Feb 27, 2014

Oh rats, rejoice!

Long, long ago, this is how I fell in love with rats:  I saw on TV this stop-animation film by the geniuses at Cosgrove-Hall and was immediately smitten.  Back then, before computers and DVD players, it was nearly impossible to get a copy of this film although eventually I was able to get a VHS copy.  To this day, the film is not available on DVD but today I discovered that someone has uploaded an excellent quality copy of this 30 minute film.  This is the very best version of this story I have ever seen and I am thrilled to be able to share it here with you!  The rats, the rats, take a look at those gorgeous rats!  My babies were inspired by these beasties!  And when the Mayor refuses to pay... brilliant, just brilliant! 

    Enjoy "The Pied Piper of Hamlin"!  The film is in 2 parts but seamless. 

Feb 23, 2014

National Cupcake Day 2014

I try to help animals all year, not just with my online Hallowe'en Studio Tour.  So when an opportunity presents itself that combines my love for baking with helping animals, you betcha I'm in!

Monday will be the 2nd annual National Cupcake Day to support Humane Societies and SPCAs.  My local shelter is on the list so I inspired the folks at work to bake and to eat all the tasty treats to support the creatures in need. 

And it's not just cupcakes:  I baked apple-cinnamon-almond brioche, oatmeal-almond-berry muffins and lemon cheesecake squares so there were lots of choices while my co-workers made sure cupcakes were well represented.

We even have an online bakery, check it out! 

So celebrate National Cupcake Day and next year why don't you consider getting a team together and taking part in this excellent fundraising idea! 

Happy munching!

Feb 16, 2014

Winter mornings...

... can smell like this, all yeasty and cinnamony and sugary.  This dreamy recipe can be found by clicking here.  Yes, my love affair with food continues, who needs a date when you can bake a beauty like this!?!

Feb 13, 2014

Thank you for supporting passion!

I read this quote attributed to Rebekah Joy Plett and wanted to share it with you:  purchasing a piece of handmade art means a great deal to the artist! 

To everyone who has ever adopted one of my critters, thank you from my heart.  And to all those artists from whom I have adopted or purchased, you are most welcome and I so enjoy seeing your new creations I am extremely pleased to be a part of your success!

From the heart

Hello Everyone,
  As February 14th fast approaches, I thought to share this fast, easy and inexpensive craft idea with you:  3D paper hearts. 
I made them using an ordinary glue stick instead of staples and created a LOT of hearts with only 6 sheets of paper (2 red, 2 pink, 2 pale pink). 
They can be used in different formations, like these glued in the round to create bright sunshines or flowers (which, considering this winter, we REALLY need).


And I also thought to share this with you:

It certainly does make a clear statement.  Enjoy loving your people tomorrow, be they furry or feathered, 2 or 4 legged! 
 Happy Valentine's Day!

Feb 8, 2014

Criticism: How beautiful it is and how easily it can be broken

I was drawn to the title of a book:  How Beautiful It Is and How Easily It Can Be Broken by Daniel Mendelsohn and discovered it was a collection of critical reviews.  Not really my interest, but the first review was for a book I have and was looking forward to reading, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.  The review was not an attack but was definitely derogatory, starting off by outlining its success as largely due to being talked about by influential TV personalities.  For a first novel it became “the novel of the year”.  However, the critic than dismantles the innards of this novel and lays out what I feared:  it isn't a deep, personal look at rape and death but a white-wash of "Everything is okay, everyone will be okay."  I don't mind the happy ending so long as there's a depth and a taste and a weight to it, which Mr. Mendelsohn makes quite clear there is not.  
  So I gave away the book.  Indeed, something fragile (my hopes) were broken.
  Strangely, the critic attempts to convince the reader that this is not a critic's intention, in fact it is a love of fragile things that motivates a critic, that “critics are, above all, people who are in love with beautiful things, and who worry that those things will get broken.  What motivates so many of us to write in the first place is, to begin with, a great passion for a subject”...“that we find beautiful; and then a kind of corresponding anxiety about the fragility of that beauty.”  I beg to defer:  Mr. Mendelsohn focuses on flaws in The Lovely Bones, not its positive points, on what isn’t there rather than all the aspects that made so many people love the read.  If you thought it was beautiful, in any regard, why would you throw rocks at it?!

  This is true of any critic.  Have you ever held a bear in your hands, loved it, wanted it, until someone pointed out it's flaws to the point that you no longer adopted the poor Teddy?  
  Anyway, I pleasure-read so little I want just the juiciest morsels.  I think I should stay clear of critics and bury my nose in more gems like Sharp Teeth and Brains.  (Finding them is the tricky part!)  Beautiful things taste delicious!


Feb 4, 2014

3 little faces!!

Are they not adorable?  
Angelina, Spiro and Samuel are coming to life!  They now even have ears and I'm stuffing their legs!  It was a productive weekend.