Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pies and Pumpkin Cookies

I know thanksgiving has passed, but it is still November, and I'm not quite ready for the official beginning of the holiday season. I was home at my parents place for thanksgiving, and these were the pies my mom and I made. My mom always makes the pie dough, and the pumpkin filling, and my job is to make the cherry filling on the stove top, and decorate the crusts, which is my favorite part. I'm never quite sure what each year's design will be, so as they say on Project Runway it all comes together 'organically'. This year we added some wheat flour to the pumpkin crust hence the darker color. I used a maple leaf cookie cutter for the border. For the yummy cherry I went with a cherry tree of life sort of design with my traditional pinched crust border.
The pies were disappearing, so on Saturday I made a recipe that was printed in the Chicago Tribune, Mimi's Pumpkin Cookies. They were easy to make, and soooo delicious with their spicy pumpkiny goodness, and their brown sugar icing. I did make one change to the recipe. I substituted 1 cup of coconut oil for the 1 cup shortening. Everybody said 'Mmmm'..... I'll definitely make them again some day.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Illustration Friday: Superstition

The Golden Compass hits theaters December 7, 2007, and already there are groups urging a ban of the movie. I haven't read the book, but I read about some of the controversy over the themes of past myths and superstitions on a forum that was linked to my Borders newsletter. I've never understood the banning of works of fiction. If one has a strong faith, than why is there so much fear of words?

I'm looking forward to the movie. The trailer looks amazing! I've always liked the idea of polar bears, or ice bears, as modes of transportation. Over at the Golden Compass website you can discover your daemon which is your animal spirit that accompanies you throughout your life, and represents a person's soul. After taking the quiz I met my daemon Remis the lion. I tend to identify with the cat family, so I think we are well matched. We're going to go watch some tv now. Heroes is starting to get good again :)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Illustration Friday: Scale

During this last week we've had some large scale blustery autumn winds that have blown most of the beautifully colored leaves off the trees. The view out my window was so magnificent last weekend with the grandest maple tree in a full rainbow of color. But alas, now only a few leaves are still hanging on. It makes me want to go out, and hot glue them all back up there! :)

I started this gouache painting last week for the IF hats topic, but some other work became a priority, so I racked my brain to find a way to stretch the topic to fit this week.

The colors have gone, but are not forgotten.

Speaking of trees, so many were lost in the recent California fires. American Forests Organization wants to raise money to replace the trees. To donate, call 800-545-8733, or go to, and click on "Global ReLeaf", or the Plant Trees menu button. Each $1 donation plants one tree. I like knowing what exact benefit my donation can provide.