Catch of the Day

I was up at sunrise today in Florida.  I  was able to catch this shot of two photographers taking pictures of the sunrise.  My wonderful husband is covering the homefront while I have a little R & R. 

Cracked and Crazed with a Story to Tell

Quite the image isn't it?

Five years ago, kind of without a plan, I started a blog dedicated to talking and sharing about antique dolls from the perspective of those of us who make antique inspired folk art dolls.  Five years is something to be sure to check out MAIDA Today on the 28th of February for a cyber celebration.

Recently I added an antique papier mache doll to my revolving inspiration collection.  Right now, I am into dolls which have carved and textural hair. I buy them, study them, and then send them along on their journey.  When I saw this doll I thought, "She is cracked and crazed with a story to tell."  The word "crazed" means that the surface finish of an object has fine-line separations in it.  Well, cracked means just that.  There is a crack.

The texture of the wear in her is something that artists like Nicholas Wilton try to emulate in paintings.  She's been around the block a time or two, and may have had a body replacement at one time or another.  It looks like maybe her bottom body and top body have been joined together. Is this an old make-do joining or a later one?  It's hard to tell with these old dolls.  Those of you who are longtime collectors will have a better idea.  I think she is interesting despite her rough condition. 

Sculpts in Process and Chili for Cold Weather

All this very cold weather has meant staying indoors a lot.  We were supposed to get a blizzard.  For blizzard weather, I usually plan to make either pulled pork or chili.  And I often spend time sculpting. 

Here's the chili recipe I like to make.  It's a really old one from Weight Watchers - old school program from the 1980's. 

Veal Chili


1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive or vegetable oil
1 cup each diced onions and green bell peppers
4 garlic cloves, minced
12 oz. (340gr) ground veal
2-1/2 cups canned whole tomatoes. drained and coarsely chopped (reserve liquid)
1/4 cup tomato purée
1 teaspoon each chili powder and crushed red pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 oz. (about 1/4 cup) uncooked cornmeal
8 ounces drained canned red kidney beans
3 ounces extra sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 taco shells, broken into quarters 


1. In 4-quart saucepan heat oil

2. Add onions, green peppers and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent.

3. Add veal and cook, stirring constantly, until meat loses it's pink color, 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Stir in the tomatoes, reserved liquid, tomato purée and seasonings and bring to boil.

5. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

6. Stir in cornmeal into veal mixture; cover pan and let simmer for 5 minutes longer.

7. Add beans and cook until thoroughly heated. To serve, transfer the mixture to a 1-1/2 quart serving bowl; sprinkle with cheese and arrange taco shell quarters around edge of bowl.

Serving size: 4 servings - about 1-1/4 cups each

Color for the Dead of Winter

After getting close to 41" of snow in three snowstorms, I am ready to play with some color.  I booked a flight to Florida during the first snowstorm.  That is one way to break the back of winter.  Another is to play with color (although I caution you to not make major decorating decisions in the dead of winter, you will buy large chairs upholstered in tropical prints).  I like the blue and the brown best.



It has been fun to paint a reproduction of a papier mâché head recently.  I've been working on some other things as well, in between the needs of kids and family.  Vacuuming is suffering!  Here is the progress of this head from penciled in, primed, painted and glazed.  

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden


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