A few weeks ago, our good friend Lauren sent me an e-mail with a recipe for a "Kitty Litter" cake that she got from her mom. So I then sent it on to several friends, who then sent it on to several friends... you get the picture. Well today I get an e-mail from Parnell (the Orchid Painter) with this picture attached. His co-worker Lyndsay actually made this cake for her uncle's birthday!!!! I don't know where this recipe originated, but here is the recipe. HAPPY BAKING!!!
1 spice or German chocolate cake mix 1 white cake mix 2 large pkg vanilla instant pudding mix, prepared 1 large pkg vanilla sandwich cookies green food coloring 12 small Tootsie Rolls(r)
1 new kitty litter pan 1 new plastic kitty litter pan liner 1 new pooper scooper
Prepare cake mixes and bake according to directions (any size pans).
Prepare pudding mix and chill until ready to assemble.
Crumble white sandwich cookies in small batches in food processor or put in sandwich baggies and crush with tolling pin. Set aside all but about 1/4 cup. To the 1/4 cup cookie crumbs, add a few drops green food coloring and mix until completely colored.
When cakes are cooled to room temperature, crumble into a large bowl. Toss with half the remaining white cookie crumbs and the chilled pudding. Important: mix in just enough of the pudding to moisten it. You don't want it too soggy. Combine gently.
Line a NEW, clean kitty litter box. Put the cake/pudding/cookie mixture into the litter box.
Put three unwrapped Tootsie rolls in a microwave safe dish and heat until soft and pliable. Shape ends so they are no longer blunt, curving slightly. Repeat with 3 more Tootsie rolls bury them in the mixture. Sprinkle the other half of cookie crumbs over top. Scatter the green cookie crumbs lightly on top of everything -- this is supposed to look like the chlorophyll in kitty litter.
Heat 3 Tootsie Rolls in the microwave until almost melted. Scrape them on top of the cake; sprinkle with cookie crumbs. Spread remaining Tootsie Rolls over the top; take one and heat until pliable, hang it over the side of the kitty litter box, sprinkling it lightly with cookie crumbs. Place the box on a newspaper and sprinkle a few of the cookie crumbs around for a truly disgusting effect!
I guess about 8 years ago, my friend Chrystine organized a Gingerbread House party. Well, more like a small workshop. Ok, there were only three of us including our host. Though we were a small group, we managed to churn out 7 houses that day. And had an insanely fun time doing it. I was surrounded by candy, how could I not have fun. We used ice cream cones for trees and we melted hard candy for stained glass windows. And because I had to see the effect to it's fullest, I cut out holes in the cardbpard bases so we could put lights inside and see the colored windows alight. The last image is of Chrystine as a very cooperative teenager. She unenthusiastically dressed as a Christmas Tree for her Granny and this picture cracks me up because you can see the teen angst in her expression. "If i remain perfectly still, no one will notice me in this ridiculous costume"
Here are some swatches from ALL of the weavings I have been doing. At 4" x 6" I decided to make some cedar and lavender sachets. I stopped at 4. I might connect 8 or more together for a pillow... we'll see. For now I'm content with just making and making and making different weves. I just made up all of these textures without patterns. The cool thing is that when you take the piece off the loom it looks totally different - it actually comes too life. Until the next round...
What to say? This was at my Grandparents house setting up to play Battleship on Christmas morning. It was in Indiana somewhere around 1976. Also notice the Six Million Dollar Man doll and the instamatic camera with the flash bulb extender. We also got really cool boots that year, which you can see in the background... I LOVED THOSE BOOTS. My brother is his ever charming self with the tounge out. I seem to be wearing my Miami Dolphins PJ's... odd that I loved them so much and hate sports. Truth be told it was all about the color combo of turquoise and orange that I was attracted to. The presents were from mom... the money cards on the tree were from grandma... who NEVER SHOPPED!. It was just easier to give us money. As for the tree, I think we had that one for about 10 years. I remember that each branch had a different colored dot on the stem so you knew which layer it went on. And the red satin balls!!!! They NEVER changed. That's tradition I guess.
Well the Holiday sesaon is upon us and 'tis time for shopping. Remember to head over to THE CURIOSITY SHOPPE for some really great gifts. Hurry because things are flying off the site. I just sent out some mushroom ornaments and necklaces so keep an eye out for those. The acorn necklaces have sold out 3 times and we cannot keep them stocked. This weekend I will be making more to keep them going through the holidays. John has sold all of his keychains and the re-order was gone before they even hit the shoppe. John is also gearing up for a weekend of keychain making. Here is a sneak peek at the ornaments which are sold in sets of 3 and necklaces.
The Pleiades Gallery is having a show featuring the work of Ellen Bradshaw one of which you see here. It's called Winter Trees, Southbridge Towers, 20x16" oil on canvas. I was completely drawn in by her winter cityscapes. Part of it is the quick and colorful style that is in essence what John Sloan and his contemporaries did in order to capture the ever changing scenes of New York City. Though their work doesn't resonate with me as much as Bradshaws. Part of it is the way these scenes are snap shots of that magical but all too short period of time when the snow covers the city in pure white-uniting all the disparate surfaces under one clean layer. As most New Yorkers know, that doesn't last very long. But since they are not photographic snapshots, they strike me more as mental snapshots that mirror what I see when I conjur up memories of this time in New York. And there are times when the streets were as quiet as they seem in the paintings...when no one had ventured out into the snow and the streets were blissfully void of people. And since those moments are fleeting at best, it nice to find an artist that so wholly captures them. Thanks to Manhattan Users Guide.
Not Christo's Gates, Angelo GIordani's gates. First, excuse the blurry pics, i was recovering from a Thanksgiving turkey hangover so my hands weren't as steady as normal. These pics show the finished gates that my brother designed and created for a local homeowner in Kerhonkson, NY. He also installed them and hooked them up to an automatic opening mechanism. It was interesting to see how he had to time the closing so that one closed a few seconds before the other one. And he didn't stop there. The posts that had been there were out of sync with the new design so he made some more decorative moulding that fit over the posts.
These are pics of the gates in the shop. It took him about a year to make and hang them. He even created his own forge and curlie-cue forms to heat the steel and bend it. He then welded all the pieces together. He really enjoys working with metal.
Like I don't have enough to do, I started a new project last week. Well not so much a new project, since I have no idea what I am going to do with these little weavings that I made on my new WEAVETTE. But they sure are cute. I am working in ivory and tan alpaca and have 4 different pattens done so far. Stay tuned for the end result.
Here are some art trading cards I made. They are meant to be self-portraits. I broke out the Xyron sticker maker to affix . I love that thing! After years of cursing the glue stick and the mess it left, this thing is the antidote. See, I like to get really good stick-factor on the edges. It's just let down when they bubble up. So trying to glue tiny pieces is not the futile pursuit it once was. But of course this convienience comes at a price. The replacement cartridges aren't cheap and they are a serious disposal concern. The idea behind these was to basically gather my favorites. The backgrounds are cut up pieces of an offset-printed Charlie Harper print. I chose them because he is my all time favorite artist. Green is my favorite color. Animals like bunnys, kittens, birds. Hawaii. And, as Conn will most assuredly attest, shiny, colorful things that have an interactive aspect.
I took this picture when we were on vacation this summmer with the intent of blogging about it as soon as we got home. Well here we are several month's later, and after my nature post for today I thought this would be fitting. NEWMAN'S OWN ORGANICS and NEWMAN'S OWN have always been responsible companies and I was excited to learn about the environmentally friendly packaging they are using. They work with a company called NATURE WORKS for the packaging of their products which are derived from 100-percent annually renewable resources, such as corn. Along with producing biodegradable products like bottles, floral wrap, food / deli containers, bowls, plates and cutlery - they also have a new fiber called INGEO FIBER. The Fiber is the world's first man-made fiber derived from 100 percent annually renewable resources and is an environmentally preferable option to petroleum-based synthetic materials. Agian... I know it's hard to get all these changes to take hold in today's world, but it's a start.
Today's nature post is a bit different. Instead of the pretty images normally seen here. , I have decided to post about the effects plastic has on our environment. This week I came across 2 articles that really disturbed me, one titled "Swirling plastic vortex menaces sea life" and the other "Only 50 years left for sea fish". Sea life can get caught in plastic bags and drown. They see small bits of plastic floating in the water like cigarette butts, lighters, bottle caps and mistake it for food. Since they cannot digest it, it sits in their stomach and they die of starvation. Birds can regurgitate these small plastic bits up to feed their young where the plastics may remain in the stomachs, blocking digestion and possibly causing starvation.
We all need to stop living as if everything is disposable. It is hard to do in the world we live in today to do without plastic..everything is made from it. When you go to the grocery store and buy veggies and fruit... think twice about putting your items in the produce bags. Do you really need that bag? Most likely it will end up in your trash can 15 minutes later when you get home, then in the ocean. Ask yourself if you really need the straw with your next soft drink? Every morning when I get my coffee and bagle, I say NO BAG. They look at me like I am crazy, but I am going 5 doors away to my desk. Keep a set of silverware, plate and glass at work and wash then to use again. Ok...that's all I'm gonna say... But I could go on and on. Do some research - If we all make little changes, we can make a difference. BE RESPONSIBLE!
Here's how long it takes for some commonly used products to biodegrade, when they are scattered about as litter: Cotton rags 1-5 months Paper 2-5 months Rope 3-14 months Orange peels 6 months Wool socks 1 to 5 years Cigarette butts 1 to 12 years Plastic coated paper milk cartons 5 years Leather shoes 25 to 40 years Nylon fabric 30 to 40 years Tin cans 50 to 100 years Aluminum cans 80 to 100 years Plastic 6-pack holder rings 450 years Glass bottles 1 million years Plastic bottles Forever
Click HERE to read the full article on the debris in the sea.
Click HERE to read the full article on the decline of sea fish.
Our wildly talented friend Agnieszka finally sent me a pic of her Lost premiere cake. I do believe it was worth the wait. I mean look at this thing! There are plane fragments, palm trees, numbers and all. Take a peek at her incredible work here.
Well here I am in all my glory with my brother when we lived at Port-O-Call apartments in Indianapolis, Indiana circa 1970. As you can tell we have been brought to tears at the thought of throwing our Halloween pumpkin in the trash. Now come to think of it, were we sad because we were throwing the pumpkin away or because we had to have our STUPID PICTURE TAKEN WITH A PUMPKIN? Whatever the reason, I really love this photo. Oh yeah... what's with the cap guns?
As I was cleaning the apartment yesterday and dusting of my Tom Bonauro collectibles, I felt the need to tout his work. Tom is a wonderful and inspiring graphic artist living in San Fransico. His work is wonderfully simple, brilliant, beguiling and friendly.
We took a trip this past weekend to visit the old homestead of design guru Russell Wright. He bought 75 acres in upstate New York back in the 40s, part of which, is an old rock quarry that had become a pond and stream complete with waterfalls. The house is perfectly sited on the edge of the quarry. In addition to his interest in design, he was also an avid naturalist who created scenic trails on the property to take advantage of it's proximity to the Hudson. Visit the website for more info.