On the first day after her wedding and in her new apartment the neighbor across the hall came over and brought my newly wed mother this chocolate cake with the recipe. The neighbor’s name was Madonna Smith. That was back in the 1940′s and was I am told a common neighborly gesture. This cake became THE cake and it was baked by my mother at every single one of our birthdays until she passed over. I continued baking it for my daughters also. July is their birthday month and our country’s. Here is the recipe -
Bake 350 degrees
1/2 c crisco 1 c sugar 1 c brown sugar 2 eggs 2 c flour 3 sq melted unsweetened choc
1 c hot water with 1 tsp soda 1 tsp vanilla
Mix shortening with both sugars add eggs melt choc and add to mixture add sour cream
add flour and water alternately add vanilla pour into greased and floured cake pans
Frosting 1 package confectioner’s sugar 8 tsp cocoa mix with about 1/2 c of milk with some melted butter in it
add slowly as you mix it with the confectioner’s sugar add 1 tsp vanilla
Bake for about 22 minutes. WATCH CAREFULLY AND DO NOT OVER BAKE
Wishing everyone a happy and safe 4th of July weekend.
And we all so thank-you Madonna Smith for that long ago gesture of kindness that has never been forgotten! Our family has gathered around this cake and had so many many of our best of times.
The female shape I formed from black annealed wire. The fabric is a cream wool. I dampened the wool and placed the wire image on top. The wool with the wire piece was put between two blocks of wood and bound tightly together with black annealed wire. This wood block ‘sandwich’ was placed in a vegetable steamer and there is was steamed for 20 minutes and then unwrapped. The outer edge is created because the top block is a bit smaller than the bottom one. The piece of wool is 3 1/4″ and the image is 2″. I will move on to test an overall marked pattern and other images. This element looks like it could be used to help tell stories on my totems and even in certain kinds of necklaces or embellishments on clothes. The mark is made from the rust in the iron. The durability of this mark is unknown at this point and will be tested later. I have found rust marks to be fairly permanent in the past………..and while one fuddles around testing in fly more “friends”……fun ones!
Pink Lady Slippers are a wild flower of the orchid family. Even though they have only two leaves and one stalk they take a long time to grow, but can live over 20 years.
Their seed does not have any food so to live and grow they must have a fungus to help. The fungus breaks open the seed and passes on nutrients to the plant. The mature Lady Slipper then feeds the fungus.
Unlike other flowers it is closed in form and once a bumblebee enters the flower his only route out is to push past the stamen which covers him in pollen. Upon entering the next Lady Slipper he leaves the pollen from the first plant and picks up some from the second. Without the bumblebee no new seeds can be made. In most areas they are now protected.
Tonight, once again, I write a diary entry that I repeat often. “Dear Diary, nothing happened today, but everything is going on.”
(This photo is of two separate plants that are growing side by side so very close together.)
I am so proud of my daughter’s very artistic metalsmith journey. I feel so lucky to be around her creativity and to daily be able to be inspired by her wonderful art.
You will find her work on these links:
1. O.K. settle down and think. That usually works best in my
favorite chair …..but really look how cute the dog is today…..
so I better….
2. Get advice from my Board of Directors. They never fail me.
Today they guide me to go to my playhouse and suggest
I pretend and play.
4. Play with stuff in playhouse. I am definitely starting to feel
something coming in but I think I need……..
4. More dream time in a cozy chair. And here I see I
need to have …..
5. A new and different outfit for me. Clothes are a fun persona.
Here we have a Chinese black silk patterned pant with
a funky old knitted brown stripe underwear top with a green
linen jacket that is very structured in its form.
(all from the thrifts )
6. Well, play again, of course, in my new outfit.
Red Riding Hood always inspires. Her clothes are great and
her attitude about the woods pulls me in. Here she
wonders which way to go. Several wolves……..”am I prey or
part of the pack?” To help me…….
7. Design walks in. I could use a mindeful eye totem.
I could see how the wolves see me. This looks very fun to
work on. So now it is into the studio.
just a bit a go the days hung deeply in the woods framed in dark edges and hard with the cold
so quickly even the tulips are saying goodbye but the leaves are painting the days in that beautiful new light green
and now there are sunglasses out in the front hall. the northeast will teach me how to keep changing. change is excitement. change is adventure and new inspiration. when I stand still too long in sameness do I love so much I break and crumble just to move along?