2010 Q&A

I stole this from my new friend Nicole over at Sounds of Laughter, Shades of Lite.  I just thought it was too fun to not do.  Hope you all enjoy!  And thanks Nicole :)

What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
Moved into an apartment, planned an event, edited a movie, had a bf go overseas, had a bf move away, went to a lesbian bar, made Thanksgiving dinner, broke my ankle, used crutches.

Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Definitely did not keep my resolutions from last year, but made ones for this year and will most definitely keep them!! So dedicated it's not even funny!!

What countries did you visit?

What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
More self discipline and financially independent and stable.

What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory?
February 14 weekend, November 24/25

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Working the All Star Series at Angel Stadium, landing the internship of my dreams.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Lots of colds, pink eye, and now my broken ankle!

What was the best thing you bought?
My bedding / a new headlight for my car lol.

Where did most of your money go?
Food (so sad to admit!) and gas.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Bf coming home from overseas, new job, the little things in life.

What song will always remind you of 2010?
"Things are Fixin' to Get Real Good" Deryl Dodd
"What's my name" Rihanna

Compared to this time last year, are you:
happier or sadder? Sadder :( Last year I was in Florida visiting my little brother for New Years, this time I'm home with a broken ankle.
thinner or fatter? Breakups do wonders for weight gain, sadly.
richer or poorer? Still poor haha.

What do you wish you'd done more of?
Exercising, studying and focusing on myself.

What do you wish you'd done less of?
Putting others' needs and wants in front of my own. Spending money on unnecessary things.

How did you spend Christmas?
With Dad's side of the family Christmas Eve, and part of Mom's side in Palm Desert Christmas Day.

Did you fall in love in 2010?
Fell in and out of love.

What was your favorite TV program?
How I Met Your Mother and Glee. Hands down.

What was the best book you read?
I hate to say it, but I don't think I read one book all year. At least I can't remember if I did.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Mumford and Son, Black Keys, The Temper Trap. Amazeballs.

What did you do on your birthday?
Celebrated with a small group of friends in San Diego.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If I won the lottery (lol). Actually, being able to stay on my last weight loss plan would've been pretty damn satisfying.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Comfy and cheap (haha). Honestly, I don't try hard.

What kept you sane?
My friends.  Staying busy.

Who was the best new person you met?
I love all my new friends at work, they are all oh so fabulous.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:
Never out other's needs in front of your own. You are your #1 priority.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Things are fixin' to get real good. (because they are!)

Cheers & Happy New Years <3


This is where we spent our short 'honeymoon'. 2days in Berlin, one day in Paradise Island (water park in an old zeppelin hangar), and 2 days in Prague - a lot of driving, not really relaxing but a lot of sightseeing. Here are couple shots from 'B' town...
Jewish memorial
in between
Yes, we went on the balloon:)
view from the balloon - the German national car - trabant!
Berlin Wall
matriochka makes it everywhere:)
shopping in Berlin
not the Berlin wall
checkpoint Charlie
Brandenburger Tor
Jewish museum exit
in the streets
 runway in the streets of Berlin. You might find here future supermodels

A Guide to my NYE

This year for New Years Eve I will be carrying on the tradition I have with my parents.  For the past 22 years, my parents have someway been involved in my NYE plans.  Whether it be dinner with them before I headed out to a friend's party or forcing each other to stay awake so we can watch the ball drop, we have always celebrated NYE together.

Although I had fabulous plans on how I was going to celebrate New Years, those plans have changed with the surgery, and I've come to the realization that it's okay.  I'm so blessed to have the parents I have, why wouldn't I want to ring in the New Year with them, and toast to our health and happiness, and another wonderful year together as a family.  I have the feeling this is going to be the best New Years Eve yet!!

I'm sure you are wondering what's going to make this NYE so great.  Well let me show you!  Here's a little guide I put together for the best NYE ever (according to me!)

1. Movie Theater Popcorn
(although not on the diet, a NYE treat that's a must!)
2. A Cozy couch and afghan blanket
3. Hot Skinny Caramel Latte from Starbucks
(a grandes only about 130 calories!)
5. Confetti poppers
6. A glass of champagne to toast at midnight
(Only about 90 calories in a glass)
7. A pre-midnight celebration movie with the family

So there you have it, that's what my NYE is going to consist of.  And, if you follow that fantastic little guide plus throw your own little twist on it, I'm sure your NYE will be fantastically cozy, just like mine!


A new Year, A new Attitude

The studio cleanout is over. 
It took forever to go thru boxes and bookshelves of cut up paper! But it is done and at last I sit in a studio with some breathing room. The desktops are even visible.....Okay I lie. 2 of the desktops are visible. I think everything from both of those desks landed on the third one! C'mon! At least I have some surface to work with...
It's a lot like cleaning the kitchen. As soon as I get the dishes done, the counters clean, the floor swept I sit back and look at this gleaming area like a predator. Almost immediately I will want to bake bread, make cookies, or make a crazy intense spaghetti sauce or anything messy! I think my internal sense just can't stand empty areas. (right Steven? remember the encaustic class, with all that bark and stuff all over my table and surrounding tables and floor?)
In the studio it's the same deal! Whhooppee!! Beautiful empty Table tops  just begging to be messed up.
Here comes larger pieces of paper and all the watercolor gear! I can tell you the table is NOT clear this morning....
It's all good. It's a catalyst for big new work. I am excited again about my craft.

I am also dumbfounded.
After the watercolor gear came out, I attempted a collage work that has been wallowing in my brain for 2 weeks. I was surprised to find myself quite paralyzed! Where IS everything? My normal mode has been discontinued, disrupted and it's extinct.
I decided to do collage on top of the previously mentioned watercolor. I picked up some of the remaining ephemera I did keep and found a ladies face...I imagined her riding a glorious ice sled across the frozen creek in my watercolor. Cool, lets collage this.  I cut out the lady and placed her on the watercolor.
Time for change. I said to myself. I really want to raise the bar. I don't want to just cut out heads to paste. This is work.
Search Fearlessly: collage graffiti from the Dusty Loft, my former studio

I grabbed the watercolors again and began painting 4 little faces, modeling them on the ephemera lady I just found. One of them came out decent. I will cut and paste her and use her instead.
I have a problem with this tho. The texture of the watercolor paper for the background is the exact same texture as the lady face I just painted. When I cut her out and put her into the picture, well...she....just looks weird to me. I am a texture head!! I need to see a contrast. I think the answer is to laser copy and/or inkjet print these things of mine and use the duplicates. The laser will give me a sheen, and paper with no grain. The inkjet will allow me to fade it , or bleed it. Texture! I need texture!

This is one of the new problems I face as I try to generate more of my ephemera on my own and work to a new level. I really am a master of texture. With all this painting, it just seems lacking.

For now at least. In time, I may find new work flows, new techniques! How about monoprints? or silk screen patterns? or transfers.....?
Search Fearlessly.

I am ready to put 2010 and it's workflow to rest. What are you going to do this year?
Happy New Year, dear reader! I wish you a year of creativity. A year of new ideas, new techniques, new inspiration!
Let us ALL take our art to a new level and give the future some history to crow about!

Wishful Thinking

Do you ever find yourself thinking, "Geez, am I really going to be able to accomplish this, or finish that?"  Doesn't it always put a damper on your mood to think that you may not fulfill whatever you set out to do?  I know it does for me.  I used to be so productive and on top of my to do lists it was like I was my own personal assistant.  I always knew where I had to be, what needed to get done in what order, and how I was going to make everything happen on time.  What happened to that me?  Somewhere along the line those great traits seemed to float off into the atmosphere and were replaced with a serious case of procrastination.  Oh how I wish that old me was back and ready to go full throttle.

Well guess what, that old self of mine is back and ready for action.  This Wednesday's Wishes is about the new and improved Kelsey.  It's a new year, which means it's a new me.  A year full of many wishes and resolutions that I know will all come true.  And, to keep me on track, I'm going to share with you my wishes and resolutions so you know what I'm aiming for, and so I can look back and check off each and every item on this list.

1.  Stay true to my weight loss goals 
2.  Hit the gym at least 4x per week
3.  Cook 95% of my meals at home
4.  Budget my money
5.  Balance school and work appropriately
6.  Use my planner to it's fullest potential
7.  Go to church at least 2x per month
8.  Start job applications and researching career objectives
9.  Enjoy more time with my girlfriends
10. Blog each and every day

I'm sure I could keep adding to this list until it was about 50 items long, but I felt these were right up there at the top.  I've realized I'm more dedicated than ever to achieve all my goals in 2011 and I can't wait to share my journey, the good times and the bad times, with all of you.  



ME/Stefanija....looking like I want to sit down on this couch in front of my work.
I just had to figure out how to do it first....
There's a lot of info here and I shall share as best as I can!

Ya wanna check it out? First place to stop?
Mark's blog! He has a couple of posts that explain the gallery.
Post 1 and Post 2
The gallery wall!
Crazy right? My art all framed and huge on the walls!

Mark has also sent me this info about the gallery and his philosophy:

The Pietmond Art Crawl galleries — Norum, SoSo West, SoSo East, Something To CHRO About, and the Tower of TILE — are small, closely packed exhibit spaces within the Second Life mainland village of Pietmond, a burg of my own creation. Featured art focuses on collage media, but also includes photography and non-collage abstraction. The village itself is a type of collage of various buildings and objects I’ve accumulated and then fiddled around with over my 3 years of existence within that virtual reality. Most are also freebie objects/structure.
I do not charge artists for exhibit space, and all of Pietmond’s current exhibitors, myself excluded, are not that familiar with Second Life. So I set up the space, create the virtually physical artwork, and do some limited inworld promotion through various, established art groups such as Art and Artist’s Network and SL Art Collectors.
Good website on how to set up your own SL art gallery is here:
Each of the art pieces found in the Pietmond Art Crawl galleries can be purchased inworld for approx. 200-300 Linden dollars, which may sound like a lot but is really the equivalent of 1 or 2 “Real Life” US dollars. The artwork is created by, first, uploading earmarked picture textures to SL for the cost of a few cents apiece (and, of course, with permission from the creating artists), then mounting them on building blocks known as prims, short for primitives. In my own galleries a picture is usually made up of a single prim, but Second Life artworks can be composed of several and perhaps many such building blocks, sometimes imbedded with complex programming scripts as well. A great blog archive on the enormous potential of virtual art, geared specifically toward Second Life, is here:
Not Possible in Real Life:


He writes:: "I’m not a newbie in SL, but neither am I that old either, virtually speaking, in comparison to some. Second Life has been around since 2003, with perhaps a peak interest in it, from an outside world perspective, coming in 2007."
Thanks thanx txxxx Mark for all this cool stuff!! Happy holidays!

My second trip into Second Life

How can I even begin to explain my latest news? It's like a puzzle, these thoughts of mine. These events.

Awhile back, I did a post about a swarthy Second Life collagist named Mark Brittain. He was doing collage in the virtual world and I was fascinated by the concept. I was also far removed from the idea, as I stuck to my studio table like glue (no pun intended!). Over this busy last month and even longer, Mark has silently been behind the scenes working on a Second Life gallery. He saw my work here on the blog and liked it, and wanted to feature me in his virtual gallery. And recently he sent me screen shots of what was to be my first gallery opening>> online. In Second Life.
How exciting! He sent me links to the gallery as he worked on it and I am really quite tickled. It is an overwhelming experience to see your work on the walls of a gallery, pasted there larger than life (literally!), even digitally.

Have you ever read The Secret? or seen the movie, or perhaps saw the Oprah show that featured it? I watched the movie and it brings forth the concept that our mental thoughts are the catalyst for real things to occur. I have always believed strongly in the strength of our thoughts, and if you  need more proof that our thoughts rule the world, just read up on quantum physics for awhile! In seeing these images on a virtual wall, my mind is capable of experiencing in a microcosm the feeling of what it would be like in the macrocosm of reality. I see my work on the wall, I beam with pride. It doesn't seem to affect my inner excitement much whether these images are on my computer screen and shown on a gallery wall within it, or on a real wall. Since lately I am moving towards some digital work, this all seem so appropriate. It's like a sort of digital initiation. It's so full of karma. Experiencing things in ones mind is the first step to experiencing in reality. I believe this is true.

I enter the world of Pietmond, the village that the virtual gallery is located in on Second Life. My clutziness within the SL environment was really hysterical. Upon finding my way to the gallery, I was unable to negotiate the different floors, and I used all sorts of key commands that had me quite literally falling on the digital floor! I was compelled to see the work that Mark did, live within Second Life. I am still seriously unfamiliar with the program's environment and the nuances of having a character. But yet, I found myself standing there in the gallery, attempting to purchase my own work!! I need Lindens...which it seems you must pay for. It's cheap to buy these lindens, and my art is uber cheap so I will be going back in the game to attempt this again. It's really quite upside down!!

To Marks' credit, he has worked very hard on several of these galleries and I am really amazed at the dedication and the creativity required to do this. He has written me many times and sent me progress reports, info on how to play Second Life, links, blog posts, pictures...he's been really enthusiastic, and I thrive on that. I am not certain what is ahead for me as far as Second Life is concerned. I am certain that for me it's another road sign on the path that I am taking my collage work.

In my next post, I will share some of this cool stuff with you!

wish me luck.

I am flying to Orlando in Florida today. My trip starts at Vienna airport, changing plane in London, and again in New York. The weather forecast is not making me happy at all:((

veselé vianoce.

... in other words... Merry Christmas/Veselé Vánoce/God Jul/Schoene Weihnachten to all of you!!!

Thank you.

A beautiful surprise was expecting me in the mail box today - a gorgeous Christmas card from Chrissy -my giveaway winner. Thank you soooo much Chrissy!


This is very 'makove', a lot of poppy is involved. I love poppy and I am glad that so many traditional Slovak sweet dishes are made with it. This one is called poppy 'cup' cake -> regular tea or coffee cup is used instead of  metric measurements, that's where the name comes from. Probably nothing new in US as they are used to 'cups' measuring anyways.
Here is the recipe:
2 cups of 'polohruba' flour (semi-coarse flour)
1 cup of granulated sugar (I use only half cup of brown sugar)
2 cup of whole poppy seeds
7 eggs
1/2 pack of conditioner dough

Make snow out of 7 egg whites. Mix well sugar, 6 egg yolks, and 6 big spoons of warm water with a mixer, slowly add 2 cups of flour, conditioner dough, poppy. Add the mixed egg whites. Heat up the oven up to 200 degrees. Spread everything on a greasy pan and bake on 170 degrees for a while until the dough does not stick to the toothpick:).

1 egg yolk
1 cup  granulated sugar (I use only half cup of brown sugar)
1 zlaty klas (slovak corn starch)
400ml of cold milk

Mix everything together and boil in a pot creating a thick mash. Leave it to cool down, mix it from time to time.  If the cake is thick enough you can cut it in half and put the filling in between, if not just add it to the top.

The icing:
chopped walnuts or almonds (as much as you want)

1/2 pack of vanilla sugar
10g of granulated sugar (I usually skip this sugar)
250 g of butter (I use only half, depends how thick you want to have the icing)

Dump everything in a sauce pan except the nuts and let it all melt. Let it cool down for a little bit getting a thicker sauce and spread it on the top of the cake. Sprinkle the nuts on the top and you can enjoy the poppyness!

item #2.

Here is my 2nd quick design for Christmas. I just love my Fiscars circle punch, very useful tool to have:)
card from paper-source,  paper circles from PB paper cut by Fiscars wooden ornaments from Retif

Happy Cleaned Out Holiday!

I've been quiet the past two weeks here on the clearinghouse. It's holiday time, and I am not exempt from the heapload of elf work that must be done. Buying gifts, wrapping gifts, sending gifts....it's a CHORE that cuts into my creative time. My SUNY class just ended and I have a month off from the second job, along with some days off from the day job. This will help me find time for those creative moments.

Although I have not been at the studio table, there's been a lot of really cool things going on. I'm STILL going thru the grueling process of going thru the ephemera in my studio. UGH and double ugh. how long will this process last!!!???  I finally went thru my laser copies (which I have been hoarding for at least 7 years). Most of this stuff is imagery that I culled before I met Chris and fell in love with an antique dealer who supplies me with endless vintage stuff. I don't use copies anymore, and there was an entire trunkfuI had to go through. Any copies of my own photos I kept, which came to probably 15 pieces of paper. The rest? Woodstove fodder!! I moved the huge 1950's graphic table out and it's off for sale at the antique store. I emptied 2 bookcases and they are just waiting to be filled with new stuff! My piano keyboard is set up, synthesizer program loaded on the laptop, and I have a nice clean desk to use for my computer exploits.
I was explaining to Chris how my work HAS to change. I have thrown away a good portion of material. This will force me to find new things to use...and therefore my work will change. It's logic. The new space also affords me a place to paint, something which I am trying to engage more in my new work. I  don't know where it all leads, but this cleanout seemed appropriate and most timely.  I am ready for the New Mode.
And I am happy about it. I am glad I chose this time of year to do this massive cleanout, since i am already busy doing Christmas stuff, and personal time is hard to find anyhow.

Wherever you may find yourself this holiday, whether it be in the middle of your own personal art studio mess, or in the living room with only a pad and pencil, may you find a creative moment this season!
Happy Holidays everyone!
old stencil on barn door: it's gone now, but my happy memory remains!

merry x-mas by mail.

My first of many this season and if anybody wonders why I have December 24th on my card, I can ensure you it's not a mistake. Here, we get presents one day earlier!!! 
wooden ornaments from retif, card and dotted paper by paper-source

Vintage Notes N3: Pulp vintage shop

A via del Boschetto  abbiamo trovato un vintage store che si differenzia dagli altri per la sua attitudine PULP!
Omaggio a Bukowski? A Tarantino? Non abbiamo avuto modo di indagare molto nelle origini del nome di questo spazio che, ci racconta Fabio, è aperto da dodici anni... perché siamo state ipnotizzate dalle gonne con paillette, dai tutù di tulle dai colori flash, che evidenziano un particolare gusto tendente all'estetica degli anni 80.

Abbiamo trovato look perfetti da indossare questo sabato al MADS per il VINTAGE DRESS PARTY in onore alla Madonna di CERCASI SUSAN DISPERATAMENTE.
Ancora non avete deciso cosa indossare questa sera?
Cogliete l'occasione per fare un salto da Pulp..troverete sicuramente qualcosa di vostro gradimento!!!

Annalisa D'Urbano

special thanks:

  • Rome, Italy 81059

Fabio Brunaccini


Martina Sementilli

foto by: Andrea Rossi


Caerdydd, Cymru

L'uomo più importante

In questo momento gli uomini della mia vita sono tre: mio marito, mio padre, e il mio ginecologo.
Mentre i primi due mi coccolano e sono più ansiosi di me su come procede la gravidanza, il terzo è impassibile nella sua gentilezza e non mi dice mai più del necessario. A domanda risponde, ma non si profonde in spiegazioni spontanee; credo che sia il risultato di oltre vent'anni di pratica con i pazienti più difficili del mondo, ovvero donne di tutte le età sconvolte dagli ormoni.
 Mercoledì prossimo ho la visita di fine trimestre e, chissà, anche la translucenza nucale (il mio ginecologo è l'uomo del mistero e non mi anticipa mai cosa farà).
Ovviamente comincio ad essere un po' in ansia, curiosa di vedere il mio piccolo ospite e preoccupata che sia tutto a posto, che sia cresciuto, sano, con tutti i ditini  e le sue cosine a posto e possibilmente impegnato in capriole.
Intanto rifletto su come io abbia con il ginecologo un rapporto per certi versi più intimo di quello con mio marito: con quest'ultimo non mi è mai capitato di conversare amabilmente della trasmissione di Saviano mentre lui è impegnato con le mie parti basse!

I prefer red and with dots.

I had an idea and now I am planning to make enchanted forest on our fireplace mantel. I picked two deers already that I am gonna get my hands on Saturday and I saved these little mushroom candles that we got for our stores a while ago. I also got 3 big mushroom candles somewhere as well, I just have to find them:) I will take you through the project on weekend. See you soon!
 mushroom candles by curel

little brown pen

I am really fascinated how this video is made. Make some Calendars and gift tags... perfect Christmas present for your friends by little brown pen.

"Nothing left to do"

Steve Specht here...
This is my latest piece. I have a bit to say about it; but not right now. I want to post this and will "discuss" it in an upcoming post soon. Enjoy!

Vintage Notes N2: Martina // Madonna


Cosa succede quando ci si imbatte in un personaggio speciale come Martina, che (te ne accorgi alla prima occhiata) è  capace di esprimere attraverso gli abiti che indossa la sua originalità e  un gusto estetico miscellanea di stravaganza, ironia e sensualità?
Oltre a chiederle la sua opinione riguardo alle tendenze in auge, abbiamo ritenuto inevitabile coinvolgerla in  qualcosa di più: una reinterpretazione dello style Madonna '80-'90 che è evidentemente tornato alla ribalta.
Nenas Matrioska vi presenta in anteprima alcuni degli scatti più belli, a cura di Andrea Rossi, che ritraggono Martina nella sua traduzione del look di CERCASI SUSAN DISPERATAMENTE.
Le foto scattate nel RIONE MONTI fanno parte di una serie di iniziative proposte da Nenas Matrioska per il primo VINTAGE DRESS PARTY organizzato in collaborazione con CINEMADS, che si terrà il prossimo sabato 18 dicembre al MADS a san Lorenzo.

Hello it's Pulp vintage shop!...oH! yes Susan.. see you later!
22.30 Via del Boschetto. ROME

I'm late..

just one cigarette

mmm... 20 minutes...waiting for Susan

00:00 last whisky... I'll go to the party

but..where is Susan?


Martina Sementilli

foto: Andrea Rossi

special thanks: Vanessissima - leNou - Pulp- Bar la piazzetta a via del Boschetto - William Lawson

Annalisa D'Urbano

red sea.

When the Christmas stars are blooming I know that x-mas is getting closer. Well, they started to bloom a while ago and I always forget to bring my camera with me to show you the beautiful view. But, this time I remembered. This is what we grow in our big green houses behind the city... can't forget to mention the Cyclamen flowers as well.