Friday, July 31, 2009

Artists' Market and Yosemite teaser

I am scrambling around this morning getting last minute things together before the long-awaited Ithaca Artists' Market which happens today from 2-8 PM at the market pavilion.  There will be around 60 other local artists, lots of food and wine and music and even a chocolate vendor.  So what if it's raining and thundering, stop in and shop for some fine local art!  Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's work, it's a fun opportunity to see what my colleagues have been up to.  

Actually, I'm basically ready for it, but have some scrambling to do in order to get a few card orders in the mail.  I got back from Yosemite late late on Wednesday night and have been wading through the emails, while at the same time reassuring my lonely cats that I'm really back.

Speaking of Yosemite, I had a really amazing and fun and beautiful trip!!!  I was very sad to leave.  I will blog more thoroughly about it later when I have a little more leisure, but will post one teaser photo right now...this is one of the views from the Vogelsang High Sierra Camp, where I stayed.  Can you even believe it's real?  I swear that everywhere you look there it's perfect.  

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Hee hee hee, I am taking the day off from the Farmers' Market, and it feels deliciously wonderful to sleep late, listen to weekend NPR, and have the day to relax and prepare for my trip.  It all starts tomorrow with a 6 AM flight from Syracuse, which means leaving here at 3:30 AM...and the day tomorrow will end with a 7.5 mile hike into Vogelsang High Sierra Camp, which is over 10,000 feet...adventure beckons!

So all that to say, the blog will be quiet for a little while, but expect pretty photos when I return.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday is the new Tuesday

Ahhh, Friday evening, with the car all loaded up for market, the to-do list all crossed off, all the laundry and dishes done, and a sense of accomplishment after another week of working flat out.  I'm compressing five weeks of work into three because of my upcoming travel friends and family are probably considering sending out a search party because I've just been in non-social work zone.   Although with market tomorrow, my Friday night is like a normal person's, say, Tuesday night.

This weekend is a big capoeira event in NYC, a batizado, and many of the people in my group are going.  I'm sad to be missing it!  

I printed the Farmageddon shirts yesterday on the porch, they all turned out well.  Here are some photos of the process and the end result.  I find the most important thing is to keep my hands clean, so there aren't any smudgy fingerprints in random places on the shirts.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

At the Smart Monkey

Hey, I keep forgetting to let you (faithful readers and those who happen to be browsing here) know that my art is up at the Smart Monkey Cafe this month!  I'm downstairs, and Alice Muhlback is upstairs.  Or at least her art is.  These are many of the new paintings from the Korova show from earlier in the year, those fun little lino block prints, plus a few others from the archives.  But this time you can view them while eating tasty local organic food.

And while I'm making a sort of business-y post, I should mention the upcoming Artists' Market on July 31st, a Friday evening from 2-8 PM, down at the Farmers' Market pavilion.  It's a beloved Ithaca tradition, and this year the Friday evening time is different and allows the market to expand.  There will be 60 juried artists (me included), plus food, wine, chocolate, music, etc.  Please come.

On the gossipy front, the new chickens are settling into the flock with a minimum of fuss, and I am still working really really long hard days, because next Monday I fly off to California to spend 10 days in the backcountry in Yosemite (and I can barely wait)!

(here's me this afternoon at the Smart Monkey)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

You need a Farmageddon shirt

Lots of time on the computer this week, especially this morning....two wedding announcements to work on, a t-shirt design for a local winery, a capoeira print, lots of emails and Etsy updates and digital ducks in a row.  Am currently installed on the porch, which is kind of the living room extension during the summer months, so I can pretend to be outside while working, haHA!  Beautiful beautiful day!

Next week I have a completely different project on tap...silkscreening a second round of the legendary Farmageddon t-shirts!  The screen is being burned as I type (hopefully) and there's a giant pile of shirts in my kitchen awaiting printing.  I sometimes burn the screens myself but the chemicals are getting old, and setting up that complicated system with the 500 watt bulb and the glass and the dark room is tricky and doesn't always work.  If you want one of these shirts, let me know, there will be unisex (blue or rusty orange) and women's styles (pink or light blue) and they will be $15.  Guaranteed to get comments.

(Farmageddon was a big party that my friend Thor threw on his farm a few years ago as a benefit for the local low-income CSA program.  Lots of music and food, very fun time.  The shirts were a big hit, and went fast, so this at long last is a second chance to get one.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Chickpea curry

If you came here from Gary's blog, here's that chickpea curry he's talking about!  (recipe courtesy of my pals Kendra and Peter):

2 cans (19oz each) chickpeas

1/4c vegetable oil

generous pinch asafetida

1t cumin seeds

1 med-small onion, peeled and chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1/4c canned chopped tomatoes

2t peeled, finely grated ginger

1 1/4c prepared black tea (we like Lap Sang Su Shong)

1 to 2 hot green chilis, cut into fine rounds

1t salt

2t ground toasted cumin seeds

1t garam masala

3-4T coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1T lemon juice

Rinse and drain chickpeas.

Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add asafetida and cook for a few seconds. Add cumin seeds and cook for 15 seconds, Add onion and cook until onion turns quite brown. Add garlic and cook until golden. Add tomatoes and cook until they turn dark and thick. Add ginger, stir well. Add chickpeas and remaining ingredients. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Appetizing, indeed!

The informative directions, on my new bag of rice noodles.  I heart the Asian grocery store!

"Egret Brand Tung-Kow rice vermicelli is a traditional diet made of choice rice, white and smooth, soft but tough threads and easy cooking are favourable for pot-luck, for entertainment of guests or for use as a gift.

Suggestions for cooking: (1) Frying: after softening the vermicelli in boiling water, take out to fry along with sauteed dainty ingredients until well done, (2) Boiling: fry the aforesaid ingredients to half-done, put in boiling water at the bubble, and gether the sqftened vermicelli to simmer until fully cooked, (3) Deepfrying: after frying in boiling oil for 1-2 minutes, it is crisp and savoury and when coordinated with congee or other diet, it is appetizing, indeed!"

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Flew the coop

So out here in the country we take our excitement where we can get it.  Those who follow my blog, or even those who drop in occasionally looking for stories about the life of a freelance artist and maybe some recent nice paintings, know that I have a small flock of chickens who are apparently my main source of entertainment.  I try not to talk too much about them, but there are two recent tales that beg telling, and I also promised Werner and Rob that there'd be some good reading on here tonight.

Story 1: A few days ago I drove back into my driveway, and the girls came waddling down to greet me as usual.  I think this is pretty funny, so I usually encourage this behavior with a handful of corn.  I went over to the feedbag, in an old beat-up metal trash can, and grabbed a handful of corn to scatter.  Then I reached in again, and instead of corn, much to everyone's surprise I grabbed a chipmunk.  

Story 2: The original flock of six hens has dwindled to four (Gladys disappeared, Dorothy faded away and eventually had to be dispatched by my farmer boy housemate...leaving Martha, Clara, Ruth and Ethel), so I decided to get two more to round out the number again.  A friend at the farmers' market had extra, so she offered to bring me a couple of hens in exchange for some notecards.  Hurrah for the barter system!  

Susan brought two lovely Silver-Laced Wyandotts to me at market in a pet carrier, and I brought them to their new home on Saturday.  Now, Saturday was an extremely busy day at the market, the Fourth of July and nice weather and TONS and TONS of people....we looooove profitable days like that at market, but I was absolutely reeling from the crowds and from talking to too many people, completely knackered.  I wanted to shut the new girls in the coop for a few days so they knew where home was, so my plan was to pop them in the coop and then go take a big fat nap.  But I reached into the carrier to grab a chicken, and she pecked me!  A-ha, I said, I'll just take the top off the carrier and pick them up and pop them in the coop that way, and go on with the nap plan!  However, when I took the lid off, instead of sitting docilely and waiting to be installed in the coop, they flew out in a big flurry and headed for the piney woods.  I started to chase them, yelling unpleasant things about chickens, and of course they just went deeper into the bushes.  I threw out some corn (sans chipmunks) which got their attention for a minute but didn't really lure them back.  My housemate and her baby came out to join the fun.  After a little while of this, being so tired and grumpy and now covered in bits of the piney woods, I decided to just leave them be...they knew there was corn to be had, and anyway chickens always calm down when it gets dark and perhaps I could do the scoop-and-install plan when they were asleep.

Chickens are not very smart, but they ARE concerned about their self-preservation.  In the end, they both settled nervously into the coop all on their own at dusk, and one of them laid an egg.  The original flock was a little nervous too, but this morning all seemed fairly peaceful if a little extra raucous.  This afternoon they were all sticking fairly well together, checking out the compost and the birdfeeder...but still eyeing each other skeptically as you can see from the photo.  It will be interesting to see how they settle themselves out, and who will become alpha.  They are provisionally named Mildred and Agnes.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Smoke and oakum

It's been a very productive few days, on the heels of last week's sloth and indolence...and camping and friends visiting, and shopping, and la la la.  I sat down on Monday and made a very detailed plan of attack for the week, with tasks to be completed each day before sleeping, and am pleased to say I'm cracking on like smoke and oakum (as Jack Aubrey is always saying in those Patrick O'Brian novels I read so often).  I spent yesterday afternoon with my etching press, oh how I love my sweet etching press, and today pulled the prints out of the blotting paper and hung them out to finish drying on the clothesline on the porch.  Makes for interesting blog photos too, no?