Posts Tagged ‘Skosh’

Open Studio

October 17, 2012

We are currently in the midst of the  San Luis Obispo  Arts Council Open Studios tour

For you non-Californians, the County of San Luis Obispo is named for Saint Louis of Toulouse

Here are some pictures taken before people started arriving.

The path to our door.

Sredini Vashtar, our  resident critic and official greeter, meditates on the mysteries of  Ceiling Cat

And of course Skosh is here, touting his new book

Come and visit us if you can!

Posted by Dennis.

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Coming soon…..

July 7, 2012

We’re working on this now, about to begin printing this week (7-10,) then on to the binding. We’re aiming for Christmas, and we’ll publish ordering information soon. -Posted by Dennis

On display…….

August 2, 2011

I received a notice from the local association of Artists who paint Rocks Trees and Oceans, oh my !, (ARTO) that the time had come, as it does once a year, for those of us who create “non traditional” art to have the chance to exhibit our work.

So.  I decided in a fit of poor judgement to do a soft sculpture of Skosh to enter as my offering for the year. I planned to take extensive creative license with it, since Skosh, being a shape shifter, is in a more or less constant state of flux.

It was difficult at first to pin him down as he and his friends are generally involved in some teen excitement or other..mall stalking,  beach stalking,  lurking endlessly at the various produce aisles in the area (this for the vegan babyvamps) or closeted in Skosh’s room playing a series of many and varied extremely noisy computer games.  However, when I told him of my plan and begged his cooperation in posing for me for a few hours to get the basics down and promised on my honor that it wouldn’t take long, honestly , Skosh, just a few minutes…or maybe a little more…his vanity won out and he allowed me an hour of his valuable time in the studio.

The work went slowly but well and I ended up with a very satisfactory replica of his highness which I entered in the exhibit.  I refused to let the kids see it before it was in place at the gallery and so they were consumed with curiosity and were very anxious for the day of the show to arrive, nagging and wheedling to be allowed to come along and help me set up.  envisioning chaos, I refused but told them they could in fact go to the exhibit when it opened.  They had no choice but to capitulate, with much grumbling and mutterings of ‘unfair’ and ‘when we get older, she wont be able to mumble mumble fft-hiss.’

The day of the exhibit arrived and the kids were in a high state of excitement and when they saw the sculpture, the air was filled with hoots and catcalls and Skosh was quite overcome, to the point where he had difficulty controlling himself, big surprise.  He decided to relate the tale of how he came to live with me to any and all who would listen, and at one point attached himself to my leg and shifted into my left calf causing me to lurch unpleasantly into a large papier-mache rendering of a werehound, almost upsetting it and from there caroming daintily into something unrecognizable but heavy with spikes and tubing.  This was greeted with more howls of glee and Skosh quite lost any dignity he might have had and shifted again, this time into a small volcano.

We have spoken at length about breathing fire and blanketing the air with dense smoke but I suppose he thought if he were a volcano he could get way clean.  The babyvamps had managed to find the munchies table and were working their way through the stuffed cherry tomatoes, and Heather had lost interest in Skosh’s guerilla play as soon as she realized that there were edibles afoot and was hopping about under the table looking for the odd elusive gummi bear.  About the time the vamps discovered the wine,  it was politely suggested that we might want to make an early exit and, was there something I could possibly do about the smoke emanating from the painting of the..oh, dear..too late…?

It took about 15 minutes to round up my unruly charges and bundle them all into the car.  ‘Neckers and Neil had comported themselves with great aplomb and were feigning contempt for their ‘immature’ companions, while the vamps seemed to be dipping into their cloaks every so often and giggling uncontrollably.  Could they have…no.  not possible. please…no.

When we arrived home I confined Skosh to his room and wondered if I could ever show my face in town again. It was a complete rout….just the way I like it.  Heh – heh.  Thanks to Skosh, my reputation is made.  No p.r. is bad p.r.  Time for a nice calming glass of wine,  a cabernet should do nicely…now where…EMPTY?????    SKOSH!!  YOU ARE SO GROUNDED…..

Posted by Susan.  Visit Susan and Dennis at Galerie Yggdrasil  for lots more “non traditional art”. Who knows, maybe we can get some of our stuff banned! Or something…..

Faux News……..

June 17, 2011

                                                         Faux News.  Pastels and ink by Susan Owen

The house still smells like smoke.

I suppose it is my fault, when it comes down to it.  I am an avid watcher of Rachael Maddow and have been  joyously  awaiting the return of Keith Olbermann and the Countdown show on Current tv.  The kids didn’t seem to pay attention most of the time since they are customarily in Skosh’s room either listening to unintelligible music, playing games on the computer or endlessly snacking.  Since the advent of the babyvamps, I cannot count the pounds of tomatoes I have gone through, and even Heather seems to have developed a taste for the odd beakful of bologna…go figure.   Three days ago, however, the sounds from the kid cave seemed different on many levels.

What music there was coming from skosh’s room was in brief spurts and sounded wrong somehow, rather like something one would hear at a parade for the ku klux klan, and there was a lot of alternate shrieking,, howling and mumbling.  I could hear a few comments from the young ones but nothing I could make out…however, as the time wore on and the mumbling raised in volume, I could hear a few words now and then from the flatscreen, such as ‘Jesus’, ‘kill’, ‘army of god’, ‘outrage’, and my all time favorite, “liberals!!” This latter word spoken much as a viking would howl “kreegah!!” or something of that nature.  Hmmmm.

The kids began to mutter imprecations and from what I could gather from their tone, they were becoming restless.  in the world of Skosh, restless does not bode well.  I was on my way to his room to see for myself what mischief was afoot when the whole back of the house erupted in chaos.  There was a loud uncontrolled hissing from the babyvamps such as I have never heard, especially from the twins, Tad and Vlad, since they are the older of the lot and their voices are changing which makes for an interesting tonality.  Heather was peeping in shrill outrage, in counterpoint to the higher notes of Neckers and his brother Neil, who was clearly so upset that for once he forgot he was not a rooster and reverted to very angry hummingbird status.  I hurried my pace but didn’t reach the door in time and there was a wall-shaking roar and the entire door caught on fire.

What fresh hell is this, he knows better than to…I thought as I raced for the nearest extinguisher.  It took about half an hour to extinguish the door and about half of his room. Naturally the flatscreen was untouched by damage but his “How to train your dragon”. “Eragon” “Smaug” and “Jabberwock” posters are waaaay history.  Calming the cru down was even harder than taming the smoldering ruins, but eventually I got the story out of them.

I didn’t have the heart to ground Skosh for singeing even though he knows it is totally and at all times verboten, because in truth this was a breach I could understand full well.  It seems that the kids decided to see how the other half rants, and had been watching Faux News.  As the afternoon wore on and the lunacy escalated, so did heir tempers at the outlandish silliness of show after show but they managed to hold their tempers in until the very end when from what i can gather, there was a 10 minute interview with Blareah Failin.  ten minutes…apparently, as long as she can appear even remotely sane in public…but it was enough to flip the kids over into full-on outrage mode.  Skosh said he couldn’t help it, it just got away from him, and he’d never do it again and Heather said totally fer sure, like…ewwww….Mina was in a corner terrorizing  an heirloom tomato and snarling sotto voce about “feminissssssss revolution”.   Neckers and Neil decided they were thirsty after all that smoke and were heavily into the nectar, hopefully non-fermented, but who can tell….and Tad and Vald were piling their unruly, heavy hair on top of their heads,donning pairs of my glasses, and laughing..”nudge, nudge” said Tad, while Vlad responded with “WANK….WANK!!”  and Skosh announced that he might just take a little flight to the studios of Faux news and show them just exactly what the meaning of ‘flame wars’ really is. I know better than to reprimand him until he settles down since I tried it once.  Ow. hot. Ow.

All in all, it could have turned out worse.  Tonight we will all settle in with a few hours of Hetty Wainthropp mysteries on dvd and some parmesan popcorn. Oh, yes…and chips with marinara dip, And for the rest of the night, all is forgiven.  we shall no more speak of this.  But I swear, young man, if you EVER,  and I mean, EV….Ow. Hot.

Posted by Susan. Shop Galerie Yggdrill  where you will find many items that smell slightly of smoke.

Milady’s chair…….

June 3, 2011

Gee, that was fun.

I believe I have mentioned more than once that Heather, Skosh’s girlfriend, was a pathetic, messy, lonely little chirpster, totally devoid of style and not much in the personality department before she met Skosh and his friends and began to bloom under their loving tutelage.  The reason for this sad state of affairs was Heather’s treatment, or lack of it, at the wings of her mother, a stylish matron with a penchant for social-climbing, haute couture, and martini-heavy afternoon ‘teas’ with like-minded harridans, teas that customarily lasted well into the evening and sometimes longer.  on the rare occasion that Heather did receive any attention from her mother, it was almost always negative.  Heather had no sense of self-worth and had no idea that she would ever have even one friend, much less as many as she now has.

Heather spends most of her time at our home now, to the shared delight of both Heather and her alleged mother, who no longer has to explain to her cronies how it was that she came to be related to such a ‘terrible disappointment’ as her daughter.  However, at one point when we were planning a three day (possibly four if we felt the urge) trip to Dragoworld, Heather’s mother decided to do a little mothering and find out exactly who her daughter was hanging with and just exactly what a good for nothing bunch we obviously were and required my presence at her stately home for a ‘nice little chat’ as she put it, before she would allow Heather to accompany us. so.  off we went, heather bringing up the rear and I, wearing a faux Chanel suit and enough Shalimar to peel paint, bravely in the lead.

We wisely decided not to allow Skosh to tag along.

We were seen into the drawing room and the old family retainer announced our presence.  Within a short half hour, Mrs. Pinfeather made her appearance, swanning down the spiral staircase like a cross between Bette davis and a feather boa, and offered me a limp wing in greeting.  I opted not to kiss it and contented myself with a quick shake of the wingtip.  she bade us sit down, please, sit, rang for tea (uh oh) and glared at Heather’s new beak piercing with a ladylike shudder.  when the tea service arrived we were offered a cup each, only two cups on the tray as mrs. p. already had her own cup sitting on her tiny side table. Uh huh….

It began easily enough with a round of questions as to what do I do for a living, “an artist, ahh.  I seeee.  no, I mean, what do you  REALLY do?”, and other queries in that vein. She then proceeded to still more questions about the location of my home, “ahh. I seee…I believe I drove past that um, area once…mmm…”  but as the afternoon wore on and more tea was consumed by the good lady,  the questions grew  less to the point of our visit.   Mrs. P. relaxed a little too visibly and began to speak of the grandeur of Heather’s upbringing and her own exalted status in the community.

“Forr exshample, this ssshhh…ermm..CHHAIRR upon which i sh..sh..ssit” she began. “it onesh belonged to the shhh..erm..Shhhah of Irang.  He gave it to me on the occashhion of my reshent vishhit to his lovely (HIC) parrdon home.  He washh delighted by my interpretashhhion of a ballad I ushed to shing when I wash with the New Yark..York Phlaparmonic.  I shall give you an ideear of my former gander…I wash alwayshh hoping that Heather might have inherited sshome of my giftsh but..alashh…” another glare at Heather, rather more bleary this time.  Heather ducked behind my Chanel jacket and wished fervently that she were anywhere but where she was.

At this point things got a lot more interesting.  Mrs. Pinfeather stood up on her ‘sshair’, a dainty if somewhat wobbly backless affair, and began to belt out a tuneless but really loud version of “Won’t you come home, Bill Bailey”.  Things might have worked out better for the redoubtable Mrs.P. had not the chair decided at that point to go south, and the great lady was dumped unceremoniously to the deep lush carpet, where she promptly passed out cold.

Heather and I chose that moment to make our graceful exit, legs and wings leaping and flapping out the front door withall speed lest our hostess should awaken before we were safely away.

In the car on the way home I turned to heather and said, “gee, I think that went well, don’t you?”  To which heather replied, “Oyeah.  for real. I’m all packed”.  “When were we leaving for dragoworld again….and would it be at all possible to stay a week?”

We may throw caution to the winds and do just that.  I hope the chair can be repaired..It may just be needed again in the very near future. Posted by Susan.  Visit Galerie Yggdrasil and see all our offerings (burnt and otherwise).

Draco piscator…….

January 22, 2011

Oy. Why me??

I had things to do in the kitchen today, many cupboards that have not been gutted and cleaned since the jurassic period, so I set the kids in the living room with the tv and 20 pounds of video games.  As I was working, I could hear the soothing sounds of rocket launchers, multi-auto pileups, shrieks of agony and snarls and growls and flamethrowers.  This latter sometimes gives me pause, as I have a flamethrower of mine own on which to keep tabs…but since I smelled no scent of scorch, I kept working , secure in the knowledge that all was well,  for now.

As I was scrubbing a particularly dense and unidentifiable stain on a top cupboard, Skosh wandered in to the kitchen and addressed me.

“Mom?tktktktTOKtk?”  (his voice is changing as he approaches adolescence.)  “Mom?  if you could get in your car and go anywhere in the world, where would you…no. no, your bicycle.  if you…no.  your MOTORcycle.  if ..no.  Your bike.  if you could get on your bike and go anywhere in  the world, where would you go?”

Oh, dear.

Now.  When Skosh and Neckers returned from their man-cave wilderness-taming long weekend, they dropped their depleted backpacks by the front door, staggered into my bedroom, flopped onto my bed and remained there without moving for two days.  I deliberately did not ask them for details of their trip since I did not want to invade their newly-born privacy, so to this point nothing has been said.

I cannot say that I have completely left them to their own devices, privacy-wise.  while they were gone I locked skosh’s computer against the only dragon porn I could find…”flame me, baby”, “erotoscales” and “klawz-4-u”.  beyond that I did not care to explore.  although Neckers uses Skosh;s computer too, I was just not ready for hummingporn, that is up to his mother.  However, with this question, I was tempted to inquire exactly what had transpired during the time the young gentlemen were away.

“Um…did you and ‘neck have a good time while you were taming the wilds?”  A tentative reaching out.

“Yup”…and off he went back to the pseudowreckage in the living room, leaving me with a wild agony of curiosity.   I cued my ears in for further knowlege by shamelessly listening in to any communication beyond the tv action in the living room.  ” I asked momtktk.”  “wad she sayeeeep?”  “TknuffintktkTOK.” from Neil, Neckers’ brother the not quite rooster, I heard only “If she only knewooooeeooeroooo!” Followed by a giggle from Heather.  Clearly there are things to which I am not privy…oh, no…and the children know.  To misquote a fine blues man, “the moms don’t know, what the little kids understand.”

I did ask a few tentative questions. and was told that they had just done the usual stuff, “guy mom, geetktk, no biggie tktkTOK, just like ya know, fishin and stuff.  We just hung and like fished and stuff.tk. WO CHECK OUT THAT BLAGOR, KILLITKILLIT COOL NECK YOU ROCK MAN!!tktk”.  i canot compete with video games and deep adolescent secrets.  so, for the nonce, I must let it rest.

However, I have had a few ominous questions from Skosh that make me wonder just exactly what occurred on that time away….”momtkTOKtktk…what’s it like to rob a bank?”  And even worse…”mom? TOKTOKtk whssssss..(the sound of a soft breeze moving through the magnolia trees in front of a fine old southern victorian home always bodes ill) mom?  would ya like to see me make a bomb out of peanut butter  and Nyquil?”

Posted by Susan.   Find Skosh art and other cool stuff at Galerie Yggdrasil

Toothless’ Chocolate Creme Pie…….

December 30, 2010

Over the holidays we have had a visit from skosh’s cousin Prang, a handsome fellow of about Skosh’s age and (oh, noes) disposition. It has been lively.  At one point I decided to bake a pie for Solstice dinner and sat the boys in front of the television to watch a dvd titled “How to train your dragon”, a delightful and beautifully animated tale. Prang was so impressed that he demanded to be called ‘Toothless’, the name of the star of the film.  Thus, the pie came to be called ‘Toothless’ Dark Chocolate Cream Pie’.  The recipe follows. it is pretty much the same as any cream pie recipe, with just a few changes.

One baked and cooled 9″ pie shell

4 eggs, separated

1 c white sugar

1/4 c cornstarch

2 c half and half

3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate

1/2 c chocolate eggnog

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 four egg meringue (optional)

Since I use whipped cream for the top of the pie instead of the meringue, I brush the unbaked pie crust with part of the egg whites before baking.  I cook the remaining egg whites and mix them with the dog’s food.  Waste not, want not.

Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan and slowly mix in the half and half, chopped chocolate, and eggnog. Make sure it is well blended and not lumpy and yucky. Don’t worry about the chocolate, it will melt as the mixture cooks. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly, then slow down on the heat and cook and stir about 2 minutes more.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir up the egg yolks with a fork.  Add a portion of the mixture to the egg yolks and mix well. Add the egg mixture to the filling in the pan, mix, and bring back to a cautious soft boil, then reduce the heat again and cook and stir for 2 more minutes.  Remove from the heat again and add butter and vanilla and mix well.  Pour into the cooled pie shell and  tell the boys that no, it isn’t ready, NO, IT IS NOT!!

Cool in the fridge for about 3 hours and top with cream to which you add a little vanilla, just a touch, and beat into stiff peaks.

If you want it to look better than mine does in the photo, you can crush a little of Riley’s toffee and sprinkle it on the top of the whipped cream.  not a lot, and yes, it does have to be Riley’s toffee.  I think the link is  thatstoffee.com but don’t quote me.  Best toffee on the planet.  if you’re interested I can find out more.

This recipe will serve one contented dragon or two noisily squabbling ones.  Keep an eye on them or they’ll breathe fire at each other over who got the biggest portion and no one will get any DO YOU HEAR ME, YOU TWO?  DON’T MAKE ME COME IN THERE!  Oh tktktktktk yourself, Skosh, I heard that.

Posted by Susan   See strange stuff by Susan and Dennis at  Galerie Yggdrasil

Christmas toes…….

December 21, 2010

Dammit,now, I have told Skosh repeatedly that we are a family of Pagans and Buddhists and do not celebrate Christmas, but I made a terrible error last week by taking him shopping for little things for his friends and a special gift for Heather that he was nagging me for….a diamond beak stud that she had been wanting for almost a year.  He saw the trees, all decked out in bright shiny doodles, and became enamored of the whole idea of the pretty, bright delights that the season demands.  against my better judgement, and also against my pleas, he decided to shapeshift  in order to accomodate the season.  Thus, he has become, for the nonce, what you see here.  He was not sure how to incorporate his feet and tail into the shape he wished them to become, so he did the best he could.

Blessed Solstice, everyone, and to all of Skosh’s friends and fans…merry christfeet.  happy holitail.  Truly..he meant well.

This is a recipe I made this year for the first time.  It is a recipe that my mother gave me, she got it from her mother,  who got it from my great gramma Owen , who got it from….well.  I could go on.  in any case, it is well over  a hundred years old and I hope you are versed in baking, because it has no instructions.

1 cup butter

1 1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

2/3 cup sour cream

4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

That’s it.  It is a bitch to mix, sticky and unruly. Since I know how to bake I set the temp of the oven at 350.  I have a hot oven but still I recommend this temp. Watch them carefully since they are a delicate cookie.  They should be a little brown on the bottom and sides but not too much on the tops.  This recipe makes about a billion cookies so give lots away but do keep some for yourselves as they are really good.  I thank my great great grandmother for these…..thank you, gramma Foreman.  I love you, though I never met you.  Merry Christmas.

Posted by Susan.  See more strange, inappropriate art at Galerie Yggdrasil

Oh dear, oh my…..

December 8, 2010

After weeks of mapping and plotting. packing  and double and triple checking, the boys finally took leave of us to spend their week in the wilds…Men of the wilderness, taming the earth, bending the world to their will.  I was about to breathe a sigh of relief and put my feet up, when there came a tapping at the door.

Actually, a pecking.  a pecking at the door….a tiny, insistent pecking….

I wound my weary way to the door, expecting perhaps a girl scout selling cookies, I hoped, since I love girl scout cookies. But no…..it was the Rednecker family.  Nilda, ‘Neckers’ mom, Nita, his younger sister, and Neil.  his..um…brother.

It seems that Neckers, in his zest to become a mountain man, had neglected to inform his mother that he planned to accompany Skosh on his trek, and I was being questioned as to where he was and how had I managed to allow him to leave my home without calling his mother to make sure he was allowed to leave on this retreat, which he surely would not have been had his mother known of it since she was sure that Skosh was not an appropriate companion and how could I allow such a thing to happen, at which point Neil, (who is convinced that he is a rooster), commenced to crowing loud and long to announce the dawn…which had occured about three or four hours previously.  Nita, who uses her brother’s announcements as a reason to open her music player and turn up the sound to a deafening level,   gave us at that point a delightful rendition of “Shake your tail feathers baby”.

Mrs.Redneckers and I had a cup of tea and discussed the ramifications of our sons trip into the wilds.   I was hard pressed to ease her doubts as to how her son might  survive in the company of a “firebreathing shapeshifter when he is just a tiny hummingbird”, but I slogged on expressing my love for her son and the fact that I had made sure they had all they needed, (leaving out the fermented nectar part), and assuring her that  Neckers had taken his Birdble and was studying the Wird of the Bird every evening before bed.

Nita, during the entire time, rolled her eyes and said, sotto voce so as not to attract her mother’s ire, things like “ewwww’ and “omg, so NOT COOL”  but beyond that she just flounced and wished she were anywhere other than where she was.  Neil, on the other hand, saved my bacon by  crowing loudly at many an inappropriate…or for me…appropriate,,,, moment.

Suffice it to say, we escaped with few if any problems, but I wouldn’t want to be Neckers when he gets home at last.I shall have a few choice words for him that do not exist in his Birdble.  or any other book of religious bent.

See prints and drawings by Susan and Dennis at Galerie Yggdrasil

The Hero’s Journey…….

November 16, 2010

I swear, I will be grey before my time.

Since Skosh has come to live with me for a time without limit, he has grown a bit…more than a bit, as dragons tend to do.  He is now as tall as my shoulder, which would make him about 5’5″ and getting bigger every day, goddess help me.  He is, to all intents and purposes. a teen with a mind(?) of his own and a desire to make friends outside the home.  This is all very well, though one hopes he will connect with appropriate companions.  So far, so good.

His new buddy is Redneck the hummingbird, of whom I heartily approve.  A delightful and pleasant young man, he has attached himself to the family by greeting us as we arrive home by thrilling by on his lovely little wings and yelling at the top of his lungs, such as they are, “DUUUUUUUUUDE!   WAASSSSUPPPPP!”  and streaking away to other purposes.  he seems to be a constant ,pleasant…and safe…companion for our Skosh.

This afternoon when i came home from my acupuncture appointment, I was greeted by a twirling  Skosh, whipping his tail stream and ‘tktktktktk’ing a lot, which always makes me nervous.  “momtktktktk…” “momi, i, i, tktk…”  okay, Skosh, out with it….come on…. “mom we, um , we, um um, Neckers an me we umtktktktk.”

Oh, no.  Okay, Skosh…get to the point.  “Mom we umtk tk want to gocampingandfishingtktktktktk.” Ah.  Permission to go off for a weekend and be guys. Ahhhh.  A weekend without noise, a weekend to clean the soot off the walls….YES YES YES!!   Why of course, Skosh, you and Redneck may go camping! What a LOVELY idea!! (Oh,please…please…)

Then the packing began.  The tent with a branch in it for Neckers to sleep on, the sleeping hot pad for Skosh, and most  especially….a large flask of Old Lizard Breath for Skosh ( I do not approve but…) And for Neckers , a thimble of Highfly (fermented nectar)  and of course clothing,  such as it is.  Don’t ask.  And, of couse, weenies in case no fish are caught, which is a good possibility.  Redneck eschews weenies but says he can always find a rogue flower or two for sustenance….after all, living in the wild, one needs to hunt for one’s supper.  he does not include Wasilla, Alaska, as “living in the wild”.

So, the packing begins, and we shall see what becomes of our stalwarts when they return with stories of bravery and brilliance.  Let us hope for the best.

Posted by Susan. Visit  Galerie Yggdrasil To see more drawings and suff by Susan and Dennis.