Mom's Famous Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

My mom was a superb cook. It was a connection point for her. If she heard you weren't feeling great, she would start cooking.  She LOVED to see her grandkids devour her Mac-n-cheese at family gatherings. Mom passed away last year.  I am so glad that I wrote down her recipe and took pictures of her making it. She wouldn't let me take a picture of her face because "my hair doesn't look good today". I shared this recipe on Facebook and a number of Facebook friends made it. It's now their go-to recipe for Mac-n-cheese. 

Carolyn Mosley Williams Famous Mac-n-Cheese

1 - one pound box big macaroni, cooked 

4 cups canned milk

2 cups Velveeta

1 cup fresh grated parmesan

Salt and pepper to taste

Bread crumbs, tossed with butter. 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put milk and cheese on low heat on stove in saucepan until cheese melts. Stir frequently. 

Pour over cooked macaroni. 

Note from Mom:  "I always add extra milk after it sets for awhile if it's too thick.I like it creamy.Then I put bread crumbs on top.It thickens when you cook it."

Put buttered bread crumbs on top.

Cook till crumbs brown and its ready.

Selling Some Inspiration

Sometimes you're just a little TOO inspired. I have acquired too many inspiration pieces and they have crowded my "maker" space. I can't take a picture of that space right now, because it is too full of "inspiration". So I will be weeding out some vintage and antique dolls and other things to make room for the present and future. I will be selling things in my Etsy shop, so keep an eye out.  You never know what I might list that YOU might like. 

Sometimes I buy dolls just because I like them, like the cloth doll with the slightly loopy expression in the last post. Or the fabulous Zelda, who with her expression says, "You can do it." And sometimes I buy dolls because I want to learn about how they were made. And some dolls tick both boxes - love them for themselves and also they have something to teach me. The doll below has some similar features to Zelda, although she is constructed very differently. 

Anyway, I digress. Keep an eye on my Etsy shop as I weed out my workroom to make room for projects on my list.

Re-entry After a Wonderful Weekend

I had a fabulous time this past weekend at an antique doll event.  It was WOW and also waaaaaaay more "peopling" than I've done in years (in a good way)!  My brain is still pinging (also in a good way) from what I saw and learned. I bought two antique dolls to study over the winter. The smaller doll's expression cracks me up!  She needs some coffee. And so do I!

Know More, See More, Do More

Today as I was looking again at images I took of an Izannah Walker doll long ago, I saw something I couldn't "see" back then, because I hadn't learned some things. I've learned more since then, and I can see more. One of the reasons I can see more, is that doing a presentation on Izannah Walker dolls helped me solidify and reinforce what I've already learned. And in preparing, I began to see patterns I hadn't seen before. 

I've been a teacher, so this really isn't new information. But it's easy to get caught in certain patterns, and forget how much learning comes from "doing" of some sort. I can dream all I want (I call it "research"), but eventually putting your knowledge into some kind of format helps you learn more. 

I've collected a lot of "research" items - sometimes they are called "inspiration".  It's time to put a pause on the research and inspiration phase and do more creating. 

When the Universe Says, "Not Yet"

Last week I went to an auction with the hope of purchasing a particular piece of folk art (an Izannah Walker doll in a green dress) and the Universe said, "No."  Or maybe the Universe said, "Not yet"?  Is the Universe God or my budget or my common sense? I'm not sure. 

One of the pieces of folk art - an Izannah Walker boy doll - sold for $62,000.  I was not bidding on it. But that doll is an iconic image of American culture of a particular period AND of Izannah Walker's work. He's special in a lot of ways. Each Izannah Walker doll is a very specific creation - a 3-dimensional folk art portrait if you will.  Owning one doll doesn't mean you won't want another. They were hand-made dolls, and so even dolls from the same mold will have a unique presentation. 

I didn't get an Izannah doll at the Withington auction, but I did come home with two nice dolls. One I bought from a dealer, and the other I purchased at the auction. The proceeds from the auction of Carol Corson's collection will be going to the school she loved so much. The doll I won is a black cloth boy or man doll which was intriguing. I hadn't previewed him, but when I saw the cloth applied ears I put my bidding card UP.  This doll is not an Izannah Walker doll but that ear reminds me of the ears on a Walker doll. This is unpainted, of course. I'll be sharing more images of him soon.  I may or may not keep him.  My folk art doll collection is a revolving one. I enjoy studying them, but have a specific limit of space and dollars for folk art dolls. 

I am thankful that I had the opportunity to document the Izannah Walker dolls before they were sold. I don't take these opportunities lightly. The dolls have all moved on to their next homes, and I am sure will be cherished there. 

On the way home I stopped in York, Maine to go antiquing and somehow ended up in the Olde York Gaol. LOL. This made me think of my dad, who loved history, and would have told me all about which family members were from York, Maine.  

In addition to the dolls and some antique doll clothing, I also came home with lots and lots of thoughts, which I am sorting through. It's a Dixie thing! 

And so, I will close with a link to a poem which ends with , "You can't have it all but there is this." It's worth reading. 

"What Do You Do?"

This past week I went to a gala hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. While there I met an awesome person who asked, "What do you do?" I said, "I'm at home, the primary caregiver for my son who is disabled." One of my neighbors who happened to be there spoke up and reminded me I'm an artist. LOL. So I went into my elevator speech about "what I do" and gave her a business card which had this image of an Izannah Walker inspired doll on one side:

My initial answer makes people uncomfortable, though it's an honest one. It's like I'm a throwback to earlier times a la June Cleaver.  I am not. People don't know or don't want to believe that we live in a world where there are not adequate enough supports for disabled people. "Aren't there day programs?" they ask. Yes, there are, but they do not work for everyone's needs. Many day programs will not or cannot make room for people who need 1:1 staffing. Some will try, but it is very hard to find staffing at the wage set by Maine's legislature. I've seen parent after parent have to quit a job because they could not find staffing for their disabled adult child after school ends. 

The question "What do you do?" echoed for me throughout the week.  The question is asked in the present tense. I spend a lot of time doing caregiving, advocating for my son in life, trying to help better things happen.  And I make art around those responsibilities. When he was in school I made a lot more art. 

Anyway, the question of "What do you do?" got me thinking about "What DID you do?" And "What WILL you do?"  Those questions are future blog posts. 

Ten Hours of Driving Was Worth It

The planets aligned so that during my husband's vacation time he could be with our son, making it possible for me to get away to visit FIVE Izannah Walker dolls which will be offered at auction by Withington's on October 20th. Visiting these dolls together was like taking a Master Class in Izannah Walker dolls. A huge thank you to Larry and Marcia Leizure of Withington's.  I will be sharing more images of dolls on the Izannah Walker Chronicles. 

I drove 10 hours total to spend 4 hours visiting the Izannah dolls. I spent the night at a hotel the night before so I would be somewhat fresh. But as you can see in the non-professional selfie above, my hair was askew. Just before I left I remembered to take a picture with the dolls. It was a magical time, and who cares about hair?  

Studying Izannah Walker dolls has been a thread in my life since 2006.  I have been lucky (and thankful!) to have opportunities to see Izannah Walker dolls in person. These opportunities required effort on my part and spending money and time to get there to see them. I am so thankful for the doors which opened when I have asked to document dolls. In the next week or so, I will share some images on the Izannah Walker Chronicles.  If you can travel TO Withington's for the auction, you should do it, because there are MANY treasures to be auctioned in addition to these wonderful Izannah Walker dolls. 

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

John Wooden