Monday, August 24, 2009

Cookies and Concerts

The weekend was very fun and productive. I made lots of jewelry and attended a Rusted Root concert at Niagara Falls. It was the perfect setting - waterfalls, concert, casino. I also made a new cookie recipe from scratch (that's right no following recipes for me...I've been baking for 13 years!) I baked chocolate cappuccino chip cookies.

Here's a song to help you relax and enjoy nature on this beautiful day.

"Amsterdam" by Peter Bjorn And John

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Guess what? I finally saw the movie Twilight and I'm hooked. I know, I took me long enough and yes I plan to read the book too. The film appeals to both men and women because of the balance of romance and action scenes. Twilight is action packed!

Vampire movies never really struck a chord with me until this one. I first heard of the novel Twilight on Sunday Morning about a year or so ago. Stephenie Meyer's story of how she wrote the novel is what interested me the most. Stephenie, a wife and a mother of three, woke up from a reoccurring dream of a teenage vampire falling in love with a human. She sat down and wrote the novel in one summer. The words just poured out of her.

Twilight had a Donnie Darko feel about it, since they both share the thriller, scifi, romance categories. The cinematography, music, and scenery were great. Washington state was an appropriate setting with its cold, wet, misty climate and lush vegetation. It added to the creepiness. The dialogue was simple, but it's mostly high school kids talking. At least it was more realistic than Dawson's Creek dialogue. I loved the actors. The chemistry between Bella and Edwards was amazing. The meadow scene was my favorite. The vampires jumping around and climbing trees was strange, but I guess they had to do something to make them different from humans.

I really wasn't really sure what to expect, but I now understand all the talk about Twilight. I'm one of those people now! I plan to read all the books. I saw the trailer for New Moon and it gave me actual chills. I can't remember the last trailer that caused that sort of reaction. Countdown to Nov. 20, 2009...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Saying Goodbye to the Turnpike Ride at Kennywood Park

I'm very sad to report the Turnpike Ride at Kennywood in Pittsburgh, Pa had its final ride (until further might be brought back).

I have the fondest memories of going to Kennywood Park every year in May. Spring was in the air, the sun was shining, school was almost out for the summer and I was making my way over the river and through the woods to Kennywood Park we go! One of the greatest things about Kennywood were the old rides they still maintain. The Turnpike was the first ride that would greet you as you entered Kennywood Park, so of course it was the first ride you would go on! My favorite rides were not the roller coasters or the rides that spin in circles; my favorites were the "laugh in the dark" rides, water rides, and the small car rides such as the Turnpike. While taking the wheel on the Turnpike it allowed me to transform from a small child to an adult. I imagined I was off far in the country driving on the highway. You could see other children proudly steering their cars with large smiles on their faces and laughing with joy as they drove their parents around the track. I hope we meet again Turnpike ride!

Stina Perrson

I'm sure you've seen the artwork of Stina Perrson. Stina's illustrations can be found everywhere from Print Magazine covers, Gap t-shirts, to album covers. Stina typically works in watercolour, cut paper, acrylic, and ink. Above are some of my favorite.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Grandma's Chocolate Ice Cream Soda

A favorite ice cream treat of mine is an old fashioned Chocolate Ice Cream Soda. My grandma would make me this special dessert for me when I was a kid. I remember observing how my grandma made the ice cream soda with special care. She made it with love. She would carefully drizzle chocolate syrup in the bottom of an old fashioned glass, scooped ice cream into the tall glass, pour carbonated water into glass until it reached the top. She added some whipped cream, more chocolate syrup, some crushed nuts and a cherry to top it off. I guarantee this treat will cool you off! Enjoy!

Friday, August 14, 2009


"It's Friday night/And the mood is right/Gonna have some fun/Show you how it's done, TGIF.."

Ahhh childhood nostalgia. It was a time long ago...before reality television. Fridays remind me of the good old days. When TGIF meant more than a saying it was an event for children in the late 80s-90s.

If you didn't recognize the quote it's the theme song from the TGIF "Family Friendly" sitcom television lineup on ABC. The lineup consisted of 4 sitcoms 8pm-10pm. 20/20 aired following TGIF. This block ran 1988 - 2005. TGIF had its own branding of graphics and a theme song. The family friendly shows lineup was an ABC staple reminiscent from the 1950s (The Donna Reed Show, The Brady Bunch, Leave it to Beaver). The shows were wholesome, they brought the family together and just made you feel good. Over the years TGIF shows included: Full House, Family Matters, Step by Step, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, Perfect Strangers, Dinosaurs, Baby Talk, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Boy Meets World, and Clueless.

Thinking about TGIF reminds me of hanging out in the basement of my old house, writing on the chalkboard, playing hangman, making forts out of pillows, playing dress up with my cat, sharing air popped popcorn and ginger ale with my grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, and brother. It was more than television. It was about enjoying the simple things in your life - FAMILY. These are the things we need to focus on now more than ever during this recession. I admit even to this day...I sometimes sneak and watch old Full House reruns. It calms me like a glass of milk or a cup of chicken noodle soup. For 30 minutes I can escape to another time...a calmer time. So tonight find a way to calm down, relax, and have fun the way we did during the TGIF days. Enjoy! KR

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Recently, I've been getting into making jewelry. Most jewelry items I find in stores are very ordinary. Beads strung on a string...oh boy... When I buy something I want something unique. I'm looking for the WOWza reaction! I've been looking at trends in jewelry design at Urban Outfitters, Anthropology, and some artists on My trend board above depicts some of my findings. Jewelry has gone soft! Pieces of fabric are tied, braided or just hanging loose as the necklace. Another popular trend is going green by utilizing recycled items such as cork, newspaper, old t-shirts, and plastic bags. Some of my designs will be posted soon!

Package Design Inspiration

While researching some package designs for a project I came across the above images. The designs are targeted to children with the use of bright colors and playful illustrations. The bunny slippers are too cute. Do you think they come in a larger size?

Monday, August 10, 2009

while i was away...

Hello All! I'm sorry its been awhile since I've posted. I drove from New York State to Georgia and back. Everyone should do that drive sometime. We live in a beautiful country with such different landscapes, plant life, and animals. I saw alligators, turkeys, palm trees, spanish moss, oak trees, lakes, oceans, etc...

While I was away I read about the shooting in Pittsburgh, Pa, August 4, 2009 at an LA Fitness center in my old neighborhood. The gunman lived a few streets away from me. I rode the school bus past his house for years. This is the kind of stuff my grandma would have nightmares about. She was always watching the news and worrying about I see for just reason! My prayers go out to the victims, their families, and the gunman. He was very disturbed and isolated. It's sad he didn't have anyone to turn to. We must reach out to people who look as though they're going through a difficult time.

On another note my favorite writer/director, John Hughes, died August 6, 2009. You may know his movies - Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Home Alone, Weird Science, The Breakfast Club and many others. I was looking forward to his future films. His films will be appreciated for generations to come. RIP