Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Did I just take a Hiatus???

It certainly feels like it!! But real life called, and I didn't take the computer!! But I am certainly back! I spent a True Wonderful thanksgiving back in New England with the people I love best. I was supposed to go to a Highschool reunion, but my two oldest friends and I decided to REALLY be nostalgic---in our PJ's in front of the TV, chatting and gossiping. It was wonderful.
We were mostly with my Best friend, with her family by the beach. I have known them since I was 9 years old! I have known them three times longer than I have not known them. Isn't that strange? I take pride in that somehow. If nothing else speaks well of my life, then the relationships up there in that house do. It was nothing short of Bliss.

Other Snippets of News; we bought a car. I have never been a car person. I have no idea how the Whole World decided to Balance Itself on the Four Wheels of Automobiles. I have owned but one other car for 10 months in the early 90's. I see the convenience of it, but the expense seems ridiculous!!! I was semi forced into getting it---my Honey needs it to get to jobs that have no public transport. And it was kind of nice to go to a grocery store and not bike the groceries home....... but it feels like such an expensive, wasteful luxury. I took the Bus to work yesterday just to Spite it. It's a sweet ole thing though, a 1991 Wagon. It has very few miles, which apparently is a very good thing. And it is very spacious. And no one wants to break into it for sure!
And now I am home. Back to the real world. I have closed my Etsy Site, and I will be opening a website in the next month. I am refocusing my energies into a few good projects between glass and thread, and will go from there!!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I am not an Italian Maestro

I Feel like I am always out of time These Days--and everything is only Half of what it Should Be. But my Spirits have been lifting after quite a few weeks of Self Introspection. I keep mentioning that Venus is in Retrograde--and I know it's just superstitious Nonsense, but she IS the House of Art, Luxury, and Creativity, as well as Profit, and she IS my signs Ruler, so since she is going Direct TOMORROW and I am feeling BETTER--I'm just going with it. Forgive me for turning into Stevie Nicks just to get out of my rut.....

I have been working, as you can see, but not just for me, which is why everything has been quiet here. Gotta Pay the bills. But what I have been coming up with has some merit.

These are new ideas in Crocheted cottons and cashmere. I am also working on a high necked version of a collar, but it is not going quite as I had hoped. We shall see. The Ring at the top of the page is called Russian Tablecloth--it looks like Russian/Slavic Peasant Embroidery to me. I am sure my Mother, who has great disdain for Anachronism, would be more than happy to correct my perception of the piece, but that's what I am going with. Anyways---

I like the idea of the Russian Tablecloth so much I am going to be working in those colors and ideas with these crocheted collars. I have not thought out how that will work, but I like the design of these so far. I think I need to rethink the base colors. I need a Mustardey Greeney yarn....Anyways--I think they could be beautiful.

And lastly, I have sat with my glass work for some hours, and have realized that I love glass, but I am no cup maker. I have to let the idea of functional glass go. There is no future in it, and honestly, I don't like making things like goblets, or cups or bowls. And you can go get those at Target for 2.50. No--I have decided, the Glass work has to be for love of the Process, and Love of the Medium. I have to get a Kiln up and running, and start getting back to my castings, without putting pressure on myself to be a Italian Maestro. I am. not. an. Italian. Maestro. It has to be about loving the medium again.

The good news is? I don't have to hate Glass anymore if I stick to my Guns.

Other News: I am going to join the BeeKeepers Guild. I am going to become a Bee keeper. Well, I think I am. I am going to a meeting tomorrow night to see if this is something I could get into. I have always been fascinated my the whole thing, so I am going to go see if I could be a Keeper. Apparently it all really starts in January/February for the Bees --Long before we think of Spring, so I am just in time to start the new Season!

And Tea: I am visiting my family next week after a rather large Rift, of quite a few Years. I am taking Tea. And I am very excited.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mysterious Bag

Well--the fact of the matter is I am getting up there. I am not 40, but it is Looming, not near enough to see the Crows Feet, but Near Enough to know I have to start taking care of myself. So like any Modern Day Girl would do---I went to a Chinese Doctor!!! She asked me lots of questions---far more, frankly, than any doctor I had been to before. Reliving the details I was forced to tell her about my body make me want to Die of Shame, as my good New Englanders upbringing so dictates. Agh.

I go elsewhere for Acupuncture (FYI: There is an amazing movement out there for Community Acupuncture---they have them in most big cities, the standard is $15 a visit. Do not be afraid--just go!), so I just went for the Herb, as they say.

She asks all these questions, and then she gives you a paper bag with about a pound of stuff that looks like styrofoam Slivers, Bark, Mold and Twigs. Well, for my perscription anyhow. Then you Stew this in a crockpot for 8 hours until the smell is so overwhelming that People in your Building start asking "What. the. hell. is. that?" with their faces all shriveled up. It's a little humbling to tell them you are about to drink it....

A few actually love the smell, most are disgusted. I am on the disgusted end. But I am nothing if not Committed to this Process (I just spent money on) so I drink 4 oz of this brown "tea" morning and evening. I am a week in now. I went to level off the Monthly Crazies, and I didn't notice much change there (when I was weeping to my Guy this weekend that he wants to leave me because he bought a pair of skinny jeans....he really is such an angel....). But my other complaints do seem alleviated somewhat. I am determined to stay on it. So I have another 3 weeks of what I would call "A fair trial". My Guy tried a sip of the brew (I warned him that it would be balancing his PMS, but he dove right in)---he said it tasted like dirt, coffee grounds, cinnamon and vodka. It's a pretty apt description. I would add "burnt licorice".
To kill the lingering taste of this mornings cup, I followed up with a pot of Chocolate Cinnamon Ceylon Tea. Ahhhh! I am home today, and yesterday I did all the Domestic Duties I was supposed to. So today is Just Art all day. Yay.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Working Working

I have had the lovliest weekend! The weather has been quite Agreeable--perfect Fall. My Better Half had the weekend off, so we spent all day yesterday Walking and Talking and enjoying . Stella has said it, and I have said it, but I always forget it---there have to be Dates. If you don't have dates--well--it makes all of it harder. You have to leave the house with lipstick on and see them talking to new people. It's so good.

Today has to be a work day--paperwork. But I DID get a nice bit of designing and sewing in this week. The above is Tiny, Little. It look like a tiny little Russian Tablecloth. I am really liking working small.

This one is small too. It's not as complicated as the other. It reads better from a distance. In my head all my projects have been getting smaller. If I want to analyze it, I would say, I am finally working in a size I can Manage.

I finally seem to have rid myself of the need to Shout from across the Schoolyard. Working the Fine Painstaking detail in 1 inch Ideas.

Today's Tea was Jade Oolong. Quite good! I got myself back to the straight good tea! But I have begun to blend some really good teas---lemongrasses and vanilla, and chocolate. Some are disasterous--but a few have been quite good. I am working up to a Holiday Blend of some sort...

Well that's it for this beautiful Sunday Morning. I must get to work--hope everyone is having a beautiful weekend.


Monday, November 1, 2010

I really wish I had made this!!! But I am feeling inspired just by looking at it. I like the idea of it. I think sometimes artists get tripped up by their material---they love it so much it gets in the way of the work. It happens in all three of my favorite mediums---Film, Glass and Fiber. The Trip up in film is complicated and I won't do my Soapbox Thing right now--suffice to say that the idea of the Red Carpet ruins 80% of films, from seedling to finish. Glass----it's the process. Glassblowers get drunk on process. To Make, To Make,To see the Hot glowing goo do what it does. And with fabric and fiber, it's the Sumptuousness of the whole affair. I have both Tattered Bits and 15 Yard Stacks of Fabric that I can barely touch because it is so beautiful. It's almost painful to cut into it. I do my best work with the ugly crummy stuff I practice on.

I have been away for a couple weeks, but I am back!! And I have made some decisions!

1. I was reading an Etsy post about pricing your work. So I sat down and did some REAL math. Labor, supplies. The upshot is---the collars cost $1200 retail, and the rings cost $750 retail. Ummmmm.....

Two choices: Dumb it down or stick to my guns, make them Finer and Better and more Beautiful. Price Accordingly.

I'm going after Price Accordingly. I have to. It's just Time. I became so worried about making a sale--with my glass especially ( I know I haven't shown much here, but I have been deciding where to go with it and it was a little painful to talk about), that I started lowering the price--and --oh my--the quality. That's not who I am. So--a recommitment to Quality, and I also--WOW--am going to ask for what pieces are worth from now on. And I think I need to think outside of Etsy. I can't compete with the pricing that people have there. I just can't!
Next: I need Deadlines!! Does anyone else want a Deadline? I am going to be handing out a Deadline Sometime in the Next Two weeks. If anyone else would like a Deadline---please ask---we can Share one. I need the Deadline.

So that is is for today--I am hopefully back again--barring any Apple Malfunctions!!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Poisoned Apple!

My Mac done Sizzled and Fizzled!! For some reason the Socket on my laptop got very hot and Charred----yes Charred!!! Think Steak and Ribs and that crispy black stuff on Barbecue that I just found out is supposed to give you Stomach Cancer. But it was my MAC! Yikes.

Josh--the Apparent Genius, at Apple, was very nice and told me it would cost $106 to fix, and then told me it would cost nothing, but I don't have it for a week!!! So I am missing my New Found Blog Habit--but I'll be back after the weekend. For now---I saw this online from an artist named Amy Long---I thought it very interesting.

But I am actually On the Clock at the moment---but keep your fingers crossed for my laptop!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Softer Side of Bling

In Work Department, I have been getting really frustrated with how long everything is taking. Which I know is Crazy and everyone will tell you that it's not about Product, it's about Process. But when I am going crazy getting frustrated, it's not about the Product at all---it's about all the other ideas that float by that I can't catch and start because I am chained to an epic project. In Short: Anne Boleyn's Time Line Project is on hold. And in the meantime--I am making these Embroidered Box Rings!!
I kinda love them. In my early twenties, I was at Parsons School of Design in NYC, and I got fed up with how art school was. I was so disillusioned by what I saw going on with my education. It was a business, and I was sad. So I moved to Cape Cod and got a job at a bakery. And they taught me to decorate Wedding Cakes. These Rings totally remind me of doing that!!! They are like tiny little bitesized wedding cakes!! The one above is still being finished. Anyways. The length of the project allows me to switch gears if I get another idea, or if I get sick of one color combo, it's practically finished and I can go look at Blues or Greens or whatever I need to at the moment.

In a way it's kind of a discovery about my Process, to realize that I feel Trapped when I get involved in a long project.... I have to think about that a bit...... I also tried my hand at dress designing---it isn't that impressive. I really like it, but it was pointed out to me that it looks like a 1940's Jail Uniform for women....but you know, I am okay with that. What I need to understand better is how to deal with that saggy middle part, while still allowing myself to get in and out. Darts, yes, but then you are assuming I can deal with zippers, which I cannot!!!

So today is Bound to be Glorious---off on our bikes to have Brunch with my Love, hit our favorite junk shop, then this afternoon we are going to try to design unusual Sky Lanterns---this is a new obssesion I haven't mentioned to date..... Then tonight I am sleeping over Stella's, and tomorrow we are going to try to go Apple Picking!!! Very exciting Fall Weather kind of stuff.....

Today's Tea was Almond Oolong: So, it was ok. I think I need to get off the flavors though. I am missing straight up good old fashioned tea. A nice Assam. A Ceylon. A proper Oolong. I think when they flavor tea they use a lesser grade tea leaf, they are all short and stubby, and they don't blossom the way good tea does. A good tea leaf is pretty to look at wet or dry. And these are really depressing looking bits of mulch.....


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Embroidery Baldness

Well I have been Super MIA this week. It's been a combination of things--- all put together, Shaken and Stirred. And it all resulted in me not writing. On the Life-Affirming end of things, My sewing machine is fixed and I started to finish projects that have been Frozen in Time.Nothing more depressing then walking into your studio and seeing projects flopping around on the Floor Like Half Dead Fish gasping for air. So the most Fantastic thing I finished was this:

My Fall Bag!!!! I am so thrilled.

Lemme tell you---it's not exactly the most amazing example of Stitchery ever. But I found this old blue leather coat for $8 and I cut it all up and Voila!!! I have a Fall bag. Very satisfying.

And I am working away on the Anne Boelyn neckwarmer. I am very frustrated about how long it's taking. This is the thing with Embroidery and me. I say "I will make this one simple" and so I start to and then I look at it and it looks like it's Balding. And Embroidery Baldness is not a Pretty thing. So then the French Knots start up and suddenly I'm in it for weeks. And I pick a teeny tiny strand of thread!!!
But I do like the texture of teeny tiny french knots. It's very like pointilism from a Colorists perspective. I wonder if I could do work like Chuck Close but in french knots....

And Finally.....

My friend Patrick walked into a woods a few weeks ago, a beautiful magical woods, and he did not come out. I wish I could do him justice here, and say all that he was. But I cannot. By the age of 23 he had started a circus in the detroit area that is still running today. He made the best coffee in the world and never gave away the recipe. He believed in magical things. He really liked fire. He dressed up in kevlar suits and had people shoot fireworks at him. He had a cat named Herman that travelled everywhere with him in a beat up old van covered in Advice. He made glass frogs with different hair-do's in wire. His favorite medium was polished cement. He taught me to weld---the first thing I made was that question mark up above. And now when I look at it, I think, well, that really says it all.

I heard from him on September 2nd. I had told him I had a dream about him. His P.S. to me was "I hope in your dream -- I was seen as a strong and joyful being." And so, dear Patrick, that's the way I am going to remember you.

Your mission today, Lest you not hear it in the words above-go call your friends, the people who are dear to you. Let them know. Send care packages. Knit scarves. Just let them know!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Patience and Perpetua

I am working too fast. Not like "Oh I am so prolific and woo-hoo look at all this beautiful work!!" It's a lot more like Stumbling around a Dark Garage tripping over Oil Cans. This collar had such promise--Weird Color Scheme, but the Bullion Stitches really coiled all over themselves nicely. I have not been sketching them out before hand, These have been like doodles in thread---which I like, but then you get a Mutated Red Flower at the focal point, and you think --- well---I should be planning maybe a wee bit!! So I need to really just get back to loving this and slowing down.

In other news: Film! I am beginning a documentary about women who use the Domestic Arts to make Gallery Art. The Idea came from Yarn Bombers that are popping up all around town. I did a great deal of research and discovered artists who were using Traditionally Female Duties and Squeezing beautiful Art out of Them. Magda Sayeg in Houston Texas, touted as the Originator of the Yarn Bomb trend, has agreed to be interviewed for it. Also Rebecca Purcell whose ideas on Adornment are Fantastic. I have artists for cooking and housecleaning as well.

At some point soon I will have to put up a blog about it. The Hitch has been the title! I was going to call it "Woman's Work". I kinda like that. But it's lacking in color and flavor. I want a good word, or to Coin an all descriptive phrase about it. Like Tarnation, or Religiolous. And I can't come up with it.

I think Titles are Terribly Important. If the title is Right, People know what you are talking about before you utter one word.

If anyone has ideas, please do offer up!! I'll give you a credit in the film!! Title Creator? Is that a job? Well it is now!


Monday, October 4, 2010

Oh Henry!

OK---I am admitting to my addiction. I know it's already Over, and I know that it was actually, in all Reality, a Soap-Opera----but I am addicted to The Tudors. I just watched all four seasons in like Two weeks. I thought the last two seasons were depressing, so depressing. I guess Mortality was very a very hard Apple to Eat for Henry... and I could not quite get past Jonathan Rhys Meyers take on the aging Henry---He sounded more and more like Marlon Brando's Godfather as time wore on. But that aside---I have suddenly become immersed in Tudorage. I am reading a good bit of English History, and I can't help but think that my World History Teacher from 8th Grade would probably, at long last be able to Breathe a Sigh of Relief for me (I was a Terrible Student--T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E) terrible.

Anyways---I started thinking a lot about time, and then TimeLines---and Voila--suddenly I started embroidering Anne Boelyn's Time Line. I am going to make it into a scarf. And the Irony was actually lost on me for a bit of time. Then I realized I was making a Scarf out of the Timeline of a Woman who Had her Head Cut Off.

I am fascinated by her. Not because she was a bad girl slutty kind of Minx---but because she actually completely altered world history for all time. This one chick was the catalyst for unimaginable change---and she had no idea at all. I'm not waxing poetic here about her---she was living her own brand of Get Rich Quick Schemes---but it is incredible to see how this persons actions changed EVERYTHING.

Tea this morning: Grapefruit Oolong (I will admit to anyone that it is blasphemous to add flavoring to Oolong, but this is gooooooooooooooooo-oood!)
Number of minutes late to bus this morning: 20
Willingness to go to Work this morning on a scale of 1-10 1 being lowest: 0000000.0005

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Evidence of my Worker Bee Way

I have been Hard at Work, though not Reporting. My White Exploration ended up with a bit of color in it--I just could not make all that white work for me!! But the color is light---more tints than anything--And the Whites and Ivories are the real star here. The Sizing ended up a Small, which is a Bummer as it narrows who can wear it! But it is Beautiful, and all that I
hoped---I have been calling it Miss Havisham.

This neck warmer is the next in "Finally Completed". You know I am just terrible at Finishing. I will hire a seamstress someday, and she can make sense of it! But this is sort of a nod to The Ascot--It has a Brown Linen Backing and snaps for closure.

I have a few more pieces to show but My Internet is on and off and on again Today. I love Rainy Days, but Today is Dreadful Weather. It's Rainy, and so Humid, and not even Cool. It's just Sticky and Grey out.

I am onto the next project---I endeavor to be more careful with my measurements. I try to Eyeball everything. I mean---it's a thrill when it works out, but so frustrating when it doesn't! That Miss Havisham is going to have to go to a very Skinny Necked Home! Argh....


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday Musings

You are pretty much looking at my day Right There--- Glass, Pins, and Tea. And I am not complaining. I have been doing a ton of freelance work this week, and although I am Lucky enough to have jobs that are flexible and artistic and fun, I am glad to be home in my studio today.

When I Slump down in my Chair and Look up, this is my view. These Windows are completely ineffective against Heat, Cold and Mosquitos, but Boy are they Pretty. The Building Owners were going to replace them this summer and I was so sad, but Financing fell through and Voila! We get to keep these windows. Remind me how much I love them when my Tea is Icing Over in the Pot this Winter. You think I'm Kidding---

This is the Thread side of Work today. This guy is an exploration in White---It's all shades of cream and white and ivories. I may put a little color in, Just a Blush though. As for the Glass, I am going into the Shop on Tuesday, doing a line of Terrariums for a Client, odd sized things, so we will do a bit of Experimentation, which is costly and Ridiculous but Oh-so-Fun!

I don't know if I miss Glass very much, I have really been enjoying working with softer more forgiving materials recently. And I am working on a film, which is a whole other Brain Space to be in. But I think I am A Phaseual Artist---Phasing from one Medium to another, depending on the project. I see so many artists try to make every project out of the material they are the most familiar with---and it's incredibly limiting in my view. A project will tell you what it needs to be made out of. Metal or Glass of Chiffon or Film. It just lets you know. And ignoring it Kind of Stunts You, and The Project, No? And I think it happens because of Ego. When you have spent so much time learning a medium, it takes guts to start at the beginning of another Medium---or to do it badly. But I think great discoveries and connections are made in that Head Space.

Woah---I got heavy. Sorry.

Saturday Morning.

Have some Tea---Enjoy the last warm Days.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Knowing when to Stop and Smell the Roses, and Knowing when there is No Stopping

Today we took Some Time Away from all of our day to day. You get to the point sometimes when you realize you haven't left the House Together Alone in Weeks. So we took our Bikes and trekked across town to Shofuso, the Japanese House and Garden, It is quite Aways Away from us, but with The Peuge and Stella, we ended up circling the entire city today!

This is the inside of the house. It is so clean and simple and beautiful. Those screens which seem to Glow with The Shadows of Water Cascading, are actually painted by a Master Japanese artist, Hiroshi Senju. When I heard about the screen paintings, I kind of cringed, but they are absoloutly ethereal, and give the house such a magical feeling. I can't say as I have ever seen such a simple, effective, well placed, piece of art anywhere.

Of course there was a Japanese Garden and beautiful Koi!! I did not touch the color in this photo at all. They are such Prehistoric, Mythical looking creatures, we spent a good hour or so watching them. It was so quiet and gentle there---I made a note to remember what I liked about this place so I can incorporate it into my home someday....

And I continue to Work. And Wind. And Coil and Design. I am beginning to like what I am making very much. I seem to go through phases where I hate what it looks like. Working wih glass has taught me to see things through to the end. So much of working with glass is seeing things through to the end, and there is no stopping once you have started a piece. Doing that has been the very best discipline Lesson I ever did Get.

So--My Amazing Man has just made a beautiful Pork Loin stuffed with Apricots and Goat Cheese (I kid you not---he really did!) so I must eat that and then--back to work. No stopping.


Friday, September 17, 2010

TEA --- for the most part....

Another day in the studio! And the Weather is fine, and I even put on lipstick. My windows are open and the breeze is so nice. The sun will swing around at 2 and it will be unbearable to sit at my worktable, and I will scurry away to the far corners of my studio to sew in the dark.

I am all about the Bullion Stitch today. I think I will attempt to figure out how many coils I make in an hour. I want to branch out, but piling them on top of each other is so satisfying--I cannot stop doing it!

Today I am drinking Coconut Tea. I discovered a wonderful online store called Adagio. I am pretty careful about where I buy my Tea from---I cannot bear bad tea. Most people don't realize this, but the bags that you buy in the supermarket are actually just "Tea Dust"---that is, the Bottom of the Barrel--The Floor Sweepings. Good tea will look like a Leaf when it unfurls in hot water---just like a wet leaf you see on the sidewalk after a Rain Storm.

I used to work in Tea Houses in NYC, and I learned a lot and really refined my tastes. But I never really had to pay for the habit, because the tea was free to drink during work hours. So when I just got back into it---I was appalled at the prices!! But this Adagio place is Awesome because you can buy samples---and it's an ample amount---like 10 cups worth.( I should note in a day of "social networking"--- They aren't paying me anything to say this--I'm just passing on a good thing). And the average price of the sample is $2.00!! I mean--if you start getting fancy (which I did in some cases) a beautiful Yunnan Gold Sample will go for $10 or so---but most of the teas are really inexpensive to try.

If anyone reads this and would like a $5 gift certificate--please feel free to drop your email to me---after you start buying they give you unlimited $5 gift certificates to hand out. And if anyone wants a recommendation for a good starter Tea ---do not hesitate to ask!!! Tea--and especially Green Tea----really makes ones Life Better. It sounds ridiculous, yes it does, but it makes you feel better, and it's the Treat that can take the place of brownies (well Almost...).

Ok---my Sermon is done---

I am starting my day and hope to have a nice bit to show for it at 5 tonight!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Glorious Weather

Glorious Fall! I am in the studio again today. So many distractions recently--I have many unfinished projects Mewling like Unfed babies all around me. I barely know where to begin. There is a fair amount of shipping to do. I have just armed myself with an entire pot of Lapsang Souchong ( mixed with Vanilla and lavender) so I feel I will make it through. Today I will show you a few pictures, starting with Stella Below(the Bike, not my Friend!).

Isn't she a Beauty? Oh how I love her. I have to admit her seat needs some work. I don't think it was the original and it has a Mind Of it's Own. It's something of a swivel--great when you are visiting the Soda Jerk, not so great when you are navigating Pothole Laden Streets.

I want Giant Pincushions in my studio so I have been finding old frames and mirrors and filling the frames with Giant Pincushions. Eventually I want all my threads hanging on the Hat Pins. I will do it by color and it will look yummy and it will be Oh-so-User Friendly!

As for glass---we are coming up on the Holidays---Yup---time to break out the Blowpipes and get into the shop. I'm actually dying to get in there---I have not blown any glass in months, and there is always the fear that you'll lose your skill. Although in Reality I have found that for some reason my skills get better when I take a long break---I don't understand these Hands of Mine sometimes... So I have to think of beautiful color combinations for the Holidays. Not such a bad job, thinking about color all day.....suggestions are welcome---think of solids with a swirled striped--transparent? Opaque?

That's it from me--
Hope everyone has a Wonderful day---remember to drink your Tea--


Sunday, September 12, 2010

FOOD: Oh the Pate!

Yesterday, a Beautiful Day mind you---We got together with Stella and Ed, My best friend and her Husband, and we made our First Monthly Dinner of Unknown Origins. That isn't very catchey---but--you get the picture. We both like to cook and we realized that we were kind of sick of the same flavors all the time. And we thought that once a month we would get together and try new dishes and new flavors, and make a dinner all together.

So we decided--because really---who is untouched by the Recent Julia Child Resurgence--- to do "Pate en Croute". It was the most arduous, convoluted process I have ever engaged in---and I like complicated process. Last night, after dinner, nestled all snug in our bed---I was pretty sure I heard my heart struggling to beat. That unassuming Loaf of bread pictured above contains a duck skin, with no bones, stuffed with ground veal, ground pork, cubed duck, a cup of pork fat (which we could not find anywhere to buy, so we fried off a lb of bacon to generate), and an ungodly amount of butter. The crust alone contained 12 tablespoons of crisco, and like 4 sticks of butter. I mean---how is there a book called "French Women don't Get Fat"? How is that possible?

We had read that it was a lengthy process, so we started at 2:00 and ate at 9:30. Lengthy does not even begin to cover it!! The Guys went for pizza around 5:00. When it finally came out--I hate to say it--but it was heavy. And kind of painful to eat. It was like an incredibly fancy, dry, port-flavored meatloaf wrapped in a fairly tasty crust. Someone actually mentioned that it needed ketchup. It needed sauce, or something. For sure. I read somewhere that someone sliced it and fried it up (you are supposed to serve it cold---we were too hungry and tired to do that-) and said that made it better. I can't imagine adding frying to the process. All in all it was
fun to make, but I don't believe I would ever make it again. However---

We also made a Lemon and Fresh Raspberry Dacquoise---and let me tell you---it was AMAZING!!! You make round flats of delicious meringue, and layer it with Lemon whip creme, and raspberry whip creme. The lemon sauce that you make for it is like a Tangy sticky Bit o Heaven!!! I had little faith that it would cut when we got to the cutting---but it cut pretty well, and woah---it was great.

I would say our first foray into Unknown Culinary Terrain was successful for what we bit off. It was a very fun day, and now we have started something that I have always wanted to do. I think next month will be Pho Soup, which will be fantastic.

For today? Drinking lots of Tea, doing a bit of sewing, and eating lots of healthy things that may or may not stop the Heart Attack I got myself involved in yesterday!!

Til Later


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Starting Off

So I am starting this blog to go with my new Life, which is actually an old Life, but I am now taking it all very seriously. I am an Artist, I have done many things over the years, from Film to Glassblowing. I have always Sewn--I am fascinated by Threads and Fabrics and really any Raw Material that comes my way. I can Weld Steel, and I can cast glass, I can make Paper, and Cook.
I recently had a Birthday---well 5 months ago I did---and it was one of those birthdays where you find yourself saying--"Oh MY". It ended up being wonderful, because myself and my best friend (and I mean Best Friend--I mean the way the term was when it originated--we have been best friends since we were in the Fourth Grade---she is my sister and my pal and just the best thing EVER!) sat down and confronted all of it. We were turning 38, and you know what you see when you turn 38? I'll tell you what you see when you turn 38---you see 40. And for me, it just seemed like it was time to get a move on in all things.

I have been very lucky in this life to find good people and to have Hands that can adapt and learn. I am grateful for this. So grateful! But it all leaves you feeling a bit like a Soggy Cracker if you don't do anything with these gifts.

So on this birthday back in April--we made a pact to stop Hedging and Avoiding and Excusing.
And Just Get On With it. I have spent a lot of time over the years making excuses for not moving forward. But when you see 40 looming out there, you realize how precious time is, you find Yourself asking Yourself do I actually want my life to go by as One Big Excuse? "Oh Sorry About That Guys, that was just my Life that Went by you---I'm not sure anyone noticed, did it Bump you on the way by? It was a big Muddle, and I couldn't quite find the Handle, but I did a good job, and you can see I tried...." Bleh bleh Bleh.

So I started to take my Art seriously. I am working on a Documentary, and I started with a line of Embroidered Accessories--and I am avoiding the thought of "Does the world need another Embroidered Acessory?" Because asking that question is contrary to what my Life is About these days. It's about DOING.

I have a Big Wonderful Cat: Below you will find a draft of a picture of my Cat as an Indian God--the quality is lousy, but you get where I am going. He is 5 feet long from nose to tail tip. We adopted him almost four years ago, and like most Insane cat people--we think he is Very Gifted. I am Safe to write this because? I also have a Wonderful Man in my Life, so I am not a crazy cat woman. He is also Gifted. And, as luck would have it, Funny and Kind.

I also gave up Coffee and went back to Tea---I spent 4 years as a Tea Afficiando in NYC, and almost got into the Tea Business for real. It is a fascinating thing, tea is. Giving up coffee after 25 years was very sad, but part of the Pact was to change Lifestyle---so I quit Coffee, bought a bike (a Stella bright Yellow, very happy bike), started going to the gym, and make every effort not to cause myself any more Debt in this Life.

Other goals are to have a show of some sort in the near future, and to finally get a place way out of the city, while still having a place IN the city to visit, so we don't get kooky and start eating plaster off the walls in some Bucolic Country setting.

So that's it---I am very excited about this Blog, and about my work, and all these new Goals. If anyone hears me making Excuses (if anyone ever reads this) Please feel free to Gently point me in the right direction!! For now I am off to see a man about a horse---have a Lovely day---