Hello dear Reader. Well, I'm two sleeps away from leaving for NC. Are the suitcases packed,
no. Am I doing laundry, no. Instead I'm gazing at my wrist. Why, well this came in today's mail:
I'm so happy with it. I used a custom printing service and the design is one of my fraktur cuttings. I was inspired by this watch, but not it's price tag. My watch cost $46 including shipping. Best of all it's my own work! Well, I'd better get back to getting ready. No more stalling.
Hello dear Reader. Here we are hours away from a potential blizzard. It was hopping at the library. Folks were coming in for books and dvd-s for storm entertainment. Fi braved the supermarket for me. She said it was slim pickings at Aldi. I baked a cake after work. One that I almost made on Sunday. I had a bout of butterflies when I realized that I would be in NC a week from yesterday. What to do, but cream butter. Well, I held off, until today. I had made cinnamon rolls in the a.m. and Andrew had baked blondies on Saturday. Tonight's cake is from the NY Times and it's a mocha walnut number. Delish! It came out super light too. In other news, I had a lovely time lunching with my magazine girls, Do and Kathy. We tried Tallulah's Taqueria and after got some of last donuts of the day from PVdonuts . These doughnuts are so popular people stand in line, in single digit weather for them. The pickings were slim when we went, but happily we didn't freeze our buns off for them. They weren't as good as Doughnut Plant, and but I wanted to try them. Anyhoo, Kathy generously shared a bag of her MIL's costume jewelry! We also digested lunch shopping at Saver's. We all came away with good finds. I was sporting my new-to-me Sundance cardigan today!
Hello dear Reader. I have a cake in the oven, what else is new? In other news, I was interviewed on the John C. Campbell Folk School blog! In less than 2 weeks, I'll be teaching paper cutting during their Scandinavian week. My darling sis is joining me and will be doing a week of ceramics. I've been getting things ready for the trip and am curious to see how it all goes. This is something outside of my introvert/homebody zone! These two quotes where my inspiration for pushing my comfort zone:
Today I made a little cutting for a friend's birthday. She's almost a St. Paddy's baby and has Irish roots. We meet for coffee, for her and tea for me. So here we are as lucky ladybugs, toasting our friendship.
Hello dear Reader. Yes, I was baking. I decided to make another babka and split it in two. It worked out beautifully and I was able to share with 2 friends. On Friday night I tried to bake a copy of Gregg's Lemon Burst cake. It came out well and the family gave it a thumbs up. I had lemon curd for the middle layer and it must be what Gregg's uses. It has been very cold in the parts as you can see. Cold enough to be a two kitty evening! My Amaryllis is growing leaps and bounds and I keeping thinking I'll witness it blooming. Hasn't happened yet.
Hello dear Reader. I had a bee in my bonnet, more than once, to bake a Babka. Today was the day I made it happen. None of my cookbooks had a recipe for one, which surprised me. This is the recipe I used. It came out beautifully. The crumb and texture is similar to a Panettone. So far I'm not seeing much swirl in the filling. I had a slice for dinner and one piece feels like a meal! I hope it keeps well. It should with all the butter in it. We shall see!
The dough came together very nicely. You can see the yellow hue from the 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk. I used fresh eggs from a co-worker's chickens. The yolks are bright orange!
I didn't use the 1 1/2 pounds of chocolate that the recipe calls for.
Hello dear Reader. Today the Mr. and I went to Mystic Seaport to view Nikki McClure's Life in Balance. It is a wonderful exposition of her paper cuttings. I knew nothing about this show, and she is one of my favorite paper artists! I found out about it at work. One of the librarians was admiring my Catastrology calendar. I said I'd be happy to give her one. In return she generously gifted me with two passes to the Seaport. She also told me about Nikki's show! Nikki also did a mural in a brand new building at the Seaport. "McClure, who is based in Olympia, Washington, was commissioned to create the mural in the Pilalas Family Reception Lobby of the Thompson building. Titled “Away”, the 59-foot-long work is a papercut scanned, enlarged, and printed onto wallpaper. It is the largest single piece McClure has ever created, and it will be part of the exhibit." If you have the chance, go see her work. Her themes are of nature and the beautiful world around her. She also features her family in many of her illustrations. I really enjoyed seeing her process. There are large cases that show the stages in making her art and include her photo references and sketches.
Hello dear Reader. It's been too long. February is just flying by. We've had snow and this weekend you'd think winter was over and done. Here are some highlights of the past weeks: heart filled oven mitts for V-day courtesy of Walmart, an exhausted Bubbe, after spending Sunday with my Sis and nieces, it's hard to be so adored, a V-day gift for Shari, featuring her cute kitties, getting crafty with my sis and our girls and my fishermen with fillets from 6 fresh caught Cod fish.
Hello dear Reader. Yes we are in for a big storm tomorrow. Andrew's school already threw in the towel. We got the call before dinner! URI is closed as well. Meanwhile, word on the street is the library rarely closes. I'm curious to see if we get as much snow as predicted. In the meantime, I've been baking. What else? Actually I finished my first paper cutting for 2017. I'm very happy with it and need to photograph it in better lighting. I was crafting with Elaine on Super Bowl Sunday. We made shrinky dink bracelets, always fun! So the cake, if you are curious is an apple walnut bundt. I think the flavors might develop over time. It's a little subtle right now, aka bland. The cookies are from 'Sallie's Baking Addiction' cookbook. A very rich and delicious chocolate chip with Valentine m&m's. She has you chill the dough for at least 2 hours, for the flavors to meld. They do taste almost butterscotch-y. This Bubbe of ours, oy vey. As soon as I have the camera aimed at something, he has to come and investigate. Tonight Marc went to Trader Joe's on his way home. Mr. Bubbe is over the moon with playing with his new toys; an empty bag and grass fronds. His pleasures are simple.
Baking and cats. Two big winter pastimes with me! Today we had snow in the afternoon. It was too nasty to take my afternoon walk, so I baked a cake instead. A marble pound cake. I think it's the type to improve as it ages. Over the weekend I baked this number below. I had 3 over ripe bananas so what else could I do. I didn't use chocolate chips, so it was almost healthy.
On Saturday, I did a shrinky workshop and that got me inspired to make this bracelet.
It's a pattern, during these cold grey days, I find pleasure baking. This week I made a peanut butter, banana chocolate snack cake and almond mango scones. I guess it could be worse. I could be drinking or online gambling. Mr. Bubbs had to photo-bomb these shots. He is now neutered and fully recovered. He went under the knife on Monday. Everyone was very fond of him at the Vet's. When I picked him up, the Vet said Bubbe had followed him out to his car at lunch and he was keeping him. Being gullible, I thought at first, how'd he get outside? Any hoo. Tomorrow I have a workshop at NAM. It will keep me from my mixing bowl for a few hours.
This afternoon I had two friends over for lunch. I finally got all my Christmas stuff down and out. It is always so good to have folks over. It was the motivation to finally wash the kitchen floor.