Monday, August 07, 2006

Do It Myself-Ing

Never let it be said that I do not care for store-bought chips. In fact, there is a special place reserved in my heart for Reduced Fat Ruffles. But today I baked my own snacky chips, and if you don't mind my saying so, they were a whole lot of yummy.

This was a riff on a Martha Stewart recipe, I believe. I brushed corn tortillas with melted butter and spices (turmeric, cumin, la de da), sprinkled them liberally with parmesan cheese, and slid them into the oven. After five minutes, the aroma floated upstairs where the girls were playing, and before I could even taste one of my crunchy creations, they had elephant-stomped their way down the stairs, and then absconded with the pink plate. So maybe I shouldn't have taken the time to snap this particular picture. Because then, of course, I had to make a whole new batch. But at least I didn't have to share.

Okay, I'm a little shy about showing this next thing because it's not like my usual corny splurts of craftiness (valentine flower lollipops, spooky halloween tree branches festooned with goody bags, paper wallets and whatnot). You may remember that I started down my current crafty path because I was having a difficult time making progress on a story I'm writing. It has at its center a photograph taken of Filipinas (in the Philippines) during the 30s. Anyways, I set the story aside. I cooked a lot, I wrote a bunch of journal entries, I bought stuff to put together a photo album for the girls, and did other crafty/homestead stuff. Eventually, I ended up altering this image of two brothers from the island of Sulu (southern Philippines), the one on the left being—in case you can't see—a dwarf. His name was Panglima Diki Diki; his brother isn't named.

Like many of the photographs taken during the colonial era, this one has always bothered me—in the sense that I am both attracted and repelled by it—because, I suppose, of what others have already described as the act of putting Filipinos on "display," an act with implications that I often think about and which, not so coincidentally, my protagonist was grappling with in the story that had stalled on me.

Oh, geez, are you still awake?

Anyways, once I'd altered the image, it no longer bothered me. And I realized that it was because I had, in a sense, reclaimed it for myself. Which I think is what the character in my story must figure out how to do, whether literally or metaphorically or whatever, with the photograph in the story. A story which I can now...ta-da...write!


Gladys said...

ver. this alteration is brill. wow.

KMRL said...

I'd like some chips, too, please!

Congrats on the breakthrough! Is there anything you can't do?! :)

barbara jane said...

ms. ver, yeah this is a great image. it'd be great to incorporate it somehow into your writing.

or not. just thinking out loud.

i am glad to hear it has helped you continue to write.

kuya said...

did you do that in photoshop? when did you learn photoshop???? Stop keeping secrets all the time.

ver said...

Hey, thanks you guys. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the process. I'll probably do another one if I hit another writing slump!

Kuya, are you talking about the chips or the altered image? Hahahahhaa! Anyways, I don't have Photoshop! I used watercolor, pastels, some gold leaf, some old text I found, a stamp, a rub-on, and some salt. And some VERY tiny, sharp scissors to cut out the image!! It was really fun...

weez said...

You're moving from crafty too artsy. Maybe you could strive for this or (more scary) this. (Both are Rauchenbergs).

Or if this is where you're headed you go for self-illustration a la Griffin and Sabine.

Most importantly,

I made the chips.
And they were good.

ver said...

Okay, that piece with the ram is freaking me out. I do have a soft spot for Griffin & Sabine. That makes me kind of corny, I know.

But most importantly,

You made the chips.
And they are gone.