Tips using Oats – ChatterTip April 2014

Before I get into the tips, here’s a nibbly little tidbit for you – as I mentioned earlier I was born in The Year of the Horse and I love Oats, and we know that Oats are one of what we call the Cereals. In Astrology, besides the Planets, we also have what are known as the Asteroids, and Ceres is one of them. The word Cereal comes from Ceres, who was the Roman Goddess of Agriculture (and in Greek Mythology she was Demeter, Goddess of the Harvest, who presided over Grains and the Fertility of the Earth). Ceres is connected with the 2nd Earth sign of Virgo and is associated with all Cereals including BarleyOatsRyeWheat and Grasses. Now, here’s where it gets even more interesting…

Horse with Cereal Snack

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Aretha Franklin – ChatterQuote April 2014

“I’m a Big Woman. I Need Big Hair.”

Image from Wikipedia: Trade Ad for “Baby, I Love You” Billboard Magazine, page 9 – July 15, 1967

What better than an Aries to say, “I’m a big woman, I need big hair.”Anatomically Aries rules the head, which also means hair, hats, wigs, and so forth, but they are also extremely “headstrong” personalities, and The Queen of Soul certainly fits that description. Aretha Louise Franklin, an Aries, was born on March 25, 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee. She began her illustrious career as a child, singing gospel at her father’s church. In 1960, at the age of 18 she initially signed with Columbia Records, but it wasn’t until she moved to Atlantic Recordsin 1967 that her career really took off. And by the end of the decade she had already earned herself the title, The Queen of Soul.

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Aries: New Year, Spring & Horses – ChatterLog April 2014

Aries, The Ram

Greetings everyone and welcome to the Spring 2014 ChatterBulletin! Remember last time I talked about January being the start of the “calendar” year, but in Astrology and Nature, New Yearbegins with the 1st sign of Spring – the sign of Aries, and the month of AprilSpring (not winter) is the time of new life, and new growth in Nature. Notice we are just now beginning to come out of our “winter doldrums” and months of hibernation. The blooms and the blossoms are bursting through (finally), the weather is gradually warming up – well almost – and we hopefully have a little more energy. And I’m sure I speak for most New Yorkers here when I say we have had one of those very long winters and can’t wait for springtime!

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AIPAD – April 2014

The annual AIPAD Photography Show at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City once again brought us a mixture of both the classic and contemporary. And this year, in addition to my usual visit on the Friday afternoon I also attended the Press Previews on Wednesday, and I’m glad I did because there was so much to see and take in, it honestly becomes too much for just the one visit. So what stood out this year? My friend Monica Cipnic and I were particularly taken with the very cinematic and sultry style of husband and wife duo Formento & Formento (he is Hawaiian-born photographer BJ Formento & she is British-born stylist Richeille Formento) at the Robert Klein Galleryfrom Boston. The Formentos’ images were certainly some of our favorites out of all the contemporary photographers on display, and although I had seen their work before… it was even better close up.

Lori & Amy, Lancaster, CA © 2010 FORMENTO & FORMENTO

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Tony Gale – ChatterArtist April 2014

Our ChatterArtist for this month is New York-based portrait and lifestyle photographer Tony Gale, an Aries, born on March 26. Tony was recently a participant on the PDN 30 Panel held at the SVA Theater on West 23rd Street, during which it was revealed to be his birthday on that same exact day! As I thought about it, I recognized some of the Aries characteristics in him, starting with when Tony mentioned during the panel discussion (about how to survive when you are first starting out) that he worked as a cook part-time to help pay the bills, until he had enough work photographically to sustain him.

Sony DSC © 2011 Tony Gale

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Oaty Sausage Cakes & Granola Bars – ChatterRecipes April 2014

Image from Jessica Grajeda’s Blog

Ironically, as I mentioned in the ChatterLog, even though I may not feel as drawn to Horses as one might expect, being born in The Year of the Horse – I do however, love to eat what they eat – Oats! I have always loved anything with Oats – Oat Bars (which in England we call flapjacks, but in America flapjacks are what we call pancakes – go figure), Oatmeal Granary BreadOatcakesOatmeal CrispsOatmeal(as in good old “porridge” oats), Oatmeal CookiesGranolaGranola BarsMuesli, even Oatmeal Soap… bring it all on…

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Apartment #23 – ChatterStory January 2014

Apartment #23 – ChatterStory January 2014

I have spent the past six months of my life dealing with finally rectifying the unacceptable conditions in my apartment, taking my landlord to court, and then living through the actual renovations, which if I’m honest, I’m still reeling from. For those of you who know me well, you have perhaps some idea as to just how many years I have had recurring damp in my walls. And for those of you that don’t know – it makes a pretty good story – and I have the pictures to prove it! Lots of them… so this is but a few… This story may appear to be long, but it spans several years, so bear with me, and enjoy the read!

This is the “Interior” Living Room Wall They Didn’t Even Want to Touch – Until They Had To! October 2013 © Louisa J. Curtis

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Spinach Pie – ChatterRecipe January 2014

Spinach © Lou Manna

This month’s recipe comes courtesy of one of my favorites Ian Gartenin her book The Barefoot Contessa, but she attributes the recipe to her dear friend Brent Newsom of Brent Newsom Caterer in Bridgehampton, NY.  Capricorns like their Spinach, they need the Iron, so this was an easy pick – a delicious Spinach Pie, baked whole and then cut into 6-8 portions, as opposed to the Greek Spanakopita that are made individually.

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Tips using Lead – ChatterTip January 2014

Tips using Lead… As in Lead Pencils – ChatterTip January 2014

Some of my original old notebooks from when I lived and studied in Paris 1981 © Louisa J. Curtis

As I’ve mentioned before, the Planet ruling the sign of Capricorn is Saturn, and Saturn’s metal is Lead, the heaviest of all the metals – another reason as to why we literally feel weighed down by Saturn’s influence.  So this month we are bringing you a few Tips using Lead – Lead Pencils, that is!  However, I must clarify for a moment… Many of you are familiar with the term “lead pencils” and many of us grew up using them for drawing and writing at school. But did you know that most Pencil cores are actually made from Graphite mixed with a Claybinder – that makes sense since Capricorn is after all an Earth sign! The black core of pencils is still referred to as “lead” even though they never actually contained any Lead at all!

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Yousuf Karsh – ChatterQuote January 2014

Yousuf Karsh:

“Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness.”

Yousuf Karsh was an Armenian-Canadian portrait photographer and an “early” Capricorn, born in Mardin, a city in the Ottoman Empire (known today as Turkey) on December 23, 1908 and who died in Boston, Massachusetts on July 13, 2002, aged 93!  Karsh grew up during the Armenian Genocide witnessing the massacre of his relatives and watching his sister die of starvation. How incredible is it to think that such an incredible master of his craft was able to emerge from such horrendous beginnings? But thanks to his parents, he was sent to live with his uncle George Nakash, a photographer in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada when he was sixteen years old. And the rest, as they say, is history!

Self Portrait 1952 © Yousuf Karsh

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