Monday, October 17, 2011

B: Blogging and Baking

The Blog:

I'm one of those artists who gets bored easily with what I'm working on, or what I've already done. And, unless I am officially sold on something, whether it be the title of this blog or the overall look of my web presence in general, I will mull over it until it feels right. Sometimes I give it a week to decide if it stays or goes; sometimes it takes me longer (usually the simple issue of a busy schedule).

Anyway, it was time for a change. The overall look and layout of this blog had been driving me mad for quite a while. And, while I've been changing it off and on, nothing had quite satisfied me visually. So, today I finally got a chance to mess around with Blogger and to create new designs in Illustrator. Not only am I pleased the simple, clean, new header, but I'm glad I was able to use my own design. I hadn't had time before to work this out, and so I'd been using the pre-made templates. You can only customize those so much, and sometimes it's still not quite right. I have yet to learn the html tricks that will allow me to customize the side bars to my liking, but that will have to wait/

I also changed the title from "The Colors of Joy" to "A Stroke of Joy." Who knows... maybe it will change again, but for now, at least, I just like this better. Sort of the play on words I'd originally wanted when I started this blog, and it reflects my interest in fine art as well as design. I think I will be more likely to update this blog, now that I can tolerate the new layout.

The Baking:

I decided last night that it was time to start getting rid of my cocoa powder, so I made some chocolate cupcakes (they happened to be vegan and were delicious).  I want to start buying ethically sourced ingredients, especially chocolate. But, rather than toss all of the possible, unethically sourced items I've already ignorantly purchased, I will just try to hurry through it, so as not to cause any child slave to have worked in vein all the more.

I love baking. Especially with chocolate. But since my recent discovery of slavery in the cocoa industry, I can no longer go through life and think of chocolate the way I used to. I cannot eat chocolate, bake with it, or buy it... unless I know that it has been ethically sourced. That means the cocoa farmers get paid what they deserve, and, therefore, can sustain themselves without the work of slaves.

If you are reading this, if you believe in freedom for all people, and if you truly desire to make the world a better place... let this knowledge change your life with the hope that it may benefit the lives of those being oppressed. The cocoa industry thrives at the expense of many innocent people. Namely, children. Children who are manipulated into slavery, who are kidnapped from other countries and brought to work the cocoa plantations until they die, or are killed because they are too weak to work. These kids are the same ages as the ones who go Trick-or-Treating on Halloween, filling their bags with chocolate goodies. The saddest difference, besides the obvious one, is that the kids working the cocoa fields have no idea what chocolate even is or what it tastes like. They have no idea where the cocoa goes, or that it's used to make the delicious treats we enjoy.

Do not buy Hershey's products... or Nestle or Mars/M&M or Cadbury products. In fact, you should look up every brand you know and love, and discover what's really in your chocolate.  But chocolate lovers, fear not.  There is chocolate out there that IS ethically sourced.  It might be a little more expensive, but it's worth it to support this cause.

If you are at a loss for what company might be good, Green&Black can be found at most major grocery stores.  It's a good place to start and they make good chocolate.

Other favorite B's:

- Books
- Birds
- Bed
- the color Blue
- Brushing my teeth
- Blankets
- the color Brown
- Brainstorming
- the color Black
- Bold lines
- Ball point pens
- Bumble Bees (the cute, fuzzy little guys)
- The Bible

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