Friday, July 29, 2016

Summer is Good

Where do I begin? I'm going to venture off into summer fun not exactly related to paper, fabric or books in the next few posts, but there is fodder for creativity in everything. So here goes.

Last week end El Galeon sailed into West in Bay in Traverse City. We took the opportunity to go take a tour on board. I did quite a bit of sailing a couple decades ago & seeing this replica of a 14th century ship was exhilarating to me. This was her first time in the Great Lakes. She's sailed 45,000 miles on the ocean so it's about time.

The details really got me. Hand stitched leather covers for the posts!

So much teak and line. Man's ability to come up with simple machines to help him do work is amazing to me. Something to ponder and appreciate in our world driven by technology.

 Volunteers shared lots of knowledge about life on board back in the day. The conditions were awful, so this is not to be romanticized. Bugs, rats, no fresh water, all food salted pickled or smoked. Wine was the beverage of choice

They had one cabin made up like it would have been for an officer. Small and sparse, but better than carving out a space on the deck with the other common folk.

Back to my own home for dinner for 4 on a perfect summer evening.

The hydrangeas are spectacular this year!

Volunteering at the Crooked Tree Art Fair Saturday. Hopefully I can take some photos there of art work of interest.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Fiber of Her Being

That's the title I settled on for the doll and her outfits for the Rare Threads show at the Jordan River Arts Council.  One friend suggested Dalai Mama for the title due to the somewhat deeper meaning of the piece. Love it! But "The Fiber of her Being" came to me in the middle of the night, of course.

Pictures have been sent, entry form mailed. She is waiting for her debut. Now I can move on to other activities, and dream about other things.
The upholstered board turned out well and is ready to hang. Total dimension is 31" wide X 23" tall. The petticoat made from old sewing patterns makes her look like she's ready for a square dance. Added satin stitching the the edges of her summer flowered dress.  It's all interchangeable with the Velcro dots holding all the elements in place on the board. She is removable from the board as well.

Older son & his wife are in town from Chicago for a wedding, so I will have the pleasure of driving them into Leelanau County later. Plus here is a replica of an old Spanish Galleon in the marina downtown I want to go see. Time to leave dollie behind and get back to summer in our beautiful area.
I've enjoyed being able to share the evolution of this project with you!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Dollie Gets Her Fashion On

I have to say "she" has taken over my artistic process lately. Where these ideas come from is a mystery, but they show up & we have to follow their lead.

In an effort to be transparent here, this is not an ode to a mother I had a great relationship with. A friend who knows me well asked "so this will be a vodoo doll?" No, not at all, but there may be some sort of final purging going on. The pin through her forehead is only for placement before it was anchored. Honest. This great image of her in her youth is a pleasant view of someone who, sadly, had a very unhappy life.

Getting the proportions right was tough. A few minor surgeries were performed along the way.

 Lots of templates for the different elements. I save these for all my projects in case they can be used as a jumping off point for another idea.

   The skirt has wire in the hem so the folds can be manipulated. The petticoat is an old pattern crumpled up.

The the grey fabric seen here I will "upholster" to a large piece of plywood so it can be hung on the wall.  All the pieces will be mounted with velcro dots. The outfits will be interchangeable that way and she will be able to come off the board as well. The larger brads at her joints have been replaced with smaller pearl like ones.
 I've enjoyed this process. I am ready to complete it & move on to other ideas.  I still need to come up with the final name for the entire piece. Any thoughts? Please weigh in. I'd love to hear your ideas.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Pesto Power, is it Magic?

 A bit of a departure today. The doll project is coming along nicely, more on that next post. But it's summer. I want to talk about one of my favorite summer kitchen activities, making "Pesto Pucks". That's what I call them as they resemble green hockey pucks once made & frozen. My goal each summer is to make enough to have pesto every time I need it until the next summer. I made it this past year and if the current harvest schedule keeps up I'll surpass needed production this year by lots of pucks. I always give a fair amount away to worthy recipients. Family & friends who love to cook. Keep reading to the bottom to find out about the magic. You can just skip to it.I won't be offended.

The basic recipe I use is from an old copy of he "Moosewood Cookbook" a true classic by Molly Katzen I  have had for decades. The 40th anniversary issue is out.  Lots of markers & food stains in this one. A show of hands who has a copy of this? The fact that she infuses lots of her art into her books strikes a special cord with me.

I love the hand written recipes in the original & all her little drawings. Like all recipes I monkey with the ingredients and amounts. I don't use any parsley and I don't use as much oil. All oil no butter. Oh yeah, I use pine nuts I've pan roasted if I have them rather than almonds. Both work fine.

The smell of these as the get toasty is wonderful!

Cook's Illustrated had a review of Olive Oils awhile back. I've ditched the large bottle of generic oil for this I can get at our local Meijer which was rated at the top of the list.

I find smashing cloves of garlic very satisfying. Maybe there is a deeper meaning there somewhere.

Here is a funny thing about this process. Every time I am snipping leaves into the food processor and I come across a creature, slug, bug, anything moving, I am reminded of the movie "Medicine Man".

  Sean Connery with a pony tail. What's not to love? But I'm getting side tracked. In the course of the story where he is a researcher in the Amazon they discover a cure for cancer. Spoiler alert! Come to find out it's about the ants that were in the sugar they used in their solution with the plants they were sure held the key. Didn't get great reviews, but I liked it. Anyway, I have this wild suspicion that my pesto is magic and it has to do with the creatures that have resided in my pots of basil. Now you know how truly weird I can be.