Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday cat blogging

My philosophers. Ballyhoo likes to groom us every once in a while; apparently we aren't tidy enough without his help.  Once he gets started, it's difficult to get him to stop.  Mainly because he's so cute when he's doing it. Plus determined. Cute + determined= unstoppable.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I've been remiss this week! I guess it's a bit of a habit. Sorry.
I've spent this week mostly restocking, making new items to fill the gaps that the fall has happily made in my inventory. I mailed some fresh earrings off to Braithwaite Studios, so if you happen to be in Dayton, Virginia, do go take a gander.
Tried a new thing with resin on recycled soda cans, and discovered (are you listening, resin artists?) that resin does not necessarily stick to aluminum. I made all these cute little earrings with hammered wire and resin domed on the grey side of a cut piece of soda can ('pop' to some of you, you know who you are), and discovered that if you try just a little, the soda can will pop right away from the resin once it's cured. AND (this is sort of exciting), it's shiny. Not matte. The result is kinda cool-- hammered silver embedded in clear resin--I'm sure there's a way to do something interesting with it, but not for me, not this week. Anyway, one morning's worth of work temporarily out the window.
I love to experiment, but it's irksome when the experiments don't work out. Yes, I know it's a stepping stone to bigger, better, more interesting things, but right now, it just feels like a minor setback, and it's still annoying. Phooey.
On the bright side, I'm having great fun expanding my wabi sabi line. Here's some eye candy for you. It's green and gold-- I guess we could call it wasabi wabi sabi.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I just have to show off this paper I dyed the other day-- the colors make me swoon every time I look at them. I've already used up almost half of it, mostly on earrings. Sage, antique plum, and rust, and a dash of olive, of course. (I just made up the 'antique plum' color name-- but that's how it looks to me).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Today's installment of Project Panglossia: Dakota. Dakota is closely related to Lakota and Nakota-- for exactly how they're related, check out this dialect map. All of these are currently endangered, though there are some revitalization efforts in progress. Here's a page of links to more information on the Siouan languages.

You'll notice the little dot above the g in the first photo-- that's not a smudge (I never make smudges! No, never) but a dot indicating that the g is pronounced further back in the mouth than the English g. Also, notice that long serif dropping down off of the n at the end? That's not me being fancy-- that's a letter representing a velar nasal-- a sound like at the end of English 'sing'.

The 'ye' is the particle that makes it an imperative verb-- there were a few choices, actually-- for singular or plural, and for command or 'entreaty'. I'm not much of one for entreaty, personally, but the book I consulted recommended that women use this form 'for propriety's sake'. Since I'm just a visitor here, I followed their advice...

'listen (to me)'

'tell me'

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Adventures in persimmonry

It's persimmon season here-- not the big grocery store persimmons, but the little American persimmons that are beloved of Hoosiers. Today when I saw them everywhere at the farmer's market, I decided that it's finally time (after living here for 6 years) to learn what to do with them. So I bought 2 quarts and headed home with bright ideas.

Pudding is the traditional thing. Pudding or cake or bread or fudge. But you know, I'm a fan of preserving, so I decided to make jam.

What I learned:
1. You have to puree them, but they have big seeds and ugly skins.
2. It takes a long time to press two quarts of persimmons through a strainer.
3. A food mill will not be able to deal with the seeds.
4. You can use a juicer, but if you don't use the presser thingie to press the persimmons into the spout, seeds will ricochet all over the kitchen. Wear safety goggles.
5. Two quarts of persimmons makes 3 cups of pulp.
6. Persimmons smell a bit like oranges.
7. If the one recipe you found uses an additional liquid like orange juice, use it. Don't skip it just because you don't want to go to the grocery store. Honey and extra lemon juice will not be enough liquid.
8. Apparently, jam can actually turn out dry under certain circumstances. Who knew?

Anyway, for all it's faults, it's very tasty.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

The philosopher is off this weekend to, of all places, Nebraska, where he is philosophizing. Who knew they had such good taste in philosophy in Nebraska? Of course, you might not have guessed it about Indiana, either, yet here we are. Anyway, the upside to his absence is that I get to decide which of the foods I love but he dislikes I'll have for dinner while he's away: it's a tie between sauerkraut and bratwurst, cabbage and smoked sausage, or collard greens, black eyed peas and ham. Mmmm. Decisions, decisions.

Good news, cat fans: I finally caught the cats in the act of being cute again. Here's Vindaloo, disturbed in the midst of her afternoon nap time. She's in her favorite spot, as you can tell from all the cat hair on the sofa (sigh).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Another pendant from my new line, all fresh and sparkly!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I just discovered the Amazon Universal Wish List! Very exciting! You just right-click on
my store to your wishlist. Go ahead, enable your friends and family to spoil you properly!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Speaking of pumpkins, the ones I grew this year are ready. I've already harvested two. They came off of two different vines-- the one on the left basically looks like a fairy tale pumpkin, and the one on the right is the mystery pumpkin. Maybe I ended up with a hybrid? No idea. These are all seeds from pumpkins I bought at Kelp's a couple of years ago, and they don't have anything there that looks quite like this. Here's the other, with my hand in the photo to give you an idea of the size. Looks kinda like a butternut, but it's much bigger.

The other two shown below still on the vine are definitely cheese pumpkins. Very good for pie! You can see from the high grass around them how well I prepared the soil beforehand-- yet I still ended up with pumpkins, so it's all good as far as I'm concerned. I read yesterday that pumpkin leaves are edible, too-- fix the tender ones like any green, and use the bigger, tough ones for wrapping things in. I'll try it and let you know how it goes.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I haven't officially welcomed fall until I visit Kelp's Pumpkin Patch in Brown County, on 46 just east of Gnawbone. At that time I indulge my mania for winter squash. This year I didn't have to buy cheese pumpkins or fairy tale pumpkins, since those appear to be what I have growing in my yard (along with another variety that I still can't identify), but we had a good haul anyway. And yes, I will do my best to eat all of them before the winter's over!

Kelp's has the widest selection of squash and pumpkins I've ever seen. I don't even mess with the standard Hallowwen pumpkin these days-- boring! Give me green, beige, red, warty, lumpy, and tasty. We were a little late getting there this year, so the pallets are a little less abundant than they were a week or two ago.

My pumpkins in the wagon below: two Blue Hubbards, a big warty Red Hubbard, a warty dark Green Hubbard, a Cinderella (under the warty red hubbard) , and a couple of butternuts.
We also got a German pie pumpkin, which has lovely dark green and cream stripes. Why so many Hubbards, you ask? Well, they look fabulous, for starters. And also they are consistently the tastiest squash.
I can eat them plain after roasting, they're so sweet. And since one of my favorite breakfasts in the fall is warm pumpkin puree with sorghum molasses, this stand-alone tastiness is important. Try doing that with canned pie pumpkin. Blah!

Friday, October 10, 2008

I found this site that contains links to the official policy on the arts from the presidential candidates. Not that we don't have other things to worry about these days, but they're worth a read.

Find the McCain-Palin document here, and the Obama-Biden documents here, here, and here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Here's what I've been up to lately... took me a while to make sure this would work and finish a few nice pieces. I wanted to highlight the paperiness (papertude? papertudinousness? papericity? Ok, I'll stop) of the paper-- rather than paper that doesn't especially look like paper (like most of my work), I wanted to make something that did-- and yet was still strong. Strong yet delicate-looking. Getting to highlight some metalwork and metal leafing is a bonus. Nice textures, and a wabi-sabi aesthetic.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I noticed that someone googled 'dixie lily grits' to find my page, so I thought that a follow-up was necessary as a public service to those also seeking decent grits. The long and short of it is that no, Publix in Florida no longer carries them (why, Publix, why?). You can buy them online if need be. But by a stroke of luck, an Indiana mill was at the farmer's market one week with both yellow and white corn grits in a functional two-pound paper sack, and I stocked up for the year. It's a coarser grind than Dixie Lily, and you have to cook it for about 15 minutes, but the result is nice and creamy.

So if you have to mail order, I recommend Wib's Stone Ground Grain of Odon, Indiana. They didn't put their phone number on their bags, which seems like bad planning. I'll see if I can dig it up for you. Their mailing address is 11645E. 1625 N., Odon IN 47562.

Update: Last time I went back to Florida (Dec 2008), I did find decent slow-cook grits at the Winn Dixie (of course! Why didn't I think of them earlier?). Not Dixie Lily, but a fine substitute, Dixie Mills. So if you're in FL, go to Winn Dixie and they'll hook you up.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I had a great weekend at the Carmel International Arts festival, but it feels like it's taking me the entire week to recover! Maybe it's the onset of the fall-like weather, but I just want to crawl under the covers, drink a cup of tea, and read a book.

Speaking of tea, I got some new things to try: currently drinking a Bao Jun oolong; it's very good, but I'm not sure it's better than my usual Spring Dragon.
I also got a new horizontal tripod, which should let me take pictures of my larger necklaces from directly overhead. Now they're in better focus than they were when I was trying to photograph them holding the camera in hand and trying to stay veerrry still, but I'm still figuring out the trick to getting the lighting right. So no fabulous pictures quite yet, I'm afraid.
This week's Project Panglossia installment is South Efate, an Malayo-Polynesian language of Vanuatu. So I kinda got the tropical colors goin' on for these. The tilde over the 'p' means that the sound is not your usual [p], but a labio-velar; in other words, it's a sort of simultaneous [k] and [p]-- the tongue closes off at the back of the mouth where you'd make a [k] at the same time as the lips are closed to make the [p]. I've always been a fan of labio-velars-- I first encountered them when I took Yoruba lo those many years ago. But that's another story. Meanwhile, here are the South Efate pendants:

'tell me'