Sunday, January 29, 2012


This Christmas I got my mom a cheese making kit on Etsy from Urban Cheesecraft. It was really awesome, and resonably priced. It came with everything you need to make cheese ten times, except the milk. Before I left for Germnay we had a mother-daughter day in the kitchen. It turned out to be a multi-day process. This was not because it actually takes that long to make ricotta cheese, but because we were absolute failures at making it the first time. The directions were simple and straight forward. I think we went wrong in being too uptight about the process. Does this make sense to you? It was like we tried too hard so it didn't work. We never stopped having fun though. So we thought it would be a fun idea to document some of the process.
In making cheese you heat the milk until the curds and whey seperate. This never happened for us. We weren't sure exactly what it was supposed to look like. This resulted in us moving along with the directions prematurely. Needless to say, it didn't turn out. What we were left with was something that resembled buttermilk. We didn't want to waste all the milk so we decided to bake with it.

Our decision was to use it to make rice pudding. Our famliy loves rice pudding and the recipe calls for a lot of milk. It was in baking the rice pudding that the curds finally seperated from the whey. Our rice pudding looked so weird.

We were practically on the floor with laughter. Again, we did not want to waste it so we ate it anyway. It was surprisingly good given its odd texture. Unfortunatley too, the look of it reminded me of fancy feast. Good thing it didn't smell like cat food. It smelled as good as it tasted.

In the future, when cooking starts to go wrong, I think I may just (remember this day) and cut my losses. And now that my mom has that episode under her belt I'm sure she's going to make perfect cheese next time.
I doubt I'll be making my own cheese here any time soon. I just couldn't imagine making my own when I am already surrounded by such gorgeous cheese already.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


This is not graffiti from Germany. It's actually from Mt. Laurel, NJ. I took these photos when I went on a nature walk with my mom and brother before I left the US. I forgot all about them until now. I'm glad I remembered to share them. I think they are awesome. And thanks to my iphone I was able to capture them.

The last one isn't the best shot, but it is my favorite subject. I think is clever to spraypaint the wish blowing in the wind. But it is on cement and it looks yucky. The contrast pleases my mind.

I find it quite amusing that a nature walk would involve cement and paint. But in New Jersey the woods are never far from suburbia.

Since I'm on the topic of graffiti I will add that there is a lot of graffiti around Germany. (see my FB profile pic) Most of it is really good. Some of it stinks, like when people just want to write their name or a curse word.

I'm not sure where I stand on graffiti. I hate that people deface someone else's property just because they feel cheated in some way. Maybe they are mad at society and it's made up rules. Maybe they hate their government. Maybe they are mad because it is hard to share your art when you are an artist. I get it. You want people to like your stuff. Me too. But I don't really think it is fair to force it on traincars or walls under overpasses until you're famous from it.

That being said, I love spraypaint. I love the hues it comes in. I love the immediacy and permanence of it. And I love how quickly you can cover a large area with it. I use it. I am a big fan of most of the graffiti art I have ever seen. So, over it, I refuse to lose sleep. So don't be surprised, or think me hypocritical, when I post more graffiti in the future. Next time, by Germans!  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Getting Settled

Phil and I seem to be settling into our new life here, in Germany, quite nicely. We've only been here a week and we've found a place to live. We'll be in a suburb of the city of Ansbach. It is only a two bedroom apartment, but it is 1300 square feet. So there are a couple of large closet rooms I could turn into an art and sewing studio. I'm really excited. It is more than I ever could have expected. I think our situation is pretty outstanding as far as a military move is concerned. The average wait time on a house is more like 45 days. Any girl I've spoken to befiore now has horror stories about trying to find a place to live, and dealing with thehousing office. I feel fortunate to admit I really don't have anything negative to say. Phil did a marvelous job picking it out. The landlord and his wife are incredibly nice. They don't speak English, so it's more motivation for me to keep plugging away at my German. Our apartment is one of three. We're in the middle, ground level. We've got three porches. I am so excited to move in, which won't actually happen for another two weeks. When I do, you can be sure I'll take some photos.

Our house is on a hill top. The view of the city is amazing. Our yard is amazing. There is a lot of landscaping. I think I will have an overabundance of inspiration and subject matter for art. I'll be happy to start making things again.

I'm also all set for the Spring Bazaar. It'll be nice to sell some scarves again, and get acquainted with my community.

I feel like I've been slacking on my Etsy Shop, and my internet presence in general. I never thought that my access to the internet would be so limited. I'm lucky to have been able to use it as much as I have been. In case you haven't noticed, I've journaling our days here under the Germany tab on this site. Check it out for more recent updates.

I hope you're having a great weekend!

Friday, January 13, 2012

We're Here!

Hey All. Just a quick check in for anyone curious as to how my past two days have been:

It's our first day in Germany. Thanks to a good sleep on the plane, Thursday easily turned into Friday for me. Unfortunately, Phil did not have the same luck. He went through an entire cycle of the 24 hr. bug. (I'll leave it at that.) As soon as the plane landed we were swooped on a bus headed to Ansbach. Amazing, it was a charter bus and we were the only two aboard. If it had been part of a plot to kidnap us I wouldn't have been surprised. The 3 hr bus ride was perfect for catching up on more sleep. We're finally at the hotel and Phil is napping again. It's been a long and confusing day, but everyone has been terribly nice. We even had some friends from Ft. Rucker to greet us when we got here. We were excited, and relieved, to see them. It's microwave soup for dinner and a book for the evening activity. There are flurries outside. I hope it is white when I wake up tomorrow.

One more thanks to my grandmom for getting herself a new scarf. I hope she posts another picture on her FB page to show us how it looks.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It's a New Year

I think there's a saying that goes something like, "How you ring in the new year sets the tone for your year to come." (eloquent I am not)If this is true, my 2012 is going to be awesome. Phil and I are still moving (a.k.a visiting family for the holidays before we go to Germany)We've been so fortunate to be able to spend tons of time with the ones we love. In a few days we will move to the other side of the globe, so it is a significant time to be solidifying these bonds. My favorite thing to do in Phillytown is the Mummer's Parade on J-1. It blows the pants off any New Year's Eve Party in my opinion. Here are a couple of shots I scored at the celebration.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Philadelphia Mummers this shot is an example of the Level 1 Mummer. It's a guy dressed as a girl, with old sneakers spray painted gold. He is more concerned with cans of beer and cigarettes than anything else. The beginnning of the parade is definitely not for sore eyes.

This is a shot of some Level 2 Mummers. They have better costumes and are accompanied by a band.

But the debauchery continues...

Yes, that is a puddle in the middle of the street from you-know-what. The best part is I am standing right next to a cop as I take this shot.
Oh are a lovable city.

Here's me, my cousin, and my brother with a pretty respectical Level 3 Mummer. He, at least was chewing gum.

And just so you don't get the wrong impression of the parade; this is an example of one of the nicer floats. I believe they call these guys "The Fancies". The Fancies and The String Bands are the pride of the parade.

After the parade is when the family gatehrs at the local watering hole. In the case of my family it is at St. Steven's Green, located on 17th and Green St. in Philly. It's got a great menu, for food and beer.

This is not the most awesome shot, but I think you get the idea.

Mummer Lovin'

Who is that sexy beast?
He goes by many names...The Miz...Mizzle...The Baby...Cherry
One thing is for sure. He was born to wear velvet.