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It snowed yesterday

Can you believe it? It’s April and it snowed!

- This has been your Midwest Weather Report. Thank you. -

Yesterday night the Steven Universe song was stuck in my head. When I mean stuck, I mean wedged so far that even the jaws of life couldn’t get it out. It was like Winnie Pooh stuck in Rabbit’s hole without any friends to help him out. Okay, that was just sad. Assuming he got stuck in Rabbit’s hole, and that he was as antisocial as myself, then I suppose his motives are questionable for even being near Rabbit’s place. You thought I was gonna say hole, didn’t you? DIRTY DIRTY pish posh tsk tsk.

Here it is in its nudity:

 

So, I caved and bought Baby’s In Black and The Fifth Beatle. I couldn’t resist. Amazon and your Prime flirtations and … ugh!

Baby's in Black

The Fifth Beatle

 

If you buy these two together, I recommend reading Baby’s in Black  first for timeline’s sake since it takes place during The Beatles’ earlier days in Germany. It’s very much a love story between Astrid Kirchherr and Stuart Sutcliffe which ends around 1961, so if you’re looking for something more than that, cross-referencing with other works is the way to go. If you don’t know anything about him, he was the original bassist, classmate of John Lennon, and a promising young painter and poet. You can see his art here. The art site was quite the find since they talk about his paintings in the comic without explicitly showing his work. It was nice to connect the dots.

Now, The Fifth Beatle takes place after Germany, starting in 1962ish, and focuses on the making of The Beatles into international sensations through the work and passionate dedication of Brian Epstein, manager.  I’m not too sure of the chronological order since it started with Ringo Starr already in the crew. Germany was only mentioned briefly, and there wasn’t any talk of Sutcliffe or Pete Best from what I remember. Then again, this was Epstein’s story. I gotta say, and I have said this before, the artwork is a thing of beauty. The story is too touching to pass up as well. And guess what? It’s being made into a movie directed by Peyton Reed.

I was inspired by both graphic novels, so I did a bit of spring cleaning and found an sketchbook from late last year. The last entry in it was a couple of sketches of hands done with a brush marker that I scribbled while on a break in Starbucks:

8 - journal doodle 2014

Old sketchbook from late 2013

I feel awkward leaving a mess of blank papers in a book that was meant to be filled, so I added a drawing of myself in my favorite spring dress from that year. This one is definitely Baby’s in Black inspired, stylistically speaking mixed with my own touches, of course.

9 - journal doodle 2014

9A – journal doodle 2014

Here it is a bit closer …

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9B – journal doodle 2014

Having so many graphic novels surrounding me now (I even picked up a sample of Anya’s Ghost  and Beautiful Darkness is currently sitting pretty in my cart), I’m thinking of writing my own. It’s something I have thought about in the past, say middle school to early college. Maybe it’s something I should be doing? It has always been in the back of my mind, so why not? I have the tools to do so. Question is … what would I write about?

… No idea. I’m fond of memoir type graphic novels, so I suppose there’s that. I’m episodic in nature. I feel more than I think, and I get antsy if I stay in one place too long. I think it’s important to know these things about yourself when writing something so reflective.

According to Anton Chekhov “Everything I learned about human nature I learned from me.” My English teacher from 6th grade once said to “Write as if to describe to an alien.” Eudora Welty remarked, as I’m looking through David Corbett’s The Art of Character, to “Write about what you don’t know about what you know.” I consider myself a writer before anything else, as I write always before I draw, but my writing is all post-it notes, lists, shit poetry, and well, this blog. A good start, if any.

I’m thinking too much about this. I really am. Put on the brakes. GEEZ.

I did pick up Ivan Brunetti’s Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice  last year to help as a syllabus.

Never stop being a student, haaaa.

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Ceci n’est pas un chien

So, I have this shih tzu… and he looks like a walking arm rest. He’s not your typical dog; he’s more like a cute and fuzzy lump.

7 - journal doodle 2014

7 – journal doodle 2014

Had to add that tag line at the bottom otherwise it’ll be a cow sausage of some sort. Haha, cow sausage. Ten points to your respective house if you know where the reference is from.

8 - journal doodle 2014

8 – journal doodle 2014

I suppose this one’s more serious. I was inspired by this link here from Laughing Squid. My lord… as soon as I finished watching the trailer for The Fifth Beatle, I had to see how much it was on Amazon. Ya see, like many people, I have this fascination with the band. I wouldn’t say so far as attending Beatle festivals/conventions, though I did walk through a couple, but I find them all so interesting. There’s this whole mythology, and in my opinion, it’s a pretty epic story. Anyways, I took a peek of the inside of the graphic novel, and the illustrations are beautiful. Definitely on the wish list ferrrrr suuuuurrreee.

And Amazon being such a goodie bag of recommendations, another Beatles graphic novel showed up in the “Customers who bought this item also bought” section — Baby’s in Black. This one is more of my style, I think. The drawings are simple and graphic. I absolutely love inking in large areas in black ink. In this graphic novel though, it looks like charcoal was used. Maybe black colored pencil and china marker too. This one is also on my wish list.

My goodness. It’s like I’m torturing myself with pretty things. I’ll just end this post with a song by Beulah.

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More Journaling today

Hello everyone.

I did a bit of traveling for a while. Chicago is beautiful city. I love walking around imagining how life would be like if I lived in certain apartments. My imagination is running wild here, especially since the weather has been improving. I mean, it only snowed a little since the end of March. My dream apartment would have vines growing on it. A balcony would be nice too.

4 - journal doodle 2014

4 – journal doodle 2014

I’ve been browsing Anthropologie lately. I feel like all these quirky women shop there. These women probably wear stone jewelry and possibly have dietary restrictions that they would love to share with you. I don’t know where I’m going with this, but these are the women I imagine apparently — Women that earn enough to be as picky as they please. One day I’ll splurge and buy a dress and a few housewares from there. One fine day … whilst shopping in Chelsea Market perhaps.

5 - journal doodle 2014

5 – journal doodle 2014

Does anyone else write in cursive still? When I don’t know what to write in my journal, I repetitively practice the alphabet in cursive. I think of descriptive words and write them down, or I scribble out a few versions of my signature. None of those efforts are shown above, but I was just wondering if you do it too. A few of my favorite words I like to practice with are the names of theaters: Troubadour, Orpheum, Biograph, Riviera, Aragon, Imperial, Marquis, etc. If I remember, I’ll post some up in the next time.

6 - journal doodle 2014

6 – journal doodle 2014

Lately, I’ve been wearing one of my dad’s button up shirts that he left in the room I’m staying in. He doesn’t mind. I like the striped pattern. It’s probably my favorite lounging shirt right now. I should wash it though… it’s beginning to reek.

Saw this at Foursided.

Saw this at Foursided.

Have you visited Foursided? It’s a wonderful store for those that like the accessories and home decor sections of Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie (amongst other stores). The stationary sets are way too cute. There is a wooden postcard set in particular that I almost bought, but I decided against it last minute. I don’t write and mail people letters and things as often as I did in the past, so… I window shopped and made a mental wish list for the future.

And, if you already guessed the theme of this grable, I’m still saving up. No new sunglasses yet. I know, I know. They’re cheap at such and such.

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I broke my sunglasses today

Rest in peace my favorite pair of sunglasses. Thank you for reminding me to look before I jump on the bed.

Broken sunglasses

Not even a year old, and just when I was starting to look like a female version of The Dude. No worries. I’m sure H&M will have a new crop for me to choose from. Viking funeral to follow promptly, dear friend.

Did a little more journaling today. Showcasing here an example of what I wear when I’m not mingling with others. Today it’s all about me, my dog, and the letters in the mailbox.

3 - journal doodle 2014

3 – journal doodle 2014

Wearing red sunglasses from H&M (RIP), peacock blue knit cardigan from Forever 21, hand me down pink scrub circa 1990s, Versailles NY 100% cotton plaid capri pants from mom, and golden mesh Chinese slippers from my sister’s wedding where I threw up in the elevator (amongst other places, such as everywhere).

Does anyone else still wear mesh Chinese slippers? They were really popular when I was growing up. It’s a good question to ask, really. I haven’t seen anyone wear these outside for years…

(I still think they’re cute)

 

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Doodles from my journal

Happy Monday, everyone.

This weekend has been quite the thinker. What does that even mean? You tell me, haaaa. So, anyway! Just thought I should drop in and share some doodles from my journal.

C'est moi.

My obvious upbringing of afterschool anime shines through so well here.

Window Shopping

I decided that I’ll draw the clothes I think are cute instead of impulsively buying them. This way I’ll save money and have a neat list that I can dedicate to the $pend$pend$pend fund.

Le sigh.

Now both my wallet and I are on a diet…  Excuse me as I look at pictures of pizza.

(jk)

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Another selfie

Charcoal & Conté Selfie. 2014

Charcoal & Conté Selfie. 2014

Felt inspired to draw something after coming home to The Wes Anderson Collection outside my door. It’s a thing of beauty. I’ve been marathoning his movies since yesterday, and I’m really looking forward to The Grand Budapest Hotel, so to come home to the book full of … pretty things and illustrations and storyboards and…!!! It’s difficult not to feel inspired.

Trailer for Grand Budapest Hotel:

… And here’s an introduction to the characters and actors:

Be excited with me!

Anyways, I found my gouache sets. There’s two boxes of the same brand. I found the second one by a dumpster at my old apartment complex, so I did what any normal person would do and looked through it to make sure it was still usable. In fact, the set was practically new, so that’s fortunate. And, naturally, as one would say after rummaging through communal trash, why would someone throw a perfectly good (and expensive) gouache set out? Hopefully something good will come of it now … a year and hair later.

‘Til next post. Goodnight.

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New selfie sketch

Selfie sketch 2014

Selfie sketch 2014

Hello, reader!

Just dropping in to say hi. There’s still a pulse here! Reorganizing a few things at the moment. Look forward to more posts in the future!

Until then,

Karen

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Cookies ‘N Cream Cookies

I had a little Jell-O Oreo Cookies ‘N Cream mix left over, so I decided to make cookies with it.

cookies 'n' cream 1

I only had half a packet left, so these didn’t come out as speckled with oreo crumbs as I would have preferred. They tasted awesome though. If you want more speckle, add a generous amount of oreo crumbs, or an entire large packet of the Jell-O mix with a few splashes of half and half or whipping cream to incorporate the additional dry ingredients into the dough.

Cookies ‘N Cream Cookies
Yields about 2.5 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • Packet of Jell-O Oreo cookies ‘n cream pudding  mix
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 king size cookie ‘n cream candy bars, chopped roughly
  • White chocolate chips for decoration

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, pinch of salt, and pudding mix. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in egg and vanilla extract until just combined.
  5. Gradually beat in the flour mixture until dough forms. Add a splash of half and half if dough is too crumbly.
  6. Stir in chopped up cookies ‘n cream bars by hand. Be sure not to overmix.
  7. Using a spoon, scoop spoonfuls of dough and form balls.
  8. Place balls about an inch apart and flatten them slightly using your hand.
  9. Stick on white chocolate chips on top of the cookie dough for decoration (about 5 chips each).
  10. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned.
  11. Allow to cool and enjoy!

cookies 'n' cream 2

The cookies have a slightly crunchy outside with a very creamy, melty inside. Be sure to enjoy them with a tall glass of cold milk!

-KmA

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Pre-St. Patty’s in Chicago

Every year for St. Patrick’s day, the river in Chicago is dyed green. Took a pic while passing by.

They turned the river green!

Walking around.

St. Patrick’s is a big deal around here. Crowds are everywhere. Today I’m going to the Art Institute. Let’s see how that goes.

- KmA

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Mobile Update

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Another pic of Teddy

Let me start off with another pic of Teddy. Aww, so cute.

Okay, now another pic of a drawing I found that I drew in 2010 while packing away my things in California.

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And one more pic of me and a $5 pair of sunglasses with a mustache. One at a time, ladies:

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Hello, ladies.

As you can see, this post is more of a pic dump as I am updating from my cell. I originally wanted to talk about a few books I’m reading, and the many books I want to read, but today is the day I’m planning for the future. I recently received some news of an opportunity, and I’m slowly, but surely, going for it. Lots of paperwork, but there’s promises of travel. Now that my big move across the country is in progress, I can feel a new start a-comin’.

…Oh, I totally love these. I would buy them, but I have no place for it.

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Ohhhhhhh!

Ending on a hopeful note with positivity and ambition. I’ll leave this post with another Teddy pic (collage style). I’m having way too much fun with these apps…

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-KmA