Friday, October 16, 2015

Sweet 16: Schiacciata (Flat Bread)

Oh my gosh, Hi you guys!  It has been so long! As one would expect, grad school has been keeping me very busy, and most of my 'free time' is still going to slowly getting things unpacked. (I finally hung up some art this past week!)

In terms of school, I have two big research projects, regular course-work, and I'm in the middle of designing/building a show. But I'm not here to talk about that today. Instead, because I've been craving it for weeks now, I decided to make some bread tonight. And I figured I'd share what I could with you (which means a recipe and pictures).

This bread is from Tuscany, Italy and I have been searching for years for a good recipe. Surprisingly hard to find! This past summer I came across this book in a consignment/antique shop in Ballard, WA, and there it was, the perfect simple recipe. Of course I bought the book so I could try it out and lo and behold I finally had some good schiacciata for the first time in seven years!

Italy The Beautiful Cookbook  Lorenzo De Medici  Be warned, there are multiple versions of this book. They do not all have this recipe in them.
Now, the recipe in this book is very brief with pretty limited instructions, so what I'm sharing here is what I have learned after making this a few times.

First off, you'll need:
1 envelope dry yeast (1/4 oz)
1/2 cup tepid (luke warm) water
4 cups flour
3 Tbsp. olive oil (the better the better!)
1 large fresh rosemary sprig (although dried totally works too)
coarse salt

The first step is to dissolve the yeast in the tepid water. Stir it in a bit and let it sit for about 10 minutes.  In the meantime, pile up the 4 cups of flour on a board or work surface. If you want to avoid a potential mess, put it in a large but shallow bowl. Make a well in the middle of the flour. Pour in the dissolved yeast and water and carefully (seriously though, have a towel handy if you aren't using a bowl) mix it into the flour with your hands.

Add more water a bit at a time until you get a soft dough. (I usually end up using about 1 cup of extra water.) Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is soft and elastic.

Eventually it will go from this...

to this.
Roll it into a ball and put it in a lightly floured bowl in a warm place.

Then tuck it in.

After a while it will have just about doubled in size. This time can vary, so check it occasionally.

At this point, if you haven't already, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Knead the dough lightly and then roll out to about 3/8ths of an inch on a lightly floured baking sheet. Let it rise again for about half an hour. Then poke some holes in it with your finger tips.

Brush the top with 3 Tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle salt and rosemary all over it. Then bake it for 13-15 minutes until it is golden around the edges.



Now what are you waiting for! Eat it! This bread is great warm straight from the oven, but also pretty awesome at room temp.  You can also play around with toppings. I've made mine with big green olives before, that was pretty tasty.

Totally kid approved by the way (it's bread, what'd you expect?)

Happy baking!

And now back to the regularly scheduled programming of homework and research.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Catch up!

Wowza it has been a busy summer! So before I restart real posts about cool stuff, let me do a little bit of catching up. I think I'm so far behind I didn't even get May on here, so we'll start with the kiddo's birthday party. He requested a 'marvel super hero' party, so I made some cool villain cut-outs and had the kids trap them with spider web (silly string).

These were a bit over 3 ft. tall
We also had several smaller ones around the yard.  Poor Venom there lost a hand in the battle!

I also made a huge Groot as a decoration piece (because I'm crazy and I had loads of time on my hands at the time). So here are a few pics of him in progress (sorry they're blurry, I was on a roll and didn't really stop to make sure the photos were good).

I started with some empty wrapping paper tubes and boxes

Added some craft paper twisted into vines. I also filled the body with wadded up paper bags to give it some volume but keep it light.

more vines

Added some outer bark, some sharpie lines, and paint.

Groot selfie.  I had to stand on the step ladder to take this. He was over 7 ft. tall!

A few weeks later we went to the EMP to generally bop around and to see the Star Wars costume exhibit. It was AMAZING! You may have noticed, I'm a bit of a costume nut. The exhibit exceeded my expectations, and we went a few months after it opened so it wasn't crazy busy. The exhibit is touring after it leaves EMP so if it is near you, I highly recommend it. Most of the good photo's are on my hubby's camera and I haven't bothered to get them yet, but here are a couple.

Also at the EMP, but obviously at the end of the day. He was not enthused about posing.
In other news, I finished my last show pre-move and made my first quilt, and tried out wet-form leather sculpting which is my new favorite thing! More on that later :)

That's all for now, but I have a few things in planning for after the big move!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Artemisia photo shoot

At long last, I have some great pictures of my Artemisia costume! Many many thanks to Terry Fogerson for the pictures.

Hair swish

Spikes! (yikes?)

Danger lurking in the shadows

We found a little serpent friend while taking pictures!


Bonus: Here's a really silly picture!  It was windy so there are probably a hundred pictures of me spitting hair out of my mouth. But I thought this one was really funny.

Friday, March 27, 2015

craft with all the things!

I thought this was entertaining, so here's a little mini post before I show you costume pictures! This is a list of all of the stuff I used to make Artemisia, in no particular order.

oiled leather
lamé knit
cotton knit
bucket rivets
dome rivets
nuts and bolts
plastic eagle claws
craft foam
eva foam floor mat
wooden dowel
mod podge
varnish sealer
hot glue
E-6000 glue
wood glue
grosgrain ribbon
hook and bars

heat gun
hot glue gun
rivet setters
x-acto blade
box knife
sand paper
leather punch
power drill
leather needles
sewing machine

I'm probably missing some things in both categories but that's a quick list!

And a not very good picture of everything set out.

Happy crafting!

Monday, March 23, 2015


Emerald City Comicon is this weekend! This. Weekend. Needless to say I still have some finishing touches to put on my Artemisia costume, but it is very very close. I'm looking forward to sharing pictures after the con is finished up!

In the meantime, here's a look at the swords when they were very nearly complete :)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Artimisia update

Hello, hello! I've been busy working away on my costume for Emerald City Comic Con which is quickly approaching, but I figured I could take a moment and share some progress with you. Last time I put up some pictures of my swords in progress (they are still in progress) but today I have some pictures of the actual costume!

So, here we go:

patterning for the back spikes

and more patterning

spikes in foam

spikes coated in worbla thermoplastic

painting the spikes

marking the holes for the rivets in the back piece

Spikes are attached!

close up of the rivets. There was a little damage to the paint during the riveting process so a few touch ups are needed.

I only have a couple of weeks left until the Con so it will have to be done by then. For now, back to paining!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Costume work

Hey guys, it's been a while hasn't it! I have been busy working away on my Artemisia costume and I have to say it is coming along quite well. I got all my thermoplastic work finished up, which is good since I'm now completely out of worbla, and now I'm on to finishing and painting and riveting. Also still need to make a skirt, but I'll get there. Anyways, progress pics? These are mostly of the swords plus a few of the spine piece.

Scale drawing for the pair of swords.

Shot of the detail work. This is about where I started thinking "what have I gotten myself into?!"

Cuttin out the foam.

Carving out the center for the dowel.

Sanding down the edges of the blades.

Candy colored swords!

Adding the detail lines to the hilt to be carved out.

Patterning for the spine spikes.

Patterning for the vertebrae.


Adding some details and using up scraps.

Finished detail on the hilts.

Swords pre-paint.
Testing out the spikes on the body.

And from the back.

Anywho, that's a lot of pictures so I'll stop for now. I'll try to put some more up when I get the painting for the bodice pieces done. Should be soon!