Sunday, July 26, 2015

chloroform wicket prospect

There is a right physical size for every idea. -- Henry Moore

Oh oh.  Today the little family is coming over to see us and hopefully get into some place for brunch!  You cannot imagine wht a mess we are in here in the former casa... certainly a place that a 20 month old will drive everyone crazy trying to keep him out of the piles!

My foray into life-as-it-used-to-be yesterday gave me 2 or 3 hours to myself at the Apple store, and I met Rashad who fixed the adware and issues on my laptop.  It didn't take too long and he sent me on my way but when I got to looking the whole system is full and I had already added extra memory when I bought it.  Just like my house-  too full even thought it as big when I got it!  I spent several hours deleting things and emptying trash  and it seems better now but still I need to figure out why some things are happening that shouldn't AND dump some more.First to go are all those 2004 teaching records, and early photos I scanned from slides going back to the beginning of quilt making.  Thousands of 'em.  And too many family pictures that were over-photographed. It will be a good distraction from this hideous mess. The movers don't come until TUESDAY now, then we have to go live in a hotel.  With bad coffee, I'm sure.


 Walter Van Beirendonck, Y-3.  Looks like clown suits to me.  Discuss...

Feel like reading more?  I've copied the commencement speech John Waters gave at the RISD 2015 graduation- Fabulous!

“Today may be the last day of your juvenile delinquency, but it should also be the first day of your new adult disobedience,” John Waters recently told the 2015 graduating class of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in his commencement speech. Waters, the audacious artist, actor, director, and stand-up comedian, alternatively nicknamed the “Prince of Puke” and the “People’s Pervert,” described Hairspray as “a Trojan horse: It snuck into middle America and never got caught,” and added, “You can do the same thing.” Throughout his hilarious and wise speech, Waters encouraged students to pursue daring projects while working their way from the inside — “you need to prepare sneak attacks on society.”
Though Waters says that in “the fine arts play is work” — adding, “what other field allows you to deduct as business expenses from your taxes gangsta rap, … even vintage porn, as long as you use it for research?” — he also doesn’t undermine the importance of persevering. For years he’s been waking up every day at 6am to come up with his “insane” ideas. “Contemporary art’s job is to wreck what came before,” he said, but to succeed in your disobedience also takes a lot of work.
There's more that I will post another time-  I know how much you guys get bored with lotsa words.

prefabricate inversion casework

"Be your own worst critic." (Paul Arden)   


Hey Bunnies-  Today is NATIONAL HOT FUDGE DAY!  Mark your calendars so you can be prepared for next year, then go visit your closest supermarket to gather supplies:


yield: A heaping 2 cups
prep time: 5 minutes
cook time: 10 minutes
total time: 15 minutes


2/3 cup heavy cream
½ cup Lyle's Golden Syrup, or light corn syrup
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, divided in half
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. In a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream, syrup, brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt and half of the chocolate to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low or low (enough to maintain a low simmer), and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate, the butter, and the vanilla extract, stirring until smooth. Let cool for 20 to 30 minutes before using (it will thicken as it cools). Store in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. To reheat, microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute until it's pourable but still thick.
(Recipe adapted from Gourmet Today and Smitten Kitchen)

Note:  I picked the squirrel picture above because it looks almost like chocolate!
Unfortunately I cannot make this because I don't have any pans, I don't have any spoons, and the chocolate is all gone too.  Be assured that as soon as I get back to a kitchen, it will be amongst the first projects I tackle.  Meanwhile I do see a visit to the local ice cream emporium later today.  Wish you were here...

And speaking of chocolate, my favorite ever chocolate is made right here in Somerville by a guy who was in school with my kids!  Local Boy Makes Good (Chocolate!).  It's TAZA Stone Ground and comes in little discs divided up like pie to snap off when you get the urge, available at Whole Foods and worth every penny.  It's heavy duty dark chocolate and also comes laced with different chilis, cinnamon, and other flavors I can't remember because I spent all my money on the Chipotle chocolate and the Guajillo chili flavor I tore through quickly.  Go to the website and watch Alex trekking through Haiti buying superior beans and helping grow the economy.  This stuff is fabulous, on my gift registry for a case!

Now lets chat about some weird art, isn't that why you dropped by?  I hope so.Pretty silver trees, eh?  All different, all very intricate-

The owner of has been turning ant extermination into a controversial art form by creating aluminum casts of expired colonies. After locating an anthill — mostly, those of the fire ant and carpenter ant species — he pours boiling, liquid metal into the entranceway, solidifying the tunnels and killing anything inside. The cast of the ant nest is then dug out, sprayed off, and mounted on a wooden base for display. Many of them are then sold on eBay to schools and collectors.

How about these toys we used to play with, probably right after we came inside from 
running after the truck spraying for mosquitoes!  Nice cool spray on a hot afternoon...  Anyway, we all knew some kid who had most of these and performed experiments in his bedroom with the door closed!  

The glass blowing kit (for boys!) was designed to be as instructional as it was entertaining. According to the manual (which you can still find online), the kit was a complete guide to everything a boy needed to know in order to make anything from glass toys and straws to champagne glasses, window glass, and even glass beakers and lab equipment for your chemistry set. It tells how to heat up glass with the alcohol lamp, warning that it’s going to be hot when it’s glowing red.  Note how the future glassblowers wear shirts and ties.
Boys are taught how to bend glass to shape it, and the step-by-step guide also thoughtfully warns against using kerosene in the house, as it’ll cover everything with a black residue that won’t make mom happy that you’re playing with lamps and molten glass inside.

The Atomic Energy Lab came with four different samples of uranium, along with a Geiger counter for measuring just what the uranium was putting off, a cloud chamber with power source, and the comic book, Dagwood Splits the Atom. The comic, which featured Dagwood of the popular comic strip (along with his wife, Blondie), gave kids a crash course in atomic energy that was narrated, in part, by Popeye.  This little atomic engineer is less formal, must be a blue collar job making bimbs?

Instruction booklets in the 1950s told kids how to create smoke and explosions – which kids love, after all. Today, even the iodine contained in most of sets is some of a controlled substance, because it can be used to make methamphetamine – and is potentially lethal to drink. But the fall of the chemistry set wasn’t just because of safety concerns. It went far beyond that.  I'd say giving a kid the tools to make meth might do it.

The Little Lady Stove was one of the worst offenders, on the market in the 1960s. It was one of a handful of toys that the National Commission on Product Safety recommended be banned completely, mostly because of the heat it put off. The oven racks would heat up to 600F (315C), which is hotter than most real-life, grown-up ovens ever need to be.  This would be used for pot brownies I suppose.  My own little play stove had a 100w bulb as the heating element to cook the tiny cake, but it would work on brownies too I betcha.

If any toy could be considered endlessly controversial, the toy gun. Even those that don’t see the harm in a nerf gun or a squirt gun can’t argue that the Austin Magic Pistol may just take things that bit too far.  Sold in the 1940s, the pistol fired ping pong balls at what can only be described as, for a toy, high velocity. The firing mechanism was calcium carbide, loaded into the back of the pistol and activated with a few drops of water.  This one also shoots flames. The problem with this toy is why would anybody play with toy guns when they can have real ones?  Both my brother and I had rifles as children.  I lost all interest when I shot my first rabbit.  My father was so proud, I cried for days, and that ended my hunting career.  My brother however took his rifles off to college with him and would head out to the Rockies on weekends. 

Today, we all know that lead toys are bad. Very bad. Lead paint and lead toys have now been banned, but it wasn’t very long ago that the ban happened.Strangely, the dangers of lead have been understood for many years – we have records dating back as far as ancient Rome in which physicians suggested a link between the widespread use of lead, especially to flavour wine, and the development of illnesses like gout and anemia. The use of lead goes back even farther, with small lead statues having been recovered from Turkey that date back to around 6500 BC.  

One of our European friends brought a DIY set of toy soldiers to my own kids.  We melted down the lead, poured the molds, and then painted them up.  We used them as balast in a chandelier that never would hang straight, stuffed them in around the bulbs to weigh down one side.  I wonder if the buyers of that house ever found them...  or have lead poisoning!  That's something I guess I won't ask them at this point.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

awesome irredentist sophie

“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” 

(Full Disclosure:  Mine holds my sewing machine feet)

Packing is proceeding, about out of boxes again.  I simply can't believe the crap that is emerging from the secret cupboards and closet recesses.  Goodwill is gonna put a stop to my visits.  We did find a junk guy to come take all the leftover stuff-  lots of computer equipment, old paints, and my excess dishes.  Yeah, I am sending away my Spode Christmas plates and cups and mugs and all the associated collection.  I haven't opened the box since we moved here 16 years ago and I gave up Christmas. So yesterday I did open it and removed 12 mugs, a platter and a large bowl.  I've divided it in half and each kid will get some, the rest is dumped.  

Next issue is my mom's ugly crystal-  a set of eight,ten, maybe a dozen (I think) goblets and champagnes and juice glasses that are etched and cut and fluted and just about every other imaginable thing you can do it glass.  I hate this stuff!  I held on to it since she died because I knew she loved it but that's no longer a reason to live with stuff I hate.  SO, it will go to Florida and find a nice home in a consignment store.  I'd do eBay but the shipping would cost as much as it's worth.

Another weird collection is suitcases-  how in hell do we own so many suitcases?  I guess it's just something that you don't throw out unless they are really busted up.  Well, watch me!  

Next issue, I have to go to the Apple genius today because I have picked up a virus that I can't seem to eradicate myself.  I've gotten so weird that I assume that the popup vires ads are more viruses, so I'm afraid to make it worse.  I checked 4 Apple stores around here and only one had an appointment available before Tuesday so I signed on.  A pain to get to and a wasted day I'm sure, but maybe Im being cynical.

Meanwhile check out Victor and Rolf's offerings this season-  They take a 'picture' off the wall and fold and drape it over the models, games and all.  Talk about jumping the shark!  

A runway of living masterpieces was the idea behind the couture “Wearable Art” collection.Viktor & Rolf had models walk around wearing human size canvases for their Fall 2015 couture show. The girls were coming out wearing a denim apron and a framed canvas at first white and then punctuated by paintings inspired by Dutch golden age painter Jan Asselijn. As the show went on, both designers appeared on stage to undress a model out of three, delicately taking off the painting they were wearing as a dress and hanging it on a hook off a wall.  This falls into Weirdness of the Day.

And just as ridiculous-  a skin to cover your new car with so it looks old!  Tell me, why in hell would you not buy a NEW skin to cover an OLD car instead?  I'd love to get a new model look to my aging car every year!  But here you go for this way to reverse snobbery-

With some clever coloring and detailing, they have made their 2014 Volkswagen T5 Sportline look like a rusty old van that shouldn’t be fit to drive around the city. Big rust stains drip down from the handles, the side panels look like they are disintegrating in front of your eyes, and the wing mirrors look like they have seen better days. Of course the actual body of the car is fine – the tires, the lights, and the windows all seem brand new and dent free.  Nope, THIS falls into Weirdness of the Day-  take your pick.

Friday, July 24, 2015

absurd come deforest

Look three times, think twice, paint once."   ROBERT GENN

I am soon tired from all this sorting and packing.  The living room has all the stuff of life that is moving to a new condo someday (sigh).  The dining room has all the stuff going to Florida, and other rooms are misc-mashes of both that needs sorting.  TY took a couple of bags of books to the library for them to sell, and one fell out of the bag when it broke-  he had a fit, told me the book was worth $600, so the damn thing is again back in the boxes to more.  Other books that were my grandfathers and given to my mother in 1952 BUT they are written in my said grandfather with a kid's stick drawing, and are in  deplorable condition.  It comes with his typewritten letter to my mom about how valuable they are.  SO, I am packing them to go to the studio as cutters for collage.  I do very much like the kid's drawing in the front from the 1880s, will scan that out and use it as 'family art'!  OK, so that's three books out of a wall full and this is how things are going here-  he is contemplating every volume, sits down and goes through it one at a time.  Believe me when I tell you that there are NO $20 bills stuffed in those pages.  So, he hasn't finished his one wall in one room yet. I've done all the kitchen cabinets, vacuumed and wiped them down,  my big walk-in closet is completely clear but for some pants and a blouse to wear to an engagement party this weekend.  His closet untouched.  Bathroom cupboards and linen closet, clear and wiped down.  Towels packed, old cosmetics thrown out and all the cough syrups that had turned to goo from 15 years of colds are tossed out.  New colds=new medicine!
Today's HORRORscope:  Emotional interactions on the home front could lead to a messy conflict that hijacks your weekend. Luckily, your current annoyance won't necessarily trigger a major confrontation if you're willing to utilize flexibility in your interactions with a close friend or relative. Reduce the pressure now by dragging the feelings that lurk beneath the surface out into the light. Even if a heart-to-heart conversation feels uncomfortable at first, being honest resolves the tension before things get out of hand. If you toss water on the embers today, you won't have any fires to put out tomorrow.
Today I will send him out for new boxes and a Goodwill run-  he also takes trash down to the trash room regularly.  The rest I am doing,  and I am exhausted and sore and short of temper.  I gotta toss water on my own embers today, and pace myself so I can make it a few more days.  

Today is the fortieth birthday of my first kid, a day that changed my life forever. I can barely comprehend forty years ago, it seems like yesterday and it seems like forever.  We had a party last night for her, for our daughter in law, and for our niece who turns thirty on Saturday, quite a bunch of clustered birthdays, plus there are three more before August ends.

OK, enough of that stuff, let's talk art!  Odd things today only related because they are both simply color studies...

What if all our food was served sushi style? Would it be more appetizing? And would we eat less if everything was the same size? The artist/design team of Lernert and Sander asks that question and ponders the aesthetic of making food dimensionally equal. In an ambitious project they took dozens of food items and cut them into uniform cubes then photographed the results. The final result is an array of colors which resembles a very large tray of sushi. 

The view looking out of a window is often one filled with daydreaming and contemplation. Artist Jim Darling creates abstracted images inspired by the view of looking out of an airplane window. His brilliant, wispy use of color and impressionistic style perfectly breaks down the fleeting shapes and colors seen through the perspective from an airplane. His thick, impasto style depicts the aerial views just as they are seen in real life, swift and in motion. The abstract scenes seem to rush in and out of your view as you get a glimpse of the many wonderful colors lighting up the sky at different types of day.
Created from acrylic paint, aerosol, and woodwork, the artist constructs the frame of each piece to appear just like the window in an airplane would, with the window shade and all.