Thursday, October 31, 2013

happy halloween

this is my favorite time of's also for me, the most magical time of year
seeing leaves change to brilliant colors.. the smells of the fall
warm sweaters, cozy fires, comfort foods

this year isn't quite as magical as years past have been-
i don't know if it's that bernie is working graveyard this year...
or is it an aftereffect of the past 18 months or what
but i'm not quite with it this year- and TODAY, at 7am asshole dickwad neighbors fired up duel chain saws and decided it was a great time to rip into a pile of logs!
i was up anyway but had planned on another 2 hours worth of sleep .......yeah that was not happening

i am however doing a lot of cooking ahead type stuff and started the teacup studies in watercolor
the first one for me proved extremely difficult
trying to get the teacup to look delicate, thin, shiny, without being a cliche......
i know a lot of folks like the study when i was finished but i'm not sure about it

ok updates (these really are more for me then i think yous all cause who really cares right about how i efficiently used my leftover pork loin? )

first off i did up a small pork loin roast, low and slow in the oven, which we had the first night, thinly sliced with baked potatoes and steamed veggies
then last night i slivered it all up, part made us enchiladas with mixed steamed veggies, and my 'fast down and dirty too lazy to do it up right' cheese sauce which is simple
some stock, last night was chicken stock
cream cheese and cheddar/jack cheese
first bring the stock to a simmer, cut the cream cheese into little cubes and add it to the simmering stock.... whisking very very often.... add whatever seasoning you want, i added freshly ground pepper, some tiny bit of basil, parsley, a 1/4 teaspoon of good sweet paprika, a bit of mixed citrus zests...
and finally when the cheese was all smooth and dissolved ...the cheddar/jack mix shredded and whisked to melt/combine
if it's too thick add either more stock or some water

i used all that sauce to make up more enchiladas for the freezer .....and i have leftover roast pork for fried rice or something else....(bernie wants me to make fried rice for him but i think not tonight)

i am so going to do this again.....the enchiladas were really good

now i was also supposed to go to town to the antique flea market for teacups, as i need 5 more.
at least 5 more, i figured 2 bucks a pop and then .......i went to look on ebay and etsy.......WTF?
teacups are like 25 bucks! for the ones that i found 'right'

some of the ones i also found 'right' (actually i found perfect) were like 200 bucks!
so i need the muse to sprinkle tons of luck down on me for this series....
i am thinking that maybe after i should just resell the damn cups
what am i going to do with them after i paint them anyway?

in studio news..i think i've settled on a combination of caran and faber-castell artist grade colored pencils... it's a really PITA to sift through all the BS to find all the totally lightfast ones...
really if any of the pencil companies REALLY did a totally lightfast line with decent pencils and a good range (like the pastel lines are) they would CLEAN up.. i swear

so now i am waiting for a few good sales
dick blick never discounts the faber-castell polychromos .....but cheap joes does..
blick has a better price on the caran.... and they will discount them so i am going to get a combination of them-- this is going to take a while i think

in knitting..i am still working on that feather and's about 28'' long now..... i think it's going to end up about 7' long...... it's such a soothing knit i maybe want to do a second one... in another color....something maybe.... a glowing wine or something like that? for my gray wool winter coat
it's really that nice a knit...
no pattern, just 4 repeats across of the feather and fan variation, with 4 garter stitches on either side....
it's in the jaggerspun zepher and i like it! i got the lilac at rhinebeck on a whim as it was pretty cheap, i got 600 yards... i had planned on putting a collar on one side but i may not now...
it's just so pristine in it's laceyness.....

ok that's about it
i need to go and paint, do dishes, cook......
happy halloween to you all
it's raining here of course (why does it seem to rain a LOT on halloween)

Monday, October 28, 2013

fall is here in earnest i think now * i know i have said this before *

we've even gotten some frosts!
feather/fan-zepher lilac-3needle
*** ty to jamlady*** i am hoping next rhinebeck is a less stressful on me- i was worried about the van

we got the potatoes in for the winter, i finished painting the front door
bernie is going to repair the studio roof for the moment
(we'll order more wood in about a month)
i am planning on getting the cess pool pumped too before winter
all in all except for not having room for the chicken breasts ....we're ready i think
this fall is definitely better then last fall

i am still in the process of stocking the freezer with reheatable meals.
i did more breaded pork chops as they were fast and very easy for me
i am planning on more enchiladas, meatloaf, and i am really trying hard to get things like sliced chicken and mashed potatoes with gravy in there... i'll just have to bite the bullet so to speak and roast some chicken along with making mashed and package the ENTIRE MEAL up for the freezer....
i even told bernie that i was considering making two turkeys for for us and one for the freezer as cooked/sliced

i am not doing as large a batch at a time lately, but i am still keeping up with batch cooking
i want to do meat loaf again
 and stuffed peppers too
and chicken casseroles.... with veggies- right now the freezer is loaded with veggies and cheeses!
i would like about 20 recooked meals in there.... that along with the raw but frozen food should get me through painting til the end of the year (IF i can get the 20 precooked done)

in painting, i am trying to decide if i am to continue with the arctic series or go on to the teacup/teapot still life series...
i have six of the arctic
i would need 7 more for a calender.....
i will say it was not only a challenge but a departure and something not seen every day
but i follow the muse and the muse right now is silent
i am however getting 'colored pencil' tweeks.... and i am trying to figure a way around 250.00 for the lightfast ones... sadly i don't think there IS a way around that .....except a 35% off sale
they are for botanical work....
the other ones are not light fast and i refuse to put that much work into something that will fade

ok the screaming it's fool head off... there have been some problems....but bernie plans on fixing them tomorrow ...they would have been done yesterday but the tire place cross threaded the lugs so we had to rush the van there this morning to get that taken care of
we are hoping this is it for trouble with the van...
we are still kicking around the VW turbo diesel we get a certified preowned...or a new one.
and which one? i HATE cars, i love vans.... suv's are ok....but really a car to me is worthless, i can't get hay into it easily... or plywood... so i want something i can haul with... even as a second car

ok.... now (which is several hours after i originally started this blog post), i have laid out and started washing in a teacup
i think i should be doing it in either colored pencil or pen/ink with colored inks washed over but i am working with watercolor ATM.....
i did the bottom defining shadow and thought to myself 'oops, i'm in trouble already'


ok off i go now (sorry i forgot to actually post this post before)

Monday, October 21, 2013

rhinebeck 2013

this year rhinebeck for me was a bit ........discombobulated
first off we went on sunday
it was iffy up until we actually got into the car sunday morning whether or not we were going
there was half the venders that were there last year ( at least it seemed to me)

maybe it was cause it was sunday but even the andean band sounded somber---
on the upside
i got to see almost everyone
amy ripton was not there (a few other folks weren't either- and their absence was sorely missed)
but i finally met vicki klein in person- as well as jane's friend judy

clara remembered me which i doubted that she would ... her comment 'of course i remember you vi'
wow... that woman has some memory!- i got her new book and she signed it
and yes clara it has been an amazing journey over the years ( we do go back about 10 years now)

i got martha's address finally... i need to send her that package i have had sitting here for her for like 3 years and i've forgotten to bring to rhinebeck

i got a LOT of wonderful skeins ..... i got a tweed for bernie for a hat for him
i saw some amazing laceweights
i saw some phenomenal lacey shawls too that captivated me was a old shale stole with a collar knitting on one side....which is something i'd been thinking about so i am considering as my next project....
in a silk blend... i got a nice lilac for that if i decide..... and i think 600 yards should be enough no?
maybe on size 4? although lately i am wanting to knit lace again on size 1 needles .............and knit it in silk

i am exhausted, with sinus headache to boot
rhinebeck always knocks me out and this year was no execption
we went up early- and i passed out
i'm still dead today
bless bernie for putting the ducks out for me
and making some rolls for us this morning
i was to make him roast beef last night but was too exhausted so today he'll get that

even though this year didn't have the incredible magic that normally rhinebeck hold for me
i still am very glad i went
seeing everyone was worth the trip
i'm growing old with some amazing amazing people... even though we only see each other once a year

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

oh my oh my

first off..... yeah, finally those idiots in washington finally did their job.
the rest of the world is laughing at us
i figured that they would....too much BIG money is riding on this....
but they better stop this shit-- this playing chicken shit......sooner not later the people that we owe money to are going to just tell us to take a freeken hike....(like china........we owe tons of money to them) and they are going to take over our country.... as they sort of own it anyway especially if we don't pay them the $$$$$$$ we owe them
and who's bright idea was it anyway to borrow from china in the first place?for what reason?

if we don't vote those idiots out next election we deserve what we get.

 this is the color of our door now-it still needs another coat-- it's the exact color of a beauty berry! i love this color purple... we are talking about the hardware color too.....and probably will go with either antiqued copper or oiled bronze... bernie sanded and prepped, and i'm painting needs another coat but today threatened rain so i'll wait
i have been wanting a purple door since we moved in this house, i think it's making bernie happy too, he seems so much happier since the door became purple! the old color was a wonderful complex english plummy burgundy... but the mildew from the oil paint/moisture really did that paint in so this is wonderfully fresh for us.- i'll get another picture of it when the blue tape is off it and the hardware is oiled bronze.(remind me if i forget)'s still freeken (or freekish) warm out
i lit a fire tonight but really just to take the chill off....i was pretty surprised that it's still in the 50s outside

and then there was tonight's supper....roast chicken, my mom's potato salad...and a huge mixed green and veg salad......HUGE....... OMG i scarfed that salad down so damn fast!
in another week or so i am also going to be doing a few marathon cook ahead sessions......
probably meatloaf, breaded chicken and breaded pork
possibly baked ziti, and probably more enchiladas (i like the way i make them with the veggies in them)
as i need time to paint and it would be much easier on me if the meals were just reheats
which brings me to .......

painting news,....... i finished the polish spring goddess
i have to decide now if i should keep at it for another 6 or start a different series
i think that if i had actual time to do a series without having to break for days on end, it would be a lot easier on me

i think also for the next series, i am going to actually do all the layouts prior to the paintings... which is going to be hard on me cause the first painting usually opens up the layout ideas and color ideas for the rest of the series

and on the subject of art, paintings etc....
i want to share with you all something that is deeply disturbing to me as an artist and should be to anyone that is got any ethics...

ok please read these blogs..... and if you can...share the links with your friends.. share on facebook ....tweet them....  whatever works to get this out.......

as self employed artists we all work even harder then normal folks.... we are our own marketing departments, supply department, shipping, accounts payable/receivable name it- all while trying to keep our family lives don't get me wrong, i love what i do or i wouldn't do it
(not that i am really fit for any sort of office job.... art departments were the only office jobs i thrived in)
but imagine you working 80 hours a week and your neighbor gets your pay check!
basically that's what this is
it's theft

ok, it's way past my bed time and i have to go to town tomorrow for sugar (of all things right? but it's 1.37 for a 4# bag and a daily limit of two bags-- holiday baking is right around the very warm corner)

take good care folks and i hope we all sleep better now that this stupidity in washington appears for the moment to be over

Friday, October 11, 2013

just a fast post before i go to sleep

really fast....
ok i went to town to meet little vicky for 'lunch' actually coffee and....
i should have eaten
i had taken out meatloaf that i made a few weeks ago for the freezer so i had just to make a fast cheese sauce and some mac (shells this time)
i threw everything in the oven and nuked some fresh broccoli for bernie's dinner

tomorrow is saturday (this week for me flew by) i don't know what bernie has planned for the weekend yet but i know he's got stuff to do

i really need to spray a bit...i gave the cats capstar as we saw some fleas but they seem ok today
i don't know why but i am exhausted all the time lately
so i'm going up
when i wake up in the morning my bernie will be home
that's a good thing
he told me he is taking off for the holidays...the night before every holiday
so that he HAS the day with me.... i know he feels bad about how little time we've had together the past year.... as when he's home he's sleeping usually

ok i'm yawning like crazy so i have to go up

take good care

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

do i know how to make a mess or what?

6 gallons of turkey stock/bones/fat just exploded in my kitchen
it is my own damn fault too
i know better then to stay up to 2am and then try to function the next day
now i am trying to clean it up -without a mop
(another don't ask thing)
meanwhile the cats are upset- the kitchen is a nightmare
and i have to figure out how to finish cleaning this up without a mop
but with a full bottle of 'dawn'

oh man.....
when i do it.....i sure do it

so i am taking a break trying to figure out how to deal with this....(and wishing the cleaning fairy would come and  majic it all away) ....
i have to get it finished fast as it's going to smell pretty bad if i don't
and be dangerous with the grease

wish me luck....i'm going in

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

i am worried about a lot of things---

but not the government shutting down
well cause it's happened before, (thanks donna for reminding me)
and also mainly because the powers that be (ie: really rich companies) won't allow it to go on long as too much money will be lost
never underestimate the power of big big money

so am i worried.....not about that

ok back to our little corner of the universe here
i got that second turkey roasted and deboned, with the meat going to the freezer tomorrow
and the bones simmering again in a stock pot on the stove
we picked up three more breasts on sale so they are in the freezer
bernie told me that the both freezers are full up to the tops and there is NO MORE ROOM
i'm going to get into the upright and defrost it maybe this weekend.... when i do there will be some more room
i also made apple pie sauce
then i made pork with saurkraut and applepie sauce
bern ate a ton of it-
i froze what was left......there really wasn't enough to can even though i had started out with something like 15 pounds of apples
macs, gala and ginger golds
ok if someone wants to make this
i used about 2 tablespoons butter
peeled and cored all them apples....
sugar...which i didn't measure, just keep tasting it
a splash of lemon juice
then about 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon ('s the best) and about half that of ginger
a tablespoon of blackstrop molasses.........
and simmer stirring every few minutes for like.....forever!
(maybe 8 hours)
i used one of my round staub cocottes and it was wonderful.....
i had to keep adding apples though, as there wasn't room for all of them until the apples cooked down a bit
it got a rich golden brown color.....translucent mostly
with chunks of apples here and there
tasted like either apple pie filling or applesauce
and i am going to make it that way from now on.. as i can use it with dough for pies etc or with meats

we also got some pie pumpkins which i was supposed to bake the other day but time got away from me
so this week sometimes i will bake at least one

in painting updates: the latest is a polish spring goddess, who is coming along well but i am really looking forward to finishing her as i don't like taking too long with any painting if i can help it
now while i paint i like to listen to classical music ..... and today i tried to burn a cd of a whole bunch of new music
i am now the proud owner of three coasters...... that used to be cd's
dont' ask...seriously don't cause i don't know what i did wrong!
and trying to rewrite or reformat the cd-r just lost me access to the music!


bernie and i have been talking about a new computer for me, to put over by the painting table
or a new desktop here and to take my laptop over there
i've been looking
i may get an all in one.....although i really would like two monitors ......
i am considering going to school in january at our local college (online classes) for photoshop ....if so i want a new computer with a much larger screen before then

what else?
the weather is very warm...we brought in wood just in case but really it's been so warm again---however it's in if we need it

oh and we paid off the van today, which is a year late in being paid off.... but due to bernie  getting hurt at work then being laid off  THE DAY  he returned- we just paid the payments and not too much extra
it's still about 6 months ahead of the actual last payment date but it should have been last year at this time

we're still talking and looking for a diesel vw for bernie....
meanwhile we're still sharing the van
but we do need something as a back up that's better on gas
i told him...'we get you that gazzillion mpg diesel car, and you'll end up with a job around the corner'
AND gas prices will fall through the floor...
cause that's what happens to us

anyway out of all the things i worry about.... the shut down of the government is not one of them
it's not permanent