Monthly Archives: November 2007

My weekly ScamSpam

Dear Katie,

I’m Mary. Landry, I came across your work at , I am interested in the purchase of your arts to beautify our new home, we are moving from our canadian home to Ukraine in a couple of weeks.

What is the price of the art below excluding the shipping cost?

(1) The Wind in my Sails
oil painting on canvas
18 x 18 inches

(2) Abracadabra
oil painting on canvas
40 x 40 inches

On the payment, I would be glad to pay you with a Personal Cheque, because this method of payment is instant cashable.

Please do not hesitate to contact me on how we can proceed.

Best regards,
Mary Landry.

How exciting. Will you pay about eight hundred over on the shipping, then ask me to reimburse you?

Last time you had different last name and needed to beautify your new home in London.

My question- why don’t you try to vary and personalize these emails a little more? My suspicions are aroused when the wording is so similar from one email to the next. But this detail was a new twist, and most interesting to me- through sleight of punctuation, you seem to have turned your last name into an adverb at the beginning of your letter.

My favorite related story here, on 419 Eater.

Four ATCs

Each measures 2.5 x 3.5 inches. Theme for this month was “Africa.” Persistent strep infection leaves me uninspired. May be brighter later.

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Mimsey Bird

Cold finished (in other words, painted) ceramic, roughly 16″ x 8″. I like to use fired clay as a painting surface. This piece has a lot of lines incised into the clay before firing. Also made for the show, “Draw the Line.”

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Two Fish that Pass in the Night

This one isn’t as small a work as those previously posted, but it is new. I needed to create something for the group show, “Draw the Line,” hence this 14″ x 11″ scratchboard. I made a cold-finished ceramic bird with incised line work for the same show. Will post that tomorrow.

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Sono Pazza

Drawing and collage on paper, 5″ x 7″.

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Mixed media on old bookcover.
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Lefse Recipe

It all starts with leftover mashed potatoes. Real mashed potatoes, not that awful dehydrated stuff. The mashed potatoes need to be yummy in the first place- plenty of butter, milk and salt. Make sure your leftover mashed potatoes are COLD. If you try to make lefse with hot or even warm potatoes you’ll just get a gluteny mess. If you’ve made the potatoes kind of lumpy, you’d do well to run them through a food processor or a blender before trying to make lefse with them.

Measure your leftover mashed potatoes. You’ll add half as much flour as potatoes. I.e., if you have six cups of potatoes, add three cups of flour. Mix this up well with your hands until you have a soft dough. It should be a bit sticky. Now make golf-ball sized balls from the dough and roll each one out thinly on a well floured surface, turning a couple of times during the rolling. You should have a circle about eight inches in diameter. It looks a lot like a tortilla. You’ll have to keep sprinkling in more flour as you roll the lefse and it keeps absorbing flour.

Cook each piece on a hot, ungreased griddle (or an electric frying pan works well) for 30 seconds to one minute per side, till small brown spots appear. If it’s taking longer than this for the spots to appear, turn the heat up. Do not overcook the lefse- it may resemble a tortilla superficially but should remain soft and supple, more moist than dry.

Cool the lefse in single layers- don’t stack it while it’s warm! Once it’s cool, you can store it by stacking each piece with a piece of waxed paper in between. Should keep at room temperature for at least forty-eight hours, but I’ve never seen it go uneaten for that long. If it’s going to be longer than that, you can keep it in the refrigerator for about a week but that will dry it out a bit. Lefse freezes very well.

To eat your lefse: Our favorite is spreading it with butter and rolling it up into a tube. My grandparents liked to eat it with butter and a sprinkling of sugar. It’s a Scandinavian tradition to eat lefse with Lutefisk (cod soaked in lye, yuck!) on Christmas Eve. It’s also good as a wrapping for cheese, smoked fish, or leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

Lefse plays a starring role in my favorite Ole and Lena joke- this particular version comes from Byflist at Blogspot (Thank you!)

Old Ole was in bed dying. Downstairs he could hear Lena rattling pots and pans. Pretty soon he could smell the sweet smell of potato lefse wafting up from downstairs. And Ole thought, “Oh, my darling Lena, she’s making me potato lefse for my last meal before I pass on.”

Ole could hardly wait as the smell kept getting stronger and stronger. But Lena, she never came upstairs, even though Ole thought the lefse should be ready by now. So, with the last of his strength, old Ole rolled outta bed. He crawled across the bedroom floor. He crawled down the stairs, real careful. He crawled across the parlor floor. He could see Lena’s skirt swishin’ by the stove.

Old Ole was nearly delirious by now, so he made his way across the kitchen floor and started clawing his way up the stove. But Lena slapped his hand with a spoon and said:

“Ole! That’s for the funeral!”

(Thanks to Catherine Jensen)


5″ x 7″ collage
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Applied Physiology – Advanced

Paint and mixed media on old book cover, 5″ x 7″.
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Detail of the painting:
Applied Physiology

The Importance of Serenity

lobotomyscanThis image from a disintegrating 1951 psychology text ambushed me while I was scrounging for collage material.
The before and after pics wouldn’t seem out of place in some ancient ad for a beauty treatment.
I dreamt about this possibly long-dead woman last night and think I may need to paint something about her to exorcise her.
I know lobotomies aren’t performed anymore, but it does make me think that with the plethora of antidepressants being prescribed to the worried well, something basic hasn’t really changed here.

Is being anxious and self-conscious really so bad? It’s a basic part of who I’ve always been. And what’s so great about serenity?

From the text: “Without seriously reducing intelligence, as measured by standard tests, the operation usually leaves a person less anxious, less self-conscious and more serene.”