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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A great chocolate mocha espresso sponge cake!

I made this with some of my hens' fine eggs yesterday. Mmmm.

Chocolate coffee sponge cake

5 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tablespoons freeze dried coffee dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water
7/8 cup flour stirred in with
1/4 teaspoon salt and
1 teaspoon baking powder

Beat the egg yolks until light. Add sugar, cocoa, and vanilla and beat a lot more.

Add coffee dissolved in water, and flour, salt, baking powder, and beat more.

Beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold in. Ladle into a tube pan and bake for about 40 minutes.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Mark does Illustration Friday: "Pattern."

College: trid, staff, calendar, and cancelled stamp on Bristol Board

12 x 16




Melinama does Illustration Friday: "Pattern"

I haven't done a hamsa for a long time so this was a good opportunity.



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I have a new role model: What would Eleanor Dashwood do?

I found the "Sense and Sensibility" miniseries utterly enchanting, mostly due to the wonderful acting of Hattie Morahan as Eleanor (or is it Elinor?) Dashwood, the elder sister of a family recently fallen into poverty.

Her younger sister Marianne acts on her feelings immediately upon feeling them, and cries if she feels like crying, but Eleanor holds her cards very close to her chest and refrains from saying things that might be harmful. Below, she is discovering that the young man with whom she has fallen in love, and whom she believes to return her affections, is in fact secretly engaged to another woman:

Notice the lack of screaming. She goes on to not scream or complain for the rest of the show, though her heart is breaking. In the last few frames all is made right (ah, so often not the case in real life).

Is it too late for me to learn to keep my mouth shut? Eleanor is the Queen of Sucking It Up. I'd like to be like that.

The opposite of Eleanor, or perhaps the old crone one becomes if one doesn't hold with holding back, is Mrs. Gummidge, in David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. I don't want to end up like Mrs. Gummidge.

I soon found out that Mrs. Gummidge did not always make herself so agreeable as she might have been expected to do... Mrs. Gummidge’s was rather a fretful disposition, and she whimpered more sometimes than was comfortable for other parties in so small an establishment.

Mrs. Gummidge had been in a low state all day, and had burst into tears in the forenoon, when the fire smoked. "I am a lone lorn creetur," were Mrs. Gummidge’s words, when that unpleasant occurrence took place, "and everythink goes contrairy with me."

"Oh, it'll soon leave off," said Peggotty—I again mean our Peggotty—"and besides, you know, it's not more disagreeable to you than to us."

"I feel it more," said Mrs. Gummidge.

It was a very cold day, with cutting blasts of wind. Mrs. Gummidge’s peculiar corner of the fireside seemed to me to be the warmest and snuggest in the place, as her chair was certainly the easiest, but it didn’t suit her that day at all. She was constantly complaining of the cold ... at last shed tears on that subject, and said again that she was "a lone lorn creetur' and everythink went contrairy with her."

"It is certainly very cold," said Peggotty. "Everybody must feel it so."

"I feel it more than other people," said Mrs. Gummidge.

So at dinner; the fish were small and bony, and the potatoes were a little burnt. We all acknowledged that we felt this something of a disappointment; but Mrs. Gummidge said she felt it more than we did, and shed tears again, and made that former declaration with great bitterness.

Monday, September 21, 2009

"So, what did you do today instead of what you were supposed to do?"

Mark does Illustration Friday: Infinity


Her adventures were without limit.

acrylic on canvas 16 x 12


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Friday, September 18, 2009

My latest crazy mask

Hannah says I'm exorcising my demons. You know the story of La Llorona? She killed her little children and now she wanders the countryside, sobbing... just another way parents scare the $%%*# out of their children...

How to make a La Llorona costume for Halloween


A hopeful thought for the day.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies

I was so amused by The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies at Just the other day I was trying to remember the name for the colored cellophane with a sticky back that you used to cut up with your exacto knife and burnish onto your artboard. All I could think of was "Rubylith," which was the version of that product which was red but showed up black when the printers photographed your art for the plates...

I realize I still have lots of these things. Maybe it's time to get rid of them. When did I last use rubber cement? But I have a gallon jug of it in the attic. Come to think of it - do you think fifteen-year-old rubber cement that's gone through fifteen cycles of freezing in winter and 100-degree days in summer is still good?

I want to get my friend Bob to cut a hole in my attic gable so I can attach a chute and just throw all the stuff in my attic, including the gallon of rubber cement, right down the chute into my pickup truck so I can haul it off to the dump.

... but here's one I needed, really needed, just yesterday. The Acu-Arc, what a great tool. Never saw one before!


Saturday, September 12, 2009

A startling act of kindness plunges me into an intense two seconds of gloom.

I have a perverse and secret pleasure: I like to go to McDonald's for a McDouble without cheese and a diet coke.

It thwarts the norms of my earnest and wholesome peer group. I know I won't see anybody I know there. I love lurking and watching other people get on with their days, and Mcdonald's is a great place for that.

As the daughter and granddaughter of miserly people, I get a little thrill out of paying $2.00 for lunch...

It also appeals to my sense of absurdity to do my Yiddish homework at McDonalds.

Sometimes, if I'm lonely, I'll go to the McDonald's inside Super Walmart. This quadruples the violation. Then I pick up a giant bride magazine, because my daughter is getting married and I miss her, and I ogle the wedding porn while I eat my $1.00 hamburger. Afterwards, I put the magazine back in the rack, because ogling is one thing and paying for it is another.

Yesterday I planned a stop at Mcdonalds on the way to my gig with Bob at Whole Foods. And instead of my bill being $2.14, as it usually is, it was $1.65 or something. I looked up inquiringly and the girl said: "I gave you the senior discount."

Ack! Well, yes, I was horrified for a moment, but 40 cents is 40 cents, so I sucked up my chagrin and drank my cheap diet coke with pleasure. After all, I'm still above ground - in fact, I'm still fiddling! Things could be vastly worse. My mom never even lived to enjoy a senior discount...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Punch starts to get some makeup

Punch and Judy doll gets paintedHannah asked me how my dolls were going. I just bought the fabric for Punch's clothes today, and molded his legs and hands in plasticene. They're halfway submerged in plaster now.

In my reading I discovered that Punch is, properly, wall-eyed.


Sunday, September 06, 2009

"The Songbird and El Tigre"

songbird and el tigreAcrylic on Canvas 12 x 16


Mark does Illustration Friday: "Strong."

New Guinea singing dog"MUSCLE DOG"

Acrylic on canvas 48" x 36"

This is a New Guinea Singing Dog as observed at the Concervators Center, Inc near Mebane, NC.


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Melinama does Illustration Friday: "Strong."

Mexican El Tigre MaskI've been working on this all week. The Mexican "El Tigre" mask, which is actually representing (supposedly) a jaguar, is worn for a ceremony involving one strong guy whopping another one over the head with a knotted rope. I don't have mirrors for his eyes yet, or boar bristles.


Saturday, September 05, 2009

Progress on "El Tigre" Mexican Tiger Mask

The papier mache factory is winding down here. I've finished the Easter Island head, its hands, and now it's time to paint the "El Tigre" (called that even though it's actually supposed to be a jaguar) mask, traditionally worn by men who then hit each other over the head with knotted ropes, purportedly to propitiate a god, but probably because guys like to hit each other with knotted ropes.

The "real" ones are made of leather, they have a nice squat quality that's hard to duplicate in paper mache. I documented the whole process at Squidoo.

Here's my version, in progress:


Thought for the day

"Wedged as we are between two eternities of idleness, there is no excuse for being idle now."

Anthony Burgess

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Giant puppet - making the first head

I didn't take many pictures at the Saxapahaw workshops, I was too busy. The first Saturday, I rolled a tube of cardboard, drew a rough face on it, made fluffy pads of newspaper to push the head out for brow, nose, and cheeks, and covered it with one layer of paper mache.

The second Saturday I cut the roll of cardboard at the bottom to give the creature a neck, and did another couple layers of papier mache.

Then I brought it home and, since it was very heavy, cut it in half, pulled out most of the cardboard and all the newspaper stuffing, and taped it back together again after adding a housing for the stick.

Now I'm wondering if I should give him eyes. I made orbs over the whiffle balls but maybe he's better blind.

Mark does Illustration Friday: "Magnify."

Mark instructed me to post this with the masking tape edge exposed.

Her blessings magnified beyond her expectations upon meeting the owl and the pony.


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First donkey calendar I've ever seen...

A pal at Caray, Caray! sent me a link to this calendar: Surrounded by Asses.

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