Wednesday, October 31, 2012

'Tis the night!

Tis the night—the night of the grave's delight, And the warlocks are at their play; Ye think that without, the wild winds shout, But no, it is they—it is they! ~Arthur Cleveland Coxe

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Back in the creative saddle

I gradually resumed making stuff (besides my ongoing visual journals) a while ago but haven't bothered to post much of anything since I moved to PA. Don't have any artsy friends around here even though it's been over TWO YEARS...ack! But I reached out to online buddies and groups until I found a couple of venues where I wanted to play.

This is my submission for March's swap at Blissangels. The theme is Dress Forms.

Made this one for the monthly Winner Takes All lottery on Paper Traders, a Yahoo group. It's inspired by Dina Wakeley's work in her distinctive style. Sorry about the blurry scan. Doggone button keeps it from lying flat.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Big Move to PA

I've finally found a house and a job in Lancaster County, PA...Amish country. Am in the process of move #1, into hubby's temporary apartment. Once we close on our new home we'll tackle move #2, from the house in MI to the house in PA. Lastly, move #3, apartment to house. Thankfully there are nice things in the area to distract me from the dreaded moves, like this produce stand along my way home from work.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Splish Splash

Darcy Blue the Wonderpooch LOVES to go to the lake (click to enlarge) so we set out the other morning while it was still cool and breezy and made the 2-mile walk. We had the place to ourselves, aside from a sprightly WWII vet who was launching his boat for the first time this season, on a quest for perch and bluegill. Not sure what a bluegill is so I need to do some research. I miss fishing.
While Darcy chased sticks and kept the geese at bay I strolled the shoreline and was very surprised to find this tree, freshly felled by what I'd guess to be a beaver. Only they're supposed to be very rare in this area and I've seen no sign of other beaver activity. I do, however, know of some beavers living in a small pond along I-75. I think.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Soup's On!

Though I failed to take a picture of this, don't let the lack of visual interest keep you from trying this recipe if you're trying to get more veggies in your diet, lose weight, or are just a big soup fan. The older I get, the more I like soup. This is my very own concoction and I'd love your feedback if you try it out.

Chinese Greens Soup

2 T. olive oil
2-4 skinless boneless chicken breasts/thighs/whatever
1 bunch scallions, chopped and divided in half
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
cumin, ground or whole seeds
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
2 boxes chicken stock
1 bunch rapini (or escarole, greens, or other hearty green veggie)
4-6 baby bok choy (or 1 large)
2 c. fresh baby spinach
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped (sub flat leaf parsley if you dislike cilantro)
1 T. Hoisin sauce (sub 1 t. BBQ sauce plus 1 t. soy if you don't have Hoisin)
juice of 1/2 lemon
toasted sesame oil

Roughly chop chicken into bite-sized pieces. Season with salt, pepper and cumin. Lightly brown in olive oil in a very large pot, then add ginger, garlic, pepper flakes and the bottom half of the chopped green onions. As soon as this becomes very fragrant (but before the garlic can start to brown) pour in the chicken stock. Once stock is hot, remove the chicken. (I cut up 4 pieces and reserve half the poached chicken to make an Asian chicken salad in a day or two. If you add all the chicken back to the soup it'll be very meaty (and thus, more caloric) so you may want to use only 2 pieces.)

Coarsely chop rapini (or other greens) and stir into soup. Once stems are crisp-tender but still bright green, add coarsely chopped bok choy. Cook only until bok choy stems are crisp-tender; watch carefully as this does not take long and you don't want to overcook the vegetables. Remove from heat and stir in reserved chicken, spinach, cilantro, Hoisin sauce, and lemon juice. Check and correct seasoning, if needed. Top each serving with some of the reserved green onion tops and 1/4 t. toasted sesame oil.

Makes a big pot of hearty soup. If you find the greens become somewhat bitter on reheating, add a pinch of sugar and a smidge of vinegar or lemon juice. This seems to brighten the flavors back up.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Must Come Down

Spent some time on the couch with a good book this afternoon (Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger. Highly recommended!) but inevitably found myself "on the nods". A strange, repetitive sound eventually roused me from my stupor so doglet and I went outside to investigate. I was stunned to see what appeared to be a HUGE hot air balloon hovering just above the house across the street as the pilot tried again and again to fire it up.
Said pilot successfully maneuvered the thing to a clear spot behind my neighbor's house and set it down without incident. The pooch and I set off on foot to investigate, along with every other dog walker, cyclist, runner, skater and scooter in the vicinity. A van pulled up as we were hoofing it around the block to ask if we'd seen a runaway balloon. When we arrived it was being deflated and was eventually whisked away in the van. The poor pilot roundly ignored all questions and left without a word.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Icicles in Springtime

Made these icicle dolls for a swap on Bad Babies. I've finally realized that I only get things done when I have a deadline so the only way to keep myself from drying up creatively is to join a swap from time to time. Otherwise I'm always planning to play in the studio when I get my other stuff done, only I never seem to get it all done.

I am doing a little better about working in my journal and my first one's nearly full. The key to that's been making a point of trying out different techniques before I have a chance to forget, then incorporating those projects into the journal. It's gone from being something I make myself do to something I'm really starting to enjoy doing. It's my own 'art to keep', that doesn't have to please or measure up to anyone else and I try to slap the inner critic down as soon as she starts yapping.

That reminds me of one of my very favorite movie scenes, from the very terrible movie Bubble Boy. A cow is run over on the highway and a distraught Indian man woefully kneels down to lament the incident. When the kid makes a dismissive statement the guy declares, "I have transgressed against Shiva. Have you ever been karmically bitch-slapped by a six-armed goddess?" I've felt karmically bitch-slapped a time or two in my life. What doesn't kill us we might as well learn to laugh at!

Friday, April 17, 2009

In Which I am Amused by Piglets

Stopped on the way to my friend's house to admire a field full of porkers and little piggies.

I'm spending the night at Debs, who lives in the far southwestern corner of the state, then we're meeting a couple of other gals and driving to Chicago early in the morning to see the the International Quilt Show. This is my first time and I'm really excited.

Is there anything cuter that a piglet? They just make me laugh with their silly antics. This bunch was very curious about me, in spite of Mama Hog's warnings and watchful eye, but jumped and squealed at my slightest move. Then immediately turned around and came back for another sniff. TGIS(pring)!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We don't need no stinkin' chocolate bunnies

Instead of Easter eggs, my sister-friend Patti (the lovely lady pictured above) and I colored heavy paper and file folders. I'm taking a fab stenciling class from the amazing Mary Ann Moss of Dispatch From LA so we spent the afternoon spritzing spray paints and inks and figuring out all kinds of nifty objects to use as stencils and masks.Much more fun than eggs!
While still pretty chilly, it was much less windy today so we were able to work quite a while, at least as long as the sun was shining brightly enough to keep us warm.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Blessings!

Made a only a handful of cards this year but here's a glimpse at a couple.
Hope your Easter is joyous. He is risen!