Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Project Monday- Out for a Walk

Can you believe it? I didn't turn on my computer once this weekend. And I wasn't out of town camping, I was home, prepping and planting my vegetable garden. On Saturday I spent pretty much the entire day with my butt in the dirt hand digging the weeds out by the roots from our rock hard Nevada soil. This also helped loosen the soil. Then I turned in some chicken manure, just in time for it to rain. The next day I got together a few more things for the yard, but it was still raining off and on, so we stayed inside. Then, we planted yesterday. After all our hard work, we decided some play was in order, so Celeste and I walked to the park! After a minor detour to get a slurpee of course.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Today I wore...

Something fun and feminine, but cozy too, because its cold! I am going to go to the nursery to pick out some veggies for our garden. Last year I started seeds indoors, which they did well, but once they went into the planter box, they either died or were eaten by aphids. So this year I am buying them already growing for two reasons; first, the saying 'round here goes "never plant tomatoes 'til the snows off Peavine mountain". Peavine got snow last week. Maybe this week too for all I know, I haven't looked, even though it's out my front door. It's pretty much June. And it's cold. So I am afraid the growing season has been cut too short to try seeds. Second, last season was our first season planting in a yard that was barren before we came along. The soil is just not fertile. Too many years of nothing but weeds and rocks has our dirt seriously lacking. So seedlings have a hard time getting up and going I guess. I did plant them in a planter box filled with miracle grow garden soil. It's frustrating. I've never had a problem growing anything until here. More on that later, onto my outfit!

Dress- Thrifted
Sweater- JC Penny
Leggings- Kohl's
Earrings- Mudd
Wellies- Chinese Laundry
Dog- Mine

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blueberry Pie

Blueberry Pie was the first pie I ever made, with my Grandma Oma when I was about ten. We made a lattice crust, and it was perfect. I've tried lattice crusts since, but I am usually too impatient! This recipe is from my 1960's Betty Crocker cookbook, but I can't imagine that blueberry pie recipes change much over the years. While the recipe does call for a tablespoon of lemon juice, I also added lemon zest to give an extra lemony punch. It was delicious!

Two crust pie-crust(9in):
2/3 cup plus 2 TB shortening
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tea salt
4-5 TB cold water

Cut shortening into flour and salt until particles are pea sized. Sprinkle in water, a tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork, until all the flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans the sides of the bowl. Gather pastry into a ball; divide in two; shape into flattened round on floured surface. Roll 2 inches larger than pie plate. Ease into pie plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side.

Blueberry Pie(9in):

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tea cinnamon (opt)
4 cups fresh blueberries (I use frozen)
1 TB lemon juice
Zest (opt)
2 TB butter

Heat oven to 425. Mix sugar flour and cinnamon. Stir in blueberries. Turn into pastry lined pie plate; sprinkle with lemon juice and zest. Dot with butter. Cover with top crust, cut slits, seal edges. Wrap edges in foil to prevent burning. Remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking.

Bake until crust is browned and juices begin to bubble through slits, 35-45 minutes.

This crust was one of the best crusts I've made, even though I forgot the slits. It was perfectly browned, light and flaky. The combination of blueberries and lemon was so refreshing, a perfect end to a springtime day. Served warm with a scoop of vanilla icecream. Enjoy. XO

Monday, May 23, 2011

Project Monday- Vanishing Point

 Picking Flower in Montana

These photos of our walk in Montana during last year's vacation immediately came to mind when I read this weeks Project Monday post over at Bubble Gum Life. When I think of a vanishing point, I think of a viewers eye being drawn in to the photograph by a line that disappears at a point in the image. I think these photos accomplish that effect. I also created a layout using one of my favorite photos from these shots. It's my favorite because the look on my daughters face is so totally her. She is such a dramatic little girl, with everything being so very intense, even picking flowers!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

We Love Art

Okay, how about one more? I came across a sketch site at http://creativescrappers.blogspot.com/ and decided I could fit one more layout in for today, then off to make some dinner. Stuffed bell peppers. Yummy!

Sources:  Paper Cosmo cricket and KI Memories    Stickers: Sassafras   Letters and pin: American Crafts     Ticket: Jenni Bowlin   Flower: Making Memories    Brad: My Mind's Eye   Other:   Clothing tag

Cool Waters

I can't wait for summertime to come! One of the things I miss most about summer is our little day trips up to Tahoe. It's one of the most beautiful places I've seen, and with it being right in my backyard, I can't explain what took me so long to go there! Our parents never took us as children, so it wasn't something that came to mind whenever I thought about going to the lake.
My best friend moved to Seattle last year and she said the she would really miss going to Tahoe, so I decided to go. And fell in love. Every opportunity I got, we drove up to Tahoe to spend the day lounging on the warm sandy beaches and swimming in the cool clear water. They are very restrictive and environmental, so the water is gorgeous!
After our trip to Montana last year, I also fell in love with hiking. I had done a couple hikes, but when my cousin showed us around on a couple hikes in Montana, I realized what  I was doing was glorified walking in the desert. So I picked up a book detailing some trails around Tahoe, and we tried a couple, and it was amazing.
I always pick hikes that are about 3 miles (6 round trip) and to some sort of a destination, like a waterfall or small mountain lake. And every time, during the last half mile, I'm wondering if we're going the right way, this seems like it's taking forever, etc! So I probably will keep it at that length this summer too!

After spending a few hours pulling weeds I decided to do a scrap book layout about our day trips to Tahoe. I chose the background paper because the yellow-orange flowers contrasted well with the blue in my photograph, which is of my daughter Celeste wading into the cool waters of Lake Tahoe.

Sources: Paper, journal tags, photo corner, border strip: Sassafras    Blue border strip and scallop circle punched paper: K&Co    Paint: Adirondack    Adhesive pearls: Making Memories    Brad: My Mind's Eye    Stickers and chipboard button: KI Memories     Plastic Embellishment: Heidi Grace   Label sticker: October afternoon    Chipboard letters and tag: Cosmo Cricket   Other: Saftey pin, lace

Monday, May 16, 2011

Project Monday-Comfort Food

Yay, it's back. I really love the Project Monday photo prompts from Carrie and Gloria over at Bubblegum Life. And the prompts have never stopped coming, if you want to head on over to their blog to check it out. I just couldn't keep up with it towards the end of the semester. My workload became too tremendous, and my Project Monday posts suffered. But I hope to get back into the bloggy swing of things for the summer at least, I am making no promises about next semester!
Comfort food is this weeks topic. I could probably say all food is comfort food for me, I just love food. Especially sweet foods. Hence the almost constant supply of cupcake recipes here on the blog. My Grandma Oma worked at a bakery when I was little, and my favorite thing to pick out of the big shiny cases was eclairs. All the ladies found it pretty funny that this little girl wanted such a particular pastry, but I loved them. Granted, I tried those alluring iced cookies, and had a cupcake or too, but I knew I could always count on the delishness of the eclair. My favorite part, the whipped cream inside. I don't like custard filled eclairs, the whipped ones are the best.

Alas, after my elaborate eclair story, I do not have a picture to share with you of an eclair. But my mouth is watering now. My other comfort foods are cinnamon toast and tea. And thats what I had today. I am a wee bit under the weather, so a nice hot cup of tea was soothing to my sore throat. I remember grandma Oma making me cinnamon toast when I was a little girl staying at her house. I was one of those kids that always wanted "dessert" and that might be why she started giving it to me. But it really is a comfort now. I still sometimes make myself cinnamon toast before bed. Must be great for the metabolism.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Digital Portfolio

So here it is, my final assignment for my Print Media course. Since this was an assignment, every assignment and exercise we completed in the course was required to be in this PDF. So there are a couple things in here that are, well, meh. If I had my way, I would have only included my awesome work, but I had to include the cheeseball "wedding collage" and "melonhead". Please keep in mind these were exercises to teach us how to use tools in Photoshop, they are not a true reflection of my fabulous skills elsewhere.
Norma, my cute little waitress on the front cover and the fifties style signs on the index page, were created in Adobe Illustrator specifically for this PDF. All other works were part of assignments. Hope you enjoy! By the way, while my instructor did say it was beautiful, I was critized for the abundance of hyphenated text in my justified text boxes and my extreme leading on some pages. If I had the program to fix it, I would have, but school's out so it is what it is.
Portfolio Kt

I used some free fonts in some assignments and part of the liscensing restrictions is the inability to be embedded into a PDF. So here are the way those are supposed to look:

And here's a better picture of Norma for you, the PDF appears pretty pixelated.

Friday, May 13, 2011

What I Wore

Yesterday were my final classes for the semester. It feels a little weird to have no obligations. I'm feeling a little aimless at the moment, but I think I am going to put together a list of goals to complete during my time off from school.
I always dress pretty for my critiques. I feel like it's good to represent yourself well alongside your artwork, even if it is just a college class, this is practice for when I will be playing the real part someday. I picked up this little halter dress at the thrift store a while back and it was finally warm enough to wear it. I love the fun polka dot pattern and is retro inspired design. I really didn't have shoes that matched to well, but eh, it works. I also wore my vintage earrings and clipped up a side of my hair with a little bow.
I feel super awkward showing skin because I am so darn pale. Oh well. I still felt fun and girly and summery.
I don't get my grades back from these two classes until monday, but I received an A- in illustration and rendering. I was 4 points shy of an A. That kinda made me upset. But in my Print media course my instructor said my digital portfolio was "beautiful" which feels so awesome. And I get a double gold star for my Adobe Illustrator designs. I will be posting these shortly, it's just a matter of having some more free time to read up on how to embed the PDF here on le blog.

Dress and earrings- thrifted Shoes- Old Navy

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Quick Butter Cake and Seven Minute Frosting- Vintage Recipe

I've been trying to use my Fireside cookbook from 1949 more often. It is difficult to do since I have been so pressed for time in the later half of this semester. But I have great news, tomorrow is the last day of classes. Yay! I can't wait to start getting out of the house, gardening, baking, painting my finger nails, going to the park, oh my head swirls with excitement to think of all the things I normally take for granted! I can't wait to start exercising again too. These past few months I've been eating horribly. This I write as I post yet another cupcake recipe. I can't help myself with the sweets! Doesn't mean I can't eat healthy inspite of my sweet tooth. But lately my survival consists of coffee, tea, chips, bread and sweets. Anything grab and go that doesn't grow!
On to today's recipe. Celeste wanted cupcakes, I wanted quickness. So that is when I decided to try this combination. I actually doubled the Quick butter cake, and yielded twelve cupcakes. The seven minute frosting uses egg whites, so it consistency is like a meringue, but it piped beautifully and held its shape. It hardened slightly on the outside, and remained soft on the inside.

Quick Butter Cake
1 heaping tablespoon butter
6 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 heaping tablespoon baking powder
1/3 cup milk
pinch of salt

Cream butter with 2 tb sugar. Add 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk. Stir until creamy. Add flour, sifted with baking powder and a pinch of salt, alternately with milk. Spread in a well buttered tin. (I used sprayed muffin tin). Brush with a lightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with butter, sugar and cinnamon (I did not do this, but I did put cinnamon in the batter). Bake at 350 for 18-20 or until golden brown.

Seven Minute Frosting
2 unbeaten egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons corn syrup
Flavoring (I used almond extract)

Combine egg whites with sugar, water and corn syrup. Place over boiling water and beat vigorously. Cook approximately seven minutes, or until mixture peaks. Remove from heat, add flavor, and beat until of spreading consistency.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What I Wore

Oh my goodness, it's official, next week is the last week of the semester. Let's see, I have to draw a 15x20 room interior in 2 point perspective with stairs, two incline planes, 2 objects in 1 point perspective and 2 objects rotated to a secondary 2 point perspective. Then I have to create a digital portfolio of this semesters work in InDesign and bring it into Acrobat to make an interactive PDF. And lastly I have to create a Flash animation in which two opposite words of type "attract", it has to be between 40-45 seconds long. Whew! Guess you know what I'm doing this weekend!
It's been warming up subtly, and today we tipped over 80. It's nice, but man is our yard full of weeds. I'm planning on going full force with the veggie garden this year. Last year I gave up after an aphid infestation. A friend at work told me about some organic spray she uses to keep the aphids away, so it's on! I'm expanding my plot size this year and have all sorts of goodies planned for my garden.
I haven't kept up with posting my assignments either, so I have a bunch of those to start sharing soon, I'm looking forward to this much needed break. Get back to family, friends and being home. It makes me so happy just to think about it. On to the outfit post already....

 Shirt & shoes- vintage, thrifted Jeans- Lucky, thrifted Belt- Kohl's Sunglasses- Charlotte Russe

I was a little unsure of this blouse. I fell in love with the gorgeous embroidery, but I still don't know how I feel about having such a large piece of fabric draping off my chest. It's very feminine and flowing, and nice and light for a warm day. The shoes are Mushrooms. SO comfy! Why can't they make shoes this comfy now? A little heel and a little peep toe, easy to walk in but super cute.
Well, hope to be back soon to share some of my art work from the semester and a fantastic cupcake!


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