Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Identity Crisis 2: Art Journal Blogger

I know I originally said I would be Makeup Blogging, but yesterday was my first real attempt at an art journal spread, so I'm going to share that with you today.

There are a number of great art journal tutorials on youtube, but I'm really not equipped for video making, so I'm doing it in my blog instead.

Step 1:
Glue two pages together using Mod Podge.  Regret it almost immediately when the product wastes no time telling you that it likes to make paper wrinkle faster than a botox commercial before pic. (Wait, is this a thing?  Maybe... "it wrinkles faster than a prom dress on the floor of a limo".  Oh, yeah, that one.)

Step 2:
Get really sad, because if you had gesso, you wouldn't have to pretend the wrinkling was a happy accident.  Remember you had gesso in your last apartment. (Did you see the size of that jug in that video? Is she fucking drinking it? Seriously, though, it's a great video.  She explains it really well.)

Step 3:
Put everything on hold while you look for your gesso.  Waste 20 minutes putting up posters and finding gesso.

Step 3a: realize you're clinging to your youth.  Pour yourself some wine.

Step 4:  dump what is clearly way too much product on your pages.  Panic and rush to spread it around before it dies.

Rash decisions and poor planning are at the heart of many art projects.
Step 5:
Tear up and stick on a bunch of tissue paper.  Slap more gesso on top of it.


Step 6:
Very lightly slap a bunch of blue paint across it.  Realize the bumpyness is kinda fun.  Decide the simplest design is probably the best.  Cut out two tissue paper tulips.

This should have been a close-up, sorry
Step 7:
Give them stems and leaves.

Step 8:
Slap on a pithy, cathartic, or inspirational message in the center, using stamps. Something along the lines of "dance like no one's watching", or "you're not my real dad," or the ever popular, "it's my body and I'll share my hepatitis with whomever I want."

Step 9:
Notice that stamps are a gigantic pain in the ass while using them, and realize it will be 10 times worse when cleaning up.

Step 10:
Lean back and enjoy your creation.  Here comes the grand reveal...

Sponsored, epileptic fit.
This was great fun, and I'll be keeping it up. 

For examples on youtube:
Vicky Papaioannou

Christy Sobolewski

Leslie Herger (lots of general art instruction there, too.)

There are so many great videos on youtube, you can just keep clicking and finding awesome stuff.  

Friday, January 24, 2014

Identity Crisis 1: Food Blogger - Refried Bean Quesadillas

My most recent endeavour has been to pull my finances back on track, with the help of Gail Vaz-Oxlade (  As such, I've had to take a hard look at where my money has been going, and did a thorough spending analysis.  I've been spending a ridiculous amount of money on take-out food, and I need to scale it back.  So, I'm trying to learn how to cook, with all the hits and misses.  Here's last night's attempt.

Refried Bean Quesadilla
  • Large soft tortilla shells
  • Cheese
  • Diced tomato
  • Diced green pepper
  • Taco seasoning
  • 1 can refried beans
First, check your freezer and be sorely tempted by the frozen pizzas you see.  Then remember you have to use up the tortillas sitting on the counter.  Look back in the freezer, feel a sudden flood of productivity and take some chicken breasts out for Crockpot Tacos the next day*. 

Step 1:  Get your tortillas ready on a cookie sheet.  I'm making two so I'll have enough for tomorrow's lunch**.  Spread a generous layer of refried beans on one side of each tortilla.

This is fine.  You have frozen pizzas if this doesn't turn out.

Step 2:  Furrow brow and feel doubt.  Make sure the can doesn't say "Purina" on it.

Step 3:  Feel sad that you've only found cheddar cheese and you don't have mozzarella***.  Pile on an embarrassing amount.

Enough to cause a traffic jam in uranus.

Step 4:  Throw out the green pepper, because you're only one person in an apartment, and it's gone bad anyway.

Step 5:  Sprinkle a small amount of taco seasoning over the cheese.

Step 6:  Marvel at the fact that your tomato hasn't gone bad.  Cut it up and throw it on there.  It'll look something like this:

Step 7:  Fold over the naked side of the tortilla to create half moons.  Pop into the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 8-10 minutes.

Step 8:  Look at the packet of taco seasoning, and notice that you - the wimp with the palate of an 80 year old Englishman - have purchased the packet marked "Hot & Spicy."

Now you have no idea what the traffic is going to be like in uranus tonight.
Step 9:  While waiting, make yourself one of these!  It's what's you've been looking forward to all day anyway:

Step 9a:  Ignore the fact that the spend analysis you've completed showed you had spent 10 times on booze what you do on books***, and drink it.  To make:
  • 1 part amaretto
  • 2-3 parts lemonade
Step 10: Take quesadillas out of the oven and let cool a little.  Remind yourself there is frozen pizza in the fridge, if you really need it.

Step 11:  Enjoy it, because it turned out pretty good.  The only small change I would make is to add a little more taco seasoning than I did.

You may have noticed that I've not put any measurements in the above.  This is for three reasons:

Reason 1:  We're all adults.  You know how much cheese and spice you can handle.
Reason 2:  This may come as a surprise: I'm not a food blogger.
Reason 3:  

Stay tuned over the next few weeks for "Identity Crisis 2: Makeup Blogger. Art Journal Blogger"

*Thinking about it now, I might make a really simple post on those, they're so easy and so tasty.
**Breakfast, let's face it. Don't judge me.
***Or monterey jack.  But you're single, so you never buy it anyway.
****What have I become, my sweetest friend?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

This is why I can't have nice things

Well, per my previous post, I was able to both reach my desk and clean it off (more info and photos to come, including a ridiculous amount of shredding that took way longer than I'd like to admit).  This afternoon, I was able to sit down at my desk to write what was to become this blog post.

Like a real writer.  Also shown: picture that should be properly mounted on the wall.

I had sat down for not even 10 minutes when...

Epic tea spill.  There was nothing remaining in the cup whatsoever.  I don't think I've ever moved so fast, it got everywhere, including on the brand new laptop and the phone (both are fine, but, ugh).  *le sigh*

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

***UPDATE*** Happy New Year! Get your shit together.

Happy New Year everyone.  As someone who is generally not a big fan of new year's (too many times stuck in the lineup to get into a club, one where my midnight kisses came courtesy of my cousin and my cousin-in-law*), and my favourite new year's were the ones I spent at home.  I've been seeing someone recently** and he was unable to get a babysitter for the evening, so I ended up - blissfully - at home alone.

I was planning on staying up and reading all night, but I hurt my back earlier this week, so I took some back pills.  As a result, I was out cold by 10pm last night.  And up at 5:30 this morning.  I feel amazing.  Luckily, the boys downstairs are away, or I would have felt guilty getting up and turning on the radio this early.

My project for today, to try and start this year off right, is cleaning and reorganizing this room:

I was originally going to open these in paint and number a bunch of items to describe in this post, but I realized that was just another way of procrastinating on getting down to it***.

The tangible goals for taking care of this include:
-  managing my bills and creating a better file system.  Even if I don't have a specific plan in place at the moment, it's hard to make a plan when you have a bunch of boxes in your way to even get to most of the paperwork.
- there are a good number of posters that have yet to go up.  The plan for this room was that classy was out the door, and fun or cute was in.  Posters will help that.
- there's a lot of extra storage space in the closet here.  I'm using it, but I'm not using it very smartly.  I need to consider more uses/options for this space
- I suspect I can get rid of one of the two desks without too much trouble (the one under the window. The other has sentimental value, and I refinished it myself a couple years back).
- removing one desk will free up space for more bookshelves.  Most of my books are still at my dad's house.  Every so often, I'll get the urge to re-read something, or look something up, and I can't because it's not here, it's in a box in my dad's basement.  I know, world's smallest violin****.  More bookshelves will also help keep the three I already have nice and tidy.
- proper storage solution for my arts and craft junk.  At the moment, I have most of it in the footrest/bench in my living room.  I'd like to clear this out so I can make room for my video games and controllers, which are right now looking super ugly in a basket in front of the tv.

I'm hoping clearing this up will help with some intangible goals as well:
- read more, possibly create a concrete reading plan.
- write much, much more.  Ideas are easy; it's getting them down that's the hard part.  This includes this blog, keeping up with my paper journal (far too neglected, and my brain is humming because of it), and finally really working on the first draft of a novel.  I know, everyone's working on a goddamn novel these days.
- peace of mind, at least for one corner of my life.

I know it may seem like I'm putting a lot of pressure on this one room.  At the very least, cleaning it up will give me a sense of accomplishment that I haven't had for awhile.  I'm hoping that doing this today will set a tone for the upcoming year.  Last year was kind of a bag of shit for me*****. 

Daylight is burning! Go, go, go!

* "This is nice, thanks guys, but I know none of us want to go home and bone, so it's just not the same, hahaha" Their responses are where the evening got awkward.
** Nice man, not mentioned in here previously.  It's been about 3 months now, and spending new year's with him would have been very nice.
*** It's already 8am as it is! Get a move on, bitch!
**** Which is also in a box in my dad's basement.
*****One step forward, five steps back, onto a landmine. *click* "Shit, now I can't move. Can someone bring me a sandwich?"


 This is what it's looking like now. 

It doesn't look like there's been much progress. To be honest, I think it's at the 'worse before it gets better' phase.  I spent a lot of time cleaning out some files; some of the documents I shredded where from 2008!  Really need to keep up on that.  I can't believe I moved some of that crap to two other places when they could have just been pitched.

It's time for bed.  I'm knackered.  More later in the week.