30.8.08

blue toes


It's a little cold around the edges here, today. To illustrate what my feet feel like most of the time, I came up with this little sketch. I don't mind the cold so much, but some days I need a hot bath to bring my feet back up to a rosy pink. The idea of boiling water makes me want to have a tea. And so, I'm going to do just that.

28.8.08

ugly duckling

After having taken a long break from making ducks, I am suddenly reminded why it was, that they were so popular.

They smile at you.

They cry with you when you watch sad movies.

They don't give you the cold shoulder.

They're good listeners.

They will tell you if something makes you look fat.

And they're cute and little.

Ducks are fun.

back to school


For the sake of something school related, I thought I'd post these pictures I took of an old book I made when I was in elementary school. I remember these creative writing projects were so exciting to me as a kid. We got to write our own special stories and illustrate them; this one is about how much I loved my dogs (for a total of 3 pages.) I remember how excited I'd be about this project, I'd be plotting out my stories well before we were even asked. To write my own stories and see my illustrations in a book with a spine made me feel so proud.


The whole process of making the books was so fascinating to me. I like to watch how things are made, and so while most carried on with coloring while they waited for their books, I watched. The teachers constructed an assembly line to get our books ready for us, one teacher typed out the pages on the classroom typewriter, and the other coil bound the finished pieces, cover and backing included. The greatest thing, which I thought was genius at the time, was that the books were equipped with library cards so that your friends and family could sign out the book when they felt like it.


It's fun to dig up old projects and laugh about the days when things were complicated in a totally different way. From learning to spell, to having to climb the ropes, it's entertaining to sit back and pick at it for a while to see what it is that you really remember. At UPPERCASE Gallery, they have a show going on right now called "Old School" which is an exhibition of art and products inspired by old-fashioned elementary school style. From what I've seen so far, it certainly brings back a lot of memories from the past, like stepping into a time machine of sorts. You must go check it out!

25.8.08

10 for tim

I may just be the crazy cat lady that Ian dubs me as after all. I may not have a collection of cats hiding under my bed, but one is just fine by me. I've had Tim since the year 2002, when I decided on a whim that I wanted a cat. I hadn't been faced with a decision such as choosing a pet for myself, so Tim marks my first time in getting my very own cat.

Had I acted on my first instinct, I would have surely left with all of the cats instead of just one. Instead, I had lingered by Tim's cage a couple of times without realizing that I kept returning to his cage to pet his nose with my finger. Finally after exercising my indecisive nature, I asked the lady working the cages if I could take Tim out to hold him. Like a test drive of sorts. He hardly moved a muscle when I reached in to grab him. Light, fragile and a bit unsure, he settled into my arms to lightly brush his face against my hand. This was his way of saying to me "home please" and since then, that's where he's been.


It's such a mystery to me where Tim has come from, since they dubbed him as a stray which may be why he's so skittish around new people. The name they had given him was Pookie, but because that only caused me to gag ever so slightly, I decided to name him after my most favorite of favorites, Tim Burton. He reminded me of the gray color palette that Burton uses throughout his films so from there, he simply became so. How old Tim really is, is beyond me, but he was guessed to be about 4 years old. If this is accurate he will be 10 years old, today.

This is where I live up to the namesake of being the crazy cat lady; I gave my cat a birthday. Appropriately, because Tim wasn't provided with a birth date, I gave him the same birthday as his namesake, August 25th. This may be contradictory to my Dog Whisperer post about the boundaries between animals and humans, but, we won't be doing anything outrageous like throwing him a birthday party with hats and streamers. Instead, he will silently enjoy a special can of his favorite Fancy Feast for dinner and probably spend majority of the day to nap and slumber about like he does every other day. I just feel more settled to have given him a bit more of an identity rather than snubbing the fact that he's a walking enigma when it comes to figuring out where this guy actually came from.

A happy day for Tim.

24.8.08

um... yum...

Um, so, deliciousness lurks in our house today. I was feeling a bit bored and despite how much my thighs must be screaming at me to stop providing them with baked goods while I have been advised to take a break from running, I had to do it.


I had browsed for quite some time on Flickr, for fun, for ideas, and came across this Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies recipe shared by dopiaza. How someone could so willingly share such a sinful recipe with the world is beyond me, but I am forever grateful for their generosity! A million chocolate chunked thank yous.


I would maybe say that my cookies are a bit large in that I followed the instructions for a "large dollop" a bit too closely, but with so much goodness packed into one cookie, it acts as a plentiful dessert in one helping. I meant to take a shot of the gooeyness that hides within, after breaking one down the center, but because that meant gooey delicious fingers coated in chocolate, I didn't get the chance to capture the moment. Goodness, what's a girl to do?

22.8.08

long time no see, tea.

It's looks like I got what I've been asking for; cold weather. It's actually colder than I thought it was going to be, especially considering that it's August. Either way, I am so happy to get to do the things that I enjoy so much more in the colder weather days; drink tea, wear pants, use the oven/stove. For most people this isn't much of a happy morning to wake up to, as I find there are very few people around who appreciate the cold as much as I do. Like many feel towards the Summer bringing out the best in them, I am so about that feeling in the colder season. It may not be like this tomorrow or the following day after that, but I'll enjoy it as a sampling of what is to come.

21.8.08

ahab


I've been sketching more, lately, on my computer. One of the things that I quite like about sketching on the computer is that not only can I spare a couple of trees, I can tamper with shapes, colors and positions before making a final decision.

I started this sketch a few nights ago when I was inspired by the idea of drawing my own Captain Ahab, searching for the white whale, Moby-Dick. (Yes, I am still trying to finish the book.) I wasn't sure what exactly I was going to do for composition or concept, but just to have some fun I started to sketch for the sake of drawing. Why does one need to think in order to draw? After having spent a good two hours on experimenting I decided to give it a rest and was kind of entertained with where things actually left off.

An exquisite posture, equipped with a cup of coffee? How appropriate. I'm sure Captain Ahab would have appreciated a Starbucks aboard the Pequod.

16.8.08

long lost

Despite the fact that I am not a Summer girl, I will admit that the thing that gets me through the season are the memories which it contains. As a kid, Summer was the best time of year for my sister and I. Before we were even counting down the days of school to finish, we were packed up and ready to go for the holidays. We never had to travel much to stay entertained, in fact we never left the city much at all, growing up. Instead we went to Grandma's, and simply that was all we needed.


Our mornings were quite routine in how we rose for the morning, ate our breakfasts, threw on our bathing suits and waited for Papa to finish vacuuming the pool each day. He in his white fisherman's hat, silently, gently, sweeping through the water as we patiently waited for him to finish. He was a quiet man, but in his silence there was a twinkle in his eye that said he anticipated the start of a new day along with us. When he'd give us the nod, we'd be in the pool with a great splash, swimming until lunch time. We knew the drill, and like clockwork, Grandma would shake her hand at us to come out of the sun for a break, for some peanut butter sandwiches and watermelon wedges.


We were never bored, from what I can remember. And when our cousins would arrive for the last couple of months of the Summer, my sister and I were in our glory. Like the return of long lost sisters, it was like time never passed. We played very well together, each of us with our own separate personalities and quirks. Sometimes the more extreme personalities would clash, but with patience and a stubborn wit, Grandma would lead us in the proper direction to treating each other as well as we could all tolerate. With stuck-out tongues and pinches under the table, our moments of rivalry didn't last too long.


Outside, the games would continue, all of us bouncing our creative ideas off of each other, making new worlds within our imaginations, open to explore. This freedom for self expression I'm sure is what helped us get through our days so easily. Material things meant hardly a thing at all. When given the treat of playing with water balloons in the pool, we'd play various games about being deep sea divers, collecting turtles and baby whales to examine for research and toss back into the deep. Innocence is such a blissful place.

Each day was quite similar than the last, but still somehow different in its own special way. We'd laugh and share our thoughts or sometimes just sit and listen to the sounds in the air. With dirty hands peeking through the gaps of the fence, our days in the sun would end by picking from the neighbour's raspberry bush. With a giant mixing bowl, we'd mash up our pickings and sip the sweet juice of which we had made on the front step, a giant spoon, passing, with sticky fingers, to share. My glands hurt even just thinking of the sweetness.


When the days at my Grandparents' ended, it was quite saddening to face the Summer without the escape which we had known so well for so many years of our lives. It took a very long time to even appreciate the Summers, getting over the absence of so many great things to tickle the senses, escape the heat and be among friends, floating along in a mass of twinkling blue. I have my moments for sure where I don't tolerate the season so well, but definitely it's the memories that get me by, as the sun trickles out of sight and moves once more towards a new season.

Happy Summer.

pretty bird


While sitting outside the other day, for some fresh air, I noticed a pretty little bird in the tree next door. I was kind of surprised to see one so pretty, since most of the birds around here are simple sparrows or magpies, so I kept watching until it flew away. It kind of resembled a cardinal, and so because cardinals are my favorite I decided to do a little bit of searching on the internet to find out the name of our little visitor. Apparently it's called a Bohemian Waxwing, and they simply love the little red berries we have in our trees. I certainly hope in the fall when they're fattening up for the winter that they pay us another visit.

The word of the day is definitely : pretty.

15.8.08

dog whisperer


I've been watching a lot more TV lately, while hiding indoors from the heat. I melt too easily to venture outside at the moment, and so in flipping through the channels for entertainment, one show that I've been hooked on lately is The Dog Whisperer. I'm not sure what it is about the show, but I find it incredibly fascinating. I'm not even referring to the whisperer himself.

What particularly amazes me about the show is that, in most cases, the owners have a hard time communicating to their pet. The reason being so, is that they refuse to differentiate between human and animal. There's no harm at all in accepting your pet as part of your family, but when the role of the dog is being replaced with a human child, the line between owner and pet become so blurred that the result is an ill behaved pet, which is where Cesar Millan gets his work. Where the behavior of the human comes from, to me, is the befuddling piece of the equation. One woman on the show, I had watched, had a Bassett Hound who she said she couldn't control because he was "a big baby." And quite literally she provided him the role of being so. She'd pick him up like a baby, cradled in her arms, and place him in his bed for "nappy time" as she'd get ready for work and then turn around and wonder why this dog depended on her for so much, including walking. Dogs aren't stupid, they see patterns in the human behavior and as a result the dog becomes the dominant figure in the household.

The biggest problem that the owners on the show have is that they refuse to be stern or assertive because they don't want to hurt the dog's feelings. And at the same time, as they run to Millan for the answers, they are more than surprised to find that it's in their behavior and not the dog's. In most cases he actually ends up having a harder time training the owners to go along with the rehabilitation process than he does with the pets, because the owners don't know how to treat the dog as a pet and not a child. As soon as the owners can accept their role, the pets progress, if not, the pet continues to control the scenario. How it becomes so difficult to make the transition among the owners to be the leader is where I am baffled. There almost seems to be a psychological filler that is being used by these people in order to function properly. That desire to nurture, that need to feel wanted, but yet in contrast a recurring inability to be the dominant figure. I honestly shake my head while I watch most of the time, wondering how it is that people get into such a state of not seeing the reality in the scenario. Human. Animal.

It really is an interesting show, when you're wanting to gather tips on how a dog's mind really works and how to communicate in a way of which the dog will understand. It has nothing to do with the human language or speaking clearly, scolding, or treats for rewards. It's all within your body language and projecting who has the upper hand and who is the pet. And although I continue to feel that this inability to see the boundaries between human and animal as being slightly unsettling, I will say again that I do love it when people appreciate their pets as if they are a part of their family. Goodness knows there are too many heartbreaking stories about pets being neglected in this world, but there certainly has to be a better grasp of what is reality and what is not.

13.8.08

lock talk

I'm not one to talk about hair and girly fluff, but I have to say that having a pixie-cut is quite a challenge when one is attempting to possibly grow it out. I'm not sure why I'd want to grow it out when it's so little maintenance or trouble, but sometimes a change is good just for the heck of it.


It's been a couple of years since I hacked off my locks, and when I showed my stylist a photo of Winona Ryder for reference of what I wanted done, her jaw dropped and she canceled all of her remaining appointments for the afternoon. Considering this was my first time meeting her, she was beyond shocked that I'd place so much trust in her hands. Similar to how I'm not one to talk about hair, I am also not one to care much. She was more in shock than I was. After stripping out the clips and elastics and letting down my shoulder length mop, I said "have at it" and off she went.

As she chopped, she made sure to double-check my eyes for tears or signs of breaking down. I can only imagine the drama she must see at the salon on her day-to-day basis. Hair is like a security blanket to most women, and so even when one thinks they want the change, they can be unpleasantly surprised in the end that it wasn't what they were ready for. Mine was slightly a security blanket to hide behind, but it was also equally my enemy. It was like a literal weight off of my shoulders, and it didn't take me long to decide that I simply loved it and vowed to never grow my hair back again. No more hair dryers, irons, frizzies, humidity woes, brushes, hairspray, tucking behind the ear, barrettes, clips, bad hair days or even the need to do much with it at all. Vacation is definitely a time when I really appreciate the low maintenance luxury. Nothing to pack.


One thing I find hard to part with, about having such short hair, are the compliments I receive from perfect strangers. Women all around me have stopped to take the time to tell me how "fantastic" or "adorable" I look, or how much they'd love to be able to pull off the same style. It does wonders for my lacking confidence, and certainly it's an exercise in accepting compliments more openly. A particular comment though that makes me a bit sad, which I encounter quite often, is when women say to me "my husband would never let me do that." Really, is that a serious statement? I don't know if it's meant to be taken literally or not, but either way that's a horrible thing to entail. Correct me if I'm wrong. In addition to the possible reluctance of cutting off one's hair, is that most women fear that the may look like a boy. My honest opinion is that there's nothing more feminine or elegant in a woman who shows off her face and neck. Of course not everyone can pull it off , but I highly doubt it would be so hard to determine one's gender with a little off the top.

I'd say having short hair is somewhat of an addiction, after you first take the plunge. When I leave the salon after a fresh cut I always say to myself when I get home that I could have gone a little bite shorter. It's quite entertaining. Even this morning as I looked in the mirror and decided to touch things up quickly with my scissors, I ended up cutting things a little too much from what I probably should have done for a 'touch-up'. My stylist would be miffed if she found out I was taking things into my own hands, but really, with such short hair there isn't just smooth sailing into the world of low maintenance. When it grows, it grows outwards, and if some places grow faster than others (my sides grow the fastest) it can get really ugly quite frequently. I can't quite afford to go to the salon each time it gets a little unkempt so instead I just do some slight trimming around the edges like one would keep a hedge from looking mangy. Funny analogy, but it's kind of how it works.


So, I guess we'll see if I ever let my hair get past the length of a few inches. It's just too easy to keep it out of my face, where I like it, than have to get up and tamper with it for who knows how long to get it to look presentable. Then again, who wants to have to trim it so often to keep it looking tidy? It's a toss-up but I'll see how I feel tomorrow and the next day. Girls will be girls and sometimes we like the changes just to see what it is that works best for our superficial motives. And from that, I think that's about all the hair talk I can allow myself for now. Keep rocking your dos ladies.

11.8.08

hurt

Well after a lot of procrastination, I'm making an appointment to get my leg checked out. It's been a couple of months since it started really bothering me and from that, I know I know, tsk tsk. I guess a part of me just wasn't convinced that it was anything to worry about, since I seem to feel that the hard work I do isn't quite as hard as it actually is. I'm my own worst competitor at times, and really should learn to give myself more credit.


Certainly I'd say that my body wasn't used to such a workout as running, and so as payback, it's telling me in the form of a tight muscle pain behind my right knee. Like tiny little fingers pinching ever so firmly on the tendon at the back of my leg. It's definitely frustrating when I want to continue keeping up the routine like I had done so well with in the Spring. But with such a persistent pain, I would rather get it looked at than do any possible further damage. It's like my mind and my body is saying to keep going, while something so small yet significant is standing in my way of doing so.

I guess this is one of those moments where people sit around and gawk about the thoughts of getting old and how the body reminds us so in little pangs and pains in spots we didn't know quite existed. I may be modest in how hard of a worker I can be, but I will admit that I've come too far to just simply give up due to a little pain in the leg or approaching older years. I'm way too stubborn for that.

8.8.08

za


Despite the heat indoors yesterday, I was rather ambitious in the cooking department that I made myself my most favorite personalized pizza. Lately I'm just not so much into the order-in kind of pizzas, as I like to be in control of the use of ingredients. And although I'd normally vow against using the oven on such a toasty day, I couldn't help but crave a refreshing piece of homemade pizza with my favorite veggies. There's just something so delicious about doing it yourself, especially when you're as picky of an eater as I am. Actually it's not so much that I'm picky, considering I had a variety of toppings: feta cheese, red pepper, tomato, mushroom, zucchini and artichoke hearts. I'd say I'm more particular instead.


The results were very yummy, that's for sure. I still have to come up with a name for my personalized delight. Hmm. I'll have to think about that one. The crust, on the other hand, is very simple to make and doesn't require any fancy kneading or rising time of any sort. That's the magic of instant yeast.
2 1/2 cups of flour
2 tsp of instant yeast
1 tsp of salt and white sugar
4 tsp of vegetable oil
1 cup of warm water
When you've assembled your pizza, bake it at 350-375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. To make the crust a bit more crispy and yummy, I like to put an egg wash over the dough and sprinkle the edges with parmesan cheese. mmm. And for on those nights where it's just me, I make my pizzas in a little round cake pan for something deep dish and delish. It makes using the oven on those hot days of the summer so well worth it.

P.S. Thanks to Debbie for the dough recipe.

7.8.08

summer


So, I mentioned the other day that Tim has taken to sleeping in a new spot; in the middle of the hallway at the top of the stairs. He started doing this as the Summer progressed, which clearly told Ian and I that the regular sun bathing spot, on the third step from the top, is just too warm for him at the moment. Even for toes.


At times I feel rather badly for him, during his moments of desperation to keep cool, where he'll lie with his tummy pressed against the hardwood or on the tiles in the kitchen where it's coolest. He doesn't want to be touched much, but has brief moments where he'll brush against me to say hi and then go back to his bed to sleep once more. I guess until it cools off outside, he won't be requiring much attention.


With the Summer almost at an end, this mini hibernation won't last too long. Goodness knows I tolerate the heat as well as Tim does. We both sort of drift in and out of this comatose state that says "wake me when I can wear pants again."

And so until then, we'll peek between sleeps and wait for the signs of Autumn.

back on the ball


Well, I've moved onto other animals now that I have half a dozen bears on the shelf waiting to be assembled. Ducks are slowly making a comeback, as well as pigs, cats and a dog pattern that I haven't made before. It's funny how quickly they all come together when the frenzy of productivity strikes. For now the goal is to have half a dozen of each animal on my list, and then from there I'll decide how much time I have before I put them on the market. I'm thinking possibly of getting into a local craft sale for Christmas, but we'll see what happens. If all else fails there's the magic of Etsy or a fun little yard sale before the snow. Oh, it's so divine to have a yard.

I actually took a good little break from craft these last couple of weeks, which is totally fine for the hands and brain to catch up and recharge. I have a drawer filled with new colors of yarn and already I've started to map out color palettes for upcoming creations. I seem to be big into the yellows and autumn colors, although I did find a soft blue/green that fancies my eye. Will post more creations as they come.

6.8.08

edible green

I guess it's a fact that green is the best tasting color there is. And thank you to Judi, who brought a sampling of her peas to share. Hands down, my most favorite snack. Fresh, crisp, sweet, cool, refreshing, light and filled with many memories of my childhood.


As a kid I always loved it when the peas were ready in my grandma's garden. We'd grab a giant mixing bowl and throw our findings in, to later pod them with my aunt on the back porch. I loved those times, as I was allowed to snack on a few as I went. The best part was that my sister didn't care for them, so there was never any argument about who got more. It was a simple pleasure without conflict, perhaps my reason for being so fond of them.

One other memory I have about podding peas with my family, was when my grandma showed me how to make a pea pod canoe. We'd fill a big silver bowl with water and plunk our boats into the water to watch them hobble on the surface. This was so much fun for me in those days. Simplicity is bliss.

The only downside to podding peas, today, is that I can't touch the pods. I'm allergic. A strange reaction that goes straight to my eyes and causes them to look as if they're blistered. Gross. It's really random, but at least I am still able to eat the peas inside. Thank goodness. And so, as Ian helps me pod, while I make sure not to touch my face in the process, I am taken back to the days in my grandma's back yard. The best treat of all.

Thanks again Judi!

habits

This post is kind of embarrassing, as well as the photo that goes with it. *shudder. I had noticed a while back when I was taking pictures of my crocheted toys, for my gallery/collection, that I was repulsed by the presence of my hands. Stumpy fingers aside, my finger nails are horrid. Or lack there of. My grandma would be laughing heartily right now.

As a kid, and to this day, I have always been a compulsive nail biter. Nerves? Boredom? I actually don't know. Maybe a mix of both. I tend to bite at random so even if I try to look for the moments where I am about to put my hands near my mouth, I am usually oblivious to the act until after I've managed to create a new mangled beast on my hands once again. Yes, this bad habit is disgusting... but I can probably think of worse ones.

My grandma once bribed me to grow my nails out, like hers, by giving me 10 dollars for every nail I could grow on my hand. 100$ sounded like a lot of money at that time, and it even still does today. We tried everything; the icky tasting paste, putting gloves on when I felt the urge, doing something to keep myself occupied, owing a quarter each time I put my fingers in my mouth, false nails (which I refused to try) nothing worked. I did get to a point where I saw, what I called "whites" on the tips, but because I wasn't used to anything remotely nail-like on my hands, I'd wake up from sleeping with scratches on my face. Like newborns, when socks have to be placed on their hands? That was me. I wasn't about to wear socks at bed time other than on my feet, and so I didn't even manage to grow but one nail, leaving both grandma and I shaking our heads in amazement at my stubborn nature. But with one bout of stubborn comes another, and I will admit that I'm sick of this compulsive habit, determined to show myself I can do it.

It will be hard, since I don't notice when my nails are in the process of disappearing, but we will see. I'm just tired of being so embarrassed of my hands. I'm so driven by my hands, I don't wish to be disgusted by them. I do wonder what the days to come will be like as I attempt to make a conscious effort to stop. Hmn. So.. here we go. I'm not promising any amazing results, but if I can go at least two days.. that's something! Will keep you posted on the challenges to come.

5.8.08

sew what

After a lot of hefty procrastination, I managed to get myself to use my sewing machine entirely on my own. With the instructions at my side, and my mental reminders of what Mom told me when she was here, I managed to turn on the machine, thread and bobbin and all of that jazz, and fire it up without causing anything to explode. I did have a few moments where I said some choice four-lettered words to the idea of attempting something so new and unfamiliar on my own, but it was all too similar to my experience with crocheting that I reminded myself of the words we all cringe to hear in the process of learning "practice makes perfect." Why can't it just be perfect?


Well, after tackling a case for Tim's bed, I decided to make another one just to get used to things. As a result I not only made two covers for his bed, I made his bed reversible. It was a last minute decision and probably not the wisest, since the level of which I need to be at, in order to do it nicely and properly, is still a ways away. I bit the bullet and did it anyhow. Tim isn't one to judge, and so despite the fact that I need to hand stitch things to make it totally complete, he's happy with the subtle mess I have created. At least from experimentation I know what to do the next time I decide to make a double-sided cat bed. Patience will grow in time.

Oh and for the record, I still have yet to take a picture of his new spot of rest. Notice that the top photo presents him in his new bed, on the floor. Because the sun is too hot for him to lie on the steps as he used to, he has now taken to sleeping in a random spot in the middle of the hall at the stop of the stairs. With so much shedding going on, I noticed the gray patch on our carpet and replaced his bed while he was away momentarily. He has taken to it, and so it will stay until the fall rolls around.

thirty


Well, another year older, it is Ian's birthday today. Because he prefers to keep his birthdays at a very low key, we will be spending time at home to celebrate with family. We'll possibly order in, chill, chat and of course have some of his favorite chocolate cake to celebrate. Simple as always.

Happy Birthday, love.

3.8.08

sweet marie

There was some baking going on today, to go with my productive afternoon. After cleaning the floors and tidying the kitchen, I decided it was a good day to make an old treat that has been in my family since I was little; Sweet Marie. I don't tend to make it too often because I find it's best to have it at random, kind of like a dip back into the past momentarily without overdoing its goodness. The recipe is quite simple, although I would recommend that you double the recipe if you're planning on sharing with friends. This is the recipe (not doubled.)

1. Combine 1/2 cup of corn syrup, 1/2 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of brown sugar and 1 Tbsp of butter in a medium pot. Melt ingredients together on a low/medium heat.

2. The mixture should remain slightly grainy. Once it starts to bubble and look 'glossy' you're good to pour the mixture over 2 1/2 cups of Rice Krispies. I actually pour the RK into the mixture instead as I like to ensure that things are mixed together well. Plus, I find it's easier to pour the whole thing into the pan without 'stickage'. Either way works.

3. Lightly grease the pan and spread the RK mixture out evenly, the exact same way you would with RK squares. Then comes the fun part.

4. Melt 1/4 cup of chocolate chips. If you really like chocolate you can certainly be greedy with this recipe. I usually just eyeball it. Once the chocolate chips are melted, evenly spread the chocolate on top of the RK. Let cool either on the counter or in the refrigerator depending on your level of patience (the fridge speeds up the solidifying of the chocolate.)

5. And then, so you have it. It takes hardly any time to make them, and just as much time to finish them. Mmm. I love the memories this treat brings back for me. Enjoy!

on a roll

I've been going into some of my old projects to touch up pieces for business purposes. To be honest, it's a bit stressful to get back into the swing of producing work in a matter of hours, but at the same time it's like a second nature coming back to me gradually. I am finding that shutting off my over-thinking brain has helped in that regard and so, I'm getting things back in order, having been given a reasonably tight deadline. It is known that I work best under pressure.


I did this little sketch back when I first started my running class. I kind of concocted the idea while I was out on a run and felt like no matter how hard I was running, I wasn't getting anywhere, like that inner battle of telling yourself it's never going to end. In learning how to gain focus on the path ahead and not pay so much attention to how much further one has to go to make it to the end, I found I was able to run for much longer amounts of time and feel totally rewarded in the end. It's funny what can happen when you stop looking at the clock. From that concept I also played with the idea of being like a hamster on a wheel, which is what the strange circle around the runner is supposed to be. It's totally abstracted and it doesn't have to be clearly conveyed in such a manner that people have to get it in an instant, that's the joy of being conceptual. Instead as I usually tend to work with concept, it's up to the viewer to decide what it is in their mind. It's a bit of a decorative element which I somehow feel works within the piece. At least from convincing myself of what I feel works for my imagery, I have been able to put this one on the shelf as being complete. And I didn't even rely on a Dr.Pepper for that one!

Will keep you posted on the rest to come.

1.8.08

cat narrative

As it goes, Tim and Chloe (the next door neighbours' cat) have afternoon/early evening battles against the front window of our house for hours. It can be a bit tiresome listening to a hail storm of paws against the glass but I guess if Tim's happy, so are we.. in a sense. Can't really control how an outdoor cat chooses to use their time so our only option is to zone it out or take the situation as entertainment. It can be entertaining at times to see this process repeat day in and day out, of course not always, and so I've decided to put together a storyboard of sorts in how the cats 'play' for you to see.

And so, he sits in the front window and waits for her arrival. After a short bout of frantic natter and running from window to window to get her attention, he'll settle finally in the big window and wait for her to acknowledge him. A slight twitch of the tail and it all begins.

With a come hither stare, Chloe will eye him up and tease him. She knows she's pretty. She'll maybe lick a paw, yawn, look about obliviously while Tim waits; tail flicking, ears back, breathing quick, you can cut the kitty tension with a knife. They'll stare like this for quite some time, as he anxiously waits for her to move.

Like a shot of lightning she jumps, literally face first into the window. This seems to be a thrill for Tim, as he gives us the impression that he feels that this act of rebounding into our window gives him a moment of physical contact with her. He'll pace and scramble right along her side for that brief millisecond of bashing face first into our window. It's like a delicately timed brawl of sorts. Cute? Not really. Funny? Sometimes. Tiresome? We'll move on.

After a good half hour or so, Chloe will get distracted and move along. Possibly to powder her nose? Check her head? Rebound into another window elsewhere? This leaves Tim in kind of a strange state as he's usually willing to keep going. He'll watch until she's out of sight and with a great big huff he'll let it be.

And so, a nice little rest on the hardwood to cool off will do for the night. Although it's highly unlikely that there will be another battle any time soon, he'll sit and wait for her. A love story? Only they know for sure.