Saturday, April 8, 2017

Friday, February 10, 2017

Process




Diosa Tropical (first image) and Stay Connected (second image) followed by their processes.

Each piece starts with a pencil and paper followed by black lines. I use a Pigma Micron 05 pen. Then I photograph the image with my Canon DSLR and open the file in photoshop. All of the coloring is done here with a various layers. I exclusively use pieces of my photography for all of the coloring as I love utilizing the colors and textures that surround us every day. This has been working really well for me, although I am aware that there are many other programs I should probably be learning. Any recommendations are welcome.
<< h >>

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Blackberry pie.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

<<< Home Brew Kombucha >>>


As with most things in life, I just went for it and then did the research after. 
This is just a rough list of some notes I've come up with after brewing my first 
batch and reading a few articles acknowledged below. 

Tips/notes

-To begin with my own mistake: Don't store the SCOBY in the fridge. When I acquired this nasty gummy looking thing, I naturally threw it in the fridge to ensure it didn't get weirder or nastier waiting for me to begin my brew. Wrong move. Yeast thrives in luke warm temperatures and when temperatures drop below, the SCOBY will go to sleep. Mine seems to be fine (yay!) but it may take a batch or two to wake it back up.

-Glass only! Metal will corrode and contaminate and the kombucha will pull toxins from plastic.

-Your hands and glass jar must be clean, but take care not to use antibacterial soap.

-Instead of brewing 6-8 tea bags in one gallon of water, rather brew the tea bags in one quart, then add 3 quarts of cool water. It is quicker to brew and you don't have to wait as long for the gallon to cool before adding the SCOBY.

-Because it is a fermentation process, the liquid needs to breathe. Cover the top of your jar with a tight-knit towel or an old t-shirt. Do not use cheese cloth as it is too porous.

-The starter liquid is important as it helps kickstart the batch and prevent mold from forming.

-When bottling, allow the bottles to sit 24-48 hours out of the fridge for the second fermentation and carbonation to occur. Leaving as little air space as possible when bottling will help the carbonation.

-If you are afraid of bottles over carbonating and exploding, you can "burp" your bottles once a day by cracking the lid open and then closing it tightly again.

-Rise out the sediment in your jar between batches so the bacteria and yeast can stay in balance.


Resources:

Hannah Crum at kombuchakamp.com

Eileen at phoenixhelix.com/kombucha-series



Thursday, April 9, 2015

Reidski Wedding

 









Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Creation Meditation






Saturday, October 4, 2014

Potstickers


 

Potstickers are an absolute favorite of mine because they're full of veggies and awesome flavors, they're easy to make and most importantly, I feel fancy eating with chopsticks. And although it took me five different supermarkets and a train to China Town in Buenos Aires to get my hands on some sesame oil, I was stoked to realize how easy it is to make the dough at home via howtodothisandthat

The dough is very easy to do, but I did realize with the first bite that it is important to roll it out really thin or it's just too much.

1/2 onion
2 garlic cloves minced
1 chunk ginger minced
1 carrot grated
a handful of mushrooms, preferably shiitake 
(but since they're so damn expensive any mushrooms will do) 
a quarter of cabbage
a couple chopped stalks of green onion

sesame oil
soy sauce
a glass of wine.
for you.

Stir fry all the veggies above with a little soy sauce until they are semi cooked but not too limp and set aside to cool. Once your dough is rolled out and cut into circles, fill each circle with a large spoonful of the veggie mixture and pleat the edges. 

Cooking the potstickers: Put a touch of sesame oil in the pan and set the potstickers upright without touching. When the bottoms are golden brown, throw in a quarter cup of water and immediately cover it. After a few minutes take the top off, let the steam burn off and then flip the potstickers on each side for a couple minutes until the sides are golden brown.

Then repeat in batches until all the potstickers are cooked.
That's about it!




Sunday, August 17, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Soldering: A Story of Trial and Error



This is an overview of how a seemingly simple process can be, in fact, extremely complicated, and a nod towards artisans that have truly earned their skills by persistently pushing through trial and error for many years.
*First of all, I am a mostly self-taught-sort-of-making-jewelry-person. I prefer to refer to myself
as a maker since my realm includes many mediums, without really specializing in anything.
I also learn from experience. I have a horrid patience for reading about what I am going to 
do instead of just doing it. Now that you know that, let's move on.

I noticed that the delicate chains on my necklaces have been slipping out of the jump rings. 
Bad, bad bad bad. This terrible reoccurrence has lead to my next exploration that has ultimately made me want to kick down a door in frustration. But I'm getting it. 
I'm teaching myself how to solder gold-filled wire. 
My first thought was yes totally I will just solder them closed. Easy solution. Done. Little did I realize how big of a project I was about to take on. First was watching tutorials and purchasing the necessary tools and chemicals to get started. This included boric acid, jewelry pickle, and a Smith Little Torch.

*I normally buy from RioGrande as they have excellent products and customer service, however
they are not always the cheapest. I got the same torch from Amazon for about $30 less.

When soldering anything gold-filled, it is best to first coat your piece with a mixture of boric
acid and denatured alcohol. You can then either burn the alcohol off with a torch or set it in the 
sun to evaporate. Your piece will be covered in a white layer of boric acid that will protect the 
gold-filled surface from the torch while soldering. This step in necessary because when something
is "gold-filled" there is a layer of at least 10k gold pressure bonded to a base metal. The gold layer
can easily be melted, revealing the base metal during the soldering process. 

Because the surfaces you are soldering together are at least 10k gold, that is the material best suited 
for the job. The price of gold fluctuates, but I bought easy gold sheet solder from RioGrande for 
about $50 per pennyweight. Yes, it is the sad truth of having a hands-on-get-it-done-this-may-be-a-
terrible-idea attitude, I gatta go straight for the pricy stuff without practice. Anyway, 
everything works more efficiently if everything is clean. So first, clean your solder 
with steel wool- but remember to remove the steel wool from your workspace after
as it is extremely flammable. Next you cut the sheet of solder like a grid, producing little
pallions like the one below. 

Next you add a dab of flux, which will aid the flow of the solder and keep the surface of the metal 
clean during the process. After laying the pallion onto the joint, you are ready to light up your
torch. I've been practicing with a number 5 tip, because I couldn't get the number 3 tip working
well *I need to play around more with the different tips to see what works best.
However, you can control the size of the flame/temperature a bit within each tip, and 
the number 5 seems to be doing the job so far.


It's like a little dance. I approach the joint slowly and straight-on and if the pallion slips
around on the flux, I gently chase it down, guiding it back to the joint. If it runs away too
far I pull the torch back and replace the same chip onto the joint and try again.
As you approach with the torch, you begin to see the chip wiggle, then wrinkle a bit before
reaching it's flow point and melting into the joint. Yum. It's so nice when it works out the 
way it should. You can see the soldered joint (slightly out of focus) below.

After the soldering is complete, drop the piece into a pickling solution. This will clean the piece and
help remove any firescale that may have showen up. Yesterday was officially my second day doing
this. I made about 15 successfully soldered joints...out of about 40...don't get discouraged.
But, maybe don't start out with gold-filled if you're not pressured by time (like I am!).
After the pickle, (using only copper tongs to remove pieces- steel will contaminate the solution)
rinse the piece in water, then grab a soft brass brush to finish the cleaning, using dish soap
so the brass does not rub off onto the copper. 

Now do everything over again about 50 more times. 
>.<
And that's about where I am right now.
Any advice from actual jewelers is more than appreciated.
Tomorrow will be day 3 of soldering trials and errors and I'm actually pretty excited for it.
h.