Thursday, December 31, 2009
"Holga cameras are medium-format toy film cameras that are cheaply made and known for light leaks, overexposure, vignetting and vivid colors. [see photo above] The Holga would be considered by many people a cheap clunker. But the Holga has recently made a comeback with a cult following of those who feel its imperfections make the camera mysterious and every image unique."---from "How to Use a Holga Camera" on ehow.com.
I am not a photographer, yet. I am an artist. As an artist, I like direct results and total control. So this little camera, where anything may happen and I can't even see WHAT HAS HAPPENED until the film develops [and that film and processing is only available in limited places...that is NOT at Walmart or Walgreens (yeah!!!)] will be a step into unchartered territory for me! I am excited about the new direction, and will keep you posted!
BTW, it is all my daughter's fault that I find myself in this situation. A week ago, I didn't have a clue about the existence of this toy.
Laura told me that she is waiting for hers to arrive. It had been ordered as a Christmas gift.
Then she showed me photos on-line and blogs which featured the camera's output. Hmmm, a new toy and it can be used for blogging???? There was no way to resist placing that order! [and wonder what I was getting myself "into"!]
Today, I was browsing through shops in quaint, downtown Siloam Springs, AR with my friend, Sally. We had finished a fine lunch at the English Tea Room and went into an art gallery/retro/vintage shop. There on the shelf was a HOLGA! I could show her what I was talking about. [I visit Sally "once in a blue moon" which of course, is today, LOL!....the art gallery had a landscape entitled, "Once in a blue moon".]
On my way home, I phoned our house. "Dear Mr. Pear" told me that I had a package waiting...so I confessed that I had ordered the Holga and told him I will share...[he has been a photographer for years....we'll see if he uses it.?]
Next year (next week) I will get some 120 film (a friend has some rolls he has offered to me) and get started...just point and shoot, right?
BUT, tomorrow, NEW YEARS DAY, I plan to have a day of working in the type of art I am used to, watercolor, collage and acrylic...that is my idea of a "Happy New Year".
How are you planning to spend the holiday????
Monday, December 28, 2009
[Above, grandson "B3" takes a break from the work of unwrapping all the gifts!]
Friday, December 25, 2009
Our last morning in Georgia.....why not make a special breakfast?
Panetonne Bread Pudding! I have "googled" and read several recipes. I think this will be a wonderful last meal with our loved ones and will get us started onthe drive home through, Georgia, Tennesee and Arkansas!
Now down to put it together, ready to bake in the morning!
[Image and recipe available at "Wives with Knives" blog.]
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Because I am on the road, and "out of Pocket", what I am referring you to is a beautiful holiday post from my friend, Macrina. She has a special gift for finding peace and hope in everyday life!
I am at my daughter's home and am having a wonderful Christmas. I hope you have a wonderful week, too!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Good granny square directions can be found at purlbee.com and below are basic directions.
1. Chain (ch) 4.2. Close into a ring with 1 slip stitch (sl st) in the first chain.
This is the center ring.
Then follow these instructions to complete the first round.
1. Chain (ch) 3 for your first double crochet (dc) and then work 2 more double crochet stitches into the ring. Chain 2.
This is your first corner
2. Work 3 more double crochets in the ring and chain 2.
3. Repeat step 2 two times.
You now have your four corners.
4. Join the round by working 1 slip stitch in the top of the turning chain. Don't turn your work.
To go on to the second round, follow these steps:
1. Slip stitch across to the first ch-2 space and then chain (ch) 3 for the first double crochet (dc).
2. Work 2 double crochets in the first ch-2 space, chain 2, then work 3 more double crochets in the same ch-2 space. Chain 1.
3. Work 3 double crochets, chain 2, work 3 more double crochets all in the next chain-2 space. Chain 1.
4. Repeat step 3 twice, which brings you to the last side of the motif. Work 1 slip stitch in the top of the turning chain to hold.
□ 3 c. flour
□ 3 tbsp. butter, softened
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 large cookie sheets. Sift flour and nutmeg together. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and rum. Gradually add flour, mixing with spoon until well blended. Roll dough into 1/2 inch logs on a floured surface. Place logs 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes until light brown. Cool on wire rack. Prepare icing by creaming butter, vanilla, and rum. Beat in sugar alternately with cream. Spread over cookies, use a fork to make "stripes" or ridges (bark) and sprinkle with nutmeg.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Tokyo Milk Products (something lovely!)
As you have probably noticed, birds are "in"....they are appearing everywhere and I love seeing them! This week, I discovered bath products by Tokyo Milk. The graphics of the labels are so beautiful (one is a sparrow), and the bar soaps even have fine glitter on the art work to add to the charm. I will save the labels for collage and enjoy the wonderful soaps and perfumes! Great stocking stuffers or hostess gifts!
Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread
I am feeling much better after a day of total rest and medications. Soon, I plan to make this shortbread cookie, recipe .
It is from the JOY of BAKING web page....I will have to read more of the recipes there!
One thing I have "enjoyed" while healing from this pinched nerve is my microwavable neck "pillow" or tube, which is filled with rice and lavender. BTW we had made these comforting neck pillows a few weeks back....I did NOT sew it while my neck was hurting! So warm and relaxing! Easy to sew too! ( The pattern is from http://www.allfreecrafts.com/ , I tried and tried to put the direct link to these instructions, but ended up writing her directions below.)
Directions for the Original Rice Hot Pack: For those who would like to stick with the traditional rice pack project, which produces a 3' x 4.5" tube, divided into rice filled segments, here are the full directions:
Supplies: scrap of cotton fabric ( be sure to use 100% cotton!), 37"x 10"; thread; chalk; sewing machine; one cup measure; measuring tape; scissors; 6 cups of white rice (not instant).
Skills:This is an easy to make beginner's sewing project. Ability to measure, cut, and sew rectangles with half inch seams.
What You Do:Fold fabric in half lengthwise, right sides together, and sew along the bottom and length using half inch seams. Turn tube right side out. Measure and mark with chalk, from bottom seam, every 6" along the length, ending a half inch from end. Pour one cup of rice (mixed with dried lavender it you can find it, our local health food store stocks it) into tube and sew across width at the first 6" mark, enclosing rice in a 6" x 4.5" rectangle. Repeat for remaining 5 cups of rice. Turn in a half inch from end, and sew very near the edge to close tube.
Include these instructions with your gift: "Rice Buddy Hot Pack/Cold Pack. Microwave for 2-3 minutes, until hot, and use as you would a hot water bottle. Great for easing aches and pains. For cold pack, store in the freezer."
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tree decorating tonight!
I'm missing work today....we didn't get the tree decorated last night after all. I have come down with a pinched nerve (s) and muscle spasms which has affected my left arm, neck shoulder and upper back. I am typing with my right hand...taking pain meds and muscle relaxers. As soon as I post this, I will go lie down on my back and rest as much as possible.
I hope to come back later and tell you about Tokyo Milk bath products and a wonderful shortbread cookie with dried cranberries and pistachios...red and green in a cookie, you know!
Sunday, December 06, 2009
This delicious recipe is from December 1, 2010 Woman's Day .
The recipe makes two, 8 inch round cakes....I think one will be enough cake for me and Mom. [I am visiting her for a couple of days this week]. So, a half recipe perhaps with 1/3 of the original sugar amount will be what I bake!
This afternoon we made this recipe from Real Simple, "Quick Beef Bourguignonne". Tender and tasty....we let it "stew" a couple of hours. It works well in a slow cooker too! Even better the next day!
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Rosehips remaining.....on my mind.
The photo of these bouquets below is from Martha Stewart's latest e-mail newsletter.
We have lots of rose hips around town this winter....unfortunately none are on my property! I am tempted constantly by a large rose bush in the parking lot of where I work. I see it everyday as the traffic whizzes by that corner....
I have a good friend with an abundant supply of rosehips in her garden. [Unfortunately, she doesn't live very close!]
After the beautiful roses fall, petal by petal, what remain are the rosehips. I feel that these are often overlooked but so full of possibility! I definitely will do a watercolor sketch which features them. [Even if I paint them from a photo rather than a real branch!]
Sometimes, I am able to look upon my dearth of rosehips as a hidden blessing....because if I had them, I'm sure I would be compelled to try rosehip jelly, rosehip tea and all kinds of "antique recipes" just to say that I did! [and I already have enough projects and delights everyday!]
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
1 (16-ounce) can whole cranberry sauce
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple
1 cup red grapes
1 orange, peeled, chopped
1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Pour the cranberry sauce into a large bowl, and mash lightly with a fork. Drain the pineapple, and add to the bowl. Seed the grapes, cut into quarters, and add to the cranberry mixture. Add the orange pieces and walnuts, and mix lightly. Chill, covered, overnight. Yield: 6 to 8 servings"
Monday, November 23, 2009
Original Recipe Yield 1 - 9 inch pie
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
36 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecan halves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.) In a saucepan over low heat, combine caramels, butter and milk. Cook, stirring frequently, until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Gradually mix in the melted caramel mixture. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool until filling is firm. This is good served warm or room temperature!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
These are tags I made today using the free pattern from Quilting Arts. They are generously giving free patterns for 5 cool projects! I can hardly wait to try the little mini wallets and journal covers too! [move your cursor and click on "free pattern" to find the link for the patterns!]
Sewing on the vinyl was not easy until I tried the "ultra glide foot" or "teflon" foot. Then the stitches just worked great! These are now ready to have the name and address cards filled out and inserted, then easily attach onto the handle of today's suitcases!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
We're still having a sunny warm week! Today, my day off, I remembered to plant these daffodil bulbs which I bought a month ago. The variety is "Tahiti" which is a double daffodil with and orange ruffle. I planted a dozen. They should come along to brighten our world next March!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Sunday, November 08, 2009
No Frost Yet!!
This 9 day run of gorgeous weather, warmer than the cool rainy October which we experienced, has led to more time spent outdoors. Here is a garden update.
On October 20th, I felt that the time had come to bring in most of the tomatoes (photo is of them that day, on the vine) before the frost came....so I brought in lots and wrapped them in newspaper in a box. I left some small ones out on the vine to see what would happen.
Even though he is less than 3 weeks out from his total knee replacement, Mr. Pear is not one to rest (sadly! it is a bit worrisome, and he is not feeling well this evening!). Here he finishes up some bags of leaves to be put on the curb for the pick-up tomorrow.
Spiced Pumpkin Soup
1 tablespoon butter
Saturday, November 07, 2009
A wonderful annual event!
Thursday evening we attended a silent auction of donated paintings and other art. The format had to be 5 inches X 5 inches. This was a wonderful evening, and Mr. Pear's birthday too! The room was filled with artists and art lovers, all enjoying catered goodies and wine from a local (Wiederkehr's) winery! We could bid on these small works of art while watching to see if our painting drew any bids. There were over 300 paintings! I did not get one of the pieces I bid on.....it featured Greek doorways (I may have to paint one myself!). Most are done in oil or acrylics. I did find this abstract watercolor and love it! The artist is Richard Nicholson, whom I know as "Nick"! [Living in a fairly small art community, many of us know each other so that makes the party even more fun!]
My donated painting, below in an almost finished state....and the photo from which I painted it. I didn't get a photo of it in the final version....now it is gracing someone's wall.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Monday, November 02, 2009
In spite of weather in the 70's and a week of sunshine in the forecast, I am in a knitting phase again. The hoodie sweater for my grandson is coming along nicely! I get the newsletter from "Knitting Daily" today they featured this book. Very basic and very good to own I am sure!
I also tried a new recipe. This one is for butternut squash lasagna. Different and yummy! Mr. Pear wasn't sure about this recipe when he heard the descriptive name, but one look and the fabulous smell after it was baked,and he was willing to like it!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Finally, the sweater I have started knitting for my grandson who will be 2 years old in November. I am practicing my new knitting technique and watching old movies with Mr. Pear who is struggling with getting the pain meds he needs....