Thursday, July 29, 2010

Roughin' It

Last weekend I got back to nature. . .and about 50 mosquito bites got back to me (I will spare you the photos).

We headed up to Kettle Moraine Southern Unit in Southern Wisconsin for a weekend of kayaks, camp food, tents, sun block and bug spray.
I had retained a couple nuggets of information from our last camping trip to make the weekend a little easier including bringing extra tin foil and garbage bags. Here were the true heroes of our weekend away:

1. Coleman handheld fan - I made the $2.50 splurge at Target anticipating a hot and muggy weekend and being in need of a quick cool down. Who knew that this little guy would come in so much handy to build our fire. With the embers going, but not taking to the logs, we decided to go one step past blowing on the fire to help it spread and threw the fan on for a minute or so. Pretty amazing results.

2. OFF with 100% DEET - I think all of my bug bites hit in the time it took me to walk from the car to the campsite before I could dig out the spray and douse myself. Since it had been a rainy and muggy week, they were out in full force. As soon as I put a layer of spray on, though, I was free and clear. Also helpful was the smoke from the fire once we got the pine firewood going.

3. The rain cover on the tent - with reports of flooding in Wisconsin just a few days earlier, I was curious what our campsite would look like - if it had not already been washed away. The good news was that we had great weather over the weekend that did not impede our activities. Of course, Friday night, right after bunking down for the night in our tents, the thunderstorm began. And didn't stop until 8 in the morning. Our little tent was pelted pretty hard with rain all night long - I can now attest that there are no leaks or holes!

4. bright lantern - living in the city, it never actually gets "dark." Out in the woods, however, at around 9:30 we stopped being able to see each other and the bad news was we were still trying to get the fire lit! Stringing up our new Eddie Bauer lantern did so much more than just having a couple flashlights on hand.

5. tarp - luckily we didn't get rained out during the day, but overnight it was good to have a tarp to cover all of our stuff that wouldn't fit in the tents. Normally, I would probably promote locking up your items, especially food and coolers, in the car to save it from middle-of-the-night visitors like raccoons or, god forbid, bears. Since we were at a walk-to site, though, dragging stuff back and forth to the car didn't sound like very much fun. The tarp kept it all hidden and safe from the rain.

And here's what I could have used and will know for next time:
1. lighter fluid - remember how we used a fan to get our fire going? Well, if I had brought some lighter fluid we might have saved a good half hour. Alas.
2. small broom and dustpan - it's dirty outside, that's a no-brainer. But it shouldn't be as dirty inside the tent.

Luckily, we had most of what we needed thanks to a double check of online camping lists like this one. I probably wouldn't have thought of bringing PAM cooking spray on my own without double checking against a list.

After a little bit of activity on the water, relaxation mode kicked in and we spent the evenings around the fire.

Food-wise, stuff on the grill always seems to taste so much better, so food on the open flame is like heaven. We threw diced potatoes in foil packets with oil and grilled them alongside some individually wrapped brats. 
The next evening we tried corn in the husks and baked beans. Our cooking pot got a little bit browned on the outside, but after a good scrubbing the discoloration is going down. . .oops!
All in all, a great weekend roughing it. Of course, Sunday night called for a very long shower to get the layers of sunscreen, bug spray and grime off.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to apply some calamine lotion to my legs.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Inch by Inch, Row by Row - July Update

So what's the latest with our urban garden? In the last month, our tomato plants have shot up in the last few weeks and we are finally seeing some budding fruit!

Here's what we had about a month ago:
And here's what some good sun and regular watering can do. Of course, it will still probably be Halloween before these little tomatoes ripen enough. . .but I still consider growing these from seed a mild success.
Hurry up little guys!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Helping Hands in the Kitchen

What do you get when you combine Chicago Cares with the Chopping Block? A volunteer opportunity that includes dinner!

My co-worker invited me along to her latest dinner night at the Ronald McDonald house near Chicago's Children Memorial Hospital. Families of the patients are provided a home away from home while their little ones receive treatment. Volunteers sign up for evenings to make a dinner for the houseguests. Pick a menu, split up the ingredients and gather your friends for a night of cooking in a big ole kitchen. Learn more about how you can help out at a Ronald McDonald house here

If you know me at all you know I love a good theme. So I was pleasantly surprised to see a Hawaiian theme put forth with the ingredient list. "Hawaiian Night" kicked off with spinach dip served in a bread bowl - I absolutely love the King's Hawaiian Sweet Bread, so sweet and bready, if I may make up a word.
Next up was rice on the side. Doesn't everything look better with grilled pineapple rings on top?

Hawaiian Rice
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple slices in heavy syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon ginger
2 cups cooked rice

Pour syrup from the can into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil for approximately five minutes. Lower heat and stir in brown sugar untill it disolves completely. Add ginger and soy and allow to sit on very low heat to keep warm. On a grill place pinapple rings and cook for about four minutes on one side and one minute on the other side. You can broil them in the oven, but you should baste the rings with the sauce before broiling to help pinapple turn golden brown. Place pinapple rings on top of rice, pour sauce over rice.
If you haven't had enough pineapple, stay tuned for the Veggie Stir Fry. . .

Hawaiian Glazed Veggies Stir Fry
3/4 large red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup red onions, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 (5 1/2 ounce) can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
1 1/2-2 tablespoons water
3/4 cup fresh pineapple, cut into bite-sized wedges
1 cup broccoli florets
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 3/4 tablespoons pineapple juice

Heat olive oil in a wok over high heat just until smoking point, about 1 minute. Add red pepper and red onion; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add bamboo shoots and cook 1 minute, stirring. Add water to prevent sticking. Add pineapple wedges and cook 1 minute. Stir in broccoli; cook 4 minutes or until bright green. Combine tamari (soy sauce) and juice in a small cup. Add tamari/juice mixture to veggies. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring to coat.
For the main dish, we have the very Hawaii-Sounding Huli Huli Chicken. With everyone bringing a packet or two of tenders, we had quite a lot of poultry on our hands - but when we need to account for serving 20, lotso chicken is needed.

Huli Huli Chicken
2 whole chickens, split in half

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1/4 cup pineapple puree
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 1/2 inches ginger root - minced to a paste
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar

For Grill:
Combine marinade ingredients and stir until well blended.
Brush chicken halves with marinade and grill over medium-hot coals, turning once every 5 minutes and basting with marinade each time.
Grill for a total of 40 minutes.

For Broiler:
Preheat broiler and put broiler pan on the lowest setting.
Broil chicken halves for 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.
Brush chickens with marinade and continue broiling, turning once every 5 minutes and basting with marinade, for another 20 minutes - 40 minutes total.
At the end of the evening we had fed a room full of hungry families and there were barely any leftovers for the house fridge. I had also drank one more glass of Hawaiian Punch than I probably should have - ugh, that stuff is sickly sweet.

Terese, thanks so much for letting me come out and help with the dinner prep - you are doing some great work and it is clear how much the houseguests value the home cooked meals. I'm happy to help again, you know I'll take a theme and run with it :-)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I Got Your Ticket

Hmm. . .I'm starting to see a disturbing trend in my weekends - I wrote last week about accomplishing one thing on Sunday (a mini kitchen cabinet re-org) in between watching a whole lot of movies. This weekend I managed to fit in a full 20 episode season of Veronica Mars. Yikes. In my defense, it was so incredibly hot and humid outside that my one hour of errands nearly caused me to sweat to death. Back to the air conditioned apartment, please!

Instead, let's focus on how I spent my Saturday - finally getting around to making some cards! Ahh, productivity, I missed you.

A few months ago, my aunt sent me a pack of Jim Holtz Idea-ology "Adage Tickets." Looking like raffle tickets, but featuring words like, "love," "giggle" and "wish," the creative possibilities to use these for scrapbook pages and cards are endless. 
I thought I'd try to begin a stockpile of cards to keep on hand rather than needing to make a one-off every time a birthday or other occasion comes up. This is why I've been finding myself  at Walgreens more often lately in the card aisle. . .although, I can't help but love the Hoops and Yoyo audio cards. Love 'em!

First off, I took inspiration from a $1 rubber stamp I found at Michael's that simply says "Bon Voyage." I had picked up a packet of travel-related photos and embellishments and thought the moving train fit well with words like "live," "play" and "soar" for a vintage travel look.
I was trying to find a pack of vellum envelopes that I could put tickets in and glue to the front of a card, but the only one I found that day at Michael's was part of a packet (hence, the reason I picked up the travel images and embellishments and therefore ended up with my train image!). Keeping the following cards blank inside allow me to use them for different occasions - this one could be for a new baby, engagement, anniversary or just because!
Similar to the above card, I found another "pocket" to tuck the tickets into and embellished with some 3-D heart stickers.
A sticky-backed frame that came with a sticker set fit perfectly over the top of one of the cards. Of course, this makes it a bit thick for the envelope so I think this one might need to be a hand delivery!
Finally, I had to think of a cute way to use single tickets as I was finding a lot of one-offs after tearing off sets of three for most of the cards. As you can probably tell, I like simpler cards so all I added to this one was some paper cut with craft scissors and my gift stamp.
And so, a mini-stock pile has been created. I need to set aside some more time in upcoming evenings to keep these rolling in - it is also a good reminder to embrace snail mail correspondence. Nowadays, with e-mail and e-cards, bills and junk mail seem to be all that fill the mailbox day to day!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bon Appetwitter

Sear 1.25# bnls chix brst; cool, cube. Brn 1 onion,add 3 grlc,2 poblanos (rstd,pld,slcd),6 oz chard,1c broth,1c crema.Boil2 thickn.Add chix.

Gibberish or Deliciousness? 

If you answered "sounds like dinner!" you are probably part of the Twitter-ocracy. Fit your message into 140 characters or less or face the consequences (um, your tweet will be cut off).

The recipe above was issued as a challenge by chef Rick Bayless - Chicago favorite for authentic Mexican and owner of Frontera Grill, XOCO and Topolobampo. You may have seen him on PBS or the Iron Chef (where he squared off with Bobby Flay). In a new contest, he'll post a recipe via twitter and judge the photos for "beauty, expression of dish." Winners will receive a signed copy of his new book Fiesta at Rick's.

Bob and I decided to take on his first challenge, "Creamy Chix&Greens w Rstd Poblano." 

We started by roasting the Poblanos. 5 minutes a side on the grill and chill for about 40 minutes.
Once they cool off in the fridge for 20 of those 40 minutes, peel off the skins and de-seed. They really deflate! The instructions had also said "wear gloves" to peel off the skin so I was a little worried our hands were going to melt off if we tried this sans gloves. Alas, it was nothing to worry about.
Diced onions were a snap using my Vidalia Chop Wizard. I had actually forgotten I had this until I did my cabinet re-org this past weekend. 
The browned onions were joined by garlic, the sliced poblanos, broth, cream and green chard. We let this thicken on the stove for awhile while we cubed the seared chicken breasts and then added the meat to the mix.
Okay, the meal is only half the battle. What about presentation? We decided to set it up on our balcony and feature a salad made out of our homegrown lettuce, grape tomatoes, cucumber and gorgonzola crumbles. Bob made up some margaritas that we garnished with some of our fresh basil. Our lemon and lime placemats, along with our Anthropologie bowls, added some color to the table. 

As a final touch, we used leftover chard leaves to display the Creamy Chicken.
There you have it - easy to make and delicious dinner in just 140 characters. Thank you Mr. Bayless, keep the twitter recipes (twitpes? recitweets?) coming!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Kitchen Cupboard Re-Org

I had a lazy Sunday this past weekend that involved 3 movies (see the reviews on the sidebar), 2 episodes of Community on Hulu (didn't give the show enough credit when it was on this past season, but it is pretty hilarious) and half of The Girl Who Played With Fire (liking it more than the first, but that might be because I know all the characters so well now).

Feeling a bit sloth-like, I decided I had to make at least one contribution to the household. I tackled our kitchen cabinets that held the pots and pans, bakeware and mixing bowls. The goal was to organize and find some extra room to hold all of the cat food cans we now find ourselves needing to buy for our spoiled kitties. A trip to Costco loaded us up with 48 cans. The price was good, but then you have to put them somewhere. . .always the challenge with the big box stores and why I don't make regular trips or feel the need for a membership there.

We had actually started a mini-re-organization a few months ago by moving our spices into a pull out drawer as opposed to standing up in one of the cabinets. This has made it so easy to sift through the spices we have and freed up room in the cupboards for the tall bottles of vinegars, basalmics and the like.

Here's what we started with: not overflowing, but definitely not organized. 
First step was getting everything out of the cupboards to see what I might be able to get rid of/give to goodwill. For example, I recently bought a 12 count muffin pan and also have a 24 count mini muffin pan and 2 muffin top pans. I took the opportunity to put my 6 count muffin pans into the to-go pile. 

Sonny makes a case for turning the cupboard into a new cat playroom:

I employed a trick I discovered and utilized when I did the big kitchen makeover for my Mom last Christmas - read all about that organization overhaul here. The most annoying thing about this cupboard is pulling out the muffin trays and baking pans from the bottom of the pile. I moved all of these into an upright position into the neighboring cupboard. You could also add your cutting boards to this vertical stack.
To make room for the tall pans, I had to switch them out with the crockpot and iced tea maker - the good news was that there was lots of new room in the first cabinet!
Are you seeing something else that wasn't originally on these shelves? If you guessed the pastel colored mixing bowls you'd be correct. I had to rearrange another cupboard to find room for our cat food cans. This meant one set of mixing bowls got the boot. Our stainless steel set and the Pyrex set stayed with the cat food.
On a roll, I decided to tackle the utensil and silverware drawers. Oh dear, what a sorry state we find ourselves in. Especially since half the items are still in their packaging.
I split them up by purpose and threw the baking essentials together: rolling pins, whisks, pastry blender and brushes stayed to one side of the drawer. I even found room in the drawer for a new set of cedar planks for the grill.

The silverware drawer was not too bad off, thanks to our wooden utensil tray that helps us keep order with the forks, spoons and knives.
A few tweaks to the drawer - making sure all the zesters, graters and grinders were in the back and the spatulas, big spoons and tongs were handy in the front created some order. I also realized there was no reason I was separating the spoons from the tablespoons - they came from different sets. We use them interchangeably depending on what is clean! I determined what we probably use the most - the can opener - and gave it one of the coveted tray slots.
This project under my belt, I felt a little better about my Day of Rest. Back to the couch with me!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Whose Sari Now?

Pardon the title, I couldn't resist a sari-related pun. It's just too easy.

I attended a Sikh wedding ceremony on Saturday which gave me the excuse to try something new - purchase and learn how to put on a sari!

I headed up to Devon Avenue, a street in the northern neighborhoods of Chicago that contains an area known as "Little India." Authentic restaurants, businesses and clothing stores that take you to another lifestyle for a few blocks. After checking out a few reviews on (a goto resource when you aren't sure where to go and who to give your business to), I entered India Sari Palace and asked for help in finding something to wear to the upcoming ceremony.

They helped me pick out a sari and also gave me a crash course in how to wear it. The purchase included a petticoat skirt to wear underneath, the long sari fabric and the blouse. I purchased a ready-made blouse as I thought this would be easier than having the tailor make one from scratch from the material that you could have also purchased, however, I failed to realize how much smaller I am than the "one-size-might-fit" top I bought. The recommended tailor, whose shop was just down the street, took one look at me and one look at the blouse and started laughing. Before I could say anything else, he measured me quickly and took a pair of scissors to the blouse - so much fabric had to go I basically was starting from scratch anyways!
Once I got it home, and having instantly forgotten how the shopkeepers showed me how to put on the sari, I took to youtube to show me the way. I watched a few helpful videos and found a good illustration of the process. A few tries later I was pretty sure I had it down. Of course, the result was gold glittery sparkles all over the place and two cats who thought their new game was "chase the fabric Lydia is pulling around the room."

The trick is in the pleats that you tuck into your underskirt - so that is how you get yards of fabric to a manageable size! Here's a video to get you started. 

Morning of the wedding and I got it down in two attempts. Add to the outfit some dangly earrings and bangles I already owned and voila - 

The wedding was for Bob's co-worker, it was wonderful to be able to experience the ceremony and learn a little bit about the Sikh customs. I especially liked the tradition of the meeting of the families and exchange of gifts. The bride and groom's fathers meet in the middle and shake hands, then the mothers, the grandfathers and so on. Although I was not quite sure what happens if one side does not have the same representation. Perhaps you can put in a pinch hitter?

We then headed upstairs to the ceremony as the vows and hymns are recited and the bride is introduced. From Sikh marriage ceremony is also known as Anand Karaj meaning 'blissful union'. Anand Karaj consists of the couple revolving around Siri Guru Granth Sahib four times as the Lavan (Marriage hymns) are being recited. Revolving is the sign of making commitment with the Guru as a witness.
After an hour long ceremony, we met back downstairs for lunch and then had a few hours before the reception. Bob and I were not staying at the hotel that night, and it was an hour back into the city if we were going to go home first. It was a little after 2pm - perfect timing to go see a movie! By 2:40 we were in the seats for Knight and Day, the new Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz movie. I don't think anyone gave me a second glance as I bought the tickets and movie snacks in my sari.
By 5:30 we were at the reception - the couple had a photo booth set up for guests to take advantage of - we kept one copy of the photos and the other went in a memory book for the bride and groom as a new kind of guestbook. 

The placecards were featured in personalized photo coasters, an idea I've seen employed at another wedding and think is a very sweet way of getting the namecard and favor all in one package. 

The couple also had placed cards at every setting indicating that a donation had been made to their favorite charity in the names of the guests. I think this is a great offering in place of regular favors - as long as its not The Human Fund (Seinfeld fans know what I'm talking about.)

Is that not the most beautiful cake ever? 

By the end of the night, my sari was happily still in one piece and I was exhausted from the day that started at 7:30 that morning for us. If I was this tired, I can only imagine how well the bride and groom slept after such a long day! 

So until my next opportunity, I'll fold up the sari and look forward to wearing it again. I can pleat with the best of them now.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Abstract Art - Round 2

I thought I'd offer another sneak peek into Bob's abstract art endeavors. As a reminder, this is what he has so far created for a 3 panel work for our bedroom using some old canvases I no longer wanted up.
Here's round 2 in progress. Please be careful with that paint spatter, sir! To experiment with finer drips, Bob used a couple squeeze bottles I had received in an "approved for plane travel" cosmetic case.
And here's where we're at right now. To me it doesn't fit exactly with the first panel, but I like it nonetheless! Our current thinking is that we'll find another place for this guy in the house and tie the remaining panel (larger than both of these) to Number 1.
One thought is to affix it to the wall above our media cabinet. The empty wall space has been begging for a decor addition since we moved in, but to be honest we've been waiting to find the perfect radial/3D sculpture art to give the wall some texture. When we put this piece up against the wall, however, it tends to lose its luster against the darker blue wall. We are looking into frame options to help define its space on the wall.
One panel left, can't wait to see what develops and get something up on our walls!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Just a Trifle

One of my favorite ways to narrow down a recipe search is to have one key ingredient in mind. "I need to use that Cream of Mushroom soup in the cupboard, what are my options?" You can also take the same idea with a kitchen gadget or resource for your dinner ideas. Break out the crock pot, focus on your deep fryer or use your rice cooker. This will help you save time searching blindly through recipes and also might get you to look through your kitchen at the different tools you have that you don't get to use every day. I know I'm due for one of these as my need for cabinet organization moves to threat level red.

We put the same idea to use when my sister looked for a recipe that would employ her trifle dish. I can't help but think of the Friends Thanksgiving episode when I hear the word trifle: Rachel's recipe stuck to the next page so the dessert she is so proud of consists of jam, whipped cream, beef and peas. As Ross says, "it tastes like feet!"

Check out this beautiful arrangement. The homemade creamy lime dressing in this Food Network find was a perfect accompaniment to a hot summer day and resulted in a filling meal that was not so heavy it took us out for the rest of the afternoon!
Shredded Tex-Mex Salad with Creamy Lime Dressing
Butter, for preparing 8 by 8-inch glass pan
1 (8.5-ounce) box cornbread mix (recommended: Jiffy)
1 large egg
1/3 cup milk
1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 packet sazon seasoning
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup salsa
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 head romaine lettuce, cut into strips
Creamy Lime Dressing, recipe follows
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey jack cheese
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar
Special equipment: glass trifle dish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8 by 8-inch glass pan with butter. Stir together the cornbread mix with the egg and milk. Evenly spread into prepared pan and bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan to cool completely. Mix together the beans with the sazon and season with salt and pepper. Toss the salsa with the tomatoes. When ready to serve, cut the cornbread into 1/2-inch croutons. Toss the lettuce with 3/4 cups of the dressing. In a clear trifle dish, layer the Tex-Mex Salad beginning with the black beans followed by the Monterey jack cheese, the tomato salsa mixture, the Cheddar, the dressed romaine and top with the cornbread croutons. Serve the remaining dressing on the side.

Creamy Lime Dressing:
2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup sour cream
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Special equipment: blender

Blend all the ingredients except the olive oil until smooth. While machine is running, slowly drizzle in the oil until incorporated. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.Yield: 1 1/2 cups.

Enjoy your Fourth of July weekend!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Looking for the easiest way to spruce up your walls for the season? Take a page from my sister's book (or should I say, "magazine") and find a few summer-centric pages, cut to fit the frames you have on hand. While these three frames are identical, I also like the idea of using different sized, mis-matchy frames you already have to create a scene. Although summer will be the theme that ties them together, you could also focus on one color or summer-y foods to make the connections.
Thanks for the wall art idea, sis!
Although owning a real piece of art is admirable, I find it so hard to believe that people pay top dollar to outfit their home with the same IKEA, Bed Bath and Beyond and Target prints that everyone has, when it is so easy to personalize and design your own art by framing every day items that mean something to you. I prefer to think of it as acting creative and unique as opposed to being cheap as hell.

Calendar Pages - we employed this on our Chicago wall in the hallway with some black and white shots from the early 1900s. A great way to keep great images or photography on hand long after the year is over. As another example, in college I had an Elvis Presley calendar of black and white images of the King. After the year was through, I kept the 4 images that featured him playing different instruments and put those up in a display.
Fabric - you could either frame the fabric or cover a cheap canvas like you might for a do-it-yourself headboard. Here's a tutorial I found from Canadian House and Home (also photo source).
Scrapbook Paper - Match the color scheme of the room and frame a pattern or print from the stacks and stacks of options you can find at Michaels! Buy specialty frames to hang your actual scrapbook pages on the wall.
Enlarged book print - this could be a cute display for a kids' room: Take their favorite book and frame a few pages of the story, with one or two frames containing illustrations. Be sure to scan an edition that features a whimsical font or illustrations right in the text for some added flair. Personally, the illustrations from the original Alice in Wonderland are some of my favorite images in print.
Game Boards - I've seen this idea on the blog Infarrantly Creative way back when - frame your game board and attach packages of the pieces and playing material to the back of the frame so the game is usable. Keeping it in the frame will help protect the board from spills and more. Of course, you could also render the game unplayable by gluing words onto your scrabble board that mean something to you or using them as backgrounds for your photos. Picture your family photos on a Life background, Candyland to showcase a recent trip to the fair or a Hersheys Factory tour or pie-shaped photos on a Trivial Pursuit board to celebrate a graduation.
If you have an idea or a photo to share be sure to link to it, I love finding new ideas for wall art! Want a little more? Learn how to distress frames, create art out of puzzles and embrace your inner abstract artist in the archives!