Friday, March 25, 2011

Pirate Party!

So I realize it's been a while since I blogged. Oops. I guess it's just because I have been busy and sick for the past week. I started getting sick on St. Patrick's day and have had a bad cold since then. It's getting better now though, thank goodness! We had a lovely time on St. Patrick's day waiting for Ben's new piano to be delivered, travelling to Eau Claire, playing with Ben's sister's new puppy, and eating supper with her and her friends. Oh, and I was productive that day, I started a new painting for a friend who asked me to paint a picture of her dog. :) It's not finished yet so I haven't taken pictures, but I'll post some when it's done.

Friday morning we had to head back to Minneapolis as soon as we woke up because Ben got called into work. I spent the rest of the day preparing for the pirate party we had that night. It was a smaller party than most of our other ones have been, so I didn't go overboard (see what I did there?) with food and decorations and stuff. I made a baked potato bar and tried to attach sliced cheese sails to them to make them look like little potato boats (an idea I got from Amy Sedaris' craft book Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People) but it didn't work. :( Oh well though! At least they tasted good. For potato toppings I just put out butter, sour cream, a few types of cheese, and bacon bits cooked up by my friend Erik. Erik and another friend, Elliot, helped me with the majority of the baking for the evening which was really nice of them. Elliot and I made an apple pie-rate ship using this recipe: We omitted the walnuts and raisins though.

Elliot and I also made these delicious chocolate cookies that are supposed to look like tricorne hats, but I think we rolled them out a little too thick so they kind of puffed up and lost their shape. Oh well haha. I'll know for next time!

I got the idea for the apple pie-rate ship and the idea and recipe for the tricorne hat cookies from this site. Hers look much much better than mine haha. In my defense, I was in a big rush when I was making mine--trying to get everything done in time for the party. :)
and here's the cookie recipe:

I replaced the brown sugar with white sugar because I was low on brown sugar after the pie and I am not a big fan of brown sugar + chocolate, I don't think they go very well together for some reason.

Oh! I almost forgot the star of the night! The Scurvy Fightin' (Fuzzy Navel) Jell-O shots! A recipe I made up by making normal orange jello but replacing 1/4 cup of water with Peach Schnapps. They tasted like sunshine! And I let them set up in hollowed out orange peels. An idea I got from this website:
I couldn't get a very good picture of them unfortunately. I am really getting sick of my camera not doing well in low lighting. I don't know how to fix it though. :( Oh well!

Here are some more fun pictures from the evening! It was a very good time, lots of interpretive dancing to disney music (I know--very piratey,) Circle of Death (which a lot of us played with soda because we didn't want to drink) and catch phrase! Good-mostly clean-fun!

Erik A with his sword. Ben helped the two Eriks make swords from random wood we had around the apartment. I did NOT appreciate them sawing wood in the kitchen and gettin sawdust all over the floor while I was trying to cook! Haha!
This picture is terrifying and I love it haha.
This is one of my favorites from the night haha. Emily was a 'pie rat' hence the ears and the shirt with pie on it haha.
Erik H with his sword and the pirate costume we made up for him in like 15 minutes out of random stuff him and Ben had.
Circle of Death!
I love this picture! Erik, India and Gennie all look really happy! :D
Dueling Eriks
Catch phrase! I LOVED Chelsey's impromptu costume. Isn't she adorable?
LoL Ben showing me a little leg while sitting on Erik H's lap. Also, I love how many people are crammed on our little couch. Poor Jeremiah is practically falling off the edge!
India giving Erik H a sweet temp. tat from a tattoo book her and Erik A brought with them!
All done!
Rambo? Is that you?
Ben singing and using fake bones as drumsticks while Jeremiah played the piano to "Don't Stop Believin' "
Christina with Merry and Pippin! Haha.

Interpretive dancing to "Circle of Life" from the Lion King.

I think the pictures speak for themselves. It was a good night! Hope these made you smile. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

No internet for St. Patty's Day!

I had a great time today chatting with old friends, watching SNL, and eating junk food. I need to do that more often. It makes me sad how antisocial college has made me. I'm going to make it my mission to change that this year. I'm going to be a total extrovert and seek out adventure instead of waiting for it to come to me! :D

Ben and I have decided we're going to do fun things (hopefully outside if the weather is nice) instead of go on the internet tomorrow. I only did half a painting today but will hopefully finish a painting and a half tomorrow without the internet here to distract me! :) The piano will be delivered tomorrow so Ben is super duper excited. We're also going to his awesome sister's place tomorrow night in Eau Claire for a birthday celebration for one of her friends and to play with her adorable puppy Pepper. It should be a good time! Happy St. Patrick's Day everybody! Sorry I don't have any pictures to post-- I will put some up on Friday morning when we get back from Eau Claire.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

When it rains it pours!

It was very drizzly outside this morning and during the early afternoon. I can't say I was too upset about it though. I figure, if it's warm enough to rain, it's getting close to springtime and if it rains the snow will melt faster and I'll start seeing grass sooner! Anyways, the sun eventually decided to come out and clear up the cobwebs and the sorrows and all that jazz.

The rainy weather was a perfect opportunity for me to go grocery shopping and clean the kitchen and for Ben to rearrange our entire living room. He had to move everything around to make room for his new piano. The piano will be delivered on Thursday sometime and I will take some photos of our new living room then. I actually like the room set up a lot better the way it is now. It seems cozier but more spacious at the same time... if that makes any sense. Anyways, it's nice to have change once in a while. I think our next rearranging project will be the kitchen cupboards. As they are now, I have to hold five different things in place while trying to weasel out the thing I want to avoid an avalanche of baking supplies, pots and pans, canned goods, etc. It's kind of a hassle. Anyways, now that our kitchen is spotless and our living room looks different, I decided maybe it was time I finish up a painting I started months ago to hang in our kitchen. So, here it is!

I have always loved the Morton Salt Girl. I just think she's so adorable! I thought she would be a perfect addition to my kitchen since it kind of has a yellow and blue color scheme going on. (Or at least I'm trying to make it have a yellow and blue color scheme as much as I can without painting the walls.) To stick with this color scheme I decided to make another painting for a different part of the kitchen. This one is kind of an alla prima painting of blackeyed susan flowers. Unfortunately the camera does not capture the colors very accurately. It's a lot more vivid in person. I really like it, especially since it only took me about an hour and a half.
Also, that white spot in the middle of the blue is just glare from the lights. I hope all of you had a fabulous day like I did! Tomorrow I'm cooking supper for a couple friends I haven't seen in a long time, I'm super excited! I may not post recipes/new art until Thursday if they are over late, but that's okay, it just means we're having lots of fun! :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

New Piano, Cute Guinea Pigs, and Failed Art.

Today Ben bought a brand spankin' new piano for our apartment! Well, actually he's renting it for a year but it's one of those rent-to-own sort of dealios. Anyways, that's pretty exciting! I think we might try offering piano lessons to kids in our area. The guy at the piano store told us he'd put our names on a list of piano teachers that he recommends if we wanted. He also said the cheapest piano lessons he's heard of around here are $15 per half hour lesson so we should charge at least that. Holy moly! Right? That's a lot of money for fun work!

After our trip to the piano store we went to Pet Junction to get some guinea pig food. They sell it in bulk there for really cheap! They also have other types of bulk pet food and doggy treats so I'd recommend checking it out if you have one in your area! There was a nine week old border collie puppy in the store when we went there and I could hardly handle the cuteness! :)

Here's some cuteness for you! My guinea pigs Merry and Pippin.

Pippin is the sleeping one, Merry is the fat one. We got their cage at a rummage sale and I haven't been able to get those weird stains off the glass, I'm not sure what they're from or what to do about them. Also, their ghetto water bottle/log/clothespin contraption is something I'm not really sure how to explain. Basically, the problem is we don't have hooks to hang the water bottle on the side of the cage so my dad tried to rig something up with a hanger. When that didn't work we just stuck it in the log (but it falls through without the duct tape around it) and never bothered taking the hanger off. Then my mom thought she'd figure out a way for their hay to be within reach but not on the ground where they walk all over it so she attached a clothespin to the hanger and clipped their hay into it. Unfortunately the guinea pigs were scared and confused by the clothespin so they refused to eat from it. So there you have it. That's the story of our MacGyver inspired guinea pig cage.

Anyways, as for my creative project for the day, I'm afraid I've been rather unsuccessful. I did make a painting but I am no where near happy with it. Perhaps I will post photos of it tomorrow after making some changes. Otherwise I will make it my goal to create TWO new paintings/ sculptures/recipes/whatever tomorrow! But just to show you guys I really WAS working on something today, I will take a picture of my rough preliminary sketch.

Ok, so actually I've decided to show you my painting thus far because maybe you can offer suggestions I haven't thought of! It's always helpful to get constructive criticism, especially when you feel a bit stuck (which is where I'm at right now.) I want to retouch it a bit and add some more detail I think, but then I wonder if it will be worth it or if I'm going to end up hating this painting in the end anyways. Here you go! Rip it apart please. I need some guidance.
Also, there isn't a random dark area in the background on the left side, that was just a shadow from me taking the picture. Have a nice night world! I think I'm going to get to bed. I've got a busy day ahead of me tomorrow! :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Down the Rabbit Hole and Chocolate Trifle!

I think I'm going to start this blog as a part of a project for my documentary cinema class. Our assignment is to document something (ANYTHING) over the course of the semester. I think a blog will be a great way for me to document my artistic endeavors as well as my adventures in the kitchen over the course of a semester. Also, I hope this will help me organize my recipes and keep track of my art. Hopefully this blog will be useful to others as well. Maybe it will be inspiration for new meals or new artwork of your own.

Right now I am on spring break until the 20th of March. I am super excited about this because it means less homework and more painting/drawing/sculpting/baking! My goal for the week is to make one new creation every day and share them with you fine people! (I have no idea who you people are actually, but I'm sure you're lovely.)

I will start by posting my projects from yesterday and today.

Saturday March 12, 2011- I had a bunch of scrap wood laying around my apartment and for some reason one piece of it just screamed "DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE!" at me. I had been thinking about making this painting for a few days and had sketched a couple plausible designs in my notebooks while bored in class. Saturday night my wonderful boyfriend Ben and I decided to watch the new Alice in Wonderland movie since neither of us had seen it, and I decided that was a perfect opportunity to start my painting. I had Ben saw part of the board off so it wouldn't be too heavy to hang after I painted it. Then I got started sketching everything out with a pencil. I painted the piece with acrylics and used black felt tipped pens for the outlines. I plan to cover the whole thing in a clear sealer and attach hooks for hanging it to the back.

Here are some close up shots of Alice and the vegetation at the bottom. Alice was based on the Disney version, but I tried to make her look a little different with duller colors and things like that.

The toadstools, fiddle-head ferns, mushrooms, and tiger lilies were all just off the top of my head.
Anyways, I'm hoping to open an Etsy shop to sell paintings like this and some more traditional style paintings as well. Let's move on to today's creation!

Sunday, March 13, 2011 I made a chocolate trifle today! It was super delicious but super sweet. I think I prefer raspberry trifle to chocolate just because I needed like 3 glasses of milk to wash this thing down. Plus raspberry trifle seems a lot lighter when I make that. Anyways, one of my friends who is a self proclaimed chocoholic loved it so I will share the recipe for those of you who need a little more chocolate in your life right now.

I apologize for the crappy pictures. My kitchen has terrible lighting for taking pictures of food. Anyways, on with the recipe!

1 package of brownie mix prepared (or your favorite brownie recipe)
1 3.9 ounce package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup water
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Crushed/shaved chocolate bar of some sort (I used crushed Heath)

Beat whipping cream with mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold in powdered sugar and vanilla.
Combine chocolate pudding mix, sweetened condensed milk, and water in a large bowl. Fold in 1/3 of whipped cream mixture.
Cut brownies into 1 inch squares and place 1/2 the brownie squares on the bottom of a trifle dish or glass bowl. Spread half the chocolate pudding mixture on top of the brownies. Put half the whipped cream on top of the chocolate pudding mixture. Repeat this for another layer. On top of the final whipped cream layer, add some shaved chocolate or crushed candy bar pieces. That's it! It's pretty simple but dirties a lot of bowls. Enjoy! (Refrigerate leftovers)
Thanks for reading! Have a great day. :)