Friday, July 30, 2010

Meet Arnold Palmer

Hello blogworld, meet Arnold Palmer. Or, to be exact, Arnold Palmer Tee! So named because it was the favourite drink of an American golfer by that name, apparently. It is made from half iced tea, half lemonade, and it is delicious. :)
I first met this Arnold Palmer at a blog called Framed following a Google search for minted lemonade. Her recipe was my starting point, but since frozen lemonade concentrate is something I've never seen or heard of, I had to improvise a bit.
I started by making tea as specified in the Framed recipe. While it was cooling I made a simple syrup and mixed together a strong lemonade following this recipe at Food Network (but skipped the mint, as I already had it in the tea). Then it was all a matter of adjusting the proportions . The amounts in the recipes must be considered only a guideline - the amount of simple syrup, for example, will have to be adjusted to suit the acidity of your lemons and to your own taste. Either I had very acidic lemons or a serious sweet tooth... I wonder which, haha. :P
This drink tastes wonderful and intense when made of equal parts iced tea and lemonade, but if you're looking for a real thirst quencher, I'd water it down a little first. Serve over lots and lots of ice on a hot day. Oh, and you can always spike it with a splash of Limoncello if you like. Yum.
The two vintage milk bottles with tea and lemonade (and a small bottle of simple syrup for extra sweetening) are now sitting in my fridge, ready to be made into an Arnold Palmer Tee or other summery drinks whenever I desire. Enjoy!
PS: Totally unrelated: I just noticed that my previous post was my post number 300! I've only been blogging for a year and a half, so that seems like a pretty decent number to me. Here's to another 300! *raising my glass of Arnold Palmer Tee*

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

DIY table centerpieces

For my birthday celebration I wanted flower centerpieces for the table. I found some cheap potted roses at the garden center and snipped off all the stems with flowers and flower buds. To my surprise, most of them were still looking good even after three days!
These bottles and glasses used to hold olive oil, taco sauce, pesto, jam, pasta sauces and all sorts of other stuff. Bandaid remover is a good solution for getting rid of the most stubborn labels, by the way. A few tied ribbons later they are cute little vases and candle holders! I arranged two bottle groups on my dinner table and still had enough for a group on the coffee table inside. To create some connection between all these different shapes and sizes I restricted myself to only clear glass, and glued the same ribbon (the same as on the invitations) near the bottom of every piece. On a side note - you can also see a couple of the kanzashi flowers I blogged about on Sunday.
I have to say I was very pleased! It didn't cost much and looked really cute. Both colours and style fitted my theme perfectly.

Monday, July 26, 2010

2/52: All is well that ends well

I dreaded this week for so long, and it was every bit as bad as I had feared. But as it came to an end, it brought a wonderful evening on the veranda with a good friend and marked the beginning of four weeks of summer vacation. All is well.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tsumami Kanzashi party decorations

All the cabins in our area are built in the same style. So how to make our own easily identifyable for my guests? Personalise the entrance of course! Many of my friends have seen me making other kanzashi flowers before (sunflower brooches and National Day brooch), and instantly recognised my work. That's actually really flattering, I think. :)
I made a whole stack of flowers! It was a nice activity for the quiet times during night shifts. Some of them were simply laid on the tables as decoration, and a couple were attatched to the door handles (to identify the bath rooms).
They look a bit wonky now, having been stuffed into a bag and brought home... For a tutorial on this particular folding technique, check out this excerpt from the book Kanzashi in Bloom.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Baby Kristoffer

Ok, my card making mojo is officially on summer vacation. Not really a bad thing I guess, I've got enough of other stuff I could/should do, but I really should tell people no when they ask me to make a card for them. ;) This is all I managed to do, even after ripping apart the first attempt. Oh well, too late for Kristoffer now, but the shop is now closed for summer. ;)

Monday, July 19, 2010

1/52: Peonies

I guess I'm supposed to feel sad that the petals are falling off,
but the feeling of them in my hand was simply exquisite.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

You are invited!

For once, I'm going to celebrate my birthday! I probably haven't done that since... oh, since I was a teenager or something like that. The compulsory (and nice!) family dinners excluded of course. Why? I don't really know. This year will be a bit different, apparently! ;) I've had this party idea floating around in my head for some time, and when I finally decided to do something about it, it all came together pretty fast. I hope my friends will enjoy themselves - I'm certainly looking forward to it! :)

Invitations? Seriously? That is definitely a first. And, admittedly, I invited most of them by text message first. But there was a practical reason for the invitations as well. My guests needed directions to our cabin, as none of them have ever been there before, and it's much too complicated to explain in a text message... So I printed the directions and included them inside the card.
"Friendship makes the soul blossom." A gorgeous stamp from one of my Stempelglede sets, stamped directly on the DP using StazOn Timber Brown. You can see that this card is easy to mass produce. Using a landscape 10x15 cm format enabled me to get excactly three card bases from one sheet of kraft paper. The Bazzill Parakeet paper was cut to 10x15 cm as well (=six cards from one sheet of paper!), then punched with an MS border punch on both long sides to make a nicely proporsioned mat for the various pink DPs. The cute green ribbon from Stoff og Stil matches the Parakeet paper so well you wouldn't believe it! Two Prima Hydrangea flowers with a glass bead are the only other decorational elements.
As for the inside of the cards, I simply used leftover strips of the pink DPs and more of the green ribbon to decorate. A Penny Black text stamp saying "Friends have a wonderful way of showing us what really matters" was stamped in white on one side, and I wrote the actual invitation by hand on the other with my white Sakura pen.
This first batch of invitations were made using paper from three BG paper pads and the MME Wild Asparagus pad. I considered buying pink DPs so all invitations looked the same, but decided to choose papers from my stash. It's not like I don't have enough to choose from - and it goes nicely with the romantic, whimsical theme that seems to have emerged for this party. I'll be sharing more pictures and DIY projects for my party later on!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Baby Alida (and baby socks #20)

Uhm... I seem to remember saying something about trying this layout with some lucious, dark papers... And here's what I did instead. ;) Oh well. I like this card better than the last one though. There are few differences really, but with such a clean and simple layout even the smallest change is immediately visible. The papers are K&Co Wedding Collection, the letters QK Eliza Mini. I spent almost a whole Prima pearl swirl package, but they look awesome - especially when teamed with some pale pink roses and buds and a baby bear charm. The edges were inked with Distress Ink Tattered Rose.
I call these the Mykland socks, as I made the recipe based on a 25-30 year old pair of socks I borrowed from a member of that family. Thanks again Krissie! The recipe has been continously changed to suit different yarns and to make a larger size I can give to summer babies. This particular pair is made with multi-coloured Lanett yarn, and I love the look. Other variations from the past include the classic natural white or multi-coloured blue, and a very very bright green pair. ;) You can also find these socks on my Ravelry page.
In my hurry to finish the card I accidently wrote a sentiment before snapping a photo, sorry. The sentiment stamp inside is a nice one by Penny Black: "Babies are such a nice way to start people".

Monday, July 12, 2010

Limoncello experiment part two

What's that? You want a card post, you say? Well, okay then. Check back on Wednesday. ;) Until then you'll have to endure even more yellow photos! *moahahahah*
The alcohol and lemon peels have been steeping for just over three weeks, and my limoncello experiment has now entered its second stage. I had a tiny little taste, just to get a feel for how it's developing, and YOWZA! 60% alcohol and a bunch of lemon peels made for a seriously tounge-searing combination! Phew, I think I'll have to treat this stuff with care. Assuming, of course, that it becomes at all drinkable in the end. ;) I removed and filtered (using this technique again) 2 x 50 ml of the mixture before adding a simple syrup to the rest. So cool - it turned cloudy and opaque immediately! Just look at the difference from the unsweetned stuff. :) Now alcohol, peels and syrup need at least another week to rest before the third and final stage.
Seriously, I think I'll have to make a "yellow" label category soon. It's just such a bright, happy colour - I feel better every time I look at my yellow photos! Everything looks better when photographed against a yellow polkadot tablecloth. ;)
Soundtrack: Gwyneth Herbert: Annie's Yellow Bag. (of course. ;) )

Saturday, July 10, 2010

When life gives you lemons...

...make lemonade!
Serve with ice cubes and mint leaves, preferably on a yellow polkadot tablecloth.
After my little limoncello experiment got started I was left with a few zest-less lemons.
Ane let me tell you, these last weeks they've snuck into almost every drink and meal!
- In the evening,
use them to spruce up some "grown-up lemonade"... ;)
- Make a classic oven-baked lemon chicken...
...with oven-baked tomatoes on the side.
Lemon-infused rice with spring onions
was a fresh and zingy partner to a stir-fry pork dish.
-This one made me feel like a real kitchen wiz:
carrot soup with lemon and mint! Lots and lots of mint.
Homemade crispbread on the side.
If you don't feel like cooking, lemons make refreshing ice cubes!
And so, there's only half a lemon left.
I think I have to go lemon shopping...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

You know you're getting old...

...when the candles on your cake represent decades rather than years.

Monday, July 5, 2010

How to know if your card has been appreciated

Finding it displayed in a glass frame is always a good sign. ;)
I gave the card to my parents in celebration of their new cabin
and found it again on the wall of said cabin's kitchen. :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday photo feature

I don't seem to be able to produce more than two cards a week these days.
Here are some of the reasons why:
- Blue skies, nothing but blue skies all day long.
Wild strawberries growing in my parents' garden.
Lunches like these.
Orange, sweet sweet pineapple, kiwi and watermelon.
And a fistful of gorgeous, rich, dark cherries...
I also have some WIPs in the works.
Quite a few, actually.
I'll be sharing them later on, so stick around!