Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Photo Wrangling (and failing, for the moment...)

On a whole separate note, I still haven't sat down and puzzled out all the ins-and-outs of blogger. Haven't figured out how to put pictures where & how I want them, or how to keep random extra lines breaks from being added each time I post. Any advice / hints / tips would be appreciated! In the meantime, scattered willy-nilly and completely randomly below, are a couple of pictures of some of the tiles and ornaments I've made in the last few days, in various stages of drying & cleaning.

It's another beautiful, sunny day! Was almost feeling guilty yesterday that I spent most of it indoors--I've spent the last several days cutting out new clay ArtTile shapes. VERY concerned at the moment--I still have lots of ideas, but am running out of clay! I've conned my dear, patient Mom into coming out this afternoon and helping me clean my creations. Wasn't too hard to do--there's a higher rate of attrition when I clean, and that upsets her no end. I won't tell her that a big pelican ornament bit the dust (literally!) last night. I also made a tiny little bowl--I mean TEENY tiny--last night. I don't know what for, but I love it! It's just big enough to put a pair of earrings into--you know, when you finally fall, exhausted and grateful into bed, turn over, and ouch! Realize that you forgot to take your earrings out and now are getting poked every time you move your head. So I guess I do know what that bowl is for. So there!

And yes, Debbie, and thanks for asking: I went to the gym again yesterday. Have been going almost every weekday. Probably not staying as long as I should, but still getting a workout and some cardio in. Kinda thrilled that I'm actually doing it...:)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Grey, clay, and chocolate chips :)

Brand new blog, and already I've fallen behind. It's grey and cold today (what happened to summer?) but a good day to spend in the studio, cutting out clay whales, and cats, and birds, and leaves, and acorns... Came up with some pretty cute spotted seals yesterday, a couple of big, goofy mantees, a cool new way to do D.'s beach fence, and two cute hummingbirds. Finished most of the sheep, and have started on the angels.

Would be a great day for some baking. I may not have time (and every surface in the kitchen is covered with clay at the moment!) but in case you do, here's a great blondie recipe from my friend Jeanne, via Alyssa. The first time I made it I goofed, and they turned out terrible, and I refused to try again for a couple of years. Silly me. Finally had Alyssa send the recipe again, made them (they're super-easy: I have no idea what I could have done wrong that first time!) they were FABULOUS, and now I make them whenever I can. Sometimes I put in 1/2 cup of nuts, as well.

For the person who asked me the other day what 'blondies' are, it's like a giant, soft chocolate-chip cookie / bar in a pan. This recipe makes one 8"x8" pan, but you can easily increase it to make more.

Best Blondies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt 1/3 cup butter and set aside.

Sift together and set aside:
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Add 1 cup light brown sugar to melted butter and mix.
Add 1 teaspoon vanilla to 1 slightly beaten egg, then add to brown sugar & butter mixture.
Add flour mixture, a little at a time, mixing just to blend.

I put about 1 cup of chocolate chips (and/or 1/2 cup of nuts) in at the last minute and just barely mix in. Press dough gently (it'll seem like there's barely enough) into an 8" x8" pan. (I use glass.)

BAKE at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. (Don't overbake)


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Went to the gym again today--third day in a row. Better than eating my way through the house out of frustration/agitation with a certain individual who keeps being dishonest and is both bullying, and taking advantage of, me.

The GOOD news: heard from my new bestest etsy customer last night w/ a custom order--that I'm excited to start--AND got another new order from a brand-new etsy customer today. :)

Also: (this is a big deal for me) scraped up my courage (mostly out of desperation, but still..) and called a very dear, much loved friend and ASKED FOR HELP. Very scary! And you know what? She HELPED me. Bless her.

It is a beautiful world. And tomorrow's going to be even better.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Another sunny, blue, blowy day! According to my mother, the weatherman is holding out hope of some rain later in the week. Wouldn't that be a surprise and an incredible blessing!

I'm off to the GYM--for the second time in as many days. Finally made it--only recently heard about it!--to the little gym right here in the Village yesterday and it was a really good experience. The owner is fabulous! Gentle, kind, knows what he's doing. Notices every single person that comes in. Or doesn't...which is what I need: some accountability. He seems to give lots of personal attention to everyone & knows them all by name. I'm motivated! And no excuses--it's right down the hill.

Might be a low-key way to get to know some more people out here too, although he has a lot of older members. (Hard for anyone with a regular work schedule to get there--he's only open weekdays, and then only til 6pm.) So once I start working in town, I may not be able to continue. I'm thinking of it as an opportunity to take NOW: to take advantage of my current 'open' schedule to ingrain a good habit. There's no initiation or commitment, just a monthly fee, so that made the decision easy.

Hope you have a good day, too. Here are some more roses from my garden to make you smile.