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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Art and Recipes

Freight 445

I have become a pickling diva.
Two weeks ago, I held a paste-paper making workshop. If you read my blog, you already know this. Here’s what you don’t know unless you were there!!!  While we were working on our award-quality papers, we got to talking about pickling. Yep, as in sweet, dill, using cukes, watermelon rind, green tomatoes. Pickling, a skill I’d been saying for years I wanted to learn to do from scratch.
On-line, I could never get past all the Department of Health-type instructions about canning the pickled product.  Way to much fuss for yours-truly.
So as I was saying, we’re talking, and Oliver tells me the simplest basic recipe for pickling juice:
One part vinegar + two parts water + spices to taste
Fill glass jar (yes, glass, you want your pickling to taste like plastic?) with prepared item to be pickled.
Pour juice over items until they are completely covered. Put on lid; skip the whole canning thing--> store in fridge.
Pickling, who knew it was just that easy?
Since then I have made some good pickled watermelon rind, some totally delicious sweet and spicy pickled eggs and some over-the-top Brian’s Mustard-pickled cantaloupe. Isn’t thinking like an artist amazing? “Spice to taste” becomes whatever the heck we want it to be. Yummy.
Now 4 more about the art.
I’m all for making stuff from scratch. Except when I’m not.
A few years back, wonderful artist Helen Schaffer Garcia taught me to make my own paste for paste paper using corn starch.  She whipped up a batch right there on her kitchen stove. Rockin’. I knew I’d never do it. I never would have ground my own lapis lazuli to get a Vermeer blue, either. Just saying.
Still, I love the paste paper effect, so when I found a workshop with another wonderful artist, Al Rodriguez, I signed up. “Give it another try”, I told myself, “Maybe you’ll be more inclined to cook your art supplies this time,” I posited. Well, Al had it goin’ on in a way I could fully embrace. No cooking, just mixing. The rest is history…
Al’s recipe for paste-paper, plus tips from me
One part pre-mixed Universal Wall-Paper Paste “For all wall-paper and all wall surfaces”
One part pre-mixed tempera, color of your choice
Mix well (now here come my tips) in small batches, no more than a cup at a time, no more then 3-4 colors at once unless you’ve got lots of other folks partaking with you.
DO NOT EAT this stuff.
S’long ‘til next time,
Renée

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Me and the New Blackberry

Cellie Installation-will go on display with other tributes to recycling in Oct, 2011

I knew I was in for it when I opened the instruction booklet on my new Blackberry and the font was size 8—if even.   I’m thinking I’m gonna need adaptive equipment just to get started.
O.k. I was born smack in the middle of the baby-boomer years, and I do feel a certain sense of demographic entitlement. I’ll admit it. Font size 8? Come on—I thought 12 was marketing industry standard.
Marketing? Huh? This is an instruction booklet, right?  Ha! 
I open the teeny booklet and realize that T-Mobiles’ priorities are to sell me more apps. Hello, 411-connect, please: I can’t yet use the ones this gadget already has!
Forever, I’ve been adamant that I want my cell phone to be just that: a phone. No apps, no internet-connection.  Hold the camera, please, don’t need it.
Texting? Had my current phone for 3 years before a family emergency pushed me to learn the texting feature it contained.  Did ya notice I just wrote 3 years? Not a typo.  I’ve now had the same cellie for 6 years, and maybe I should have been upgrading all along as my cell company’s been suggesting, but why? My cellie works fine and there are already enough of other peoples’ old cell phones taking up space in my art studio, waiting to be transformed into the next Great American Sculpture.
Back to the Blackberry. I have been assigned one as standard equipment needed for my work. All well and good. But the training component (also standard) hasn’t caught up with the delivery of the hardware. I’ve got this new puppy. Haven’t been able to make a phone call with it—or answer one either, for that matter.  Would love to enjoy it’s “awesome” features as much as my co-workers are enjoying theirs. Maybe next week?
TTFN,
Renée