Halloween Recap

It has been a week and a half since I started this blog and there are so many Halloween themed projects that I was not able to do (due to the time restraint or lack of funds).  Here is a recap of what I did accomplish this holiday season and some links to projects that could be featured in next years Halloween posts.


Walking with the Giants

In Northern California, running through the Humboldt Redwoods State Park, there is a scenic highway known as the "Avenue of the Giants." Originally Route 101, this winding, 31-mile stretch of highway is now a popular tourist route to see some of the biggest trees in the United States. 


Costume Creations--Wire Form

Even though most of you already have your Halloween costumes picked out, I thought I would share with you a great trick for pulling off some of the more involved costumes that require things like armor, exaggerated proportions, etc.  All you need to change your form is some wire heavy gauge for structure and a lighter gauge for detailing works best), pliers, tracing paper, Liquite gel medium, and an old paintbrush.

First you will form the wire into your desired shape.  Keep in mind that if you or someone else will be wearing it, then you want to design it so that it can easily be taken off and on as well as allowing for movement (notice the hinge for the wrist in the image above).

Once you have your structure, you will begin the messy process of covering it in tracing paper.  The gel medium can be diluted in water and painted on the paper to make adhere to itself.

This is my finished arm:  it almost looks like it could be for a Shredder costume and it has almost full mobility. You could further this project by painting the surface of the wire form or even by gluing fabric to it as seen below on my costume from last year. Yes, it's Gir.


Pumpkin Carving

Halloween is fast approaching and it's time to start making the final touches on this seasons decorations and recipes.  Of course, no Halloween is complete without carving a pumpkin and I wanted to do something a little different this year.


So Much Pumpkin Seeds

No pumpkin carving experience is over without having to dig through all of that pumpkin goo to find and roast those tasty seeds.  This year, my sister and I tried three new pumpkin seed recipes:  Spicy Garlic, Pumpkin Spice, and Sweet Whiskey.

1 cup pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dry 
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder 
1/2 ounce olive oil  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. 
2. In a bowl, combine all ingredients and toss to coat seeds. 
3. Spread evenly on a baking sheet 
4. Bake until toasted and slightly browned, (15-20 minutes), tossing halfway through.

1 cup pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dry 
4 cups water 
4 teaspoons salt 
1 tablespoon unsalted butter 
1 tablespoon white sugar 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom 
1 tablespoon white sugar, or to taste  1. Preheat oven to 250°F. 
2. Melt butter and add seeds, one tablespoon sugar, and spices; toss to coat seeds. 
3. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and season with additional sugar, if desired. 
4. Bake until toasted and slightly browned (45-55 minutes), tossing several times.

1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dry 
1/2 cup whiskey 
2 tablespoons bacon drippings 
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar 
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste  1. Preheat oven to 275°F. 
2. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until seeds begin to gray in the middle (15-20 minutes) drain.
3. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and season with salt. 
4. Bake until toasted and slightly browned (15-20 minutes), tossing halfway through.

Printables:  Spicy Garlic, Pumpkin Spice, and Sweet Whiskey


A Good Pair of Black Pants

Recently, I had the wonderful pleasure of rebuilding my wardrobe from scratch and I needed some nice outfits for my new job.  Luckily, the dress code is on the casual side of professional wear and I have a lot of leeway with my selections.  Here are three styles centered around my one good pair of black pants.
This outfit is a combination of Forever 21, Target, and DB Shoes.

Forever 21
  • Nude Top

  • Mossimo Boot Cut Black Pants
  • Mossimo Nude Tank Top

DB Shoes
This outfit is a combination of Forever 21, Target, and DB Shoes.

Forever 21
  • Flowered Top

  • Mossimo Boot Cut Black Pants
  • Mossimo Nude Tank Top

DB Shoes
This outfit is a combination of Target, DB Shoes, and a thrift store.

Thrift store
  • Byline Gray Jacket
  • Black Tank Top

  • Mossimo Boot Cut Black Pants

DB Shoes


Not Your Average Portrait

Lately, I've gotten tired of posing in front of the camera, so I started looking for a new and interesting way to make images.  The answer is scanography.

You do not need a fancy camera, great lighting, or scouting for interesting locations.  All you need is a computer, a scanner (doesn't matter how high the quality), and a little bit of imagination.

Here are some of my scanography portraiture:

There are some many interesting effects to play with such as draped hair, depth of field (distance from scanner bed), lighting, and movement.   I highly encourage everyone to stick their face down onto their scanner and make yourself a portrait. 


Scones, Scones, Scones

Today I will share with you one of my favorite snack recipes.  With one base recipe, you can make just about any type of scones that you want.  Here are my top three favorite variety of scones:  cinnamon apple, chocolate chip, and pumpkin.


Scone Base

2 cups flour
7 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking power
6 tbs cold butter (diced)
1 cup milk

First, whisk together the dry ingredients and then you are going to "cut in" the butter.  Ordinarily, I would have spent 10+ minutes stabbing at butter chunks; however, my sister introduced me to this lovely piece of machinery.   I know, I'm really late to the game, but after about 20 seconds of holding down a button, I had just the consistency I needed and no aching arm.

No matter the method of cutting in the butter, add the milk and stir until mixed.  The dough should be elastic--if it is too sticky, don't be afraid to add a tablespoon or so of flour.

That is all for the base.  Now you need to decide what type of scone you are craving.  I usually cannot make up my mind, so I often make several different types by dividing the above base recipe into equal parts.  To avoid confusion, the below recipes are proportioned for the full recipe.

1 apple grated

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Simply add these ingredients directly into the base recipe and stir until combined.  Again, if the dough is too sticky add some more flour because the next step can get messy.


Flour the counter and gently pat the dough into a circle.  Depending on the size, cut the dough into even wedges and place on a baking sheet.  


1 cup of chocolate chips


The easiest recipe.  Find that bag of half eaten chocolate that you know you stash away for emergencies and sprinkle as many or as few as you want.  Cut the dough into wedges as shown in the above recipe.


6 tablespoons pumpkin

1 teaspoon cloves

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

Enjoy the holidays with these simple and delicious scones.  Stir the above ingredients into the base recipe (add a little flour if you find it too sticky) and cut into wedges.

No matter what variety scones you choose, cooking temperature and time will remain the same.  Preheat the oven for 425 Fahrenheit and while you are waiting, sprinkle some sugar or cinnamon on top. Bake 15-20 minutes.  The scones should be golden brown and should spring back when you tap on them.  

Enjoy!  I sure did.


Printables: Cinnamon Apple Scones, Chocolate Chip Scones, and Pumpkin Scones


Booting Up Blog

Hello, world!  This post marks the beginning of candidly kate, a personal blog that combines my love of food, learning and design.  It is my goal to do at least one creative project each day and document my favorite projects each weekday.  

These projects could include
  • Food.  There are thousands of recipes out there that I want to try and even a couple favorite family recipes that deserve to be shared.  This will most likely be the bulk of this blog and my pursuit of great recipes will most likely be the reason for the added bulk to my waistline.
  • Crafts.  Whether it be DIY projects, holiday decorations, or projects designed for children, this section will be dedicated to creating fun and easy crafts.  In the future, I will also upload a blog for my personal studio where you can visit to find more intricate art projects as well as an Etsy store for pre-made art and commissioned art.
  • Fashion.  I will be the first to admit that I am not the most fashionable person, but I do like to look presentable and play around with colors and styles.  This section will likely include my wardrobe, hair styles, make-up, and nail art.
  • Education.  As an art educator, I have made dozens of lesson plans for use in K-12 classrooms that I will be sharing for home use.  Also, I will be designing several language courses (Chinese, French, Japanese, and Korean) geared mainly for children as well as some other areas that I find interesting and think others will enjoy.