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Almussafes series of Spanish children's dreams as collected by Roger Omar.
When berry picking last weekend, our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. With our overstock of berries, I decided to make strawberry jam for the first time.
One problem. They don’t sell pectin by itself here in German grocery stores. It comes mixed with sugar, so none of my American cookbooks would help me much.
Another problem. The recipes on the back of the sugar/ pectin packages required a metric scale, which I didn’t feel like buying. Problem #3 since the pectin and sugar are mixed together in a proportion I couldn’t decipher, I couldn’t very well figure out how to control the sweetness factor, which is a big thing for me. Too much sugar drowns the flavor, I think.
And finally, I have no canner or Mason jars, no space to store them, and even if I did, they don’t sell them here. Or so I’ve heard.
So, I decided to wing it with my own made up version of freezer jam, tasting and hoping it would all turn out.
Luckily it seems to have worked. Sorry I can’t share a recipe, since I didn’t measure anything. It involved berries, sugar/pectin, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
In other news, I did a double-take when I encountered this under my computer desk:
Aaagh! Then I realized it was just a scrap from a current sewing project. It’s almost like I did it on purpose, right?
Tomorrow the European chapter of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is doing a cool bloggy thing. Members across Europe (including me) have signed up here, where we’ll be sharing sketches and scribbles all day. It’s called the Summer Solstice Scrawl Crawl. Check it out.
Also, check out this totally simple but genius craft (below) at Holly Ramer’s stitch/craft. Perfect for keeping the kids entertained while traveling this summer. Why didn’t I think of this?
here is the finished illustration for the november 2011 issue of SFC magazine http://www.storiesforchildrenmagazine.com. AND it's 5 days BEFORE deadline! yay me!
to sum up the story entitled " a little helper", it's about a little boy named tanner who wants so desperately to help out his mama. he figures he might not be tall enough to reach that rye bread or those bananas, but boy is he ever going to take a shot at those yummy oranges...since they are on her shopping list. oops...;)
i'll post the link for the issue as soon as it is available!
next up....an awesome contest i discovered on a wonderful website entitled they draw and cook http://www.theydrawandcook.com/. i can't tell you how long i have been aching to pump out a recipe/illustration for these guys. super excited. have my idea all ready to go...just need to sketch it out!:)
I made a pitcher of this the other day when I was craving something cool and sweet. Yes, we’ve had actual summery weather recently, which has been so much fun. We had a bunch of peaches that were about to go bad and a freezer drawer full of strawberries from our berry-picking earlier in the summer.
Though I’d had them at Mexican restaurants, I’d never made agua frescas before. I don’t know why not. It’s really simple—just some fruit and water blended together, with maybe a little sugar.
There are plenty of recipes floating around the web, but I decided a recipe was really more hassle than I needed. I just let the strawberries (between 1 and 2 cups?) soften a little bit, dumped them in the blender with the sliced and peeled peaches (2 cups?), added a little water (maybe a cup?) and blended. I added a teaspoon or two of sugar for the blenderfull, but you’d want to tweak that according to taste and to how sweet the fruit is.
I love smoothies but I found this more refreshing, more of a thirst-quencher. The kids preferred a bit less water for a thick slushy to eat with a spoon.
Cooked anything good lately? Do share.
Have a great weekend!
A quick watercolour pencil sketch. It's not easy knowing when to stop, especially as I'm used to the more detailed and layered coloured pencil work! The result isn't exactly as I'd envisioned it, but I'll keep playing. Is there a fine line between stubborness and determination? Cheers!
We’re all familiar with the benefits of eating a healthy diet, but it seems the importance of eating seasonably is less well-known. Those who already grow their own will agree when I say that fruit and veg are at their best when freshly picked. But there’s more to eating seasonably than this.
tomato witch for the Almussafes Book of Children's Dreams.
Last week we bought a small basketful of Clementines from the weekly village market. They look and smell so bright and cheerful and summery, lift the spirits even on cold winter days, and are absolutely irresistible. I've since discovered that they are also called Christmas Oranges as they're available from mid-November till January. Sweet and seedless they're teeny pop-in-the-mouth treats. Had to draw them of course.
This was done in coloured pencil on a large-scale moleskine sketchbook that I'm now quite in love with. I haven't really finished the drawing and I hate not completing something to my satisfaction once I've started it, but this will just have to stay as is, as I am away for a couple of weeks as of tomorrow and needed to post this in order to wish everyone a lovely Christmas and New Year!
I'll also add my latest customer/friend requested text designs, Natascha and Goddess. Enjoy the holidays! Cheers.Add a Comment
© Photographer: Piedenero | Agency: Dreamstime.com
Yeah! I got 2 Kilos! Better than last year where I got 5! Wow That was scary!!!
Now I have to survive the 6th and well the winter!
Winter is so sweet with all that chocolate, cakes, candies, nuts and really hot winter food to eat..like lasagna or wait mmm Melanzane alla Parmigiana! Uh I'm getting hungry!!!
Let pay a visit to the fridge!!!
Just for the heck of it, I took pics of one of today’s snacks and lunch. Snack: Crunchy home-made cashew butter on a slice of honey, raisin & hazelnut bread next to a fruit medley consisting of apple, orange and banana segments, topped with blackberries and wild blueberries. Lunch: Lasagna with a side of seasoned and steamed [...]Add a Comment
I have some lovely friends visiting at the moment, and it looks as though more are coming and I'll be kept occupied till the end of the month, so I've been squeezing in rapid drawings whenever possible. This started off as a simple doodle. Scanned it and played around a bit in photoshop and the above design was the result.
And below is another text design, also quick and fun to play with :) Now, if the weather would only decide to cooperate and spring settle in as it should, I'd truly enjoy the rest of the month and the good company that's accompanying it. Cheers!Add a Comment
It's been gorgeous spring weather the last few days, perfect for drawing luscious strawberries while the sun streams in through the windows. Work has been slow .. I keep taking time off to wander around in the garden, pottering about with plants, or just taking pleasure in being outdoors.
I don't normally post photos here, but thought I'd show off a couple of my front garden for a change:
If anyone has any idea of what the tree full of pink blossoms is please let me know ...
On a final happy note, I received a Today's Best Award for the following letterhead from zazzle! Cheers :)
I'm celebrating the launch of my new publication Landfill Magazine; it's the perfect antidote to Kate Bingaman-Burt's Obsessive Consumption. On the cover of issue no.1 is a stone from a Waitrose brand Sicilian "Paternelo" olive.
This pic available as cards, prints etc. here.
Pen and ink with watercolour 9cm x 14cm. Click to enlarge.
One of the quirky, fun things about Hawai‘i is its abundance of roadside fruit stands. These stands offer a variety of fruits in season, like mango, liliko‘i (passion fruit), papaya, avocado, and more. Just about all of the island roadside stands have one thing in common: the honor system. Customers are invited to take the fruit they like, so long as they deposit the correct amount of cash in the box or can left explicitly for that purpose. Here’s a recently discovered roadside stand. They only have avocado, but it is tasty avocado!Display Comments Add a Comment
I'm posting all 3 variations here. Wasn't sure if I was going to post this first watercoour attempt at all, but fortunately I'm no longer as easily embarrassed by my mistakes as I was when, er, younger. It's my first attempt at watercolour in ages and I've only ever 'wet the brush' before, so please forgive the utter awkwardness of the piece. I did have tons of fun playing with the paints. It's just obvious that I need a LOT more practice!
Not one to give up easily on anything, I decided to get the watercolour pencils out and see if I could "fix" the above painting. Here's the result:
Love the vibrancy of the pencil colours! I may use these more often, they just zing off the page and they went on smoothly over the paint. It took longer to finish than I'd anticipated, but then isn't that true of anything worthwhile? It is far less detailed than it would have been had I started off with pencils, and is more a stylized version, but I'm not unhappy with the result.
I then placed it into photoshop, separated the tomatoes from the background to prepare them for uploading onto products at my stores, and then placed them back onto the digitally 'repainted' background once I'd cleaned them up a bit. Here's the result just so you can play "Spot the differences". You shouldn't really be able to spot them immediately, as the intention is to keep the cleaned up piece as close to the original as possible.
How did I do? Well, I'm definitely going to keep painting. Might try acrylics next but perhaps I'll find a less ambitious subject for my first piece. Cheers.