block printing.

Outside of screen printing class I’ve been experimenting with creating my own block prints.

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I recently purchased a copy of Christine Schmidt’s Print Workshop which inspired me to make a few block prints of my own.

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The first step was carving my own personal stamp – which ultimately resulted in scabbed knuckles…but it was worth it. I chose a feather pattern which I’m hoping to use as a logo for my soon to be etsy shop – where I’ll feature handmade textiles, prints, film photography and handmade ceramics…more on that later.

For now, here’s a preview of my potential store logo featured on card stock and product tabs.

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Stay tuned for updates on when the etsy shop (guess my shop name and you get the first purchase free) goes live!

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modern french.

One of the perks of living in my building is the mail-room library. It’s basically a space near the mailboxes where tenants can drop off old books and magazines for other tenants to take…for free! I’ve found some gems & one of my favorites is this 1964 ed. of Modern French by Dan Desberg and Lucette Rollet Kenan.

mf11Modern French is a vintage French Language textbook, but the images inside are stylish black and white photographs that I absolutely adore. There are also a few great hand drawn maps that I’m considering making prints of for wall art.

mfmapsHere are my favorites of the black and white photo’s – enjoy!

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the feeling of film.

Hands down, my favorite photographic medium is film. I feel that film can capture the emotion and feeling of a moment so much more so than digital photography. Maybe it’s just the nostalgic nature – the fact that it’s a rarity now – that makes it feel so special. No matter, it’s clearly an investment to shoot and develop film, and living on an island where all things have an inflated price makes this pastime even more costly. Recently Ritz Camera, my “developer of choice” went bankrupt and closed all it’s stores located in Hawaii. Developing film there was never cheap, but it was more cost efficient than the small photo specialty shops on island. The last batch of ilford black & white film (4 roles) cost me $76 to print! Somehow though I manage to convince myself that it’s worth the sacrifice because film is just so tangible. I think of how much I value the old photo’s that have documented my family history which are incredibly priceless.

No doubt digital photography creates infinite opportunities for sharing photo’s and artistic manipulation, but I truly believe no digital photo can re-create the feeling of film. That being said here are a few scanned shots taken over the past few months.

The following black and white photo’s were taken in Manila, Phillipines in June 2012 when I took a break from volunteering in Cambodia and flew to Manila to spend a weekend with Don.

Turning fall in Tennessee

Don & I just got back from a whirlwind trip back to the mainland where we spent 2 weeks visiting family. The first stop was Cookeville, Tennessee. We witnessed the turning of the leaves and all the comforts of fall.

Ralph’s Donuts was a must, recommended by Don’s Dad and little sister as the best spot in town for a sweet tooth.

Donuts fuel a day of exploring.

Running Amok…

Scent and taste. Two sensory experiences that evoke memories

A few nights ago I was searching for dinner ideas…I’d seen Anthony Bourdain’s 2010 No Reservations episode earlier in the day and it made me feel nostalgic (now worn as a badge of pride, I discovered that during my travels I unintentionally retraced every place he visited in that episode).

My favorite “pescatarian-friendly” meal was the Cambodian staple: Amok.
One of the most memorable days I spent in Cambodia was the day I took Frizz Cafe’s infamous cooking class and learned to perfect the recipe.

That being said, when I felt compelled to share a taste of Cambodia, I reached for the pamphlet cookbook I received from the cooking class and attempted to re-create Cambodia via a very tasty fish amok recipe for Don and I to share.

Between the cooking class and the recipe provided in the cookbook (and a few regional substitutions) – I have here the recipe for Cambodian Fish Amok:

There are two separate sauces, the first being Kroeung.

Ingredients (additional ingredients to follow) –

* 3-5 red chilies soaked, drained and crushed into paste (depending on your level of spice…i.e. 5 chillies is pretty darn hot)

* 3 cloves of garlic

* 2 tbsp of thai ginger, sliced thin

* 1-2 tbsp of fresh lemongrass, sliced thin

* 1 tsp sea salt

* zest of 1/4 lime rind

Instructions –

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend into a thick paste.

Next step:

*request that your husband/significant other/kitchen assistant procure a non-poisonous leaf from the farmers market/back-yard/community gardens/ neighbors lawn, in order to create banana leaf steam bowls (this is where the running amok comes in).

Instructions-

* clean the leaves and dip them in boiling water so they are soft and don’t crack when being shaped.

*Use a small dinner-plate to cut a circle (approximately 6″ across).

*Make a square in the middle of the circle, this will be the middle of the cup.

*Put a thumb on one right angle of the cup and pull up two sides. tucking the fold, and pinning together with your toothpick.

*Move the next to the right until you’ve formed a small bowl shape.

* take a few toothpicks and construct a small, cup-sized bowl.

 

And now for the messy part…

Ingredients –

* If available, but optional, 30g (1. oz) young nhor leaves

* 3 tbsp kaffir lime leaves

* 3 thinly chopped chile peppers (optional)

* 0.5-1lb meaty white fish

* 1/4 cup coconut oil

* 2 cups coconut milk

Additional steps –

* Slice the fish into 1″ cubes and set aside.

* Create a sauce with the additional ingredients and add fish.

* Distribute fish sauce amongst the 2 leaf-bowls until 3/4 full.

* Steam 15-20 min.

* Top with Kroeung sauce.

The finished product featuring our awkwardly posed/candid after shots…

 

Awkuhn Cambodia!

Phnom Penh in film (& a few life lessons).

My favorite images from my time in Cambodia are those that I took in film. Some of the photo quality is lost due to my inferior scanner, but the meaning is still there.

I look at these photos now and I can almost feel them. The humidity that dehydrates you in an instant – the congested, alive streets – the contrast between the wealthy and the destitute – the beauty and the harshness of life.

It’s all there, so vivid to me that I can sense it.

My daily bicycle route to work led me past S-21, the notorious Genocide Museum, a remnant of the Khmer Rouge period. I had a strong reaction to this place, and passing by it each day reminded me of why I chose to accept the challenge of volunteering and living in Cambodia.

I haven’t begun to be able to articulate the way this trip affected me. I know that the past 4 months have been an evolution. I’ve grown, I’ve learned to be by myself, I’ve learned to accept my circumstances, I’ve learned that I am incredibly blessed, I’ve learned that I am my own worst enemy, I’ve learned that progress takes focus and acceptance, and I’ve learned not to panic…amongst many other things.

More than anything I have learned that I’m right where I need to be.

No matter how much I convince myself on a daily basis that I need to try harder, I need to be better, I need to accomplish something more – I am presently right where I’m supposed to be. And if I can pause for a second and be ok with that, I’ll have a whole lot more to learn about myself and it won’t take traveling to a foreign country to figure it out.