Archives for the month of: December, 2015

christmas project plan

Mouse, the practical one, suggested we should do another project together.  That always helps. Something along the lines of the Super Dede competition we did leading up to Christmas three years ago. We always have brilliant times when we work together and all our differences seem forgotten. Of course this year we are a bit late and Christmas is already upon us. We won’t be able to pull anything off before the 25th. Then someone suggested the Dedes could recreate the  famous english Christmas carol “Twelve Days of Christmas.” It has such a catchy tune and as the lyrics are so dada, it fits the Dedes to a tee. I am pretty sure you know the carol: it starts off with “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me one partridge in a pear tree” and then it continues for twelve days and every day the true love brings a new present, such as maids a milking or pipers piping, as well as all the   previous ones. So the list gets longer and longer.

Mouse printed out the lyrics and here is the original list of presents:

  • A Partridge in a Pear Tree
  • Two Turtle Doves
  • Three French Hens
  • Four Calling Birds
  • Five Golden Rings
  • Six Geese a Laying
  • Seven Swans a Swimming
  • Eight Maids a Milking
  • Nine Ladies Dancing
  • Ten Lords a Leaping
  • Eleven Pipers Piping
  • 12 Drummers Drumming

According to various sources on the internet the song has a catholic background and the gifts refer to some features from the bible. For example, the four calling birds are four apostles. Other sources say it has french roots and that catholics appropriated it when they weren’t allowed to practise openly in England between mid 1500 and 1800.  Anyway, the Dedes had the idea to bring all these gifts to the readers as they wanted to give something back. But when they saw what they have to organise their excitement plummeted. For example, they could organise eight maids to do the milking, but they only have one cow. Where would they get a partridge or swans? We don’t have any of those in the Dede community. When they looked on the internet to find where they can source everything, they found out that each year since 1984 PNC Wealth Management calculates how much it costs to buy all the presents mentioned in the song (Christmas price index). In 2015 the cost amounted to a whooping $154,000 US dollars (compared to $61,000 in 1984). Needless to say, the Dedes can’t afford to buy them and what would we do with a partridge in a pear tree anyway.

In the meantime, they have spent so much time on the research that they don’t want to let go of the idea and last night I found them huddling over the list discussing alternatives. I am curious!

devil and nokia copy

No, no, no, I am not talking about Devil. He will stay my friend forever. No, I am talking about the old dunger of a mobile phone, my trusted Nokia. I actually loved that thing. As I am sitting in front of the computer all day, every day, I only needed the mobile to send some text messages. For example: “leaving now” or “there in 10 mins”. Everything else could wait. It is actually quite nice to ride on the bus and watch the people around you, and not being tempted to look at emails or the internet. The trusted Nokia was a hand-me down and now I got a new hand-me-down that takes me into the smart phone era. Uhuuuuh. I gratefully accepted the gift, as I can now add instagram to the mix. Devil and I looked at how it all works this afternoon but we weren’t very successful. We had a battle with the mobile and with instagram and with each other. The worst was sharing the images on facebook. We haven’t figured that one out yet, should be easy really…. Anyway, in the end it was too much for Devil. You know how it is when two people who think they know what they are doing, but in fact don’t, try to use the same device. Finally he let me figure it out on my own and wandered off into the garden to watch the grass grow. But when he came back and I was still tearing my hair out, he decided he’d better put the trusted Nokia in a safe place. Who knows. Good on him!

devil shaking hands

I can assure you, the Dedes are wrong, I wasn’t slack in the past months. I just had an energy-sucker of a job. I have recently resigned from this absolute terrible workplace. Let me rephrase that, the job as such wasn’t terrible, to be honest it was my dream job. I loved the students and every minute of teaching, but the school was suffering from a bullying culture, created by a bunch of alcoholics. One of them also showed very strong signs of a cluster B personality disorder. I only realised how much the situation sucked me dry – particularly my creativity – once I had resigned. It was an, how can I say that… “interesting” experience and I am surprised that I got to my age without having come across such a dysfunctional workplace before. Unfortunately I am very loyal person and often stick around longer than I should, because I so believe I can make a difference. Not!

Okay this was my rant for the day!

I hope the Dedes understand now why they have been a little neglected lately. And they were right, they didn’t get as much attention as they deserved. My first peace offering to them was, that I set up a new zazzle product for sale: An apron with the image of  Milky Bar Devil presenting his delicious hamburger bun – the cover shot of The Artist’s Survival Cookbook. My old mate Devil got all emotional after he’d realised I am back on board. He shook my hand and said we should renew our pact. I didn’t know we had one!

Artist's Survival Apron
Artist's Survival Apron by dededesign
Many more kitchen apron designs online at zazzle” apron designs on zazzle

fairy godmother flowers

It’s so typical. First the Dedes insult me, then they send a peacemaker to say they are sorry. Obviously they weren’t entirely serious about sacking me as an artist. I am not sure whether they had a meeting last night, as I was out with real friends. So they had the chance to discuss our relationship without running the risk of me eavesdropping. Anyway, today Fairy Godmother brought me a bunch of flowers she picked from the garden. She apologised for the rude behaviour of her peers yesterday. At first I thought it was very sweet, but then I had the feeling it wasn’t heartfelt. They must realise that they need me as much as I need them. Maybe they are aware that I might drop them if they continue to treat me as if I was their lackey. We are in it together. Sure enough, she then added “but there is a bit of truth in what they said yesterday.”

“I know” I admitted. “But honestly, I don’t know what to do anymore. You guys expect the impossible.”

“Look, I can see where you are coming from” said Fairy Godmother in a conciliatory voice. “I’m in the same boat. Everybody expects me to work wonders too, but it is evident that I have hit a brick wall on more than one occasion” and she pointed to her forehead. “You simply have to keep going!”

“I need more support from you, though. You have all these wonderful ideas but you just dump them on me and you never stick to anything!”

“What do you mean?” Fairy Godmother asked surprised. “Don’t forget we are only puppets!”

Now my dear readers. What do you think? Are they an ungrateful bunch or what? Does anyone have an idea what I should do with them?

moving on

Now we are at this stage again…. the Dedes are getting impatient with me! We had the big book launch, which went very well, thank you. And then they went quiet again. It’s coming up to Christmas and the Dedes will soon have their fourth anniversary. When I reminded them of that and asked what they wanted to do to celebrate it,  Snotty Nosed Prince thew his hands up in disgust. “Four years! We should be more well known by now. What have you done in all those years, girl?” And he had support from the others. “You are useless as an artist, I think we should sack you!” Loudmouth crowed angrily and didn’t waste any time packing my suitcase.

I couldn’t take it anymore, “Well,” I said when I left the studio, “writing a book is the easy part, marketing it is much more difficult.” Personally, I think they should be a bit more supportive and come up with some ideas themselves. After all, I am only one person and there are 64 or so of them.

Time is flying. It seems like only yesterday that I had the booklaunch, but no, it is already two weeks ago. Must be because it is Christmas and there are so many things to organise before the end of the year. Anyway the Dedes are working in the background and for now, because it is Christmas, they have set up a giveaway on Goodreads. It runs from today to the 3 of January. All you need to do is enter by clicking on the link below. No questions asked (at least if you are a goodreads member, if not, you will have to answer a few questions about your reading habits to become a member) :)

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Artist's Survival Cookbook by Dietlind Wagner

The Artist's Survival Cookbook

by Dietlind Wagner

Giveaway ends January 03, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/widget/166074

Carly sent me the images she took at the launch of The Artist’s Survival Cookbook. It was so difficult to whittle them down to a few. I am really impressed. Click on any of the images to enlarge and see the slideshow. (c) carlyphotography.co.nz

 

Carly_Photography dede launch

I have to tell you more about the launch of the Artist’s Survival Cookbook. I couldn’t have done it without the help of my amazing friend Carly. We had exactly one hour to set everything up. She just came in with boxes of lovely stoneware and props, I had done the baking, and in no time flat she magically threw together the most fantastic display. On the day, nobody, absolutely nobody, noticed the chairs in the back and how run down the old church hall was. Everybody was stunned by the food display and in the beginning no one dared to help themselves. Everything on the table was there to nibble on. Except for the eggs, they were raw. :)

I will dedicate a post to Carly, who is a photographer and stylist soon, when I have more images.