NaNo No-Mo

Week 2 and I'm out, that was hard! I kept writing myself into a corner and would pull my hair out trying to write myself out. I did get some ideas for a new project so it's not all bad. I'm thinking of turning my story (well, the good parts) into a graphic novel. I even painted my first panel! The good thing is I don't have to finish it in 1 month. To everyone who actually wins NaNoWriMo: you guys rock!

Lots of new designs!

I've been busy creating some new designs to go on t-shirts, stickers, mugs and other goodies. We have delicious Zombie Brand Human Brain Soup, a cool propaganda style Boston Terrier, a funny design featuring false teeth called Bite, and a cool floral piece called Gun Blossom.


Sunbeam Kitty & Cayenne Peppers

Me and my kitty are enjoying the sun this morning despite the incoming winter cold. I picked the last of my cayenne peppers and my summer balcony garden has now come to a close.


Dried Tomato, Basil & Garlic Bread

I added dried tomatoes, garlic and basil to a French Bread recipe I found online. Yummy!


I'm taking over the kitchen table for NaNoWriMo. I've always wanted to try it so I finally took the plunge and signed up this year. I don't know if I can pull off 50,000 words in a month, but I'll try!


Oven Dried Tomatoes

Whenever I can get tomatoes for under 50 cents a pound I always grab a few pounds to dry in the oven. I love to use them in pasta dishes or on a pizza. Yesterday I started out with 3.12 pounds of Roma Tomatoes.

I popped them in a 170 degree oven for 21 hours and ended up with 6 oz. of dried tomatoes. I think money wise I end up breaking even, but at least I know my tomatoes are fresh!


Om Nom Nom Nom

Sometimes paint looks scrumptious to me, which is probably unhealthy.


Attack of the Schnauzers!

Introducing Schnauzers! I just love these little guys, they look like they have mustaches.
Click here for prints!


Skateboard Decks

I found some old skateboard decks in the trash and dragged them home. They've been primed and are in the process of being painted!


Greetings from the Holodeck!

Here's a funny Star Trek design I made. It's available on t-shirts, postcards, stickers, mugs and other gift items. Click Here!

Faux Finish Technique

Here's a cool faux finish technique that gives the look of leather.

You'll need tissue paper, two colors of acrylic paint (I used raw sienna and raw umber), gesso, matte medium, a bristle brush and some rags.

Coat your surface with a layer of gesso. I'm using some bristol here. Crinkle up a few sheets of tissue paper.

Using the matte medium adhere randomly torn pieces of tissue paper all over your surface. Layer them on top of each other and make sure to coat them with matte medium.

Take the lighter color of acrylic paint and using a rag randomly dab splotches of paint all over.

Take your darker paint and using a rag rub the paint all over the surface making sure to get it in every crease. That's it!


Controlled Chaos - Art Journaling

My very favorite thing to do is take an afternoon break and head down to my tiny local library to browse around. I usually end up in either the science fiction, art or cooking section. This week I checked out "Artists' Journals & Sketchbooks" by Lynne Perrella. It's packed with inspiration and I got started on my first pages today! I'm intimidated by brand new sketchbooks and will usually opt to just shove them in a closet never to be used. Not anymore!


Owl Robot!

I've been watching Molly the Owl and the old Clash of the Titans with Bubo the mechanical owl this last week. I was inspired to make an Owl-Bot!


Popsicle Stick Robot

I bought a big box of 1000 popsicle sticks. The first thing I did was build a robot of course! It's still a work in progress.



The Bread Baker's Apprentice - Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire

Another loaf from The Bread Baker's Apprentice - Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire. It's a moist and chewy bread that's slightly sweet thanks to both brown sugar and honey. The grains I used are brown rice, coarse polenta, rolled oats and wheat bran. I think it will make good toast.


The Bread Baker's Apprentice - Pugliese Bread

I made Pugliese bread today from The Bread Baker's Apprentice. My bread slashing technique is getting better! The first few times I tried it I did not do anything photo worthy. The crust came out nicely because I used a cast iron skillet in the oven with water in it to create steam. The interior of the bread needs work, it should be filled with lots of big holes like ciabatta, but haven't been able to create that kind of crumb yet. Practice makes perfect!


More Baking - Pizza and Wheat Bread

If your boyfriend ever asks you if you need anything from Costco and you say bread flour, be prepared for him to come home with 50 pounds. I'm going to be doing a lot of baking! Today I tried another recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Light Wheat Bread. It makes a nice plain sandwich loaf and it's one of the few recipes from the book that only takes one day to make.

I also whipped up a couple of pizzas for dinner. One veggie with zucchini, artichoke hearts and roasted yellow peppers; and one meat with pepperoni, sausage and green chili. Now I just have 47 more pounds of flour to use up.


Worn Out Jeans? Make a Rag Quilt!

I recently went through my closet to clear out some old clothes. Some were in good shape so I donated them, but some of the jeans & cords were worn out complete with holes in the knees. I made them into a comfy rag quilt! There are lots of directions for making rag quilts all you need to do is a quick google search. I do have a few tips: get some good rag quilt shears otherwise you will hate yourself for ever starting this project. Another tip is stay by your dryer when you do the first wash and empty the lint trap every few minutes. You'll be surprised how much comes off while everything is fraying! For this particular quilt I used fleece for the backing, it's super warm and cozy!


The Bread Baker's Apprentice - Anadama Bread

I've decided to learn how to properly bake bread so I checked out a copy of "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" from the library. There is so much information in this book that recipes (called formulas in the book) don't even start until page 103! Today I made Anadama Bread which has cornmeal and molasses in it. The recipe made three 1 pound loaves so I baked one, put one in the refrigerator to bake in a few days and froze one. I'm really curious to see how the frozen dough works out. It would be nice to have a few different kinds of bread ready to go in the freezer!


Cooking From The Veganomicon

Last night I made the Leek and Bean Cassoulet (P. 172) from the Veganomicon cookbook. I used veggies that I bought at the farmer's market and fresh thyme from my windowsill herb garden. It was so good! One word of caution: this recipe makes a lot of food!


Cigar Box Ukulele Build - Frets

Frets are finished! I also trimmed some of the paper label away from the cigar box in preparation of attaching the neck.


Cigar Box Ukulele Build - Soundhole

Today I cut the soundhole. I don't have a lot of tools so I had to improvise. I took a piece of jigsaw blade and stuck it into my X-Acto knife holder. It wasn't perfect, but it worked. I smoothed everything out with a file and some sandpaper.

My favorite part is you can see the guy on the inner box label through the hole!