Monday, December 28, 2009

Butterfly Wedding Cake Topper

butterfly wedding cake topper
Now that the bustle of Christmas has passed, I can get back to working on some other projects. I recently joined the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy and the guild holds a monthly challenge.

The theme for January is butterflies. I had promised myself a restful break with no deadline-oriented projects, but I just couldn't pass up this opportunity. Butterflies--how perfect for a wedding cake topper! I have to have my entry in by midnight tonight. I'll share the challenge link with you when it opens for voting. You can't believe what these talented artists can create from clay.

This cake topper is available in my online shop.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone found what they wanted under the tree!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sea Glass Candy Recipe

Sea glass candy is one simplest, most beautiful holiday candies to make. So with the countdown to family festivities ticking away, I thought I would share it for those of you who are looking for some easy and tasty eye-candy for your holiday table.

I do need to share one note of caution. The melting sugar gets very hot--300 degrees hot--so be careful. When I made it this week I was watching very carefully to make sure curious cats stayed far away. Unfortunately I didn't pay as much attention to my husband who decided to try to lick the spoon. Don't worry the burn was minor! He soothed it with a piece of cooled cinnamon sea glass.

Here's the recipe I use:

Sea Glass Candy Recipe
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup corn syrup
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 1/4 to 1 tsp flavoring oil (I love cinnamon!)
  • food coloring
  • powdered sugar for dusting
Stir granulated sugar, corn syrup, and water together in a sauce pan on medium heat until the sugar melts. Continue to cook, without stirring now, until the mixture reaches 300 degrees according to your candy thermometer. Add a small amount of food coloring and the flavoring oil.

Dust a cookie sheet with powdered sugar and pour the hot sugar mixture onto the sheet. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes . (Or put it outside in the freezing cold to speed up the process.) Once cool, break the candy into pieces. I use a meat tenderizer.

The saucepan can be hard to clean if you allow the candy to harden in it. I boil some water in it to loosen it up for easy cleaning.

Do you have any favorite candy recipes to share?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Finding my Voice

Looking at this blog, you probably think I can’t make up my mind. I keep changing things.

Writing a blog is an amazingly complicated process. It is stretching just about every creative muscle that I have.

First there is the technical aspect. I used a template to get things started, but my blog looks lame compared to other ones, so I’m now tinkering to improve it. Then there is the design itself. I’m a writer by trade, not a designer, so I’ve never created a web banner until now. At first, I was happy to have something that was sized correctly. Now I’m trying to figure out what I am trying to “say” with the design.

That bring me to the most difficult part, “What am I trying to say?” Somehow I thought the words would be the easiest part for me considering that writing is my day job.

But this is different. I have freedom: the freedom to write about anything I want. Paralyzing freedom. I’m still trying to find my voice, yet with every change I make, this space starts to feel more like me.

Every day I learn something new that I want to incorporate. Sure I could have waited until I had more experience to get started, but if I’d done that, this blog would never exist.

Life’s about jumping in and trying things, learning as we go, and making sure every day brings new growth to our souls. Thank you to those of you, who were kind enough to follow me, and feel free to help me find my voice.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Living Life's Adventure

A few nights ago my husband, Rob, and I were in the mood for a little light-hearted animated fare so we popped in the movie “Up,” not realizing that within the first fifteen minutes, we would be sitting together avoiding eye contact for fear that we would burst into blubbering idiots.
If you haven’t seen the movie, it begins with the main character, now a grumpy old man, as a child. He meets an adventurous little girl with whom he spends most of his life having those everyday adventures that we take for granted.

For me, the lifetime adventure started at 16 when I let a tall dark-haired “college boy” talk me into stealing away from a youth bowling night for a little alone time and one fantastic kiss.

Since then we have traveled life’s road together. From studious Penn State students in Happy Valley, to DC wannabe insiders, we chased the adventures we were meant to have. And, somewhere along the way, we settled into a comfortable rural life back in Pennsylvania.

Well, leave it to an animated movie to slap you in the face with the reality that no matter how much you love someone, your time together is limited by mortality. Thoughts like that really put things into perspective.

Those precious everyday adventures are happening to us—right here, right now, and I’ve been taking them for granted. I tend to get caught up with my day job or the excitement of launching my new creative business, and no matter how distracted I get, Rob is there cheering me on. I’m really lucky to have him, and I look forward to having adventures for years to come.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Photographing the Season

Today we had our first snow of the season. It was the light, delicate type that makes you feel like you can almost hear the music from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” playing softly in the distance. It was also my first chance to take some photos of our Christmas lights with a coating of snow. Tonight I’ll try some night shots.

Photographing holiday lighting is a tricky thing. I decided to read up on the subject in the hopes of improving my odds. Here are two great articles from New York Institute of Photography that I found particularly helpful.

How to Take Photos of Holiday Lights

Digital Photography Tips - Winter Photography

Do you have a great holiday photography tip or some fabulous photos to share?


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