Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Night Circus Project

Hey guys!  I know I've briefly mentioned my Night Circus project on here before, but now I wanted to share some of the actual products of this endeavor with you.  I started working on this project, research, reading and re-reading the book, brainstorming and sketching, last summer.  I've had to take a couple breaks from the project to work on other things and deal with moving etc. but I've finally returned to making some real progress. 

Now, I don't usually put watermarks on my images on this site, but I did on these as they are all my own original designs and artwork, and have consumed many hours of my time.  Thanks in advance for respecting my work.

If you haven't read the book yet, get to it! :) 

The illustrations are designed to be like tarot cards which is a nod to a part of the book. 

The next part of my project involves actually creating one of my designs but we'll see when I actually get around to that. 

As a final send off, here's a shot of my work space after drawing for several days:

I think it's really interesting to see other artists' work spaces and creative processes. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Weekend fun

This past weekend we took a little trip up to Seattle and spent the day at the Seattle Aquarium and Pike Place Market.  I'm really looking forward to more spring-time adventures as the weather warms up.

Couldn't stop moving for a picture.

Hubby think I should make at hat like one of those green anemones.

Giving a lecture on River Otters.

Discovering Piroshky Piroshky

Have a good rest of the week!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sweet 16th: Coconut Lime Tarts

Hey all! 

So I've been on a lemon bar kick the last couple of weeks but I wanted to try something a little bit different while still keeping the simplicity and perfect springy-ness of the lemon bar.  Thus Coconut Lime Tarts!  I will freely admit to singing "Put the Lime in the Coconut" pretty much the whole time these were in process.

So, here they are:

These were fun and fairly simple to make.  I do not have a tart pan or a mini muffin pan but these would work fine in either.  Instead I just used my regular muffin pan and didn't have any problems with a single one of the tarts.  The crust is so buttery that there is no need for liners or greasing the pan. 

For the Crust you need:

1 stick butter at room temp or softened (When I say butter I actually mean this because I'm trying to be   dairy free for a while.)
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
pinch of salt

Mix this all together in a bowl with a fork until a coarse crumb consistency is achieved.

Scoop 2-3 Tablespoons flour mixture into each cup of a muffin tin and smush it down with your fingers making the crust come up higher around the edges.

Bake these for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees until the edges are just turning golden.  While the crusts are baking, mix up the filling.

For the filling you need:

1 egg at room temp
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you want or if your limes are extra tart)
1 Tablespoon flour
zest from 1-2 limes
1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 Tablespoon dried coconut cream powder

Ok, I cheated here, clearly those limes have not been zested :)
Zest a lime or two into a bowl.  Mix all the other ingredients in and whisk like crazy!

In case you're wondering about that coconut powder, here's what I used:

There are several brands and you can find it online and at most Asian food markets.

Anyways,  once all the things are mixed up you may notice that it is not a very pretty color:

Blah,  I think food should be pretty!  And it is St. Patrick's day tomorrow so throw in some green food coloring!


Now spoon the filling into the centers of the crusts.  I found that 1 Tablespoon per crust was perfect. 

Put them back in the oven (still at 350) for another 10 minutes.  The centers should be fully set when you take them out.

Little man didn't want his picture taken this time but his 'guys' did so:

Stormtrooper approved?

Happy Baking!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sewing expo!

I had such a great time at the Sewing and Stitchery expo in Puyallup this past weekend!

Rows and rows of vendors selling everything from ribbons and buttons to the fanciest of sewing machines and dress forms.  It was a major 'kid in a candy shop' kind of feeling the moment we went in.

I went with the intention of buying fabrics to use for our SteamCon costumes and the vendors did not disappoint. Here are just a few pictures of the things I got and I'll let you speculate for now on how I'll be using them :) 

More on this again soon!  Happy Sewing.