by Penny Blake

Soup of the day: With Darq ‘the doll with a blog’

Oh my goodness! Um…Greetings my dears! Do please excuse me…if you could just avert your eyes for a moment, I am just changing back into my usual attire…

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Wizmas is a very dangerous time to be a witch. That’s  why I have had to put on my false moustache and toupee and pretend to be my non-existent husband, Albert, to avoid awkward questions!

Nevertheless, to celebrate the fact that Wizmas is now over we’re cooking up a secret feast for all the little orphans here in the soup kitchen. Helping me this afternoon is a lady of extraordinarily adventurous inclination and impeccable fashion sense…

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My guest has a most unusual name—Darq. No last name, but she’s a titled lady on her homeworld. Those titles are—

– Princess of the Misted Moon
– Warrior-Huntress of the Mayahi Dyn
– First Daughter of Pyhanni of the White Grasses
– Granddaughter of Zukaltay of the Octal-Ute Dyn, and an esteemed Naren (a chieftain)

Darq is also the twenty-fourth daughter of the late (deceased) statesman of the Chimalli Ishi Nation. His name was Gidwi. Definitely Darq is a lady not of our world but of the Wysotti nation, a matriarchal planet in a distant solar system. Darq is also a much-decorated Wysotti starfighter pilot, the heroine of her homeworld, and it is her avatar who is my guest today! Please welcome— Darq, the doll with a blog!

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Hello Darq, it is so marvellous to have you here in Lancaster today, have you brought some cake to share?

Hello, Mrs. Baker, and yes, I’ve brought you my Fruity Cake.

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Fruit Cake? Oh, my dear, no, surely not fruit cake!

(Darq chuckles.) No, no. Fruity Cake. It’s nothing like that atrocious stuff you Earth people make at Christmas and Wizmas, which is only good for use as a fighter plane’s stop-block. Here, look at the recipe and you’ll see.

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Darq’s Fruity Cake
by Author Catherine E. McLean @2012   http://www.CatherineEmclean.com

4 eggs
1 stick of butter (softened)
one 14.5 oz can of Delmonte “no sugar added very cherry fruit mix” – not drained
one 8 oz. can of pineapple tidbits, drained
3/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans preferred)
1 carrot cake mix (cake can be made from scratch)

Into a bowl, pour in the cake mix, then add all the other ingredients and beat until well blended. Pour into a greased bundt pan or bundt mold. Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 45-55 minutes (or until knife comes out clean). If using a 9×13 cake pan, bake for approx. 30-40 minutes.
Serve warm with ice cream or pudding.
May be cooled and coated with confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar) or Cream Cheese Frosting with a fresh fruit topper (mandarin oranges, sliced strawberries, blueberries, etc.)

Oh, yes, I see. Simple, quick . . . sweet . . . fruity . . . Shall we make some for the orphans?

(Darq chuckles again.) Yes. The MIBs said you liked to cook with your guests, so I brought my apron.

Lovely, now while that bakes, let’s sit and have a spot of tea. Do you have a favourite blend my dear?

I do. It’s called Xaaykop.
Xaaykop? I’m afraid I’ve never heard of it…

It’s from my home world. As a friendship gift, I brought you some.

 

Oh, my, such a lovely tea chest! Thankyou!

The artificial flowers on top of the chest are just like the real ones on my planet. Like the leaves, when the seed pods ripen, they are so dark a green they appear black. You grind and brew the tea like any regular Earth tea…

But? I hear a but.

I have to warn you, the longer you brew it, the higher the caffeine content.

Yes we do have to be careful, caffeine is strictly rationed here in The New World! Although, I have never been one to abide by rules and dictates so, how long do you like yours brewed my dear?

Until it’s darkest mahogany, and I take it with six sugars.

Hot, highly caffeinated, and sweet?

(Darq nods.) Some say the caffeine at that darkness has a kick is as powerful as a Ky starfighter at full throttle.

Well, I’ll have to take your word for that since I’ve never ridden in any starship. Now, my dear, as we have a little time while that is brewing, you can tell me about your home planet. Is it similar to ours?


In many ways. It’s what you humans call a Class M Planet. Thankfully, it’s still orbiting its sun-star.

I heard rumours of some type of doomsday curse your people were under.

That’s right. One of my ancient ancestors visited Earth and destroyed the Mayans. For that we Wysotti were cursed so that when the five thousandth year of the Mayan calendar ended, our planet and all its people were to be annihilated.

But you’re here. Alive and all is well.

And the tale of how that came to be can be found in the novel JEWELS OF THE SKY, by author Catherine E. McLean.

jewels-of-sky-frnt-preview10. BOOK

http://www.catherineemclean.com/jewels-of-the-sky.html

And what of these mysterious men in black you mentioned earlier? They’re not Wizards are they?

No. But the weapons the Men In Black have, and the alien beings they monitor, well, sometimes the technology and science seems like magic. If you are able to peer into the future, their story is accurately portrayed in the movies, which are titled Men In Black.

My, my, you lead such an interesting and exciting life. Can you tell us a little about your latest adventure?

(Darq laughs.) I’m now a doll with a blog, who is also considered a fashionista! And before you ask, the premise of my being on Earth is to act as an ambassador at large for my homeworld. My very first outing on your planet had me traveling to a cave in Mexico to be interviewed by Father Dragon (a very old Fire Dragon) who’s elves were quite the video crew.

In other words, I stay with the JEWELS OF THE SKY author, and periodically I go to events, like parties.

Parties! I’ve heard about some of those parties. Particularly this October’s Halloween party at Dracula’s Castle.

(Darq nods.) Yes, that was fun, particularly my steampunk costume. But, Mrs. Baker, parties are actually social events where more diplomacy goes on than one realizes. Yet, there are also dangers. One is that I cannot make headlines. And the paparazzi are a constant threat, so I’m always accompanied by a team of Men In Black who whisk me to exotic and clandestine locations.

Lancaster can be a dangerous place, too, what with the flesh-eating Liver Birds Lord Ashton employs.

Liver Birds!?

Yes, they keep the streets free of what the Tea Time Lords would call ‘vagrants’. If you are travelling home late tonight or planning to visit Peril again in his Lovely Library, I hope you have brought something to protect yourself with?

(Darq grins, and then, from her apron pocket, produces a small pistol)

 

Mrs. Baker, meet the Noisy Cricket.

That tiny thing? Oh, no, my dear, that will never, never do!

Don’t let the size fool you. This weapon has more power, and one helluva mule-kick when fired, than The Jackhammer, a tri-barrel plasma gun, which is a staple in the MIB arsenal. The Jackhammer is a type of raygun. So is this Noisy Cricket.

 Oh, yes, well, a raygun! Of course, Max has something similar which seems to work perfectly well. Yes, that should certainly put pay to any nocturnal attackers, be they Liver Birds, Lemonade Dealers, or Skywaymen! I now have no fears of you reaching the Skyway station in safety. More tea, my dear?

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Now then,  moving on to more pleasant things, I greatly admire those wonderful outfits you’re photographed in at your blog. Do you have any favourites?

If you asked me that before Halloween, I would have unequivocally said my top pick was the witch Evenora emerald green dress. Followed by Catherine’s favorite, the white and silver 1920’s Erte gown.

But now? Some other outfit is now your favourite?

Yes. The Steampunk Halloween Costume I wore in October.

And, my dear, I hear you have a bit of a passion for shoes as well?

(Darq laughs.) You could say I’m a shoeaholic!

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That is certainly an impressive collection my dear! You must drop by and see Max and Collin while you are in town. Max can show you the infamous ‘spot of bother boots’ and Collin will be so envious of your shoe collection as, of course, tentacles do not lend themselves readily to footwear!

So, the MIB have told me!

Ah, I believe it is time for the cake to come out…


 

There now, that’s the cake ready, we’ll just let that cool.

(Darq looks at her hat’s timepiece, then at Mrs. B.) The hour grows late. I can’t stay but a quarter of an hour more or the MIBs will come pounding on your door to get me. The time portal doesn’t stay open forever.

So true. Well, my dear, thank you so much for helping me prepare this wonderful Fruity Cake for the orphans and for the tea and chat. As soon as the cake cools, I’ll slice it up and serve it to the orphans.

And don’t forget the ice cream.

Ice Cream, my dear? What Ice Cream?

(Darq grins.) The barrel of vanilla ice cream that I brought and which the Men In Black, with Collin and Max’s help, were hefting into your cold cellar so the ice cream wouldn’t melt. Not that it would melt with the frigid night air, but we couldn’t let a barrel just set on your doorstep, now could we?

No indeed! If The Good Folk of Her Majesty’s Revenue thought I was serving Ice Cream they’d have my head! I..oh, wait, what is that?

(There comes the sound of the door knocker rapping and a voice calls “Good Folk on patrol Mrs B, thought you’d like to know!”)

Oh, dear me . . . Darq, you had better fly and I must hide all this evidence! But my dear, you surely cannot run in that skirt!

Never fear, Mrs. Baker, I came prepared for all contingencies, including ninja stars disguised as gears on my sleeve cuff and daggers sheathed in the key-holders on my unmentionables.(Darq hugs Mrs. Baker.)

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Thank you so much for inviting me to cook for the orphans. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

It is I who thank you for stopping by, Darq. And I look forward to seeing your Valentine’s Day outfit and reading your blog, we must certainly do this again some time, but now farewell and blessings on your brew my dear!

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Oh my goodness, I must quickly hide all this sugar…and the tea! Do please excuse me my dears, and do please join me here next week when Captain Piper and her trade ship The Mischief will be dropping in to help me with the soup kitchen.

Blessings on your brew my dears!

 

A note from Penny…  All of the amazing photographs, dolls clothes and accessories used in this blog post were put together by Catherine E Mclean, I use them here with her kind permission.

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http://www.Catherineemclean.com

Mrs Bakers script was written by myself and Darq’s speach by Catherine. I have never interviewed  a doll before! Thankyou Catherine for a heartily enjoyable and amusing experience! 

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23 responses

  1. Oh, Penny, this was a sensational blog post and so much fun collaborating with you. The end result was amazing!

    Like

    January 11, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    • smithandskarry1

      Thanks so much for talking part Catherine, it was an absolute joy working with you and Darq! We must definitely do this again some time 🙂

      Like

      January 13, 2017 at 8:06 am

  2. Darq here – I was so looking forward to using the Noisy Cricket, but the MIB insured my swift and safe departure from Mrs. B’s. I made it back to the USA and Catherine’s farm unscathed and unnoticed (as usual, LOL). I sincerely thank Mrs. Baker for inviting me today and I thoroughly enjoyed making cake and having tea with Mrs. B.

    Like

    January 11, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    • smithandskarry1

      Darq it was such an honour to have you visit our little world and we are all so glad you made it back safely to your own world, do come and visit us again some time 🙂

      Like

      January 13, 2017 at 8:07 am

  3. Pingback: Interview by an English Witch | JEWELS OF THE SKY

  4. What a delight! Am so glad Darq made it back in time, and unscathed.

    Like

    January 12, 2017 at 12:05 am

    • Thank you, Lenora, for dropping by to see what Darq was up to and enjoying this blog post. Enjoy your day!

      Like

      January 12, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    • smithandskarry1

      So glad you enjoyed it Lenora, thanks for visiting our little world 🙂

      Like

      January 13, 2017 at 8:10 am

  5. Love the steampunk dress. Great fun all around. The books sounds fascinating, too.

    Like

    January 12, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    • Thank you for your comments. The dress Darq wears is made out of grey corduroy. Mrs. Baker’s is almost all cotton. The most fun item of the costumes was making Darq’s hat. There are actual watch parts on it (and a watch gear is on Darq’s blouse as the center of the bead work). And, yes, I did take three watches apart to get the gears. And there is a story behind how I obtained those old watches to take apart! :))

      I hope you’ll check out JEWELS OF THE SKY and if you find it a good read, please let me know.

      Enjoy your day!

      Like

      January 12, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    • smithandskarry1

      Thanks Shellflower, it was such a giggle to put together and Catherine is so skilled! – hey, we’ve missed you around over December hope to read more of your lovely blog this year! – Check out Catherine’s blog for the books 🙂

      Like

      January 13, 2017 at 8:14 am

  6. I am still cracking up about the “non-existent husband, Albert” with his little mustache. All I can think about is the hours and hours to make all that tiny food, the costumes, and then to write the story! Awesome!

    Like

    January 12, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    • Thanks for stopping by, Jamie. Tiny is a relative word. Mrs. Baker is actually a 16″ doll and Darq is 18.5″ so it’s not like sewing for Barbie (11″), which I used to sew clothes for when my daughter was little). As to the food, I did not make the food but a couple of the jars are filled with pieces of cake sprinkles and crushed peppermint). I mostly used items that would suit, like buttons (Mr. Baker’s mustache is a button held on with a wad of gummy-but-removable tacky stuff). The cupcakes are buttons and so are some of the gingerbread men. Other gingerbread items are actually Christmas ornaments for mini-trees. What I really loved was using the erasers that I had found ages ago in a dollar-bargain store’s markdown bin and which were in the shape of food, like the loaves of bread, cake, etc.

      Like

      January 12, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    • smithandskarry1

      Thanks for your kind comments Jamie and for stopping by 🙂 Catherine is so skilled with the dolls and it was so much fun putting together the script with her! – Penny

      Like

      January 13, 2017 at 8:18 am

  7. Wow, how intricate the lace and other minute details on the costumes and, as Jamie said, all the food! Great job. Nice interview. Loved all the other world details as well. Do you have a notebook to keep it all straight?

    Like

    January 12, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    • Hi, Kathy, and thank you for dropping by. I have not only computer files but regular file folders as well as binders for my story worlds so I keep things straight. I don’t know what Penny uses to keep her story world data in, but I hope she replies to your post, too.

      As to all the lace, I depleted a lot of my stock. You know a sewer, they have stockpiles of such necessities as laces and trims! LOL As to the costumes themselves, Penny sent me a drawing of Mrs. Baker and Albert-with-wig-and-mustache so that was fairly easy to replicate. For Darq’s attire, I hit Pinterest for “steampunk” costumes and got ideas for what Darq should wear. Adding the muff to Darq’s outfit did double duty–I stuffed Darq’s apron in it along with the Noisy Cricket, which later was in her apron pocket.

      It was great fun and I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Have a great day.

      Like

      January 12, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    • smithandskarry1

      Glad you enjoyed our little tea party Kathy, thanks so much for stopping by 🙂 The Adventures Of Smith And Skarry span centuries so note keeping is essential! I keep track of everything on a huge wall in my kitchen (a bit like Dirk Gently’s office, lol) it has post-its, character sketches, string linking things, time lines, postcards, songs…everything that I need to reference quickly. In addition I have notebooks stuffed with scribbles for when I’m out and about or visiting family; I like to carry my world with me in my pocket! 😉 – Penny

      Like

      January 13, 2017 at 8:28 am

  8. Janet Wells

    The Fruity Cake and the tea table looked tempting. How did you got all the little pieces together?. Tweezers? If I had aprons like those, I’d wear them to a fancy outing. They are lovely. Thanks for the fun.

    Like

    January 12, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    • smithandskarry1

      Thankyou so much for dropping by Janet, I’m glad you enjoyed the post 🙂 Catherine is the mastermind behind the dolls and I’m sure she’ll answer your question when she able 🙂 – Penny

      Like

      January 13, 2017 at 8:33 am

    • Hi, Janet,

      It was so nice of you to stop by!

      As to the tea table and food on it, no tweezers needed. You may be familiar with the 1/12 scaled doll house miniatures, which do need tweezers, LOL, but the items in the photos are the bigger dollhouse miniatures and the harder to find ones called 1/6 scale. Which means the tea pot is about 2.5″ tall, the cups 1/2″ with 3/4″ plates, and the big serving plate under the tea pot is 3″ across. The cookies (which are shank buttons) are 3/8″, and the spiders 1/2″ (they’re not buttons but a glue-on type of decoration left from Halloweens past). Even the glue-on type of doll eyes (a.k.a. Eye of Newt Biscuits/cookies) are 1/2″. As to the Fruity Cake, coming up with what to use that would look like the real cake was a challenge. By divine karma, I happened to pass a crafting display at the local JoAnn Fabrics store where they had a rack of corks–and the “fresh out of the oven” Fruity Cake is a 2.5″wide x1″ high cork. Did you notice the napkins? I made them by fringing a 2″ piece of muslin. The B monogram is a stick-on letter from my scrapbooking supplies. Lastly, the 9″ oval doily on the table is actual cotton lace not a paper doily.

      I hope I’ve satisfied your curiosity. Again, thank you for your query and for your visit to this blog.

      Like

      January 13, 2017 at 6:47 pm

  9. Nancy Acitelli

    What an enchanting blog. Such creativity and cleverness is astounding! Passion is its own reward. It is very evident in this entertaining blog. However, I think Catherine has forgotten a Christmas long ago, where she made my Barbie doll many, many, outfits. The one I remember was a Can-Can outfit. Sadly, I no longer have any of those creative outfits she made for me. Happily, Catherine has found a new Muse in Darq. Keep writing and keep designing Catherine.

    Penny – soup of the day with Darq – I am going to keep an eye on this blog. Catherine was so excited over Christmas to be doing this with you. Happy blogging to you both.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 15, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    • smithandskarry1

      Aw what lovely comments Nancy how kind of you to stop by and I’m so glad you like the blog, working with Catherine was immeasurably good fun 🙂 Don’t mention can-can dresses to Collin though, Montmorency keeps threatening to make him dance in his burlesque club if he doesn’t make the rent – an intimidating prospect for an octopus! 😉

      Like

      January 18, 2017 at 7:43 am

  10. Thank you, Nancy, for stopping buy. Yeah, I remember making those tiny Barbie outfits for your that Christmas. All were based on ethnic styles of countries and the Can Can was France. Of the lot, I remember the plain Irish kilt and crocheting those itty-bitty white knee socks!

    I appreciate you stopping by. Many thanks.

    Like

    January 15, 2017 at 7:33 pm

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