Monday, November 29, 2010

Project Monday- Me Right Now

Seems like an easy one, but it really isn't. Who are you right now? What are you doing right now?
 Where are you in your life, right now?

Right now I'm enjoying a nice cup of hot cocoa after picking my daughter up from the bus stop. It's Monday, so I'm in jeans and a sweater, after a long day at work. After four days off, I played a ridiculous amount of catch up today. I'm anxious to finish up this semesters classes. I'm happy I am here though. I'm happy I have followed through with my plan of returning to college when my girl started elementary school. I'm happy that after taking so many general education courses its art from here on out. I feel so much more myself when I am creating.
I am tired. Almost constantly, but I am happy to be doing what I want to do with my life. My nail polish is chipped, my dishes are dirty, but I watch Ghost Adventures with my daughter because she wants to. I take pictures of my food because I think it's pretty. I take pictures of my clothes because I think it's fun. I take pictures of my art because I want to be noticed. I love digging through the thrift store racks for my next vintage gem, I love scrap booking the memories I will soon forget.
I am not really any where in particular, but I am some where I will remember. A happy fleeting moment in my life where both my daughter and I are both students, we're both girly and love dresses and skirts, and we  love doing things together. A time in life when my lover and I are still new, exciting and inspiring to one another (lets hope we never, ever lose this), even after three years.

Just stopping to think about right now makes me realize how much I am happy about. Sometimes I wish I was further ahead on my plans in life, but this is my journey and I am enjoying the moments.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Recipe for Stuffed Mushrooms

I mentioned in an earlier post that I would be making stuffed mushrooms to bring to my Grandma's for Thanksgiving. Today I thought I'd share that recipe. It is relatively inexpensive, quick to make and absolutely decadent! Bring these yummy little bites to your next holiday party and you are sure to wow the guests. This recipe comes from the Better Homes and Gardens cook book. I grew up with this cook book, and I love the recipes. They have changed since I was a kid, but one of these days I'll find a "vintage" one that has all its pages....
(In these photos I am making a double batch without measuring, so your batch probably won't look like this)
24 large fresh mushrooms, 1.5-2 in. diameter (I find the diameter isn't a big deal, button mushrooms     are just fine)
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup fine dry breadcrumbs (I always use Italian bread crumbs for the added seasoning)
1/4 cup shredded cheddar, smoked Gouda, or crumbled blue cheese (I always go for the Gouda!)

Rinse and drain mushrooms. 

 Remove stems, reserve caps.
 Chop enough stems to equal 1 cup.
 In a medium saucepan cook chopped stems, green onions and garlic in butter until tender.

 Stir in cheese and bread crumbs.
   Spoon mixture into mushroom caps (I find a teaspoon is easiest).
  Arrange in a baking pan.
 Bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes, or until heated through.
 Enjoy! -XO. K.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I Scrapped My Sketchbook + a Layout

Yep, I thought it would be fun to scrap the cover of my sketchbook for the sketchbook project . I tried to keep it as flat as possible, since it will be going through many hands across many states. But I also wanted to make it stand out a bit. I would hate for all this effort and art to go unnoticed once I send it away, out on its own in the world. I used Sassafras Papers and stickers, Autumn Leaves stamps, A Galaxy writer to doodle in white, a Fiskars punch, DCWV adhesive ribbon, K & co. rub on, Heidi grace rubon, October Afternoon folder tab,  embroidery floss and masking tape. The photo was a photo I took with my web cam. I'm thinking I might also scrap a couple pages inside the sketchbook also, since scrap booking is one of my all time favorite expressions of art!

Next up is a quick little layout I did. I've been in a bit of a "Red" mood lately, and I love the reds in this little photo shoot I did with Celeste. The papers are Graphic 45, the felt posie is made by me, the lace is vintage (thrifted), the ticket Jenni Bowlin, Rub ons  by BoBunny and Autumn Leaves, Transparency by Best Creation Inc. jewels by K & Co. and letters by American Crafts. Hope your having a lovely weekend!  -XO. K.

Friday, November 26, 2010

What I Wore Today...

I planned on spending the entire day at home, since I have the day off from work and school.

Hat- TJMaxx Sweater- thrifted Dress- JCPenny Tights- Forever 21 Boots- Kohls

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

 I am so excited to have this day to just relax and spend with my loved ones. I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a blessed day with family and friends. I am thankful for so many things in my life, and hope everyone takes a moment to realize that despite all the bad, the world is truly a beautiful place. I haven't started cooking yet, but I thought I'd share some photos of this year versus last year. Last year I painted our dining and living room areas just before Thanksgiving.

As you can see from my before and after pictures from last year, I have also replaced the cheesy faux wood and gold ceiling fan and the dining table. The new dining table is a very dark mahogany, which I find works better with the plum and orange colors in the dining room. It is also an oval shape, which I've always wanted, and it helps give more space to walk around the table. Have a wonderful day! -XO K.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside

Oh yes it is! This morning when I checked the temp on my car outside of Celeste's school, it was a whole 7 degrees. I have been very bundled lately, but I usually am. I'm the layering type. I like to layer a tank, a tee, a cardigan and then my jacket on top of that. Or I layer leggings with knee highs, so cozy! I have a bit of a scarf addiction, and I love this red one. It is the first scarf I ever made, so it is uniquely flawed. I wanted it to be long, so I made it very long, and over the years it has stretched, so now I have to wrap it a few times around my neck to keep it off the ground. It is also about an inch wider on one end, don't ask me how I managed that! Needless to say, I still love to crochet, and I want to make myself some more colorful scarves very soon. I am also loving this knit beret I picked up recently. It doesn't make my hair all flattened out like a beanie, and it is nice and cozy too.
Beret and gloves- Forever 21 Jacket and Jeans- American Eagle Scarf- Handmade by me

Tonight I will be making a mad dash to the grocery store after class. I haven't had time to do it any sooner, my schedule is so jam packed. But I'm hoping to pick up some rhubarb to make a strawberry rhubarb pie. Then I will relax by myself with a glass (or three) of wine and work on some sketches. Celeste is with her Dad. So it's just me, my pie, my drink, and my pencil. Hope it's a lovely evening for all!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Solar Plate Print

I really love how my solar plate print turned out. I posted last week about the plate here. On Friday I cut the plate into pieces and made this lovely print. In addition to intaglio printing of the solar plate, there is also a collagraph print and a technique called chine colle. Chine colle is when you glue down a Japanese paper to your paper and your image is printed on top. You actually put the glue (Nori paste) on your paper and then line your papers up on the plates, then place your paper to be printed on top of that and roll through the press. Voila! You've added a lovely accent to your print. Love how it turns out and I can't wait to experiment more. -XO K.

Reduction Cut Woes

I really loved the sketch I made to create my reduction cut print, but the print itself, I'm not so happy with. While it was really fun to see the print slowly come to life with each layer I added, I also saw so many of my prints see their death with each layer that I added! And now, after printing my final layer, I have two prints of the twenty something I made that in my opinion are Okay.
A reduction cut is a form of printing where you take one block and make several layers with the one block. As you print each layer, you cut away your block to make the next layer, thus destroying your plate in the process of making your print. So the prints you have at the end of the process are all the prints you will ever get from that block.
So where did I go wrong? Well there are a few things I have attributed to my lack of good prints at the end of this process.
1. this is the first time I've done this
2. tearing paper (as is the fashion of printmaking) often leads to less than perfect edges
3. my registration guide didn't work (I don't know why, maybe the less than perfect edges!)
4. I may have chosen too detailed of an image for my first time at this, guess I'm an over achiever
5. I should have done more prints, thus increasing my odds of "a good one"

Here are some crappy cell phone pictures that I have been taking of this process. You can see as those last layers get added, my print just loses all is beauty. But it was a fun process to experience, and I'm not saying I'll never do it again, I'll just be more careful in my image choice and my registration! I will post a better quality, scanned image when the ink dries.
 This is my block on the registration guide.
 This is the first layer printed.
 Second layer.
 Second layer.
 Third layer.
 Final layer.
  Final layer.
  Final layer.
Original sketch.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Sweet Vintage Dress

I just wanted to share this pretty vintage number I picked up a couple weeks ago.  I really love the fit, it hugs the curves and flows very well. The only problem I ran into was it was a little snug after cheesecake! I also noticed a couple seams that need mending, but it is in pretty darn good shape. It has a very soft silky feel, but it has no tags so I'm not exactly sure what the material is. XO -K.

P.S. For those of you in Reno, I found it at Junkee

Monday, November 15, 2010

Project Monday

This Monday's inspiration is "A Recipe for Fall". Fall is actually my favorite season, and part of it is the wonderful flavors. I especially love to make all things pumpkin. This is a chocolate mocha cheesecake. It is an absolutely rich and decadent dessert that ties in well with the season. It's chocolate and mocha flavors just make you want to snuggle up with your sweetie as the cool winds blow the leaves off the trees outside. So, without further adieu, one of my sweeties fall favorites....


1 1/2 cup crushed oreo crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted

2 TB plus 1 1/2 t instant coffee granules
1 TB boiling water
1/4 t cinnamon
4 8oz. cream cheese, soft
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
4 eggs lightly beaten
2t vanilla
2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled slightly

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 TB butter
Chocolate covered coffee beans, optional

1) Grease 9 inch spring form pan. Set aside. Combine cookie crumbs and butter. Press into pan. Place on a double thickness of foil, securely wrap foil around pan. set aside. In a small bowl combine water, coffee and cinnamon. Set aside
2) In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and flour until smooth. Add eggs, beat on low until combined. Stir in vanilla. Divide batter in half. Stir melted chocolate into one half, pour into crust. Stir coffee into other half and spoon over chocolate layer.
3) Place pan in a large baking pan, add one inch of hot water to larger pan. Bake at 325 for 45-50 minutes or until center is set and top appears dull. Remove pan form water. Cool on wire rack for ten minutes. Run knife around edge of pan to loosen. Remove foil. Cool one hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
4)In microwave bowl, melt chocolate chips and butter, stir until smooth, spread over cheesecake. Remove sides of pan, garnish with chocolate covered coffee beans.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Serial Typology

Our latest assignment in my photography course was called "Serial Typology". We had to take a series of photos where the subject of the photos was the same type throughout the series. For example, a series of photos where the subject is mid century ranch homes, or palm trees of south Florida.
Initially I thought it would be neat to take pictures of peoples feet, just a shot of their feet with lower legs. But I was way too embarrassed to walk around asking random people "Hey, your shoes are cute, can I take your picture?"

So I decided to take pictures of front doors in an older residential area here in Reno. I wasn't really happy with how they turned out. But the class and my instructor loved them, and my instructor is even putting them up on display! So I wanted to share my favorites from the series here with you, what do you think?


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