Tiled Entryways Part III

Since I began shooting these tiled entryways, I now find myself running into them all over the neighborhood. This green and white beauty, almost serves as a welcome mat to a private residence, while the two under the cut provide the addresses of businesses. It’s a shame that details like this are considered relics of the past.  Continue reading

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American Gothic

I’m still plugging away on the vector illustration I’ve written about before, and I’m still cobbling it together as I go along. I had always planned that this composition would involve a crowd. I thought I could cheat it with colored circles the way they did with crowd scenes in old cartoons like Speed Racer, but I didn’t like the way it looked. I thought I could do something with a little more detail but keep it simple so it wouldn’t detract from the subject of the illustration. I started doodling simple characters like the pair above. They came together quickly so I’ve been sitting in front of the TV digitally doodling hippies and bikers while watching crap on Amazon’s Prime.

It will all make sense when I’m done.

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Another Tiled Entryway

This one is located on 9th and Bainbridge.

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Sponge Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Last night we celebrated my neighbor Jeanette’s 88th year on this planet. I made this cake, we had coffee, and she chuckled at the birthday card we gave her. Happy birthday to one of my favorite people on the block!  Continue reading

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Work in Progress

I’m still working on the vector illustration that I’ve written about recently, and it’s proving to be more involved than I originally thought it would be. I’ve been designing monsters which come to me more easily than what I am attempting with this illustration. This is also a more involved scene with more characters involved and while I have an image in my head and a few pencil sketched plans, I’m still figuring it out as I go along. It feels as if I am crafting the pieces as I am assembling the puzzle.

My tool of choice is the superlative vector illustration and design program known as Affinity Designer. It is similar to Adobe Illustrator, but it does not suffer the bloat or the subscription fee of it’s more famous competitor. The interface is fairly intuitive, and it’s easy to get up and running after a few of their free video tutorials.

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Looking South – Music in the Park – The Belleville Quartet

On Tuesday night, The Belleville Quartet – a Philadelphia based acoustic jazz ensemble played at Bardascino Park at 10th and Carpenter. It’s the first in a series of summer concerts my neighbors and I look forward to.

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Polenta Florentine

Polenta Florentine, on a Monday night – we’re so fancy! Actually, it’s a pretty easy dish to throw together when you make the polenta the day before. Then, all you have to do is layer slices of polenta in a pan, make a béchamel sauce and bake it in the oven. It does double duty counting as a starch and a vegetable – and I get to kick my cooking rut to the curb!  Continue reading

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Tiled Entryways Part II

More South Philly tiled entryways – I find it interesting that some had the business owner’s name, or the address, while others were purely ornamental. More photos behind the cut.  Continue reading

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Tiled Entryways

They’re all over South Philly, tiled entryways that marked former businesses – bakeries, drug stores, and butchers. I walk by them on a daily basis, and this week I decided to take some photos to showcase the various shapes, styles, and varying color tiles. More photos behind the cut.  Continue reading

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Seeing The Being

I sit and draw and watch TV. I always have. When I was little, I watched amiable announcer Bill “Wee Willie” Webber present hours of kids shows every afternoon as I drew cartoons on scratch pads, rolls of adding machine paper or whatever was available to make marks upon. Now, somewhat older, I draw in cheap sketchbooks or work up artwork digitally on a laptop as I watch streaming content on my Roku box. The trick is to find programs that don’t require my strict attention but are entertaining at the same time. A lot of times, the movies I find are like most movies in that they are passable mediocrities. Made-for-TV melodramas are like that. Then there are the movies that are way past mediocre which brings us to today’s entry. Continue reading

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Collecting: Mushroom Bowl by Esteri Tomula

This bowl is an iconic piece of Finnish Mid-Century Modern design. The pen and ink mushrooms are the work of Esteri Tomula, a designer who worked at the Arabia ceramics factory in Helsinki from 1947-1984. This bowl is enameled steel, from the 1960s, and it’s not unusual to see them priced anywhere from $50 to $120, as they’re highly sought after. This was a housewarming gift from my mother, who I guarantee found it at a yard sale and snatched it up for $5 or less. Mom was a magnificent bargain hunter with excellent taste!

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Pork Chops with Homemade Coating Mix

Most of the time, you order take-out when you don’t feel like cooking or are famished and need food PRONTO! That was me, until I moved onto a small South Philly street that cars couldn’t drive down. I’d order a pizza and salad, and begin explaining to the person on the phone that the delivery guy needed to park on such and such a street, walk ten feet down the street, hang a left, walk another ten feet and take a right. He’d “Yeah, yeah” me, swear on a stack of bibles that they were all too familiar with my block, and two hours later, no pizza, no salad. Eventually, I gave up on ordering take-out and instead had microwavables stashed in the freezer or quick meals that could be made in a half hour, rather than starve to death.

Chicken or pork chops coated with Shake ‘n Bake were one of my quickie meals. Throw some meat into a bag of flavored bread crumbs, shake, and toss it in the oven. What could be easier? Making your own coating mix to have on hand is even better, besides saving money, you can actually pronounce all of the ingredients that went into making it. It’s a big hit with the fellas, and the mix is handy when making meatballs!  Continue reading

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Chrysanthemum

In Victorian times, the chrysanthemum represented honesty and truth. In Japan, it’s a symbol of the Emperor and the Imperial family. Buddhists use them as offerings because of their powerful Yang energy. I love them for their texture!

 

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Sneak Preview

I was hoping to have another vector illustration ready for Willceau Illo this week, but this is proving to be somewhat more complicated than my two-headed monster from last week and the Atomic Warrior from the week before. There are a few elements of this one that I am still working out, and I am thoroughly enjoying the process in Affinity Designer.

Stay tuned!

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