Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

No, that's not Pepe cheating on Eloisa, that's his brother Emilio toasting the New Year with his lady friend.  They have been working very hard as hand models for my new Etsy store -- check out the store widget on the right side of this page.  I was shooting stills for my salt dough tutorials yesterday and decided that since I had so much salt dough food left over, I would fulfill the last of my 2011 resolutions by selling the surplus on Etsy.  I'm kicking off the grand opening of the store with an after Christmas sale price on the Christmas cookies featured in "Beulah's Boogie:  Part 2" but hurry, I only have one of these for sale.  Salt dough items are small so if your dolls are hungry, I will combine shipping on multiple orders.  See you in 2012 with more tutorials, more photo stories, and more fun.

Wishing you all peace and prosperity throughout the New Year!

À Bientôt

Friday, December 23, 2011

Beulah's Boogie: Part 2

    “Ho!  Ho!  Ho!  Here’s one of Santa’s elves bringing you some hot chocolate and Christmas cheer,” said Beulah Knapp, barging into her daughter’s bedroom. 

“Just put it down on the vanity,” said Cynthia.  “I don’t want any right now.” 

  “You don’t want any hot chocolate?  Or you don’t want any Christmas cheer?”

“It just doesn’t feel like Christmas without Daddy.” 

    “I know sweetheart.  It’s been six months and I still expect to see him puffing on that nasty pipe every time I walk through the den"

"but he wouldn’t want us to spend our whole lives moping just because the Maker called him home."

"During the war his best friend from flight school in Tuskeegee was shot down over Limosa, but it only made him more determined to keep fighting to make liberty and justice a reality for all."

"He was counting on you to carry on that fight for freedom."

"How will you make it to law school and become the first black woman on the Supreme Court if you flunk out of college in your first semester?  -- which, by the way, the dean called to tell me you are in danger of doing.” 

“I’m sorry Mama.  I miss Daddy so much I just can’t concentrate.” 

    “It’s been hard for me too, baby.  That man was the light of my life…” 

  “Tell me the story about how you met Daddy again.  All my friends think it’s the most romantic thing they’ve ever heard.” 

  “Well, in November of 1946 when I was a freshman at Hampton, my steady was pledging Alpha Phi Alpha so he escorted me to the Alphas' Harvest Hop."

"Stanley wasn’t much of a dancer"

"but he indulged me because he knew how much I loved to cut a rug.  I liked the up tempo numbers"

"but Stanley liked the slow ballads."

     "After a few songs Stanley went to find some refreshments."

"I appreciated the gentlemanly courtesy, but the music was so good I couldn’t help but tap my feet while waiting for him to come back."
     "Next thing I knew, a bold stranger had taken hold of my hand."

“May I have this dance?” he asked.

“I opened my mouth to tell him I was waiting for my date,"

"but he looked like a sepia Clark Gable and I couldn’t resist when he pulled me onto the floor.”

     "His lead was masterful, but tender."

"He was so debonair and sophisticated I could tell he was one of the older veterans finishing his degree on the G.I. Bill.  He swept my feet off the floor and swung me over his right side"

"then around to his left."

"All I could do was hang on,"

"but he was so strong and gentle, I knew he wouldn’t drop me even though he just about mopped the floor with me that night." 

    "He slid me down in between his legs,"

"stepped around,"

"and then lifted me back up onto my feet."

"I thought I was home free, but then he wrung the dishrag with me,"

"clasped my wrists,"

hoisted me up onto his broad back,"

"and flipped me over his head!"

     "Twenty years later when we saw Stanley at a Hampton alumni event, he had a successful company, a wife, and five kids but he was still complaining about how “Those G.I.s took all the girls.”

     "By the time my feet touched the ground again I was head over heels for Mr. Nassau Knapp and when he said ‘I want to see you again,’ I forgot all about Stanley Morton!"

  “We eloped and got married at the courthouse in Baltimore a few days before Knapp graduated from Hampton that May."  

"I transferred to Howard so I could be with him while he completed his law degree there.  We graduated with the class of 1950 and a few months later, we were blessed with a beautiful little girl named Cynthia Taliaferro Knapp who used to get mad as blazes when her daddy would sneak and eat the cookies she left for Santa Claus."

    “Yeah.  I didn’t know he was Santa Claus.” 

  “Well he still is.  He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows when you’ve been cutting class so buckle down and study for goodness sake!” 

  “Oh Mama!  I’ll do better, I promise.  I'll make Daddy proud."

Happy Holidays to all!

I could have sworn I uploaded the "Updo Twists" tutorial several weeks ago but it's not on my You Tube channel so here is a short documentary on the "Hairstyle for Safety" that inspired it:

À Bientôt

Friday, December 16, 2011

Beulah's Boogie: Part 1

    “Our children won’t have to ride in the Jim Crow car,” Nassau Knapp promised his new bride.  

“They won’t have to bring shoe boxes full of cold, greasy chicken on the train or eat behind a screen in the dining car."

"Our children will ride the freedom train. "

   “That’s why I signed up to train as a fighter pilot down in Tuskegee."

"My people have been free and settled in Massachusetts since the Revolutionary War."

"I had never been south of the Mason-Dixon line before,"

"and some of the cracker officers we had didn’t want to see Negroes flying airplanes."


"We sure showed them!"




"…every time I flew into battle I thought I would die,"

"but I swore that if I made it back alive I would keep fighting until liberty and justice for all was a reality on the home front as well as abroad."

   “I know you’re young, Beulah."

"I should have asked your father’s blessing before I carried you off like this."

"I should have given you the time to plan the big, beautiful wedding every girl dreams of."

"I should have waited for you to finish your education, but you seemed pretty fond of that clown you were dating when I met you and I couldn’t take the chance the he or some other fellow would snap you up."

   “I love you so much, Beulah -- I need you so much."

"Thank you for doing me the honor of becoming my wife.”

To be continued...

Here is a sneak preview of meals i'll be making in upcoming tutorials: 

Most will feature healthier foods, but sixty years ago people didn't know that the traditonal "country breakfast" was full of artery-clogging cholesterol and carcinogenic nitrites so Nassau ordered an omelet, sausage patties, and a hot biscuit with butter and jam while Beulah ordered a sunny-side up egg, two strips of bacon, and toast with jam.  This story has at least two more installments so stay tuned to find out how Beulah and Nassau met and to see the tutorial on making the updo twists wig Beulah is wearing.

À Bientôt