Saturday, May 31, 2008

Biscotti and Tea

Making biscotti for MJ. I found this recipe and made a batch a few days ago. I was so happy with it, that I made a triple batch last night. A batch for my friend MJ, a batch for my Dad, and a batch for the girls at my work. Although I was up til midnight, and I was happy to have biscottti and tea this morning!

This is what 3 batches of biscotti looks like. It was so large I could keep it in the bowl, so I had to turn it out onto the cutting board.

Just out of the oven!
All wrapped up for MJ!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Strawberry Jam

The last day of my three days off, and this morning my boy and I made strawberry jam. Atleast I can pretend that I'm Martha Stewart and don't have to go back to the duldrum of my work life tomorrow.

The process was fairly easy, but I had some help. We'll see how it turns out. The liquid takes 48 hours to set. Hopefully I'll being enjoying strawberry jam on buttermilk biscuits the day after tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Venture to Scrap in SF

Went to Scrap this afternoon to check out the offerings. I've heard a lot about this place, and wanted to see what goodies I could find there. Some have compared it to Berkeley's Urban Ore, but it was more in the flavor of Center for Creative Reuse...a place for raw materials and whatnots instead of furniture and architectural salvage.

Scrap has a shelves of paper, rows of bindings and fabric remnants, and much more. Among my favorites, were the spools of thread and old sewing patterns.

We found a couple of good things, but there is lots of promise for finding treasures at a place like this.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gocco Nite 2


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Gocco Crazy

I am officially addicted! After printing coasters with MJ, I went out and bought tea towel material and fabric ink and printed teacups and silverware on teatowels all night long!
I think I might be crazy enough to buy the larger gocco!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Gocco Printing with the PG 5

I was so happy to finally buy a Gocco Printer and yet it sat in the box for two weeks, untouched after it arrived. Luckily with the company of MJ and her Gocco, we printed some coasters this morning. The whole process was far easier than I anticipated and I was very happy with the results. Although the instructions are in Japanese (because its a Japanese product) it does come with a VHS (also in Japanese) demonstrating how to "Print Gocco." The PG 5 machine we used comes with a set of screens and bulbs, 3 tubes of ink, and a pen so you can create a screen from an original drawing. You can also use any image that's been xeroxed or printed with a toner based printer. MJ did an drawing of flying birds, and I did a clip art image of a woman.

After using it once, I can see how this might become addicting! Check out Group Gocco and Loco for Gocco on Flickr to see more stuff printed with the Gocco!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Antiquing in Walnut Creek

A few weeks ago I went to this little antique shop called Quail Country Antiques in Walnut Creek.
This weekend is their annual yard sale, and my friend MJ and I went this morning when they opened at 9am. Although we didn't beat the heat despite the hour, we did find some truly unique items at great prices. The yard sale is held on the shaded gravel drive running alongside the historic little house that is home to an abundance of wonderful antique treasures all year long. Tables nestled along the path were laden with metal egg baskets, antique tins, and antiquated kitchen utensils. Quilts were stacked in piles, and antique toys waited patiently to be taken home. Beautiful rustic wooden fixtures housed vintage Christmas findings, antique crockery, vintage story books and weathered metal watering cans. There were metal picnic baskets, old cabinets, paper ephemera and so much more!

For just under a hundred dollars I found a dozen or more great old things to bring home. Vintage wooden spools, a wooden shoe form (although I have many, this one has red on it!), biscuit tins, and a wooden tea box are just some of the incredible items I found.
One of the best things I purchased was a set of old slides depicting children's book like illustrations of animals and various other things.

All in all it was well worth the sweltering heat!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

26 Today

26 today and celebrated all weekend long. No longer a quarter of a century, but somewhere slightly beyond. A new year for making art, crafts, and figuring out what I want from life, what I need for myself, and who I will share it all with. Too tired for answers tonight, but hopefully will have a few ideas in the year to come, a step closer whatever it is I am supposed to do, whoever I am supposed to "be." oh, peonies are my favorite flower, and I received three (my lucky number) beautiful pink ones from my "person." 26 is off to a good start.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A New Find Called "Filthy Gorgeous"

Was in the Walnut Creek area today for an antique store yard sale (which yielded a few good finds), and happened upon this store in the downtown area. The shop is called Filthy Gorgeous, and lives up to its name an more! The space is beautiful... candle lit, long and narrow with high ceilings and cement floors, laden with unusual treasures and findings. Architectural remnants, and sculptures stand tall next to delicate mercury glass style votives, flickering candles reflecting shadows in the softly lit space. Objects new, old and reclaimed are to be found, along with remakes of vintage children's toys and beautifully crafted paper crowns. A wall of carefully stacked bowls, cups and vessels is opposite a bed adorned in French linens, silken pastel Chinese lanterns hanging overhead. My favorite finds were the teal and brown speckled bird's eggs, and the white glass balls with the letters printed on them in ebony black. Both came home with me... I bought the lettered balls to spell out Twin Crow, the name of my online store, and at 1.25 to 1.50 each, they were a steal! A great find!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Return of the Plastic Camera

I love taking photos and have always been a bit addicted to buying cameras. I recently purchased a stereo camera from eBay (which I have yet to use), as well as a few plastic cameras. My most treasured new purchase however, is the Diana+ camera by Lomo. The Diana+ is a plastic camera, a remake of the 1960s version which failed in its day. This camera is entirely made of plastic, and creates these dreamy vignetted images because of its construction and light leakage. I have owned a Holga for years (a similar plastic camera that also takes 120 film), and it was too perfect, I rarely had vignetting, and I was too lazy to modify the camera. What's so great about the Diana+ is that it also has a pinhole setting, two masks that allow you to take either 12 or 16 exposure per role, plus you can take one continuous panoramic image. This image is of my boyfriend's daughter and is from the first roll of film I shot with the Diana+. Its shot with Fujicolor Pro 400 H, 120. When I picked up the pics from Sarber's Camera shop, I was immediately in love. Check out the lomo website for cool Diana+ pics from other Diana+ users, and flickr has some good Diana+ groups as well.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Am happy to say I made a dozen ATCs last night. In the beginning of my ATC discovery, I started making ATCs with rubber stamps. Soon after I moved into making them with original drawings and paintings, but I love stamps and like using them in combination with drawn images. I pulled out my stamps last night for the first time in months, and made a series of bird themed ATCs (did I mention I love birds)? I posted them on Flickr, and hope to start trading more regularly. Its hard to get back into doing things consistently, making time to build something back into your routine, and it has always been something I struggle with in my painting. I think I have art ADD.