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!!!