Bindingarts’s Blog

March 19, 2009

Home is Where the HeART is

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debra Fink Bachelder @ 3:54 pm

I am fortunate to have a wonderful like and am grateful for everything and everyone in it. I have everything I need and almost everything I ever asked for except I forgot to sepcify: LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION!

Small town living is killing me and after reading an article in The Wall Street Journal about  the physical manifestations of stress: shoulder pain, stiff neck, migraines, nausea…and recognizing that I indeed have them all, I booked a flight home.  I may no longer belong there either anymore but at least I can be among my own people. Crazy, hyper, pushy, in-you-face, let’s eat great food and then go to the art museum and get our nails done on the way back while we tawk about family and other mishigosh and tsouris and kvetch and nosh some more over cawfee and liberally pepper our speech with the “f” word and not give a s–t about the local football team. I feel better already.

Yes I’m going alone. My sister is picking me up at the airport. I’m going to see my brother and hopefully my niece. I have plans already to see old friends from Jersey (Joizee) and possibly a new one from Philadelphia–the City (as in NY, a.k.a. Manhattan, and NEVER F–kin’ called “the big apple unless you’re a tourist) is a great place to meet and schmooze and just be.  Of course I’ll be supply shopping and shlepping the camera.

In the meantime, I’m going to finish my taxes and clean up my studio so I can come back to this other home, batteries recharged and dig in. Actually I’ll be heading  to Cleveland to teach for three days.

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March 16, 2009

I think My Technical Problems are Over

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debra Fink Bachelder @ 6:45 pm

After dealing with months of computer hardware and software problems, online shopping nightmares, out-sourced HP printer  techies who waste three hours of your life with live chat support that yields nothing (his question to me after dealing with a printer that kept chopping off 1/2″ from the right side of the page was “…(first he walked me through all the steps to get to the print set preferences–I was already there waiting for him) is the 8 1/2 by 11″ paper selcted?”  I was ready to rip his f–king head off.  Better yet, I’ll never buy HP anything again.

I emailed a friend who happens to be a tenured design professor at OSU. After explaining the situation he told me that it’s a common problem: Adobe Creative Suite is not compatible with HP printers. Hmmmm…  The next day I was talking to another friend about this and she said her mother uses Photshop Elements and she ended up buying an Epson printer because her HP was doing the same thing as mine.  So, after investing in a new PC, software, an HP printer, and other bells and whitsles (my favorite is the screen calibrator) I purchased yet  ANOTHER PRINTER!

Is there an Adobe – Epson conspiracy against HP?  Why don’t HP and Adobe get together and resolve their issues? Is there counseling for software and peripherals? I feel as if I’m the only one stimulating the economy and it’s not as if I’m enjoying it. I prefer going green but loading up on plastic computer crap like printers isn’t exactly great for the environment or my conscience and bank account. Okay, tantrum / tangent done. 

I bought an Epson Photo Stylus R 1900 that uses archival pigment inks and has 8 separate cartridges. A friend and fellow photographer, Sonny Lewis, the guy who took my PR pix posted on my website bio page, came over to the house and made sure the printer, camera and software were all talking to each other so the prints are beautiful.  What does this mean for you? If you purchase my photographs or giclees, depending on the paper and size, I may be able to get them to you sooner. If you order my books, the inks are archival and much finer quality print and color.

The only thing left to resolve is the website–as of this afternoon it won’t let me edit its pages.  I already emailed the administrator.  Sometimes I long for the days of typewriters, carbon paper, bike messengers, letters…

March 1, 2009

Saturday Workshop

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debra Fink Bachelder @ 4:19 pm

Ahhh…nothing is more fun then a great group of people sitting around the dining room table making stuff!

Saturday, I hosted a workshop featuring Coptic stitched bindings. Two books, two ways. First a two needle method to create a “stub” book used to accommodate the build up from adding stuff to your book and the second a single needle method I learned a few years ago while out in Colorado  from one of my favorite artists, Laura Wait.  Sonny, Shirley and Helen sewed their tushes off. I pack a lot into a workshop–something I am going to reexamine. I want tot teach it all at once and give participants their money’s worth but most folks want  to relax a bit more to absorb the methods and use this time to enjoy themselves  and de-stress from a killer week at work.  There’s a happy medium someplace.  As soon as I build a large enough group of “regulars,” participants who frequently take workshops, I’ll split the groups according to their goals: retreat vs, gimme all you got and I want it NOW! Actually its groups that prefer surface design and content with the book structure vs, those who prefer focusing solely on the physical structure of the book, preferring to work in content after  they’re comfortable with assembly.

We did finish the two books and on time with  breaks for coffee, tea and soft drinks and cookies and chocolate and a FABULOUS lunch. References availalbe upon request.  Since I made the same main course for the last two workshops (different participants in both and I even made it for a dinner party I hosted between them) I’ve been hounded with requests for the recipe so here goes:  The name of it is “Lasagna Soup” and it came from the February edition of Family Fun magazine. 

I wanted it to sound more grown (snooty, actually) up so I renamed it “Deconstructed Lasagna.”  I also substituted: lower fat and/or part skim milk cheeses ; swapped all natural, Italian style chicken sausage for fattier  pork sausage; and low carb “Dreamfields” brand pasta for the regular stuff but do as you please. My husband never suspected a thing He woofed it down and when I started to explain that it was “good for him” he begged me not to say anything more. So hear it is…

Deconstructed Lasgana

  • 1.5 lbs Italian style sausage chopped in a food processor
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 4 cloves finely minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 TBS.  Tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes )
  • 2 big  fresh bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 8 oz. fussili (sp?) pasta
  • 1/2 C fresh shredded basil
  • 8 ounces ricotta
  • 1/2 cup sharp grated cheese (Parmesan or other sharp imported Italian cheese  that I can’t spell  not the domestic powder out of the green cardboard container that could pass for the powdered stuff some people shake into their coffee.)
  • shredded mozzerella
  1. In a big soup pot, pour a couple of TBs of olive oil into the bottom, heat and stir the sausage, browning it for about 7 minutes.
  2. Add the onion, cook until soften about 5 minutes.
  3. add the garlic, cook about one minute
  4. add oregeno, red pepper and tomato  paste, stirring until paste begins to become brown.
  5. add can of diced tomatoes (not the can, the contents of the can) & the bay leaves & the chicken stock
  6. bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  7. add the pasta and coook until pasta is done–follow package directions,
  8. Mix ricotta and grated cheeses together.

TO SERVE:

  1. add a blob of the mixed cheese to the bottom of your soup bowl.
  2. add some mozzersprinke some mozzerella on top of the blob of mixed cheeses
  3. Laddle the soup mix on top
  4. stir
  5. Mangia!

Great with a slab of multi grain, crusty bread;  a fresh arugula salad,   great friends and a boat load of art supplies.

Oh, we did manage to have dessert but we kept it very light: lemon sorbet.  go to www.bindingarts.com and check the workshop schedule so you don’t miss the next workshop or great meal. Ciao!

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