Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Pictures

So here we are, at the end of 2012. Did you think we would make it? Did you believe in the Mayan Apocalypse? Not me. I had my doubts. And we are still here! :)

Since this is my first year blogging, I decided to start a tradition for New Year's. I will do a review in pictures.  Some of them are from my DSLR, some are from my phone. Next year, I will try and get more from my DSLR.

Join in on the fun with Ashley!

I am most proud of finding my voice not only here on the blog but in real life. And also for having the courage to open my store and work for myself.


I Love You
Dakota, you are my everything. Thank you for being my better half for the past 4 years.


Still Laughing…
Loki has a fascination with bags. No matter if it is plastic or paper, or even if it is a box, he has to get in it.
This particular time happened to come at a time where he was already crazy. He ended up tearing the bag apart.

Loki being crazy. | Jessie Kay Graphics and Design

Winter Wonderland
We don't get snow here (stupid California!) but this picture is still pretty winter-y. Is it bad I already miss Christmas?

Christmas 2012 | Jessie Kay Graphics and Design

For my 21st birthday, Dakota brought this home for me. In case you are wondering, my birthday is the 21st of February, so I usually get combined gifts with Valentine's Day. This was one of my favorite presents ever.

21st Birthday (2012) | Jessie Kay Graphics and Design

Abigail is the best friend I could ever ask for. And plus, Dakota said I had to put her picture up here once in a while if I am going to show his picture. :)

Abigail 2012 | Jessie Kay Graphics and Design

I Was Inspired… 
Watching Nana do her artwork. Crazy woman. Sitting on the floor and what not.

Nana | Jessie Kay Graphics and Design

Spring Fever
In 2012, April showers brought some pretty flowers.

Flowers | Jessie Kay Graphics and Design

Travel or Vacation
I'm glad that I got to go back up to the mountains with Dakota this year. I love the photography opportunities. As well as spending time with my love, away from technology and just spending time with him.

Mountains 2012 | Jessie Kay Graphics and Design

Summer Days
I love when our tree grows back every year. It is the sign that warm weather is coming.

A Day In My Life
Computer screens, O&Ms, oh my.

All Smiles
Two of my favorite people. Smiling and laughing, as usual.

Smiles | Jessie Kay Graphics and Design

Autumn Harvest
You can tell it is fall when our tree is trimmed. It looks so pitiful.

Family or Home
When I am home, Loki is usually with me. He is incredibly strange. Cats aren't usually so dependent.

Went to a beautiful wedding with Abigail. Sat next to one of my favorite coworkers. There was much fun to be had.

Let’s Do It Again…
Can we go to the mountains again?

Mountains 2012 | Jessie Kay Graphics and Design

I Miss You
It is almost unexplainable how much I miss these two. It's been over ten years since I've seen either. I miss you guys so much.

Year in Review | Jessie Kay Graphics and Design

I love this thing. I need to figure out how to use it.

Year in Review | Jessie Kay Graphics and Design

Dress Up
I was so happy to see Julia graduate. She left for New York shortly thereafter. But she is back with us now!

Year in Review | Jessie Kay Graphics and Design

One of my favorite decorations from Christmas.

Year in Review | Jessie Kay Graphics and Design

My Favorite
Isn't he the cutest kitten ever? I miss when he would let me just take pictures of him. And just lay there. Now he knows when I pull the camera out and he stops being crazy. Silly cat.

Year in Review | Jessie Kay Graphics and Design

Don’t Ever Change
Loki, you are weird. And crazy. But you certainly make our life interesting.

Year in Review | Jessie Kay Graphics and Design

Just Because…So There!
How could I not share this guy?

Year in Review | Jessie Kay Graphics and Design

Hopes and Dreams
Next year, I want to take more photos like this. I want to go out with the intention of taking amazing pictures. I want to take pictures that I will hang on my wall. I am thinking of doing a 365, or even a Project 52. I may do Project 52, just so that I know I will finish. :)

But my goal is to further my craft. Photography, design, and blogging.

Year in Review | Jessie Kay Graphics and Design

I hope you all have a GREAT New Year's Eve! I will try and be back tomorrow with some of my resolutions and goals for next year.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Homemade Peppermint Patties

Abigail's grandmother loves peppermint patties. Except that she hates dark chocolate, and York patties are all made with dark chocolate. Grandmother claims that she found milk chocolate York patties, but Abby and I have yet to corroborate that.

So I found this recipe and decided that we should make it. We doubled the recipe and did half milk chocolate and half in bittersweet chocolate. Both were yummy. But next time we will make the patties a little bit thinner.

After the holiday season, the last thing we want to do is eat sweets. I know that's what I'm feeling right now, but these peppermint patties are refreshing and light. They are amazing.

Now by no means am I a food blogger, but I thought I would share this with you, because it is my goal in the new year to get rid of some of the preservatives that I eat.

And York patties, without the preservatives and high fructose corn syrup? Awesome.

Taking these pictures was a challenge for me. Abby's kitchen isn't the best lit, and it was dark outside. I fixed this by using a slow shutter (but fast enough to not have camera shake). And then in post production (AKA Photoshop) I upped the fill light and brightness. The result is a bright image, that could have been taken in the daytime. You get a little noise with this method, but not enough to be able to tell here on the blog. 

Check it out!

You start with the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla extract, peppermint extract, and heavy cream in the mixer. I am so jealous of Abby's mom's purple mixer. I use it every time I come over.

When you get the right amounts of stuff in there and mix it up, this is what it looks like. When I doubled the recipe, I forgot to put double the amount of peppermint extract. It was all powdery. Then I realized, added the 2 TEASPOONS of extract, and it came together in no time at all.

Baking is so finicky.

Roll into balls and squish into patties.

Abby has such pretty hands. And doesn't even think its weird that I took so many pictures of her hands.

They kinda look like mozzarella.

Right up until you cover them in chocolate.

Bowls of chocolate. Makes me happy.

The first few come out looking goregous.

And then you get down into the bottom of the bowl, and they get kinda yucky looking. But they still taste good. I promise.

Check out the recipe at Serious Eats!


Friday, December 28, 2012

DIY: Gallery Wall

So I mentioned in this post that I finally got my gallery wall up. I am so proud of us! We have only lived here a year and we finally got some decorations up! I'm happy that I did it the way I wanted, and didn't just throw something up there for the sake of having something.

And today I am going to show you how I did it, which I like to affectionately call The Lazy Way.

It started with the process of me buying frames at the 99 cent store to hang some prints that I had. After that, I spray painted all of my frames (with the exception of the antique ones from my great grandfather, I felt wrong painting those so I didn't. I wish that I had pictures of this process, but you know how to spray paint yes? It is easy. Thin, quick coats.

And then I sat on the floor and laid it all out how I wanted it. And asked the boys how they thought it should be. I didn't want things that looked similar to be right next to each other. 

And of course, I couldn't just leave it laying there until we hung it up, so I took a picture. This picture proved to be very helpful in the process of hanging it up.

After Dakota got home and I told him I would buy him Taco Bell if he helped me (bribery works well in my house) the process went really smoothly.

We didn't do the newspaper thing where you cut out the paper to match frame sizes. Ain't nobody got time for that.  What I did was pull up that picture on my tablet, and had it sitting right next to us, and kinda just go from corner to corner. 

I'll explain. 

For example, I started m the center with the "love" embroidery (courtesy of Nana) and knew that the drawing was right above that, so I centered it up and Dakota hung it. Next, I lined the anchor up with the bottom of the drawing, and left space next to it, and hung it up. Basically it was a lot of lining up. Some of them are off a little bit, but not too bad. And we didn't have any rogue nail holes to worry about.

I think this is a really easy way to hang a gallery wall. It just clicked for me in my mind, because this is how  I design. Lining things up. Lining things up makes me happy.

Okay, so everything isn't lined up perfectly. And some of the paint is messy. But it kinda goes with the theme of our house. Just roll with it.

Not everything ended up getting hung up, because some of the frames didn't have hangers, so I just left them out for now. And I need to add hangers to the letters, too.

But other than that, isn't it awesome?

And here are some close ups.

I love this print that I got of a local eatery here in town. It was actually a card, but I cut the back off, and centered it up in the frame. Frosty King doesn't look like this anymore, an old lady backed into one of the brick benches, and they ended up remodeling. 

I kinda miss the old one.

This is the "Nautical Anchor Print" from After Nine to Five, a really great store with prints. I loved this print because it reminds me of my brother. And the color matched the ivory frame perfectly. I guess there was water on the glass and it messed up the print a little, but I hope no one notices.

I got this at our yearly Fall Festival here in town. I actually snagged it before Abigail bought it. Don't be jealous, Abigail. This is the relationship that I strive to have with Dakota. But let's be honest, he makes it pretty easy. He's pretty adorbs.

I hope my way of explaining how I did this makes sense to you. If not, leave me a comment and I will reply to you. 

My biggest piece of advice: Have someone tall to help hang stuff. Unless you are tall. Then I envy you. 


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012

Happy Boxing Day, Loves! I haven't really recovered from my Christmas vacation yet, so today I am going to share with you some highlights of my Christmas season this year. I am kinda sad that it is all over, but only 364 days until Christmas 2013! :) (My apologies if you have seen these pictures already!) 


Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Faves and Freebies

Happy Friday Loves! :) 

I'm sorry I haven't been around much lately, I have been out doing things! Ever since I stopped drinking soda  and only water I have come home from work with ENERGY! I have been cleaning, and crafting, and cooking (okay, okay, let's not kid ourselves) but I have felt very active. Which is an improvement for me, because I usually came home from work to rest and watch tv, and left the doing things to the weekend. 
But lately, it's been every night. I have had this extra energy that I have to GET UP AND DO 

 Dakota has been very impressed. 

Things like this:

I bought the frames, painted the frames, found artwork for them, and laid them out on the floor.
Not all in the same day. But still.
And it is even on the wall now! Thanks to my hunky hunky boyfriend hanging stuff.

I will be doing a post on this probably this weekend, or next week after Christmas.

Let's just say you all have been doing gallery walls wrong this whole time and I would love to show you my better way.

Is that mean? 
I'm just trying to help. I swears.

Since it's Friday, I will share with you what I have been loving this week (and  probably last week, let's be honest):

I loved Ashley's post on how Success Requires Attitude.
Check out this list of 40 free handwriting fonts
And here are more free fonts. 
And fonts for logos and headings
Can you tell that I love fonts?
I love these design quotes. I want to get some for my wall (see above)
Abigail and I are making these homemade mint patties tonight
I love these free printable tags! I might have to make some for my last minute gifts (anyone else wait til the last minute? I have to get a present for my DAD. I am horrible. BUT I made him awesome gifts that I will show off after Christmas ;))

AND, I have a freebie for you today! :) I made it for Stephanie when she interviewed me this week, but I will give it away here as well. Click on the preview to download. Very inspirational, especially with the start of a new year quickly approaching!

I hope you guys have a great weekend, and an even better Christmas. And here is a wish from me to you, I love all of you guys for reading my ramblings and putting up with me on Twitter and Facebook. You guys are the best.

Merry Christmas!

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