Monday, January 31, 2011

so many cupcakes!

so i really want to post some new artwork because i have a whole bunch just dying to become internet sensations, but after a lazy sunday, it's now nearly 2 am and i need to get to bed in order to prepare for a long, long...long week ahead of me. which means i don't have time to sort through dozens of photos and edit them.  i guess i shouldn't have spent the last 2 1/2 hours watching the shining...
so instead, i just have to show off the awesome cupcakes i made in the past week or two. i've been flaunting my cupcakes and even though these specific ones aren't my ideas or designs, i'm still excited to share them.

tim gave me some cupcake books for christmas, which was a fantastic surprise and a wonderful idea on his part.  i've only done 3 designs from the books, but i'm unbelievably anxious to do more, and i'm even more anxious to rack up the skills to make up my own. the recipes and designing tips for the following cupcakes can be found in the two books, "hello, cupcake" and "what's new, cupcake?"

chinese food cupcakes!

i'm not a huge fan of chinese food, but these were one of my favorites in the "what's new, cupcake" book. i was highly impressed with how clever and realistic they looked in the photo and couldn't wait to try it out myself. my sister loves chinese food, so i decided to make these for her 26th birthday. we even had real chinese food the night of her birthday before feasting on these tasty treats. so isn't that fun. i pretty much copied every step from the book, but i made some of my own choices that worked out surprisingly well.  i wanted to put the cupcakes in real chinese food containers, as suggested in the book, but unfortunately i couldn't find any (in the one single store i looked..)  luckily for me, i found these little white papers that were in the valentine's section in pinks, reds, and whites, and thought they resembled the containers. personally, i think they are perfect and maybe even better since they fit the cupcakes so snug. i also came up with the idea for the mini chop sticks by using toothpicks with the ends cut off.  pretty adorable, so i'm going to pretend that i'm a genius for thinking of that...and that i'm the only one to ever think of it.

golf course cupcakes!

 that same day i made the chinese food, i also made this golf course, also from the "what's new, cupcake" book. i had originally planned on making the golf cupcakes for my dad's birthday later that week, but my mom had asked me to make them for someone at work.  i took on the challenge with excitement and enthusiasm because that just meant i got to try a third design from my cupcake books! hot dog! the golf course was simple and easy and turned out pretty neat. the only problems i had were the flag (made of a fruit roll up) didn't stand proud, it just kind of sagged down. also, the method for making the golf balls wasn't working for me, so i was forced to improvise by using icing instead of corn syrup to stick the little white nonpareils to a gumball. such a cool idea for a more realistic looking golfball.

last are my spaghetti and meatball cupcakes!

these spaghetti cupcakes are the first ones i tried from the "hello, cupcake" book. they are possibly the easiest cupcakes to ever make. it really doesn't get much more simple than this. i decorated these in maybe about 10 minutes, 15 minutes tops, for my dad's birthday on saturday. i don't feel that the pictures do them justice (since i kind of suck at taking pictures), but i think they look phenomenal in person. the meatballs look so real. these people are geniuses, i swear. i didn't really care for the taste, since i'm not a fan of jellies. i prefer my cupcakes to be simple: vanilla on vanilla, but who cares when they look so awesome? my favorite part is the grated "cheese" (or white chocolate) sprinkled all on top.  my only issue with my personal outcome is i made the meatballs far too organized, like perfect rows of meatballs, instead of randomly scattered in the pasta as it should have been. but otherwise i'm happy.

who wants to see more?! i have some football and valentine's cupcakes coming soon...

free art giveaway: enter my fun free art giveaway contest by checking my post for info and rules. win a free painting or sketch. contest ends february 14 !

Friday, January 28, 2011

dl pez

custom pez ! after seeing me make so many figures and customs for tim, of tim, my sister has bugged me about making something of her. her biggest life-long fantasy came true on her 26th birthday when i gave this custom pez dispenser with her own head on it! completed with her signature short spikey hair, huge smile, and big gangly earring. is gangly a word? i don't care.

i poked teeny tiny holes in the ears before the clay dried so i could stick through the earrings, made of thin wire, once her head was fully painted.  i used an iron man pez to build off of, hence her too-long-of-a-face. but overall it's a fun depiction of my dear sister. love!

free art giveaway: remember to check out my fun free art giveaway contest ! check my post for info and rules to win a free painting or sketch. contest ends february 14 !

Thursday, January 27, 2011


who's snowed in and bored?! well even if you're not, it's time to play my games and win some free artwork. woooo.

as mentioned previously, i filled a sketchbook with a ton of characters as 1EG'S. i'll tell you more about that later, since i want to get to the point of this post immediately.... i thought it would be fun to host a contest for some free art! let's see how many of you are willing to devote some time to win awesome free art. yeah, i'm calling my art awesome. so follow this link to see 80+ images of my 1EG's. 

HERE'S THE CONTEST! name each character by name, #1-88 and email answers to . i will randomly pick one submission out of a hat for a FREE PAINTING of his or her favorite character from the contest ! AND! no matter what, anyone who submits (and answers all correctly) gets a free sketch of their favorite character. everyone wins!

but pay attention to the rules:

  • each character is numbered.  below each photo are 2-4 numbers (depending on how many characters per page).  every number must have an answer.
  • to win a painting: you must name every single character BY NAME in order to win the painting.  if you know what they are from, but don't know their name, figure it out! (except #83, because i don't know her name)
  • to win a sketch: you must name every single character by name OR what they are from
  • everyone gets ONE free hint. meaning, if you need help, you can ask for one hint while remaining eligible to win a painting. TWO or MORE hints eliminates you from a free painting, but you can still win a free sketch (that means you can ask for as many hints as needed).  email for hints.
  • entries must be received by february 14 (that's over two weeks!)

START THE GAME NOW! browse through photos in this flickr set, and see characters #1-88 by following this link

email all entries to kctararuj@gmail by february 14 to win.  entries should include answers for #1 - 88, your name..... and feel free to include any characters you'd like to see in the future.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

the epic journey of the one ring

i wanted to post my free art giveaway contest funsies today, but it is taking me entirely too long to get it all together and organized. so look for it tomorrow...!!!

instead! you get a lord of the rings painting in the funtastic kaotic kritter style. the story of this painting is very pathetic, but here it is. two years ago tim and i designed 2/3 of this painting, i painted that portion and gave it to my sister for her birthday. it is made up of 3 small panels. the third panel (the yellow/green) has been character-less since then, and she has been bugging me for two years to finish it.  i don't know why i just couldn't force myself to finish it. i was just bored of it, it was already out of my mind since her birthday two years ago, and other projects that kept and keep building up on me always took priority. sorry, dl! well monday was her birthday, and since i'm such a good sister, i finally finshed it for her. she was disappointed because it wasn't something new, but i shut her up by giving her a custom pez dispenser of herself (to be posted soon.)

it's a good thing i waited so long to finish, because i touched up and made additions to the first two panels that definitely enhanced it.

 ta-da!  i really want to watch lord of the rings now... it's been too long

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

pooh cupcakes

cupcakes! for my buddy's 27th birthday i made him some pooh bear cupcakes. pooh's his favorite, so i figured i'd make these to help him feel young... since everyone around me is slowly turning into old farts. except me, i'll be young forever. or at least i will always look it. god i hate looking 16 when i'm 24.

my mom had a teddy bear pan for this, so i was excited to try it out.  i have 3 more sets of cupcakes coming!  lots of january birthdays.  the upcoming cupcakes are all basically designs from a cupcake book i got for christmas. get excited, because they are awesome. 

Monday, January 24, 2011


no time to post!

...but since i'm such a nice person and appreciate my readers so much, here for your viewing pleasure is a drawing i did on a postcard recently as a "thank you" and a "hello" to someone awesome.

Friday, January 21, 2011

who wants free stuff?

i recently filled up an entire sketchbook with these drawings, every page with a different character (a project i'll talk and post about once i get all my files organized.) i spent many hours addicted to filling this book, while having fun deciding which characters (mostly women) to draw and asking my fellow facebook mates for female character suggestions.  if you didn't get a chance to give me some suggestions, feel free to send as many as you want because i am going to start a new sketchbook to keep up this addiction whenever i have a few spare moments. 

now pay attention! out of curiosity, say i had about 80+ characters drawn up, in the 1EG style (as in the sketch above)... is there anyone who would be interested going through every sketch and identifying each character by name/story? for those of you who aimlessly browse the web or channel surf or are just flat out bored, i think you should take this as an opportunity to waste some time...while amusing and entertaining me. i'm thinking anyone who can name every single character, by name or where they're from, will be entered into a random drawing for a free painting of their favorite one. and to not waste anyone's time, everyone entered will no matter what get a free sketch. come on, who doesn't love free? i know i love free. for now, let it be known that you love free!

the games will begin soon.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

day of acceptance

i'm feeling good! yesterday i accomplished a whole lot, which meant tons of break-less hours, continuous movies, a hungry belly, and indescribable back pain...and lots of finished artwork!

today is the international day of acceptance! january 20, 2011 to honor the late annie hopkins, founder of 3e love and creator of the international symbol of acceptance. to celebrate her message of social acceptance of disability. 3e love is a social advocacy entrepreneurial experiment, learn more at embrace diversity, educate your community, empower each other, love life.  wear your heart on your sleeve on 1/20/11. today. wear 3e love tattoos or apparel to spread annie's message.

As you know, today is January 20th, the International Day of Acceptance. Today thousands of people are "wearing their heart on their sleeve" all over the world. Hundreds of thousands of people will see the International Symbol of Acceptance today, take a second look, then think to themselves, start a conversation with a friend or stranger, and look at the traditional symbol representing "disability" in a new way.

today i'll be wearing my 3e love hoodie, and as usual, i have my tattoo of the lovely symbol on my wrist. unfortunately, i more than likely won't leave the house since i'll be painting all day, but that's why i have my happy little blog to spread the word. i know i've posted previously about 3e love, but it is a disability awareness clothing line and marketing company founded in 2007 by annie and stevie hopkins, their family and friends.  the company's mission is to create and bring to market products and services that embrace life no matter the obstacles, and by doing so, educate society and empower those with disabilities to love life. 

i just think that what they do is fantastic and the symbol is perfection, but i'm horrible with words, so it's tough to say how i feel about it. instead of listening to my rambles, i encourage everyone to read more about 3e love at the website:

on a related note, i wanted to follow up about my recent posts full of rants and complaints about wanting accessible seating at arenas/shows, but having to pay extra and/or being separated from my party because of "policy." a few weeks ago, i took tim to see the broadway show wicked in new york.  i was prepared to pay a hundred (more or less?) for seats, but to my delightful surprise, handicap seats were only $26. so while there are some venues who for whatever reason want to punish the disabled, by making them pay more for the only seat they are physically able to sit in, the nice folks at wicked ask for less than half a normal priced  ticket. not to mention, they were pretty great seats. i strongly advice those who are disabled to see wicked. for that cheap, why not? plus it's an amazing show. so take that! 2 points for the handicapped! i wish there was actually someone's face to shove this in, a face to go with the ridiculous policies.

i feel like i should check with other broadway shows to see if any others have the same deals.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

kona toy !

who remembers my sister's pup kona?! i did a kaotic kritter painting of her this past august for my sister's birthday. i love her to death, she is an absolute nutcase and full of never ending kisses. after making my mom a chloe figure for her birthday, nicole has been whining about a kona figure. i made kona as a christmas present and here is the result. i used a munnyworld mini raffy platform and built upon it with clay. whenever i see kona, she always has the same goofy muppet-like facial expression, and i really wanted to show that on the figure.  of course, somehow in every single picture my sister has posted of kona, she is not making that one single goofy face i only ever see her make.  so i did my best to get that face based on the reference photos and memory. 
another fun little problem i ran into is that kona looked different in literally every set of photos i looked through.  meaning the color of her fur has changed throughout her short little life so far, and what was once dark is light, etc. i just kind of winged it hoping it was as close to her current furry status as possible.  for those of you who don't know, when you buy a munny figure, either the original or any munnyworld figure, they each come with a mystery accessory, including lightning bolts, hats, glasses, weapons...and this little swirly that looks like poop. i have so many accessories lying around that i never have any reason to use.  i want to start making random excuses to use them, so i just decided to paint some poop to go with kona. i was amused.

i have one more completed figure, a munnyworld mini bub, coming up soon, whenever i finally get the chance to take some photos... which may or may not be a very zombierific figure.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

custom pez

who wouldn't want their own head on a stick? my very supportive aunt asked me to do some custom pez of my cousins for christmas.  it's a little bit tougher to get likenesses of kids than adults, at least for me, but i think i got all of their basic characteristics that helps distinguish who each pez is.

since i use clay to make the custom heads, they become very top heavy. i've dropped them a dozen times, luckily without breaking or cracking, so that shows how durable they are. although if they hit at the wrong spot, there could be some damage. nick's hair was made of little pieces of clay coming out from the head, so that was much more likely to break off if it were to fall onto a hard surface. an easy way to prevent any accidents is to mount the pez on a heavy stand, possibly cement (as i've used in the past for other 3-dimensional projects.) here are some process shots of these two pez.  nick was made from homer simpson, and mikala from belle (beauty and the beast.) i just needed to figure out the best way to work with the existing pez to make it fit the new character. forunately for these two, i was able to use the pre-existing clothes and neck and work around it.  in my first attempt at a pez (tym pez), i had to carve and cut the pez to create an easier shape to work off of. 

to avoid damage, my aunt put each one in a pez container. unfortunately nick didn't quite fit well thanks to his cookie monster hat, but here's mikala, beaming in her fancy christmas pez stand!

i really enjoy making custom pez dispensers, so if anyone is interested, feel free to contact me!  i plan on making more, of myself, of cartoon characters (that don't already exist on a dispenser), of whoever else i might feel like making.  unfortunately my time may become limited in the near future. it's likely that i'll be working.. full time.. for the first time in years. more on that later, but in the mean time, love yourself or others by ordering some special customized pez !

Monday, January 17, 2011

home sweet home

here we have the result of a violent attack of an innocent snail, by mcmousy. mcmousy just needed a place to sleep at night and keep dry from the rain. poor snail.  this was a quick little painting, about 11"x11" on wood.  you can tell it was quick, based on the overall poor planning of character design (and by poor planning, i mean non-existant.) there is a circular indent the exact size of the snail shell, which i thought might possibly make the snail head and tail pop out a bit.  even though i don't think it makes the snail necessary "pop," i still think it looks kind of cool with the indent.

LAST CHANCE! this is your last chance to see my kaotic kritter show at the red horse gallery!! ending on january 21 (that's friday!), you have only this week left to check it out. freehold raceway mall. upper level, next to sears. hours: mon-fri 10am- 4:30pm. go now, before it's too late!!   i'll post some photos of the show in the next week or two for all you lazy (or employed...) people who couldn't make it.  mega thanks to vsa arts of nj and arc resources unlimited (a program of the arc of monmouth) for having me again in their nice, splendid gallery.

Friday, January 14, 2011

pteetering pterodactyl and tenacious tylosaurus

i dropped off a few more pieces for my show at the red horse gallery after some pieces sold. including these two awesome dinosaurs that i made back in the day when tim was still helping me design. my favorite part about the dinosaur kritters is they were each painted on wood. i kind of love the texture of wood paintings. i have some dinosaur paintings coming in the future, though not in the kaotic kritter style.  we all know how much i love dinosaurs, so obviously i'm pretty psyched for them. 

don't forget, there is still more time to see the show at freehold mall until january 21 ! mon- fri 10am- 4:30pm, i know there's got to be some unemployed bums out there who have nothing better to do than support my addiction.... maybe?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

hello my name is

 i just wanted to share which pieces i put in the "hello my name is" show from this past weekend.  there is going to be an encore reception (due to the weekend's snow.) woo hoo! i won't be there, but i'll be there in spirit... and in my artwork!  if you're in or near asbury park, no matter where you are, here is a link with info if you want to check it out: hello my name is "art snow" !

along with these 3, i also put in my sailor jerry tribute painting "the sailor's lady" (seen here) and the prettiful glowing heart "in tatters" (seen here.)  but fear not, if you want to see the show, pictures are coming soon to a blog near you.... (this one.)  i'm funny.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

affection connection

another commission from christmas time! this was by far my favorite commission to do for the holidays, not only because dark and romantic is my favorite type of artwork, but also because of the amount of freedom i had to design and paint it. the girlfriend wanted a painting of her and her boyfriend expressing dark, dramatic love, intensity, sexual attraction.  she listed a bunch of previous pieces of mine that she liked, so basically i took elements from them and made up a new, personalized piece. she left me with no restrictions, and in her words, whatever you "see", make, which is what i did. i had a few drafts, but felt they were too abstract and even more so, too impersonal. i ended up using the first draft as my first painting of 2011, so keep a look out for it in the near future.

the other reason i enjoyed this project, was the boyfriend was fully unaware of the romantic painting present. she asked me to wrap the painting so that come christmas morning, they could open the present together.  even though she knew it was coming, it became a surprise for the both of them. i thought that was a cute and pretty awesome idea to be able to share that moment together. i was happy to be a part of their special holiday. i'm a sucker for this kind of stuff. it's the one and only time i become girly.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


my oh my do i need to go to bed. my eyes are on fire while i'm covered in paint attempting to create an underwatery background to prepare for the octo-trunk (future painting), as i'm watching the old mtv show "undressed" from when i was in high school (?) that is making me dumber by the second. i shouldn't have just admitted to that.

so here's my quick post! this is brinks the bulldog! yet another pup commission from christmas. who can resist that face? brinks is very affectionate, like a bull in a china shop. i hope brink's owner enjoyed their new painting of their little darling, because whenever i look at it, it makes me giggle.

Monday, January 10, 2011

blue storm

happy day! this weekend was the "hello my name is art show" at the bdc in asbury. there was some awesome artwork, very cool people, and funsies all around. tim and i each sold a painting, which is always exciting. but more on the actual show later.  this is a painting i did many months ago. i had bigger plans for it, and intended on adding some finishing touches, but it has just been sitting on the ground for months untouched. i was told not to add any more to it, and considering i don't even remember what i wanted to add, i declared it finished. this was one of 6 pieces i had in "the hello my name is" show, where i got comments from several people saying they like it and are happy i left it as is. and so am i.

plus! i finished my very first painting of 2011 last night! it's not the greatest piece in the world, but i'm sure the more i look at it, the more i'll fall in love with it. as usual.