Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Christmas Carol- One of Charles Dickens Finest!

I love Charles Dickens novels- I am working on reading them all, and someday I may just get there!

One of his finest, my personal opinion, is A Christmas Carol, mostly because of the message it brings, and the ingenious way he presents it.

A Christmas Carol is what inspired me to go into work mode and create this cast of characters and put them in my art shop online. Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, the three ghosts, and Jacob Marley are all there, ready to bring a more tangible way of seeing the wonderful Dickens story come to life.

I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Ma and Pa Kettle- Those were the days

I may be giving my age away here, but oh well... When I was a youngster I have vivid memories of being very excited when on Sunday afternoons a Ma and Pa Kettle movie be on television. I never got tired of watching them with their huge brood of children and listening to Marjorie Main as Ma Kettle holler out, "Come and get it!!!!" And to this day I sometimes jokingly call family members to the table in the same way!

In case you wonder whatever happened to Marjorie, while she did appear in various movies and shows in her career, she didn't marry or have children, and passed away at the age of 85. Percy Kilbride played various characters that were similar to his Pa Kettle role, but he too never married or had children. He passed away after an unfortunate accident at the age of 76.

For all those who enjoyed this duo, this pair was created, Marjorie and Percy.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, A Taste of Fall and a Culinary Piece of Art Work

Not only do I do art work , but I can find my way around the kitchen in honor of the upcoming fall season, I made some soft, warm homemade pumpkin cinnamon rolls- and here they are, fresh out of the oven:

This will be my "recipe of the week" I will share with you- because we all know that most everyone likes to eat too!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Dough: 1/4 c. warm water 2 1/2 tsp yeast 1 tsp sugar 1/2 c. milk 2 eggs 1 c. canned pumpkin puree 1/3 c. margarine, melted 1/2 c. sugar 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/4 tsp cloves 1 tsp salt 5-6 c. flour

Filling: 1/2 c - 2/3 c. canned pumpkin puree (to your preference) 1/2 c. butter, room temperature 1 c. packed brown sugar 2 T cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting: 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature 3 T butter 1/2 tsp vanilla 2 - 2 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Directions: 1. Combine warm water, yeast, and teaspoon of sugar in small bowl. Stir until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until froth doubles.
2. Combine milk, eggs, pumpkin, margarine, the 1/2 c. sugar, nutmeg, salt, and cloves. Mix until smooth.
3. Add 4 cups flour to mixing bowl. Pour frothed yeast mixture on top of flour. Knead about 5 minutes, adding flour 1/2 c. at a time until dough barely begins to clean the sides of the mixing bowl. Dough should be smooth and moist, but not sticky.
4. Spray a bowl with non-stick cooking spray. Place dough in greased bowl. Cover with wet towel, or plastic wrap sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Allow to raise until doubled, about 1 hour.
5. While dough is raising, prepare filling. Place room temperature butter and pumpkin puree in small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until mixture is smooth. In another small bowl combine brown sugar and cinnamon, set both bowls aside.
6. Pour dough out on slightly floured surface. Roll into a rectangle 16x21 inches, dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Spread the pumpkin/butter mixture over rectangle. Next, evenly spread the sugar/cinnamon mixture on top, slightly pressing it into the dough.
7. Roll up long side of dough, forming long tube. Cut tube with sharp knife about every 2 inches, making 12 rolls. Place rolls in lightly greased 9x13 baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.
8. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
9. Bake rolls in oven until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to make frosting. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Will Geer and Ellen Corby

I remember when the television show, The Waltons, first made its debut back in the 70's. It was one of a handful of shows we were allowed to watch as children and I clearly remember being very excited every week when it was time for the show to come on.

To this day, I still watch it and with as much enjoyment as I did when growing up. Not sure why it appeals to me so much, unless it is because the Waltons don't have much money and lived a simple life, and watching Ellen Corby and Will Geer sparring but with in a way that you can see they still love each other was and still is a source of amusement to me. (Reminds me of my maternal grandparents a lot!)

Seeing how I liked Will Geer and Ellen Corby in their roles in The Waltons so much, I created the pair to add to my character list. I do admit looking at them evokes fond memories of when I was quite a bit younger and life was less hectic because I was too young to have to deal with anything more difficult than getting up for school or keeping my room picked up! (And trying not to fight too much with my siblings.)

Good night, John Boy!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Reading- My Greatest Relaxation

It all started when I was very small and first went into the library at school. I was in heaven when I went and saw all the books that lined the walls. I checked out "The Wizard of Oz" and that was the beginning of my life long attraction to books. I read every chance I get, which isn't always every day, but I have been known to stick a book in almost every room so that if I sit in that room I have something to read.

If you ask me to pick my favorite author, I simply can't answer that, there are too many that I enjoy. Anthony Trollope, Margaret Mitchell, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Laura Ingalls Wilder (who I might add didn't write her Little House Series until her 60's) but also wrote articles for farmers wives and was quite interesting at that, and a host of other writers that would require a lot of typing to put their names down.

Fiction, non-fiction, biographies, history, poetry, it's all good reading material to me. I find it especially interesting to read about the author's life when I pick up a book of they have written- it often gives me a perspective of where their writing ideas came from.

A good book, a good chair, a cup of hot tea or cinnamon dolce latte, and I am set! I might add also that the world of books and reading has been one of my greatest sources of inspiration in my art work, so it serves a multi fold purpose to me too. Can you tell?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Boris Karloff- Vintage Hollywood The Original Frankenstein

You know, if I had to watch a scary movie, it would have to be one of the old black and white ones. I am not a fan of the modern day horror flicks in the least, but you just might catch me watching one of the the olden days of Hollywood versions. One of my favorites would be Frankenstein played by Boris Karloff. According to the daughter of Karloff, no one expected that the movie would really be much of a success, but Boris Karloff did emerge as the star, despite the fact that he wasn't even invited to the premiere. Thank goodness he took the role and that it did indeed become the hit that it did, it makes for a fun night of watching a classic horror film that was also a great boon to the career of Mr. Karloff. And in case you didn't know, Mr. Karloff was the wonderful "grinchy" voice of non other than "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas", yet another wonderful classic that was only enhanced by the unique voice of Mr. Karloff himself!

Friday, February 8, 2013

King Richard lll Has Been Found!

The latest discovery of the remains of King Richard lll inspired me to do a replica of the unfortunate king and his consort Anne Neville. How interesting to think that this long ago ruler fell and spent so many years undiscovered, and then to be recovered under a parking lot... A most exciting find for the archeologists!