I made the most delicious jam from my homegrown serrano peppers. We’re blessed with a long growing season here in the coastal south (high of 77F yesterday), so the serrano bush is still pretty heavily-laden—and here it is first of December! This will probably be our last batch though. *sadface*
I discovered rather late that we might’ve been picking them too young. I peeped the peppers at Publix, and theirs were twice the size of ours. Oh. well, damn.
But mmmmm, they did make a mighty fine jam.
As an Intuitive Cooker, I don’t really measure anything (and often stray far from the recipe unless I’m baking, baking is a science). So I just sort of looked up basic jam-making how-tos online, and then went for it. I used 4 or 5 thingies of berries + about the same amount of peppers + 2 or 3 cups of raw sugar. Roasted half of the peppers first, then blended them into a pulp—seeds and all—with the remaining peppers and berries, and cooked it all down with the sugar. Didn’t even add any pectin and it’s jelled just fine, yielded 3 or 4 little jars.
10/10 would do it all again next year. Need cheaper source of berries tho.
For my year-long book cover project, I present these three covers for American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I hear there’s a movie or show being filmed of it now, so I wanted to give it another read. Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite storytellers, and this is probably one of his best. I love the way he casually reveals mythology woven into the fabric of reality, picking and pulling at hidden strands ’til they bulge and fray on the surface.
I would definitely read this book again. It’s a keeper.
pencil, digital effects (Photoshop), photo
Up next for the book cover challenge: The Man in the High Castle by Phillip K. Dick.
I successfully grew food this year, and thereby achieved one of my life goals. I’m really rather proud of our results—we lost the squash and taters early on, due mainly to inexperience and beetle larvae—but the eggplant, pepper, and okra were rather prolific… and delicious. I have included in the drawing members of the Organic Defense Team: two resident lizards, Fred and George (who I never saw again after Hurricane Matthew *sadface*), the toad that visited occasionally, and a representative from the ladybug squad. Oh, and the little orange spots all over the background represent the marigolds.
We even grew a 6′ tall papaya tree; it volunteered from the compost and was 2′ before we identified it. It never bloomed or anything and even if it did, we don’t have a mate for it (papayas have male and female trees, did you know that?)
I learned a lot, had tons o’ fun, and look forward to stepping up my efforts next year, with total self-sufficiency as the end goal. y’know—if the world doesn’t all go up in flames before then.
Sharpie fine points, color pencil, ink/watercolor.
We had a bit of fun this weekend, styling some environmental shots with a few of the animals from my Etsy shop, creating little vignettes with props and accoutrements from around ze house. Not uncoincidentally, I also got a lot of dusting done in the process.
This photo set includes a couple of animals from my new series featuring hand-dyed canvas faces. I’m pretty excited about this batch, as I’m finally at a point where I’m bringing together everything I’ve been incubating for the past several years.
Hop over to my shop if you have a minute, and check out the new merch. More owls and sloths coming soon, and then I may make another cat.These are such exciting times we’re living in.
This is Clawdine, a sassy little 3-toed sloth currently residing in my Etsy shop. I made Clawdine after watching a documentary about sloths, in which I learned many fascinating things. For example, the fur on a sloth’s arms grows away from the hands/feet, unlike every other mammal on Earth. It’s an evolutionary adaptation—sloths spend so much of their time hanging upside down, they’re better protected from the rain by downward-growing fur.
Don’t even get me started on the whole moth situation. That’s another post for another day/another sloth.
But notice, if you will, the anatomical correctness of Clawdine’s fur… This is one of her major selling points, don’tcha know.
Clawdine is looking for somewhere new to hang out. See more photos on her Etsy profile.
Respect the craft, man. I put a lot of work into being this fluffy.
Last Friday, a few friends and I went out to the edge of America and watched the sky fall down. We witnessed about three hours of the Perseid meteor shower from a secluded beach near Morris Island. There were snacks and beverages, and we talked of many, many things. I saw a fireball so immense that I have to question whether I actually imagined it—it was almost too big to be believable really, and no one else can corroborate.
/i know what i saw tho. it was HUGE./
‘Twas a magical evening.
Pick a card—this one please! I’ve entered a contest with Playing Arts, maker of artistic playing cards. Each deck features the work of 55 artists from around the world, and I hope to represent the 3 of Clubs in the next deck. I need your vote!
Follow this link, and click like– kthx!
I’m doing a thing—one of those 30 day challenges everyone goes on about, but I’ve never been able to complete. This time, however, I think I’ve got it—I have an accountabil-a-buddy, a co-challenger with which to share, brainstorm, and critique. And that’s important.
It all started when we went to hear illustrator Sarah Lawrence speak about the project that made her famous, Draw Shit Everyday, in which she handlettered the same four-letter word every day for a year.
So, for the month of July, while Kristin explores ampersands, I’m doing #30daysofBowie. Each day, I choose a song from David Bowie’s vast repertoire and I spend anywhere from 15 minutes to 8 hours drawing out the title or a line from the song. My goal is to generate a big ol’ pile of sketches and ideas that I can further develop and refine into final pieces next month. And I’m experimenting with lettering styles and techniques as well, and also (happily) becoming increasingly obsessed with The Man in the process.
Check out the project so far.
Tom Robbins has been one of my favorite authors for many, many moons. Villa Incognito is one of his newest books. It’s got all the familiar Robbins tropes—the distinct spicy flavor and colorful phrasing, outlandish plots and kooky characters… but sadly, the story doesn’t really hold together very well. Tom was quite advanced in age at the time of Villa’s writing (2003); and since he’s previously written many a brilliant and delightful book in his career, he will be forgiven for …this hot mess.
Tom was still kickin’ it in the Pacific Northwest last time I checked. Hope what I said about this book doesn’t get back to him. I love Tom, I do. See how I put his name down at the bottom with the tanuki (Japanese raccoon dog/trickster spirit)? That’s my tribute, see.
If you’ve never before read a Robbins, don’t start with this book. Get you some Skinny Legs & All, or Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, or Another Roadside Attraction, anything from that era.
Truth be told, I stalled out on this bookcover, having finished the book months ago—but I had no ideas whatsoever, and was overwhelmed with a certain malaise of disappointment and inertia. And weirdly, I felt like I couldn’t move on and read another book until I’d fulfilled my commitment to draw a cover for this one. Afterall,
…a promise one makes to oneself hurts twice as much when it’s broken.
And now I am finally free to move on to the next great read, yay!