Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My Hideous Creation: Purple Soup

I'll admit, my posts lately have not been terribly relevant to my writing. I've been plugging along with the writing, but I can't think of anything interesting to say about it all. And I prefer to keep my blog interesting - at least in my own deluded mind.

Bowls of purple soup
Bonus: a wee bit of my husband's foot. Not in the soup. Just in the picture.

This week's topic is one of my more interesting culinary creations: Purple Soup.

You see, I consider recipes to be more of a jumping off point than an actual set of guidelines - unless I'm baking. Baking is too darn finicky for that. Which is why I rarely bake.

Recipes for which I actually have to go out and buy the ingredients (rather than already having them at home) end up the victim of my random substitutions and my poor memory. I typically head to the store and think, "Oh, yeah, I wanted to make that Winter Minestrone soup." But I've only got the vaguest recollection of the recipe.

purple soup plus carrots
Note the pretty orange carrots and the rather grayish-purple potatoes.

This is how I ended up with purple soup:

I remembered my recipe for Winter Minestrone called for cabbage, so the next time I was at the store, I saw a purple cabbage and thought, "Oooo. Pretty." I threw some parsnips in the cart, decided I had enough of the other ingredients and was on my way.

Turns out purple cabbage bleeds into the rest of the soup.

The recipe also called for blending, and I did blend one bowl before deciding it didn't substantially improve the taste and made it look less like food and more like gray-purple mud:

blended purple soup
Mmmmmmm. Right?

I would just like to note that the soup itself is actually quite delicious.

PURPLE SOUPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!best soup ever

Sorry. I don't know what came over me. I blame the soup.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

My Very Own Dragon

Oops. Looks like I missed last week's post. I had some purple soup to show off and everything. But that is going to have to wait because this week I was given a Dragon!

crocheted dragon
She says, "Hi!"

Her name Yarnlord Patches: Master of the Seven Rooms. You may address her as Your Yarnship.

stuffed dragon
Her tail is pulled around a little funny, but you get a better idea of just how awesome she is.

My husband like to think of her as Yarnlord Atarka because "Patches" is not a terribly fearsome name, and he's a Magic The Gathering addict, but she only allows her friends to refer to her as Patches, so I think it's okay. It shows she has a softer side.

crocheted dragon tail
Look at all that crocheting!

My wonderful and awesome friend Camilla (Hi!) made me the dragon because of the book I wrote about dragons and also because, apparently, she was willing to spend untold hours crocheting a dragon. As previously mentioned, she's awesome (and also reads this blog!)

I may have a bit of a fight on my hands because my husband has claimed the dragon for himself.

reading to his dragon
They're reading together. Probably browsing my blog.

His clever method of claiming involved saying, "I'm claiming her. She's mine now." He ignored my protests and went so far as to say, "Wow, that is the coolest thing anyone's ever made for me!" while I ground my teeth in annoyance.

And, because you can't see this bit, I'm going to tell you that Patches even smells good. Because she is an awesome dragon, and she is mine, all mine! (Although my husband might disagree.)

sleeping with dragons
This is a phone quality photo, but I personally thought it was rather adorable. I'm biased, though.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Photographic Inspiration

I have a wee bit of a Reddit addiction. When I want to waste a little bit of time, I'll head on over. And sometimes I accidentally waste way more time than just a little bit.

But this week I saw something truly beautiful that I want to share with anyone who's reading. Photographer Amos Chapple (this is a link to his site, which is also awesome - but I want to yabber a little before linking to the gorgeousness that inspired this post) took a series of aerial photos across the world (Russia seems particularly well represented). He took these photos using a drone, which is apparently illegal these days. He took them before such a thing was illegal, and it's amazing seeing the world from above.

aerial drone, photography
Amos' photos are copyrighted, but this is a drone from Kevin Baird.

Usually I've got zero patience for any photo album that's got more than ten photos. Not here. Each and every photo is gorgeous. Photos like this transport you and make you appreciate the beauty of the world. It's so easy to forget sitting here behind our computer terminals.

I'd like to recommend clicking on each photo. It'll take a while to get through, but it's worth it to experience the photo without any distraction. At least it was to me.

This is the link to the Imgur album (you may have to click the thing at the end to view all). This is the Reddit post that links to Imgur. These are the same photos at his site instead. He provides interesting context, and I love that he focuses on man-made beauty. I'm personally apt to admire natural landscapes and ignore the wonders of the human world.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Drawing of A Faraway Place (That I've Been!)

I've been having fun plotting a refresh of one of my old, beloved books. I've got a whole mythology going and about 15 pages worth of outline. Sometimes its more fun to outline than to actually write. It's hard to muck up an outline (and if you do, you can just change up your bullet points!) It's so much harder to actually write an engaging chapter.

But enough of that. I've got something else to share that's probably a bit more fun to look at. This week I wanted to make a card of sorts for a co-worker who just happened to be in Italy at the same time as me. And so I used this picture I took from Il Duomo's bell tower (oh, the stairs!):

Florence view, il duomo

And a piece of 8.5" by 11" paper and my pastels and drew this:

Florence drawing, the dome, Sarah Hipple

The first time I drew the little rounded windows below the dome, I saw two eyes staring straight back at me. I did a bit of shading and highlighting to minimize the staring eyes effect, but honestly now I've seen them, they can't be unseen.

And I've just told all of you about them too. How do you like the owly Il Duomo of Florence?

I think my proportions are a bit off, and the cross on top of the dome looks a bit like it might fall over, but overall I like the effect.

Now I just have to learn how to describe things with words as I draw them with pastels. One of these days I'd like to think my word paintings might even outshine my paint paintings. I do spend far more time on the word paintings, and I hear that practice makes perfect. Or at least it helps.