Quilt, Sauce and Digital Thoughts

Without really checking I think this January was probably my most productive blog writing yet.  That’s because I’ve been busy doing things finally.  I think I’ve re-focused my time.  Having the quilt project and knowing that I have a role in a play to do and limited time to myself has done this.  Being in the play requires such discipline and that’s what I needed right now.  I was going too Adirondacker.

After the play, “The Birthday Party”, which opens on July 26, 2012 at the Upper Jay Art Center, I can go back to being Adirondacker…..leaning and loafing at my ease…..in pursuit of creative endeavors of course.

The quilt is on hold I’m only several squares away from putting it together, but I’m short on one fabric, I’ve ordered it, but don’t you know it’s on backorder.  But, baby isn’t due until mid April.

Today was one of the few days snow has fallen this year.  Sue had to make a delivery to The Community Store in Saranac Lake.  The roads were terrible, it was 40mph the whole way, but we just sat back and enjoyed it, there were few cars on the road.  The town fought hard to keep Walmart out of town and out of the Adirondacks. so the idea of a Community Store sprung from that.  They have wonderful clothing, underwear, socks, all the stuff you need and more.  Now they have Sue Young pendants and mugs.

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Sue’s building up a wholesale business, mostly locally with solid businesses that are going to stay in business and actually sell the work.  Pendants have sold very well, they ordered in December and re-ordered in a month, we’re hoping the mug will be a hit with the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival crowd.

After the slow drive there and back I got started on my tomato sauce.
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Those are giant cans of diced tomatoes, I might as well make a lot as make a little.  Organic carrots and celery.  I read that celery was a vegetable that really held on to the pesticides.  It’s mostly water so it would have higher concentrations in its cells.  So I’ve switched to organic celery.  Of course its easier now that the kids are grown, the food budget is smaller and there’s more time to shop and think about what you are buying.

So I dice up the carrots, celery and onions, sweat them up and caramelize them slightly down.  Salt and pepper about half and hour.  Add the tomatoes and bay leafs, simmer for about two hours, blend with an emulsifier add spices, simmer for another hour or so.

This makes me a nice tomato sauce stock.  I can freeze this and then add to it whatever I like for the meal I am making.  Tonight I added pesto that we froze and additional basil leafs.  But you could roast peppers and add them, additional garlic….etc….

I use to just add sugar to the sauce to cut the acid in the tomatoes, but then on a food show I saw them use carrots to sweeten the sauce…..tried it and liked it.  I didn’t peel the carrots.

I’ve been working on digital art lately.  I have a nice project going, involving loons.  I once did three different etchings of loons.  “Looner Reflections”, “Looner Reverberations”, and “Loons Bathing in Northern Lights”.  They were very popular, but I didn’t print many of them because they were so hard to print.

I’ve been recreating the idea of Looner Reflections in vector art this time.  I’m having some success, but it’s been a learning process.  I’m beginning to lean toward the idea of creating my own prints digitally.  My ideas are original and unique, I know they would sell very well at the right price point and presented well.  Perhaps next week I’ll be far enough along to put a proof of my idea up here on the blog.

But in the meantime.  I worked on the following idea this evening as I was going over photos in my camera.  I took this photo in Peru NY of a farmers field.
1_31_12_tree1I felt there was a lot here to work with.  I took out the water town, buildings and distant trees.  The big tree I felt was leaning to the right out of the picture…..so I cut it out but duplicating the photo, splicing the photo in half, rotating the tree about 3 degrees and lining it back up.  Then I cut out the barn and then I put that back and was able to change the color saturation levels on the different objects to make the photo below.
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By tilting the tree to take the lean out of it I created a little rise in the field, but that brings the eye back to the middle of the photo.  The barn and tree shadows I burned a little darker as well.

I’ve always liked a scene like this.