Skip to content

Milkmaid Leaves House On Prairie, Scores Sunflower Wedding Cake

October 8, 2014

The Rumpus is an online magazine that publishes essays on eclectic subjects. They asked me to illustrate one called In My Clothes. In it, a woman looks back on her life, musing on what she was wearing at the time. You can read it here.

This is the third and final post on this assignment. The first referenced child movie star Shirley Temple, the second MTV video icon, Robert Palmer.

BlankVertSpace.4pixels

Certain lines will often conjure up ideas for me. This early memory, for example:

BlankVertSpace.8pixels

I touch my braids, wrapped around my head like a milkmaid. I feel silly.

And then there is my Little House on the Prairie dress. 

BlankVertSpace.8pixels

All the references to clothes in the essay made think of paper dolls. I may have gotten a little carried away with the braids. The milk can and cat bracket the main elements, and give the illustration some extra appeal.

blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

Paper doll set, little girl with rosy cheeks and big milkmaid braids hairdo standing next to old milk can and Little House On Prairie dress with bonnet and tabs, and kitten licking puddle of milk

blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

Here’s a detail image:

blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

detail image of Paper doll set, little girl with rosy cheeks and big milkmaid braids hairdo standing next to old milk can and Little House On Prairie dress with bonnet and tabs, and kitten licking puddle of milk

blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

Towards the end of the essay, the author writes:

BlankVertSpace.8pixels

I am forty-three, and I am getting married today… There is small cake from Wal-Mart with an orange sunflower on top… We eat bowls of fried rice in the living room and we say, I love you.

BlankVertSpace.8pixels

I knew there was a wonderful illustration in there as soon as I read the lines. I substituted a takeout box for the bowls of rice, because, for me, Chinese food is very much identified with those boxes. And little packets of soy sauce.

blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

Wedding cake with orange sunflower frosting, waxy takeout box of fried rice from Chinese restaurant, packet of soy sauce, chopsticks as man woman paper dolls with tuxedo, top hat, wedding dress and veil

blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

This illustration is a good example of how one’s subconscious mind continues to tinker with an idea even after you think it’s “settled.”

I had envisioned a pair of ordinary chopsticks, but as I roughed out the line drawing, it occurred to me that I could do something a lot more creative, which would also allow me to extend the paper doll motif.

Here’s a detail image:

blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

detail of Wedding cake with orange sunflower frosting, waxy takeout box of fried rice from Chinese restaurant, packet of soy sauce, chopsticks as man woman paper dolls with tuxedo, top hat, wedding dress and veil

blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

    *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

We all have vivid memories of certain events. Do you have any where you can remember exactly what you were wearing?

Did anybody play with paper dolls when they were young? I remember seeing paper doll outfits in comic books. They’d be credited to the readers who sent them in. Were you one of those budding fashion designers?

Has anyone ever eaten sunflower cake? Do the little seeds get stuck in your teeth??

Hope you’ll leave a comment.

blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

If you enjoyed this post, please click the Like button below.

If you’d like to share this post with others, please click Tweet or Facebook or StumbleUpon or one of the other Share buttons.

I also invite you to get updates. Just click the Get Updates button in the sidebar below the Portfolio Thumbnails, or click + Follow in the blog menu bar.

blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

BlankVertSpace.8pixels

Forgotten Hero: A Tribute To Baseball’s Roger Maris

Draw A Rough Sketch First: It’s The Thinker Thing To Do!!

That Horse Coulda Been A Contender!

blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

footer for all future blog posts showing picture of blog author Mark Armstrong, along with short bio and contact information

blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

blank vertical space, 40 pixels high

blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

It’s Hard To Pick Apples In An Enchanted Orchard

September 29, 2014

Fall in New England– the most glorious time of year. Here in southern New Hampshire, we’re enjoying warm days, cool nights, and starting to see some color in the trees.

One of my favorite fall activities is picking apples. Another is eating apple crisp and apple pie.

We have a lot orchards in this part of state. You can buy apples ready-picked, or grab a bag and pick your own.

It’s time to bring back Busker, everyone’s favorite street musician. Today he gives his saxophone a rest, and goes in search of apples. Naturally, there are complications…

blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Apple walking along, learning magic tricks by reading book called The Art Of Illusion

 

Busker saxophone playing street musician walking along carrying empty sack passing sign that says Pick Your Own Apples

 

Busker the street musician with sack looking up at apple tree which has no apples looks like it's been picked clean

 

Busker street musician walking away looking disgusted, apple peeks out at him from behind apple tree

blank vertical space, 40 pixels high

apple snaps his fingers and dozens of apples appear on tree, magic spell had made them invisible

blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

Most area orchards have a shop where you can buy refreshments and local crafts. Some have play areas and farm animals for kids. And some are “event centers,” with outdoor wedding sites and reception halls.

My favorite orchard? Norway Hill in nearby Hancock, NH. They have fresh air, a great view, and a little farm stand where you can buy… apples.

blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

Norway Hill Orchard in Hancock, New Hampshire where you can buy ready picked apples or go out and pick your own apples

blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

    *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Have you ever gone apple picking? Ever fallen out of a tree while you were at it??

Do you think apples taste better if you have to work for them?

Do you have any fall rituals you’d care to share? Besides eating candy corn, I mean.

Hope you’ll leave a comment.

blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

If you enjoyed this post, please click the Like button below.

If you’d like to share this post with others, please click Tweet or Facebook or StumbleUpon or one of the other Share buttons.

I also invite you to get updates. Just click the Get Updates button in the sidebar below the Portfolio Thumbnails, or click + Follow in the blog menu bar.

blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

BlankVertSpace.8pixels

How To Make An Apple Walk The Plank

Chocolate, Caramel Apples, And A Few Photoshop Tips

Courtroom Fun With Plywood, Chairs, Apples & Security Cameras Gone Wild!

blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

footer for all future blog posts showing picture of blog author Mark Armstrong, along with short bio and contact information

blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

blank vertical space, 40 pixels high

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,898 other followers