Monday, July 10, 2017

Enjoying the backyard


Spring and summer have been lovely.
The groundhog and squirrels continue to eat basically everything we plant despite the hot pepper wax spray, but we do have one cucumber of significant size that we could pick pretty soon!



Friday, July 7, 2017

Outgoing

Some semi-recent outgoing mail. I'm having some trouble getting my pictures from my phone to  upload on my computer, so none of my recent outgoing is on here. Trying to get that fixed!
So this is March/April.

I loved this piece! I knew I had to make mail out of that colorful Jelly Belly bag after I ate the contents. Although it did seem a bit cruel to send someone the bag with no Jelly Bellies in it.


 I have several fold-and-sends with cute little animals on them. They are a bit hard to use because they don't close up all the way, just fold in thirds... so I can only send them when I don't plan to write much, which is not frequently! :) When someone asks me a question on a postcard, the question takes up one line, but the answers are always much longer if they're going to be interesting.
 I've had this postcard for 6 years! I bought it in Boston from the artist at a craft fair thing. Love it.

I haven't been decorating my envelopes as much recently. I'm trying to use up my notecard stockpile pretty conscientiously, and many of the notecards have pretty envelopes already, so I just kind of roll with it. But a couple days ago I made an honest to goodness mail art envelope and it felt great. Fun to collage and cut and paste again. :)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

My Rose Bush

Roses, roses, roses!!!


We recently bought this Julia Child rose bush and I was the happiest person in the world. We got three blooms out of it and there were a bunch more buds ready to open in maybe a week.  And then squirrels ate every single bud on the bush. I was pretty devastated. The bush itself is not really harmed and so we're going to see about putting hot pepper spray or something on the new buds it makes. I need to get a book about roses from the library.

I was a bit cheered up this morning because my pink sundrops put forth a bloom! They are beautiful delicate papery looking blossoms. I planted them last summer and they are perennials, so I was hoping they would come back this year and they did! The plant is still quite small but I guess it will get more robust over the summer. I'm still really new to gardening. Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Outgoing

Outgoing mail:

 
Does anyone else love the movie "Big Trouble in Little China"? It's just the best! When I found out Donovan liked that movie too I just had to decorate the envelope around it. I drew the PorkChop Express, ole' Jack Burton's truck. :)

 
 
A Peter Pan envelope going out to my college roommate, who is as Peter Pannish as one can be.

Roses, roses, roses! I love roses. We bought a rose bush recently- but more about that in another post.



I'm still so pleased with this handmade stamp of mine.
Happy mailing!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Pineapple Upside-down Pie & Strawberry Blackberry Oat Crumble Pie

I recently experimented with a pineapple upside-down pie! It turned out delicious, even if it looked a little funny.

The pineapples ended up rising while it cooked, so they didn't show up very well when the pie was flipped over. Because of this, I think that next time I will try a Pineapple Right-side-up Pie. 

I also made a Strawberry Blackberry Oat Crumble Pie.

How to make Pineapple Upside-down Pie:

one pie crust

Canned pineapple, rings in juice not syrup!
maraschino cherries
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick butter, melted

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 eggs
7 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp cornmeal
Pinch salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp vanilla extract


As I said earlier, I think the next time I would make it right-side up. But if you want to do it upside down, melt 1/2 stick of butter and mix with brown sugar. Put in bottom of a pie dish- no crust underneath! Lay the rings of pineapple around the pie shell and fill all the gaps with maraschino cherries.

Now we make the filling, which is a chess pie recipe that I took from Nothing in the House. I made their cranberry chess pie and it was AMAZING. And now I've adapted that recipe into a couple other things- this pineapple pie, and a rhubarb chess pie.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Combine the sugar and butter. Cream together, then add the eggs one at a time, beating together to combine. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, and salt. In another bowl mix the buttermilk and vanilla. Then mix the ingredients to incorporate alternating between adding the dry and wet ingredients. So first add 1/3 of the flour mix, stir. Add 1/2 buttermilk, mix. Then 1/3 flour, 1/2 buttermilk and then finally the last 1/3 flour. Feel free to go look at the Nothing in the House recipe above. She explains it very well.

Cover the pineapples with this batter. Roll out your crust and lay it on top of the pie. You can cut a few slits in it. Bake 40-45 minutes-ish.  I let mine go a little longer because I was nervous. This would be another advantage to doing a right-side-up pie... you'd be able to see better how it was baking I think.

Let it cool a few hours and then it's time to try to turn it over! Use a knife to pry the edges of the crust off the pie plate--- invert it onto a platter. Shake it, pound on it, use the knife for more prying if it gives you problems. Again, another reason I think I'll do it right-side-up again. Less work!

This pie can stand on it's own, but man, it was super good with some vanilla icecream too.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Outgoing

Some outgoing mail:

An envelope made from my pile of book dust jackets (given away by my library!):
A Ferris wheel and a banana split make a pretty good summer day... except that I am scared of heights and don't like bananas.


Security envelope with some drawings that I found in an abandoned notebook:
I just love that sticker. Are they groundhogs? Nutria? I have no idea.

These two are from a little while ago...
I think this was sent in March when the weather turned cold again and it snowed after a couple weeks of super warm weather. I was trying to embrace it.
In the background are our new curtains!!!