The Best Facebook Page!

First off, I must apologize for missing last Saturday!! Because it was Memorial Day weekend and I had a few extra days to myself, I lost track of time as well as the days of the week!!!

Second, congratulations are in order for A! This past week she accomplished a huge life milestone and I know I speak for all of us when I say we wish her all the best in her future endeavors and look forward to seeing what she does next!

Now, I’ll get down to the meat and bones of my post for today….

Recently I came across an amazing Facebook page that shares everything macabre and beautiful. It’s called “The Macabre and the Beautifully Grotesque”.

They do a wonderful job of constantly updating with interesting photographs and posts from many aspects of every corner of art. From taxidermy to modeling and paintings, their posts will add a new taste to your everyday Facebook browsing!

Here are some of my favorite photographs they have posted:

A’s Art Portfolio

So many of you have been following us through our exploration of art, cooking, theatre, crafts, oddities, and all sorts of interesting things. Since I know that quite a few of our followers appreciate art, I’d like to show you some of my own today! These are all pieces of various sizes and mediums that I have done over the past two years. I’ll upload a few and give a brief description of the piece, as well as any interesting things I can remember about making them.Image

This piece is a depiction of a picture frame wrapped in white paper and tied with white string. It’s about 24×18″ and completely mixed media. As it was an exam, I had 4 hours to do this piece. Some of my materials include black pastel, charcoal powder, conte, pencil, ink wash, and coloured pencil. Clearly, I deeply exaggerated the forms to make the painting as dramatic as possible, rather than the subtle, understated forms that my peers attempted. I’m particularly fond of the deep gouges in the lower left quadrant. It seems almost violent.

This next piece, more abstract in nature, was made with soft pastels and ink. It is approx. 30×24″ in measurement, and took me about 8 hours. I’m fond of the ghost shapes of ink drippings and splatterings behind the pastels, along with the various ghostly shapes that occur, such as the semicircle in the upper right hand quadrant.

This was one of my first explorations of abstract art. To come to this piece, I did over 200 smaller pieces with less detail, which are now stacked up in my studio. Such a mess!

I adore abstract art, despite having a background in more classical oil painting. The sheer emotion, unadulterated by simple realistic depiction. However, I’d like to introduce you to a few of my more classically influenced places.

These pieces are relatively small, about 6×12″, and made of watercolour, coloured pencil, pencil, and salt. Starting with calligraphic marks, I then began to combine the calligraphic marks with the mollusks. Yay, mollusks!

This piece is particularly large, about 18×12″ and made of pencil and pen. I did a whole series of human-animal composite images on dense patterns, and while this was one of my earliest, it is also one of my favourites. The awkward, unorthodox combination of the classical figure drawing, surreal dense pattern, and what I like to consider to be relatively realistic animal heads always gets me interesting reactions!

I hope you enjoyed seeing my artwork rather than seeing someone you already know! Cheers.

-A.

Garlic Scapes and Gooseberries!

For those of you looking for new ingredients to incorporate into your cooking this spring-into-summer, I’m going to turn back to the unusual classics of cuisine! Spring-into-summer is a great time to try new ingredients, pull out old ones in a new way, or reinvent that delicious dish from your childhood. Let’s take a peek at two delicious ingredients and ways that you can bring fresh fruits and vegetables into your life.

Garlic Scapes are an incredible part of this traditional vegetable that most people overlook. In fact, I was just put on their trail a few days ago, and now I can’t get enough! They’re the twirly, curly, green-onion-y growth of the garlic (that thing that starts to sprout if you let your garlic sit too long). Cut off long before garlic harvesting, these sprouts are actually a delicious ingredient that can be chopped up into pestos, sauces, and other dishes.

Garlic Scapes
So what’s the best way to use garlic scapes? From what I’ve heard and in my personal opinion, it’s by making a pesto. Thick on crackers, thin in soups, pesto is a delicious addition to any lunch or dinner. Throw a dollop into your slow-cooker or spread a layer on a boring sandwich for a garlic-y, basil-y depth that you weren’t expecting!

  • 10 Garlic Scapes
  • 1/3 cup nuts (such as pistachios or almonds)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil

Blend and mix for deliciousness that you won’t forget! You’ll never go back to ordinary garlic cloves after this!

And what would summer be without the traditional but oft o’erlooked Gooseberry? Even better, let’s throw these tart-sweet treats into a pie that will wow any of your neighbours! These fuzzy berries can be used when they are firm and tart or soft and sweet, so be conscious of what sort of gooseberries you’re picking to put in your pie, as you may want to add or remove sugar tending to their ripeness.

Gooseberry Pie
I’m going to take this recipe from AllRecipes, but I’ve altered it, so if you would like to look at the original, go here. So, let’s take a peek at this pie, shall we?

  • 3 cups gooseberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 tblsp quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • double crust pastry
  • 2 tblsp milk
  • 1 further tblsp sugar

Gooseberries

  1. Stem and rinse berries.
  2. Crush 1/2 cup berries in the bottom of a saucepan. Combine sugar, tapioca, and salt; mix with crushed berries. Cook and stir until mixture boils. Cook for 2-3 more minutes. Remove from heat, and add in remaining whole berries.
  3. Pour fruit filling into pastry. Adjust top crust , cut slits for escape of steam. Brush with milk and sugar.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 40-45 minutes.

Good luck with your gooseberries and garlic scapes! Now you have two great recipes to try out and cook as the weather starts to get hot. Celebrate a ripe season with these great recipes and feel free to leave any comments about posts you’re interested in. We’d love to hear about what themes are your favourites and what you’d like us to write more about! Cheers!

-A.

Photos Courtesy Of:

Five Tips For Husband Hunting

Taxidermy isn’t the only thing people hunt for…husband hunting takes up a major portion of most girls lives. Of course a shinning personality and good character are the most obvious ways to secure yourself an amazing husband, but what about some more specific guidelines? Some of us get lucky, but others need a bit more guidance. Here, I’m going to share some of my favorite pieces of advice that I’ve gotten over the years from everyone under the sun…

 

1. Know how to make a good loaf of bread

I cannot remember where I heard this from, but it is undeniably true. The fastest way to a man’s heart IS through his stomach, and there is nothing better than bread to demonstrate your abilities with!

 

2. Don’t slack off on appearance…ever

 Now I’m not saying that you need to have every hair in place and a fully made face every day,   but please look presentable. No man wants to hang out with a rats nest and raccoon eyes. Even though he will love you no matter what you look like, it never hurts to look your best.

 

3. Don’t be too hard on him.

Did he forget to take out the trash or mow the lawn? Let him know, but let it go. Holding agrudge is never attractive.

 

4. Be able to walk away from technology.

Many girls that I know always have a phone in their hands and a reality show on the television. Being able to spend some time away from the technology and doing something tangiable is not only productive, but also dazzling.

 

5. Share his interests…only if to amuse him.

Even if you’re not always interested in the same things as him, and even if he knows it, just dropping the slightest bit of attention onto them will make him feel important. Which is also important to you =)

(very random pic…hehe)

Good Luck!!!!!

-C

Photos:

http://findmyaccident.com/fmablog/2011/12/01/loaf-of-bread-credited-with-saving-life-of-woman-in-crash-near-glasgow/

http://jpmdesign.blogspot.com/2010/12/make-up-vanities.html

http://www.ilchi.com/tag/dopamine/

http://www.hcbe.net/technology.aspx

http://blog.sifteo.com/2012/04/sometimes-more-is-more-fun-we%E2%80%99re-giving-away-100-free-cubes/

Paul Klee: Swiss and Shapes

I know I seem to have gotten into an art rut, but I can’t help but want to share all of my favourites with you guys. Today, I’m bringing you Paul Klee, a Swiss painter influential in the works of expressionism, cubism, and surrealism. He lived until 1940 and helped to draft and perfect colour theory, or, more colloquially, the ways in which we match colours to be aesthetic.
Klee

Let’s peer into Klee’s world, shall we? Let me tell you, it’s a dark world. Much of his work is unnerving at best and disturbing at worst. I’ll open by focusing on his interest in colour theory, as depicted in the image above. The subtle use of rich warm tones and stark cold tones gives the piece a distinctly balanced quality. Yet it doesn’t feel polarised, despite the great difference between the rich black and poignant bright tones. Instead, it feels illuminated.

If you peer into the shadowed areas, such as in the lower right quadrant, there are warm squares that balance against the cool adjascent to them. Also, the combination of the geometric to the organic, hand-drawn feel allows movement in the painting that would otherwise be nonexistent.

KleeWhat I adore about the piece to the right is not only its balance of colour but also of composition. It certainly feels left-heavy, but it is also grounded what with that thick, bold red stripe on the floor of the painting. This gives it a strong base from which the more complex geometry of the left can grow. Also, the left side does not contain an upsetting amount of contrast; the simple red blocks are the only extreme statement in the piece.

But Klee didn’t only work in squares, however. He could appreciate more than the stark geometric; some of his best works include the organic. Of course, because they are his best, they are also his most horrifying.
Klee

Take Rising Sun for example (shown above). It contains plenty of organic shapes, such as eerie curves and clearly human-drawn circles. Even the geometric has a distinctly sketchy quality to it. But this is also what makes it deeply unnerving. The sickly combinations of colours hark Kandinsky, while the schitzophrenic black marks seem like a fragmented Motherwell. There is something upsetting about this painting, perhaps because it looks — feels like chaos.

Klee was isolated for much of his artistic career, preferring to work alone rather than in the company of his fellow artists.
Klee

He also had a consuming disease, which led to much suffering near his death. This piece, one of his last, is called Death and Fire. The “tod,” German for “death,” can be seen on the skull’s face. Starkly different from the careful, calculated colour swatches of his earlier work, there is something unnatural, burning, Hell-like, and tortured about this painting. The stark lines give us a severed feeling. The softness of them tell us how it must feel to burn to death from illness.

-A.

Photographs Courtesy of: