Thursday, December 20, 2012

High Tide

This picture.

Final in this calendar series. Additionally, it's my least favorite. Too muddy. No one guessed this picture, but here is the good news: if you guessed at all, I'm sending you a calendar! Yay for you! Yay for us! Yay for everyone!

kristen mrdjanov

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I know it's not the last illustration but...

You're looking at Dewalt's newest Drill Competition Champion at Home Depot. Fastest Dude to drill 5 screws in a row. Hands off Ladies...this handyman is taken. Additionally, he did NOT screw his finger into the board, as did another contestant.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Calendar Contest

We're feeling in the Holiday spirit! If you guess which image has been selected from below for the final piece of calendar art by 8am CST on Monday morning, I will send you three calendars in the mail to share with your lovely friends, and a silly note from me and Rach. (This is not chronological, so could be for any month of the year). Guess in the comments section: illustrated image will be up on Monday.

Also, if a friend indicates you've shared our blog with calendar for you
(limit one each person, let's not go overboard)!

Tree Tops

This photo.

I couldn't sleep last night.
One more in this calendar series...


<Last 'crafted' post: Dirty Laundry
>Next 'crafted' post:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Through a Dark Mirror, Dimly


My husband will tell you that I am my gender’s biggest critic.  I cringe at the thought of being swallowed into women’s events: at being surrounded by mindless prattle. Don’t get me wrong: I often enjoy myself once there, and am guilty of “loving her shoes”, but in general, the thought of entering into it is painful. Lots of...fluff.  The longer I am on this planet, the more I realize that I share my father’s loathe of small talk.  And, I realize that while some of my rough edges have gotten shaved off by life, in many ways I have become sharper. Not in the intellectual sense.

Monday, December 10, 2012

DIY: Memory Jars

Last year, I was looking to create gifts for my family that were meaningful and wouldn't break the bank. I also was itching to get crafty! These memory jars were so much fun to do and pretty well-received and appreciated. They just took a little more time than finding that video game on your bro's wish list. (Sorry, Paul.) ;)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Chi-Town Love.

Rachel sent this to me today. I'm betting it sings to you in the morning.

Favorite Andrew Bird song? This is mine.

A little love-

RM and KM

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Night Lights


I like looking out the windows while trapped inside at work. Seeing the sun setting and knowing I will soon be both entering and leaving work in darkness... well, scenes like these are a comfort. They are a consolation prize that actually mean something to me.

Real thoughts after the jump...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Agape: Through it all.

Always to and fro

Before I headed back to Ohio for Thanksgiving, a friend asked me what I was most looking forward to.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Jeweled Brown Sugar Cranberry Tart


I was told to bring whatever I wanted to Thanksgiving this year, so we brought two desserts...Pumpkin Cheesecake with Eggnog Caramel, and this Brown Sugar Cranberry Tart. In preliminary taste tests, this tart was the favorite, but I do have a tenuous relationship with Pumpkin. I know Thanksgiving is over, but there is still more than a month to scarf enjoy festive desserts. The cranberries are so pretty in the custard!

Friday, November 16, 2012


So... this is going on at right now.

I also look like I just rolled out of bed, but maybe that's the beachy look they were going for?

Maybe it was just a Hard Day's Night. Either way, some of these pictures could end up in my mom's photo album.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Room with a View

I like taking walks at night because I like peeking into other people's lives. Lights are on: pockets of lives on display. I know.... it's creepy. Olden day Facebook, if you will. There's something mystifying about how we are all living simultaneously, completely oblivious of each other. I also like looking at other people's photo albums. Some think that's creepy too. Maybe you feel the same way. Either way, peeping or not, here are some pictures from this last weekend. Don't feel obligated to click through unless you're my mom.

Melt, Cleveland and it's 'cheesy' decor.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
The destruction of Thomas in Words with Friends

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cornmeal-Crusted Trout with Warm Tomato Salsa

I know. Fish are a polarizing food. Whole fish are especially polarizing. We didn't eat a lot of fish growing up, although we asked for fish sticks as kids, which my mom didn't pretend to understand. Really? You want these? With Ketchup? Really?

As a poor college student, I definitely didn't eat fish. Too expensive. I was also too busy eating rice and salsa, which was about the extent of my culinary prowess.

However, I do like fish. David didn't grow up on fish either, so we're en-devouring on this journey together. How exactly to you scale a fish? How do you bone it? Why go to all this effort when you can roast a chicken in 45 minutes flat and not even have to look at the weird fish eye staring at you? 

Because, my precious: "The rock and pool, is nice and cool, so juicy sweet. Our only wish, to catch a fish, so juicy sweet."

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Impossible To Know: Degrees of Separation

This is long overdue, y'all.

Impossible To Know by Kelly Condron from JakeVK on Vimeo.

So rewindin' back to July: I was asked by ma friend Jake to help with a music video he was plannin' on shooting for musician Kelly Condron.

I can't recall how I responded to him, but I remember thinking, "Umm... yeah!"

This is where six degrees of separation comes in. There are more connections in this video than I can keep track of, and that's what I find most awesome about this adventure.

Trembling Hands

This song.

Lots of love,
kristen mrdjanov
<Last 'crafted' post: Pencil Light
>Next 'crafted' post:
The Thinker

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A short note to parents of teenagers.

A short note to parents of teenagers:

I was asked what advice I'd give parents of teenagers. I’m not a parent, but I’ll share the two things I most appreciated about my parents.  Both are related to transparency: on your kids' part, and on your part.

Pencil Light

This picture.

This series.

Think hard. Work hard. Play hard.


kristen mrdjanov
<Last 'crafted' post: Mirror Mirror 
>Next 'crafted' post:
Trembling Hands

Friday, October 26, 2012

An Ode to Warmth

::sigh:: I think our Golden Days are coming to a close. How sweet was our Indian Summer? With the reports on Hurricane Sandy and the "early winter" forecasts (hyperbolic in nature, but yikes...), I've been taking in the last touches of warmth while I can. Grateful for those sun spots...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A letter to my 16 year old self. Part 1.

Hey Guys! We always appreciate your supportive emails, and especially enjoy the blogging suggestions.  Someone recently asked me what advice I would give to my high school self.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Anchors, Futures, & Everything in Between.

Solomon: (Rising.) You see, it’s also, this particular furniture—the average person he’ll take one look, it’ll make him very nervous.
VICTOR: Why’ll it make him nervous?

Because he knows it’s never gonna break.

Friday, October 12, 2012

What's in a name?

This is the man responsible for MRDJ.
I get it. This half of RMK has a difficult name.

My new friend, Peta Niehaus (who does a fun doodle everyday on her facebook) had this to say:

"Kristen. Your last name is completely impractical. I've tried saying it a three whole times, got flustered, and then left my computer weeping."
I really don't like making people cry. I also noticed on an old blog of David and mine that half the hits came from "How to say Mrdjanov", so I'll solve the name conundrum for you.

My former co-worker explained it best. Think of a highway. Merge on. off. (it's actually 'ove', but if you can say Merge-on-off I'll be happy enough with that).

See? Easy. You're a pro now.

kristen mrdjanov

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Slice of Life

So, we've been absent. And now we feel guilty about it. Below is a little slice of our lives over the last few weeks.
Fall. Getting the chef on. Triplets. Nana. Fall. Marathon. Clothing swap.

Life's been pretty fun.

kristen mrdjanov

A (brief) hiatus. (That's almost over).

Don't think our absence means you've been forgotten. We've been baking, sewing, hosting, and loving galore.  We'll update and get back on track soon. PROMISE.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tyger Tyger

In 3rd grade, we had a to memorize a poem. I memorized William Blake's "The Tyger". Reading it now, I'm 100% sure I had no idea what it meant. Just that I got to say the word "Tyger", and the words sounded cool together.

The same is kind of true for this band, whose show I tried pretty hard to get to last night, but failed miserably. After fighting traffic (and losing), I went home, moped, put their music on,  and baked some bread.  I'm 100% sure I have no idea what the lyrics mean, but the acoustic jazz ensemble overlaid by traditional Hindustani vocals in a sort of indie style...sounds SO cool together.  Like nothing you've ever heard.

And Guess what? If you live near Normal, IL; Cincinnati, OH; NYC; Indianapolis, IN; or here in home sweet Chicago, you can see them this month too! Which is good news for me (shows after the jump).

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall on the Prairie

^ The corner folded over on me!
Illustrating this picture.
This just feels like fall to me.

To you, from me,

kristen mrdjanov

<Last 'crafted' post: Repurposed Magazine Envelopes

>Next 'crafted' post: Skipping Stones

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fat Bottom Quiche

We host guests often.

Part of hosting is providing a bang-a-rang breakfast to start everyone's day.  That being said, I'm not a morning person. Me and my pillow are best friends at 6am.  This means, I try to get everything ready in advance, so all I have to do is pull things that have already been prepared in my zombie state.

Y'all are smart, so I'm sure you already know about baking bacon. If you don't bake your bacon, please start ASAP, and here is why (as if you needed reasons):

1. It makes less mess. You're not going to have bacon grease splattered all over your range, your teapot, your favorite shirt, your kitchenaid... I'm a mess. Anything I can do to alleviate my natural propensity toward turning everything in the kitchen into a cleaning war zone is quickly added to my list.
2. Bacon grease is at least 25% of the reason why I love bacon. Bakin' bacon means that the fat is rendered very gracefully (yes, gracefully) from the meat. The fat does not have burned particles floating throughout, and can be very easily poured off into a bowl/tupperware to save for Magical breakfast dishes. Like the crust of this Fat Bottom quiche.
3. You have bacon on hand for whenever. For breakfast in the morning (just flash in the pan, and they're ready to serve). Or for, you know...whenever the 'bacon mood' strikes. Which for me is at least every two hours.
4. Oh yeah. You can spend your time doing more important things than bakin' bacon.

So, if you love quiche, bacon, easy cleanup and easy preparation, this recipe is for you.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Repurposed Magazine Envelopes

Along the lines of the Repurposed CD Jackets, I rarely threw away my Anthropologie or Free People catalogues. They were just too pretty. Ethereal. 

Well, a few years later, and I had a stack of 'pretty' catalogues that I had moved to a new apartment. Instead of looking through and sighing at the dream-like pictures, I instead started ripping out the pages. Some I made into wrapping paper (future feature), and some I made into envelopes for letters, small gifts and my cards. 

Envelopes are not hard. At least, these aren't hard.  Instructions follow below.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Share the Love: Repurposed CD Jackets

About a year ago, I realized I was hoarding my letter-writing supplies for some indiscriminate future time. I am not geographically close to a single person in my family, nor many of the friends I grew up with, so I decided to start scribbling and stamping. "Someday" rarely arrives, and I imagined still saving my pretty paper, even in my old age.  We tend to save our love for grandiose gestures. 

I love imagining new uses for things.  I also realized recently that while I have moved five times in the five years I've lived in Chicago, I've saved ridiculous things because, "someday I will find a cool use for them". For example, I have a little box of all cd jackets from every cd I've ever owned. Why? Because. Someday.

Well, recently, that day arrived. Because I'm tired of moving boxes of  'someday'.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Double Exposure

Attempt at drawing a double exposure. 
Illustrating this picture
If it's too big for yer screen, try pressing CTRL and the minus sign a few times.

Love to you,

Kristen m

<Last 'crafted' post:
Illustrio Obscura Duo
>Next 'crafted' post: Repurposed CD Jackets

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Illustrio Obscura Duo

A continuation of this series...
Illustrating this picture.

Love God, love others, and lots of love to YOU from me,

<Last 'crafted' post:
Repurposed Denim Quilt 
>Next 'crafted' post: Double Exposurek SDouristen mrdjanov

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