Friday, July 31, 2015

Dresses For Sale!

Over the next few weeks I will be posting some dresses for sale on instagram!

Click for my instagram

I brought in some Lindy Bop dresses for a street fair and some of them did not sell.   I have a lot of different sizes, so if you don't see something that's your size, just wait. :)

These have never been worn and fit fairly true to size.  You can always ask questions.  The prices range from $50-$60.

Whatever I make on the dresses goes towards my moving fund (so I can get my butt out of Alaska).  Help a girl out and buy one!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Dark Chocolate Stout Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream and Salted Caramel Sauce

I made a cake today.  This week and next, I am covering for my aunt, so I'm working at my Mom's shop.  It tastes AWESOME!
 
Dark Chocolate Stout Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream and Salted Caramel Sauce
 
Cake
  • 1 cup Chocolate Stout
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • ¾ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • ½ tablespoon Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 2 large Eggs
  • ¾ cup Sour Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Vanilla Bean Buttercream
  • 3/4 cup Butter
  • 3 TBSP Cream
  •  2-1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1/3 Vanilla Bean
Salted Caramel Glaze
  • 5 tablespoons Butter
  • ½ cup packed Dark Brown Sugar
  • ⅓ cup Heavy Cream
  • Pinch Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ⅔ cup Powdered Sugar
Garnish
  • Pinch of Fleur de Sel
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spray or grease round cake pan or bundt pan.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the stout and butter to a light boil, add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk flour,sugar,baking soda and salt.
  5. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla.
  6. Add the butter/stout mixture to the sour cream mixture and beat until just incorporated.
  7. Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.
  8. Then using a rubber spatula, lightly fold the batter to make sure there are no pockets of flour.
  9. Pour into cake pan.
  10. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with only a few crumbs.
  11. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  12. Then cool completely on rack before.
Vanilla Bean Buttercream
  1.  In a mixer, beat the butter, vanilla extract, and cream for a good 5 minutes.
  2. Gradually add in the powdered sugar.
  3. Take 1/3 of a vanilla bean pod and slice it lengthwise.  Using the tip of your knife, scrape out the inner granuals and throw these into the mixer.  Be careful when you do this.
  4. Let your buttercream beat until it is completely smooth.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to use.  Layer this thick on top of your cake and place cake-in-progress in fridge.
Salted Caramel Glaze
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the butter, dark brown sugar, heavy cream and salt to a rolling boil, stirring constantly.
  2. Boil for ONE minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla extract.
  4. Add about ½ cup of the powdered sugar and whisk until smooth.
  5. Continue to whisk in powdered sugar by the tablespoon until you reach your desired consistency.
  6. You can opt to cool the mixture in the fridge for 5-10 minutes, which will help firm up the mixture.
  7. Remove the cake from the fridge and pour the salted caramel glaze over the top.
  8. Sprinkle the Fleur de Sel over the glaze.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Starting A Women's Group

I want to start by saying that I have always felt a bit like a lone wolf because I'm such a home body.  When I moved back to Alaska (grumble grumble) I was completely out of sorts.  I moved in late February last year.  One of my first thoughts when moving back was "Maybe I can find a few rockabilly folks when I move back".   If you have found yourself with this same exact thought, then read on!

Let me just say that you can do anything alone, but after a while it gets old.  Sometimes its nice to just go through an antique store with a friend or two, or play a card game, or just go for dessert and wine with friends.  I totally understand.

When I first moved back to where I started (Fairbanks, Alaska) I was at a loss.  I was not sure who was in town and who would want to hang out.  I started out with craigslist.  I made a cute little text graphic and wrote up a little paragraph blurb about wanting to start a rockabilly social club, something where we could meet for lunch or go bowling or work on cars or whatever.

The only response I got from that ad was someone asking "what is rockabilly?" and "maybe they're into it".  I don't know what kind of response that was, but it wasn't the kind of response I wanted.  Why didn't they just google the term?

I got to thinking about people who I knew owned at least one article of rockabilly clothing.  One had just moved and one was still in town (my friend Deanna).  We started chatting on facebook little by little, more and more.

It actually wasn't until August (6 months after I moved!) that things turned around.  Lo and behold, Reverend Horton Heat came up to play at the 49th State Brewing Company in Healy, Alaska (just outside of Denali National Park).  I snagged a ticket and took a half day from work so I could get ready and drive down to Healy (around 3 hours driving time plus lots of road construction).  When I got there I found that there was a local rockabilly band ready to open for the Rev, my friend who had moved was there, and she introduced me to her friend Cherry Darling (She Knits in Pearls).

Me & Jimbo




I found that facebook was a great way to find a few local rockabilly people.  After the concert, I didn't waste too much time finding Cherry on facebook and contacting my friend Deanna, asking if they wanted to go to lunch.  It became our thing - maybe not every week, but at least two or three times a month.  We would go to lunch on Saturday, maybe even go to an antique store or something together.

This past weekend at the Golden Days Festival.
We have since become pretty close friends - for all being home bodies!  LOL  We're all crafty in different ways which is awesome.  Cherry knits, Deanna cooks - does printmaking - embroidery, and I do a lot of sewing.

In order to stay connected and to possibly find other folks, we started a facebook group simply called "Fairbanks Rockabilly".  We have 32 members!  I haven't met them all, but they're on the group.  We have had two new girls join us occassionally.  Both are from California and offer some fun new perspectives on the rockabilly lifestyle.

I think both were appauled at my lack of enthusiasm over Disney, but for me rockabilly and Disney are not synonymous.

I have to say that finding a few people who are totally into the rockabilly lifestyle, crafty, and are usually up for grabbing food or the occassional drink.

It takes just a little effort over a short period of time, but I promise that there are people out there that you can connect with.  Start with coffee and move from there.  We actually got together this weekend to have a booth at the Golden Days Festival.  Now, we're thinking about possibly doing a craft bazaar or something.

Start doing things once a week at first and don't take offense if people can't make it.  Life happens, right?  Once you establish things that you have in common with each other, you'll find your way.  You might want to start learning how to play bridge or start a knitting group or a weekly potluck (specializing in vintage recipes?).

Maybe this weekend we can split a bottle of wine and have a game night or something.  I should toss that idea out there on facebook.

Writing Jobs

I am currently looking for some writing jobs.  I have written some articles for Ultra Swank and for the local (now defunct) entertainment paper.  I've also written a book and am currently in the middle of a handful of some sizeable projects.  I think it would be great to be a part of a rockabilly magazine, but they all seem to be UK or AUS based (unless they're car kulture mags).

I'm just putting this out there in case someone who needs to see it actually sees it.

Would anyone else be interested in starting up a rockabilly/40s & 50s vintage magazine?


Thursday, July 23, 2015

10 Paleo Recipes

I have 10 paleo recipes that you need to try, even if you don't eat paleo!



1. Matcha Lime Mousse
This was AWESOME!  You have to love avocado and you have to like pistachios.  Pretty easy to make.  Very tasty.  I made this for St.Patrick's Day and it was perfect!  It's pretty rich, heads up.


2. Pumpkin Fudge
This was incredibly easy to make and it came out with the perfect pumpkin flavor!  I didn't turn mine into balls or top it off with cinnamon.  I just left mine as squares.  This could make a great finger food item at a party.


3. Beef Pumpkin Chili
I love my beef pumpkin chili.  I use whole pumpkin or canned pumpkin, depending on the season.  I know that "Pumpkin Spice Season" is about to occur.  You can eat this and love it and know that it is healthy for you.  Also, try making it with ground bison.


4. Bird's Nests
This is a fun way to make eggs, especially if you have some extra morning time (like on weekends).  You have to be a coconut fan for this.  The recipe is at the bottom of the blog post via link.


5. Tuna Patties & Baked Zucchini Fries
This was surprisingly quick to make and it felt like I let myself splurge - even though I really didn't.  I can honestly say that I felt like I was eating a very American dish with this.


 6. Orange Cream Truffles
I made these for Christmas and they went fast!  I have a few family members that try to eat super healthy and when I mentioned that these were paleo they couldn't resist them.  I even had some super picky eaters (kids) make rounds to eat some.  They approved.


7. Cauliflower Pizza Crust
I grew up with Ninja Turtle cartoons (the old ones from the early 90s).  I LOVE PIZZA!  Too bad that the paleo diet says NO to pizza.  One crust uses a whole head of cauliflower, so if you eat the whole things....well that's just a lot of veggies and fiber!  When I make this crust, I let myself have cheese - because it's not pizza without cheese.  Definitely make the crust, add your sauce, add your toppings, and throw in the oven until the cheese is melted.


8. Tilapia Tots
Fish in tot-form (like tater tots).  I really enjoyed these.  It was like eating pub food.  I did not use a cake pop cooker (I think they're silly).  I just made lumps using the pan frying method mentioned in the recipe.


9. Taro Fries
Taro is a tuber that is very low on the glycemic table, making it a great potato substitute for paleo eaters.  It looks a little funky, but the taste is pretty good.  Taro is also packed with vitamins.  It's a tropical tuber, so you can look to Hawaii for recipes.  Also, if you beat it enough, it turns purple and is usually termed 'Poi' (Hawaiian food).


10. Roasted Chestnuts
This is definitely an old school holiday thing.  I tried it a few years ago when I was in Portland and I thought it was pretty good.  I just ate them plain - out of the oven, shelled, and into my mouth.  I bet that these would taste amazing with a little oil, honey, and cinnamon mixture to pour over them.  Also, I hear that people like them in stuffing.  I haven't tried that yet.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Paleo Pecan Pie

I have successfully made Paleo Pecan Pie!  This is fantastic since it's a fall favorite of mine.
I made two pies in ramekins

Paleo Pecan Pie (2 12oz ramekins)

Crust:
1 cup Almond Flour
1 Egg
2 TBSP Coconut Oil
1/8 tsp Salt

Filling:
2/3 cup Maple Syrup (100% maple)
1/2 cup Coconut Sugar
2 eggs
1/8 tsp Salt
2 TBSP Ghee or Coconut Oil, melted
1 cup Pecans

1. In a bowl, mix all of the crust ingredients together.  This should turn into a dough-like substance.
2. Have your two ramekins ready.  Divide your crust and press into each ramekin.
3. In a bowl, mix together all of the filling items, except for the pecans.  Once your filling is smooth, you can stir in the pecans.
4. Pour your filling into both ramekins.
5. Bake at 375F for 30-40 min.

Very tasty indeed!
This is not totally like your mother's pecan pie.  Let's face it, you're not using the same ingredients as her....with her flour and sugar and corn syrup.  I will admit that this is pretty damn close.  It is extra nutty due to the crust.  I personally like it.  It's a nut pie, so why not some extra nuts?

I was very happy with how my pie came out.    FYI, my ramekins are like 5" diameter (roughly).

I calculated the calories and half of one of these pies is 402 calories.  Just heads up.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Getting Ready For Golden Days

In Fairbanks, we have a big festival called Golden Days.  It's a celebration of our gold rush days.  I'm going to have a booth at the downtown festival.  I'll be ready to sell by 9am and I will be there until 5pm.

I have a bunch of Lindy Bop dresses (affordable!), handpainted retro-themed fishing lures, some men's Grease styled shirts, and some handpainted bracelets.  I believe my friend Deanna is also going to be selling some hand-bound journals.

It will probably be the only rockabilly booth at the festival, unless you count The Soda Jerk (not sure if they're going to be there).  If they are, someone better bring me a shake!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Melancholy

I've been feeling very melancholy, which isn't unusual for me.  I seem to have chronic melancholy.  I haven't really looked into it until now.  Simply typing in 'chronic melancholy' started reading about 'melancholia'.  Usually I find wikipedia a good source for more terms to search - yes, I know it's not a preferred resource.   In this case, wikipedia was pretty much useless.  I want a good definition.

Melancholia n.  : a feeling of sadness and depression  :  a mental condition and especially a manic-depressive condition characterized by extreme depression, bodily complaints, and often hallucinations and delusions
That's from Merriam-Webster (dictionary).

I also came across Melancholic Depression, but I don't think I really have depression going on - maybe a little, but not severe.  Melancholic Depression is supposed to be severe.

I found this article on what melancholy was as per 19th Century doctors.
Melancholia was defined in terms of overt behavioural features such as decreased motility, and morosity.  Hence, in medical usage, ‘melancholia’ referred to a subtype of mania and named, in general, states of reduced behavioural output.  These included disorders that might “exhibit depressed, agitated, hallucinatory, paranoid, and even demented states…the ancient diagnosis of melancholy has no correct analogue in modern psychiatric practice…”    

Berrios, G.E. “Melancholia and Depression During the 19thCentury: A Conceptual History.” British Journal of Psychiatry, 1988, 153, 298-304. 


 There is something about the older definition that is more fitting.  It might be a bit of ennui as well.  Here is how Merriam Webster defines it.
Ennui n. : a lack of spirit, enthusiasm, or interest : a feeling of  boredom

Just from the dictionary definitions, I feel that I might have a little of both going on.  My biggest issue is that I'm still trying to be active.  I still have crossfit and taekwondo.  Yesterday I went fishing with my dad.  Saturday I went to see Trainwreck with my friend.  We did laugh our asses off, but it wasn't enough to quite get me out of this weird funk.

I'm not sure if anyone else gets this way.  I know that I'm an artist and this seems overly cliche for creative people.  One thing I did to try to change things around was to buy myself a big dry erase board for my writing projects.  I have some loose outlines for my stories on this board.

Here's a little synopsis of my stories that I'm currently working on.

  1. Unnamed Space Story - Mainly told from the POV of an abductee (Alien abduction).  It explores an extraterrestrial war that is going on.  I'm using aliens commonly found in UFO literature, as well as stuff from conspiracy theories and the like.  I want to write this in 5 parts and turn it into a graphic novel.
  2. Baychimo - In short, a hotel disappears and a handful of people remain.  It has ties to a native story about Coyote and a strange bag (infinity/void...bigger on the inside like Mary Poppins' bag?).  I wrote the first part of this story as a screenplay, so now I'm going through writing it as a novel.  It's fairly tedious work at this point.  The story has all the elements of a thriller/drama.
  3. Eyes Like A Cat - I'm writing a short story based on Alvin Schwartz' piece called "Like Cats' Eyes".  It takes place in a small logging town in Oregon.  See illustration below from Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark, art by Stephen Gammell.
  4. The Man Who Came In From The Flood - This is a short play that I started back in Oregon.  It's about people trapped in a small hotel by a flood.  There's a stranger that shows up covered in blood and scratch marks.  Someone dies.  Something scratches at the window.  I'm aiming for it to be about 30-45 min long.

I feel like I might need some help dealing with whatever is going on with me, but at the same time, I'm not sure what that help would be.  Do I just need to move?  Do I need to socialize more?  Do I need a day at a spa?  I do not know.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Gothabilly Today

Here's a little 40s gothabilly for you.  I made the pants and shirt myself.




Monday, July 13, 2015

15 Psychobilly/Gothabilly Items

I either have these or want these.  I'm not quite a full vintage gal because I love this kooky modern stuff.

1. Miss Argentina Hair Bow
I'm a big fan of Beetlejuice.  This is a must for me.  You may have noticed that I own this.  BUY HERE

2. Skeleton Hand Hair Clips (pair)
I own these guys too, but mine have red fingernails.  You can also find them in a variety of colors.  I think these are great.  Mine stay in my hair all day and don't give me fuss.  BUY HERE

3. Devil Fez
It would take a strong person to pull this off.  Most people recognize a red fez either from the Shriners or from the middle east/north africa.  If you're a fan of The Mummy and/or exotica jazz, you might want one of these.  BUY HERE (you can find 35 fez hats at the site)


4.  1940s Homemade Shirt
I used a Halloween cotton fabric to make this reproduction of a 1940s shirt.  I wear this shirt fairly often.  Its an easy pattern.  You can find it at your local Jo-Ann Fabric Store or any other fabric store.

5. Cigarette Pants in Tiger Print by Deadly Dames
These are found at Pin Up Girl Clothing.  These are wild and totally awesome.  BUY HERE
Cigarette Pants in Tiger Print
Cigarette Pants in Tiger Print

6.  Maggie Lou Dress
This has a little western flair to it, but with the right accessories could be a perfect psychobilly dress.  Just add some skulls.  BUY HERE


7. Skull Cardigan
I love my cardigans.  I'd love to have this one.  BUY HERE

8.  "Vanessa" Wiggle Dress
Don't be afraid to go with patterns when it comes to clothing.  This could be super cute for an office job.  BUY HERE

9. Martini Mermaid Bag
I think the bags from Fluff Shop are super cute.  The art is stylish and there's a fun selection of prints.  BUY HERE

10. Purple Capri Pants by Deadly Dames
Another selection from Pin Up Girl Clothing.  Purple is one of those key colors for me when I think of psychobilly and gothabilly. BUY HERE


11. Pointed Round Studs
These can be found at just about any craft store.  Add them to shirts or purses or whatever.  You simply poke them through and bend the back ends down.


12. Horror and Sci-Fi Shirts
At November Fire, you can get a bunch of old horror movie and sci-fi movie prints on a good selection of clothing (t-shirts, tanks, hoodies, etc).  They also have a good selection of patches.  BUY HERE

13. Vampira
This isn't an item to own.  This is an idol for any gothabilly papershaker.  Vampira was an early horror host and you might have seen her on Plan 9 From Outer Space.


14. Beetlejuice
I tend to look at Beetlejuice for a lot of inspiration.  Two primary icons from this film would be the receptionist and the office worker from the afterlife.  The general concept I tend to go with is "reproduction styles in punk/goth colors/prints/fabrics".

15. Men's Halloween Suit
Sometimes during Halloween you can find some crazy suits on the market that aren't total crap.  Spirit Halloween carries a few of these suits.  While I wouldn't wear the whole thing together, I would definitely wear the tie and jacket...if I was a guy.



Fishing Bust

Fishing was a total bust.  My nephew ended up going with us and was a big pain in the ass.  I barely fished and when I did all I caught was a stick.  My dad barely caught fish.  We're going to go down to Valdez and try our luck out on a boat in mid-August or something.  Mostly what I got were bug bites.

Friday, July 10, 2015

50s Slang Comeback!

These are some terms I am determined to start using more in my daily vocabulary.    Just a heads up, I'm going fishing.  I'll post photos later.

Agitate the Gravel - To leave (usually quickly)
Antsville - A very busy place.
Ape/Go Ape - To explode or get angry/agitated real fast.
Bull - A big, strong athlete
Cast an Eyeball - To look around
Deepie - A 3D film
Dig - Approval or understand. "I dig man"
Earthbound - Reliable
Fake Out - Bad date
Fink - A tattle tale.
Fream - Someone who doesn't fit in
Ginchy/Ginchiest - Cool/Coolest
Gorilla - A bully or bodyguard
Hep - Cool, with it
In Orbit - In the know
Mushroom People - Peole who come out at night to play/party
Radioactive - Super cool, new, and popular
Smog in the Noggin - Memory loss
Swell - Great
Wolf - A man with romantic intentions.
Word from the Bird - The truth

Are there any terms that you want to try using more?  Let me know!

Today's Outfit

Today's outfit was inspired a little by 'Beetlejuice'.

Russian naval shirt, found in London

Grey pencil skirt found at Burlington Coat Factory


Hidden Gem: Earrings from Viva Las Vegas
Hidden Gem: Miss Argentina Hair Bow