Friday, March 25, 2016

LAW 87: The deed is done.

Just a very quick update as the weather is nice and it is time to go out side and play!!

I successfully cut the GreenMan off from the backing material. No disasters materialized, thank you! Sigh i am still not completely finished with it, as i still need to pull out the stay stitching, finish off the back and the hanger sleeve. Piffle, nothing after four months of almost daily stitching.
the green man cut away at last!

Don's newest book, AN ALIEN'S GUIDE TO SEAR'S AND ROEBUCK, is available both as an e-book and in hard copy as well. Check it out on Wild Shore Also today through the 28th of this month, GANYMEADE PROTOCOL, is available as a free download at Amazon. Even if i do say myself, they are both very good novels.

The puddle duck, Dharma Duck, has a fresh coat of paint and is ready to go into the water for another sailing season. Truly spring has sprung.Take a peek at The Floating Empire blog to follow what is going on with the Extreme Makeover of our fine little shanty boat.

sailing fun in our handmade puddle duck!

more later,


Friday, March 18, 2016

LAW 86: The scariest cut

All right! I am done with the stitching on the Green Man piece, the only things left to do are pull the stay stitching out, and than; the scariest part of all, cutting away the extra material from around the piece. It would be all to easy to slip and cut through the out edge of the couching. Well, go figure, i do live on a boat after all, and you might know boats to move, sometimes at the most inconvenient moments.

A shot of the piece after the last leaf was done, and most of the outer edge of couching finished as well.

Stitching all done!

And here, the first leaf cut away. Oooh, scary!

scary scary scary, cutting the fabric away!

Mungo, aka Don Elwell finally has his newest novel available. AN ALIEN'S GUIDE TO SEARS AND ROEBUCK, is available on Kindle as both an Ebook, or a trade paper version for those of you who prefer to hold an actual book in your hands. It's a great story, even after reading and re-reading about a gazillion times as his first reader it still holds my interest.

The cover for the new book!

Also, starting on March 25th, GANYMEADE PROTOCOL, his 2009 novel of climate change , political upheaval and personal freedom is available for free as a Kindle download for three days. Check it out! It is also a very good read.

The Wild Shore Press is once more and active. You can find the entire catalog there. Don't forget to keep checking the Floating Empire site for updates on the Extreme Makeover of our tiny floating home.

Spring is almost here, soon socks and long pants will be just memories. Boats are being splashed, our winter isolation is almost over.

More later,

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

LAW 85: Yea! I'm done with the leaves and other things

Today i finally finished couching the last of the Oak leaves on my Green Man piece. it feels as if it has taken forever to get to this point, in reality i started this piece the week before Thanksgiving. Which i guess isn't all that slow considering it is a rather large, rather complex piece, oh and ya, i have been working on about seven other things pretty much at the same time. So now all i have to do is couch around the edges and finish off the back. Sigh….

The last little leaf!

Over the weekend i started working on the actual book block of a new commission. I am transforming a friend's Marine dress uniform into two journals. It has been an interesting experience so far between the deconstruction of the jacket, to the give and take over the design elements. Will keep posting as i progress.

folding the book block signatures

Picked the first daffodils on our wok yesterday. Last spring,  on our way to one of our local grocery stores, i found clumps of these tiny little gems growing wild along the forest verge. Happy to see that they are still there, although it is likely they will not be next spring as the area is slated for a huge housing development. There goes the last wild piece of shore on Hopkins Creek. Sigh, progress is not all it is cracked up to be.

first wild daffodils of the spring!

Lastly, Mungo has finally gotten approval for the cover art etc on his newest novel, 'An Alien's Guide to Sears and Roebuck'. The electronic version should  be available now on Kindle. For those of you who still like to read your books hard copy, it will be soon, real soon. Still a few more hoops to jump through there.

Tomorrow we will tie into episode two of the Extreme Makeover of our lovely little shanty boat the Floating Empire. Check out Mungo's blog for updates there, the Floating Empire.

More later,

Sunday, March 13, 2016

LAW 84: Finally a new collage

I've been feeling pulled in way to many directions lately. Spring is here, the weather has been beautiful, our winter isolation is coming to an end. People have been coming down to the marina to open their boats, look longingly at the river and talk about the fun to come.

Add to the mix: i am juggling several commissions in the studio right now(not that i am complaining!), along with several personal projects and submission deadlines. All of this makes Morgainne a busy girl. Not mention a couple of my personal projects, the Green Man, for instance, are extremely time/labor intensive. Although i am happy to report that i am finally working on the last leaf! Yea me! Than all i have to do…..

Testing the Limits of the Human Heart

I  finished a new collage this weekend. This one a step into a different direction for me. I have never drawn into my collages before. This one seemed to just scream out for it. It had a sort of steam punk feel to it to start; so it seemed natural to add to the rather mechanical nature with line drawings. This also links to a series of drawings that i was working on about a year ago.

Close up, female form

At any rate, enjoy, keep watching The Floating Empire for updates on our ongoing Extreme Makeover of the boat.

More later,

Thursday, March 10, 2016

LAW 83: Sunday Suppers, springtime and leftovers

Last night's dinner proved, once again, that leftovers can not only be thrifty and good for you, but truly delicious. Last Sunday we shared a slow grilled whole Shad with our friends Chris and Shannon.  Shad is one of the truly under appreciated, under utilized fish found on the East Coast. It is the largest member of the Herring family, usually weighing in at about four pounds. It's not that people here don't eat Shad, they do, well they eat the roe, dismissing the fish itself as 'too boney'. Hey, wake up people, whole crab is a pain in the you know what to pick and eat, but we do it. Shad is an early spring treat, they run into the fresh water to spawn, the arrival of those pretty rose pink roe sets at the fish market are a sure sign of warm weather to come.

Yes, the bones make the Shad dining experience a messy one, i have read that Shad is the boniest fish in the world, i'm not sure if that is true, but….

daybreak from the bow

Slow baked, grilled or smoked, and i do mean upwards of five hours here the whole fish will fillet easily. The backbone will slide right out and the pin bones, if not really melted away to nothing are completely edible. The method is, wrap the whole, clean fish in a lightly oiled foil package, cut three or more slits in the skin, squeeze a lemon over it, rub salt, pepper and thyme all over, stuff it with sliced onions, lay it on a bed of sliced onion and top it off with three or four slices of bacon, seal it up and let it do its thing for about five hours at about 200-250 degrees. When you are ready to eat, carefully slit the foil and drain the very tasty and bountiful juice into a bowl, slice the first fillet off the backbone, sit down and enjoy! The first half of a four pound fish comfortably fed the four of us, along with most of the roe set, grilled asparagus and parmesan potato stacks. Yum yum.

Oh my, this will be great in about 5 hours!

So, the next day i 'picked' the other half of the fish, flaked it and combined it with a little minced onion, cream cheese and assorted herbs. Served with Wasa bread and a quick cucumber pickle it made a lovely light lunch.

And no, we didn't finish it all off then either. last night i made a lovely pasta dish with fresh peas and asparagus, the remainder of the 'Shad pate' thinned out with a little cream, sautéed with a little olive oil, shallot, mushrooms and garlic. just a little crushed red pepper for a little kick and a dash of fish sauce for a little more umami, move over Alfredo!

Yummy yummy leftovers!

Don't forget to check out what's happening at The Floating Empire, we've been busy busy busy making the boat a far more comfortable living space.

the Queen of the Sea as wall covering

More later,

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

LAW 82: from chaos born…..

Those of you who have been following our adventures here on the Floating Empire surely know that Mungo and i have recently embarked on the Extreme Makeover of our cozy little houseboat. We designed and built the Empire just about two years ago. After that span of time we knew the changes we needed to make; the changes that would make life here on the Empire more pleasant than it already was.

Yes, we did have to take the back window wall down!

Most of those changes had to do with how we used the space. What made for traffic jams, what simply did not make sense. So stage one of the galley/living area is done(sorta). Okay, there's a lot of finish work that remains. But we have removed one of the two front king posts, giving us two more feet of walking and working room in the front of the galley. This was a major choke point, as the person working in the prep area had to move out of the way for anyone wanting to get to the breakfront or the front door. We can waltz around each other now.

Mungo is tired of this project
Yesterday saw us move the breakfront from its original position next to the front door to the other end of the galley. It now forms a wall, along with the refrigerator. The result is a space that is far more open. That is very good.  The downside, which is temporary, is the loss of some storage and space to display art. This will be addressed in stage two, i think.

studio before move
My studio has been total chaos for almost a week now. That's a lifetime folks. I actually have two active commissions working and have made no progress for a week. Eeek!  Today finally i was able to put the studio more less back together. The configuration in the studio is slightly different. We swapped the location of the head and my main work table. I also gained another work table. Yea! More room to spread out.

my new and mostly organized work space

We took the lovely little wall mounted kitchen table that we bought from Ikea more than a year ago. It was simply to small to allow us to do any onboard entertaining so we built a settee and a pedestal table that will sit four. That table is now installed next to my drafting table, making a nice continuous work surface.

Magellan and i have to share my rocker
It was a real treat to have friends over for Sunday Supper. Since the weather turned inclement we have been enjoying our Sunday suppers in the marina club house. Nothing wrong with that, well, we don't have heat in there yet, so…… So much nicer to not have to schlep everything up there and back.

We are taking a short break from the Extreme Makeover. We need to catch up with the finish work, think about where we go from here, and just enjoy the beautiful spring weather. Please feel free to check out the Floating Empire blog. Lots of new and exciting things there. Keep an eye for new things happening at Wild Shore Press. Mungo has a new novel coming real soon now. Really!

Thursday night's high tide, unusual in winter
Oh yea, a study in contrasts here. High and low tide here at Middle River Landing Marina. The difference, high tide last Thursday evening, the docks are under water. Low tide on Saturday evening, same shot, underneath the finger piers.

Saturday's low tide, much more common

More later,