jumbalaya

Let’s get started! First… a classic iphone photo dump. Why? Cause posts without pictures don’t get looked at. HAHAHAHA. You know I am right.

The month is drawing to a close and last I checked I have sent out about 30 snail mail letters/cards/notes. Not too shabby! Those of you who responded, you’re awesome. See that puppy cut out? That was a gift I surprised my friend Shelby with of her pooch Ali. It went over nicely.

Beastie Boys just popped on my spotify… dude, MCA? Sorely missed. And Billy Idol’s “blue highway” has to be one of his most underrated songs EVAR.

You know what is rad? Going through stuff to find a $50 gift card to Sock Dreams you got for xmas and didn’t use. It’s like xmas in June. I just cashed it in for octopi, mummy, bug and superhero prints. I have a total funky sock obsession in case you didn’t know. Knee hi socks just in time for Summer, lol.

“I am gonna write something that I think is deep and meaningful and then I am going to quote myself on my own blog/twitter/fb/instagram account just like this. It makes me look smart and deep.” – ME.

^Note: Quotes are made popular when someone else shares what you said, anything but makes you look like a dumb dumb.

Yesterday was one of, if not, the hottest day of the year so far. I of course decided to walk out with damp hair and it turned into a wavy sponge. It’s a trip how all of a sudden my hair wants to wave. Once I get it longer I am gonna let it do its thing, sport some mermaid, hippie locks. Shameless whoring commences in 1, 2….

Speaking of, if my hair grew at the rate these stupid gray hairs do I would have hair down to my ass by December. What bullshit.

I really have been itching to get a new tattoo but I really need to finish this sleeve before I go there. Now to find a good tattoo artist that WANTS to finish something that someone else started. Right…

I am sick AGAIN. I am gonna talk to the Dr about getting a scan of my sinuses cause this is the 5th time (?) I have had a sinus revolution on my face since November. It’s fucking ridiculous. You know what is also ridiculous? NJ weather that goes from 60 to 90 in a matter of a day. I won’t complain too much, I will take this over the tundra.

I can’t believe I didn’t share this… I am a dick. A couple weeks ago my 7 year e-friend Alice Carrier was in Philly for her art show/tattoo guest spot. Girl is so hella talented and it was awesome to finally meet in person after all this time. Talented and total Portland Babe Fox. Long overdue I say. If you find yourself in or near the PDX you can get tattooed by her at Anatomy Tattoo. Do it!

I started testing the waters in cross stitching. While I need another hobby like I need a bullet to the head, I really enjoyed the process. It is relaxing and frustrating all in one. Now to learn how to make my own patterns.

Our friends Daisy and Sean were in town, along with Jackie who I had heard of but never met. We had a fantastic dinner at Garces Trading Company. It was seriously refreshing to be around “our people” over some tasty eats.

Not sure what rock I have been under but why am I just hearing about Bloglovin? You follow all the blogs you read in one shot! WHAM! I jumped on that stat. Any blogs you love and read often? Looking to freshen up my reading pool.

I am still having a hard time processing how it’s possible that someone like Sparkly is gone. It just isn’t fair that the vibrant and young get taken away. Not fair at all. I mean, look at this…


(Image from Go Kaleo who wrote a lovely and fitting tribute post to Sarah/ Photo by Jeff Spirer)

Yeah. I got nothin’.

fleeting

Back in 2001, I found myself in a place where I needed to share my voice. I was in my mid 20’s, working on finding myself and in doing so I stumbled upon the world that was livejournal. In that world I found that there were people like me, with things to say and moments to share. The good, the bad and the ugly.

I spent a good portion of my blogging life on livejournal because not only did it allow me to put it out into the world but it facilitated my meeting some of the people who to do this day I call friends. Some of those people have joined my ranks in close friendship and camaraderie, some I know but wish I had the opportunity to know better.

This is the thing, when you shared your life with someone even if by spilling your guts to a blank screen, you welcome people into your life. You’re allowing them a glimpse of you, your happiness, your pain, your vulnerability.

Over the years I have met so many wonderful people over the internet: Photographers, writers, DJ’s, designers, artists of all kinds, performers… name me a path and I probably know someone that travels down it. The one thing I keep coming back to is the fact that some of my favorites to this day are people who shared that old school livejournal bond. People like Michelle (x2), Diana, Jenner, Siobhan, Dinah… fuck, way tooooooo many to name here. Despite the fact that a lot of us have gone different routes we will always have that common bond. We’re OG.

Last night I was met with the news that Sarah (aka Sparkly Devil), one of those core lj people, passed away in a tragic car accident. A person with vibrancy, life, undeniable spunk and likability. Were we the best of friends? Not at all, but she was one of those people, the kind that was honest with herself and shared every inch of her. You couldn’t help but be drawn in. We never had the opportunity to meet in person but she was on my list, people who the e-world brought into my life and I knew I wanted to meet one day. We will never have that chance now. I hate when you see GOOD people go so mercilessly. It is beyond saddening and infuriating. I don’t think I will ever understand why life is this way, when the promising get dimmed far before their time.

I can’t help but think about it though. It isn’t about me or you… but the feelings of loss bring out introspection. If you saw the obscene amount of outpour over her loss, you would be floored. One person had the ability to touch, love and influence so many lives. ONE. It’s a beautiful thing.

I tend to be pretty open about who I am, what my life is, who I love, how I feel. I try to be forthcoming with my loved ones and friends as much as possible and in seeing this I am reminded that I don’t do it nearly enough. I think that is part of the reason I have been sending so much mail lately. I want people to know I had the time for them, to tell them “hey! you’re awesome”, I love you, I miss you…

I don’t do it enough.

Is there someone you admire? Tell them why.
Is there someone who has changed your life? Tell them how.
Do you find someone inspiring? Say it.
Have you been holding on to feelings that really should be put out there? Let them go, even the bad ones.

DO IT. DO NOT WAIT.

I cannot tell you enough how liberating it is to live a life where you are true to your voice. It goes without saying, hold yours close and don’t let go. Life is so fleeting, if you close your eyes and heart you might just miss it all.

I leave you with her words…

“This really captures the philosophy of my life: be fucking fabulous, live for joy, embrace the beauty of the absurd, and fuck anyone who gets in the way of your happy.”

Sarah “Sparkly Devil” Klein

Thank you for reminding us all.

*~fiesta~*

Back in April, Josh decided he was going to throw me a curve ball: “Baby, I am going to make an attempt at a more vegetarian diet”. Oy. Now, I don’t mind the idea of it, in fact I have been on the same kick with him. Well, except for that awesome cheeseburger itch I deliciously scratched. The curve part is that when you grow up a carnivore for 38 years, you think and act like one… and you certainly cook like one.

I will admit that this whole process has been a little more challenging than I thought when it comes to kitchen time. Most of my dishes revolved around a protein. I said if we were going to do this, we weren’t going to go the way of all that processed crap pretending to be meat, so there goes one option. Then trying to avoid falling in the vegetarian, boobie trap pitfall of bread, pasta and cheese everything? There go more options.

So I was expressing my woes to a friend about needing new ideas, dishes, suggestions. Now, girlfriend knows her way around the kitchen and she sprung this fantastic idea on me:

“This is what you do, take some quinoa, add some black beans, cumin, fire roasted corn… you get the idea. It’s awesome.”

And she was not fucking kidding.

Of course I love to tweak and add stuff to my liking and resulted with this mess in a bowl. What is it? I hate naming dishes. Mexi Style Quinoa? Dude, my people would revoke my Mexican card with this hippie chow. Fiesta Bowl? Isn’t that some NFL shit? Whatever. Mexican Style Kitchen Sink Quinoa? No.

So here you go, nameless wonder dish. Mexi Quinoa Surprise, lol…

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa (uncooked measurement)
2 cups fire roasted corn (I used the frozen kind from Trader Joes – I lazy and the good corn isn’t in season yet)
1 can black beans, washed and drained
2-3 green onions – white and green parts
1 cup of grape or cherry tomatoes, diced (optional)
juice of 1- 1.5 limes
chopped cilantro to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 – 1/2 tsp of ground cumin
1/4 – 1/2 tsp of ancho chile powder (more or less depending on your kick tolerance)
Salt & freshly cracked pepper to taste

Topping options:
Cotija cheese
Sour cream
Avocado
Pico De Gallo (optional or can be used to replace the tomatoes)
Grilled chicken is also an option should you want to protein/bulk it up.

So how do you make this goodness? This is the best part. All of the add ons can be tweaked in measurement. It’s a personal preference and you can find a good balance, your mouth will tell you where to go with it. You can’t really mess this shit up.

So you cook your quinoa. I make it in the rice cooker cause it’s fast. While it is cooking, sauté your corn with some olive oil in a pan, set aside. If you’re going to fire roast your own, do that first and then cut it off. The reason I sauté it was to thaw it.

While you wait for the quinoa to cook, cut up your herbs (Heh, I said “herb”), tomatoes (if you’re using them), onions, etc.

Then you toss all this whatnot in a bowl and you’re good to go. I know right? Sounds savage. This recipe makes enough for 3 people and there will be leftovers. You can eat warm, hot, room temp or cold. It’s very filling.

Pro Tip: DO NOT toss the avocado in the bowl, use it as a garnish only unless you plan on eating it all that evening. If not the leftovers will get that pasty brown ‘cado of doom and your leftovers are ruined.

Enjoy!

it’s freebie time

A couple days ago I posted a lino print giveaway on my Instagram account. The demand got a little larger than my supply. Typical. But hey! Fret not! For I have printed a few to make up for the people who missed out. I am mailing all out today in case you were wondering where yours is.

I am not forgetting about you guys though! So this morning when I was printing some more, I had a couple extras. See?

This is what is up for grabs:
2 – limited edition prints on RED. I am only making four of these and two are spoken for.
2 – on white

So there you go. I have 4 prints and all you need to do is comment to this blog post (not on fb, LJ or otherwise). Cool?

I will do a randomizer at the end of the week. Numbers 1 + 2 get the red, 3 + 4 get the white.

Also, if you already have one or have won something from me in the past, let us give a chance to those who haven’t been so lucky, yesh?

And boy do I have some shit to share… It just needs to wait a tap so I can put it all into words properly.

Word!

-IC.

WINNERS:

1+2 = red / 3+4 = white

adventures in printmaking

Do you ever spend your time trolling online, you see something, you tell yourself, “I can totally do that!” and then you chicken out? I’m looking at you fellow Pinterest junkies! Yeah. The art field can be challenging and frustrating as all hell. In fact, anything is… just cause you can make a quesadilla doesn’t make you a chef, right?

Anyway I finally grew a set and bought some printmaking supplies using linocut blocks. I am excited to give this a go because this medium really lends itself to what I do. In order to acquaint myself with the process I decided to do a trial run via the styrofoam method…. and hell, included the nugget in the process.

So this is what we did!

Here is what you need:

pencil, styrofoam cut to spec (take that leftover containers!), a rubber Speedball brayer (roller), tube of water soluble Speedball paint, wooden spoon and a little spatula (which I didn’t even end up using), piece of glass and the paper you plan on printing to.

Set up/Execution:
I covered the table with paper to avoid a disaster even if the paint is water soluble. Tape down the glass, you will thank me.

Take a pencil to your styrofoam and draw out your design.

Run a small, horizontal strip of paint on the top portion of the glass, distribute with the roller. Then spread that goodness nice and evenly over your design.

Once you have the paint evenly spread over the design, take it and press it on to the desired surface.

Now this is where the spoon comes in! Carefully flip it over and you take the spoon to the paper. In firm, circular motion you run the spoon all over the paper so it adheres to the styrofoam. Do this for a few minutes.

Gently peel off your paper and there you go!

Set them aside to dry and immediately go wash your roller and glass for future use. Soap and warm water will do.

One thing I will say, the styrofoam method while faster and easier to create a master, you will not get many quality prints from it cause it degrades with every use. I think I got a good 3-4 out of the deal so if you want longevity, go wood or linocut blocks.

That’s next!

i’m torqued

If you are in a position to be a hiring manager, or in a position of authority that involves your interviewing potential candidates I am going to give you a huge tip: PUT YOUR FUCKING PHONE AWAY and give your candidate the time and attention they deserve.

Where is this coming from? Let’s just say someone I know had this happen to them. They spend time prepping for an interview with a panel of people only to have one of those panelists not even making eye contact and playing with their phone the entire time they were being interviewed.

If you cannot put your e-leash away for thirty minutes to give a potential employee your time and respect, how can you expect them to:

A) Even WANT to work for you
B) Have any kind of respect for you as a peer should they even be selected. Cause guess what? They won’t.

You know, I am not on the job market but I know A LOT of people who are. Some more hard up than others, some who NEED the job cause they have families to feed and massive amounts of bills to pay, some who have been looking for 1 year or more, some who need the insurance so badly but cannot afford it on their own, some who just need that chance and are probably great at what they do but are blown off cause they don’t look the part. But check this out, just cause someone is looking for work doesn’t mean they are so hard up they’d be willing to tolerate this class of bullshit. Because that is what it is, a steaming pile of rude, disrespectful, BULL and SHIT.

The job market is terrible enough as it is. Breaking news people! It isn’t just the economy. It is also the people who are put in position to make decisions, a position where their choices affect the lives of others. The same people who cannot even send a properly written email even in a world with autocorrect and spell check, a response to say “thank you for your time”, the people who tell you they will get back to you and leave you waiting for weeks and even months on end with a decision only to be told no.

It’s sad that in a world where technology has made it easier for people to communicate, we are falling to the wayside of one liner e-mails or no response at all cause the bot does it for you. Of course these people don’t see it that way cause they’re sitting pretty at the end of a $5000 conference table, dicking around with their phone. I’m sure that game of Angry Birds is that important it couldn’t wait for you to finish your interview, an interview you were being paid to perform by your company.

We live in a world where common sense and the time of another person is treated with such little respect. I don’t know about you but there is something called “dignity” and I know a lot of people who value themselves enough to have it, enough to not tolerate this class of mistreatment and disregard.

Think about that the next time you pick up your phone while someone is talking to you, asshole.

giving yourself away

You know that moment when you are looking for things like your keys and sunglasses, you wrack your brain over their whereabouts only to realize they’re in your hand or on your head? Then you feel like a maroon. Yeah. I have those too. Like today I rode my butt over to the post office only to realize the loot I was mailing was left on the kitchen counter. Doh.

Anyway, yesterday I found myself boiling over the edge and I took to the ole stomping grounds of my livejournal account to post a big ole explosion of words. It needed to happen and the reason it didn’t happen here was cause I was going off about stuff that cannot be public domain. I will sum it up: Josh got the “thanks but no thanks” by a potential employer and recruiter. What blew my top was just how grossly unprofessional the whole process was. So yeah, the Bay Area was becoming imminent and it didn’t happen. We are more than ok with this cause it would have been like getting on the Titanic knowing full well there was an iceberg in its future.

Back to this staring you in the face stuff…. I went to facebook and posted this whole cryptic whatnot about my mystery rant on livejournal and it piqued interest. All of a sudden people were saying, “man! why did I delete my account!”. I know you did.

If you read my livejournal back in the day, before I was posting on my own domain, you will know that my going off about shit was a thing of legend. I tend to be quite verbose when I am pissed off about something that is for sure and I am good at it. Thing is it brings out this nasty, sourpuss of a person which I am trying so hard not to be. But that is what kept people coming around cause they knew eventually I would cross the line of propriety and bitch about [insert subject here].

So I’ll make you a promise, I will do my best to bring it to the table. It isn’t all fluff, art and blooming Spring here. Trust. I just have to choose the words appropriately. The success of a properly dished rant is all contingent on timing and delivery.

Although, speaking of Spring, the other day I saw this tree and I pulled over to cam-ho it up underneath it. Nature makes the best backdrop and this shade of pink is about to disappear til next year. Pretty, no?

So what else is new?

Oh you want to see some bullshit? This right here is bullshit. That moment you open up an overpriced vessel of nature’s butter only to be met with a giant bone in the middle. My other hand would be flipping this off if it wasn’t taking this blurry ass picture instead. First world problems, I know. I take my avocados seriously.

The other day I was sitting at Walgreens waiting for an Rx to be filled. Across from me was an older couple, probably in their mid 70’s. I was entertained with my music but I could not help observing how these two, miserable fucks gawked and made comments to each other about every woman that passed them by. Out of the corner of my eye, I glance a lovely tattooed beauty heading our way and I could already tell where this was going to go. You got to keep in mind that around my hood, you do not see heavily tattooed ladies so she stood out even more. She passed and they gave her the ups, downs and then muttered crap to each other over her appearance, snickering. It honestly took everything in me to not tell them off. I wanted to but then I saw the pile of garbage they were buying: king size boxes of candy – 3 milk duds, 1 hot tamale, 2 mike and ikes, 2 large bags of Cracker Jacks, a large bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and a 12 pack of coke. Diet, for good measure. The woman with feet so red and bloated they muffin topped her mary janes but the tattooed girl was the one with issues. I guess my point of sharing this anecdote is sometimes it’s just best to keep your mouth shut and let fate have its way with people like that. Enjoy that Diet Coke, assholes.

And here are a couple of photos I liked from this week….

Top Left: New stationery! Out Of The Woods notecards are by Emily Martin/The Black Apple on etsy. The others are from Paper Source. Speaking of, need to send another batch of snail mail, especially to those of you who have sent or responded! Maybe one of these will be yours.

Other than that I am really working to get some comission work out from under me so I can focus on designing stuff for sale: aka fabric and gift wrap prints for Spoonflower and artwork for my Society6 shop. Girl wants to make some cheddar to invest in a printer.

Anything you would like to see?

lethal weapon

“There are darknesses in life and there are lights,
and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights.”
― Van Helsing – Bram Stoker, Dracula

What else can I say that hasn’t already been said? Josh, is the butter on my toast, the Han to my Chewie, the Murtaugh to my Riggs (see what I did there?), the peanut butter to my chocolate. I could sit here all day and talk about great pairings and make a bunch of innuendo jokes about how he is the meat in my taco.. but… oh yeah. I guess I just did.

In any event, today Josh and I celebrate 9 years of marriage and 12 years of perfectly paired days. It hasn’t felt like this long to be honest, I guess that is what it feels like when your life has been surrounded by the best of company. I knew the minute I walked into his ex girlfriend’s house that he was The One, he thought, “I am gonna get in her pants… “. Typical. We knew from the moment we met, to the moment he moved in with me (two weeks later – yes, we cray) that it was for the long haul, and here we are: ups, downs, many laughs, very little squabbles, a nugget, a move to the other side of the country and hopefully a journey back home one day.

Even though I may bust his balls about snoring, forgetting to take out the trash like I asked him to, toilet paper bookmarks and peditos that could kill a small village, he’s mine and always will be. I know gold when I have it and you will have to pry it away from my cold, dead hands before I ever let it go.

I may not know shit about D&D, but I do know one thing, life with you is like rolling a 20 every day. You are the light of all lights, my light and I will love you to the last of my breaths.

Happy Anniversary Josh.