Friday, December 18, 2009

Menu For Hope – Divina Cucina


Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Oh, wow, I just placed my order of raffle tickets for Menu for Hope. And I had to include a bid to hang with my friend Judy Witts Francini of Divina Cucina's. The Diva for Italian cooking and all things food is offering tickets for two for her “Monday at the Market Tour in Florence” (Italy).

The markets in Florence are truly wonderful – practically and sensually. The energy there is so enriching! But it can be a bit intimidating to a newbie. I do not know much about cooking or shopping, so I had to bid on the Fabulous Judy’s prize. She will take you around tasting, smelling, touching, learning & shopping. Then you get to have lunch at a place she frequents. Value is 250 euros and the
prize code is EU24.

Read more: Divina Cucina – Menu for Hope Prize Details

Quoted from Judy’s blog entry:

Every year Chez Pim with the help of bloggers all over the world, runs the Menu for Hope. It is a win-win situation, by participating in the auction of items donated, we raise money for a United Nations Project. This year, we are supporting a new initiative at the WFP called Purchase for Progress (P4P). P4P enables smallholder and low-income farmers to supply food to WFP’s global operation. P4P helps farmers improves farming practices and puts more cash directly into their pockets in return for their crops. This will also help buoy local economy by creating jobs and income locally. We food bloggers understand the importance of buying locally and supporting our local farms, P4P helps do the same for farmers in low-income countries around the world.


Go ahead, the prize list is delectable. Besides Divina Cucina and yesterday’s blog entry about Ms. Adventures in Italy, there are an incredible selection of donated prizes, including lots and lots of wines. Indulge and help others to grow.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Menu For Hope – Ms. Adventures in Italy


Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Last year about this time, I joined other bloggers from Europe and donated a prize (in my case, I gave away six of my giclées on watercolor paper of various photographs of Italy) to help the Menu For Hope program. This year I was not organized enough to get it together in time.

However, my friend and fellow blogger Sara Rosso aka Ms. Adventures in Italy has got it goin’ on.

What is Menu for Hope?



Quoting from Ms. Adventures here:

Menu for Hope is an annual fundraising campaign hosted by Chez Pim and a revolving group of food bloggers around the world. Five years ago, the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia inspired her to find a way to help, and the very first Menu for Hope was born. The campaign has since become a yearly affair. For the past three years, Menu for Hope raised nearly a quarter of million dollars in support of the good work of the UN World Food Programme, helping to feed hungry people worldwide.

This year, we are supporting a new initiative at the WFP called Purchase for Progress (P4P). P4P enables smallholder and low-income farmers to supply food to WFP’s global operation. P4P helps farmers improves farming practices and puts more cash directly into their pockets in return for their crops. This will also help buoy local economy by creating jobs and income locally. We food bloggers understand the importance of buying locally and supporting our local farms, P4P helps do the same for farmers in low income countries around the world. More on P4P at http://www.wfp.org/purchase-progress.



Basically, this is a raffle of prizes donated by bloggers. Each ticket is only $10 and you choose the prize(s) that you are interested in. Ms. Adventures is offering two incredible prizes this year (and I WILL be buying a raffle ticket or two for those luscious Italian chocolates myself), so please follow this link to her site. It explains the raffle process, as well as telling you more about the prizes available.
http://www.msadventuresinitaly.com/blog/2009/12/12/made-in-italy-chocolate-basket-mega-mix-of-moleskine-my-menu-for-hope-vi-bid-items/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MsAdventuresInItaly+(Ms.+Adventures+in+Italy)

Or go straight to the source: Menu For Hope: www.chezpim.com

Please help – and get rewarded for helping others learn how to use the resources they have. This program is empowering others! Buy as many raffle tickets as you can and then spread the word about Menu for Hope. Thank you!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Carving Stone

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

So many wonderful things happened today, I feel grateful. One thing is that I was able to carve stone again before the cold front expected tomorrow.

Normally, in carving stone, one works three of four sides. That way, if something breaks off, such as a nose, one can push everything back towards that fourth side. However, sometimes I feel blocked while attempting to preserve this “safety feature” in the stone carving process. And I must be an optimist because I find at some point, I need to cut away this stone so I can see better what I am doing.


In this first image, you may see how I changed the energy of the pose by pulling the legs and feet into more of a diagonal towards the head of “The Gymnast” in the pike position. I thought the more vertical position was a bit dull. The brown crayon is my new drawing upon the stone.

This second image only proves that I could get my work done faster if my camera did not have a timer on it and I was not so fascinated in documenting the process. I was afraid to leave the diamond blade running on an unattended tool as I ran over to my camera to start the timer, so please pardon the lack of actual cutting in this image.

I spent the rest of the day removing material until it was too dark to work safely.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Marble Sculpture Process


Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Today was a beautiful day, much warmer than lately. I was able to get in several more hours of stone carving. At first when I stood before “The Gymnast” I worried that I had already cut too much stone from the forearms. But I had forgotten a little about “stone expansion,” a term that sculptor Scott Owens coined to explain how stone seems to grow overnight.

Stone carving is an interesting dance: too much cut and there are no second chances, other than redesign. But there are the evenings when you feel you removed the right amount of stone, only to wake up the next morning and see that you still have a ways to go. Such is the subtractive process.

Generally when I sculpt the figure, I need to get the pelvis situated, then the rib cage, and then the rest seems to fall into place for me. It is a process, with the destination becoming more visible with each mile marker passed. However, in this case, the hips were at the bottom of the composition. And I was a little bit worried about cutting the bottom so much that the stone might become stressed in that area as I worked the upper parts. Stumped.


However, I hear the voice of my friend Vasily Fedorouk often when I carve. When I am not sure what to do next, I remember him saying, “Define your line, your idea, and then make all else work with that line.” I also know that I cannot always work the way I was taught to do. If something bugs me, I just need to take care of it so I can focus. So, I decided to refine the line of the hips. I needed to start the curves that had inspired me in the first place.

In the second image here, you can see the brown crayon I used to draw the curves of the hips up into the legs. I have also loosely sketched in the hamstrings. The back of the leg does not the silhouette make from this view.

As the day started to close, I stopped my diamond blade and looked up to the light streaming in through the trees. The stone dust flying away emphasized the effect. I hope you find this image as beautiful as I do.


Finally, I have worked more angles than I show here, but the line is starting to clean up.
Stay tuned and hope for a warm winter.



If you like what you read, enjoy the photos, and would like to help support this blog(ger) / artist, click here . . .


There was an error in this gadget