Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Witches, Faeries, Rippers and...Alcohol

Hello All!
Hope you've been having a great week so far.
As you can see I missed my Sunday post....again.
It was Easter, so I kinda have an excuse...yes?? :)

Speaking of, I hope yours was filled with your loved ones and that it was a good day!
Mine was. My daughter was here, my son, his wife and my four grand kids. I made ham and mashed potatoes (my daughter insisted on gravy for the potatoes), cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, beans, peas and sweet potatoes. We had twist bread and Bavarian pretzel bread. I did not however, make an dessert. The kids had more than enough candy from the Easter bunny. They had their egg hunt in the backyard - the rain they forcasted never showed! - and they got baskets as well. All in all, a good day!

Ding Dong, the witch is dead! :(
She died a horrible death.
Severe dehydration.
Splitting headache.
The cracks were way too deep for any hope of salvation. And then....pieces started falling off. Because I planned on 'punching' hair, I made the scalp too thin and it cracked, broke and fell off. Really quite depressing. So now I'm sitting here looking at an empty styrofoam head. Next time around I'll have to pretend I'm on 'Face Off'....only 3 days to get it done! HA!
the crack thru her face goes all the way 
to the styrofoam

these are the pieces that began falling off...
these photos aren't even the worst of it. 

I finished my 5 x 5 Faerie! Looks pretty damn good too! I added swirl-ies, flowers and some grass to the painting. Gave the wings and some of the swirls a coat of high gloss to make them 'pop'. I am really happy with the way it finished! I have to take another set of photos before I can put it on Etsy though. My secondary light was blown out and I'm not getting any usable shots. Hopefully I will get it posted to
Etsy this week.
terrible cell phone pic

top and side - i'm sure you get the idea...

I started and finished "White Chapel...the story of Jack Jaqlene"
I am really thrilled with how this finished up! If you recall, I started doing acrylic transfers on the Faerie. Well, the Faerie was done with 'direct' transfer. Meaning, the image was directly applied to the surface with acrylic gel. White Chapel was done with a 'true' transfer. Meaning that I applied the acrylic gel to the image and then remove the paper backing. I also hand painted some of the images on the reverse side to bring color into the piece. :) I think I really like doing transfers. Maybe I'll do a few more. I managed to get more process photos of White Chapel than I did with the Faerie. Wanna see?.... And yes, in case you missed it at the beginning...It's Jaqlene the ripper in this version. I used a familiar face for the character. If you know me (or have been reading my blog for any time) you'll recognize one of my favorite actress'.   :)
the prepped canvas and the first transfer..
a copy of one of Jack's letters. The gel is not completely
dried here...that's why it looks 'hazy'

prepping and placing the letter

this is my final image of the 'killer'. it's a combination
of photo and drawing. both of which were
entered into the computer and tweaked,
then output as a black and white line drawing.
the knife was added afterwards. the sheen you
see in the picture is the first gel coats. i think i did 
a total of 6

continued to work on the canvas while the
gel dried. added the beginnings of the chapel clock tower

this was the following day after the gel was completely dry.
here, I am removing the paper backing. the acrylic gel
'locks' the printer ink into it

Jaqlene and the clock face - transfers drying - before 
any color was added

the backside of Jaqlene - the colors (hair, knife)
were added and then a couple coats of white to
bring out the colors and the coat she wears

i decided that there should be a full moon...
i mean what lunatic would be caught dead without one...right?
so i created another transfer

the moon and clock face laid in place with
more acrylic gel. the moon has several 
colors through out it (hard to see here)

Jaqlene placed and ready to begin her
murderous streak! 

'the letter' with the corrected name  :)

On the 27th I began my new batch of Mead! YAY!! 
I began with 4 gallons of spring water and a gallon of wildflower honey. The water was heated and then let cool to about 140 degrees to which the honey was added. Stir, stir, stir until it was all mixed. While it was cooling I began cutting the fruit. I used 2 mangoes, 2 oranges, 3 plums and 3 red pears. I cut them up and put them in my new strainer bag. I learned what a mess fruit makes when it ferments (not to mention the mess it makes on the ceiling when it explodes). So now I have a nice neat bag to place the sliced up fruit. Then I got the yeast ready. I used a liquid yeast from Wyeast, it's called 'sweet mead'. After everything was cooled I placed it in my new container and took my first reading. Which was 1.085. Right where it should be. :) I then put in the fruit bag and the yeast. Sealed it up and watched for the bubbles. I cleaned up everything and put things away while I waited. No bubbles. Eleven o'clock...no bubbles. So I forced myself to go to bed. Checked it in the morning before work...no bubbles. :(
The 27th was Thursday, by Monday I still wasn't seeing bubbles. So I looked things up and the suggestion was to add more yeast. I had a packet (dry yeast) from my first batch which was still good so I prepped it and 'pitched' it into my 'must' (honey, water, fruit). It was at this point that I decided that I didn't like the airlock that came with the container so I removed it and put my 's' airlock on. In the process of all of this I realized that there were tiny bubbles in the airlock and that the 'inside lid', which floats, was not sitting flat. It was at an angle, which probably means that it was fermenting just fine. So I did more research and there does not seem to be an issue with adding extra yeast. Whhhheeewww! That's a relief. I did notice that the water in the 's' airlock is pushed all the way to one side. Probably a lot of built up pressure in that container...hhhhmmmmm. :)  In 30 days or so it will be time to rack the liquid into another container and continue with the process. I think at that point I will start my other batch. I have orange blossom honey for that batch. Mmmmmmm, yummy! I'll keep you posted on the progress!
In the meantime, here are the initial photos...
my honey...ain't she sweet?  LOL

i had to split up the spring water...you can see the water
level in the pan, that's two gallons and some room for
the honey. my new container, the spigot hasn't been put in yet

chopped up fruit in my new mesh bag

the 'sweet mead' yeast
blurry pictures are what happens
when you take your glasses off

first night...

after i realized there were no bubbles!
see the different airlock? see the water
level? all the water is sitting on the right 
side now. i'm praying i don't have another
ceiling coating explosion again!

Well, I do believe that is all for now....
Oh, wait! My daughter's baby is doing well. I only have one photo and I haven't scanned it yet. We should be seeing more shortly. Hopefully my daughter will email or text it to me so I have it to post! She has also started a new job and seems to be very happy were she is. I'm still having issue wrapping my head around the fact that my baby is having a baby. I can't possibly be that old...can I?  :)

til next time...
Be Good, Be Safe, Be Happy

p.s. did you guess who the actress was?


  1. The Jaqlene piece is wonderful but I cannot think of whose face you used. She looks familiar but....arrrggghhh....now this will drive me crazy....LOL

    Good luck with the mead re explosions...fingers crossed that all goes well:)

    1. Did you figure it out yet, Mary Ann?
      *hint - she played an angel*
      5 brownie points if you can name the movie! :P

      (check the 'tags')

  2. Ach, I'm hopeless with faces. Emma Thompson? She was an angel.

    I hope your mead is still in the container and not on the ceiling. And how's that witch's head?

    1. Am I really this far behind? wow.....
      Nope, not Emma. It's Tilda Swinton. :)

      So far, no mead on the ceiling! YAY! :)
      It smells really good too!