Tag Archives: Inspiration

Ready, Rugosa

Image

Moje Hammarberg: The actual plant is not this blinding, I swear.

I have two rugosa roses which I’m very fond of. Why? They require very little work. They have few diseases, and not only do I not need to spray them with anything, they would be damaged by spraying. This rose species tolerates a lot. The ‘rugosa’ regards their ridged leaves. Most of the flowers of the rugosas are tend to be simple single or double petaled blooms, and bear large orange hips. I have a Frau Dagmar Haustrup (sometimes ‘Hartopp’), and a Moje Hammarberg. I’ve grown the Haustrup in sunny California and in rainy Oregon with great success.

2013-05-08 15.57.56

The Frau

When most people think of roses, they are thinking of the hybrid tea roses, and then complain about how difficult roses are to grow. Ah no, I say, look at the rugosa. Then they object because the rugosa doesn’t come in orange, and they doom themselves to disappointment trying to begin growing roses with a hybrid tea (which is not to say it can’t be done, but really? All that for a stiff, low-scented bloom?).

It’s an illustration of using tools and methods suiting the skill level, and what is best suited to a situation. I don’t have a lot of time or energy to spray or debug, I like plants, but I’m not that into gardening. Half the project is preparation -this huge piece of wisdom I came by painfully, after many years of abandoned projects. I would try to sew clothes, sculpt busts, paint with watercolors without understanding darts, knowing how long to bake the Sculpey or how to lay in washes. I got a massive fail on most attempts and would give up, going back to what I did better.

I didn’t have an ‘a-ha’ moment as much as a slow realization. In my first degree (art) I took several etching classes. Before doing anything in that discipline the materials have to be prepared: the plate has to be beveled so it doesn’t ruin the blankets. The ground has to go on evenly so the lines don’t get messed up. The (expensive) paper has to be torn to the right size so as not waste any. Times have to be guaged for the acid bath or the image won’t look right. Hands must be washed or ink will get everywhere. And on and on.

After an ill-fated sewing project last year, I finally learned to make a muslin first, I found textbooks not only about darts but about making slopers too. I don’t think I’ll use Sculpey for much more than beads or buttons, but if I do, I’m getting a timer. When you get the right materials before starting, when have you the right rose, when you read the instructions first, the project is much more fun, less frustrating, and now I make fewer mistakes.

American Rose Society

Leave a comment

Filed under Life, Materials and Tools

Learning from Rough Drafts

I regret not having posted for the last two weeks, so I will leave you with this delightful site:

Living Lines Library

I particularly like looking at the production art. Sometimes the end product, while spectacular, is a bit too slick to really get a good feel for the work that went into it’s creation. And sometimes the rough lines are more lively.

Leave a comment

Filed under Colors and Images, Inspiration, Links

White Space (Using It): Clover by Clamp

(Clamp) CloverI wanted to point out Clover because reading  this manga was a revelation.  It’s about a girl with psychic (or magic) abilities. She is the most powerful of the “clovers” so she’s locked up in what looks like an arboretum without outside contact. An ex-soldier is assigned to her. It turns out that the girl knew his deceased girlfriend. And that summary does not do it justice at all.  I’m told it wasn’t finished, which makes sense. It lacks a wrap up at the end.

The art style is an antidote to the idea that there has to  be an explosion on every page. Each page in Clover has a few panels, and/ or perhaps a couple balloons of dialog and/ or one of the motifs (clover, baroque wings etc.) and not much else. Given the isolation of the main character, the layout seems fitting.

Sometimes the space is black or toned, or has a pattern, but the concept is the same. It’s like background music in a movie or TV show. It provides an emotional backdrop. The blank space can also give the eye a space to rest and let the impact of the words/ images sink in. Clover01

This is a not an unusual amount of white space on a page:

Going with this less-is-more, I have tried to absorb this aesthetic. Lots of action and detail doesn’t’ have to be crammed into each page (though sometimes individual panels are quite detailed).

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Colors and Images, Inspiration

Strawberries, Rhubarb and… Cheese?

RhubarbStrawberry QuicheI had a recipe from Mollie Katzen’s The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest, (p129) called “A Quiche Formula”.  I did a lot of summarizing when I copied it down. Essentially:

You need:

1 unbaked pie shell
cheese (1/4 -1/3 lb) cubed or grated (Swiss types, or cheddar or something semi-soft)
filling such as sauteed vegetables, sauteed mushrooms, sauteed onions, or fresh herbs (or steamed veggies etc.)
3 eggs
1 C milk
sprinkling of paprika

Spread the cheese over bottom of the crust. Place the filling evenly over the cheese. Beat eggs and milk and pour this over the filling. Dust with paprika. Bake 35-40 minutes.

SUPER simple and very versatile. From that model I made up a rhubarb and strawberry custard pie.

There were  couple things I did to the recipe that might changed the outcome, but I’m pretty confident in Mollie Katzen’s quiche, so I used her methods and times.

I baked mine with a water bath (it’s a long story and probably unnecessary). It’s common to do this for custard things, but usually the quiche seems to come out fine without doing that so I skipped it in my instructions. Also I pre-cooked the filling. Again it might not be necessary, but I did not want to chance the filling coming up uncooked. Cook or no- cook, take your pick. My creation came out a bit runny, but not inedible.

I used “Arthur’s Italian Cuisine” Parmesan which is a strangely mild cheese I had on hand, but most Parmesan cheese might be too strong. Find something milky and only slightly sour tasting ( I originally thought I might use cream cheese or mascarpone as a crust sealer. It might work…).

This is on the tart side. I didn’t add any sweetener besides strawberries. You might want it sweeter, if so, feel free to add a couple tablespoons of sugar to the filling mix when you cook it or to the custard as you beat it.

If you make any of the changes I mentioned above let me know what you did! (And if anything is unclear or I left anything out, let me know that too).

Rhubarb and Strawberry Custard Pie

1 unbaked 9″ pie shell
Grated Mild Parmesan cheese (enough to cover bottom of pie crust)
a dusting of cinnamon

Filling
1 1/2 C chopped strawberries and rhubarb (about 1 1/2 stalks)
1 TBS butter (scant)

Custard
1 C milk
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375′ F. Keep crust in freezer until ready to use. Warm rhubarb and strawberries with butter, until butter is melted and fruit is wet.

Beat eggs and milk and add vanilla.

Pull crust out of freezer or fridge. Line the bottom of the crust with the grated cheese. Spread filling over cheese and pour custard over that. Dust with cinnamon.

Place the whole thing in the oven to bake for 35-40 minutes.

FYI, I’m not a professional baker, and I’ve never even taken a baking class. I make no guarantees beyond my own meager experience (and I even wonder about that sometimes). Apparently I have some strange tastes, so I guess what I’m saying, bake at your own risk.

1 Comment

Filed under Inspiration, Instructions, Projects - Food

Stumptown Round-up

Lennon SketchI spent the weekend at the Stumptown Comics Fest. Both days! I went last year and I had so much fun talking to comics creators and touching the comics they created. I’m a huge fan of comics in paper-space. I like the tactile qualities of screen printed covers, and glossy or laser printed pages. I also attended a bunch of panels and workshops to learn more about comics.

Some of the awesome comics I bought:

There were so many more I wish I could have bought. It’s like having a yearly kick in the pants to do my comics.

The image is mine. I the post just needed a picture. Guess who!

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspiration, Links, New Ideas

Cat Drawing (Domesticlife Drawings)

 I made this drawing of Chester, who belongs to Megan of The War in My Brain Blog because she asked for drawings:

Sketch of Chester Cat

Done in ballpoint pen and pro-white.

Actually, I draw a lot of cats. Or a lot of drawings of one rather fat cat. I find as drawing and/or still life subjects cats have several advantages. They are plentiful (at least in my house). Unlike dogs, they don’t care that you are looking at them. Dogs will come up to you when they realize they have your attention, completely ruining the tableaux. Cats… don’t care. They consider the attention their due. Cats are also bendy and make  interesting shapes without being asked.  Aside from their graphic quality (especially with tuxedo cats, like mine), they are dramatic yet strangely relaxed. Ever see a cat stuff itself into a box and happily fall asleep, while you wonder if the angle of the head in relation to the body is really all that comfortable, but realize it must be or the cat would not be quite so relaxed? Yeah. There is a reason they are the mascot of he internet.

These are all of my fat cat, Theodore:

Theo2 (Bug) crop

This and the following done in Prismacolor brush tip marker and Pro White.

Theo3 crop  Theo1 crop

Leave a comment

Filed under Colors and Images, Follow-Up, Inspiration, Links, Projects-Pictures; Paintings; Drawings

My Quantum Wardrobe

It doesn’t actually exist unless I’m thinking about/imagining it.1910s coat Pattern

I was going to post earlier in the week but I got a bit distracted. Okay, really distracted. I found Pinterest. I didn’t join Pinterest, but I found that people would post their favorite patterns, and projects. It’s search results, curated and reviewed by humans, with pictures.

I found that there are a lot of free clothing patterns out there to be downloaded from the internet. I now have a new set of clothes, including underwear. Theoretically.

Some of my favorites:

3Hours Past The Edge of the World: Blank Canvas Tee (with “hacks”)

Modern Sewing Pattern’s ‘Satin Bra.‘They also have a boatload of dress patterns (among others), though not all have downloadable .pdfs.

Sew Zo… What do you know?’ s underwear and camisole patterns.

A vintage dress from Neu4bauer, in German and English.

Instructions for drafting and sewing a coat , another  bra and a corset I found on Instructables

Found a ‘Scoodie‘ pattern (scarf+hood…) on Just Tutorials.

I will now admit I joined Burda Style to get my hands on the Kasia Skirt.

I joined Your Style Rocks to get my hands on a hoodie bolero thingy (called ‘Our Own Pretty Ways‘). I regret nothing.

If I do attempt most, or all of these patterns I will have to learn how to draft, which won’t be a bad thing. Either I’ll have a new wardrobe soon or continue to use up my computer’s hard drive.

The image above is from a old pattern, circa 1910. I’d love to make it, but I have to figure out what the markings mean…

EDIT: How could I forget this? Think Liz has a sizable list of free patterns!

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspiration, Instructions, Links, New Ideas, Projects - Sewing, To Do List