It’s Been a Wild Ride, but I’m Back with Buttons!

Nevertheless She Persisted

I haven’t blogged in quite a while, but I’m back to it. My small button business literally took off overnight. For reals – I made a Nasty Woman button during the presidential debate, went to bed and when I woke up it was madness! I couldn’t keep anything in stock, I was up all night making buttons and shipping orders. It took me some time to get the hang of it, but now I’m all good!

I have a large inventory of political, feminist, science and other activism designs available now in my Etsy shop – PlushBot Design Co. Designs are available on 1.25 & 2.25 inch buttons, 1.25 & 2.25 inch round fridge magnets and 2×3 inch rectangle fridge magnet. Use coupon code FREESHIP to get free shipping on orders of $10 or more.

Adult Coloring Page Underwater Robot

robot adult coloring pageThe adult coloring page phenomenon sure hasĀ taken off! Of course, anyone can color these images – not just adults. I think using the term adult coloring book or page gives us permission to have some fun and color! Whenever I go to my local art store the shelves are full of coloring books targeted at grownups. I though it would be fun to transform some of my designs into coloring pages! Download and print a copy of theĀ Underwater Robot Coloring Page, grab your pencils or markers and go for it!

 

New Abstract Painting – A Work in Progress

abstract paintingHere’s a little sneak peek of my newest abstract painting – Serpent. It’s still a work in progress and while I know the general direction I’m going with it I’m still waiting for a bit more inspiration. That usually happens when I’m sitting at my painting table and working. I find that I can’t wait for inspiration to strike, I just have to sit down and work at it. Abstract painting is different from realism in that way.

Image Transfer on Microscope Slides

I’ve been working on some sketches for a new assemblage art piece. One of the components will be x-rays of various body parts and animals. I decided a good medium for this would be acrylic image transfer on glass microscope slides and this is how I did it!
Image Transfer MaterialsYou will need some glass microscope slides ( you can get these on Amazon), acrylic gloss medium, images of your choosing printed either on a laser printer or photocopier (ink jet will not work), and some basic tools like a paint brush, cutting mat, and x-acto knife or scalpel.
Painting on Gloss MediumPaint the gloss medium on top of your images. My slides were 1 x 3 inches so I cropped my x-ray images to that size. I did 6 coats letting it dry completely between each one. If you’re impatient (like me) you can use a hair dryer to speed up the process.
Dried X-RaysOnce your gloss medium is completely dry cut your images out. Even if you use a hair dryer I recommend waiting a few hours before proceeding with the next step, you want these to really be dry.
Water SpraySpray the back with water and wait a few minutes for it to soak in. I use a cookie sheet I bought at the dollar store for this so things don’t get messy on my workbench.
Rub Off PaperOnce the paper is saturated begin to rub it with your fingers. The paper will begin to rub off leaving the image behind in the gloss medium!
Wipe with Paper TowelsRub, rub, rub and carefully scrub a bit with paper towels or a rag.
Clear ImageNeato!
Let Them DryLet your images dry. You wait around for things to dry a lot with this project!
Attaching to SlidesBrush some gloss medium on the slides then affix your image transfers to them. They’re going to want to slide around a lot so be careful.
Image AttachedImage transfered!
Wait to DryWaiting to dry again! This one takes the longest, almost 24 hours for me.
Finally Dry!Finally dry! Now clean them up a bit.
ScrapeI used some sculpting tools I have laying around the studio to clean up any unwanted gloss medium from the side of the slide without the image transfer.
TrimUse an X-Acto knife to trim the excess off the image transfer.
X-Ray SlidesCool! X-ray slides! Now on to the next steps for my assemblage piece. Stay tuned…

Rye Crackers with Caraway Recipe

Rye CrackersI love rye crackers and since I still had some leftover rye flour from my swirled rye bread adventure I decided to bake some! I did some searching online for a recipe and found the perfect one on Food Republic. Head on over there and check out the recipe, it’s also a great foodie website so explore!
Rye Crackers IngredientsOne thing I’ve learned from my baking and cooking escapades is to always get your ingredients ready before you start, especially if it’s a new recipe. That way you don’t have any surprises or find out you’re out of baking powder while you’re in the middle of things.
Spice GrinderThis recipe calls for ground caraway. I have a coffee grinder that I use exclusively for grinding spices. I added a few teaspoons of caraway seeds and ground those babies up! A good tip for cleaning out your grinder after using it is to run some uncooked white rice through it. Then just wipe it out with a paper towel and your caraway won’t end up tasting like the cardamom pods you ground up last time.
Ground CarawayPerfectly ground caraway!
Dry IngredientsAll the dry ingredients go in a food processor.
Cubed ButterAdd in the cubed butter and pulse until it looks like fine crumbs.
Wet IngredientsHello wet ingredients!
Knead the DoughPulse everything in the food processor, then turn it out and knead until smooth. The dough will need to rest for about 25 minutes.
Pasta RollerDivide the dough up and run it through a pasta roller. If you don’t have a pasta maker roll it out by hand and work on those arm muscles! You want it to be about 1/16″ thick. I found that I liked the crackers best on the 4 setting for my particular pasta maker.
Rye Cracker DoughIt’s starting to look like rye crackers! I used my pastry scraper to cut my crackers, but you can also use a pizza cutter. I left the ends of my crackers rough, I like the way they look!
Egg WashPut the rye crackers on a silicone baking mat, or you can use parchment paper. Brush the tops with an egg wash.
Caraway SeedsSprinkle the tops with caraway seeds and press them lightly into the dough. Prick the crackers with a fork.
Baked CrackersPop them in the oven and bake until golden brown. When they first come out they will still be a little bit pliable, but after they cool you will have crisp rye crackers!

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