A client of mine presented me with this drawing of a tribute for her grandfather. It is a WWII Bronze Star of which he received 3. She had no memorial of him, no place to go to pour that flask of whiskey, so she came to me with the below idea. I liked it and all I did was clean it up for her.
The rest are her words...
The rest are her words...
The early stages of my design and my aching fingers. I cannot draw by hand anymore like August can due to early onset arthritis and tremors since age 15. But I told August I had to draw this myself and then get his input and any clean up work it needed. He understood. This was my tribute to a man who loved me unconditionally and who lived life to it's fullest everyday, but cruelly had it slip away from him slowly over several years with flash backs from the very reasons why he earned these (3) and many other medals.
The stencil, from my view. August did VERY little to the original design. Tweaked the "J" in the font I chose, which I totally agreed with and opened the roses up a bit...damn he can read my mind. Yes, that is a paper towel shoved up my crotch to keep my skort/shorts clean. Deal with it.
The messy part. This is when you are adjusting to the feeling and looking at what appears to be mud and saying "what am I doing?!?"
Then like magic August cleans off the outline work and it time for his smoke break while you take a deep breath in amazement. OMFG! WOW! I mean really, it is coming to life. Damn. You get more cupcakes.
Ahhhhh, I am bleeding to death...help me....he has me tied down!!! Actually, there is just a lot of red in the ribbon. August is very well known for his brilliant colors and I was very anxious to see how the colors would play out on this one. This one I would be able to look at every day when I look down, unlike the collection on my back...which I kinda ran out of room back there thanks to him. Yup....all his fault.
Now this is a BRONZE star and I saw all of this bright yellow going on and almost (I said ALMOST) started to worry, but knew he would be blending it in with other colors.
Next photo below you can see how he worked that out, and as it has healed, the bronze looks more bronze and old....which it what we wanted. This is a WWII medal, not a gulf war medal.
All done from my view with roses...typically I am not a roses person. But I wanted this to have a more traditional flair to it.
Yeah I know, I still have a paper towel stuck in my crotch...goes with the territory. This is how everyone else sees it.....minus towel. Honestly the photo does not do it justice. I wanted it up high on my leg since this one is so personal and only want to show it off if I choose to do so. Like right now, to the whole world. lol! You know what I mean...I don't want to answer questions about it unless I am in the mood. Besides I already get a shit load of compliments of his work that is all over my back in the warmer months of the year as it is...ad a few blinking lights and I am a walking August Moon billboard!
It hurts sooooo good!
Find me another gal under the age of 40 with a WWII tribute tat on her....if you do...I wanna meet her and exchange emails!
I want to say a very very special thank you to August Moon for helping me out with what he knew was a very important, emotional and special piece that I will carry with me with pride the rest of my life. Thanks Gus...you got me this time, you really did.
And Pop Pop - I love and miss you so much.
Now get home to Jill and I hope we see you both back up here soon. And just in case and as promised, so you may return to this state (and you better, I cannot afford airfair!):
Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes (So August may return to the state - please use and abuse)
1/4 pound of unsalted butter at room temperature (I always add a dash (dash = 1/2 tsp) of salt when working with chocolate this rich)
1 cup of granulated sugar (table sugar)
4 extra large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp balsamic vinegar (another one of my touches) It works!
1 (16 ounce) can chocolate syrup (recommended: Hershey's Syrup)
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
(no baking soda, no baking powder and yeah, it's low in flour, but makes up for it chocolate syrup and eggs!)
For the Ganache:
1/2 cup heavy cream (we used 1/2 and then 1/4 for extra)
8 ounces (plus we added an extra 4 ounces ) of semi sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoons of instant coffee granules (I just used store brand)
1 tsp, balsamic vinegar
Lightly oil and line muffin pans cups with paper or foil liners. Preheat oven to 325 F.
Cream butter and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix in the chocolate syrup, vanilla and balsamic. Add the flour and mix just until combined. Don't over beat, or the cupcakes will be tough.
Scoop the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 30 min. or until just set in the middle. (Fill muffin cups to the top, there is no levening agent so they don't rise much, they are solid cupcake!) They are sorta part cupcake part souffle, but will be firm. Let cupcakes cool completely in pan.
For ganache, cook the heavy cream, chocolate chips, instant coffee and tsp of balsamic in the top of double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stiring more than occasionally. Not worth risking burnt ganache.
I made extra ganace in this recipe, so I piped a small amount into the center of each cup cake. Let them cook down more and spooned a gooey pile of ganache on top of each one. lined a baking dish with butter and placed finished cupcakes into dish, powered with cocoa powder and covered with wax paper and chilled till set in fridge.
OMG, chocolate for the Gods and Goddesses!