Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What a Trifle and Craftbombing Felt Butterflies in the Winter Snow

HAH! Can you believe I won FIRST place for my trifle at the bake off at the Yellow Springs Arts Council. Thank you ever SO MUCH, what a hoot eh! They are super easy to make and very tasty, although I skipped the sherry for the bake off just in case any youngsters were attending. 

Sherry, Pound Cake, Raspberry Jam, Mandarin Oranges, Orange Jello, Birds English Custard Powder, Whole Milk, Whipped Topping, Sprinkles

Slice pound cake into thin slices. Spread jam between two slices and then cut into chunks. Put 2 or three small chunks in bottom of desert dish or clear 8oz cups and sprinkle a little cream sherry on top. Let soak for a wee bit. Top with a few mandarin oranges and then put in a layer of jello. After jello is set, pour on a layer of custard and let set. Before serving add a layer of preferred whipped topping and then add sprinkles. 
That's it.

Here are some yummy variations or a classic.


Winter Wonderland in Yellow Springs
and the felt butterflies look so pretty.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Jafagirl Christmas Cookie Caper

It was the day before the Holiday Bake Off. Grandma Deal's Special Cookie Recipe lay on the counter,  spotted with the doughs of Christmas past. I preheat the oven to 350 degrees and turn on the Christmas carols.

At 10 am Corrine arrives at my house. By 11 we had had our tea and chatted about art and everything else. Finally, I said “I guess we better bake.”

Corrine had bought butterfly cookie cutters. We planned to ice the butterflies blue, and they would have black-piped bodies and tiny candy silver balls for eyes. We had a vision of a tray of beautiful blue butterflies winning first place at the bake off.

 The dough was chilled, all night chilled, it takes a lot of muscle to roll all night chilled dough.  Nancy is looking forward to Corrine  doing it. Corrine gives it a try and says “I'll cut the cookies, you roll.” Nancy stares at the dough. “What are these brown spots?”  Gotta be nutmeg that didn't get mixed in enough.  Well... it doesn't look too bad.

We do the bottom rumba, it is not a 2two-butt space. We bump into each other and reach over each other, as one rolls or adds dough and one reaches for flour to keep things from sticking, and we both want the spatula, and the other  lifts off the cookies, and puts them on trays. “Would you like to live in a Harem?” I ask, and Corrine says no they mostly plotted and wanted to kill each other.  Hmmmm.

Corrine was unloading her shopping bag.  She had bought the blue and black icing colors we needed and a neat little packet with a brand new icing bag with instructions, when she froze, holding one of the little containers, and  said, “Green?” 
  Luckily I had a blue in the cupboard.
Then came the discussion of water in the icing. “It has to be thin,” says Corrine.  Hmm. Mine always has butter and milk.  It's fat.  She whipped out her phone, and looked it up. The instructions didn't say use water, and didn't say use butter.  Glycerin? We used water.  Corrine assured me she'd always used water.  And it would make it smooth.  We'd pour it on.

Corrine asks, “Is it okay if they are this close on the baking  tray?” 

“Sure,” I confidently say as I nudge one a little farther away.

When we were ready to  bake our first tray, I can't find the recipe.  Where did I put Grandma Deal's special recipe that I have used for 30 years and never made a copy of and no one else has?

Oh well, I'll find it later, I'll guess how long the cookies should bake.

“Wow, they are all puffed up,” Corrine says.  But they sink in a minute. I don't say anything as I cut the blobs apart to put on the rack to cool.
I find my recipe in the living room.  That's when I notice that the temperature was supposed to be 400 degrees.
 I turn the oven up.
By the time we get to that last sheet of cookies to bake, they look pretty good.
Corrine is ready to test the icing. “I need a rack, so the icing can be poured over them.”  I only have one rack.  It's got hot cookies on it.  For 30 years I've thought of getting a second rack.  Maybe I will tomorrow.

She pours, and then looks at it. It's not exactly beautiful. “I think I need to test another one.”
After a tray full of testing, some with knives, some with fingers (Corrine, you've got to wash your hands now) and a very large pool of blue, watery icing on the counter, she says, “This isn't working.” 

And gets on with opening the piping bag.  Maybe we can pipe them.  But there is only one bag.  How do you put it together?  After futzing with it, I ask, “Have you read the directions?” 

(I honestly didn't think I would need to, I mean how hard can it be)

So she reads them out loud.  And neither of us understand them.  But I take over, sure I can figure it out.  I will read the whole directions.  Half way through, I realize I can't understand them either, and start at the top again. Still don't understand, stop reading, give up on using the twisty part that keeps it neatly on the bag, and start cutting off the top of the bag, and drop in the pointy nozzle.  And Corrine starts scooping in black icing.

After carefully making some swirls on a blue iced cookie for a body and long curly feelers, Corrine says, “This is ugly, they look like Fallopian tubes” And we give up. 

“Corrine,” I say, “you need to take pictures! I want a picture of your face the way it looked when you tried a bite of cookie.”

As I start to wash up the huge mess we have made, Corrine kicks into artist gear, and uses the piping bag to decorate the not iced cookies with smiley faces ,and frowny faces, and  heartfelt words, and finally says to me “'look at this one.”

It says “Fuck” in beautifully piped black icing. Nope.  I don't think we can bring that one to the bake off.

Instead,  in the morning, Corrine will make trifles, which she makes every Christmas. She makes them very well. By herself.  Nancy BOUGHT the supplies.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Craftbombing With Felt on a Winter's Day

Honestly I don't know why but one morning I wake up and decide I MUST, absolutely MUST, make yellow felt butterflies and stick them up on a pole in town. That's how it works with us sometimes.  An idea bursts forth and BOOM done within a day or two. Other times we have ideas percolating for weeks or months and nowt happens and then BOOM! OR NOWT happens. Anyway, weather is getting grotty and we thought these would 
brighten up the grey days of winter.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Yarnbombing for the Art Show and Salem Avenue Peace Corridor

It was a glorious day in Dayton and after our tour at the PBS station we all piled into the van and headed down to the corner of Salem Avenue and W Riverview Ave.
Ode to Kehinde Wiley
Ann Rotolante Producer at  The Art Show
Originally Nancy and I were only going to do one installation with the blue butterflies but we decided to do three. Jule and Treva were there to greet us and we thought it would be great if Jule Rastikis installed the butterflies for the Salem Avenue Peace Corridor seeing as he is the president. Don't you love Ann's hair, matches our butterflies. 
One of the most fun parts of doing installations like this is the reaction of people walking by and we got hugs from two people who LOVED the butterflies.  We attached them (err, the butterflies not the two people) to a thin mesh and when the wind blows, and boy does it blow on that corner, they flutter which makes them even more cool.
This is Tiki
who was happy to get one of the butterflies.
Nancy is installing the third craftbomb with Richard the Cameraman aka sweetpea getting an  such an extreme close up I thought the camera would swallow her up. 
To learn a little about the Salem Avenue Peace Corridor check out the video.

and their facebook page.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Art Show Shenanigans at PBS Dayton

HAH! before we headed out to install the yarnbombs/craftbombs for the Salem Avenue Peace Corridor Nancy and I got to have a tour of the PBS station downtown. I was channeling Morcambe and Wise and Austina Powers, NOT sure what or who Nancy was channeling ;)
Nancy with the Art Show Producer Anne Rotolante
I love how Big Bird is looking at them
as if to say
you crazy birds

Sunday, November 6, 2016

6 Minutes of Fame on the Art Show

Well not quite because it hasn't aired yet BUT the crew from ThinkTV Art Show came out to Yellow Springs to film us.

The Art Show | On Air | ThinkTV

The greater Dayton area is home to a strong, vibrant and thriving arts and cultural community. The Art Show takes a look at the artists and the art scene in and around Dayton. The weekly series presents profiles and features from the worlds of music, theater, dance and art in the Miami Valley along with national arts and cultural highlights.
 They arrived at 8:30am and I must say Richard the Cameraman, John the Sound Guy and Ann Rotolante the Producer made it all very easy
 despite our trepidation. I subjected them to marmite which they graciously ate  without flinching, I was IMPRESSED.
 I did get a bit of the "stink eye" from Richard for taking his pic, like me he prefers to be BEHIND the camera, sorry ;)
9 hours later after filming us at my house, then at Nancy's house and getting a shot of  
mr.plato they were gone.
Nancy and I were plunged back to reality and our normal life of plotting our next move on the arts council fence, tasks for the holiday art jumble, the permanent collection event at Anitoch Midwest, and what day to finish the butterfly piece for the Salem Avenue Peace Corridor installation which will be the final filming done by the Art Show.
Thanks guys
 It was such a pleasure to meet you and work with you. 

I believe it will air in January.
cheers all

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Fence Painting in Yellow Springs

The Yellow  Springs Arts Council has a fabulous wee gallery  located on Corry Street but it's set back off the street and people often don't notice it. Nancy has been itching to paint the fence to the left of the gallery for years with something eyecatching. We finally got around to it and it's definitely eye catching and most definately out of my comfort zone colourwise. But we work with what we have and thanks to a dear donor (you know who you are ♥) we were able to buy primer and black/white paint.  
 So for several days with have been busting our backsides trying to get this done before the weather get's too cold, This is the fence halfway done, and I think it's definitely  Eye catching, right?
I don't think anyone can walk past the arts council and NOT notice this,lol!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Painted Acorns

I have been gone a month, but I don't think Nancy had time to miss me. Apart from the usual Arts Council gallery activities, she was setting up paint a rock at Street Fair, and planning for the upcoming Yellow Springs Open Studio Tour this coming weekend.  Our very own jafapal Talitha Greene will be part of the Open Studio Tour listed on the interactive map HERE


in between it all Nancy managed to have some fun painting acorns with her paint pens. 
I didn't manage to get any art done while away, but I did get a lot of pics of my travels in Arizona posted on Instagram.

Corrine Bayraktaroglu (@jafabrit) * Instagram photos and videos

I 📷 things - I 🎨 things - I sew things ❤️ - I ✏️ things -This is my life Jafagirls.com

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Week SIX: Jafagirl Residency at Dayton Metro Library Northwest Branch

This was our FINAL week of our residency and what a fabulous experience it's been for so many reasons. We even managed to add two more installations on the spur of the moment, on the fly so to speak. We installed this stripey creature on a pole in the children's section on Tuesday and added some of the left over felt flowers some of the patrons made. On Friday we got it into our heads that the pole near the front entrance needed dots, although we did add one square at the suggestion of one of the Library Volunteers ♥ A fab suggestion that made our day and made the pole extra special. 
felt art, craftbombing
The stones and paint pens continued to be popular although some patrons enjoyed trying the crazy felting. The biggest kick for us, and the most exciting, was seeing the spark of inspiration in patrons exploring the 
possibilities of what they could use and do beyond what we were showing. 
Can't go without mentioning the absolutely brilliant send off song from Branch Manager Sharon Taste, as we were packed and ready to leave. So glad we had this time together too.

Nancy & Corrine

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Week FIVE:Jafagirl Residency at Dayton Metro Library Northwest Branch

Sticks and Stones
We had a few people lining up to get into the Opportunity Room this week and what FUN. Our Sticks and Stones sessions were really popular. Patrons as young as 4 were getting into it and we were packed the whole session.
Some of the stones were just adorable.
Hey, we got to PLAY too.
Many patrons got into the spirit of things and went wild decorating spirit sticks.

On our studio time we installed the flower power panel to the post and then got into
the finishing details, adding more flowers over the seam, and an embroidered sign.
The installations are permanent and belong to the library, so people can continue to enjoy them as long as the library wishes to keep them up. A few more tweaks and stitches and we will be done. 

PS. if you have any questions about our projects please don't hesitate to contact us via our contact form to the right.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Week FOUR: Jafagirl Residency at Dayton Metro Library Northwest Branch

The Opportunity Room at the Library became the Meditation Room this week. 
There is something very soothing and meditative about wrapping yarn around a stick. The Harry Lauder sticks seemed popular with adults and children alike and kept even the younger patrons engaged. It was a delight
to sit and chat with several patrons and share stories. Vicky spent more than an hour
with us and delighted us with stories about some of her craft projects. One patron said she was going to add stones to several of the sticks and display them in a basket. There are many ways I have used mine, either spray painted and hung on the wall
to hang art from 
or use for an art photograph to frame
As part of our residency we also gave a talk/slide show and we were just delighted to meet, Jule Rastikis, the President of Board of Directors for the Salem Avenue Peace Corridor. We had contacted them about an idea for their Peace Project, and we are happy that they like it. 

History of the Peace Corridor

Inception and history of the Salem Avenue Peace Corridor

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Week THREE: Jafagirl Residency at Dayton Metro Library Northwest Branch

Let's just call it what it was;  MAYHEM on 

Tuesday evening, or wait was it Wednesday? It's all become a blur lol! BUT it was GLUE MAYHEM I tell you, MAYHEM! 
Tip: Don't give small children glue bottles
The creativity room was packed, but out of the Glue Mayhem we got some happy patrons and some lovely flowers. So it was all good. 
This was the last week of working on felt flowers so Nancy and I were able to start assembling them. No master plan on how to assemble, so we just winged it. Senior Patron Library Assistant Linda Jackson felt the power of the flower and popped in to give us a hand. Here is a sneak peek of the panel which will be installed on one of the posts in the library. 
felt craft
We did manage to get the blue felt butterflies up this week, yay!
felt crafts
Next week it's yarn wrapping Harry Lauder Sticks and making knit twits.
"Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try" - Dr. Seuss

Friday, August 19, 2016

Mr.Plato and Wheelchair Accessibility Map AXS by Jason DaSilva

felt craft activism
Mr.Plato is hanging out in the Dayton Metro Library Northwest Branch but he is not just a PRETTY face, he has a message for those who rely on a wheelchair to get around. 

Disabled? There's (more than one) app for that.

Jason DaSilva said after he developed multiple sclerosis about 10 years ago, getting out got more complicated. "There were times that I was finding it impossible just to go out and meet a friend at a bar, or have a date," he said, speaking in his apartment in Queens, New York.
Here is a link to the AXS map. The app is free and easy to use, easy to input info onto so you can let others know if a place is accessible. 

community craft activism
Hanging out at the Little Art Theatre
About Mr.Plato
 He is a resuscitation mannequin I picked up at a garage sale in 2009. I drove by Nancy's to show her and as I was driving away she chased after the car waving frantically to stop me. I stopped and she said excitedly "let's FELT him".  He was stretched out on Nancy's dining table for 3 months as we worked on him. Originally we were hoping to use him as part of a street installation but that didn't work out. For a while we played a game of hide and seek and would leave him in various locations around Yellow Springs and then give clues to the public on our blog to his whereabouts. Alas he got kicked out of the Little Art after a couple of weeks because he scared the patrons ;) We also take him on little trips.
wheelchair AXS map info

Pop into the library and say Hello.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation"  Plato

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Week TWO: Jafagirl Residency at Dayton Metro Library Northwest Branch

Charlie with her Flower 
Residency Notes: Week two and we were are not quite as exhausted. We are finding we have to rethink some of our public drop in project ideas after the flower making session is done as they seem rather ambitious given the time constraints as well as age diversity of our drop in library patrons. Our next challenge is trying to figure out how to install the felt flowers in a cohesive way given the different styles and colours. 
On the way out to put up the felt butterflies up in the children's outdoor area we pass the children's reading area. It stopped me in my tracks it's so beautiful and heck do we have to be a kid to sit in this area.  lol. 

WE also installed a rather large plaster cast nose on the wall, the theme being 
"get your nose stuck in a book". 
we finished putting up the felt cafe installation meant to complement Virginia Kistler's gorgeous Ceiling Installation.
 For more info about the library and events, and our open studio times please visit the link below.

Northwest Branch Library

The first step in making the Northwest Library a reality began with conversations with the Library patrons, neighbors and neighborhood groups, and partners including the Phoenix Group, Salem Avenue Business District, and Dayton Public Schools. The shared vision was a 21st century facility that would be a neighborhood anchor and greater Dayton destination, celebrating the site's rich history.