Monday, February 28, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 21

No pears were harmed in the making of this heart.  No, that's not true, but it didn't go to waste - it valiantly served as one of my daily fruit and fiber servings.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 20 - Red Carpet Raspberry Swirl

I was concocting a recipe for Orange Cardamom gelato that Duff from JeanJeanVintage had tweeted about last week.  It sounded so amazing; I found an orange gelato recipe that seemed suitable, planned on substituting cardamom for the Grand Marnier, and then, at the grocery store these huge cartons of raspberries stuck their tongue out at me.

Change of plans, Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream it is - seems so decadent for February.  Raspberries have such a summer flavor.  Oh, and go check out her Etsy store, such gorgeous vintage jewelry and beaded clutches - she has exquisite taste.

Here's the recipe from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz which is my Ice Cream Bible.  I substituted 1 Tbsp of lemon juice for the raspberry swirl instead of vodka, cause that's how I roll.

Ice Cream

1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1.5 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (get good stuff from a spice store if you can, it's worth it!)

Raspberry Swirl

1.5 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vodka (or lemon juice)

Warm the milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan, stir until sugar dissolves.  Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm (not hot) milk and sugar mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly.  Then scrape the warm egg yolks and milk back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over low-medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom.  Slow is better, take your time.  Be patient, just when you think it's not going to thicken up and consider turning up the heat, it will thicken, coating the back of the spatula.  You now have custard.

Pour the custard through the mesh strainer into the cream.  Add the vanilla extract and stir until cool over an ice bath.  Chill in the refrigerator.

To make the raspberry swirl, mash the raspberries with a fork or even a potato masher, together with the sugar and the lemon juice until they're juicy, but not completely pulverized.  Chill until you're ready to add to the ice cream.

Freeze the ice cream according to your ice cream maker's instructions.  I have a Cuisinart that my mom gave me and it's my most favorite appliance.  After freezing the ice cream, layer it with the raspberry swirl mixture in a container.  Or you can skip the fancy layering step and just add it to the ice cream at the end when it's just about done.   Put it back in the freezer to firm up and enjoy!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 19

It's days are numbered, digging out the shamrock wreath today.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 18

These paper garlands seem to be popping up everywhere - they're easy but a little tedious to make.  I used a heart paper cutter to cut out a bunch of hearts, sewed two together at a time, leaving a length of string in between each, then folded the hearts so they'd be three dimensional when done.  Just don't let them get tangled up!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 17

Sprinkles - the original eye candy.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 16

I have this little terrarium I'm putting together, it was just sitting there on my worktable looking green but kind of empty - needed some love.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 15

Heart a Day 15, Butter Sandwich
This child eats at least one butter sandwich a day.  Not peanut butter, not jelly, just butter on bread.  I think I mentioned she is the pickiest eater the world has ever known.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 14

Heart a Day, Day 14
This morning I was tweeting with Liz Smith from madeinlowell and took a peek in her Etsy shop - her cupcake pincushions are so sweet - so I made a little heart to hold my pins.  It's kind of gory if you think about it too much, so don't.  

One of my favorite aspects of this 365 project is finding inspiration in random places, like chatting online.  It makes me keep one creative eye open on a regular basis, which I think helps inspire my jewelry and photography.   I can't believe it's been two weeks already!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 13

It's a bit of a stretch, I know.  It was a long day.

Heart a Day - Day 12

Fleur de sel

Cutting up the last of my delicious fleur de sel caramel from Have it Sweet on Etsy - noticed this little happy coincidence.  Their nougat is out of this world too.   I think I see a future for these edible heart a day entries.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 11

Heart Healthy - An important part of your daily breakfast.

Fine Art Friday - Hour Before the Light

Thank you to Ryan Coleman whose piece titled Hour Before the Light inspired this weeks Fine Art Friday.

The Magic Hour by Irene Suchocki

Hour Before the Light by Ryan Coleman

Glow by Melissa Nucera, This Years Girl

Ginko Mobile by J.F. Jones

If you'd like to see more, check out the Fine Art Friday Hour Before the Light treasury here.

Fine Art Friday is a movement started by artist Jessica Torrant that uses twitter, treasuries, blogging, flickr and facebook to find and discuss new artists and favorite works. Search the twitter hashtag #FineArtFriday to see what everyone is talking about and share your favorites! Visit the FineArtFriday blog to learn more.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 10

When Somebody Loves You
We're still pretty obsessed with Toy Story in this house, Kelly put her Jessie doll hands together and made this one - it seriously melted me. 

I also noticed in some of these shots she and I have the same thumbs, rough cuticles and all. 

She's also been living in her Dad shirt from Wren Willow - so cute!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 9

Eat Your Peas Please, Heart-a-Day, Day 9
Kelly refused to eat her vegetables tonight, so we played with our food instead.  I'm not sure this sends the right message, but it was fun.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 8

Happy Birthday Pop-Pop! Heart-a-Day, Day 8

Kelly and I surprised my dad tonight with birthday quiche and presents - Happy Birthday Pop-Pop!  Kelly worked on a card and I wrapped presents and made a little heart gift tag - I love when the heart-a-day project is multipurpose! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 7

That's Amore! Heart-A-Day, Day 7

This one was delicious - followed Pioneer Woman's pizza crust recipe - a staple you should have in your arsenal for seriously yummy homemade crust - added fresh mozzarella and prosciutto, oh and this basil infused olive oil, soooo good.

Sadly, husband had to work tonight, so I ate my little heart pizza all by my lonesome - don't worry, I saved him half - it can be like one of those best friends charm necklaces, or a broken heart? Hmmm, that's probably not good, maybe I should just go polish it off, you know, for the sake of our marriage.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 6

Day 6, French Knot Heart
Relaxed with some embroidery today - I adore French knots, they're so satisfying to stitch - this little heart was so easy.  I might make this into a coaster.  I might fill in the heart, but I had to take some pictures before my daylight faded.  Lots of possibilities.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Heart a Day - Day Five

Heart a Day, Day 5, Paper chain
These were so fun to make, my daughter now has them strung all throughout her room.  They make really cute decorations for Valentines, but use thin paper for kids, otherwise it's too thick to cut.

1. Valley fold a narrow strip of paper.

2. Valley fold those two sections into four sections.

3. Mountain fold those four sections into eight sections

4. It should now collapse and look like an accordion.

5. Draw half a heart shape, making sure not to connect the top of the heart with the bottom.

6. Cut on your lines and voila!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Heart a Day - Day Four

All Wrapped Up - Heart a Day, Day Four

Lost track of time today, packaging orders the ribbon made itself useful.  Don't worry, I have something a little more intricate planned for tomorrow.

Fine Art Friday - French Kitchen

It's the time I year I start fantasizing about a Paris trip.

Les Cuilleres by Eva Juliet

Stacked Baguettes by littlebrownpen

La Bicyclette by Rebecca Plotnick

If you'd like to see more, check out the Fine Art Friday French Kitchen Treasury here.

Fine Art Friday is a movement started by artist Jessica Torrant that uses twitter, treasuries, blogging, flickr and facebook to find and discuss new artists and favorite works. Search the twitter hashtag #FineArtFriday to see what everyone is talking about and share your favorites! Visit the FineArtFriday blog to learn more.

Dress Yourself in Handmade - Be Mine

Casual little look with Valentine's Day in mind.

Soft Gray Drape T-Shirt by habitatclothing, $40

Copper Heart Charm Necklace by PoleStar, $24

The Letter Bag in Rosewood by moop, $133

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Heart a Day - Day Three

Cold Hearted, Heart a Day, Day Three

I was so disappointed that my heart snowball didn't work yesterday, but it reminded me of some candy heart molds I had leftover from last year's Valentine candy making craft night (which also didn't work out very well).

I added some red food coloring and water and got these pretty heart ice cubes - they even turned my seltzer water a pretty shade of pink. A little red dye number 5 never hurt anyone, right?

Though I don't recommend these silicone molds for brownies or muffins (they stick) they make great ice shapes!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Heart a Day - Day Two

Sew Sweet - Heart-A-Day Day Two

So, I had this great idea to go out in the backyard and make a snow heart today - but with the windchill in the negative teens, my ears starting tingling in minutes and the huge piles of snow had turned to brittle, dry glass shards that proved to be completely un-shape-able. 

Daughter was not amused and even the dog lost patience with me, so in we went for hot chocolate and playing with buttons.  Tomorrow is another day,  I don't think the 6 foot drift against the deck is going anywhere. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Heart a Day - Day One

Unchained Melody - Heart-A-Day, Day One
I was watching the Etsy Symposium today and the presentation by Noah Scalin really got my creative brain fired up.  He's the creator of the Skull-A-Day project where he challenged himself to make a skull image everyday to inspire his creativity energy.  At the end of his presentation he challenged the audience to think of an image like a star, flower, circle, etc and make 10 of them in 20 minutes. 

Maybe because it's almost Valentine's Day, maybe because I'm not artistically inclined, maybe because I'm a sap, but I picked a heart and had so much fun making 10 hearts out of ribbon, thumbtacks and even a coffee stain.  As he described it, I had an A-ha moment during this activity where my brain jumped off it's tracks and got creative about materials, letting go of perfection and really got revved up.  I was running around my kitchen at one point chewing bits of bread into a heart shape, leaving a trail of crumbs the dog enjoyed.

This was just the jump start I needed.  I had felt stuck in a rut lately with design, blogging, art - this was the perfect task for me!  So, I'm barreling down this track and committing to make a heart a day, some simple, some complex, some ephemeral, some found - but I'm going to stick with it, learn new techniques, allow myself to play.  I'll capture each heart and post them here, hopefully it will be fun to watch it unfold!   

Big thank you to Noah - his blog is inspiring and visually stunning - go check it out -

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fine Art Friday - Afternoon Into Evening

I recently stumbled upon the work of Claire Elan on Etsy and was instantly drawn in.  Her work has a quiet calmness and as a fellow floor lounger I love how many of her figures sprawl on the ground in a state of complete exhaustion or utter relaxation.

I found the small oil painting by FaithTeArt to be a nice companion.

Home - Original Oil Painting by Claire Elan

Tea Bag Painting by FaithTeArt

You can see more in my Afternoon Into Evening Treasury here.

Fine Art Friday is a movement started by artist Jessica Torrant that uses twitter, treasuries, blogging, flickr and facebook to find and discuss new artists and favorite works. Search the twitter hashtag #FineArtFriday to see what everyone is talking about and share your favorites! Visit the FineArtFriday blog to learn more.