Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What inspires you?

There is nothing I love more than being inspired. It happens rarely most days. Then it appears as a beautiful photograph, an amazing idea, or beautiful design. I've decided to share with you some photographs that I've taken that inspire me the most.

The beauty of nature...

Architectural design.

Architecture reflected.

Others' successes.

When savings amount to more than money spent.

And an angry lemur just for fun :D

Tell or show us what inspires you!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Incidental Art

One of the things we are trying to show in this blog is how one can make great things by coming about them incidentally. You sort of stumble across something that looks great or is useful. One definition of "incidental" is: liable to happen as a consequence of (an activity). You have to be doing something first in order for something incidental to happen.

So, one day, I was sketching without any thought of what an end result might be - I just went where my pen took me. I started making lines cross over themselves, creating new shapes within the first layer of lines.

I created more shapes this way, with more of a plan this time.

Soon I got the idea to show the insides of something as if you could see straight through the first layer of something, as you can with these hash lines. I tried this with a whale. I first found a picture from Google that shows some of the insides of a whale, then sketched the outlines in pencil. Finally, I filled in those shapes with hash lines in pen, going opposite directions whenever something was up against another thing.

I soon realized I could create an entire collection of sea creatures with this method! I only have 3 in my collection now, but I would like to continue this collection, and perhaps even make more collections, such as insects, birds, endangered animals etc.

I did not write this post so that you could copy my drawings, but to inspire you to draw something all your own. All you have to do is pick up some paper and a pencil or pen, and start scribbling, doodling, dotting, whatever your hand feels like doing. You will soon invent a new doodle, a new way to draw something, or something entirely different. But you won't know unless you take that first step!

Send us your doodles, and we may feature them in a blog post!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fourth of July Treats

Summertime is a time for fun and relaxation, celebration, and the Fourth of July! The thing is… eating heavy, sugary sweets in the heat while celebrating independence is just uncomfortable. Featuring summery fruits in your desserts is a lovely way to lighten up the dish! We made patriotic cupcakes with raspberries and blackberries!

Red, White, & Blue Cupcakes

Ingredients (cupcakes)

1 box vanilla cake mix
1 cup buttermilk (this is instead of the water called for on cake mix box)
Vegetable oil (amount called for on cake mix box)
4 eggs
Liners for cupcake tins (we used festive blue ones!)

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Cut the raspberries into halves and the blackberries into quarters.
Place liners in baking pan.
Mix the cake mix, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and eggs in a mixing bowl. Beat at high speed for 2 minutes. (You can use an electric mixer; we used a whisk and our muscles).
Fill each liner 1/3 of the way full. Drop two of the raspberry halves and two of the blackberry quarters into each cupcake.

Cover with batter until each liner is about 2/3 full.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until tops are springy and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool and make topping.

Ingredients (topping)

2 cups of raspberries or blackberries
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
and a can of ReddiWhip

We followed Emeril’s recipe for raspberry filling for cake – to a point. Here’s what we did:
Place fruit, water, and sugar in saucepan.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Simmer until the fruit breaks down (for us, this was about 7 minutes).

If you simmer for too long, it will thicken too much. Press mixture through a mesh sieve. Spoon topping on cupcakes, over ReddiWhip as desired.