Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fusion Food South of the Border~ Tacos Al Pastor

Tiny tables, big flavor, great meal, great company.

Serve yourself and dig in!

Fresh off the spit and then grilled.

Pineapple to tenderize.

When our Mexican-Lebanese friend Patricia told another friend about the best place to find Tacos Al Pastor across the border the word has been spreading like wildfire amongst our friends.

One of the delightful things about living close to the Mexican border is that it's no big deal to cross over for a nice authentic and quite affordable meal out.

I guess I was surprised at the fact that there was a Mexican-Lebanese population in Mexico just as I'm surprised at Mexican's love of sushi which is evidenced by a preponderance of sushi bars in Northern Mexico.

The first time we went to Apataco in Agua Prieta it was a group of five gringos and our guide Patricia who has warmed her way into the owner's heart with her fluent Spanish and good tipping and most likely her beauty.

Next door to the restaurant is an Expendio where we can purchase our Tecate to accompany the meal.

I was surprised to see the Shawarma type spit roasting that you can see in any gyro or kebab stand in the Middle East or European- Middle eastern restaurant. We had found that that was the most affordable food on our Euro-trip aside from ham and bread sandwiches.

When you order a "Plaquete" of tacos al pastor you get a heaping pan of the roasted and shaved beef (normally pork in Mexico) which has been marinating in spices and pineapple. You get a wonderful fusion of Mexican and Middle Eastern flavor in every bite. The pineapple tenderizing it to perfection.

We found out that the beef is organically raised by the owner and is fresh as can be which is a bonus. This place is open until 4:00 AM which makes it popular with the local bar crowd I hear.

With cebollitas (roasted green onions) guacamole, red and green salsas, charro style beans, shredded cabbage, onions and lime and pico sauce along with platefuls of either corn or flour tortillas make for a well rounded meal.
We scooped up the meat in our tortillas and garnished them till they nearly broke.

I found that the meal wasn't as heavy as most Mexican meals I'm accustomed to. For one thing we didn't fill up on bowls of chips for starters and there was no cheese or rice in this meal either. More room for Tecates the way I see it. We each must have filled 5 tacos and our bill divided by six people came to a grand total of $4 excluding the beer.

We already have found an excuse to return, this time with ten people. On our walk back to the border crossing we found a paleta stand which features Mexican popsicles with flavors of tamarind, coconut and even pineapple-chile.
I'm afraid it could become a weekly routine!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Child's Play

A piece made with images from a brittle and crumbling children's book from the late 1800's, a porcelain doll arm, printed muslin, vintage photo, brass, found burlap, copper charm, book images, patinated frame, shoeshine on gessoed board.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Image and imagination

"Down on the Farm"

I had a chance to go through a great drawer at an antique shop in Tucson while I was waiting for a friend that needed a ride home from the doctor.

I found some nice vintage images to play with and try out an image transfer technique that I had read about. It involves ironing freezer paper to muslin and putting it through the printer. It worked pretty well except for some bunching on one sheet that didn't have a totally stiff edge ( that can be remedied by taping it)
I had recently gotten some tapa paper at a garage sale by disassembling some place mats which proved to be a nice excavation when I found that the paper had been formed on pieces of old Pacific Cement bags.

I also picket up a slew of old rusty tiles near our property recently that looked like perfect surfaces for some altered art.

I addition to that I just had to buy an old wooden shoe shine kit at the thrift store, thinking that perhaps I could use the shoe polish as a surface treatment. The very next day I read about Don Madden of Fully Flummoxed doing the very same thing on The Altered Page feature "Secret Sunday".

I was pleased with the results of shoe shine on a gessoed board. It came out with a wax shine that I could scratch up for a bit of distress.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Emblage" or Trying to Take the Ass out of Assemblage

Trying out my new patina technique- learned at ACE Hardware

Titled "Skin Circuitry" an Emblage

Detail of an ACEO that I decided to attach.

The woman playing the "organ" ( skin is an organ you know) is a collage that I had made in the 90's and resurrected. Made from an image from an old sterograph, Japanese paper and biology diagram.

So, I'm kind of new at some of these assemblage techniques. I am oh so great at collecting wonderful bits and pieces and even buying the necessary supplies to create any number of wonderful projects. The problem is that I am trying to learn a lot of connection techniques on my own because I seem to want to try things without going to workshops and start on projects before certain skill levels and knowledge are embedded in my brain.

I have always been a hasty worker whether it's cooking or printmaking or gardening. Call it impatience ( but not to my face, I get so defensive) or a glorious lack of perfectionism (I'm saving that for another lifetime) but I have trouble waiting for glue to dry and want to hurry up and get to the next step.

Well I'm finding with this altered art/assemblage and collage that it's necessary to plan out your layers and connections in a logical order or things start to get botched in a hurry.
Then when there's a mistake that messes up my one of a kind beginning of a background it can be so frustrating.

Take rivets for example: I took a silversmithing workshop one day two years ago and learned how to make some nice cold connection rivets. So I had an idea to connect the collaged old book cover to the antique tin ceiling tile with some copper rivets. In order to make the copper tubes for the rivets I had to remember how to load the jewelry saw which I had also learned in the same class two years ago. The saw was picked up at a garage sale so I was hoping it was reasonably functional. It was guesswork really and I sawed three of them before I broke the blade which was looking kind of cattywompus and I was amazed that I was able to cut anything at all.

Did I stop and look in one of my glossy metalsmithing books to see the right way to do it? No, I wanted to GET ON WITH IT! So with some pounding I ended up with three slightly split and bent rivets. So rustic, so primitive. Oh well.

After that was attached I decide to attach a bead which would have been way easier BEFORE I attached the collage.

This is what you call a "learning process" and I know I could benefit by slowing down and PLANNING out my projects. My short attention span has been more suited to lampwork and stringing and making ATC's so far. (and I am a good but messy cook if I do say so myself)

I'm not totally disappointed in the final product but I think I need some more techniques under my belt for that finer final product that I'm seeing so many good artists putting out with their altered art/mixed media /assemblage pieces.

Let me know what you think!

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Valentine's Winner!

The winner is Sherry from Studio Pashnada!

Thank you all for participating and stay tuned for more giveaways in the future.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Giveaway for February- Happy Valentine's Day from *Numinosity*

Eight one inch diameter pinbacks featuring close-ups of some of my beads made by Button Arcade

Mexican Party pack including one loteria sheet, 4 rusted thingies that I picked up in an empty lot over the border, one Virgin of Guadalupe and some smugglers burlap found on the trail near my house. (It's been washed now)

A Cambodian cotton krama, a long scarve that Cambodians wear as headscarves, belts or many other uses. I picked up a load of these when I was doing a fundraiser for the Cambodian Landmine Museum in Siem Reap.

A little collection of beads including a snakeskin agate (treated), six composite agate beads, two of my own lampwork beads and two vintage lucite leaves.

Well it's high time I did another giveaway, The first one in 2010 now that I've kind of settled in from my travels and have a couple of projects under my belt.

This will be my Valentine's giveaway to you although it's not in keeping with any Valentine's day theme because that's the way I am.

I learned a lesson on my last giveaway which was my first one ever on my blog and I made it way too complicated and a bit of a effort to meet my requirements. This one will be easier.

All you have to do is become a follower, either through Facebook or otherwise and just leave me a comment with your super secret coded email address so I can contact you if you are the winner.
Example: blahdeblog (at) so the spam bot don't lift yer email address.
Also let me know your prize of choice please.

You previous followers are included but still need to leave a comment if you'd like to be included in the giveaway.

I'm trying to offer something for all of you that may be my demographic (beady, rusty altered, worldly) people.

I nearly forgot! The deadline for this giveaway is Monday, February 15th, 6:00PM Arizona time.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Kidnapped! Middle-aged Women in Trunks

I decided to go back in time with my blog today to revisit one of my travel experiences in Cambodia five years ago. I had been on a Southeast Asian journey on my own, traveling through Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

This is an excerpt with some editing from an email home.

The lovely picnic of frog sausages, chicken, fish and sticky rice.

Carved 100's of years ago in the creek bed.

Shiva Lingams in the stream at Kulen Mt.

The planning stages for the kidnapping scheme.

January 3, 2005

Kidnapped!, No not really. Just wanted to get your attention!

My friend Poly and some of his other young Cambodian
friends came up with a scheme to save me some money
when we went to Kulen Mountain today.

I rented their friend's car with Poly as a driver and
they had a scheme me to hide when we went past the
checkpoint at the entrance. I wasn't sure how it was
going to work and I even had an anxiety dream about it the previous night
but $20 seems like a pretty stiff road
toll. I had read in the travel guide that none of it
goes toward the upkeep of the temple and grounds
around the waterfalls, just the road builders
moneymaking idea. So ethically I didn't have as much
problem with it. I wasn't sure how I was going to hide in the backseat of a compact car with five young men in it already.
but they assured me no problem and I had to look
at it like I was providing some adventure for them.
That's how compassionate I am!

As we neared the checkpoint I jumped out of the front
seat and was quite reassured when they told me I was
to get into the trunk!. I actually was relieved since
there were five passengers besides me and I wasn't
going to be hiding by their feet.

I think this was the first time I have ever crawled
into a trunk. It was only going to be five minutes.
It was a little dusty but there was light coming in
through the speakers so I didn't get claustrophobic.
I have to admit I was grinning with the thrill of it.
"If my friends could see me now"

My mother warned me about this kind of stuff I'm sure.
I remember her saying "Never Ever GET INTO THE TRUNK

We made it through just fine. I told the guys that If
I had gotten caught I was going to say that they had
kidnapped me and were holding me for ransom. They
thought that was pretty funny.
They told me they actually felt pretty uncomfortable
about me being back there.

We had a good picnic after climbing to see a reclining
Buddha carved out of sandstone and the river of 1000
Lingams which was really interesting to me The lingams
were carved in the 8th century and covered part of a

I have to admire the boys strategy of saving me money
so that I could buy drinks and a picnic for them. We
ate roasted fish and chicken, banana and sticky rice
and coconut waffles along with some cold beers in the
little hut provided. They played cards while I took
pictures and waded in the stream near the waterfall.

I guess a little bit of karma caught up with us
because we had a flat tire on the way back to town.

I enjoyed a good 2 hour massage upon return to town.
Possibly one of the best I've ever had.

I got a kick out of Poly the other day when the hotel
in Phnom Penh offered a free breakfast. "What is
Kelloggs?" he asked. I gave a sort of description. He
decided to try it. When it arrived he had to ask me
how to eat it. Some things you take for granted that
everybody must know how to eat cornflakes.

I'm wandering about Siem Reap this evening trying to
decide on a restaurant. Ther are so many to chose

Tomorrow I go to check out Akira's landmine removal
foundation. It's pretty much a one man show from what
I understand. His life story is on his website. A KR
survivor. I got a recommendation from some other
travelers as well.

Take care all, Love Kim

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Score at the Store!

First Beads of February by Kimberly Rogers

"Roadsmithed" bottle cap earrings (sans ear wires)

Here's the score! Calamine pink paint on old tin ceiling tile

Reverse side of the tin ceiling tile

Nothing like being away from my stuff for a month to make me go wild in the studio upon returning home. I've been jumping into projects like nobody's business. Just deciding which artistic direction to go each morning is a quandary. Will it be a hot glass day, a rusty bits day, a paper day or some combination of all of them? I've been kind of jumping around , playing with my new stuff and trying to remember the ideas I had before we left on our whirlwind trip.

Yesterday I got out the rusty bottle caps I had been picking up on my walks to the gym. They're much easier to find in Arizona. In Alaska the plows and snowblowers pick them all up before they have a chance to get crushed and rusty. These rusty bits I use in my "Roadsmithed" earring series. I've been pairing them with vintage look ear wires that I get from Cindy's Wicked Good Beads. Unfortunately I left those findings in Alaska. I'll have to finish them when I get back home there.

A couple of hours in the glass studio too, trying to stick with a theme or a series in similar colors. I have to really focus on making a series in the same colors, I get bored and want to jump around and experiment with other colors but beads seem to be more saleable. OOAK is alright for focals but SOAK sells beads (several of a kind)

Today I couldn't resist doing a bit of antiquing in Old Bisbee. I was dropping my husband off at the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum where he had just gotten a volunteer docent position. It was an uncharacteristically rainy day in the southwest. I was hoping to show some of my work to one of the shops for consignment as well. I headed down to the bargain basement of on of my favorite Old Bisbee shops, Miners and Merchants and found a wagon full of turn of the century or earlier tin ceiling tiles with oh, so many layers of paint on one side and tin in different stages of rustiness on the other. My aim was to buy ten of the 1 foot square ones if the price was right. They weren't marked and the cashier didn't happen to know the price but said that she'd call me after speaking with the owner. I dashed off to the gym and awaited her call between reps and my aerobic workout. When she called with the price for all ten I swear my heart beat went higher than it's normal count (never mind the caffeine I had directly before my workout) The embossing is at least 2 inches deep in the center. They are certainly destined for some projects, resale and barter too.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Numinosity Beads Meets Altered Art

"Derive" by Kimberly Rogers

I have been meaning to start using some of my beads in my altered art projects. I had just picked up a handy little metal hole punch at the Tucson Gem and Mineral show from the gals at Beaducation that were at the To Bead True Blue show at the Doubletree Hotel in Tucson.

I had a goodly batch of rusty bottle tops that needed holes punched for my bottle top earrings.
While I was at it I got inspired to fasten on of my beads to a rusty aged metal tile that I'd picked up next to our desert property near the Chiricahua Mountains.

So with some old coins, buttons, beads mounted over the smuggler's burlap and asphalt roofing I found last week, I fastened them and added a bit of text and framed it in a thrift shop frame. One of my first finished pieces using a Numinosity Bead.