Thursday, October 28, 2010

19th Century Italian Paintings

The Love Letter
by Fredericko Andreotti

The Flower Seller by Ludavico Marchelli
The Rustic Concert

A Girl Knitting 1888

Afternoon in the Alps
by Giovanni Segantini

11 Bacio
by Francesco Hayez
A Tender Moment in the Garden
by Andreotti
The Love Letter
by Andreotti

Silvestro Lega - Il canto di uno stornello - 1868
La Madre by Silvestro Lega

Cristiano Banti - Paesana toscana

Portrait of a Young Lady by Eugen von Blass

The Serenade by Federico Andreotti
An Afternoon Tea by Federico Andreotti
Italian Woman Making a Shirt and Her Husband Building a Cradle
by Karl Pavlovich Brulloff

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Celebrate Italy

In honour of a new law passed in Italy, please go do something Italian today: go to the grocery store and buy Parmesan cheese or something. I'll have some pictures to follow. And, if you can, write to the the local government in the small town in Italy that created the ordinance, and thank them for taking a brave stand. I understand it is a small town south of Naples.

How to Make  A Pizza Pie

In a fourth cup olive oil, sautee a fourth to one half cup of sweet white onion, just until steaming.

Add a pound of any kind of ground meat. This is buffalo. Cook it until the meat is crisp and crunchy, using a potato masher to make it into finer pieces.

Add a jar, approximately 16 ounces, or two cups of spaghetti sauce of your choice. You can add a teaspoon of honey if the spaghetti sauce is too bitter. Heat through.

For the crust, I use  2 cups the Montana natural unbleached white flour from Walmart that also has barley flour in it. To that I add a tablespoon of non-aluminum baking powder and mix well. Then I pour in half a cup and a few more tablespoons of olive oil, and mix til it forms a ball. Add more oil if necessary.

Divide into two balls and flatten each into a round pizza pan, with a hand roller or a jar on its side. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees or until edges are slightly browned.

Pile on the sauce mixture, spreading it to the edges, and add your choice of shredded cheese or cheese mixture.
Put back in the oven for another 5 minutes til cheese melts, or to desired crispness.

Eat and listen to this music.

See also

This is the email address to that Italian town: Dr. Anthony Venditti Communicator public-journalist Responsible Office for relations with the public

Monday, October 25, 2010

Autumn Paper Crafts

Among the variety of hues produced by the autumn chill are the soft pastels of coral pink, pale yellow and sage green. Make Mine Pink hosted a pink autumn sale in October, to celebrate the pinks of the season. By looking closely at my own back yard I found a huge array of shades ranging from burgundy to chartreuse, which made me want to make simple things for the table, to imitate the glorious nature displayed in this lovely, brisk weather. Below are some samples, instructions and a pattern you can use for children to decorate your fall table.

This craft was made using textured card stock and polymer paints, which cost about a dollar each at JoAn Fabrics, and a little less at the craft section of Wal-Mart.  Glue the pattern on to a heavier paper or cardboard from cereal box or any cast-off box you have that can be cut with ordinary scissors.

Lay the pattern on your cardstock or paper and trace around it with pencil. Attach stands to anything you want to use as a stand-up item, as you see above.

Outline the edges and the little veins with your choice of glitter glue or glitter paint. You can make them to match your dinnerware, or just put them in a bowl as a centerpiece.

With the paint I use, shown in those bottles in a previous photo, it has to be allowed to dry for at least an hour before handling the leaves, but you can find paints for paper at scrapbook stores, which dries more quickly. Another technique that can be used, is to draw your outline with the tip of liquid paste, such as white school glue, and sprinkle glitter on it, being sure to allow a good drying period before using the craft.

Here is a pattern for you. Its copyright free. You can use it to make things for yourself, to sell, or to give away and put your own name on it.

This one has a stand-up piece on the back and  is made with white cardstock, outlined in platinum-gold paint (Polymer or Scribbles are two brands that work), and then painted with white glue, on which is sprinkled a flaky glitter called mica or snow.

A few autumn leaves from my back yard.

Use the patterns for cards, also.

An old craft here: take a a leaf and put it on a paper, then place a blank piece of white paper on top. Color over the leaves with crayons, pressing down with the crayon enough to bring out the edges and veins of the leaves.

They can then be cut out and used for a fall banner by joining them together, or used for tags, place cards, envelope inserts, large confetti on banquet tables, or anything you like. Attach a circle of paper behind each one, and make napkin rings.

There is a very nice paper bag pumpkin tutorial here.

Before my friend in Canada, Candy, closed her blog, she showed pictures of this cute plastic bag that you can carry in your purse. It is a bag inside a smaller drawstring bag that has a sparkled white rose on one end.

When you are finished with the bag, you can put it back inside the smaller rose bag and put it in your purse. We do not have these here in the States, but I sure would like it if they could be purchased here. The brand is called Niftii, and it comes in other colours.

This is one of those empty spools from wired ribbon from the dollar store. Using batting or some kind of stuffing, it can be made into a country pumpkin.

Cut a square of fabric, and as an option, place a square of batting inside it, and tuck the corners into the hole of the spool, til it looks like this:

I've used some pearlized dots of Scribbles fabric paint on this fleece pumpkin that I made earlier.

Someone phoned me recently and told me about a physician she knew who would also recommend to his patients that they try to make something and include creativity in their lives daily. He believed that it helped settle the mind and contribute to healing in some ways.

Creativity also gives you a visible results, as your efforts produce things you can own, that  you did not have before. When the hands are at work, the mind is engaged in a special way that produces even more ideas and creativity. Children brought up knowing how to make things will be resourceful adults. When you create something you control your results and you banish discontent. It is better to create something beautiful than to complain about the dark days and bad news.

Someone mailed me a piece of that nice fabric from Wal-Mart that I was using in the beginner's sewing projects, and I wanted to see what one of these style of pumpkins would look like in a print.
The leaves are calico cut into a shape and outlined with more of that glitter-glue in platinum.

Finally, here is one made from a stretch chenille type fabric, decorated with embossed leaves made with the glitter-glue, and wired ribbon for vines.
The fabric on the pumpkin is a wonderful golden butternut with a pretty chenille print on it.