Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gold Leaf

My last collegiate fall has come and gone too quickly. Rumpled sycamore leaves line the paths in the morning shadows of Moore Hall, crushed to a fine golden-gray dust under the hurried tread of passersby. The lancet windows in the coffee house still catch a bit of autumn light in their colored glass, but the embers of the annual pep rally bonfire have all but been extinguished in memory. Lectures today will be quietly halfhearted, most of the halls vacated by those already homeward bound. Final exams lie just days ahead, and it seems it's the close of both semester and season. This brings me to my last autumn craft of the year - I created table adornments for Project Wedding. If you're looking for last minute decor for tomorrow's dinner, the place cards are a snap to put together. As usual, you can find the full tutorial at Project Wedding. To everyone in the States, Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Frills and Flowers and Buttons and Bows

I'm so delighted to share these. I've been dreaming of such headbands since late last winter, and now that holiday festivities are approaching once again I gathered up lengths of ribbon, a handful of feathers, a vial of beads and three plain old plastic headbands. The outcome was a trio of new adornments. One is a tiny garden of silk, satin and crushed velvet. A second is a simple black band with antique button. And a third in deep green velvet is plumed and specked with gold. I think these would make lovely handmade presents - for the gals on your Christmas list or of course, for your bridesmaids and flower girls. The complete tutorial for these is up over at Project Wedding.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Apple Week: Apple Cider

It's the final day of Apple Week and this last recipe is especially apt for the wintry months ahead. It'll cozily fill your kitchen with the scent of cloves, citrus and cinnamon as it simmers. This series has been such fun - I really enjoyed experimenting with photographing food and I hope you've enjoyed these simple classic recipes. Next week I'll be back with the usual crafty, photographic fare. Until then!

4 cups cider
1/2 an orange, sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1-2 tablespoons brown sugar, to taste

Combine ingredients in medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil then reduce heat a little and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Strain before serving.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Apple Week: Candied Apples

For today's dose of apple I must direct you to Martha's recipe, which we followed with much success last year. These seemed a little intimidating at first, namely because I feared I'd never see the bottom of my saucepan again. But I'm glad we didn't let that stop us - hot water will dissolve the mess away quite easily. And the reward couldn't be sweeter - a batch of homemade candied apples, all an enchantingly glossy red.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Apple Week: Caramel Apples

We made caramel apples to celebrate Halloween this year. Brett came over and helped dip them before we settled in for an evening of Alfred Hitchcock. We made mostly plain caramel but I dipped a few of mine in melted milk chocolate and crushed peanuts. Without any further tarrying here is Apple Week recipe No. 2! Read the recipe after the jump.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Apple Week: Apple Crisp

We always made apple crisp growing up because our tiny apple tree would drop pails and pails of apples in September. It's simple, yet delicious and it has the potential to use up lots of apples. It's only shortcoming is that it doesn't keep well (which is a problem here at school in our two person residence), so I started making ramekin-sized portions, which are just enough to enjoy while still warm, crunchy and right out of the oven. This also means the apple to topping ratio is tipped toward the sweeter side. Click to read the recipe after the jump.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Apple Week

In honor of colder days, earlier evenings, warm kitchens and of course apples may I present the first ever "Apple Week" at A Field Journal. Get your apple-a-day with a new photo + recipe Tuesday through Friday. See you soon!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Slide Projector: Portrait of Isabella Coymans

After a long break through the summer I think it's time I resume the Slide Projector Series - there are some favorites I've had noted for a while to share. Last Spring I took a seminar on the Dutch Golden Age: glassy oils of still life canvases, coils of lemon rind and pewter pitchers so perfectly real, tables set with plentiful bounty, fruit and floral, all so exquisitely lush. And the genre scenes, with their interiors so wonderfully calm, the figures within so well poised. Amidst all this I can't say pure portraiture was my clear favorite, but this Frans Hals hasn't left my memory. There's such a delicious tension between restraint and gaiety. And the costume - the silken folds of deep black, the cream lace of the scalloped collar, the gray violet bow - is magnificently accented by cranberry blooms, like the rose that trails out of the frame. All of this, cast in a radiant light against the tawny dusk of the background, has almost a wintry quality about it, doesn't it?