . it's not a yes or no question.

If you answer "yes," chances are good the waiter will walk away thinking you have already ordered.

If you answer "no," chances are good the waiter will walk away thinking you need more time to decide.

And in Pittsburgh "City Chicken" is pork or veal. Go figure.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Making Panir

I'm a little behind on the whole blogging thing, but have had some company and some deadlines, all of which ended well, so am trying to catch up now.

So, I went to a retreat in January and the first thing I learned there was how to make cheese. Cheese?! Yup, and it was excellent! Here's a little something from Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (page 131):

" . . . it takes less time to make a pound of mozarella than to bake a cobbler, but most people find the idea of making cheese at home to be preposterous. If the delivery guy happens to come to the door when I'm cutting and draining curd, I feel like a Wiccan.

"What kind of weirdo makes cheese?"

Well, uh, that'd be me.

Anyhow, inspired by the great mozarella and ricotta we made at the retreat and that quart of goat milk Rosemary (the cheese mistress) game me, I returned home ready to strike out on my own. However, a local scarcity of renet meant I had to make panir. Boy, that was a shame! Mmmmm, mmmm was it good!

Panir is made of milk and lemon juice. That's it. Well, you can put a little salt in it, but I just salted mine before I fried it lightly and it was great. I hear you can do anything with panir that you would do with tofu, and I recommend it, but then again I'm not crazy about tofu.

I was a little worried because I don't have a cheese thermometer, but it turns out that my electronic thermometer is perfect for cheesemaking because I can enter a target temperature and an alarm goes off when the milk reaches that temp. Just about takes the brainwork out of the process.

Anyhow, all the utensils and surfaces you use during the precess have to be super clean so you don't contaminate the end product. Shiny, eh?!

I got my recipe from It was easy to follow and there were loads of other recipes as well.

So, after the milk gets hot enough and stays there for a few minutes you add the lemon juice and stir gently. All of a sudden you have curds and whey instead of hot milk. It's cool. It's magical. It's alchemical!

Anyhow, I just strained the cheese in a collander lined with a clean flour-sack-weight dish towel then hung it over the bowl to drip a while.

Some time later I had a ball of cheese which I cubed and cooked in a simmer sauce (shown here--doesn't it look good?).

I also tried making my own saag panir--it was all right, but bland. It will be better next time now that I've finally unpacked my Madhur Jaffrey cookbook. (Thanks, Margaret--I'm still using it after--yikes--20 years!)

By the way, don't just let the whey run down the drain! I use it in breadmaking instead of water or milk, and when used as the liquid for cooking rice or potatoes it gives them a nice creamy mouth feel without fat. It also is supposed to be great for watering gardens if you can't get in to using for cooking.

As an aside, once I managed to get my hands on some (vegetarian) rennet in March I made mozarella and ricotta as well. The mozarella was amazing and the ricotta (made with the whey left from the mozarella process) was beyond words. I don't particularly care for ricotta, but this was like nothing I have ever tasted before. So good!

I used them together with some cottage cheese I made--yup, I'm a cheesemaking fanatic now--for a lasagne (noodles cooked in whey, too) and it was wonderful. Of course using the sauce my eldest made and a little homemade italian sausage helped, too.

I'll add photos of those processes once I repeat them. Just paid attention to the process the first time. And paying attention sure paid off!