Saturday, May 8, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday ~ Coffee Table Reflections

Sunlight streaming through the French Doors produced these lovely shadows in the bowl and a reflection on the glass top table.
Stepping back, there was an added bonus...
A reflection from the arched window was there as well.
A bit of lacy shadows play on the sofa, wall and picture.
Joining Hey Harriet for Shadow Shot Sunday

Friday, May 7, 2010

Favorite Photo Friday

Since the goal of this weekly meme is to learn and grow in our photography skills, I am posting my beginning attempts at adding textures to photos.
Textures photos are popping up everywhere because they make some very beautiful and interesting images.

There are very kind folks that graciously share free textures.
The one I turn to most often is
Shadowhouse Creations
Jerry also has some terrific tutorials.
I have perused the internet for some how-to's but it seems I am mostly left with trial and error.
One of my problems is that I haven't developed the ability to know which textures might work with a specific image. I know well the look I want to achieve but most times unable. I end up spending a lot of time and disliking the result.

So... I am open to all help and suggestions!
Specifically, I would love to be able to create soft, light, misty type images.
I have tried reducing the saturation and opacity but still can't get the look I want.
All of the above images were made by following this very clear tutorial.



*Camera type: Canon Rebel XT
*Lens 28-105 mm
*Settings : program
*Was this a posed or random shot? random ~ I point the camera and shoot lots as the kids play and run around.
*Did you use any special lighting or techniques? no
*Did you edit it? cropping and slight lightening (my camera always shoots darker than I like)

*Why is this your favorite shot of the week. I love the hazel color of this little guys eyes and his blond hair and perfect complexion. And... he just turned four years old!
Happy Birthday, Silas!
Joining Valerie @Favorite Photo Friday

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Show and Tell Friday ~ Paul de Longpre

Sharing for Show & Tell Friday, a framed, reproduction of a work by
Victorian Floral Artist
Paul de Longpre.
Titled
"PEONIES"
It was a gift from my cousin.
Brighter here than in real life, it's soft muted colors and light,
textured frame works well where it hangs.

This is closer to the actual colors
a copy of the artists signature


Paul de Longpré (1855-1911) was a French flower painter, active chiefly in the United States. He was born in Lyons, France, and was entirely self-taught. From his twelfth year he practiced successfully in Paris as a painter of fans. At 21 he first exhibited at the Salon. Having lost his money by the failure of a Paris bank, he moved in 1890 to New York and in 1896 held an exhibition of flower pieces which secured him instant recognition. In 1899 he moved to California and two years later built a beautiful house at Hollywood, which became celebrated for its magnificent flower gardens. De Longpre painted only perfect specimens of flowers; with delicacy of touch and feeling for bosoms he united scientific knowledge, and he also knew how to give expression to the subtle essence of the flowers.
Source: Wikipedia
This photo was taken about six years ago when the living room was still peach. It has since been painted a creamy white and all peach accessories have been removed.
Not the de Longpre ~ it adds a hint of color to my very monochromatic room.
Joining Cindy @My Romantic Home for Show & Tell Friday!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sepia Scenes

A commenter noticed a drawing of Mr. Darcy as part of Abbey's Art exhibit last week, so I thought I would post a couple of pieces for Sepia Scenes.
(Since I took photos instead of scanning, the clarity isn't great)
Mr. Darcy
This assignment was to draw something that showed refraction of light through water.
Not exactly sepia
I added the sepia tone to this drawing and the last one.
She did these a couple of years ago.

Joining Mary T for Sepia Scenes

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday ~ Nestlings

and I thought my children grew up before my eyes...
every day these baby doves are significantly bigger and more mature.
I think there is just one day between the two nestlings.
This is the older one.
Both can be seen in this photoMama/Papa bird flies in and cautiously looks at me as babies are tucked down into the nest...
but babies quickly pop up to eat whatever is in the adult birds throat
a face only a mother could love
a series of shots beginning when the male and female began building the nest

1. Male perched just above nesting area
2. Male tucking nesting material around female
3. sitting on nest
4. sitting on nest
5. Adult dove
6. First spotting of eggs... looks like one is hatches
7. Adult caring for eggs
8. nesting
9. first glimpse of hatchlings
10. Unattractive little doves
11. alien-like
12. getting cuter and more recognizable
13. snuggled together
14. feeding
15. growing
16. quickly changing

I expect the chicks will be learning to fly soon and I won't have too many more dove posts. Then I will be moving onto different subject matter for Outdoor Wednesday.

Visit Susan @a Southern Daydreamer for a variety of Outdoor Wednesday posts!

Monday, May 3, 2010

TWD ~ Burnt Sugar Ice Cream

This weeks TWD recipe was a pick by
This is a very rich tasting, caramel ice-cream that was a little challenging. Not really hard but somewhat unusual for me. I have made burnt sugar before for cupcakes and frosting, but this is the first time ever making ice-cream.
I began by cooking the sugar and water until dissolved

Then increased the heat and cooked until a deep caramel color

I Added the milk and cream which caused the caramel to seize

Stirring and cooking until the mixture becomes smooth again and thickened. This is the part I was most unsure. Dorie says the mixture is ready when thickened to where it coats the back of a spoon and doesn't run into a groove made by running your finger along the bowl of the spoon. She says the mixture should be between 170 and 180 degrees. I had to cook for a long time to get to the correct thickness but was afraid to heat too high. Finally got to the correct consistency.

Then the mixture is poured into a dish and placed in the freezer (or use an ice cream machine)

I removed the dish every 30 minutes and whisked so it would remain creamy

Time consuming and a lot of work, but...
It is really delicious!
It did not freeze rock solid but still allowed ample time to eat a heavenly scoop before melting.
Like me, if you don't have an ice-cream maker, David Lebovitz shows How to make Ice-cream without a machine. Thanks to another TWD baker for mentioning this!

Burnt Sugar Ice Cream
Baking From My Home to Yours
by Dorie Greenspan

The caramel in this ice cream has a slightly bitter tang, with a touch of sugar's original sweetness. It's a complex, interesting flavor and it's intense, so you can serve this ice cream on its own or with a docile and doting partner. If you're looking for supporting players, consider plain butter or sugar cookies like Grandma's (page 146), Sables (page 131) or Lenox Almond Biscotti (page 141.)

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Stir the sugar and water together in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place the pan over medium-low heat and cook until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil, without stirring, until the syrup turns a deep amber color--from time to time, brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush and swirl the pan. (Depending on the size of your pan and the intensity of the heat, it could take about 8 minutes for the caramel to color properly.)

Stand back--things can get a little wild--lower the heat and add the milk and cream. Don't be concerned when everything bubbles and seethes and the caramel hardens; it will calm down and smooth out as you heat and stir. Continue to heat and stir and when the mixture is smooth, remove the pan from the heat.

In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks and salt together until blended and just slightly thickened. Still whisking, drizzle in about one third of the hot liquid--this will temper, or warm, the yolks. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remaining liquid. Pour the custard back into the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring without stopping, until the custard thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon; if you run your finger down the bowl of the spoon, the custard should not run into the track. the custard should reach at least 170 degrees F, but no more than 180 degrees F, on an instant-read thermometer. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the custard into a 2-quart liquid measuring cup or clean heatproof bowl. Stir in vanilla extract.

Refrigerate the custard until chilled before churning it into ice cream.

Scrape the chilled custard into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Pack the ice cream into a container and freeze it for at least 2 hours, until it is firm enough to scoop.

Makes about 1 1/2 pints.

Serving: If the ice cream is very firm, allow it to sit on the counter for a few minutes before scooping or warm it in a microwave oven using 5-second spurts of heat.

Storing: Packed tightly in a covered container, the ice cream will keep in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mosaic Monday ~ Lily of the Valley

I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.
Song of Solomon 2:1

To the ARTIST He is the One Altogether Lovely.

To the ARCHITECT He is the Chief Corner Stone.

To the BAKER He is the Living Bread.

To the BANKER He is the Hidden Treasure.

To the BIOLOGIST He is the Life.

To the BUILDER He is the Sure Foundation.

To the CARPENTER He is the Door.

To the DOCTOR He is the Great Physician.

To the EDUCATOR He is the Great Teacher.

To the ENGINEER He is the New and Living Way.

To the FLORIST He is the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley.

To the GEOLOGIST He is the Rock of Ages.

To the HORTICULTURIST He is the True Vine.

To the JUDGE He is the Righteous Judge, Judge of All Men.

To the JEWELER He is the Pearl of Great Price.

To the LAWYER He is the Counselor, the Lawgiver, the Advocate.

To the NEWSPAPER He is the Good Tidings of Great Joy.

To the OCULIST He is the Light of the Eyes.

To the PHILANTHROPIST He is the Unspeakable Gift.

To the PHILOSOPHER He is the Wisdom of God.

To the PREACHER He is the Word of God.

To the SCULPTOR He is the Living Stone.

To the SERVANT He is the Good Master.

To the STATESMAN He is the Desire of All Nations.

To the STUDENT He is the Incarnate Truth.

To the THEOLOGIAN He is the Author and Finisher of our Faith.

To the TOILER He is the Giver of Rest.

To the SINNER He is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the World.

To the CHRISTIAN He is the Son of the Living God, the Savior, the Redeemer and the Lord!

~~~~~***~~~~~
April in Review

Joining Mary @Little Red House for Mosaic Monday

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