Category Archives: Photography

Just in case I’m helping with a shoot or have some tips to share. Otherwise, you’ll be seeing my photos with my other stories or on Flickr.

A Little Fuzzy

I have worn glasses (and contacts) for the majority of my life. I chose my first pair in second grade and have been wearing them ever since. They were a horrible, ugly pair of plastic oversized frames that nearly covered my face. Well, maybe not quite that large, but they were ugly and plastic. The late 80’s were not kind to glasses wearers.

28471475272_d49b852590

Thankfully, my mom took pity on me and let me start wearing contacts a few years later. I was so relieved to not have glasses on my face. Except sunglasses, I love wearing sunglasses.

In the last few years, I have grown to despise my contacts nearly as much as those awful glasses. After much thought and reading, I took the plunge this summer and convinced myself to get LASIK (Technically PRK, which is LASIK without the flap). Eek!

28545004766_3a42b33036

The procedure itself wasn’t terrible. I’m sure there are more terrifying operations to go through. I’ve not experienced them, so I’m only guessing.

What I didn’t expect was how long the recovery is taking. I was functioning mostly normally within 3 days with the exception of driving, reading, using a computer, being outside, watching TV, sewing, and baking. So essentially everything I do to keep occupied.

28545006206_37d5440592

Clarity has slowly been making itself known. Every day, I realise I’ve just done something for the first time without the aid of glasses or without squinting. About the only time my eyes feel squinty is when working on my computer (thus the lack of posts) and outside in bright sunlight.

28545003026_389c9480cc

Overall, it has been a good experience and I’m glad to have done it. I also hope that I never have to go through the process again.

Despite the lack of sight, I have been busy with projects and am working on share them with you. Today, you get photos from Monticello during our honeymoon.

28545002086_b1e30fe128

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Adventures!, Photography

Whipped to a Frenzy!

I am always amazed at what happens to egg whites when dropped into a bowl and beat at high speeds.

Whipped to a Frenzy

I am enjoying y challenge of deliberately taking a photo every week. I am having fun thinking out how I want everything to look. I admit to rushing this shot. I wish I had taken a little more time to consider the lighting and background. I have a feeling this will be attempted again next time I whip egg whites or whipping cream.

I recently started putting some of my favourite photos on Society6. You can see it here: 64ColorBox

Leave a comment

Filed under Photography

The Ringling Rose Garden

Ringling Rose Garden

Part of the amazingness of the Ringling museum are their gardens. The Ringling family amassed a rather large portion of land that now surrounds the museums and house. They filled this land with banyan trees and walking paths. I fully intend to go back to explore these. Since the most direct path from the house to the art museum was through the rose garden, I took some time to take a few photos. Enjoy!

Ringling Rose Garden

You can also head over to Flickr to check out the rest of the photos.

Ringling Rose Garden

Ringling Rose Garden

Ringling Rose Garden

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Photography

The Ringling

Ringling Museum

At some point last summer, we were given passes to visit The Ringling Museum of Art. With all the busyness of getting married, we didn’t use the tickets until right before Christmas. We decided to take a day to relax and meander around a museum. Though to call this place just a museum is a bit of a misnomer. The grounds contain the home of John and Mable Ringling, the Circus Museum, the art museum, extensive walking paths and gardens, a theater, and a couple of restaurants.

Ringling Museum

 

We arrived around lunchtime, and grabbed a quick-lunch at the Banyan cafe before meeting for our guided tour of Ca’D’Zan. We don’t usually join guided tours, but it was included with our tickets. I would recommend doing the guided tour as the guides are well-educated about the house. There are many hidden in plain sight details in every room.

Ringling Museum

Our next stop was the art museum. The collection was impressive, but not my taste. I prefer newer works.  Starting around the Impressionists and such. I found a few pieces to study, but this seemed to be more to my husbands liking.

Ringling Museum

 

These are a few of the photos taken, you can follow the link to my Flickr page to see the rest. There will be photos of the garden shared at a later date.

Ringling Museum

Leave a comment

Filed under Adventures!, Photography

Pink Peppermint French Macaron

I’m still working on launching my baking blog. It’s getting close, I promise. Despite not sharing here, I am still baking. I quite liked this photo of the mess of French Macarons I made a couple of weeks ago. I thought I would share it today.

French Macarons

Don’t they look amazing!

Leave a comment

Filed under Eating, Photography

2015 Photographic Intent

Bouche Noir

I don’t want to call it a challenge or a resolution. I know I will take more than an average of one photo a day. Most of which will never see the light of day. I am still very much in the learning process of taking photographs. Even getting the settings correct takes trial and error on my part.

This year, I would like to deliberately take one photograph a week. I don’t want it to be a snapshot. I want to take a photo that I have thought about. A photo that is staged or set-up. Where I have thought about the camera settings. Pondered the props.

Currently, what my mind’s eye sees and what actually happens aren’t always the same, sometimes, they aren’t even close. I’d like to get closer to the point where they start to meld.

This week’s photo came close to being what I imagined. The set-up is the same, but the angle I took the photo changed. I imagined the shot from the bottom up. Instead (which I should have known), is that I took the photo from more of an aerial view.

Leave a comment

Filed under Photography

Birthday Baking

Pink Layer Cup Cakes

This year, I decided to try something new for my birthday treats. Yep, I still make birthday treats for myself. All my co-workers appreciate it. Then again, we are teachers and get birthday treats on a regular basis. Since those treats are store bought, I like to add a little homemade goodness to the mix.

Pink Layer Cup Cakes

I’ve seen stacked cupcakes featured on a few blogs and thought I would give them a try. Rather than try to bake something already round, I opted to bake the cake mixture as a flat sheet. I used a jelly roll pan that is 15 x 11 inches. By baking the cake in this manner, I ended up with a 1 inch thick cake. I then used a 2 in circle cutter to cut out my circles (I think next time, I’ll use a sharper edged cutter as the edges were a little rough).

Pink Layer Cup Cakes

I used a basic buttercream frosting. To make it interesting, I used variegated shades of pink, starting with white. After completing a layer of filling, I added a little more food coloring paste to darken the pink. (I’ll have to do this again as I didn’t take photos of each step.)

Pink Layer Cup Cakes

They turned out amazingly! The cake was fudgey. By using thin layers of frosting, I managed to avoid them being overly sweet.

Pink Layer Cup Cakes

1 Comment

Filed under Eating, Photography

Slow Start…

Butterfly Rainforest

It feels as if my summer is off to a slow start. Usually, I begin with a bang. Weeks before my students pack up for the last time, I have created an extensive list of projects to complete during the summer months. Then I pick a handful of quick crafts to complete during my first days of freedom. This year is different, for a handful of reasons. I still have my list. It’s a really exciting list, full of elaborate projects, simple projects, quick projects, and week-long projects. But, I can’t show those to you, yet!

Butterfly Rainforest

I really, really want too, because my wedding dress is looking amazing! I am super excited at how well it is turning out. It is near completion. I just want to put it on and show the world. For now, a select few people will get to see it. Otherwise, it will stay hidden in my sewing room along with the many other projects I will be working on this summer.

Butterfly Rainforest

This dress has been such a huge project, that I haven’t been doing many little projects as I work on it (which is what I usually do in such cases). Due to this, I don’t have filler projects to share. Today, you are getting this story with photos taken while I was on spring break in March. My fiance and I took a trip to Gainesville to visit the Butterfly Rainforest.

Butterfly Rainforest

We were told not to expect much as it was cold outside and the butterflies were only at a level 1 for movement. Let me tell you, I think a level 10 could possibly create a tornado. There were butterflies everywhere! Thanks to their lack of motivation for movement, it made taking photos rather easy and enjoyable.

I promise some exciting news will be here on Thursday!

Butterfly Rainforest

Leave a comment

Filed under Photography, Sewing

Limoncello Finire

Our limoncello is finally complete! I waited the maximum suggested time for both infusion processes. Following the soaking of the lemon zest (only the yellow part). You then add sugar and let it rest yet again. I’m thinking it was well worth the 2 month wait. Particularly since it is toasty warm again and our pool is ready for use. This will be a nice Sunday afternoon treat.

To complete the limoncello, you will need:

  • cheesecloth
  • bowl
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • funnel
  • bottle for storage

Directions:

  1. On the stove, heat water and sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and let boil for 5-7 minutes. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool. This is a simple syrup.
  2. Dampen the cheesecloth. Spread a double layer of cheesecloth over your bowl (It helps to have an extra set of hands for this part). Carefully pour the infused vodka and lemon zest through the cheese cloth into the bowl. Be sure to squeeze every last drop of liquid out of the cheesecloth as possible.
  3. Pour the simple syrup into the vodka. For a clear limoncello, wait for the syrup to cool completely; for a cloudy syrup, pour in the syrup while it is still warm.
  4. Using your funnel, transfer the limoncello into your storage bottle. Seal the bottle and let age in that same cool dark corner for at least a week but up to a month. The longer you let it age, the smoother the taste. Refrigerate or freeze after ageing.
  5. Convince fiance to design a label!

 

For both processes, I let mine sit for nearly a month. It is wonderful. It is also very strong and sweet. I have found I can’t drink more than a shot or so of it at a time. It should last me for much of the summer.

I have seen other flavor options around. I may give them a go next!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Eating, Photography

Filled Lemon Chiffon Cupcakes

This may be the first recipe I claim as my own. It didn’t begin as my own. I started off making a cake shared by cake journal and ended off going my own way with the entire process.

The cupcakes are light and fluffy with an almost angel food cake texture. Thanks to the airy-ness, the lemon curd filling didn’t glob all into one place, it spread around inside the cupcake. To complete the cupcake, I added a lemon cream cheese frosting. They were delicious!

I started out following the Lemon Chiffon Cake recipe from cake journal. With a few major deviations.

Lemon Chiffon Cupcakes

  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

Directions

Heat over to 350° F. Line cupcake pans with liners. Separate the eggs into 2 bowls. In the bowl with the egg yolks, add the oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and water. Mix until just combined. In another bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 cup of sugar. Save the rest of the sugar for the egg whites. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Mix until smooth.

In your mixer’s bowl, beat the egg whites until light and foamy. Slowly add the remaining sugar. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Mix the egg whites into the cake batter. Fold in 1/3 of the eggs at a time.

Scoop batter into cupcake pan. I use an ice cream scoop to get even results. Bake for 12-16 minutes. My oven cooks cupcakes in 15 minutes. The cupcakes will be lightly browned with a slightly rounded top when you pull them out of the oven. They will fall as they cool to have a flat top. Remove from pans and allow to cool on a baking rack.

Lemon Curd Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 pound butter, room temperature
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

Cream the butter. Beat in the sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing completely between eggs. Mix in the lemon juice. Mix until combined.

On the stove, pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan. Cook over low heat until thickened. It should take about 10 min. Stir constantly. I highly recommend using a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. The curd will thicken at 170°F. You should see the change.

Remove from heat to let cool.

Once the cupcakes and lemon curd are cool, you can fill the cupcakes with the lemon curd. There are multiple ways to do this. You could remove a portion of the cupcake. I have an attachment for a pastry bag that I use for injecting filling.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 5 cups powdered sugar

Directions

In a mixing bowl, place the zest, cream cheese, and butter. Beat until fluffy. About 2-3 minutes. Slowly add powdered sugar. I usually add about 1/2 cup at a time to prevent any from being mixed over the edge.

Using your method of choice, frost your cupcakes. If you are not using a pastry bag, you can probably get away with making half of the frosting recipe.

Make It and Love It

2 Comments

Filed under Eating, Photography