Happy First-Snow!

It started snowing this morning at work and my inner child is jumping with excitement!

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I quickly sketched out this drawing at my desk.  I created snow flakes using white out tape ( does anyone still remember white out pens !?!  That would have been perfect, but inspiration makes MacGyver’s of us all.)catherine-painting

I put together an easy holiday greeting card and stationary with this sketch. Feel free to share it with friends and family this season, but please keep it to personal use only.  Greeting card link.  Stationary Link.

Happy First Snow, Kansas City!

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guacamole recipe

very quick post – I’m just too excited !

I formalized my very own guacamole recipe ^^

ingredients:
4 average ripe avocados
1/3 of a head of garlic
1/4th cup regular white vinegar (my special ingredient!)
salt and pepper

Here’s a taco pic (guacamole doesn’t last long enough to photograph  ^^)

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Why is white vinegar my special ingredient?

1. It keeps the guacamole fresh!
Anyone else ever cry over brown guacamole? Well “no more!” I say.  White vinegar has less sugar than lemon/lime juice so the color of your guacamole will stay nice and green (if you’re making it in advance,  keep it on the fridge covered. The periphery of the guacamole may turn slightly brown, if so just stir it before serving!)

2.No flavor loss. White vinegar mixes with the avocados to produce bright sweet flavor notes (the garlic is here to give the guacamole a spicy finish)

This recipe is kinda perfect for me in 2 ways.

1. it’s just sweet enough to offset any occasional bitterness from the avocados.

2. I can adjust the saltiness to match the chips/tostadas I’m using without skewing the flavor profile. (have salty chips ? use less salt in the guacamole)

that’s all folks! Let me know what you think about this recipe or better yet tell me,
“how do you prep your guacamole?”

Fun with paper fish

I recently finished a paper koi pond at work (looks pretty cool right ?)

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The message in the “pond” spells 福 or the chinese charector for blessings. The fact that I made this charactor using fish is important for cultural reasons; the chinese word for fish “鱼” is a homonym for the surplus “馀”.
All in all, this particular pond represents my wishes for a surplus of blessing in the coming new year.

I found the template for the fish over at this blog. There are also a lot of other fun 红包 or red envelope craft ideas and tutorials on the page too!

The instructions use fun colored “ang pow” these are the red envelopes children receive during Chinese New Year. I didn’t have a huge stack of these envelopes laying around when “inspiration struck” so I used some left over wrapping paper. I recommend using a heavy weight wrapping paper but anything will work – even left over coloring pages.
If you have a design in mind, you can make more fish at once by stacking pages on top of each other and cutting 3-4 fish at once. More the merrier, definitely applies!

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Once the fish are made apply tape to the bottom of the fins and tail to atrach them any surf you like.

One or two fish look really cool, too! I taped these two to the middle of our conference  table. The table looks much cooler now 😉

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I would love to see your fish ponds, too. Happy fishing !!

Royals Win the World Series

The Royals just won the World Series!!!! I am so excited and proud and buzzing with the need to celebrate.

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I’m sharing a Free Printable with the internet so everyone can celebrate with me!!!  Link to the file is below:

Royals 2015 Pennants

(FYI – I don’t really get baseball, but the excitement in KC is totally contagious!)

How are you celebrating “the win” ?

workshop photos!

Rhinestones make everything better- its a fact! That’s why little girls idolize ballerinas and figure skaters ( they sparkle! ).  Well I’m not little anymore but I am definitely a Swarovski girl.  Even my “edgy” statement pieces are littered with swarovski crystals !

Here’s a couple “in progress” shots I took while making bracelets for my sister’s four musketeers.  Someone asked for them…IDK if they follow my ramblings but here they are:

I had to sit on them because 2 of the musketeers can see my Fb and one of them follows me ( i think…..) shug…  Here’s all four of them wearing their new bracelets ( and everyone was wearing the same greens and blues! )

EZ peezy last minute gifts

These super cute ( and useful! ) tags were made in 20 mins – including the drying time.

My parents are heading to CA to meet up with some MIDDLE SCHOOL friends of theirs ( this is a people over 50 weekend)!  This means Gift making is in order.  Donna and Ray are awesome people, but our families aren’t super close so I had to think of something generic but personal all at the same time.  side note: utilitarian items are the ultimate ” I don’t know what you like, but I wanted to get you something”  ( ie everyone could use a nice pen, comfy socks, paperweight. etc ).  I knew wanted to contribute something nice, but I also wanted it to be personal.  Naturally I pulled out my leather boxes ( yeah….its grown to like 3 different boxes ) and started in one some luggage tags ( I’m obsessed with these ^^).   I used scraps from a “farm leather” scrap pack  ( these are thicker and stiffer pieces – like use on boots or saddles )  which gave me a super sleek  – dare I say professional? – finish.   The farm leather is also sturdy enough to leave a pocket in the middle of the tags – so theses can actually be used as luggage tags!  These will also work as bus pass holders or even as an emergency cash stash.

These turned out nicer than I expected, I’m super tempted to keep them ( LOL).

Upcycled DIY Awesomeness!

The whole situation, was a comedy of errors and weirdness until I realized the potential of my medium – boiling water and plastic utensils. I kid not my friends, a silent hand was guiding me to DIY awesomeness! I’ve got a origin story below ( or you can skip it and jump to the tutorial below! )

Late last night I was boiling some water ( can’t remember why – but probably to make some ramen….which I shouldn’t be eating ) when I accidentally dropped a plastic fork into the pot of boiling water. I quickly made a grab for some kitchen tongs only to find that all of them were crusted with food stuff from dinner. I turned to the sink to wash them but the dish detergent was empty but that wouldn’t stop me for long.  I redirected my aim for some hand soap to wash off the tongs. Now, armed with clean ( and rosemary sage scented ) tongs I rescued the poor fork from the pot of boiling water.  After fishing it out,  I dropped the fork into a cup of water nearby to let it cool; and that when I noticed it.  The fork had bent into a U shape in side the cup. Aha!!!! I can make a bracelet ( seriously, that was my first thought…..).

I fiddled with the fork again and found that a combination of tongs and forceps ( yup, still have random med-school supplies lying about) was the most controlled way to bend the fork into whatever shape I wanted.  The key is to control the water temperature ( steam is dangerous, it can cause burns….but I find wearing gloves too cumbersome while working. ), water volume ( make sure there’s enough water to prevent the plastic from burning. ) and not over working it ( the longer the plastic utensil stays heated, the more likely it is shrinking – pop it into some cooler water every once and awhile if your working on an intricate or tough bend. )

I also worked with a spoon, but the time and amount sculpting scratch up the spoon face too much. I think I’ll keep trying though because I see calla lily bracelets or hair sticks whenever I look at spoons now!  I don’t think knives will have nearly the same impact as the spoon or fork, but once the serrated edge is smoothed out it will make a wonderful cuff.

Okay here’s the  tutorial for Immersion plastic sculpting! (ie bending plastic in boiling water )

Materials

  1. plastic utensils ( save the plastic from your latest chipotle binge )
  2. Short/small sauce pot ( NOT pan, pot!)
  3. tongs, forceps, long handle tweezers/reverse tweezers
  4. long safety gloves ( I recommend them, but I don’t use them )
  5. bowl of warm water ( never put some thing hot into something cold )
  6. bowl of Ice ( IMPORTANT use if for those “Crap, I burned myself” situations)

Tutorial

  1. boil water in the sauce pot ( I would start with 4/5 full )
  2. once water has boiled immerse your plastic utensil in the water.  ( you may need to weigh it down or hold it down with your tongs)
  3. wait 1-2 minutes then gently bend the utensil within the boiling water.  use to 2 sets of tongs or press the utensil against the side of the sauce pot.
  4. once the shape starts to form pull it out and cool it in the bowl of warm water.
  5. Repeat as needed until perfect.
  6. once cooled, decorate with paint, glitter, rhinestones or wrap in fabric strips, beading wire or string!

Good luck!