Thursday, May 29, 2008

Greenie the helper elf

I had a genie in mind but this is how it turned out. Sometimes the medium be wool roving or marble says what it wants to be and who wants to mess with the spirit of a piece. Although I must admit a genie would sure come in handy these days. Greenie could be a big help afterall. He is kind of cute but he keeps losing his little hat and then he gets kind of sulky.

Today, I traded out a pinata at OooLaLa's my local pinata shop for a new one, made dinner and posted my helper elf. I did find some roving for the skeleton drummer and started on a new needle felted box. You'll probably see that on the side it will be in my etsy store.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Immor(T)als still need a drummer

Phew I have been busy with a crazy schedule. Between that and the tattoo shop work which is turning into a needle felting demo, I have been in a time crunch.
The Immor(T)als has quite a following for a needle felted band. As you can see Mungo finally got dressed and Stella Zine and Liz Ardine are ready to Rock and Roll. The first Gig is in July for the Art Walk.
Fat Eddy the skeleton Drummer is do to arrive any minute.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mungo Mango /Mango Chicken

Mungo Mango is the lead guitarist for the Immor(T)als. This unflattering picture was taking before his yoga class. The rest of the Immor(T)als are still evolving and haven't gotten quite as far as Mungo Mango. There is LiZ Odd, Stella Zine, and the drummers so out of it he has forgotten his own name. In the meantime, Mungo is a man of patience and a true nudist. So slackin' about the tree house is cool with him while his costume artist comes up with the details and th rest of the band arrives. Eric sez its a web comic in the making about some kind of trollish death metal band. Mungo sez "No way!"

While you are waiting for the band to evolve try this out on the grill, its a big hit at summer parties:

Susan's Grilled Mango Chicken
I created this based on a ginger mango pork wrap from Federal Spice in Portland, Maine. I have used the sauce on pork chops and pork tender loin as well.
3 to 4 semi frozen boneless chicken breasts

about two cups mango chutney

(buy in the store or create by blending or chopping 3 or 4 mangos with 1 sweet pepper, ginger to taste, 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder, 1/4 cup white vineger and maybe a little tumeric and a bit of clove powder.)

about 1/2 cup of ginger ale

sweet green or red bell peppers 1 or 2

3 hard but ripe good size peaches


How I do it more or less:
Soak bamboo skewers or use stainless skewers
Chop chicken in slices while still semi frozen (I had to do this as a fluke one time and it seems to work out best). Cut peaches into healthy chunks- about 8. Cut peppers big enough to hug the peaches on the skewers. Skewer the meat, peaches and peppers...
I generally frame the slices of chicken with a slice of pepper hugging a chunk of peach then marinate in mango mixture for at least 1/2 hour- if frozen prep in the morning for an afternoon cookout. Grill until done. One of those fancy grilling pans with the holes are helpful if you have one.
Chill out and enjoy.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Blue Moose Emporium in Maine

Joselyn's brick and mortar store front

Joselyn's Blue Moose experience

Every so often I wind up route 24 along the Merrymeeting Bay in mid coast Maine to Richmond on the Kennebec River. The Merrymeeting Bay is an inland salt water bay where six rivers including two of the three major tributaries in Maine the Androscoggin and the Kennebec meet before emptying into Casco Bay. The area is much touted by bird watchers as a migratory stop.
Richmond is an old Russian settlement on the Kennebec chaudierre with lots of interesting architecture and a revitalized arts and crafts movement sparking its light into the old mills and storefronts of this small town. A short hop from Bath, Brunswick and Hallowell, it is slightly off the beaten track, but as every one knows in the Maine tourist season it is good to grab a gazetteer and stray off coastal Route One in the summer. Just follow the river north on route 24 and when you get to waterfront park turn left up the hill.
Joselyn Walsh's Blue Moose Emporium is located on the main st in downtown Richmond nestled between a couple of other galleries and an ice cream shop. It is the brick and mortar component of Joselyn's etsy stores bluemoose and bluemoosearts. The store is guarded by a short suit of armor, brimming flower boxes and a large blue moose. The old cement steps have been tastefully mosaic- ed between the treads and risers- one of Joselyn's arts of choice. Once inside, I have difficulty leaving although Joselyn reports that people do come in unawares thinking that is a train station or drug store and do leave after glancing at a few displays.
The Blue Moose experience is synonymous with "Art is Life, Life is Art". Joselyn began her Blue Moose journey in Carbondale, Colorado on the western slopes of the Rockies 30 miles down valley from Aspen. The region was steeped in the spirit of the Ute indians and she used to ski down to the bus stop. Her mother and grandmother were very creative, always "painting pictures" or crocheting. The Aspen area had great art festivals. Engaged in varsity sports, she never had a lot of time for art, until she wrecked her knee and was forced to sit still for a bit. So she tried her hand at all kinds of arts and crafts and discovered its healing properties. This is where her dream to make a living as an artist began and to spread the joy of creativity to all who drop in her store. She has been inspired by other artists and has a wonderful sense of color and composition not to mention her fanciful sense of humor and big heart.
The Emporium has gone through some changes this year, there are permanent work tables now to the right of the door backed by shelves of supplies. Joselyn can be found working on mosaics and collages there most days. Towns people and tourists alike have been known to drop by, pay for supplies and put together a collage on the spot or just sit and chat for a bit. Her altered artist kits can be found in her etsy store and in the emporium, but she also offers classes in the evenings. She has had classes in mask making, mosaic work, collage and what ever she and/or her friends feel like teaching. Recently people joined her class for 10 dollars to make cards and tags poeple travel quite a ways to come to her classes. Aside from her work tables there is a little sitting area in the mosaic department. Whenever I visit the store people drop in to buy a card or journal or just sit a while and chat The Blue Moose Emporium is as much a community as it is a store/workshop /gallery. Joselyn always has news of all things creative in the little town of Richmond. As a matter of fact, it was Joselyn who turned me on to etsy.
The colorful little store is full of unusual one of a kind gifts made by Joselyn, local artists/crafts people and some folks she has met on etsy. There is a great selection of cards and magnets, wildly beaded and doo dadded mosaics, be dazzled hats, wind chimes and light catchers, beads, pins, needle work, paintings sculpture, pottery and stained glass. If you can't make it to Richmond visit Blue Moose on etsy.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The NYC Philly caper part 2

The ceilings at the 30th St. Station in Philadelphia seem to have a new coat of paint. Gold leaf and maroon-ish color squares surrounded by a neutral color though now I can't remember if it was cream or gray. I really enjoyed the angel statue dedicated to the railroad workers. Its a roomy and well laid out station with those old fashioned wooden benches. Renee met us around 11 p.m. and we went to her place in West Philly, a lovely neighborhood of town houses with large porches and little gardens. One of her roommates, Jessie is an artist and has a gallery in the town house. The place is in a bit of disrepair and kind of messy but not too bad. Your typical communal living arrangement of twenty somethings with 7 bedrooms on the three upper floors, two baths and three community rooms, not counting the porch.
It was wonderful to see her, but after all the walking in central park my knee was acting up going up and down stairs. She seems to be very happy with her life in Philadelphia and has some fun roommates. We did a mini tour in the morning, saw city hall, but really didn't have enough time to see much else before we caught the train north.
Eric thought that I was bringing a Philly cheese steak sandwich to Claire but I just brought it for lunch on the train. We were delighted that we could see some of the Philadelphia zoo from the train as we left town. Eric was pleased with the trip and had a commitment to a rapper in western Maine to do the music for his next album. He said it isn't easy to write fast and creepy music but he pulled it off. His music can be found at Never Hundred. Here is the link to Eric's first album Absynthe

The NYC /Philly caper part 1

It was a dark and rainy night....a red and black creature was sliming its way across the road. I swerved cautiously to avoid it and noticed yellow blinking lights, barricades and cones ahead. I might have been in a daze, because it seemed that after I passed them I was pulled over by a police officer and given a ticket for speeding in a construction zone. I argued that there was some sort of creature in the road and that I couldn't have been speeding because I had very cautiously swerved to avoid it and I was not going fast. The eighty dollar ticket had been written up already and my protests which included abject poverty didn't fly. Something was wrong, it was in fact a bad dream and it was 4:30 a.m. when I was suppose to get up at 4 but the alarm didn't go off. Naturally juiced, I threw on my clothes woke up Eric and we headed for Portland without coffee. The later bus/train connection actually worked although I practically ran past the ticket collector in Boston's South Station to catch the train to NYC.
Trains are so delightfully spacious. I grabbed a coffee and tried to get my son into a a trivia review game with the rock and roll and trivia pursuit cards but he wasn't interested stating that he should have sat in the quiet car. Not an early riser by nature he was way out of his comfort zone. So he watched the scenery and I watched the scenery and reviewed the cards.
We arrived at Penn Station lugging bags and the Cinco de Mayo pinata and waited at the flower stand for Martha, fortunately I had her cell number because it was the wrong flower stand. I had thought of leaving our extra bags for our overnight stay in Philly in a locker but I am behind the times now a days one checks bags at a baggage check, owing to 9/11. After ridding ourselves of unnecessary weight, we embarked on our tour. Several people we passed were happy to see a brightly colored pinata which lost a few tissue paper flowers along the way. We found out where ABC studios were on the west side for the interview/test and then spent some time looking for a place Eric would agree to go to for lunch. Later I found out the lunch issue was related to a fear of public w.c.s on Eric's part but we finally settled on a restaurant and he ate french fries.
Then we were free to marvel at Olmsted's Central Park, noting trees and birds as we strolled. Martha took this picture of us at the fountain with her cell phone we both forgot our cameras. From our perch near the pond on a gorgeous day, tourists were rowing and brides were walking about with their entourages. A boat capsized and a young lady stood in the pond for a long time. We wondered why she seemed stuck there. There were several other row boats hovering and perhaps offering advise or assistance we don't know. We continued chatting and Martha regaled us with her marvelous stories, occasionally distracted by the red wing hawks. When we turned to look back the the woman was no longer standing in the pond. Eric later reported to his sister that he was disappointed in the placard bearing profit of doom we saw in central park, he wasn't near crazy enough.
That wasn't the only disappointment. After waiting up against the wall of ABC for a bit about 50-60 potential contestants went in to take the test, it seemed most of them were from NYC or NJ. If I had to guess there were maybe six batches of 50 to 60. It was a 30 question fill in the dot multiple choice and I think that I missed a couple of questions. There was a rap question and I know nothing about rap but I guessed and a couple of other questions I waffled on. Any way I didn't make it into the contestant pool. I met an older man from Wisconsin who had made a week of it in NYC, but didn't make it into the pool either. He figured that he would tryout just for fun while he was there.."Do you know what a maillot is?" he asked. He said that he was going to wait until they came to him. I think I will do the same but I might make a Cinco de Mayo tradition of going to NYC and trying out for the show. Next time I may spend more time. We went to the Empire State Building but it cost 20 bucks to go to the top and we weren't that flush so we skipped it and a slice of pizza instead. Then we caught the train to Philly.
30th St. Station in Philadelphia is quite stunning.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Luck be a pinata lady

At last! Meridith Vieira's Cinco de Mayo pinata is finished! I polished it off between the grocery shopping and the son carting. He drove for the first time in drivers ed today so there is hope that he may be carting himself at some point! I am leaving the tree house at 5 a.m. to catch a six o'clock bus to catch the train to NYC. I will report on my adventure in a few days when I return from NYC and Philly.