Archive for July, 2011

Garden Grows While I Make Donuts

Posted in etsy, food, gardening, handmade with tags , , on July 31, 2011 by darcyarts

Early morning watering in the garden was lovely.

Took more pictures of the tiny little insects with the yellow wings that are going to town on the face of our big sunflower.  They are doing rounds up there dancing in the pollen.

The tomatoes are multiplying and the cukes are gigantic.

The tiny insects on the sunflower are not alone. We have spiders. Hopefully, they are wrapping up the bad bugs.

I didn’t see any big spider wrappings but the two grasshoppers are m.i.a.

I’ve rigged up a batch of chicken wire and bamboo sticks and odds and ends to give the cucumber vines clinging space.

I hope there is natural hanging room from where the cukes place themselves.

They are going to get big and fat if this guy is any example of what is to come.

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This morning will also be spent making big plush donuts! I’m trying to stock up early for the gifting season. Everybody loves donuts.

Making donuts is relaxing and they always look so cute. I hope to have dozens and dozens of them ready to go out the door by November.

Donuts are selling every week here at the DarcyArts studios and that is a good thing.

 

I made eleven chocolate donuts last year for a birthday party.

Garden Delights

Posted in family, gardening, nature with tags , , on July 30, 2011 by darcyarts

So much green and nice yellow happening out in the planter boxes. The morning watering revealed treasures.

Our big sunflower grew from the bird seed we put in the yard. It’s gorgeous.

There are tiny bees on the face. They are hard to see in the photograph because they blend in so well. If you look closely you can see them (the little brown bumps) on the left side.

There were two grasshoppers on the smaller sunflower. They are doing a great job of nibbling it up.

I guess I should not want them in the garden but  . . . . If they head for the tomatoes they are history.

Mind Women

Posted in constructions, design, dolls, etsy, handmade, television with tags , , on July 24, 2011 by darcyarts

Inspired by Egon Scheile’s women I decided to see if I could make something in my simple cloth doll format.

It is pleasurable to make the faces in a new way — Prismacolor pencil and permanent marker around the eyes, cloth lips hand stitched into place and slightly embellished with embroidery thread. The hair is in sort of block form, just shapes with tendrils, to represent and up do.

They are dressed in Fin de Siecle under garments. I’m working on getting them to look right having scored lots of nice materials.

I think the underwear will be most successful in all white, off white. For this first try I used this pale brick color for the top but it’s cut and color are too modern. I need to keep them simple and yet sort of voluminous.

The women are the project I do in between Etsy orders of Donut andCurly Star pillows.

I’m making three curly stars this weekend. I will get back to the women later. I also have biz taxes due soon. Paperwork and doctors appointments and errands . . .

 

I managed to make a blonde head that is pleasingly Mae-West like.

I am working on a series of girls for the DarcyArts shop.  A redhead is next. She’ll have green eyes.

I gave the blonde lavender eye shadow and a little purple star tattoo high up on her cheek.

And, by the way, LA Ink starts next Thursday. Will it be frustration or fun?

 

Chickens, for Days

Posted in nature, TV with tags , , , on July 21, 2011 by darcyarts

The sprinklers were sprinkling, the sun was up, the breeze cool. I was tending to something when Frank said “There’s a chicken in the yard.”

I looked out and there was a nice looking white chicken walking up and down the little drive.

She is still out there, passing back and forth through the oleander hedge. I put some cracked corn out there. She had a bit but seems to be finding lots of other interesting items to nibble.

What’s odd is that last night Frank and I watched the new Roseanne show on the Lifetime channel. Chickens were a big part of both episodes we watched.

This show is mellower, though the bitching is still part of Roseanne’s natural expression. She and her extended family — son, daughter, grandkids, and Roseanne’s live-in musician boyfriend interact on  a cool macadamia nut farm in Hawaii.

Roseanne’s Nuts also has visiting royalty, aka the soulful, funky Bonnie Bramlett, and laid back native Hawaiian neighbors/musicians who perform little narrative tunes in between segments none of which are too loaded with important content.  Johnny Argent, the beau, keeps the chickens. They are his pets/pet project.

I would like to have chickens but I don’t think the landlord would dig  a lawn dotted with little chicken domiciles.

Green First

Posted in finds, food, gardening with tags , , , , , on July 20, 2011 by darcyarts

It’s a sea of green out in the planter boxes.

It won’t be very long before these turn reddish-purple brown. They will be fat sweet and juicy.

We should have ample supply. They will provide delicious tomato sandwiches, tomatoes for all other sandwiches, diced fresh tomatoes with gently cooked fish and bruchetta for days.

Trader Joe’s had samples of a very tasty bruchetta snack a few weeks back.

Customers were invited to try TJ’s bruchetta with cold cooked lentils and very fresh feta cheese served on a pita chip. It was so very good. You definitely must try it.

I love chips and salsa and could eat them every day. This Trader Joe’s recipe offered me a good Mediterranean alternative for spicy Mexican flavors.

We’re going to have cucumbers too. Yum.

Images From DarcyArts

Posted in constructions, esoterica with tags , on July 15, 2011 by darcyarts

I like stars,

little Robots with fake mustaches, pretty colors, ruffles, soft cloth dolls. I like so many things and the way they go together that I have admitted to suffering from compositional-mania.

No corner, here, is free of a collection of purposely placed odds and ends. I can’t seem to stop myself.

Give me a blank canvas, I must fill it, toy with it, rearrange it.

Someday I may have a studio that is very bare where I might train myself to put all my imaginings into the actual art pieces instead of spreading the composition to every single space in my environment like some out of control inorganic kudzu.

I want to simplify and reduce the clutter but where would I start?

The answer is probably that where to start doesn’t matter as much as just starting but I love all this detritus. In biology microorganisms colonized the left over elements of organic material and help it DECOMPOSE.  I’m always joining random elements into sets.

Maybe in addition to my “SIMPLIFY” I need one that reminds me to “DECOMPOSE.” That’s a little scary. I’ll think about that later.

 

How to Drain the Life Out of Rock

Posted in film, rock n roll with tags , , on July 12, 2011 by darcyarts

Say you want to put together a rock n roll show and you really want to  drain the life out of every performance. How would you do that?

First, don’t invite Ozzy Osbourne, but more about that later.

Before watching The 25th Anniversary Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Concerts I did not know that this concoction was a Time Life product. Now I understand why the “concert” seemed a nightmare of geezerish reduction.

Problems? The musicians were some of the best of the last century but they were grouped in ways that robbed each person of their uniqueness. The viewer is further punished by the fact that every musician is damned to perform their most insipid or most heavily over-played song. It became a game for me once I realized that was going to be the case.

Wait, Lou Reed will play Sweet Jane. What are they going to do with Patti Smith? Oh, yeah, Bruce Springsteen is there. They will make her play Because the Night. Neither of these are bad songs. The have their charm. The words to Because the Night are ridiculous but when Patti sings she’s all the way there to sell it. If you take the individual artistic integrity away from these songs they suffer.

Bad Editing: The lineup of performers was insane. It made no sense historically, musically or in any other way. The first segment started out with a well-worn Jerry Lee Lewis performing Great Balls of Fire. His feigning of youthful contempt by kicking over the piano bench after his performance did not work. It looked ridiculous. After Jerry Lee threw furniture around, which seemed to take all his strength, of course we move right into Crosby, Stills and Nash performing Woodstock! 

Many performers did not perform their own songs. Musicians of this caliber should be allowed to perform their own songs.

Thank god David Crosby got to do Almost Cut My Hair. David is a golden voiced god in all-too human body. Still the Woodstock/Freak flag emphasis was trite and TimeLife corny.

“Hey, arthritic 60s geezers, ‘member the good ol’ days of rebellion and mayhem? You’ll never have the energy to do that again, but you can buy this shitty trip down memory lane!”

David brought out his favorite Singer, the brilliant, soulful Bonnie Raitt who sang a Jackson Brown song, Love Has No Pride. Hey, Jackson Browne was there! He followed Bonnie and did The Pretender. Not something beautiful and real from his earliest days. No, play something form after he has become cynical and has begun to love that money train.

In keeping up with the California folkish sound, CS&N reassemble and invite James Taylor out. They play Stephen Stills’ Love The One Your With. Then James Taylor leaves. WTF?

Next we switch things up with a photo montage of the early days of the real folk scene in NYC. There is Rambling Jack Elliot,  Dave van Ronk, the young Bob, of course, Jack Kerouac (was he a folk singer?) and that is the perfect segue to . . .

Paul Simon? Okay Paul is from New York. He wrote a lot of wonderful songs was he ever a serious folky? Playing the people music? I don’t think so.

What do they have him play in this spot? You Can Call Me Al! What?

I guess they had to have a sort of bland latin rhythm carry over from Love the One You’re With. Is this Rock n Roll?

Another segment had Stevie Wonder and his band for the night anchor the stage for a couple of guests. It’s really hard to screw up a Stevie Wonder performance. Stevie always sounds great and powerful. How did they throw a wrench in that machine?

They had him perform Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel. They invited a very tired and overweight B.B. King out to do a half-baked, sit down version of The Thrill is Gone. Oh, yeah, and made sure Stevie had to endure technical sound problems.

Smokey Robinson made an appearance with Stevie. He did a beautiful performance of  The Tracks of My Tears. Jeff Beck came out and played some hot guitar with Stevie on Superstition. 

By this time I really couldn’t take anymore. We switched to the second disc looking for rock music. and there was Metallica!!!  It was like a minor, studded miracle.  I am a fan of Metallica in an ironic sort of way. They crack me up and loud bass is a really, really good thing. Kirk Hammett is cool.

Metallica play a song then call out New York’s greatest voice. Lou Reed? I’m so excited. Now things will be alright.

“Dion DiMucci!”

What? He sings The Wanderer. I like Dion. He was cool but how can you even conceive this segue. How? Am I on crack? Are the organizers of this shit on crack?

Lou Reed did come out, eventually, and play Sweet Jane with Metallica as his back up band. There will be no delicious Lou Reed leads.Kurt Hammett’s got the floor. Don’t get me wrong I love Kirk Hammett. Lou wasn’t allowed to sizzle and be Lou. The audience was hungry for Lou’s authenticity, his essence. They didn’t get it in the clips I saw. Wham, Bam, Thank you, Mam. Lou was gone.

Last night I loved Metallica. They got to host Ozzy Osbourne who tried his damnedest to get people excited and on their feet, get up fired up!

“Stand up people!”

There was a lovely medley of Iron Man and Paranoid. Hallelujah.

If you love real music, in its natural state, don’t watch the film The 25th Anniversary Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Concerts.

Green Racoon

Posted in gardening, nature with tags , , , , on July 11, 2011 by darcyarts

Greening and growing, the vegetables are so beautiful!

All the doors are open and the cool morning air is flowing through. Yes! Cool morning air. It may only reach the mid-nineties today. I am not being sarcastic. Ninety-five is cool for this time of year in the far northern valley.

I put up chicken wire around most of the vegetables to protect them when they are young. I did not stick chicken wire guards around the catnip plants.

Catnip is strong and fast growing. These herbs were transplanted from my ugly, sun-bleached blue tubs.

Last week I noticed that one section of the thick stems was being torn up. There were offshoots ripped down and the thicker stems were trounced upon. I assumed this damage was the result of a kitty wriggling his way into a nice little open are right in the middle of the aromatic herb.

Just a short time after deciding that this made perfect sense I discovered something that offered a second possibility.

While turning the sprinkler around in the yard I came upon a strange pile of animal poop. It did not look like anything a dog or cat would produce though it was certainly of sufficient diameter to have come from a small to medium size canine. What was odd was that one spot had been used a number of times. The repeated visits have left a little mountain of waste product.

I did not take photos.

Closer examination of a fresh dropping (gushing?) seemed to contain small seeds, like those from figs or strawberries.  The landlord arrived while Frank and I were deep into our explorations. He came over and gave it a look.

“Racoon,” he said. “He’s probably up that tree.”

I was horrified. I find racoons to be grisly characters for a number of reasons.  They sound scary.

Early one morning I overheard a cat/racoon tussle right outside our bedroom window. The terrible noises woke me from a sound sleep.

Another time, before the break of dawn a mother racoon moved swiftly down our little road heading for the river. She had four babies, old enough to tag along behind her. One baby had wrecked back legs and had to drag them along. The mother seemed impatient and she growled that frightening sound while trying to get her brood to go faster. That chilled my blood. She didn’t seem to be particularly interested in the crippled, young racoon. It was painful to watch the little critter struggling to keep up with the group. There was probably little chance that the young thing survived.

I wonder if that mean mother is up the gigantic pine tree. I wonder if she sneaks out in the darkness, across the lawn and into my catnip plants.

Do racoons  eat tomatoes?

Bounty’s a Coming

Posted in food, gardening with tags , , , , on July 10, 2011 by darcyarts

The weathermen say that next week will be relatively mild. Temperatures are predicted to range from the mid 90s to the high 80s. It’s the second week of July. I call that a lucky break.

The plants managed well in last weeks hotter weather. They get a thorough listing/soaking in the early a.m. most mornings.

Sometimes little finches frolic in that mist. So cute.

The bush cucumber from the health food store looks fab. The tomatillo, too.

What fruit awaits us?

The eleven Paul Robeson tomato plants are robust and have flowered impressively. We even have a couple of tomatoes out.

The colors of all the vegetation is my morning delight.

July Spiders

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 9, 2011 by darcyarts

Here we have a spider hanging out at the entrance of a wasp’s mud nest. Is that a good idea? Would they work together? Do they have a plan? Would the spider be eaten or would the wasp be stilled?

I never got to find out because the bug guy came and spray and swept away the spiders. I guess they have to do it. The landlady likes things neat. The poison is scary.

Spiders have a purpose in the garden.

This one is spinning a web for him/herself in the tomatoes.

Thank you spider.