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Archive for February, 2010

Bulldog Buddy

Please meet my dear bulldog buddy.

His name is… hmmm… Bulldog (oh, I know, I’m really creative).

He is a bit camera shy.

Let’s forgive him that.

I like to pull his face…

… in many different directions.

And you know what?

He is not just a usual bulldog buddy.

There’s something more to him.

He is usually full of some colorful gorgeous stuff like this.

Now you can see why I love my bulldog buddy so much – he is just so helpful.

I’m sorry buddy – today we’re going to remove your guts.

These have already served us well.

There’s a new project ahead of us.

Here we go…

Black and white – does it evoke anything in your mind?

What about a panda?

Well, we’ll see soon…

… and my good old precious hook.

Actually, that might be even older than me.

It is a precious gift from my Mom.

She bought it quite a while ago and used it to make many beautiful things.

OK… I’ll give you some rest now.

But not for too long buddy, not for too long.

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I love working with yarn.

I love knitting, I love crocheting… I just love everything that has something to do with yarn.

It seems to have some magic power over me.

The colors, the needles, the stitches – they transport me into a quiet, peaceful and happy universe.

And I am really lucky to be surrounded by people who like to use the things I make for them (except for my boyfriend – I just can’t make him like and wear slippers like these … and I can’t figure out why).

I made these for my Mom…

Flowers – they make me so happy.

I love to be surrounded by flowers – real or made of yarn – any kind of a flower makes my heart sing.

If you speak the crochet language and would like to create a flower like this, then I have a little surprise for you.

THE FLOWER PATTERN everybody!

And it’s really easy.

As you can see the flower consists of two layers.

They are both made separately – first, the top flower with the yellow center and red edges and then the bottom red flower.

These two flowers are simply sewn together afterward.

Abbreviations:  Ch – chain, Sl st – slip stitch, Sc – single crochet, Hdc – half-double crochet, Dc – double crochet

The crochet language – so impressive!

Enjoy dear friends…


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Sometimes I find myself in the mood… to put this world into a different angle.

Sometimes I’m in the mood to take vengeance on this world by sucking all color out of it.

There you go…

Sometimes my mood is not so harsh and I give this world a slight ‘vintage’ chance.

And sometimes I get just amazed by how much power I have over this world…

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Where’s the Groom?

… the bride’s all ready and waiting …

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Can you see any difference between…

… these two pictures?

You surely can.

The first one is cursed with some unsightly orange cast.

And let me tell you that I was struggling with that unwanted cast for quite some time.

Until one day – one lovely, sunny day – I stumbled upon an article on white balance.

And that changed my life.

Literally.

The orange cast is caused by tungsten (or bulb) light when you take pictures under… well… bulb light.

Our eyes get used to that light and see the colors the way they really are but cameras don’t.

Actually, they don’t unless you tell them to.

Which means … there IS a way how to free yourself from these orange chains.

If you really, really wish for the colors on your pictures to be more true to life, please, go into your camera settings and search for the white balance settings.

The point-and-shoot camera users can find wonderful settings not only for the tungsten (bulb or indoor) lighting but also for outdoors, cloudy, sunny, shade and other lighting conditions.

Those using DSLR cameras can find the exactly same settings in their menus.

And on top of that – there is something called CUSTOM WHITE BALANCE.

I find that setting absolutely gorgeous, amazing, awesome and great and… let me stop myself right here.

And it’s so easy to use.

Basically, what you do is that you take a picture of a white object (for example a sheet of paper, a coffee filter, a white food container lid) under the exact lighting conditions you plan to take the other pictures.

Then you go into the menu of your camera and do all the required steps to save this picture the way it should be saved (please, please – check your camera manual for the specifics because cameras vary from model to model; just be looking for the CUSTOM WHITE BALANCE).

By taking the picture of a white object you are telling your camera – “Hey,
camera, this is white, all right? Not orange, not yellow, not anything else. I’m grateful you remember that.”


… So now you have told your camera what white looks like where you are shooting.

And from now on you’ll be nothing else but happy.

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Ok.

The thing is… – I would like to show you this.

See?

Then there’s this I would like you to focus your attention upon.

And – last but not least – there’s this.

Oh… I am sorry… there’s nothing to see in the direction my finger is pointing towards.

What I’m really ‘humbly’ trying to show you are my newly finished mittens.

What am I like?

In fact, I love this pattern.

I love it so much I will probably post a tutorial on it soon…

Oh, have you ever seen a crazier person than me?

Oh my!

Seriously, what is that…?

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What comes to your mind when you think of banana bread?

To me it’s BEAUTIFUL.

And FRAGRANT.

And IRRESISTIBLE.

And a piece of sweet art.

The kind of food that makes me feel really good.

I missed this art in my life lately.

And that is unacceptable.

So I just created it…

~~~

To make wonderful Banana Bread you need:

1 cup (115 grams) walnuts or pecans (optional)

1 3/4 cups (230 grams) all-purpose flour

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 ripe large bananas, sliced

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

~~~

1. Preheat an oven to 350 F (175 C).

2. Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8-10 minutes.

They will become wonderfully tender and fragrant.

3. These are our dry ingredients.

Pour them into a larger bowl and mix them.

4. After you toasted the nuts chop them coarsely,…

… add them to the flour mixture,…

… and give it all a good mix.

5. These are our wet ingredients – the sliced bananas, lightly beaten eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract.

6. Mash the bananas.

7. Add the eggs, the butter and the vanilla to the bowl.

Mix, mix, mix.

8. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients just until combined.

The batter should be thick and chunky (try not to over mix here – the bread could end up being tough and rubbery – and we don’t want that).

9. Butter and flour (or spray with a non-stick spray) the bottom and sides of a loaf pan.

Fill it with the lovely batter.

10. And bake for about 55-60 minute (or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean).

Mmmmm, this smells wonderful…

Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove from the pan.

11. Enjoy dear friends…

… and remember that there are many more lovely posts for you to see here.

(This recipe was adapted from joyofbaking.com.)


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