San Jose Museum of Art

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The San Jose Museum of Art is Purple House Blog Museum of the Month.

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I enjoyed my visit to the San Jose Museum of Art and would recommend it to anyone.  A docent there told me that the oldest piece of art that they own is from 1959, so although they don’t call themselves a contemporary art museum, they only display new art.

Exhibits

The museum is mostly comprised of temporary exhibits with added pieces from their permanent collection.  The museum could take on a whole new look and feel with each traveling exhibit.  The main two exhibits Hidden Heroes and Around the Table were fantastic!

Hidden Heroes: The Genius of Everyday Things

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This exhibit told the history of household items using vintage commercials and print ads.  The creatively decorated exhibit boxes were as innovative as the inventions they displayed.

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Around the Table

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I thought an art exhibit about food would be boring, but the pieces were surprising and creative.  The exhibit even smelled of food.  Fantastic!

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Information about the museum

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Tickets: Adults $8, Students and Seniors $5, Children (six & under) Free, Museum members Free

Hours: TUES– SUN 11 AM – 5 PM,  CLOSED MON

Tours: Public tours of exhibitions are offered Tuesday–Sunday at 1 and 2:30PM.

Location: The museum is located in downtown San Jose at 110 South Market Street.

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Parking: The museum does not have its own parking lot.  You must park in one of the many public parking spots in downtown San Jose.

Photography: Non-flash photography is only permitted in: lobby, café and skybridge landing.

Time allowance: I was there for less than two hours.  You may need more or less depending on your museum going style.

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Gift shop: There is a nice gift shop at the San Jose art museum. It’s on the small side, however.  I wanted to buy a postcard of some artwork that I saw in the Around the Table exhibit and I couldn’t find anything in the gift shop.  I did notice that they had some cool jewelry and housewares by local artists.

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Cafe: There is a cafe in the museum that serves sandwiches, salad, and soup.  I had a nice cup of coffee and a warm cherry turnover.

Ice Skating: They set up an ice skating rink in front of the museum in late November.  They sell joint museum and skating tickets at the museum.

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Photos come from the San Jose Museum of Art website.

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Thanksgiving Rad or Bad

Vote on these thrift store Thanksgiving household items!

Hello everyone!  I have been traveling for over a week and I am going through crafting (and blogging) withdrawal!  I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving.  Today, since it’s a holiday, you get to vote RAD or BAD on two thrift store items.  Take a look.  Holiday decorations can be so ugly, don’t you think? Enjoy!

Ceramic Turkey Platter

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This painted turkey platter is a tad on the ugly side, but it could be considered “ugly cool.”  What do you think?  I don’t think I’d put a turkey on it.  What would you put on this platter?

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Corn Cob Mouse Figurine

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What’s Thanksgiving without a creepy mouse figurine?  This figurine has a lot of details.  The ears are made from fabric and the whiskers are plastic.  It doesn’t do much but sit on the shelf although you could store something in his wheel barrow.

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DIY Fruit and Herb Soap

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Are you stuck for gifts this Christmas?  Why not give your own homemade soap?!  I was nervous about making my own soap, but it ended up being really easy!!

You can mix fresh herbs with fresh fruit in any combination that you want.  I made three types of soap: grapefruit mint, strawberry rosemary, and lemon thyme.

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Supplies:

Soap molds or empty food containers
Cooking spray
Unscented glycerin soap base
Large heat-resistant glass measuring cup
Knife
Assorted citrus peels, berries, and herbs (I used lemon zest, grapefruit zest, strawberry, mint, thyme, and rosemary)

Melting Soap and Preparing Molds

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Find soap molds or empty food containers to set soap in.  I used one soap mold and an empty cottage cheese container.  Decide what types of soap your are going to make and which containers you are going to use to make each type.

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Find out how much glycerin soap base you will need for each type of soap by filling up your container with water and then pouring the water into your measuring cup.  Measure each type of soap separately.  Dry your measuring cup and molds after you measure.

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Cut up your glycerin soap base into little cubes following the grooves of the soap.

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Add enough soap cubes to make the first type of soap.

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Cover the measuring cup with paper towel and then microwave for 30 seconds.

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Add more cubes of soap base until you get the correct amount.

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Continue to microwave for 30 seconds at a time until soap is melted.

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Stir soap until smooth.

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Spray your molds with cooking spray.  This will help you remove the soap from the mold once they’ve set.

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If your soap mold is uneven like mine, prop up on two bowls.

Strawberry Rosemary Soap

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For one cup of soap, add one strawberry and the leaves from two rosemary sprigs.

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Mix on high in a food processor to make a pulp.

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Add fruit and herb pulp to melted glycerin and mix well.

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Pour mixture into the prepared mold.

Lemon Thyme Soap

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For one cup of soap, use the zest from half a lemon and the leaves of two sprigs of thyme.

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Mix on high in a food processor to make a pulp. If pulp is dry, add a couple of teaspoons of water to the mix a little at a time.

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Add fruit and herb pulp to melted glycerin and mix well.

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Pour mixture into the prepared mold.

Grapefruit Mint Soap

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For two cups of soap, add the zest from 1/4 of a grapefruit and about 10 mint leaves.

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Mix on high in a food processor to make a pulp.  If pulp is dry, add a couple of teaspoons of water to the mix a little at a time.

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Add fruit and herb pulp to melted glycerin.

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Mix well.

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Pour mixture into prepared mold.

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You can remove the layer of bubbles on the top if you wish.

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When the top bubbled layer solidifies, remove it.  It will stick to your fingers and will come off easily.

Final Steps

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Let soap harden at room temperature for one hour.

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Transfer molds to freezer for 2 hours.

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Take soap out of freezer.  Soap should remove easily from molds.

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Frozen soap will sweat while defrosting.

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Once thawed, trim edges as needed.

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Cut soap made from a food container into a square.

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Then slice into bars.

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Your beautiful and fragrant soap is ready to give as a gift!  Wrap soap in a plastic gift bag and add a ribbon!

Corn Dish and Tray–Rad or Bad

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I spend a lot of time thrifting housewares and sometimes I come across an unusual item that I think just might be so ugly it’s cool. I mean sure, if you saw this at your great-aunt’s house you might think it’s lame, but what if you saw it in your hip friend’s kitchen?

It is time for you to vote!  What do you think about this corn serving bowl and platter?

DIY Decorative Mossy Rocks

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Decorative mossy rocks are a great way to add texture and color to a window or candle display.  I am always looking for ways to add color and life to my home decor.  This fun and easy project is striking and versatile.

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Materials:

Green moss
Scissors
River rocks
Elmers glue all
Container lid or plate
Craft sticks

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You can find bags of moss at your local craft store.

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Cut up moss into small pieces.

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Smaller pieces will stick to the rocks better and will give you a more polished look.

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As you pick apart the moss, take out and discard the sticks and straw.

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Cut a good amount of moss for the project.

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Squeeze out some glue on a container lid or plate.

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Spread a layer of glue on one side of the rock with a craft stick.

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Put the glue side of the rock into a bowl of cut up moss.

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When you remove the rock from bowl it should have a nice thick layer of moss attached to it.

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Pat down the moss to secure it to glue. Once you have finished the first side of all the rocks, wait one hour and repeat on other side.  Let the second side dry for an additional hour.

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Inspect rocks and look for areas that need to be touched up.

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Add glue to bare rock and dip it in the moss.

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Repeat until all rocks are fully covered with moss.

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For tiny spots, add glue directly from the glue bottle.

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Let glue dry for 24 hours.

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The next day brush off excess moss from rocks. and trim stray pieces of moss with scissors.  You may need to touch a few more bare spots the next day.

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Sparkling Water with Grapefruit and Mint

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This beverage is refreshing and not overly sweet.  Don’t mistake this for soda!   If you wanted to booze it up add rum and lime juice.

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Ingredients:

Several mint leaves
4 slices of ruby red grapefruit
1 packet of stevia (optional)
12 oz. sparkling water

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Add grapefruit, mint, and stevia to a tall glass.

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This is the stevia that I used.

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Muddle ingredients with a muddler or back of a wooden spoon.

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Add sparkling water to muddled ingredients.

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The sparkling water will bubble up like crazy. Enjoy!

Skinny Scrambled Eggs with Cheddar and Rosemary

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This delicious breakfast dish is made skinny by adding an egg and egg whites.  The cheddar gives the eggs an appetizing yellow color.  Make this a complete breakfast by adding berries and whole wheat toast.  This dish is fast enough to cook during the week.  Yum!

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Ingredients:

Butter flavor cooking spray
1 egg
6 tablespoons of egg whites from a carton or the whites of 2 eggs
1 thin slice of sharp cheddar
Cracked pepper
A few rosemary leaves
Garlic salt (optional)

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Spray pan with cooking spray.  Add egg, egg whites, torn up cheese and pepper.  Do not mix.

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Next add rosemary.  I pick a few leaves and tear it up with my fingers.  You can add more or less to suit your tastes.

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Cook eggs gently on medium heat.  Stir mixture lightly.

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After several minutes you will see eggs start to cook.  Stir gently.

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It is best not to over-stir the eggs.  This recipes do not call for milk, so eggs can dry out if over-mixed.  Cooking at a lower temperature helps to keep the moisture in the eggs.

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Continue to stir until the eggs are done.

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You can top eggs with garlic salt and more pepper if you wish. Enjoy!