Monday, July 30, 2012

Color Of the Week - Amber

Amber is named for the gemstone. Amber is a fossilized tree resin that is found in the ground. The color Amber is a combination of yellow, orange and brown, though the gemstone can range in color from whitish to almost black.

Amber

Amber-colored jewelry has a rich, antique look.

Twist Clip Earrings

Vintage Victorian-Style Brooch

Amber-Colored Stone Pendant

It's not only jewelry that looks beautiful in Amber.

Candy Dish

I'm sure you'd have to win using dice like this.

Amber Gemstone Dice

I love hair combs and these vintage combs are gorgeous.

Vintage Amber-Colored Hair Comb

Vintage Amber-Colored Hair Comb

I would love to have this unusual, bakelite evening bag.

Vintage Amber-Colored Bakelite Evening Bag

Or this beautiful lamp.

Amber-Beaded Faux Mahogany Lamp

Twin Giraffes #91 think they are the most beautiful Amber items on this page!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Anna, the Baker

I found a recipe for Italian Rustic Bread that looked and sounded really good. It started with a pre-ferment (or biga). I've made yeast breads before, but I've never made one with a biga. Since I'm on school holiday I thought I'd give it a try.

I used my KitchenAid mixer. I love my mixer!


It has a dough hook so I don't have to knead the bread my hand.


The biga is a wet, messy mix of bread flour, water and 1/4 teaspoon of yeast.


I covered the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter for three hours. 


Then into the refrigerator it went overnight. The next morning I had to transfer it to another bowl, since I needed to use the mixer. Next time I'll transfer the biga to a different bowl before I put it in the fridge.

On to mixing the rest of the flour, water, and yeast. I let it rest twenty minutes before adding the biga.


This recipe isn't hard or complicated, but there are several risings so it does take a good portion of the day from start to finish.

Time to shape it into loaves. 


Getting the loaves into the oven is where I ran into a little complication caused by the fact that I frequently neglect to read a recipe all the way through before I start making it. I was supposed to put the loaves on parchment paper, but I figured waxed paper would be just as good. 

Not quite. I had my stone in the oven (I used a square of unglazed tile). I had to get the loaves off the waxed paper and onto the hot stone. Is it any surprise that they turned out like this?



Fortunately, the bread looked and tasted amazing, in spite of it's funny shape.


My biggest problem with the bread was trying not to eat the whole loaf the first day! 

Giraffe #90 looks ready to take a bite.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Theme-It Thursday

Jessica Hische
F is for Fabric. I started sewing when I was about ten, making clothes for my doll. When I was a teenager I started sewing my own clothes. I loved being able to pick out my own fabrics instead of having to settle for the clothes I found in stores.

Several years ago I learned to quilt. The first time I walked into a quilting fabric store I was overwhelmed seeing floor-to-ceiling shelves of the most gorgeous fabrics I had ever seen. Trying to make choices took hours. But it was a wonderful way to spend those hours.

Prairie Queens Quilt Shop

Photo by Tinou Bao

This piece of fabric was on sale. I bought it because it reminds me of autumn.


I used this fabric for the back of a quilt.


F is for Fox. The Fox is one of my favorite animals. There is something about the reddish-brown color and dog-like appearance that I find beautiful. I have this picture on my desktop.

Japanese Fox

I may have to change to this one, soon.

Red Fox

ZooBorns.com has the cutest pictures of newborn foxes, like this arctic fox pup.

Photo Credits: A.J. Haverkamp

I wonder if this swift fox cub is trying to hide.


F is for Foxglove. I've heard of this flower, but I don't think I've ever seen it before. I love the bell shape. One can almost imagine them playing music as they sway in the breeze.


What a beautiful speckled pattern they have.


The inside is interesting, too.

Photo by H. Zell

Foxgloves can be purple, pink, white and yellow.
 
White Foxgloves

Foxglove 'Giant Shirley' Mixed

Giraffe #89 is ready for whatever I decide to make.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Here We Go 'Round the Merry Go Round

Whether one says merry go round or carousel, it's a fun, childhood ride.


I love the different animals and always wanted to find an interesting one to ride. 

A zebra.

Hand-Carved Zebra at St. Louis Zoo

An elephant.


A ferocious lion.


Even better, a giraffe.

Toledo Zoo African Carousel

If you don't want to ride the merry go round, you can always eat it.


Merry-Go-Round Cake

Or just put it on the top of the cake.

Pink Carousel Cake Topper

Even if I can't ride these horses, they are useful for drinking, ringing and decorating.




I had such a hard time deciding which of my giraffes to choose today that I decided to post both of them. 

Giraffe #87 is part of a collection my father gave me. He has the zebra and there are also a lion, tiger and elephant.


Giraffe #88 is an ornament. When he's not hanging on a Christmas tree, he hangs around the house.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Color Of the Week - Dark Lavender

Lavender is a pale tint of violet. The term Lavender can be applied to a range of colors such as pale violet, light pinkish, magenta, or purple colors and some pale or light blueish-indigo colors.

I like the richness of a Dark Lavender. As soon as I saw this bracelet I knew I was going to try making one like it. Now if I can just find where I stored my embroidery threads.

Dark Lavender Cotton Braid Bracelet

I like the Dark Lavender in these beautiful Hydrangeas. I always forget the name of these flowers, even though I like them. I had to google "round flowers" to find them.

Hydrangea

When the summer heat overcomes me as I wile away a lazy afternoon in a garden filled with beautiful Dark Lavender hydrangeas, I will fan myself to cool off.

Source

This blouse will keep me nice and cool.

Sleeveless Chiffon Blouse

I wonder what I'd look like with Dark Lavender hair.

Dark Lavender Wig

Giraffe #86, a gift from a former student, will make sure my ears are stylish.