I flew back to California on Wednesday, and promptly collapsed into bed and mostly slept for two days. After that I came down with a cold, which (fortunately!) has remained a mild one – probably because I’ve continued to spend most of my time sleeping. So not much has happened in the past week, beyond physical recovery.
Something had better start happening soon, though, as I have 13 days left to make about 90 pounds of chocolate. I can’t change the date of Chocopalooza because I have typically two helpers over Thanksgiving weekend, at least one of whom works full-time and therefore wouldn’t be able to make it if I shifted the date. I also promised my charity donors I’d ship November 30, though that is less of an issue. So during my limited waking hours, I’ve been doing various bits of chocolate-making preparation. I’ve painted the red and gold backgrounds for all the chocolate transfer sheets (which are used like decals to decorate the top of each chocolate), and cut the pieces of freezer paper that will go between the layers of bonbons. I still need to cut up the transfer sheets, a laborious process. Each sheet must be cut individually into 70-80 pieces, then sorted into ten piles, one for each different image on the sheet. There are 45 transfer sheets to cut, so cutting and sorting can take an entire day.
Why am I doing this if it’s so laborious? Because the hand-painted, slightly shimmery backgrounds look wonderful. And it’s fun painting the transfer sheets, even if cutting them up is tedious. I like making chocolates that are as beautiful as they are tasty.
Today the cold seems to have mostly gone away (knock on wood!), so I’ll start making chocolates. On deck for today are cinnamon honey caramels, coffee cardamom caramels, rosemary thyme honey caramels, salted lavender caramels, and strawberry-honey-rose fruit jellies. I’m also planning to cut up a bunch of transfer sheets in the morning, before Mike has gotten up.
In a different direction, I’m meeting with the dean of Cogswell Polytechnic College this afternoon to discuss my taking additional courses there as well as career options in digital graphic design/animation. If I do decide to go into that line of work, I may enroll there for a B.A. in digital arts and animation. It seems unlikely, but I am trying to keep my mind open about as many career possibilities as possible.
I have, however, decided to commit to a full semester of classes at Cogswell, if I can get into the classes I want. I learned a lot from the digital painting class I took earlier this year, and since I’m taking some time off anyway, this may be my best chance to catch up on the art education I missed in college. So I am going to try to take classes in two-dimensional design, color theory, drawing/sketching, and (maybe) perspective and rendering. That last class may be tricky, as it requires drawing/sketching as a prerequisite. But I have half of December free, and if I do a crash course in drawing with a tutor, I might be able to learn enough to do well in the perspective and rendering class. That’s one of the things I want to discuss this afternoon with the Dean.
This means committing to at least six months off, which is more than I had planned. But it will get me the education I need to design better art. And by the end of six months, I should have a pretty good idea of what I want to do with my life.
Since I have no cute cat photos this week, I’ll leave you with a sneak preview of this year’s holiday cards, photographed by my friend Lieven.