Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Public Service Announcement

Cancer. Every day there are more and more findings of it's causes. And yet, more and more of our loved ones or ourselves are suffering from it. I got this URL in my inbox today, "Carcinogen Found in KFC's New Grilled Chicken". Well, yeah! Traces of it are found in over-grilled charred meats. Did you know that? One more reason I am happy to be a vegetarian again.

I recently lost both of my parents to lung cancer. The funny thing is, they have been divorced and far apart from each other for about 20 years. Both were smokers, and smoked different kinds of cigarettes. My grandmother, and my great grandfather is and was a smoker, and both have lived very long lives. I'm sure there were less toxins like plastics and cigarette additives around when they were younger, as well.

Years ago before I was born, my parents lived in Sparrows Point, MD along with my Aunt and Uncle and their significant others in the same neighborhood. I don't know about the significant others, but all had lung cancer, and only my Uncle survived it. I believe that he is the only one who doesn't smoke. All of them would now be in their 50's.

The Sparrows Point area is the number one disease cluster in the State of Maryland (asthma, leukemia, cancer, birth defects, miscarriages, developmental disorders) and the 26th worst disease cluster in the United States (reference: Center for Disease Control and Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene). This has originally been linked to when Bethlehem Steel began mass production in that area years and years ago. I would not be surprised if this was the number 1 cause of the development of their cancer some 30 years later. I can't help but to obsess about it, and all of the other little things that may have further induced it. Environment, CIGARETTES, genetics, diet, medications, poor health and well being, sun exposure, cooking methods: Teflon pans, microwaving plastics, char-grilled meats and the list goes on. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to start a macrobiotic diet!

Am I paranoid? Absolutely! Cancer runs rampid in my family and is on the rise, and I am determined not to get it. I've seen cancer at it's uglyest, and I don't ever want to experience it. I am not pushing anyone to change their lifstyle, I just want to share my findings and help you become more aware or remind you of it's causes so that you can make the decision for yourself. I still cook all of my husbands favorites for him, because I have for 13 years now and it makes him happy. This is his choice. I always try to prepare foods as healthy as possible, and leave the unhealthy indulgences in moderation. Such as most of those polymer clay treats I've been making. ;-)

Another thing that I have discovered is that Cancer Treatment Centers of America is very misleading. They advertise that there is hope even when your oncologist gives up on you. I tried to get my Mom in there, and she had a cap on her health insurance, as do most people. Cancer patients can easily exceed insurance allowances, as treatment is rediciously expensive. The only way they would accept her is if we put $100,000.00 payment down. Who has that kind of money to toss around? I could go on and on about how angry I am with all the little nuances of health care and insurance, but it's not going to bring my parents back.

Just be mindful people, of all the things out there that cause cancer. Prevention is best. Just because the FDA approves food and medications, doesn't mean it can't harm you. And cancer treatment can do some serious damage to your body as well. We only have one body, and once damage is done, it greatly depletes the quality of our lives.

I feel a little better now that I got that off my chest, and I hope you found this information to be helpful. You will probably never hear me rant like this on my blog again!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dad is GREAT! Gives us the CHOCOLATE CAKE!

I did it! I finally finished making one slice of chocolate cake with a strawberry on top as per requested. And I had the chocolate cake song in my head just about the whole production time. And how fitting. . . just in time for Father's day! Happy Father's Day to all of you Dads out there.

So who remembers the chocolate cake song? Just about everyone my age knows it when I make reference to it. It's from an old Bill Cosby stand-up probably from the 70's, and I honestly haven't seen it since I was little. . . until now when I found the YouTube. Wanna see? If you skip to 7 minutes into the video, that's where the song is. Enjoy!

Oh! And here's a trio of cinnabuns. I'm going to post some new stuff in my Etsy shop soon, promise. And two more chocolate cakes are near completion, same design as the first.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Who wants some printzels?

Today is my Step-Dad's birthday, so I thought I'd whip up a batch of his favorites - "Printzels". Years and years ago, he asked me to pass him a bag of "printzels", and since then they have always been lovingly called that. He is such an awesome Step-Dad, and I'm so glad to have him in my life.

Printzels are made of polymer clay with magnet affixed on back and exactly the same size of the mini's but of the extra dark special variety. (Ooops I mixed the clay too dark.) Extra dark specials are my favorites anyway, yum!

How adorable are these guys?

They have just sort of "morphed" into their own little studio organism world together and their characters talk to each other!

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for spacey creative types who spend too much time with their head in the clouds. So endearing. I think if my husband was an artist and shared my studio space, I'd have to be drunk all of the time too! :D

Love their artwork.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

IF: Craving

I'm craving some quality time with my best friend. Vacationing at Dewey Beach, and having a Venus Flytrap martini at our favorite hang-out spot. C'mon girlie. . . what are we waiting for?!!!

Per request, here is the recipe:

1 oz Lime Juice
1oz Melon Liqueur
2 oz Tequila
1 oz Triple Sec

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a MARTINI glass. Yes, it's more of a Margarita, but this is how it is presented, garnished with a slice of star fruit. I'm always one for breaking rules. And besides, everything is yummier in a martini glass!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

More polymer yummies!

1 Pound of Bacon on a plate

Crispy Chicken Sammich with Bacon

I made these for my husband (just of the polymer variety since it's so un-healthy!) as a gift for his birthday. Two of his favorite things. . . a whole pound of bacon and chicken sammich with bacon. And bacon wrapped bacon. . . but I had to draw the line somewhere!

Good stuff, much needed change, new opportunities and a few surprises. Life is good, but I miss creating!

Yikes! It has been just about 2 months since my last post!!! Lots of things have been going on. . . good things, crazy things, more clients. . . so all is good! More work and less play gives Cindy less to blog about. I am just going to give you a little taste of what I've been up to.

Here are the good things:
I have been painting like crazy! WALLS, not canvases. We are getting our house ready to sell, so we can move out further west and have acres of land, peace and quiet and privacy. With both me and the hubby working mostly from home, it will be perfect. We didn't think it would be possible to house hunt at this time but we figured out how to make it work and for the better. Getting a house ready to sell is some serious work! I am in the process of packing up half of my stuff, and getting rid of old crap that is junking up the house. We are renovating the bathrooms, some kitchen stuff and painting all of my colorful walls neutral. Most of my free time has been dedicated to this!!! Well, this among other very cool things. :) No, I'm not pregnant.

One of the houses I fell in love with.
Loooong wooded driveway with 2 acres of land. We shall see!

The crazy things:
If I were a superstitious person, this would totally boggle my mind. A few weeks ago, I had about 300 of these guys hatch in my studio. How you ask? My dear friend Dawn gave me a gift of dried hydrangea clippings from her garden, and one single praying Mantis egg case hidden nicely inside.

Meet Killer, my studio Mantis.

He was the last one that I found in my studio. Apparently there was a teeny tiny spider living in the corner up by the ceiling, and he found it. I let him live in my Lemon Verbena plant on my desk for a day, because I thought he was cute. I found information on the web on how to keep them as pets, but I couldn't stand the idea of feeding him live insects, so out he went! It would have been neat to watch him grow. You should have seen the mess I made in my studio to find them all, round them up and send them on their way outside. I hope all of my babies survived the heavy downfalls of rain we've been having!

More clients!
Here is my latest client, Marcy Max, creator of "Mitt-Minders". This is going to be a fun project, and I'm really looking forward to it. I always love supporting up and coming entrepreneurs, and I wish Marcey the best of luck and success! Click on this link to watch a WBAL news clip of her pitching her product.

And if you are interested in buying some Mitt-Minders, visit her Etsy Shop!