Friday, February 14, 2014

Secret Ham Directives - EXPOSED!

Something awful has happened in the world of deli slicing.

I don't know when it happened or why it happened - I only know it happened, and I don't like it.

Back in the olden days, I used to be able to go to the deli counter and say "I would like some ham, please, sliced as thinly as possible." I would then get ham, so thinly sliced you could read the teeny font on a Facebook notification email through it as plain as day.

But then, without anyone notifying me or asking for my approval, a secret directive was given to all deli slicer operators: "NO MATTER WHAT A CUSTOMER ASKS FOR, GIVE THEM A THICK, CHEWY PIECE OF HAM THAT CAN BE USED AS A TOBOGGAN IN CASE OF EMERGENCY."

And no matter WHAT I say to these people or HOW I describe my ethereally shaved ham needs, I get these danged ham slices that are the thickness of bologna. It's revolting. We have to take back our rights.

Last time I went to the store, I said I'd like a pound of ham, sliced at less than 1. 1 is the thinnest setting they have on their little diagram at the counter, and it's "thin" only in the loosest sense of the world. Secret ham Nazi alliance guy brings back toboggan ham and says "how's that?" Well it sucks buddy - it's not acceptable - I WANT THE THINNEST HAM POSSIBLE. He says "well it's really not going to hold together thinner than that." HOW IS THAT YOUR CONCERN? I DO NOT CARE - I WANT YOU TO TURN IT INTO POWDER.

GAH. Yesterday I said "shaved until it almost disappears" and I finally got some acceptable ham. But not without a lot of glaring and crazy eye.

I WILL stand up for my shaved ham rights. Do not cross me.

This week I went to a fun Prismacolor demonstration at the UT Art Co-op. The instructor was great and she taught us a fun new-to-me resist technique with gouache-*. (Which is a stupid word by the way - it makes me feel like they couldn't decide whether to call it goo or wash.)

What you do is draw or stamp an image in a permanent ink on watercolor paper. The Prismacolor people recommend going over the lines with a Sharpie after you do that, but I forgot. Then do a pale wash of yellow or blue all over it - I did Summer Sun reinker mixed with water. Then you paint gouache over the parts of the image you'll want to preserve for coloring. Then, paint India Ink all over the whole piece. I had this Soho student grade India Ink left over from my drawing class. This step is scary, because now you have a black piece of paper and you feel frightened and alone.

But then, under running water or in a tub of water, you scrub off the gouache with a toothbrush and it reveals your image and anywhere else you had the gouache, leaving the background black. VERY fun. The last step is to color and embellish your image!

I used Derwent Inktense Pencils, Caran D'Ache Pablo pencils, a Montana refillable white acrylic marker and a Prismacolor .03 art marker to color and detail, and then added Crystal Effects to the eggs, because that's today's Mix-Ability challenge - to use a clear medium.

This card is also for today's kickoff of the Member Company Love Fest challenges on Splitcoast!

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It was really fun to do, and a very zen-like recover from yelling at people about ham. Although I'm sure I'll yell again.



  1. Fabulous. Love how this turned out!

  2. This post is hilarious! "ham Nazis," "frightened and alone." Love it! (Plus the card is beautiful!)

  3. Love the card -- and ham - no matter how thick or thin!

  4. Wonderful project Lydia - worth the ham nightmare?? Rx

  5. Great post. All that work, but you have a beautiful card to show for it. By the way, I'm lucky, all the food stores here know how to shave ham. I like extra thin, not shaved and they have no problem producing. They used to have piles of shaved ham on display and just weighed it out. It must have gotten dry too quickly so now they do it on request.

  6. THIS gorgeous work of art is proudly displayed on my magnetic wall board for every student to see right here in my studio!! What an amazing technique! I can never thank you enough for sharing this with me. I owe you mega-buncha {{{{{hugggsss}}}}}!



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