Sunday, July 28, 2013

Craft Time: Cheap, Cool, Wall Art

One advantage of being an artist is always having stuff to put up on the walls, but even with that said, we artists get bored at looking at our own stuff all the time and even we need easy, cheap, graphic ways to enhance our living spaces. A great way to do this is by using prints. Now prints can be found anywhere, but some of the best can be found in well made books. I was lucky enough to find a very cool book from the 80's at a local book sale, it was only a dollar! and it features movie posters from the beginning of the 20th century (1910 to about the 1940's). There were so many cool posters to pick from!
Like this one!!!! Thrill Crazy, Kill Crazy, Gun Crazy!! Too cool...
....also this book had these images in many different sizes...
...and shapes! So it was easy to find one that fit the frame and mat I already had, speaking of which...
The best place to find frames are at thrift stores. Don't worry about the size, color, or shape! Paint is an easy fix. Either spray paint them or hand paint them. The frame I used was unfinished so it was easy to just quickly brush on a couple coats of craft paint. If the frame has a clear coat either sand it down or spray paint it in a series of layers and thin coats, them seal it yourself with a spray varnish. Also, if you can, buy frames that come with mats. Even art work already in them, you can just tear it out and keep the mat, like I did with this one.
Once you pick our print, cut it down to size and masking tape it onto our mat.
There you you go, looks pretty good!
...and this is how it looks framed and hanging on the wall. To make it more dramatic, do groupings and place them in a row, or if you're working with multiple sizes and shapes, hang them in a random pattern. Just lay it out on the floor and experiment. You can even trace the outline of each frame onto paper and tape them on the wall until you get the right grouping, this will save you a lot of headache and nail holes!
Books aren't the only place to find awesome prints to frame, this is a print I got from a movie store's going out of business sale. They had thousands of these postcard like movie prints used for advertising the rentals. I got them 20 for a dollar. This frame was a thrift store find also and it was gold and ugly, but I bought it anyway. I spray painted it and added my own hand painted text and it came out pretty cool. This one has glass in it so sorry for the reflection of my bikini clad boobs (ooops)
This is another movie store sign print. Again with a thrift store frame and a thrift store mat from another frame I had. This mat was, at first glance extremely ugly in its original frame with a really horrible "country kitchen" print but with the right art and frame, it totally changes the whole feel of it. Just goes to show, never let first impressions sway you from buying cheap frames and mats from thrift stores! This one has glass too, sorry for the crappy refection AGAIN!!!

I have a website!!!!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Eat Me: Super Easy Chili

Cooking dinner all by my self...take two... This time I am doing Chili, the easiest, quickest, yet still tasty way I know. I can actually pull this off, started cooking this recipe about 13 years ago, I was a vegetarian and living with my parents who put pork in EVERYTHING and I had to eat sometime so I started cooking this. It takes no culinary skill what so ever. First step....Chop up a green bell pepper, an onion, and a couple cloves of garlic.

Heat some olive oil in a pot over medium heat and throw in the garlic, this will infuse the oil with all that garlicky goodness

Throw in the pepper and onion and cook till the onions start to become slightly translucent. Now its time for either the meat, if you choose to go that route. Brown it if so. If not just go straight to all the can goods...

Here we have a 2 to 2 ratio. 2 cans of beans to two cans of diced tomatoes. This can be your choice, whatever you like. I am into kidney beans and black beans and a mix of fire roasted tomatoes with a can of tomatoes with green chilies. It's up to you

Our can opener broke months ago, yet we still haven't bought a new one for some reason, so I have to use this little thing...I had to start opening these cans as soon as I started the vegetables... it takes forever! and its a real workout for the thumb...Anyway...Pour all the cans in the pot, juice and all and stir.

Now here's my cheat....a chili packet. Quick, easy, no fuss, and they come in different heat levels. Pour it in, and its done.

Now, you just gotta let it simmer, so throw a top on it, reduce heat and cook for about an hour.
Look at that fancy shit!!! I like mine with sour cream, avacado, and crack....I mean crackers...

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Eat Me: Eggplant Parmesan

I am not a cook. I fucking hate it, and I suck at it. However, I am now being forced to learn how to fend for myself since my wonderful cook of a husband has to work most nights. This was my first time cooking Eggplant Parmesan, but it is something I have watched my husband cook a thousand times before, so I thought I could pull it off. First you need an eggplant, of course. This was a medium sized one. I sliced it lengthwise, had to be different... Cutting it in half first, then those halves in half. Two of these will have a whole side nothing but skin so slice the skin thinly to remove most of it.
The next step is VERY important,the salting of the eggplant. This is done to remove the moisture from inside the eggplant. Use a coarse salt like sea salt because you do not want the eggplant to absorb a lot of it. After salting both sides place on a rack for about 10-15 minutes.

You will begin to see the water accumulate on the surface. Rinse the salt of and pat dry. Now it's ready to fry!!! So get your oil up to temp in a large pan. You will only need about a half inch of oil to fry in. Also turn your oven to 375.

Like most breading processes, you will need three "stations". First is the flour, then a couple beaten eggs, and finally bread crumbs. Working with one piece at a time, coat an eggplant slice in flour, then dip it in the egg, then dredge it in the bread crumbs.

Then fry away! When they are golden on both sides, drain on some paper towels. While they are sitting, get out your baking dish, and coat the bottom with a little sauce. I used spaghetti sauce in a jar.

Place the eggplant on the sauce...

Top with more sauce and CHEESE!!! I used about a half of a bag of that "Italian blend"....

Throw it in the oven, bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is all bubbly delicious.

...and serve with spaghetti and a simple salad of greens with a red wine vinaigrette. So simple even I could pull it off!!! Fuck Yeah, look at that shit!!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Craft Time: Honey Bear Vase

First off this little project is a rip off of a very popular, hipster yuppie, blog...... I thought it was cool nonetheless, and because I have recently (over the past couple months) started using honey as a sweetener and drinking shit loads of tea, I am beginning to acquire honey bear containers. So I thought, I should make these into cute little vases like those hipsters. However, in that blog, which shall remain nameless, they used gold leaf. Now I don't know about you, but I do not have gold leaf laying around, I am not that kinda girl, I do however have spray paint, cherry red spray paint, so that's how I am starting this little project. I also used my cell phone to take the photos in the demo, so they are really shitty quality (my real camera was dead) sorry....

 OK first off remove that eye sore cork screw top. If you cut it off right above the large rim, it will come off so perfectly that it will have a nice lip and no need to sand it down. I did this with a serrated knife. First I tried a x-acto knife, but those bears are thick. So, I moved on to my husbands fancy cutlery.
(what he doesn't know won't hurt him....or his cutlery)

Now, break out that spray paint, and lightly spray that honey bear down. I left it at one coat so its still kind of opaque and his cute little eyes and nose show through.

Fill it up with stuff....

 Honey bear don't care...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Craft Time: Upcycling with Decoupage

I friend gave me this rack of jars, I thought they would be awesome to use for my art/sewing supplies. They were glazed pottery, so I decided the best bet, DECOUPAGE the shit outta them. It's so easy, and quick, and the results can be quite drastic. Here's how I tuned redneck country into artsy eclectic

First, make sure the item to be decoupaged is clean, also figure out the best way to approach the "covering" stage. I decided to keep the lip with green glaze exposed, as well as the green rim on the top. Also because of the shape, and because I wanted to cover the whole surface, not just slap on a cutout image, I decided to use hand torn strips to create more abstract images and patterns.

 I use Mod Podge. Now this is only the second time I've decoupaged something. I have only used Mod Podge, there may be something better to use, or a better way to do it....but this is how I am doing it!!!!! Also use a cheapo brush to apply it, it will make the brush tacky forever, so just keep this as your decoupage brush.

OK, So take an image, here I am using vintage map book pages. I roughly ripped the paper into strips, thick ones and thinner ones, good to have variety for use later.

Brush on a nice layer of the Mod Podge onto the back of the strip of paper.

Flip it over and place it where you want it to stay, and brush on a nice coat of Mod Podge over the front. Using your finger, smooth out the edges, u may have to do some sliding around and creasing to match the contours of the object.

I wanted the bottoms of the jars to not be covered, so I turned them over to dry, then went back while still a little tacky, and cut the excess paper off around the bottom edge with scissors and a razor blade.


To finish them, I also decorated the lids, I cut out little images for each one, and did the same thing, coat the back...

Coat the front...and DONE!!!!

I decoupaged each jar with a different image, this one is alligator skin, ripped from a old reptile field guide...

This one is text and illustrations from a vintage Art book. This book is also where I got all the cool images for the tops. This helped to tie them all in too.

This one's my favorite, its a picture of organ slides from a medical journal. Note the abscess.

The black and white flight pattern map of the US from the Demo...
A cool picture from a gamer magazine...

And.....the last one, vintage, pastel colored, geography map!!! (my second favorite)

To finish them off, I wrapped some hemp cord around the necks, to cover the uneven edges of the paper. Now, I just have to figure out what to do with that plain wooden rack they sit in.....

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

SlutWalk Norfolk 2012

 This past Saturday I attended the SlutWalk in Norfolk.  I had been waiting for months after first hearing about it coming to Norfolk, and was so excited to march with my fellow “sluts”. 
See the news story here

SlutWalk began in Toronto in 2011, in response to a remark made by a representative of the Toronto police stating: “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”.  In this one statement the Toronto police:  

  1.   Showed their serious lack of knowledge (most convicted rapists admit they don’t remember what the victim was wearing, actually they mostly look at the shoes of the victim to determine the ability to run away or fight back (break out those steel toed docs ladies!!!! )
  2. Blamed the victim, it is such bullshit that the POLICE would create a situation where they are telling women if they get rapped it may be because of something SHE did. Fuck, it is ridiculous how many sexual assault stories I have heard from women where the first thing they were asked by their “loved ones” after telling them they were assaulted were things like “well, what were you wearing” or “did you lead him on” or “you should have….(insert things such as fight back, got away, not been there, not been alone, not have blah blah blah blah) all that shit is victim blaming. They are taking someone who has just had a horrible thing happen to them by some fucking asshole and instead of comforting them, they are blaming them. When will people understand it is not our fault! It is NEVER OUR FAULT!!! Don’t fucking act like or insinuate I asked for what was done to me, or I wanted it.
  3. Shamed women’s sexuality, bodies, and choice to wear what the hell ever we want. Slut shaming needs to end. A woman’s sexual promiscuity is no one’s business and does not warrant a sexual assault against them. The term slut itself carries a negative connotation, used as an insult, aimed predominantly AT WOMEN! Why should a women be judged by how often or infrequent she has sex, or by how many lovers she chooses to take or not to take. It is a personal choice. Sexual pleasure should not be shameful nor should it have negative cogitations associated with it. Women have lived with that shit for millennium, it needs to stop.
So, I just showed what the Toronto police insinuated, however, I also showed what society at large believes and feels. This is why SlutWalks are taking place all over the world, from New York to London to India. If you area a survivor ask yourself, were you made to feel shame, in any way in the wake of your assault, or now, even if it has been decades, do you still feel ashamed or at fault? Why do you feel that? What made you/who made you feel that way? If you are not a survivor, is your friend, your family member, your partner? How did you react when they told you? How did others react? Do you find your answers startling? Insightful? Eye opening?

At the SlutWalk on Saturday, I showed up wearing what some would consider slutty attire, though it really wasn’t much different then what I would normally wear on a night out. I had my sign, spray painted with lyrics from bikini kill and 7 year bitch, I had my best slut friend by my side, and we marched with other liked minded individuals, of all ages, races, gender expressions and orientations. We chanted and screamed and paraded, and then we shared our stories. Well, I didn’t share mine, I couldn’t bring myself to stand in front of so many people and tell my stories. But other women came forward and they were the most heart wrenching things imaginable. There was this one young woman who came forward, and in her I saw myself. Like me her innocence and child hood was taken from her early on. Like me, she became a hollow shell of herself, like me she blamed and physically punished herself. Like me she still has all those scars. I cried for her, and all those other women, and for myself and my friends. And looked around to see the circle of people surrounding me, all with tears and anger and relief in their eyes, it was an experience like no other. It was possibly one of the single most moving experiences in my life.

One a lighter note, we also got to witness Ramon Colorado of "Norfolk Dirt" get arrested. Now don’t judge me, cause ya know I have no respect for pigs, but man seeing that dumb ass get arrested was so fucking AWESOME. Long story short, this dumb ass, well known for his anti PETA antics, decided to take a personal stand against SlutWalk. He did this by insults, propaganda, harassment, and showing up to the walk with his little notebook filming his exploits, all the while having a warrant out for his arrest. So the cops snagged him. You can see his video shenanigans here. I especially liked the fact that he ignores and does not reply to the questions asked by the woman he encounters at the back of the line, then prompts her to “keep speaking” to get her message out, while she patiently waits for his explanations. What a scum bag.

update!!!! The "scum bag" is dead!!! He was shot and killed in a drug store, allegedly he cut in line, acted like an asshole, peppered spray the guy then pulled his gun. Having seen how arrogant, confrontational, and unstable this dude was, I totally believe this guys story, and his self defense plea. The guy is out on bail, read about it here.