Monday, February 28, 2011

This weeks project monday photo prompt was framing. Use the surroundings to frame your subject in the photograph. This can be really interesting and fun. I love prompts that help you look at things with a different perspective. Ideas that make you think about things differently. It's always good to challenge your perspective.
With my lovely thoughts on the subject in mind, I totally cheated. I spent all weekend working on assignments, and all this afternoon studying for a quiz tomorrow. So I went back through some of my past photographs and found some examples of how I like to use framing in photography....

 Door ways and stair banisters present wonderful opportunities to frame a subject. I also love how looking through a door way can lend a good sense of perspective and little mystery to a photograph. What's through that doorway? I always find myself wondering.

 Buildings and walls that flank your subject on either side can give the effect of framing. This technique also gives great perspective, driving your eye right towards your subject.

 I absolutely love using mirrors to frame myself within my surroundings in my photographs. As the photographer, I am rarely seen in my photos, so this is a wonderful way to capture me, and remember what I was doing at a particular moment.

I love how the tree limb in the upper portion of this photo frames the photograph.

 And these I took last semester down at Oxbow Printing Press. I love how the wheel of the press creates an interesting frame for my daughter as my subject.

Happy Monday! XO.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

little things that make me happy

So sorry my lovely readers that I missed this Wednesdays Vintage Recipe post. I have been a teensy weensy bit swamped as we are now in the full swing of all my classes. And while I'm doing a ton of work, my blog and Etsy shop are suffering. *sigh* but I am learning valuable skills that will benefit me greatly, and it is a lot of fun in the process. I will be sharing some of my projects shortly!
So we have had snow, snow and well, more snow here lately. It is so ridiculous cold, I don't even want to leave under my blanket on the couch! My computer is in my studio, which is the farthest room away from the furnace, thus the coldest. Super cold. Like more than hour and my fingers and toes go numb. So it's been difficult to do more than my assignments lately. I have been deluding myself with thoughts of Spring, but I know here in Reno, it's pretty far away still. Last year it snowed in June. Yup. June.
But a girl can still dream. I'm dreaming of rain and stomping around in my wellies. Of pretty spring dresses in wonderful hues. Of delicate handbags, and tea on the terrace. Of bright and floral jewelery.

I just adore these Slugs. They're so fun, and functional!

With the combination of my two favorite colors, how could I resist? I love the chain woven through the flower, it's a fun and textural design.

Simple, delicate, light and airy.

I would have so much fun baking some pretty spring time cupcakes in this lovely spring floral apron.

I love having a warm cup of tea and watching the rain fall outside my window.

A lovely, relaxed dress, perfect for a springtime afternoon.

And of course a gorgeous handbag to compliment.

And don't forget your hat when those March winds start blowing!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Project Monday- On a Tuesday

Is this the first time I've been late on a project Monday post? I think it might be so. My auntie and cousins from Montana have made an unexpected trip into town, so things ran a bit late for me last night. And then, after picking up my boyfriend from work we learned that his father had to go to the hospital. Sad. I hate that sort of thing. Anyway, I think all will be okay for now, though I am not entirely knowledgeable on the subject.

Moving on. This weeks photo prompt was to take a picture of someone you love. Just one? I wish I had remembered my camera when visiting with my aunt, but I've been rather terrible lately. I tried snapping some pictures of Celeste, but shes a squirmy little mover, and that's apparent in my pictures. But I still think there neat. It portrays who she is right now. A vibrant little girl so full of light and energy. And a ton of emotion. Before I run off to play a game of Parcheesi (Celeste's new fave) I just wanted to give a quick sorry for the lack of posts lately. Things are really picking up at school so I haven't had as much time for my blog or Etsy shop as I'd like. But fear not friends, I'm still here. XO

Monday, February 21, 2011

project Monday delay...

Hello my friends. Just a quick post from my phone. Today is full of unexpected circumstances, so I will be back tomorrow with my project Monday post for this week. Have a lovely Monday. XO
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

little things that make me happy

I am reminded by this happiness everyday. But lately, it seems to be challenging me! Our family's pets bring such joy into our life, such hilarity, and yes, much upset. Yet, inspite of all that has been ruined, I still love these little monsters.  It so nice to be home alone in an empty house and have a kitty come and curl up on my lap just to say hello. Or to come home to an often overly excited puppy dog nearly every day.
We started with our kitties. I've always wanted cats. When I was little I couldn't, so began my obsession. I used to collect all sorts of cat things. My first two vintage items were cat salt and pepper shakers as well as a cat jewelry holder. So when we moved into the house last year it was a short couple of months later and I couldn't take it any more. I wasn't in an apartment anymore, so I headed down to the Humane Society and adopted Leo and Luna.

We had also planned to have a dog someday, but we just simply couldn't afford. We still can't really, but we sacrificed. Penny was my best friends dog. But their family made the decision to move out of state and could not find an apartment that would accept her due to weight restrictions. It was actually a wonderful opportunity for both of us. We got a dog we couldn't have gotten on our own, and they know she is in a loving home.


She is such a part of the family, but she is not without her challenges. I put new sod in the backyard last summer, and it is the only place she will go to the bathroom. There are holes dug in every other place in the backyard, including the repeated digging up of a plum tree I planted. She has chewed up numerous plastic items left in her vicinity. Yesterday she chewed up a new pair of vintage leather oxfords I thrifted. And to think I was being nice by not leaving her out in the snow while I was out of the house! And as I write there is stuffing from another chewed up toy being strewn about my living room. Yay.

But we love her, and it's hard to stay mad at that girl! I just learn my lessons. Don't leave her in the house. Don't turn your back on your food. Don't plant anything in the backyard. You know, etc., etc.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Vintage Cooking- Burnt Sugar Cake

My Mom's birthday was this past Sunday and I like to make her a cake. I think everyone should have a cake for their birthday, and homemade ones are the best! I saw this Burnt Sugar Cake recipe and my interest was immediately sparked. How could burnt anything be delicious? Well, it's not really burnt, it's quite flavorful and moist and not too heavy. I decided to try the frosting the recipe suggested, caramel frosting. I'm not sure if it was my fault, but the frosting came out in a consistency that made it virtually unspreadable. It just balled up and stuck to my spatula and not the cake! Needless to say, I am omitting the frosting recipe from this post because I would hate for a reader to try it and end up with a difficult frosting as I did.  The flavor of the cake would combine well with almost any flavor of frosting, and every one is sure to love this delicious dessert.

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

Heat 1/2 cup of the sugar in heavy 8 in. skillet, stirring constantly, until sugar is melted and golden brown. Meanwhile bring water to boil. Remove sugar from heat and slowly stir in boiling water (careful, I steamed my finger!). Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar lumps are dissolved. Add enough water to syrup, if necessary, to measure 1/2 cup; cool.
Heat oven to 375. Grease and flour to 9in pans. Beat egg whites in small mixer bowl until foamy. Beat in 1/2 cup sugar on high speed, one tablespoon at a time, until stiff and glossy. Do not underbeat.
Beat butter, 1/2 cup sugar, egg yolks and vanilla in large mixer bowl, on low 30 sec. Scrape sides, beat on high 5 min. Beat in syrup. Beat in flour, baking powder, and salt alternately with milk. Fold in meringue. Pour into pans.
Bake until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20-25 min. Cool 10 min. Remove from pans. Cool completely. Frost.

Recipe  from Betty Crocker's Cookbook, circa 1970.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines! Project Monday- In the Shape of a Heart

This one was tough! I looked around all weekend, everywhere I went (which isn't a lot of places!) and I didn't find the shape of a heart anywhere! So I made my own... by drawing a heart with my finger in the spilled flour from my Mom's birthday cake. I made her a Burnt Sugar cake with Caramel Frosting. I will share the cake recipe later, but the frosting was a weird consistency, so I'll save you the time of trying that recipe. It still tasted good, it was just incredibly difficult to spread on the cake.

For Valentine's my sweetie and I don't really go all out. In fact, I told him not to get me anything, and he said the same. But we both didn't listen and got each other a little something and went out to eat last night. He got me an amethyst heart necklace and I got him a CD (I'm so lovingly awesome, right?) But miss Celeste made out, we got her some hair clips (hearts!) and tights and knee highs, and a nightgown with a matching mini one for her doll. She loved it!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

little things that make me happy

 This morning I was looking through pictures of my best friend's first craft show for her hair bow business, and it made me realize how much I miss her.  She moved to Washington this past summer and she was really the only person I would get together with. And I miss that. I miss just hanging out and scrapbooking together, or enjoying a glass of wine and watching ghost adventures and laughing our asses off. Now I laugh by myself.

 So it got me thinking that it's the little things that make me happy. Yeah the big things are happiness too, but the little things are those moments you treasure all by yourself, the moments that are usually considered insignificant but mean something to you. So I think this will be another of my new weekly posts, little things that make me happy. And this week it is Coffee with a Friend. It is something so simple, but it really does make me happy to just sit and enjoy a cup of coffee with a good friend, and laugh and have a good conversation. Something we don't really think about, but it is truly a wonderful thing.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

todays haul

Today I took Celeste to the dollar store to get Valentine's for her school. I know what your thinking, but I tried to convince her that we could make way cuter ones ourselves, but she wanted to buy them. Anyway, while we were there I decided to check out the goodwill bargain bin next door. I found four different circa 1965 Better Homes & Gardens cookbooks, including a bbq one! I aso picked up an old school book called Insights, it still has its library checkout card on the inside cover, which I think is awesome. Lastly I picked up two frames, one for a project I have in mind, the other because I think the old original fill paper in the frame is going to make cool wall art, and a embroidered octagonal clock because I love embroidery. All this for $6.50!
I find what people tend to thrift so fascinating. Everyone is hunting for their own personal treasure (childhood cookbook) and it is neat. I'm always checking out what other people are getting. Sometimes I can't even imagine what they're doing with things like 3 hub caps. What do you thrift for? XO
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Vintage Recipe- Starlight Cupcakes with Penuche Frosting

I've been thinking to myself for quite sometime now about how I want to start having more regular weekly posts, especially for recipes. I do love to bake, and I share my recipes on this blog as often as I remember to snap a picture of my food! What was holding me back was the fact that a lot of blogs I enjoy also do regular weekly recipe posting, and I don't really want to come off as a copy cat! In my quest to rediscover the Better Homes and Gardens cook book I grew up with as a child, I have been accumulating some pretty neat Vintage recipe collections.
So I thought I'd introduce to you my new weekly segment, "Vintage Recipes"! I hope to bring to you some inspiring recipe choices, but also ones that are fairly easy. I am a working mother attending college, so time is always important, as I'm sure it is to all of you as well. This first recipe is an adaptation from Betty Crocker's Cookbook New and Revised Edition (1969, 1978). The best part, now including microwave recipes- ooooh.
The Recipe is for Starlight Cake, which I made into mini cupcakes. This was the time consuming part. It is not a quick and easy feat to pour batter into the mini pan, but I just got it and was dying to use it.

Starlight Cake

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs

Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour pan. (13x9x2, or 2 8-9in rounds, or cupcake tin) Beat all ingredients in large mixer bowl on low speed, scraping bowl constantly, 30 seconds. Beat on high, scraping bowl frequently, 3 minutes. Pour into pan(s). (Fill cupcake tins 1/2 full)
Bake until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Oblong pan, 40 to 45min, layers 30-35min. (My mini tin took 13min). Cool; frost.

Penuche Frosting
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 cups powdered sugar

Heart butter in saucepan until melted. Stir in brown sugar. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir over low heat 2 min. Stir in milk, heat to boiling. Remove from heat and cool until lukewarm. Stir in powdered sugar gradually. Plan pan of frosting into a bowl of ice water, beat until frosting is smooth and spreadable. If frosting becomes too stiff, heat slightly stirring constantly.

I frosted my cupcakes using the cookbook's "twirl" method. It helped speed up the frosting of so many little cupcakes! Enjoy. XO. K.


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