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SusanDolphinDelaney

Healing and Empowerment for Women

Category Archives: Chicken

dec 2014 - pieter jansz saenredam 1635 choir of sint-bavokerk, haarlem palette

The painting above, by Pieter Janez Saendam (1635), is the current challenge for Art Bead Scene.

When I saw the painting, I ignited, and had to make my entries NOW.

I did not have the benefit of the wonderful palette you see above, to the right, created by the incomparable Brandi Huessey. A trained artist, she was able to break out the subtle colors in the painting.

I did print the photo of the painting in an 8×10 format, which revealed the warm grays and cool grays to me. I also saw surprising touches of gold and red.

By chance, I had been studying Lynda Moseley’s wonderful controlled marbling tutorial. Lynda always incorporates gray granite polymer clay into her designs.

Lynda keeps her word to provide support if you buy her tutorials. She once asked why I didn’t use the granite clay. I told her that I had to make my own magic.

Never say never.

When I saw all of that stone in the photo, I knew the time had come to use the granite clay. Here is my first piece, created in response to the challenge:

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I stood on the shoulders of two giants in this response to the challenge. Lynda Moseley and Jan Geisen, who uses torn clay in many of her amazing pendants. After I cut out the earrings, I looked at the scrap of clay left and decided to add it, a la Jan, fractured edges and all,  to a domed pendant.

My intent in these pieces is to capture the gold and silver tones of the stone in the painting, and the touch of red.

I had deliberately made more clay than I needed for the controlled marbling technique. I have been exploring a twisting technique with my clay that gives me a mineral-like effect. I decided to try for that. I layered the gold/granite; silver/granite; granite; translucent and subtle translucent red. I also created a second translucent red with some of my red/orange opal clay (Madam Pele clay, my own brand of magic).

The great cathedrals of Europe are almost always built on the same sites that held goddess shrines in past times. It tickled me to use a bit of the layered clay to make two goddess earrings to go with the second pendant. The earring on the right is the one that matches the clay. I spilled my beads and my dog picked up the matching one, which I found after taking the photos. I will be remaking the left hand earring!

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I took the best photo I know how to take of this, but I failed to capture the shimmering metallic gold, silver and even copper (where gold and red opal clay collided in a gleaming thin layer). The carnelian beads echo the red in the clay.

I found I wasn’t finished with Lynda Moseley’s controlled marbling!

On Thanksgiving I placed a wishbone from the chicken I’d roasted the week before on the table for my daughter and my son-in-love to “pull”. When they did, a surprising thing happened: the wishbone broke into three pieces. So they both made a wish. As it turned out they both wished for a long, happy life together!

This was too cool to let go. I made a new batch of silver/gold/granite/translucent clay and marbled it. I cut it into a rectangle that just fit into a gold frame. I baked it, polished it through 8 grits and Dremel-ed it. It took on an incredible, glasslike shine because of its translucency. I mounted the bone fragments on it.

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Bands of gold and silver shimmer all through the background. I plan to give this to the “kids” this weekend.

I had a blast with this challenge. I HAD to make two entries.

And just in time. Tomorrow the Earrings Everyday Challenge for December will be announced.

Here is the link to Lynda Moseley’s Controlled Marbling tutorial: http://www.etsy.com/listing/119526146/polymer-clay-tutorial-digital-pdf?ref=shop_home_feat_2

Here’s the link to Jan Geisen’s Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/23551801@N03/

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I have just come out of a creative frenzy lasting two weeks. I have made about 150 beads, most of them for Beads of Courage (for kids with cancer). I have also, in the process, innovated some beads for my Etsy shop, LadyFlowersbySusan. I hope to photograph them and post them later today.

But first it was time to clean up the mess that accrued during my creative frenzy. I deep cleaned the kitchen, even running Windex-soaked q-tips between the buttons of the blender! I put vinegar soaked cotton pads over all of the places around the sink where lime had accrued and after a bit, scrubbed away the lime deposits. My kitchen is sparkling clean again.

I had read on Pinterest how you can root the bottom of celery and grow more. I was intrigued by this. I normally only buy celery for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, to make Mother’s stuffing. I saved my Easter celery bottom and put it in a saucer of water. In about a week it started to grow new celery sprouts and in two weeks I could see fine white roots.

I potted it up today in the re-ordering of my kitchen. I have actually harvested two small stalks already for some beef stock I was making. I pried the tiny stalks from the outside edge of the new growth and put the stalks and their flavorful leaves in my stockpot.

Now for the bedroom and bathroom. The bath mats are already in the washer…

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Gravy is a breeze the way I make it. It is filled with many, many layers of flavor and it is gluten free.

I start with about four cups of diced vegetables. I used three stalks of celery, a medium onion and three good sized carrots on Easter for my six pound chicken. I drizzled the veggies with olive oil and laid the bird on top. I rubbed unsalted butter into the chicken’s skin. I roasted the bird, turning the pan once during cooking for even browning. I didn’t need to baste.

When the chicken was done, I removed it to a plate. I pushed the vegetables around in the pan to absorb all of the browned bits. Then I put the contents of the pan in my blender and whizzed it up until it was fairly smooth.

That’s it.

Gravy made this way is ample, wonderfully thick and it is divinely multi-layered with flavor. The pan drippings, the aromatic vegetables, the browned parts of the vegetables, the olive oil, the butter.

I just finished the last of it tonight, poured over the last of the white meat of the chicken. Mmmmm!

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