Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I just registered for Thing-A-Day Challenge!!! I think it will be a big challenge but I'm excited. There are 920 people signed up as of 10:17 am January 30. Registration ends tomorrow at midnight. You have to make a new thing each day and post it on their WordPress site. The project can't take longer than an hour and should be a minimum of 20 minutes. I have to start coming up with quick crafts. One a day will be tough. I can't really knit a whole project in an hour. Sewing something might be easier. I just borrowed a Badge In A Minit from my church, I need to find pieces for it and am thinking of using that for some new project! I'm trying to think of new things, since most of my crafting projects take a me weeks to complete, I've heard that making a theme a week if I could only come up with a theme to start with!!! Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

New Cookies

I recently purchased a new cook book for JoAnn Fabrics. It was in with the $5.00 books. I got Cool Girls Guide To Knitting and JoAnns for $5.00 and it was a great buy. Pretty basic patterns but perfect for a beginner. So based on that good find I thought this cook book would be decent too. It is all for baking, I love baking, not just desserts but all kinds of food, and this book features a variety of dishes. It's called Greatest Ever Baking or something. I decided to try a recipe and chose a basic cook it was called Vanilla Cookies. The recipe wasn't very detailed, I think the butter needed to be a little melted, softened was not soft enough, and all the instructions said were 2/3 cup butter diced. So when I decided my dough was never going to hold together I put it all in the microwave, all of it, and then tried to get it to stick together, it finally worked and I was able to roll it out and cut cookies out of it. This is what they looked like right out of the oven.

I tried one, not very good, so I found some frosting in the fridge and raided the pantry for decorations and Ross and I decorated cookies, Mike even got in on it as well. And this is what they looked like decorated. Much prettier, but still not too tasty.

I don't know what my problem has been lately, but nothing is turning out very well. My last 3 attempts were failures. I made a couple pumpkin pies...forgot the sugar...yup, eww. Next endeavor, we got a new cookie press from Pampered Chef, so I decided to try it out and found a recipe online that involved jello to make the cookies a little fruity...not good. We threw away almost the whole batch.

I started on Weight Watchers again and made some brownies that are only 2 points each. Those actually turned out, so that's good. The recipe is scary but easy. It is a box of low-fat brownie mix and a can of black beans. You put the entire contents of the can of beans in a blender and grind them up, add the puree to the dry brownie mix and that's it. I put mine in muffin tins and cupcake papers to get the suggested serving size on the box of brownies and baked them for 26 minutes. Amazing really, that a combination like that would even be thought up, but it's genius really at how good the brownies are!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Pretty Purses

I decided to start on some projects that I've been meaning to work on but never got around to. I bought all the yarn and all the patterns and they are just sitting in my bag. I decided it was time to get started on some of those projects so I can find new ones! The first project I decided to post about is Pretty Purses. I am still working on this and it is taking longer than I expected. I don't have much time to knit between work and a social life, so this has been a much longer work in progress that I had estimated, none-the-less, I am plugging away at this project until it is done. Here's what I have so far. I don't know what happened when the image transferred over. It doesn't look like this on my camera, maybe I need to try to transfer it over again. The bottom of the picture kinda went wacko, but it still shows the stitch pattern and the color. It is basically a seed stitch pattern on the sides and cabling in the middle.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am making this a year of beginning of new things, well this is my first cabling project!! I love the cabling, it adds so much to the pattern and it is so easy to work! I'm excited with how it looks. I don't think the pattern calls for a lining but I plan on finding a simple fabric with a simple green pattern on it, I think every good purse has at least one pocket in it. I bought little black wooden handles for the purse. I need to make two panels of the picture above and I'm not quite done with the first panel, so hopefully I'll get motivation to get the final project posted quickly.

I am still trying to learn my camera, so I experimented with when to use the flash, the picture above is with the flash. This one to the left is with out the flash, the picture with the flash shows the color better, but I don't like you can see where the flash hits the yarn, in the middle of the bag on the left side, you can see it is the brightest there. Oh well, I guess I still have more to learn in this photography class!! I still need to take pictures this weekend for Wednesday's class. Hopefully I will be able to post those soon!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A New Beginning

It is the beginning of a new year and I decided to make it the beginning of a new things. To start the new year I decided to take a Digital Photography class at Kendall College of Art and Design. It is part of their Continued Learning program and is offered in the evening. I am taking it on Wednesday nights from 6:30 to 9:30. I decided to take the class alone, to prove that I could do it! I'm much more comfortable doing something with a friend and it is usually more fun that way, but this is the new activity!

Our first assignment for the class was to take pictures and choose our favorite 3 to share with the class. The requirements of the assignment were to 1. Make the subject of the picture take up the entire frame, leaving as few distractions in the back ground as possible. I thought this photo that I named "Cold Birds" filled the first requirement. It's hard to see in this little picture but the birds are so cute and you can see their little eyes. Very cute. That boat lift in the back ground is a little distracting, but I'm guessing we'll be learning how to crop that out in Photoshop in our next class.

Our second requirement was to use the rule of thirds. I found this simple example of the rule of thirds at The basic principle behind the rule of thirds is to imagine breaking an image down into thirds (both horizontally and vertically) so that you have 9 parts. As follows.

The idea is to make the main subject or the focus of picture land on one of the four intersections that are marked in red. I used this requirement in my next two pictures. They pictures were taken last Saturday when we were in a blizzard here in West Michigan, but I had no other free time to set out and take pictures. You will see what I mean about the weather conditions in the pictures.

I called this "Winter Lighthouse". In Grand Haven, you are bound to see tons and tons of pictures of this lighthouse. However, most people get their pictures in the summer time...well this is what it looks like on the third weekend of around 3:00 p.m. Not quite the tourist attraction everyone craves in August!!

Well, even though it is a little foggy, (actually that fog effect is actually blowing snow, not fog at all), you can still see that the lighthouse is on the right third of the picture, which follows the rule of thirds!

If you look, you can see the waves hitting the side of the boardwalk and those are ice chunks on surface of the water, burrr!

This is my favorite picture to the right. It also follows the rule of thirds. I have the circle of the cross beam matching the intersection of the thirds.

I decided I really like pictures with a lot of depth. I wish all of the lights would have been lit up on the building but I notice the 2nd and 3rd lights are burned out.

That little glow around the street light is actually a snowflake that landed and melted on my camera lens. Kind of a bummer, but good placement to make the light look like it's glowing.

I don't have a name for this photo, but it is my favorite, so I should probably come up with something to call it! It is the old Grand Haven Museum.

Those foot prints in the snow along side the building are mine and Ross's, this was not my first attempt and a cool night shot!