Eccentric and Bent

Come on a fantastic voyage in the backwaters of my mind.

Category Archives: crafts

Craft Time


I’ve been on a jewelry kick lately: not wearing it but making it. I’ve had a great deal of fun setting up my improvised work bench, selecting tools, selecting materials and playing with fire. My husband purchased a torch for my 40th birthday but I didn’t use it until after this last birthday. I tend to get tools and materials but then my frugal cheap side kicks in and makes me just hoard things because I’m hate to waste anything. I finally bit the bullet because I was tired of just playing with my micro torch. I’ve made some rather lovely (if I do say so myself and I do) flame “painted” copper pieces. I’ve always loved copper as a good Arizonan should (it’s one of the 5 C’s of our state: citrus, copper, climate, citizens and something else that I can’t remember right now.) I’ve been working with it as the main element of my jewelry for a few years. I started with different gauges of wire but as the pics will show I have graduated to sheet and tube copper. (My next goal is to work quality turquoise and lapis lazuli into my designs.
The majority of the components in these pieces are handmade, from jump rings to the closures. The only portions that were ready made are the stringing material, beads and felt used for backing. I still have a clasp to make for the necklace but I’m feeling pretty darn accomplished. I wish I knew how to keep the flame painted colors vibrant. The initial colors are beautiful but as you work with the pieces some of the patina is rubbed away revealing subtly elegant coloring. It’s beautiful too but I’ve never really been the subtle type. I guess that’s part of the fun though; never knowing exactly what you are going to get. I guess it’s a lot like life in that respect. Some of my most beautiful moments have happened because I went full tilt even in uncertain situations.
Since I am writing this from my phone, the pictures will be in another post called Craft Time Pics. Hope you check them out.
Craft Time Pics
https://aresthegoddess.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/craft-time-pics/

Craft Time Pics


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Craft Time
https://aresthegoddess.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/craft-time/
My phone decided that I should do two posts instead of one. So if you would like the explanation behind these pictures,click the link.

Depression or Just Unmotivated?


It’s been a while since I posted. The last posts were related to the death of my grandmother, Mrs. Irene Lujan Primous. From that point until now, I haven’t written anything more than some FaceBook statuses. Poetry left, my essays dried up and my short stories have no imagination. I thought I was just going through a down cycle, as they have happened occasionally in my life. I always viewed these cycles as times I was subconsciously recharging my creativity. They have been viewed as periods of rest for a super active mind. I have just recently had what some may call an epiphany; I may just be depressed. I battled with what a doctor diagnosed as manic depression from the childhood until about age 27, when I decided to take life as it comes. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those who believe that therapy is a racket dreamed up by folks to push pills and make money. I just knew that constantly rehashing the BS of life wasn’t helping ME. I needed something different and eventually I found it. I guess the reason I am unsure about whether this is depression or a motivation issue is because the only “symptom” I am exhibiting is a lack of desire to partake in some activities. Yes, these are the activities that make up the facets of my personality but they aren’t the sum total of me. I’ve still been eating, laughing and spending time with my loves. I’m not withdrawn or angry. I just haven’t had any desire to engage in my god complex. ūüėú I’m still putting out (what I think is) inspiration. I still feel happy on the surface so could I really be depressed? I really don’t know but I hope whatever this season is ends soon because I have another death to deal with. I know I would be able to process my grief better if I could “create” it out of existence. So what do you think my problem is: depression or just unmotivated? >

Peach syrup


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Peach syrup in a recycled jar.

image What it should look like when it is time to begin stirring and mashing.

image The finished product after chilling for 2 hours. It was still slightly warm.

Today, my daughters and I (later, my sons joined in too) went on a culinary adventure. The 13 year old has been wanting to make “plastic bag” ice cream all summer. We bought the rock salt and cream but we just never got around to doing it. Well today we did. We decided on an ice cream base using cream, milk and sweetened condensed milk. We found a technique for ice cream making without an ice cream maker/freezer. (I will update with links to the recipe and technique we used.) We modified the recipe to make chocolate for the kids. We also modified the technique to work with the size of our home freezer. I wanted to try the ice cream without additional flavorings mixed in, but wanted the option to add a topping. I had some peaches in the fridge that were getting soft. The light bulb came on…because I opened up the fridge of course. Anywho, I had three that needed to be used immediately.¬† That led to me coming up with a peach “syrup” based on the proportions of simple syrup, or at least what I think they are. I am not a real exact cook, which is good for my quick dessert recipes but not so much for quick dinners.
The recipe I used is as follows:
3 whole fresh peaches; pitted, finely chopped, but leave the skin on.
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of water
The juice of 1/2 lemon
A dash of salt (1/8 teaspoon or so.)
*Optional: cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or vanilla extract*
Put sugar and water in saucepan, set on stove aisle but do not turn it on.
Chop peaches and add to saucepan. Stir. Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice into pan. *squeeze over non-dominant hand to catch any seeds.*
Stir. Add dash of salt. Stir. Cook over medium heat without stirring until sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to bubble moderately.  (See the second picture)  Begin mashing the peaches while stirring. Cook and mash until the peaches are a fine pulp.  When you raise a metal spoon or rubber scraper out of the liquid, and there is a thin coating left on the utensil, remove from heat. (20 mins- 45 mins. The longer you cook it, the thicker the final product will be. ) *Add any optional spices or extract you chose now, and stir to fully mix in* Let cool in pan for about 10 mins. Then pour into a clean heat safe container. Let cool at least 2 1/2 hours before use. Store in the fridge.
This can be used anywhere you would use a syrup: ice cream, pancakes, biscuits, beverages, oatmeal, grits, etc. Mix it in a class of your favorite lemon lime soda, and you have an instant spritzer. Mix it with iced sweet tea for a southern themed quencher. For those that drink adult beverages, substitute it for simple syrup. As you can see the possibilities are endless. I would say that for beverages, it may be easier to use if you cook it for a shorter amount of time. You could also strain the pulp out but I couldn’t imagine why you would want to.
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Photos of the ice cream base. One is being mixed with cocoa powder and chocolate syrup while sitting in an ice bath. The other stayed vanilla flavored.

I went here and found the nesting bowl technique, http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-ice-cream-without-124210 ,unfortunately all of my mixing bowls are too big to fit the narrow freezer of my side by side refrigerator. So we started in mixing bowls in the first step, then transferred the base to a rectangular storage container and the ice/salt combo to disposable roasting pans. I doubled the roasting pans for strength. The ice cream base came from the same website. It is their sweetened condensed base; found here, http://www.thekitchn.com/easy-recipe-extraquick-nocook-106539. Just omit the Meyer lemon juice. Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla for a basic base.
My kids decided that they wanted chocolate, so when we took it out of the freezer for the second mixing they added 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and two heaping spoonfuls of Kroger brand chocolate syrup topping for ice cream.

A sampling of completed arts and crafts for the month of February.


I try to stay active creatively. These are a few of the projects I completed this month.