Summer plans, pending some permission and a paycheck…

Pretty much anyone who knows me, knows that I’m addicted to Etsy.com and the Gawker sites – foodgawker.com, craftgawker.com and dwellinggawker.com. At best, it inspires me to go home and make art of my own on paper or in the kitchen; at worst, it puts a smile on my face and ideas into my imagination on the days when I can’t. Its pretty win-win and I find the same fascination and wonder exploring these blogs and images as some might find treasure-hunting at an antique shop. Kind of like how I could spend hours and hours looking at all the pretty things in craft stores and not buy a single thing, but still feel excited and inspired by it.

All of this is a roundabout way of coming to the point that I plan on purchasing a Holga toy camera. I’ve been kind of desperate to make something, anything, that doesn’t involve sitting down for five hours to draw or paint (because once I start drawing or painting, I am mentally and emotionally incapable of leaving it alone until it is finished and there are only so many hours in my day). So the Holga, with its photographs like half-remembered dreams will give me pretty much instant gratification. Or it will once I start getting the negatives back so I can run them through the nifty little negative scanner I plan to purchase. It will save me money making prints of everything (unless I want to, then it’s off to Costco…) and all my images are digitized. I’m curious about developing my own work, but the house doesn’t really have a sufficiently dark room to be a dark room.

Regardless, I think this will be a perfect distraction for me, and once I get some gardening done in the back yard (I swear on my santoku my herb garden WILL happen this year) it will be the ideal place to test out taking some pretty pictures.

Speaking of the garden… let’s talk about my other current obsession. Chickens. Maybe it won’t happen this summer (although I’d love if it could), but I have a great deal of ambition to build a chicken coop and run. We have more than enough space in the back yard, and my hopes for making it a place where I can go and let the dog run around while I putter with my green space and the chickens scrabble in their run and cluck at each other makes my heart happy. I want to name my hens precious things and collect their eggs every morning when I take Custer out for his morning constitutional. Having spent a large majority of my formative years either on a horse, grooming a horse or mucking a horse’s stall, “farm work” like hauling large, sloshing buckets of water to impatient animals doesn’t frighten me off in the least.

In the mean time, Amelia, Beatrix, Clementine, Hermione, Millicent, Phillipa and Tamsin will remain in my future (those will be the hens, for those of you who lost track during my rambling), but rest assured, my dream of being a Gentlewoman (Urban) Farmer aren’t going anywhere.

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Rosemary Nectarine PixieCakes!

Ask anyone who knows me – I’m always talking about cupcakes. When I’m not talking about them, I guarantee you I’m thinking about them. I just love them so damn much!

So much that I am making a business of them – PixieCakes! Gourmet  flavors, way beyond your average chocolate cupcake, all pixie-sized!

If you’d like a little taste, come by The Cupcake Camp Seattle on Sunday, April 17th at The Canal in Ballard from 12-4. PixieCakes is donating 25o pixiecakes! Admission is $8 online, $10 at the door.

I’ll be making my delicious Rosemary Nectarine pixiecakes, but they won’t last long! So for those of you who can’t make it, have a picture. Yummy, right?

Rosemary Nectarine PixieCakes!

Check out Cupcake Camp Seattle for more information! Hope to see you there!

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Illustration Friday | Duet

Illustration Friday submission for the ‘duet’ prompt. I initially drew this illustration as simply a girl and her cat, sharing a quiet moment, to be entitled “Duet in Silence”, but I was playing around with it in one of the photography editing apps on my phone and the mirror style gave me this beautiful alternative that I love even more.

Hence… “The Incredible Siamese Sotheby Sisters”, the stars of Madame Mina’s Museum of the Macabre.
(c) Jessica Duncan, 2011

“The Incredible Siamese Sotheby Sisters”

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Set the dark on fire…

Yesterday I spent a good part of my evening with my head well and firmly encased in a little black raincloud feeling like all of my creativity lately has been allocated to everything but the things I want to spend it on. The logical cure was to spend three hours in Barnes and Noble, letting myself be inspired by the food, photography, art and design sections. Two tea lattes, five minutes fretting in the bathroom close to tears, at least forty books I wanted to buy and finally a sense of relief when I remembered I’m not talentless later, I left the store. I won’t say I was feeling better at that point, but I had a fire under my ass and a graphic design book in my purse that was an inexpensive little way to help me move forward with my plans.

Here I am, then.

I had a blog through culinary school but I always felt limited by what I wanted to write about in it because cooking and food are not my only creative passions. I struggled with the idea that I needed a separate place to write about and post my art, and my photography [attempts] and my costumes and on and on. Every time I got to the thought of how damn many separate blogs that would be and when the frilly heck would I have time to update them all while spending my free time and creative energy on that art/food/photography/saving the world I was about ready for a full on panic attack. That, of course, led me to throw my hands in the air (not literally) and give up on all of them. Something about not seeing the forest for the trees prevented me from making friends with the idea of one blog to rule them all. It’s okay to talk about cupcakes and copic markers and Shadowcat in one post. I admire the people that can compartmentalize their life into ‘food blog’, ‘art blog’, ‘life blog’ and juggle them all, but I’m not of that ilk.

I love: deliciously moody music and disgustingly perky music too, Edwardian/Elizabethan anything, sparrows and owls and foxes and horses, rambling sentences (when I write them but not when most other people do, I’m a hypocrite like that), comic books, watercolors fading into white paper, unrelenting downpours of rain and it’s attendant thunder and lightning, peacock blue, the smell of wood burning, black treelines against twilight skies, cramped antique stores, birds on wires, the idea of spending an entire afternoon playing with makeup, my girlfriend, my dog, my white knit hat, Edward Gorey, perfectly sharpened kitchen knives, skinny jeans and tall boots, the scratch of a pencil on my sketchbook, making beautiful things, cupcakes, the herb garden I don’t grow yet but will, my little toaster oven, the housewares displays in stores like Anthropologie, snow, St-Germain, gardenia and/or jasmine based perfumes and lit candles.

Fair warning, I’ll be writing about any/all/none of those things at length and at random. That said, have a cupcake.


These are one of my personally developed recipes, Turkish Delight Cupcakes. If you, like me, think this is one pretty sexy little treat, please click here to visit my mixingbowl.com recipe box and follow the link in the sidebar to vote for it in the Valentine’s Day Sweets contest! Voting is once daily! THANK YOU!

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