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Behold the Noble Pepper Grinder! 


So, Flickr Link )

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I was talking with Gordon today and he linked me to this incredible speech. It's terribly poignant and lovely.




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Another darkroom class photo.
I don't know why, but things look fine whenever I use the computer that's hooked up to the scanner, but the moment I look at them again on my home computer they always look really faded and gray. It's kind of infuriating.

Flickr link )


Jun. 8th, 2010 02:39 pm
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Things I had:
1) Access to a darkroom
2) Photographic paper
3) Gears
4) A Sharpie

Things I didn't have:
1) Film

I had fun with it anyway.


Flickr Link )
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This was part of the first set I ever processed in the darkroom, which is how that splotch came to be. I think it was kind of a happy accident- it seems to fit with the general feeling. Weird how a splotch can serve as a souvenir.

Flickr Link )


Jun. 6th, 2010 05:54 pm
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Final assignment. I did another illustration just to see if I could do it better, and really do quite like this one. Erdrich chapel scene. This is the aquatint newsprint proof.

Another late night, complete with some caffeine induced decisions that turned out better than I'd thought they would! This is definitely an AP and a bit smudgy, but it did turn out better than most of the final prints. Probably I should be kinder to it than scotch taping it to my wall.

Flickr link )


Jun. 6th, 2010 04:43 pm
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First print!
Our assignment was to just draw anything, really, just to get the hang of etching on our zinc plates. I'm pretty enamored with Angela Carter's short stories and thought I'd do a take on The Bloody Chamber. My professor pretty much thought it was flat-out castle fairytale ridiculous, and my attempts to save my first day of class reputation by pointing out that the hands were supposed to represent dead wives were... not really helpful.

Of course the next instruction was to scrape off two thirds of the surface we'd just etched and revise it... The waves were nearly impossible to scrape. The waves at the bottom were preposterous! It's so much easier to remove straight, parallel lines because the tool doesn't catch as much in the process. This is just a newsprint process scan for the heck of it.

And then it was midnight and I was too exhausted from all of the scraping to come up with any revelations about the plate's true direction, so I just added more hands.

That last one is the print I consider the closest to "final" for this set. Later on I was learning how to aquatint and needed a plate to experiment on so that if I messed things up I'd not have to worry about scraping yet another plate and starting over before my next deadline, so I tried things out on my older plate. This is just the newsprint, but I thought I'd archive for comparison's sake it just in case someday I got access to a studio and took it in an entirely different direction. You never know.

Flickr source )

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My two-plate experiment, complete with an oxidizing ink that changed and faded as I went over the plate with the tarlatan. After many botched attempts this one actually turned out kind of ghostly and neat.

Earlier Print )


May. 26th, 2010 08:06 pm
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I completely and utterly fell in love with Design Sponge's sneak peek at the Emersonmade folks' home.

Houseplants everywhere!
Fabulous fabrics

Visible pantry hallway with shelves full of mason jars!

A lovely kitchen:

Perfect, elegant but quirky simplicity.

(I think this room would be really delightful to write in with a warm cup of coffee!)

(These are total embeds from the Designsponge link above.)
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Bottle garden. How lovely!

I'm only worried that the plants' roots won't have enough space to spread out... I suppose I could always transplant them, though.

I'm also thinking of terrariuming it up.
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We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey. -Kenji Miyazawa, poet and story writer (1896-1933)
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"I have found it easier to identify with characters who verge upon hysteria, who are frightened of life, who are desperate to reach out for another person. But these seemingly fragile people are the strong people really." ~ Tennessee Williams
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"In the struggle between yourself and the world
second the world."
-Franz Kafka, novelist (1883-1924)
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Allrecipes: "Restaurant-style Egg-drop Soup" Submitted by W.J. Cory
  • 4 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (or shallots; I'd suppose onions could also do in a pinch)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • (Or just three eggs, whatever)
  1. Reserve 3/4 cup of chicken broth, and pour the rest into a large saucepan. Stir the salt, ginger and chives into the saucepan, and bring to a rolling boil. In a cup or small bowl, stir together the remaining broth and cornstarch until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk together using a fork. Drizzle egg a little at a time from the fork into the boiling broth mixture. Egg should cook immediately. Once the eggs have been dropped, stir in the cornstarch mixture gradually until the soup is the desired consistency. (Erm, Gabe/the comment suggestions opine that this should probs happen before the eggs are dropped.)
Thanks, Gabe and <http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Restaurant-Style-Egg-Drop-Soup/Detail.aspx>.
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Carter, Angela. Nights at the Circus. New York, Viking Penguin Inc. 1985.

“All those who saw her picture gallery wondered, but Nelson would never have her pictures cleaned. She always said, didn’t she, Liz, that Time himself, the father of transfigurations, was the greatest of artists, and his invisible hand must be respected at all costs, since it was in anonymous complicity with that of every human painter […]” (28).

“Yet there remained something a little unfinished about him, still. He was like a handsome house that has been let, furnished. There were scarcely any of those little, what you might call personal touches to his personality, as if his habit of suspending belief extended even unto his own being. I say he had a propensity for ‘finding himself in the right place at the right time’; yet it was almost as if he himself were an object trouve, for, subjectively, himself he never found, since it was not his self which he sought.
He would have called himself a ‘man of action’. He subjected his life to a series of cataclysmic shocks because he loved to hear his bones rattle. That was how he knew he was alive. (10)
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Half of the harm that is done in this world
Is due to people who want to feel important.

– T.S. Eliot

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This quote of the day greeted me this morning on my iGoogle page:

"Nietzsche was stupid and abnormal."
~ Leo Tolstoy

It reminded me of the McMorons and made me smile.
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"The Moose" by Elizabeth Bishop

From narrow provinces
of fish and bread and tea,
home of the long tides
where the bay leaves the sea
twice a day and takes
the herrings long rides,

where if the river
enters or retreats 
in a wall of brown foam
depends on if it meets
the bay coming in,
the bay not at home;

where, silted red,
sometimes the sun sets
facing a red sea,
and others, veins the flats'
lavender, rich mud
in burning rivulets;

on red, gravelly roads,
down rows of sugar maples,
past clapboard farmhouses
and neat, clapboard churches,
bleached, ridged as clamshells,
past twin silver birches,

through late afternoon
a bus journeys west,
the windshield flashing pink,
pink glancing off of metal,
brushing the dented flank
of blue, beat-up enamel;

down hollows, up rises,
and waits, patient, while
a lone traveller gives
kisses and embraces
to seven relatives
and a collie supervises.

Goodbye to the elms,
to the farm, to the dog.
The bus starts.  The light
grows richer; the fog,
shifting, salty, thin,
comes closing in.

Its cold, round crystals
form and slide and settle
in the white hens' feathers,
in gray glazed cabbages,
on the cabbage roses
and lupins like apostles;

the sweet peas cling
to their wet white string
on the whitewashed fences;
bumblebees creep
inside the foxgloves,
and evening commences.

One stop at Bass River.
Then the Economies 
Lower, Middle, Upper;
Five Islands, Five Houses,
where a woman shakes a tablecloth
out after supper.

A pale flickering.  Gone.
The Tantramar marshes 
and the smell of salt hay.
An iron bridge trembles 
and a loose plank rattles
but doesn't give way.

On the left, a red light
swims through the dark:
a ship's port lantern.
Two rubber boots show,
illuminated, solemn.
A dog gives one bark.
A woman climbs in
with two market bags,
brisk, freckled, elderly.
"A grand night. Yes, sir,
all the way to Boston."
She regards us amicably.
Moonlight as we enter the New Brunswick woods, hairy, scratchy, splintery; moonlight and mist caught in them like lamb's wool on bushes in a pasture. The passengers lie back. Snores. Some long sighs. A dreamy divagation begins in the night, a gentle, auditory, slow hallucination. . . . In the creakings and noises, an old conversation --not concerning us, but recognizable, somewhere, back in the bus: Grandparents' voices uninterruptedly talking, in Eternity: names being mentioned, things cleared up finally; what he said, what she said, who got pensioned; deaths, deaths and sicknesses; the year he remarried; the year (something) happened. She died in childbirth. That was the son lost when the schooner foundered. He took to drink. Yes. She went to the bad. When Amos began to pray even in the store and finally the family had to put him away. "Yes . . ." that peculiar affirmative. "Yes . . ." A sharp, indrawn breath, half groan, half acceptance, that means "Life's like that. We know it (also death)." Talking the way they talked
in the old featherbed,
peacefully, on and on,
dim lamplight in the hall,
down in the kitchen, the dog
tucked in her shawl.
Now, it's all right now even to fall asleep just as on all those nights. --Suddenly the bus driver stops with a jolt, turns off his lights. A moose has come out of the impenetrable wood and stands there, looms, rather, in the middle of the road. It approaches; it sniffs at the bus's hot hood. Towering, antlerless, high as a church, homely as a house (or, safe as houses). A man's voice assures us "Perfectly harmless. . . ." Some of the passengers exclaim in whispers, childishly, softly, "Sure are big creatures." "It's awful plain." "Look! It's a she!" Taking her time, she looks the bus over, grand, otherworldly. Why, why do we feel
(we all feel) this sweet
sensation of joy?
"Curious creatures," says our quiet driver, rolling his r's. "Look at that, would you." Then he shifts gears. For a moment longer, by craning backward, the moose can be seen on the moonlit macadam; then there's a dim smell of moose, an acrid smell of gasoline.


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