12.30.2008

pas chambre romantique

Translation: My bedroom is not pretty, nor romantic, nor anything I'd like for it to be!! I want it to be warm, inviting, rustic, charming, with a touch of "romance." I'm not even sure what romantic looks like but all those HGTV shows say it!!

So, I've always prided myself on my decorating skills. I love it when people walk into my house and tell me how wonderful it looks. The rest of the house is done, except the bedroom and I'm just creatively dried up for that. I never thought I could say that!



So this is a picture of my bedroom as it is now. I love my headboard and matching bookshelf/nightstand. I also love how luxurius and hotel like my bedspread is, along with 12 matching pillows! (thank you Chris Madden collection) I really wasn't a big fan of gold colors until this came along. Now so long as its a muted gold, I love it! Other than that the paintings can be moved either around the room or completely out of it.
This is the current layout of my bedroom. I couldn't find a tape measure without driving 5 minutes across town to my husbands shop, so the room size is a rough estimate. Basically, give or take a foot. I have an upright piano, armchair and ottoman, and dresser with tv to also consider.

This is how I'm thinking of re-arranging the room. The only problem is with the window. It faces East so the morning light can be vicious. But I also figure that with some good curtains that problem could be solved.
Please, be honest! Lots of input is necessary. I have a gift card to hobby lobby and some Christmas cash burning holes in my wallet! LOL.

12.21.2008

Swirly Twirly Sugar Cookie Forrest


Here is more sugary goodness - this time I made swirled sugar cookies! I took just a package mix of sugar cookie dough, halved it and rolled one half into a ball with some food dye in the middle. Then worked the dye into the dough. After that I used 2 sheets of wax paper to roll out the dough on a cookie sheet to make it a rectangular shape. I did the same with the non dyed dough. Then placed the red dough on top of the white. I rolled them up then used a white sprinkle on the outside for decoration and taste,then refridgerated for a couple hours.


Tip: You can take thread and wrap it around your cookie tube and pull. This should give you near perfect circles without squishing the dough! In the picture the smaller pieces in the back are still just dough, so that you can see what it looks like before and after. Happy Baking!

Visions of Sugar Plums

Okay, so maybe not "plums" persay - but definitely visions of sugar! I decided to try to make a batch of butter rum hard candy yesterday. I am normally a cinnamon candy person. My family loves cinnamon candy, especially those FireBall candies. But rather than voluntarily burning my skin, eyes, and of course mouth again this year I went for a nice, safe, butter rum. Just like the life savers (my favorite!).

I guess let me back track and explain my prior statement of burning for a moment. Last years hard candy making was a bit of a disaster on my part. I made a double batch, 2 dram hard cinnamon candy. During the process you wait until you are at 260° to add coloring, then add the flavor at 300° while removing the heat. Adding a cold oil based product into a sugar creates a lot of steam. This steam will hit you in the face if you aren't careful. I wasn't careful enough and got a face load of cinnamon steam last year and my eyes burned for a full 10 minutes before I could keep the tears out of my eyes! On top of that I had spilled part of one of the drams on my wrist and it quite literally burned my skin! And this was before it was ever hot! Then rather than grab the parchment paper like I had planned I grabbed the wax paper and wound up with a paper coating on my candy. To top it all of while breaking it up into smaller pieces a shard broke off and cut my hand, thus also burning it with the cinnamon oil.


So, bad experience with cinnamon candy? Yes! A nice, safe, butter rum was in order this year.


I died it green just for fun, because I wasn't really sure how to achieve a rum, amber color. My second batch will be red and I'll mix them together. While it was stiff and cooling I took a Christmas tree, mini cutter and pressed it over and over into the candy. It makes for random pieces of design in each bite!


Hope you've enjoyed this adventure in Candy Land!

12.17.2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Chocolate Chip Cherry Cookies! Yes, friends they are just as amazing as they sound! If you LOVE Maraschino cherries like I do, you'll love these babies too!

I made one batch and rolled the rest in wax paper in a roll put it in a freezer bag and popped it in the freezer so that a little closer to the holidays I can slice and bake more!

Windows Vista on the new laptop is acting funny. I can be typing and it'll randomly jump to another place... so if there are weirdly misspelled words, that's why, lol.

Woo hoo Holiday baking!


Recipe:
I don't use semi-sweet chips though, I use the ghiradelli milk chocolate chips and I added the cherry stuff to the recipe which is just ridiculously simple. lol. INGREDIENTS
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 large jar Maraschino cherries
DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips. Drain maraschino cherries and fold into dough. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.
Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.

12.07.2008

Christmas and Photography

Well it's getting to be that time of year. Santa is checking his list and I'd be willing to bet those reindeer are in peak physical condition by now. Husband and I are trying not to feel so bah-humbuggy because somehow we got left behind in JULY and missed the rest of the year. It just doesn't even feel like it should be Christmas time yet. So we decided to put up the tree and now it does feel a bit more like Christmas. Our tree is 9ft tall and was a gift from my mother-in-law last year. She found it at the goodwill. Apparently, Target stores donate their displays. After being stored last year there is apparently a short in a 1ft section of the tree and it blinks rather than stays lit. Oh well, I'll just unwrap that section after this year and buy some new lights for it. The photo caught that section on one of its off blinks, lol! I'm so glad we actually have a ceiling this year that can handle a 9 ft tree plus a 12" star topper. More pictures later in the week, my husband bought me a wide angle lens for Christmas and it'll be here Thursday! Hooray!

Here we have a picture of an elusive creature who is normally very camera shy. Or rather just hates have his picture taken. It's my husband working very hard at his new job and grinding some metal for hand rails. He was hired to make them for a city beautification project. After he gets done with the 6 pairs for this city, our city has hired him to make several more! YAY!

12.05.2008

Chili Night

It's Chili night for a chilly night! It's 6:20pm now and already 35 degrees!

I haven't been in the mood to craft much so I decided to treat you to what was going on in the kitchen. We are still moving but my allergies due to cotton season have been awful to deal with. Between my asthma acting up and migranes or working during the day I haven't been up to much in the evenings beyond sitting on my bum or cooking. Cotton harvest is on its way to the end though so I assume things will be back to normal shortly. In the mean time enjoy the chili! :D

12.02.2008

Still Moving

So now that Thanksgiving is over, we have just about 2 weeks left to move from the old house to this new house. I'm a little bit overwhelmed by having to set up temporarily in the garage rather than my pretty little studio. Mainly because the garage is a complete disaster zone. Just need the roof on the studio to be patched, then we can paint in there, build some shelves and I'll be good to move in! If I'm not working tomorrow I'll be working on it until hubby gets home from work.

I can honestly say I haven't crafted a bit since I packed up that room. I have been working like crazy for money for a new lens though. The 15th I'll pick out my brand new (to me) 18-55mm canon lens. I'm stoked! Yay for wide angle shots! Now I won't have to worry about being at very least 4 feet away from my subject!

If you haven't ever listened to the band Muse. I seriously suggest you give them a try. Supermassive Black Hole is my favorite song right now. :)