May 29, 2012

Time Well Spent

Good-bye long weekend! You will be missed. This was my first actual long weekend, with paid holiday time included, in about 4 years. I would like to think I made the very best of it. I told Ryan I only wanted to craft and play Diablo. And that is exactly what I did.

[Five little scrappy roses and only one very minor burn!]

I know I keep bringing it up, but I still cannot believe how much more I am able to do now that I have real weekends without homework looming. I was finishing up a clutch yesterday, and was getting everything cleaned up when I realized it was only 6 pm. I sat down and thought, I still have plenty of time to make something else, eat dinner, and fit in some Diablo time with the boy before I should get to bed. So, I hauled all my stuff back out and was able to finish yet another clutch.    

These lovelies were made this weekend and will be making their debut on a clutch that should be posted to my etsy shop by the end of the week.

May 28, 2012

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes

Last week I got the desire to make some kind of cheesecake.  Ryan loves cheesecake and I haven't made any since last summer, so it was about time.  I went to pinterest (of course) to find some options and asked him to choose his favorite.  Oreo Cheesecakes.  Good choice!

I have found several recipes for these mini cheesecakes, but a lot of them make upwards of 30 mini cakes.  This is simply too many for the 2 of us, even on a long weekend.  I could have just cut any of the recipes in half, but this recipe already did the work.  It makes 12 mini cheesecakes plus 2 slightly larger in ramekins.  I also decided that it would be fun to make half with regular oreos and half with golden.

The recipe is as follows:
  • 22 oreos (8 of each color left whole, 3 of each coarsely chopped and kept separate)
  • 2 8oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 c sour cream (apparently Greek yogurt works too, but I have not tried it)
  • pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 275 F. Line 12 Standard muffin tins with paper liners and prepare 2-4 ramekins (larger ones will take slightly longer for the filling to set in the oven). 
Place whole Oreo in the bottom on each lined cup (I broke several cookies to fit them in the bottom of the ramekins).
Beat cream cheese on medium.  Gradually add sugar and vanilla.  Pour in beaten eggs, in 3 parts, scraping down the sides after each addition.  Beat in sour cream and salt.
Move half of mixture into a separate bowl.  Stir in chopped cookies by hand. 
Pour into prepared tins, filling each almost to the top.
Bake, rotating halfway through, until filling is set. 22-25 min. (larger ramekins may require up to 30 min)
Cool in pans, on wire rack, 15 minutes.  Move individuals cakes to plate and chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

The cheesecakes turned out great!  If you know Ryan, you know that he is not a big dessert fan.  Cheesecake is apparently the exception.  I got us each one of the ramekins, after finishing mine I reminded him that if he wasn't finished he needed to put it back in the fridge.  His response was "there hasn't been anything left in over 10 minutes!" I'll just take that as a compliment on my baking. =)

May 23, 2012

Summer Ruffle Clutch

In the midst of my quest to use up all of the excess fabric I have accumulated, and idea came to me...Clutches!  I made myself one for my cousin's wedding a few summers ago, but hadn't made any since.  These are the perfect scrappy project.  They don't require much fabric and they can be customized with a whole host of cute and unique details.

So, here is the first in what, I hope, becomes a long line of lovely clutches

To buy this one go to kunstlichekadi on Etsy!

Don't forget to sign-up for the kunstlichekadi newsletter by scanning the QR code at the right of the page!

May 18, 2012

Welcome to my World

This will be my first attempt at a quilt.  I am fascinated with fresh, modern quilts, but I generally work on a much smaller scale. I have been inspired, recently by one of my suite mates from college. She has always been brilliant artistically, but now she has begun to make quilts too! I wish she had a website I could direct you to, but she does not so you'll just have to trust me on her brilliance.  

Since I am never one to shy from a challenge, and I will soon have a brand new home to decorate...why not dive in with a simple lap quilt.  I saw a houndstooth baby quilt on pinterest several months ago and I fell in love with the idea, but not the actual design.  As I am wont to do I tucked it away in the creative center of my brain and just let it simmer.  Finally, a couple of weeks ago I was able to come up with the design I wanted for my first ever quilt.  

(Welcome to my world of post-it notes and pencils. I have a problem obsession with office supplies. But it often comes in handy when I need to plan a project and I am not at home!)

Those of you that know me, may also know that I *started* a t-shirt quilt several years ago.  This, however hardly counts as a quilt because I only got as far as sewing the t-shirts to each other.  It has been sitting in a box in my closet ever since.

I have no intentions of starting this quilt until after the move, but I am so excited about it.  Ryan and I have decided on a simple gray and straw color scheme for our living room.  With some accents of black, white, and a darker yellow.  So, for this quilt I am planning on getting patterned fabric in dark gray and white for the front, and a simple solid straw color for the back and binding.

I am also planning on making slipcovers for our chairs in similar colors.  But those are a project for down the road a bit.

May 17, 2012

A Brief Rant and some Geeky Goodness

I have to say that I have been a little frustrated lately with the confusion of geeks vs. hipsters.  It seems that there are a lot of people that think these terms are interchangeable, or perhaps just don’t know the definition of one or both.  I have been called a hipster too many times and read inaccurate infographics on the subject too recently to let it slide.

I will admit there is some overlap between geeks and hipsters. We both like gadgets, but geeks only like them when they work, not just because they were made by mac (most geeks I know like gadgets less if they were made by mac).  We both tend to avoid mainstream activities.  But I know that I have refined tastes in beer, coffee, food, music and friends.  I enjoy good quality, not just things that are cheap, easy, or popular.  I do not, however, avoid things just because other people like them.

Geek and Hipster cultures are completely different.  The geek crowd is warm and welcoming (for the most part).  No matter what weird or eccentric things you like, there is usually a group of geeks that share your interests. Hipsters don't even want to be called hipsters.  If you can tell me one good thing you have heard about the hipster crowd I will... rethink my argument.  

I am not a hipster.  I do not do things ironically.
I am a geek! I like sci-fi and fantasy.  I am a gamer.  I like movies.  I like music. I like comics. I read books. I am smart. I like intelligent and witty humor.  

Now that my rant has come to an end... 

The real reason for this post is DIABLO III.

I will admit that I was not really a gamer when Diablo or Diablo II came out, but since then I have played my fair share.  So, as a geek in her mid 20s I count myself among the crowd of Diablo fans that have been patiently waiting for a decade for this release. Thank you Blizzard for once again eating up my nights and weekends.

Cosplay Monk is Awesome!
So is gameplay monk!

I need to mention too, that my fiance and I are *both* huge geeks. So, Diablo III is how we have been and will continue to spend "couples" time at least for the next little bit.
I love my gamer!

May 14, 2012

Etsy Posting

My Etsy shop, kunstlichekadi,  is back up and running!  Now that I have this new and wonderful thing called free time, I hope to be able to make and post items more regularly.

 For starters I have some really fun, yarn-wrapped, bangles up for sale!

May 9, 2012

Cupcakes for a Zebra

I found this recipe for Zebra cake at The Whimsical Cupcake
I tweaked it just a tad to make cupcakes instead of a whole cake.  I love baking cakes, but Ryan tends to like cupcakes better.  Plus, these were for lunch with some friends so I thought cupcakes would be easier to transport and a little less messy.

As I said these were for a lunch date with some former co-workers of mine at KCAVP.  I love these guys and since I will be leaving KC soon, I wanted to get together with them before I left.  I decided these cupcakes would be a good idea since, Santi, the only male of the group, often made comments about how he was a "Zebra among horses".

1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons Double Dutched Dark Cocoa

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Reduce to 325 when baking begins Line 12 count muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2) In the bowl of your mixer, blend the sugar and eggs until lightened, about 2 minutes. On low speed blend in the oil, milk and vanilla until well combined and smooth.
3) In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to remove any lumps. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients. Combine on medium speed 1-2 minutes or until the batter is smooth and lump free. Be sure to scrape down the bowl halfway through mixing.
4) Remove 2 cups of the vanilla batter and place it in the measure you used for the liquid ingredients. Sift the cocoa over this batter, and stir well to combine. Be sure to use a sifter to avoid cocoa lumps in the batter.
5) Now for the stripes. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of vanilla batter into the center of each cupcake. Next, spoon 1 teaspoon of the chocolate batter into the center of the vanilla batter. This causes the vanilla batter to spread out. Continue to alternate batters, in bulls-eye fashion until muffin tins are 3/4 full. You will now have thin rings of each batter on the outer edges of the pan, thicker rings towards the center.
6) Bake 22-25 minutes until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

May 4, 2012

An Adventure on the Way to Hooding

The day of my MSW Hooding finally arrived!  I have been working and waiting for three long years for this day.  Ryan and I decided we would head downtown a bit early and stop at our favorite coffee shop, Cafe &, in Westport.

Problem one: About half way there I realize I had not put the memory card back in the camera. *insert expletive*  Luckily (read: unfortunately) we were near a Wal-Mart so we ran in to grab a new memory card.  Sounded simple enough.  Except in the amount of time it took us to buy the $15 item, we could have driven back home and got the one I forgot.

Card in hand, we continued on to Cafe &, finally!  Eddie wasn't there unfortunately, but the girl that was made us the most amazing raspberry mochas.  Possibly the best mocha I have ever had!.  And I have had a lot of mochas!

Problem two: While Ryan and I were enjoying our wonderful beverages, I realized I had also forgotten the ticket Ryan needed to get into the auditorium for Hooding.  Awesome!  Now Ryan is frustrated... "What did you finish school and just forget everything?"  Yes that is a distinct possibility.  So I messaged a couple girls in my class in desperate hopes that one of them would have an extra ticket.  Success!  I can't thank you enough Margaret!

Problem two solved, Ryan and I can continue to enjoy our afternoon.  I am happy to report that there were no other set backs for the rest of the day.  Ryan and I savored an entire day together.  We had a nice lunch at the cafe followed by an impromptu photo shoot at the library before the ceremony.

Hooding was also a success.  One would think that it would have been easy to line up 87 Graduate Students alphabetically, but one would be wrong.

All in all, it was an amazing day!  I am so proud of all of my classmates!  It has been a long road, but so very worth it to walk across that stage.

May 3, 2012

My Meme

1. This is just funny
2. It's my turn to start a meme.

that is all.

May 1, 2012

Phi Alpha

Phi Alpha - Social Work Honors Society
Tonight was the induction ceremony for the 2012 Graduating class.
In true UMKC - MSW fashion is was unorganized and messy, but it was at a fantastic venue!
Hooray for honors, and hooray for my fellow recipients!

Reflection on Grad School (thank you)

This is a long one, so bear with me =)

As I near my graduation date I find myself reflecting on the journey that led me here.  There are a number of people I need to recognize for their help along this (sometimes rocky) path. 

Obviously Ryan is first and foremost on that list.  Without him I wouldn’t have written a good application letter, and frankly I probably wouldn’t have even made the deadline for application.  But beyond that he has been there through every second of my craziness.  Waiting until the last minute to write a paper and vowing to never wait that long again.  Only to wait that long again and start the whole process over.  He has listened to endless amounts of my “venting” when someone did something irritating or stupid.  He has held me when I cried, and celebrated all my successes.  I am always thankful for him, and I will be so proud to become his wife.

Secondly is my mom.  She is the greatest woman I know.  I fight back tears every time I think of what she has done for me, what she has sacrificed, and all the hard work she put in to make my childhood what it was.  Her life was not an easy one.  She and I have scaled more mountains than I wish to count, but we made it to the top of every damn one!  She taught me what it means to be strong and kind.  She generously passed along her wonderful sense of humor.  She spent my entire childhood encouraging me to do the best I could and letting me know that she would be there every step of the way no matter what path I picked.  She gave me room to grow even when it killed her to see me leave.  And she was always there with open arms when I came back home.
One of the best things the social work program has given me is a better understanding of my own life.  I am now able to look back on my journey and see what was happening and what could have happened.  My mom was and is a rock in my life, unwavering in her love and support.  There is nothing I can ever do to thank her for what she has given me, but I spend every second doing what I can to make her proud. 

For every aspect of myself that I know came from my mom, there is another one that certainly came from my dad.  To my dad, I thank you for (unintentionally) teaching me how to procrastinate like a pro.  For all the craziness I wouldn’t have it any other way!  I thank you for always teaching me to look beyond my little town.  Without your influence I would not have gone all the places I have.  For your emphasis on common sense, to get me through this big bad world.  I thank you for teaching me the value of doing nothing.  Sometime the soul, the body, and the brain just need a break.  Most importantly, I want to thank you for showing me what a good man is.  Because of your example I found the man of my dreams who is as good to me as you were.  I thank you for being so very open-minded in such a small town.  You taught me to listen to other people and accept them for who they are and I love you so very much for that.

KCAVP.  I learned so much from my colleagues at this wonderful organization.  Beth, thank you for taking me on as an intern.  I appreciate the opportunity you gave me, as well as your continued support and concern.  You were one of the best supervisors I have had, and KCAVP will miss you when you are gone.  Thank you also for being such a crazy awesome knitter and for teaching me to take it a little less seriously.  Afterall, if you mess up, you can just take the stitches out.  Lindsey, thank you for keeping me company in the front of the office.  Thank you for making me laugh, and making work just a little more interesting.  And of course making up combo words that will annoy Ryan!  Santi, thank you for being an amazing Zebra.  I do not know what we, as horses, would do without you.  Thank you for being a brilliant artist and for using you talent to create some of the funniest cartoons I have ever seen!  Diane, thank you for being such a compassionate person.  I learned a lot from you whether you knew you were teaching or not.

To all of you thank you for introducing me to Vietnamese food!  Thank you for taking time to celebrate new beginnings and birthdays of all staff!  The connections I made with you all mean the world to me.  Thank you for being one of the craziest and funniest (and possibly most inappropriate) offices ever!  You are all wonderful!

When Ryan and I first moved to Kansas City we were in a rough place.  I was out of work, and we had spent most of our money to make the move.  This meant I had a lot of time on my hands and not a lot to do with myself.  Starting at Hallmark really saved my sanity.  No one with a college degree really wants to be forced back into retail, but I could not have asked for a better place.  My Hallmark ladies mean the world to me.  It is rare to find a job where everyone gets along as well as we did. 

Alicia, even though most of the new girls were terrified of you, you quickly became one of my best friends.  Thank you for being my drinking buddy and shopping partner.  For making slow Sundays a little bit better.

Graduate School has been a bumpy ride, I have complained about more than I would like to admit.  But at the end I would not change anything.  Each new day is a day to learn and grow.  How displeased I may have been with this or with that is moot now.  I have learned so much from so many great people.  As of May 4th I will be a Master Social Worker!  That is amazing!  I am proud of myself and of all the people that have come with me and kept me company along this road.

I am so excited for the future!  World, bring it on.  I am ready for you! <3