Sunday, June 27, 2010

Not too shabby!

My dearest friends, Erin and Terrell, said, "I do"  this weekend!
Following their private morning nuptuals, a non-traditional ring ceremony and picnic reception was held in their honor.  For an earthier feel, the couple held their celebration in one of Erin's favorite parks nearby her childhood home. 

Polaroids created a grainy, vintagey look for some of the couple's photos.

Mixing vintage fabrics with old books, jars, teacups, and bizarre finds, we were able to make the summery and shabby centerpieces for the picnic tables.  Teamwork was the goal:  I set the displays up and Erin's multi-talented Aunts followed behind with  gorgeous flowers to arrange. 

Homemade jam, sparklers, and vintage candy were fabulous favors and kept with the shabby chic look!

Polaroid of the happiest of couples cutting their cake. 

We loved helping Erin with this wedding and  are just delighted for my friends, their future together, and smiling over tea with them-- while remembering back to their gorgeous wedding day!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Reaching New Heights

I'm feeling so accomplished!

That's right, I climbed a mountain with my father.  The very mountain this town was named for lies just east of town.  As you can tell from the elevation, it was a challenging hike.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

May I Present to You

I would like to apologize in proxy for Radio Stations nationwide.  Let's face it, if you want good, unique, or indie music, you'll seldom find it on your FM (or AM) dial.  Once in awhile, in some cities, you can find the occasional radio show that's plays mind blowing melodies, but typically the radio is only monotonous backgound noise.

Although not new music, may I present to you some fabulous sounds from 4 of my favorite vinyls:

Gnarl's Barkley has been a favorite for a few years. Going on is one of their best.

Folksy Dar Williams has always made a meaningful (and sometimes controversial) statement. No video for this one, sorry!  This song is about a radio channel dedicated to conspiracy theories. 

His tragic end is echoed in the dramatic lilt of his voice. If you haven't listened to Jeff Buckley before, why? Seriously, why?

She & Him is too much fun.

Hope a few of my favorites add something to your playlist.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Playing with Clouds with Sugar

My newest obsession has been mastering the art of meringue and old fashioned custard.  These clouds of  deliciousness can be manipulated to fit almost any idea of what is sweet and delicious. 

A peach and raspberry custard merringue looks like toasted clouds floating above the ramekin.

a carmel custard is a crown to this vanilla bean cupcake

Piped meringue dusted with ground pistachios makes delicious meringue cookies.

Vanilla and coconut custard topped with meringue and toasty coconut-- as yummy as it looks.
And all of these are super easy to make.  Let your egg whites reach room temperature, then whip them with a pinch of cream of tartar.  Keep whipping the egg whites as you slowly add in your ultra fine sugar.  Its ready when it peaks. 

Just add the flavors or fruits you want, bake for different lengths of time, and enjoy either hot or cold. 


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ruby Red

Despite its invigorating flavors and scents, I always seem to forget about grapefruit. So, for my Beautiful Earth  challenge, I chose grapefruit to re-discover.
The top three recipes that use this tangy treat:

1. Fresh Grapefruit Cake

You need:
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated grapefruit zest
1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice
3/4 cup milk
3 cups sifted cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

A.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 2 (9 inch) pans. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

B.In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and grapefruit zest. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the grapefruit juice and milk. Pour batter into prepared pans.

C.Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

2. Warm Grapefruit Tea

Just boil 2 cups ruby red grapefruit juice (squeezed from 2 grapefruits), 2 to 4 tablespoons honey, 1 cinnamon stick , and an optional 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice berries. YUM!

3.  Avocado and Grapefruit Salad
This recipe is totally complicated... I've tried to break it down into three easy steps:
1. Make a Salad.
 2. Put grapefruit and avocado on it.
3. Eat it.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Totally Kitsch

Kitsch (English pronunciation: /ˈkɪtʃ/, loanword from German) is an art that is considered an inferior, tasteless copy of an extant style of art or a worthless imitation of art of recognized value,

The concept is associated with the deliberate use of elements that may be thought of as cultural icons.

Kitsch also refers to the types of art that are aesthetically deficient (whether or not being sentimental, glamorous, theatrical, or creative) and that make creative gestures which merely imitate the superficial appearances of art through repeated conventions and formulae;

whimsy, fun, marvelous.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sticking it to the Man.... or Paper

I'm not going to lie.  As a girl, I loved collecting stickers and putting them in my collector's book.  Although I don't collect them, anymore, I still love stickers!  I love strolling the sticker aisle at the craft store just to see what is new!  Lately, though, I've found something more eye catching and fun than the traditional stickers.

Vintage and International Stamps!!

The story behind the bowl of funky, international stamps at Kaya Coffee House is almost as fun as the stamps themselves are!

I've totally fallen in love with old, funky stamps from around the world! 

They're marvelous to stick in a journal, decorating shoes, making paper crafts, laquering up and putting on a chain or ribbon for a unique and kitschy necklace... basically, the possibilities for paper crafting are endless. 
All Hail the Queen!  (from Hong Kong to Australia, the UK to Canada)

Its safe to say that I am a stamp collecting nerd, now. 

Bizarre and sometimes beautiful scenes, fashion from the decades, and political leaders all are immortalized on these postage partners. 
My favorites are those with various people, sharing various emotions.  I never know the people's stories, but I love crafting with their stamps.