Friends & Family: Karen – Brush Strokes & Chef Goals

KarenIn my never ending list of talented cousins, the next one at bat is Karen! And as you may have seen from my previous Friends and Family posts, I write the corresponding blogs around the subject’s birthday to kind of pay homage to them in some way. Karen’s birthday just passed this Friday, so happy birthday prima!

By now, you guys probably all know that I enjoy pretty much all areas of crafting and creation of things, and I’m versatile with my hands, but if there’s one specialty I haven’t been able to master is cooking. I can sometimes get baking right, since everything is measured to a T, but unless there’s a military grade recipe to follow, there’s pretty much a guarantee I’ll mess it up. This is one of the reasons I admire Karen so much, because she not only crafts her heart out and can do just about any craft there is, but she can also cook amazingly well, and actually graduated just last year with her degree in culinary arts!

Karen has always been able to paint and draw fairly well, but she found her niche in the kitchen, and this has actually become her business endeavor with her sister Lizeth (her feature will come around her birthday in September). PKL “Un Mundo de Detalles” (A World of Details by PKL, PKL being their roommate Paola, Karen and Lizeth) was born in the Spring of 2017 as these three crafty and business savvy women came together to execute a plan for a full-service party decoration and gift basket company. From the beginning, they have explored multiple revenue avenues with gift kits or special holiday themed baskets, party planning/decorating services, catering and desserts. On their feed, you will see all kinds of creative cakes decorated in fondant for customers with all sorts of interests, whether they’re doctors or sports fans, their cakes are a clear (and yummy) reflection of their personality. And Karen is behind all of that.

She is a great chef, an avid baker, and a jack of all trades for crafting. With limited resources and in a very hard market, they have managed to get off the ground and grow the business little by little, and are in high demand for their work all around the city, and even beyond.

Whether she’s using a brush on a canvas or on a marinade, Karen is a tireless worker and always delivers on her promises. Her work is detailed and her professionalism in such a hard industry and 100% customer-facing role is admirable.

Here are some of my favorite Karen pieces:

 

She imitates Britto, but with her own twist, incorporating the culture and folklore of her native Colombia. She uses all mediums fearlessly and creates one of a kind masterpieces, every single week. For this and many more reasons, Karen is my Friends & Family feature this week, and I hope you follow her on her journey as she continues to grow and succeed.

Felicidades prima ❀

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Quickie Crafts: Cake Toppers For Marcel’s Birthday

I can’t remember if I’ve gone into much detail about this, probably not, but I should come clean about something: I cannot for the life of me learn Photoshop. I don’t know what it is, I’m pretty good with software and tech in general, I’m eager to learn how to use such a powerful tool that could take my work to the next level and possibly make my life easier… yet for some reason, I simply stare at the layers, close the program and open PowerPoint.

That’s right. All of my digital work gets done exclusively on PowerPoint. Obviously, PPT is extremely limited in comparison to Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator in what it can accomplish, but I’ve been riding the wave with it, making it work for my needs and milking every tool available until I get the result I’m looking for.

One of the things I’ve gotten good at with PowerPoint is photoshopping people’s heads onto random bodies or objects. I did it once at SAP for an office birthday, and my dear friend Renata asked me if I could do it for her husband Marcel’s birthday, which just so happens to be today! All she asked was to make them funny. I’m heading out there now to help Marcel + 3 other friends and their birthdays, and I’m bringing the cake toppers, courtesy of PowerPoint. Check them out!

Marcel Popeye

Marcel’s head on Popeye’s Body

Pask

Pask absolutely loves cats, so I turned her into one for the day

Joao

Renata’s nephew Joao was born today, so he will forever share a birthday with his uncle Marcel!

Guy

A new friend of the group gets to be Johnny Bravo today

 

And here’s the final look, on the cake!Β 

20171226_151443000_iOS

Not bad for PowerPoint, right? I know, there’s the issue of pixelation and a lot of restrictions but instead of being frustrated, I’m finding ways to get it done. I will try to use Photoshop or Ai at some point, but today was not that day. Gotta go party!