Monday, May 30, 2011

OMG!!! Sooo Gooood

I just made the best carrot cake ever! Of course it is a King Arthur recipe--King Arthur's Carrot Cake. It was so easy. It was a little work shredding the carrots. I could not use my Cusinart because I don't have a fine shredding disc for it and the carrots have to be shredded finely. It was worth the extra work. I did not add the nuts and was worried when I saw how thin the batter was--this is my first carrot cake. I also read in the comments section of the recipe that the amount of frosting was a little scarce, so what does a frosting freak do? Double the recipe of course! If you decide to make it you will notice that you can substitute Fiori di Sicilia in the frosting for the vanilla--I did and that is what sends it over the top. It is a delicate vanilla-orange flavor that pairs perfectly with the cinnamon, ginger and cloves in the carrot cake. TOMA absolutely loved the frosting and the cake. If you like carrot cake, you will love this one. It is better than any carrot cake I've ever had anywhere--and I made it! (In the picture the frosting was still soft and we could not wait to try it. Once it firms in the fridge it will not smear when it is cut.)

The other thing I did this weekend besides draw (I will scan the pictures soon) was set up my new travel palette. I ordered 1/2 pans from Daniel Smith and filled them with my Cotman tube watercolors. Roz Stendahl does not care for this brand as she says they do not rewet well, but I like them fine. I also can't pay $7.00 to $13.00 per tube of the better brands. I do not even think my work warrants such expensive tools.

Anyway, I've been trying to lighten my load as my back and shoulder are killing me so I replaced the Cotman cakes in their travel kit with the tube paints--that is 12 colors and then the little mint tin for 6 more.

Baci e abbracci

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Island Beach State Park

TOMA and I decided to go to the beach for the day on Saturday. We go to Beach Island State Park, NJ. It is a refuge for birds, foxes and other animals. It is really nice and quiet. The only thing I don't like is that they allow vehicles on the beach and fisherman who leave line with hooks behind that hurt the birds and I would imagine anybody who steps on the hooks.

It was a little cold and of course I did not bring any long sleeves so I spent most of the day wrapped up in towels. It was still a really nice day. I did a little drawing of the shells that I will post next time--I just finished it today.

I also scanned the final drawings in the old sketchbook and the new drawings in the new sketchbook.

I am not happy with all of them, but I posted them anyway. The last two are in the new book. Since I used Copic markers on the first one and only that part bled to the back of the page, I decided to try to make something of it so I painted a similar design. I kind of like it.

Baci e abbracci

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I know, I haven't posted anything for a while. I am so tired. I have been drawing and knitting though. I knit the chemo-cap for the woman at work I mentioned and completed the last page of my sketchbook. It is the first sketchbook I have ever completed. It is kind of sad because I would sit and look through it once in a while, but now I will  not have it with me anymore. The new one will be empty for some time. I have started using the Moleskine Watercolor sketchbook that I have used in the past, but still do not like the format. I will keep using it until I pull out the new Daler-Rowney spiral I have waiting.

I am so tired that I do not even feel like editing the photos of my work, so I will only post the few that I completed. Some of the photos have to be re-shot--they are blurry.

I have been playing around, mostly doodling. The owl above is from a photograph on line.

Baci e abbracci

Friday, May 13, 2011

It Has Been a While

Well the iPHOTO book was a big hit with my mom. It made her cry--a good thing. She liked all of her gifts and dinner. I baked my, now famous, Apple Cake and Honey Whole Wheat Rolls. The rolls were great! Mom and TOMA loved them. What can I say King Arthur came through again.

A co-worker who has an obvious addiction to neckties has been promising to go through his stash and give me the ties he no longer has a deep affection for. Well yesterday he handed me 50 ties, most of which are silk!!! All high end and beautiful! He said he can't wait to see what I do with them. He is so funny! I told him it will be years before I felt confident enough to start to turn them into a quilt top. So I just put a batch of chocolate cherry brownies in the oven for him and his wife.

Also someone at work is going through chemotherapy so I offered to make her a chemo cap. I would like to feel the passion for knitting that I once had so maybe this will get me back into it. I like knitting in the round and love how the decreases at the crown look when done correctly. I purchased a pretty purple DK weight. It has been a year since I've really knit anything.

Drawing a little. I find the coloring process to be the best part.

Wow the brownies smell fabu!

Baci e abbracci

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Drawing Slump = Prolific Baking

It is official I am in a creative slump. Of course this means I am prolific in something else. This time it is baking. Yesterday I visited a friend who is going through some personal challenges. I wanted to bake the sandwich bread, but did not have the time for the two rises. I baked the Easy Cinnamon Bread from King Arthur Flour for her and I assume it came out as good as the first time I made it. For TOMA and I, a Cinnamon-Streusel Coffeecake is this week's treat--and a treat it is. Really yumerific, especially with the Vietnamese Cinnamon. This recipe made a lot of dirty dishes, but it was worth it.

King Arthur Flour is the only on-line baking site whose recipes I trust. I know they test every recipe to make sure that it will work and they do--every time. I have their King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion and their King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion and have made many recipes from both books, with only one problem--and I cannot be sure if it was me or the recipe. They are employee owned and very pleasant.

I subscribed to the Baking Sheet in February and recently received an email advertising a free The Baking Sheet: 2010 CD with the purchase of a one year subscription. I emailed them and they sent me the CD, which has many fabulous recipes on it. If you like to bake, King Arthur is your "go to" place. I am going to purchase the The Baking Sheet: 2000-2009 CD with my next order. Also, with every purchase, I receive a coupon for 10% off my next order.

Baci e abbracci