Easter

Easter
Lily in Autumn

Tigress by Ellen Tsagaris

Tigress by Ellen Tsagaris
This is a story of Jack the Ripper with at Twist!

Ellen Tsagaris' The Bathory Chronicles; Vol. I Defiled is My Name

Ellen Tsagaris' The Bathory Chronicles; Vol. I Defiled is My Name
This is the first of a trilogy retelling the true story of the infamous countess as a youn adult novel. History is not always what it seems.

Wild Horse Runs Free

Wild Horse Runs Free
A Historical Novel by Ellen Tsagaris

With Love From Tin Lizzie

With Love From Tin Lizzie
Metal Heads, Metal Dolls, Mechanical Dolls and Automatons

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The Legend of Tugfest

The Legend of Tugfest
Dr. E is the Editor and A Contributor; proceeds to aid the Buffalo Bill Museum

Emma

Emma

Like My Spider

Like My Spider
It's Halloween!

Moth

Moth
Our Friend

Little Girl with Doll

Little Girl with Doll
16th C. Doll

A Jury of her Peeps

A Jury of her Peeps
"Peep Show" shadow box

Crowded Conditions

Crowded Conditions

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Opie Cat's Ancestors

Opie Cat's Ancestors
Current Cat still Sleeps on Victorian Doll Bed with Dolls!

First Thanksgiving Dinner

First Thanksgiving Dinner
Included goose and swan on the menu!

Autumn Still Life

Autumn Still Life
public domain

Boadicea

Boadicea
The Original Bodacious Woman

Angel Monument

Angel Monument

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Kiowa Doll

Kiowa Doll

Sketch of children playing

Sketch of children playing
Courtesy, British Museum

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Small Dolls, Clay and Cloth

Small Dolls, Clay and Cloth

A Goddess

A Goddess

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Recipes and Black Flowers: Dijon Mustard Dressing


Here we are again; as promised, here is a recipe. I came up with a dijon mustard salad dressing that was easy; 1 TBLSp. maynaisse, 1tsp. Greek yogurt, plain [any plain yogurt, sour cream, or blended tofu will do]; 1 TBSP. prepared bottled dijon mustard, any brand, about 1tsp. dill or herbs de Provence, dash of salt and pepper, dash of parsely, 2 pinches sugar. Mix all well. Blend with greens. I used about 1/2 c of our fresh, homegrown arugula, romaine lettuce, and one can of green peas, drained. I added fresh cilantro, homegrown lemon basil and Greek oregano to taste. Sprinkle with goat cheese crumbled, if you have it. I also sauted a piece of salmon with olive oil, brandy, and more fresh cilantro, lemon dill, and oregano. I added a think piece of breakfast steak. These are also good with the dijon dressing. They could be sliced and served over the salad greens.

The rest of the meal was spaghetti drizzled with ground Italian pasta seasoning, Mzidthra cheese, and butter, fresh Italian potato bread, and assorted cheeses.

Dessert was jellow cake, which I make like this: one box white cake mix, follow directions, one small package strawberry or any flavor jello, prepare as directed. One box instant vanilla pudding. One container cool whip or other whipped topping. Prepare cake as directed, but mix in box of instant vanilla pudding. Bake cake in 13 x 9 inch rectangular pan. If directions call for baking cake for 35 minmutes at 35 degrees, carefully open oven at 20 mins., poke holes in cake, pour in jello dissovled, but not chilled, bake for remaining time. Remove and cool, then frost with cool whip. You may garnish with fruits, like blueberries and strawberries for an American flag cake, nuts, or sprinkles.

I also made sugar skulls for class, since we are studying the Day of the Dead. I got this recipe from About.com, Dia de Muertos or Day of the Dead.

My Black Velvet petunias are doing vine, as are the black holly hocks. The cana lily and others are thriving. We did our share of locating and rescuing fabulous finds this weekend,including two real wicker settees. My friend next door has one, and I the other. Having read what happened to the Augie books, I rescued a stack of books, vintage tins, and puzzles from some neighbors who kindly set them out after their yard sale. They will go to friends, students, and me. It was going to storm, and since I am my mother's true daughter, I could not let the books be destroyed in the rain.

I plan on recycling and repairing more dolls as well, and am slowly rearranging some displays. We never know where we will get inspiration.

Till later, Live Green and Prosper!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fat Robins and Black Flowers

The Fat Robin

Monday started with me seeing a Fat, very satisfied Robin at my door, with a fat worm in her mouth. You would have thought the week would have been prosperous, too, but it wasn’t. The best part was my friend Lori brining me real black flowers, black Holly Hocks, the Black Velvet Petunia, I really am the Black Dahlia, if only because my life is such a schizoid schism these days. But, the flowers are lovely. I have a purple Carpathian vine, and a candy striped geranium. The miniature gardens weathered the squirrels, too. Maybe we’ll make it.

My project this weekend is to make sugar skulls for class. We are doing Dia de Muertos early. Then, I’m trying to make the last corrections on my metal doll manuscript to get it to press.

My latest toy is a Keurig, a birthday present well-loved, and even deserved! It has organic coffees and teas, and cocoas, and is wonderful. It is my best toy, though I still love my instant and do a mean drip cup.

Life has not been good; I have been stuck in a very bad chapter, with no end. Very stream of consciousness. Maybe it will end. My writing and my books are my comfort and salvation; maybe they will be again.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

With Love from Tin Lizzie; A History of Metal Dolls, Metal Heads, and Automatons is Going to Print!

Below is a copy of my press release; much more later!

Dear Editors:

I am a long-time doll collector and doll author. Simply an FYI; my book on metal dolls will be going to print this week. It covers metal heads, all-metal dolls, ritual figures, automatons, and robots. This edition is more text than photos, the next edition will be a photo study. The title is With Love from Tin Lizzie; A History Metal Dolls, Metal Heads and Automatons. To the best of my knowledge, I can claim in good faith that this is the first book of its kind.

My first complete book on dolls is in print and will soon be on Amazon. It is called A Bibliography of Doll and Toy Sources, and contains BW photos and an introduction and index. The sources include books, all print sources, URL's, other electronic media including blogs, musical works, dramatic works, and artistic works. There are many sources covered never addressed before; I plan a second edition of this book as well.

There are sample chapters on my blog, Dr. E's Doll Museum, wwwdollmuseum.blogspot.com

Thank you.

Ellen M. Tsagaris

Monday, June 13, 2011

Samuel Pryor Doll Collection

This is the first piece in a series dedicated to great doll collections and collectors of the past. I would also like to cover in the future my friend, Mary Hillier, John Noble, Aunt Len's Doll Museum, Eleanor St. George and others. I would like to reference for this blog the December 1599 National Geographic which talked about Samuel F. Pryor's noted doll collection. Pryor was the vice president and assistant tohe prsident for Pan Am for some time. He was famous both as a man who collected dolls, and for his large collection of over 2500 dolls from 84 different countries. The article he wrote is classic, and I can't imagine its worth today. He had founded a National Doll Library Foundation, but in the early 80s, the collection was sold by Sotheby's when he died. I think Vogue did a feature story on the sale, and I have the issue in storage. At the end of his life, the colletion grew to 8000 dolls. Readers Digest also wrote aboutt he dolls. There is a good article about him on the site Historically Speaking, www.greenwichlibrary.org/blog/historically-speaking/2010/08/the-pryor-doll-collection.

What fascinates me about this article is the narrative about how we travelled all over the world, sometimes in obscure places, to find dolls. He also notes many other imortant male collectors including Eugene Field, Guy Mollet, former Premier of France, music critic Deems Taylor, a greek Ambassador, and a government scientist. He may have also bought Janet Pagter Johl's collection after her untimely death. Pryor discusses a set of fantastic puppets from the Bangkok's Thieves Market, and a 350 year old doll from Kamakura, Japan. There is a fantastic Samurai doll, complete with uniforms and swords and a descpription of a rare Leopard Man doll, fetish from a secret African society Mr. Pryor's son traded a Swiss knife for. The range of dolls Pryor describes is breathtaking, to say the least. On some occasions, eh let the dolls be exhibited at world fairs and at other museums. He finally retired to Hawaii. At one worlds fair, plans to exhibit the dolls fell through. The correspondence an documenation are online at www.worldsfaircommunity.ort/topic/4656-pryor-doll-collection-the-exhibit-that-wasnt.

Also, Pryor was a good friend of Charles Lindburgh, and they are both buried at the Palapala Ho'omau cemetery. You can see the graves and church at www.pbase.comgosilands/2003_08_30_kipahulu. Pryor's pet gibbons, six of them, are buried there, too. Pryor's son, Sam Pryor III has written a book about his father and his life. It is called Samule F. Pryor and Son. The family was originally from Greenwich, CT, and was known for giving some singular and eccentric Xmas cards, postmarked from places like Santa Claus, OH. Jr. writes that the doll collection came from his dad's love of people, a reason Anne Rice gives for loving dolls in Taltos. It's a good one.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Of Catalysts, Blogs, Terrariums, and Sunday Morning TV; Bring the Outside In

It is a beautiful, clear Sunday, after threats of being told that we would be deluged and inundated again with water, thunder, and lightening, this is a huge relief. I had the opportunity to visit a major University campus in the area yesterday, and to eat dinner at a religious colony founded 190 some years ago by German immigrants, similar to the mennonites and fans of communal living, but prospering in commercial endeavors of all types, especially large farming operations, applicance manufacturing later on, and winemaking. I visited a thrift shop run by the Mennonites with a SERV store in its center. I always find great artifacts and doll-related items there, and trip was no exception. I bought a Columbian doll, with no face, made of citrus peels and seed pods, with legs of heavy cord. She acts like a shelf sitter, and is very collorful. There was also a Marie Osmond special edition porcelain doll still in its box, only $5.00, and many nice pieces of vintage porcelain, including Capo di Monte and heavily enameled Italy ware.

I visited the local coop and picked up their free publication, Catalyst. Articles for the Summer 2011 issue include ICARE Pancake Breakfast Celebrates 25 years, "Meet Sweet Gift Orchard," "Garden Classes & Parties," "Eat LOCAL," " Shop on a Shoesring Budget," "The Local Dirt on MOSES" Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, and "Cooking Classes." The cooking classes are ethnic, and sound just fascinating.

The editors includ a column called "Don't Miss Out on the Good Stuff" where the staffers picke otu news on the Web they share on Twitter and Faceblook; some sites for this month are:

"Reversing Roles, Farmesrs Sue Monsanto over GMS Seeds." http://s.coop/15fv.

"The Last Days of the Low-Fat Diet Fad." http://s.coop/1640.

"Want to Feed the World? Technology isn't a Silver Bullet." [linking infrastructure to crop yields]. http://s.coop/15fy.

Compendium of Food Blog sites, featuring emerging food trends. [Maybe we can get on this!] www.tastespotting.com.

"Why Create Plantings that Mimic Nature?" by Fred Meyers. www.BackyardAbundance.org.

Also in the current issues are announments for a summer Sand in the City festival, where teams create large sand schulpture, and AMMA.org's sponsorship fo a lecure by spirtiual leader andhumanitaran Mata Amritanandamayi.

There are great classes at an organization called Earth Source Garden, which also features green garden parties, and a Summer Solstice celebration. Classes include Compst Management, Seed-Saving Parts I and II[a great ideas for those trying to grow the perfect gourd or pumpkin, and Culinary Herb Uses.

Great recipes, too: Cucumbert Salad, Cathy's 60th Birthday Potato Salad, Coweboy Caviar, Lacinato Kale with Cashew Butter and Habanero[rolled up like dolmathes], Spinach Artichoke Dip, Garlic Roasted Vegetables ithe Kale and Quinoa, Grass-fed Burgers, Deviled Eggs with Kalamata olvies, Blueberry or Mixed Beerry crisp. I will post some of these, and also try them and let you know how they work out!

The Article Sales on the Shelves Mean a Party in teh Pantry are great, here are some tips for saving money on groceries everhwere;

1. Pack your Pantry
2. Buy in Bulk
3. Shop the Sales. There is a deals flyer at http://s.coop/14gm.

Some of the food classes are just great, e.g.; Indian Butter Chicken Dinner, African Cooking with French Accent, French Baking, Hot Pepepr Fush, Summ White Wines, Facing Genetically Modified Organisms, GMOs, We Love Bacon, Julia Child's Beef Brourguignon, Hands-On Vegetarian Sushi Roll, It's Easy Being Green!

Check the site ofr allthis www.newpi.coop.

Shifting gears, Sunday Morning today covered blogs and terrariums. It's as if it were made for me, a little Serendipity! Terrariums date to the 1830s, the ivention of a naturalist named Natahaniel Ward, who acccidentally discovered plants could servivein a lcosed class container indefinitely with no watering. [All you Plath fans out there, are you thinking The Bell Jar!!!?] And, they were right, there was a boom in the 60s in 70s, and Mrs. Knox's first graders made several, and I did a couple in 7th grade. Miniaturists love them, and I am making modified versions with my miniature gardens today. I have a 12 x 12 inch patch of garden bed, encased in bricks, that is gard to cultivate. I had the miniature garden idea today, and nasty little Peters kids next door notwithstanding, I'm going to try it as a mini garden. I also use old pots, garden flats, Dutch Onions, bowls, etc., to create others. I love using mirrors as ponds and small stones and sculptures to populate them. The squirrels and a rogue racoon or two like to vandalize us, but too bad.

Other notes, now that we are through "picking trains" for the local Farnam dinner, I see trains everyhwere! I saw a very cute Halloween Train yesterday, and several wooden and mechanical ones here and there. This year's centerpieces will be chunks of limestone fossils, which is also very neat to me!



May be all be safe from more Tornadoes and disaster, and God Bless all those out East, in Missouri, and around the world who have been the vicitms of Floods, Tornaodes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis. May there be an end to all these for a long time. Midsummer, and my birthday approach. Celebrate by reading " Midsummer Night's Dream," or view one of the great films out there. Be safe, and respect Mother Earth. And above, all Forgive our Typos!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Green with Envy

May was not my month. I lost our little Opie, our 23+ eyar old cat, and he went very quickly. I was sick most of the month, very sick, and I nearly got divorced. Memorial Day, founded by Gen. John A. Logan of Carbondale area, Southern Illinois, has always been a disaster. We've had family deaths, illness, vandalism, arguments, you name it; the day is haunted, and this year was no exception. It's been very sad. So, I planted, and tried to live well, and cooked a little bit. I found a gorgeus hibiscus tree with pink blooms, and a vintage redware pot for it. My neighbor gifted me with phantom petunias, which are black with yellow stripes. She also brought an orange dahlia, planted in an orange tin pail, to sit on my vintage orange chair outside!

I have found lots of summer recipes, including one for avocado salad, which is simply sliced avocado, sliced tomato, olive oil, vinager, basil/oregano, and sliced onion combined and chilled.

Lately, I depend a lot on greens, and on simple recipes that require chilling. I feel my mother's sandwich loaf coming on, and some good egg salad and cheese salad sandwiches. I have spent a lot of time sitting outside, though my quasi-enbvironmentalist neighbor and his destructive kids are a pain. The littlest one is watering the cement, and then aiming the hose at the foundation of my house and basement windows. I could do without a water-filled basement, but if I tell his parents, I'll be verbally abused, and possibly assaulted, again. So much for the great prof and his wife. I can't understand the toxic emissions from his truck and formaldehyde pseudo wood he burns and pollutes us all with, let alonet he lighter fluid smell, yet he considers himself John Muir. I think not. The water they waste is enough to make any decent home gardner and recycler scream.

I could also do with coming home one night without those kids calling me names, and sticking their tongues out at me.

Well, my "green tip" for people like this is to ignore them, literally. They are phonies who thrive on attention, or, as I like to call them, "Ken and Barbie" on acid, though I love the real K and B. Ironically, all he has ever done to "converve" or play gardner is to cut down some really nice old cyprus trees and decidous trees on his property, as well as uproot a couple flower beds and some nice hostas. Go figure.

Enough said. Please view my other blogs. I'm intereseted in recipes for Kohlrabe, which I'm growing, and am looking for ideas for my large bottle gourds coming up. Happy Greening, and take heart!