Sunday, June 11, 2006

little bear

Ok so finally I am posting some photos of the panda I made for back-tack III.

The five required buttons are as follows... two for eyes, two for leg string joints, and one as a necklace. The intial of my sendee is there, you just can't see it here. I was going to make clothes for this little bear but I honestly just ran out of time. Panda does have a quilt though so I don't feel too bad about the nekkidness.

pandacloseup


Here is a pic with matching quilt, I am pretty happy with how it turned out and I have to say that back-tack is about as fun as swaps get. If you have never given it a try I highly recommend giving it a go next year!

panda

Friday, June 09, 2006

lucky bunny

I've been wanting to post photos of the lovely bunny sent to me by Oscarcat since I recieved many days ago...sadly spring has decided to hide behind many layers of cloud cover here in Portland. I have been forced to take photos under less than ideal conditions, but they turned out ok so without furthur ado here is my back tack bunny thank you Katie!

backtackbunny2


here is bunny posing with presents

back-tack bunny

I'll post photos of what I made tomorrow!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Teaser

pandateaser


Well it would appear that I have been an extremely lax blogger lately. What can I say life has been a little crazy lately. I am wrapping up a large mural commission that has taken consiberably longer than I first estimated, house hunting has reached a desperate frenzied pitch, and I am trying to start a business.

Yes yes I know these all could have been opportunities for new blog entries but I just haven't had it in me. Also part of my business is that I will have a new shiny pretty blog on my new website (read not a blogger blog), I will no longer be tied to the irrational whims of technical blogger difficulties! So this has caused me to become more dissatisfied with this blog's aesthetics.

Anyhow I have finished my back-tack softie and I think it turned out pretty well. Full shots will be posted once the little dear has landed in New York city until then you will have to content yourself with this teaser shot.

I recieved my softie from Oscarcat and it is quite wonderful! I will post photos and full details tomorrow when I have some natural light.

Monday, May 01, 2006

may day flowers

blind_cherry2

It should come as no surprise that I am a little obsessed with chilhood. Most of the art that I am currently working on is connected to the visual language of childhood.

I have spent a fair amount of time making art with kids. I am reluctant to call it teaching, as really your job around kids is to create an atmosphere of safety, where they can create work as much outside of judgement as possible. Little do they realize that never again will they be able to create art with such freedom, honesty, and abandon.

Oh how I envy them, the quality of their line, the energy of their markmaking. Most of the best art I have seen (2-D) has been created by children.

One of my favorite drawing activities to force children to do (they are often reluctant to give it a try) is blind contour drawing. You give them some objects and some india ink and a brush, and you instruct them to draw the outline of the object without looking at their paper. They moan and groan but damn if they don't make some stunningly beautiful drawings.

So I have been thinking for awhile maybe I should make a series of my own blind drawings. Only I will think of a drawing in my head and create it without looking, or look at a photo and recreate the photo without looking. I finally gave it a go today here is the photo I worked from (sorry it sucks, it is a photo of a photo) Below it is the blind drawing.

cherry_photo

blind_cherry1

I'm not sure where this is going yet, but I'm really loving letting go of the control that I tend to assert over my drawing and painting. It is actually easier for me to make something that is very controlled, lets hear it for freedom!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

It's a sweet potato miracle!

sweetpotato_bird


Last night I was making my new favorite recipe, sweet potato quesadillas, when as I was peeling I realized that the sweet potato i was peeling looked just like a bird. Well, I realized right away that it was an important sign maybe even a minor miracle, I knew that I was being sent a divine message to give the people of the world my sweet potato quesadilla recipe(seriously it is quite tasty, economical, and vegetarian!).

Actually I have to admit that someone made these for me a few months ago and I simply figured out the recipe on my own, as it is quite simple.

Sweet Potato Quesadilla
(serves 3-4)

Ingredients:
6-8 large flour tortillias
2-3 medium sweet potatoes (or maybe you call them yams)
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
grated cheese of your choice (I like TJ's basque shepheard's sheep, or a good jack but use whatever you want)
4T fresh cilantro
1tsp oil or nonstick skillet

1 recipe Guacamole (follows after SWQ)
1 recipe fresh salsa (follows after SWQ)

Peel your sweet potatoes, cut them into roughly 1" cubes. Put your cubed sweet potato into a small covered saucepan with the 1cup of stock (you can use water), bring to a boil and cook about 15 minutes, make sure you do not boil off your liquid, add more as neccessary. Meanwhile make your salsa and guacamole,and open your can of black beans and rinse until water runs clear. Poke the potatoes with a knife to see if they are done, they should be soft! You should have some leftover liquid, don't drain it! Mash it with the potaotes (extra flavor). Gently stir the black beans and cilantro into your mashed potato. Lightly oil your skillet (or use nonstick) and turn your burner to med-high heat. When it is hot but not smoking, place 1 flour tortillia in pan, sprinkle evenly across your grated cheese and then spread an even amount of the sweet potato mixture over the entire surface ( should be about half an inch thick or more). Place another tortillia on top flip it, let the other side brown, take it out,repeat, cut, and serve, yummy. (if you are making them all at once preheat your oven to 300F and transfer your finished quesadillas to the prewarmed oven so that everyone has a hot dinner)

So these are pretty good but they are even better if you make fresh guacamole and salsa to go with them. Now I'm sure that most people have their own favorite recipes for these two lovelies but I'm providing the two that I have come up with over many years of refinement, in case you don't have a favorite or in case you want to try someone else's interpretation.

Some of the quantities are general, use the smaller amount first, taste it and if it needs more add more! everyone has slightly different tasterbuds.

Guacamole

ingredients:

two ripe avocados
Juice from 1-2 lemons (1 will do if its a juicy one)
2T fresh cilantro
1T chile powder
2-3 tsps cumin seed
lots of salt (to taste)

Dry toast your cumin seeds on the stove top until they have darkened in color and start to smell toasty. Grind your cumin to the consistency of fine cornmeal in a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder dedicated to spices (you can substitute preground cumin but it won't be the same). Ok now mash all your ingredients together with a fork (or food processor) until your guacamole is smooth.

Salsa

Ingredients:

1 16 ounce can crushed tomatoes
3-4 green onions
lots of fresh cilantro at least 4T and up to 8T
juice of 1-2 lemons or limes
1 fresh serrano chile
2-3T chile powder
3-4tsps freshly ground & toasted cumin seeds(see guacamole recipe above)
lots of salt
and if you like it hot add small amounts of cayenne until it is the heat you want

It is easiest to just put all of these ingredients in a food processor and go. Start with the green onions, cilantro and serrano pepper, pulse 4-5 times. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until fully combined.

You can do this without a food processor, just cut all ingredients as finely as possible and mix together in a bowl, stir to combine. When tomatoes are in season I use fresh instead of canned.

Now you know what to have for dinner...tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

hey big spender!

Big spender that's me, yes it is. Now lookie what I spent it on.

wool_bouquet

I attended the auction for the very small school where my husband teaches 5th and 6th grade. It's a Waldorf inspired school which apparently equals very cool auction. I spotted the felting kit and boy I was on it, if anyone was taking it home it was for sure gonna be me. It was a little touch and go the last sixty seconds but I shamelessly shamed the parent that kept out bidding me (a little low I know, but man I had to have it). Here are some photos of what I've already made with the glorious roving I won, you can also see some of the fabric beads in action.

felt_bracelet

feltring_detail


I also won the coolest kid art project. The 1st and 2nd grade made insect mobiles sculpted out of colored beeswax for the auction. I won one of the butterfly mobiles, I haven't been able to get a good photo yet so no pics, you have to use your imagination.


To change the subject slightly I am a participant in Back-Tack III I really didn't think I would make the sign-ups in time, needless to say I am over the moon that I am participating... so this is just to say expect more back-tack related posts to come.

Friday, April 21, 2006

forced buds

I don't have much to say about these fabric beads, have been slaving over them and I only have around forty. Here is a grouping of a few of them.

fabric-bead buds

I have big plans for these little guys, yes indeed. However the plan involves several hundred more. Where is your granny sweatshop when you need it (just kidding). These will soon be transformed into lovely earrings, the grand plan will have to wait for a larger stockpile. Sigh, sweatshop of one...coming right up!