The trouble is, I’m a sick woman! No, don’t worry, I’m not terminal in the way that ‘sick’ usually means. But I constantly regurgitate the beginnings of fussy little projects and I can’t seem to give up any of my mind-numbingly tedious hobbies, in order to focus on the ‘artist that I wanted to be when I grew up’. If I eliminated these time-suckers, like knitting or beading, with a concentrated focus on making art everyday, I would probably make some headway. My use of the word ‘art’ there means paintings, drawings, that kind of fine art. I realize anything can be done artfully, or become an art form. But as a child when I used to say I wanted to be an artist when I grow up, I’m sure I didn’t mean a knitter! And while I do feel like I’m an artist now, I have so many other things that take up my artmaking time, that I am not prolific in that artmaking. And suffering from Art Distraction Disorder (ADD), I’m not prolific at much of anything individually. Collectively, I make a lot of unique, half-finished things, and all the while, I have a body of work (paintings) in my head that are haunting me. I haven’t made time for that kind of art in months. I know I should work in that direction everyday and let nothing interfere, but suffering from creative schizophrenia, that’s easier said than done. So when Hubbs suggested I start a blog about a year ago, I naively dismissed it as a sure way to pigeon-hole me into a single media- ARGH!
Then I got involved in an intense project redesigning our dining room into something resembling Captain Nemo’s Nautilus from the original Disney movie ’20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’. (Future posts will go into more detail.) As I’m wrapping this project up, (really, I’d say I’m 85% done) Hubbs voiced something that I was also thinking… ‘You should’ve chronicled the project all along and blogged about it’. I wish I had. We took a few pictures here and there (with our cell phone cameras, no less), but they are of such inferior quality that I hesitate posting them for all to see. So I’m in search of a better digital SLR, which pretty much locks me in with this blogging idea, right? Actually, I am embarking on this road as a way to put pressure on myself, (welcome pressure, mind you) so that I will keep momentum going on whatever project I feel like working on. I’m not going to worry about being all over the place with my choice of media. Some of my work may fascinate you, some may bore you. But I will NOT be pigeon-holed. Any given post may highlight a house-décor project, or a recipe, or some parts of our garden (sheesh- it’s 50’ x 115’, no kidding!), or beading, or knitting, or crocheting, or drawing, painting, carving, sewing,… (breathe…) and that’s probably not the complete list. I may do nothing more than ramble now and then. So I can’t really say what I’ll lock in on mostly, but what I CAN promise you is this: Whatever project I work on will likely be fraught with complications! I refuse to work from a pattern too closely, or copy someone else’s work. I may be influenced by something, but that is merely a starting point. It would be a shame to create a masterpiece by hand and have the result be something nearly identical to hundreds, possibly thousands of items around the world. If I’m going to go to the trouble, then I want it to be so freakin’ complicated that no one (in their right mind) would EVER end up in the same place! Yes, that I can promise you!
Ok, so all excuses aside, I’m sure there’s a digital point-and-shoot around here somewhere that should render moderately decent photos to get me started until I get the SLR camera of my dreams. Here’s a teaser (cell phone camera shot) of the Nautilus Room in its current 85% completed state. Many more details on this room will follow soon, I promise.
4 large eggs
2 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, cooked according to package directions, drained and squeezed thoroughly dry
1 cup minced onion
¾ cup fresh-grated Parmesan cheese
¾ cup lightly salted butter or margarine, melted
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (fresh-grated is the best!)
2 ½ cups (two 5 oz. boxes) crumb-type seasoned stuffing mix (*see Note)
*Note: This recipe can be modified in many ways, adding kale, cabbage, mustard greens, chard, or any combination of greens, as long as you simmer them until cooked thoroughly and soft, keeping them in the same proportion as the original spinach amount. Or you may want to jazz it up with jalapeños or any number of fresh herbs. With the addition of your own herbs, I would suggest eliminating or cutting back on the seasoning packet that comes with the stuffing. Some stuffing mixes combine their seasonings and bread crumbs together, so that makes it a little harder to separate. You may wish to substitute other hard grated cheeses or a blend instead of using all Parmesan. I recommend shaping the spinach balls in small sizes (1-2 bites) so they cook all the way through before browning too much on the outside. This has become a standard food on our Thanksgiving and Christmas menus, almost replacing the need for a regular dish of stuffing. Enjoy!