Monday, January 19, 2015

Mini Post # 7 Seasonal Closet

First off, this was not a mini project although it is a mini post.

 I just want to make sure that even though I am not posting anything creative, you know I'm not on the beach in Tahiti either.  I'm multi-tasking here.  I'm letting you know what has been keeping me from posting something creative, and I'm experimenting with some techniques on PicMonkey.

Not rocket science but challenging enough for someone who was born long before computers became common place.  I took advantage of the 80% off sales after Christmas and chose my color early.

January seemed to buzzing by rather quickly and I was starting to feel the pressure to dismantle the tree.and gather up all those other holiday trims that came out slowly and now have to go back all at one time.

I have a closet on the 3rd floor that measures about 7'x 8'.  It stores many of my seasonal decorations and a few other items when I need a quick place to get something out of sight.

This is how it looked after wrapping presents this year.

Actually this is how it looked for about the last six months.

I basicly had room to swing the door open and step inside.  And this is after I decorated the downstairs with a bunch of stuff that was in here.

How was I going to bring all that holiday decor back into this closet without some straightening?

No need to explain why you aren't seeing any creative projects these days.  I have no time or energy left for the fun stuff right now.  However, now that my closet looks like this...

I will be getting back to something more interesting.  Nothing beautiful about this, but I know what is in each of those bags and it has all been sorted over the last few days.


And there is room to spare. 

Doesn't it look heavenly?  Much more to learn on PicMonkey but this is a start.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Hosting Dream Group

I have posted several times about the dream group that I have been a part of for over 25 years.

We meet once a month now and occasionally we snap a picture to keep a little visual of our history.

Sometimes around the New Year, we think about taking a group picture.

These are not in any particular order but this one was dated 2007.

Six members of the group shared dreams at my house today and since it is still January, I handed out the hats for this shot.  (Kathy, Vicki, Carrie, Ginger, Marge, and Noeli)

 Someone had to take the previous picture.  So, not to be left out, I did my version of a selfie. 

I just had to throw this one in too.  One day Kathy arrived for dream group in a hat of her own making.

It was quite colorful and a work of art.

Sometimes it not all about dreams but it is always about the food.

 Today it was a breakfast casserole and...

Rustic Cranberry-Raisin Tarts

Since I had a couple requests for the recipes, I will include them here.

  We meet at 9:30 in the morning, so it is nice to have a recipe that can be prepared in stages.  Both the dough and the filling for this tart can be prepared the night before, assembled and baked in the morning.

Rustic Cranberry-Raisin Tarts
Dough:   1 ½ cups of flour
                3 Tbsp. sugar
                ¼ tsp. Salt
                12 Tbsp. unsalted butter cut into pieces
                2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. cold water
Put flour, sugar, salt into a food processor and pulse.  Add butter and pulse to coarse consistency.  Add water and pulse until dough starts to come together.  Turn dough out and form into a ball.  Divide the ball into six equal balls.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.
Filling:   3 cups fresh cranberries   (I stock up on cranberries in November and keep them in the freezer)
                1 cup golden raisins
                ¾ cup sugar
                ¼ cup pure maple syrup
                2 Tbsp orange liqueur (this time I just used more orange juice and omitted the liqueur)
                Grated zest of one orange
                1 Tbsp of fresh orange juice
                1/8 tsp of salt.
In medium saucepan, cook 2 cups cranberries with the raisins, sugar, syrup, liqueur, zest, orange juice, and salt.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Stir occasionally until sugar dissolves and the cranberries have popped and mixture is thick. (about 6 minutes)  Taste..if too tart, add more sugar.  (I like them tart so this recipe is perfect for me) Remove pan from heat and stir in remaining cranberries.  Let filling come to room temperature.  You can now assemble or refrigerate until ready to use.
Assemble:  Let dough come to room temperature.  (15 minutes)  On lightly floured surface roll each ball into a 6 inch circle.  Place 3 to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Sprinkle with gingersnap  crumbs.  Total crumbs needed:  About 3 Tbsp.  Leave a 1 inch border.  Dollop with filling leaving the same 1 inch border.  Gently fold the border over the filling pleating as you go.  Lightly pinch pleats.  Sprinkle crust with sugar.  Place in preheated 375 degree over for 20-15 minutes.  Rotate baking sheets half way through baking time.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  May be served with whip cream.
Both dough and filling will keep two days in the refrigerator.

The Breakfast Casserole Recipe can be found here.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Mini Post #6 Note Catcher

What's a note catcher?  It is what I call a gift I received from my niece, Stephanie.  I'm sure it has another name but to me it's rather like a dream catcher.  It holds onto those images, quotes, and notes to self so that I am reminded of them periodically.  It served a dual purpose of getting me to tidy up my computer desk.

It has three sections so it can be arranged in a variety of ways.  And, as you can see, I have room for many more items.

I elected to put it next to my computer.  I should probably have my daily "to-do" list hanging on it to remind me that time is passing quickly while I am drifting around in cyber space.

My goal is to freshen my note catcher on a weekly basis.

Maybe I'll include my bulletin board in that rotation as well.

The gift came with a family picture to get me started.  Danny, John, Sheila, Barb and Margaret.  The only sibling not in this shot is Jim.

She also included the following quote.

"I stay in shape by running from commitment"

Gee, if staying in shape were only that easy!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Mini Post #5 Best Bargain

Since my sister was staying with me through the New Year, we did a little after Christmas shopping.  Nothing hard core mind you, just browsing and enjoying the luxury of  shopping without looking for anything in particular.

One place we visited was The White Rabbit where my sister found a lovely soft scarf and...

I bought a set of six mercury glass ornaments.  They are battery operated so they could go almost anywhere.  Today is the first day I gave any thought to where that might be.  And I think I found the spot.

It is a little late for this year but I'm thinking of leaving my holiday decor in place until I rearrange my storage closet. So I arranged these thinking it would be nice to enjoy my 50% off bargain for a while before packing everything away.

With the lights off, it is easier to see the finish on the glass.

Unfortunately they look extremely yellow in the photograph so you don't get the true representation.

I will try another picture when it is dark outside to see if that helps.

As your have probably already figured out, this is taken on my back porch.

The window reflecting the candlier is directly behind my kitchen sink so it's a nice image to see from the kitchen.

I really would love for you to see them without the heavy yellow cast.  I tried sepia to take away the distraction.

I then tried black and white.

I even tried the pencil sketch.

I think the sepia says it best.

I waited until dusk to take another shot at it but no luck.  They really do have a mercury looking white light....if only you could see them in person.  My daughter got a new camera for Christmas.  Maybe she has a filter that will solve my problem.  For now, it is up to your imagination.