Saturday, August 27, 2011

New Favorite Dessert: Bread Pudding

Our new favorite dessert, bread pudding. This one has been a big hit with friends and family. I just discovered the recipe this summer and it's our new favorite. I baked this one tonight and I wanted to share it with you. Try it, it's yummy!
The original recipe came from The Amercia's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook...but I've since altered it a bit (added the oatmeal, apple & rasins and reduced the cream). Here's my take on the recipe:
4 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
3/4 c + 2T sugar
2 1/2 c milk
2 c heavy cream
1 T vanilla extract
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t salt
1/4 c raisins
13 slices of white bread (plain white sandwich bread has great results)
1 pealed cubed apple
1 1/2 T butter
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 c oatmeal
1/2 c nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Heat oven 325 degrees.
Lightly coat 9 x 13" baking dish with vegetable spray.
Whisk eggs, yolk, 3/4 c sugar in large bowl. Whisk in milk, cream, vanilla, nutmeg, raisins, apples & salt.
Stir in 10 slices of cut up bread pieces and toss together until bread is soaked.
Pour into dish and let soak for 20 minutes.
Toss 3 slices of bread pieces with 2 T sugar, butter, oatmeal & cinnamon for topping.
Sprinkle topping over dish, pushing down gently to partially submerge.
Bake pudding until deep golden brown, puffy around the sides and jiggles very slightly in the center.
Approximately 50 minutes.

This summer, while in Hawaii, my husband would order bread pudding almost every day from the local bakery. It was something we never had on the mainland...I never knew he even liked it. I've only had bread pudding once before in my life. So, when we came back, I was determined to find a good recipe for bread pudding and I think this one is it! I hope you try it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Anna Griffin Stamps

I bought this set of Anna Griffin stamps recently on ebay. It's a good set, but there's about 6 stamps that I just love!
I was going a bit crazy and stamping on a bunch of tags & envelops. There's a lot of detail on her stamps, so it's best to use dye based ink (Archival Ink or Memento) and not pigment (Color Box).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Frozen Charlotte Dressed Up

I dressed up this little frozen charlotte doll in lace and tissue paper. She's all ready for a party, don't you think? :-)

I was inspired by the work of JoAnna Pierotti. She'll be teaching a couple of workshops at Art Is...You Retreat in Petaluma in September ( I'm signed up to take her Olde Soul workshop and the Santos workshop from Dee Foust. I can't wait, it'll be my first time there! Anyone else going?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Stamping On Polymer Clay

I was so inspired by Laurie Mika's work that I did some more stamping on polymer clay tonight.
I think Laurie recommends stamping on dark color clay, but I used white clay and then just used acrylic paint to color the clay. These are just some fun pieces I made. It's best to use stamps that have a really deep impression, then press down hard and then you'll get a good image.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Beach in San Francisco

Can you guess where this is?
My parents use to take us here all the time. Where the row of homes are, stood a large roller coaster and a laughing Sal. Yep, Playland At The Beach - did you go there too? This is an old rendition of what it use to look like.

We went to Ocean beach this past weekend. It takes you back memory lane driving down this area, pass the famous Cliff House. The weather was beautiful, not a cloud in the sky. However, that doesn't mean it's going to be warm in San Francisco. It was cold and the water freezing.

This weekend ,was also our company (Williams Sonoma/Pottery Barn) sample sale. One of my favorite events of the year. I was in the parking lot at 7am, even though they don't let you in until 9am. But getting there early means you can park close and that's well worth waiting 2 hours. You enter the sale by lottery number - I didn't have a good one this time, I was 721 out of 900. I did okay, but no spectacular find. I was disappointed that I missed a purchase of a 4 foot Santos that someone had bought before me - darn! I did pick up this nice bookcase and some cute wire baskets (love the one shaped like a shopping bag). My other favorite is the picture of the perfume bottles. So, I didn't do too bad.

Look at this smile...
Now you see them....
Now you don't. After two years, my daughter got her braces off. It's so funny, the dentist office hands them a goodie bag when they leave (candy, corn nuts, gum, etc.).

This is something I made last night. I was inspired by artist, Laurie Mika who works a lot with polymer clay. I stamped on the clay and then rubbed it with paint. The piece is about 1 1/2 inches long. I'm going to play more with this was fun.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

More Shrink Plastic Projects...

In prepping for my Shrink Plastic workshop next month, I decided to make some more shrink plastic projects tonight. I hope these inspire my students on what you can do with this media. Can you find the shrink plastic piece(s) on each one? There's a total of 19 pieces of shrink plastic below.
Okay, this project below doesn't have any shink plastic on it...but I thought I'd share it with you. I used the Tim Holtz Idea-ology Ornate Plates and distressed it with the Adironidak Dapper in color Juniper. It gives the metal a petina finish that I love. I added a few odds and ends and I called it done! Not sure what I'll do with this piece, maybe make it into a necklace?

This weekend is my company's (Williams Sonoma Inc.) sample sale. I know, I have no more room for any more furniture or accessories, but I just can't pass it's the best perk for working for them!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Anna Griffin Card Kits

Recently, I purchased a couple of Anna Griffin card kits from HSN. I bought the Thank You and Birthday kits.
You get some beautiful card stock, coordinating accent papers, 3D flowers, bows, sentiments, envelopes and double stick adhesive. 
I thought these kits would provide great foundations for cards. I knew I could add some of my own elements and make new cards. Tonight, while watching, So You Think You Can Dance, I made these cards:
It's nice to have cards ready when you need them.

BTW, I love the final four dancers in the show....not sure who my favorite is, but I'm a big fan of Tad and Melanie. The finale is tomorrow night!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Weekend In Tahoe

This past weekend we were up in Tahoe with our friends. Every summer we spend time up there with them and usually go rafting, swimming and biking. The weather was perfect and we had a great time. We started with rafting down the Truckee River.
It was a beautiful day!
The water level wasn't very high. In fact, this Saturday was the first day it was open all summer! Some sections were very shallow.
The most exciting part was going through this one section. A large group hid behind a corner around some bushes. They were armed with soakers (water guns) and buckets. As you went pass them, you were at their mercy...
and you basically got drenched. We decided to sit back and watch as people got soaked.
We also did some biking around the neighborhood. It's fun to ride around and look at some of the beautiful homes, wishing you could own one.
This was our last little get away for the sad it's almost over!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Shrink Plastic Workshop

Hey everyone! I mentioned hosting a Shrink Plastic workshop awhile ago, and I've since rescheduled the workshop for Saturday, Sept. 10th from 1pm-4pm at my home. The cost will be $32, so send me an email if you're interested!
I thought we might do a variety of projects such as mini books, articulated doll, shadow box, etc. We'll use different types of shrink plastic so you know what works best for different pieces. It will be a fun Artful Play date!