Monday, June 27, 2011

I Heart Faces - A Touch of Whimsy

Talk about a hard theme! It's so broad I had no idea what to post. I'm still not 100% sure this is the best one. :-) But I thought the hat with the big stitching was a little whimsical. Here's another of those rare moments when I decide to do vintage editing. My poor sis... she gets roped into all my photo shoots. Anyone else want to come over and model for me??? :-)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

We made these wonderful cinnamon rolls with some friends yesterday... they were to die for!

If you are not drooling, you may want to go to the doctor... there might be something wrong with you. :-)

EDIT: I've received a request for the recipe, so here it is! We made all the separate elements (dough, filling and glaze) the night before and then put them together in the morning.

To-Die-For Cinnamon Rolls

2 pkg. Yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
2/3 cup sugar + 1 teaspoon of sugar
1 cup warm milk
2/3 cup melted butter
2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
7 cups flour

1 cup melted butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 Tablespoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped

Cream Cheese Glaze:
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoon butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoon milk
4 cups confectioners' sugar

For Filling:
Mix all ingredients together. If making ahead of time, refrigerate until needed and then melt before using.
For Glaze:
Mix all ingredients except sugar. Stir in sugar until smooth. If making ahead, refrigerate until needed and let soften before using (you can microwave it gently if you want).
For Dough
Place warm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in a bowl. Let sit so it will get foamy.
In a mixer, mix milk, 2/3 cup sugar, melted butter, and salt. And eggs; stir well. Add yeast mixture. Then add ½ of the flour and mix till smooth. Stir in enough flour to create smooth but slightly sticky dough. Knead. *If you are making this the night before, place in a bowl at this point, cover and refrigerate. Punch the dough down if it rises to the top of the bowl. The next morning continue as follows.* Put dough onto a lightly floured counter and roll dough into a large rectangle. Filling on top and spread evenly. Roll jelly roll style, lengthwise, and cut in to 15 pieces (we got 16 out of this).
Place rolls in two 9x13 pans. Let rise 45 minutes (omit the rising if you followed the instructions for making the night before). Bake for 25 minutes, more or less, until golden brown. Spread with glaze. Enjoy!

Original recipe from Cross Country Bakers.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

From My Yard

These blooms have faded now, but I still wanted to post some pictures I took earlier this spring of the lovely flowers in our yard. I was looking forward to flower photos this year because I didn't have my 50m 2.8 lens last spring (and I love the bokeh from the 50mm!).

A tulip...
Has anyone else noticed it is hard to get red flowers to look true to life in photos?

We have a wonderful "wall" of lilacs on the edge of our property, with 3 different kinds of lilacs.

There are the larger, more feathery blooms like these, 

And then the softer, clouds of blossoms like these!

I never can decide which I like better.

We also have several varieties of crabapples. I always love this one when it's not quite in full bloom, when there is the mix of white flowers with pink-tinted buds.

This is the reddish crabapple, not blooming yet

And the pink crabapple!

This is the redbud tree... I loved how the colors and bokeh came out in this one. Unfortunately I was very busy around the time this bloomed so I didn't get too many pictures. Perhaps that's just as well since I recall I got rather a lot last year. :-)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Purrfect Posing

I don't agree with a lot of the "cat stereotypes" out there, like saying that cats are always snooty and mean. They aren't. They are cuddly and lovable, and I personally think cats have more likable qualities than dogs (go ahead, boo and hiss; my opinion will remain unchanged). One fact remains, however, and I don't think anyone will argue with it: cats do have a mind of their own. If you've ever tried to take a picture of a cat that does not feel like having its picture taken, you know what I am talking about.

My kitty, Gavana, has her moods when she poses nicely for me and even "smiles" in a way. The other day she wasn't feeling so obliging, and so we brought out a distraction (in the form of my mom with a toy). The result was two perfectly posed shots, basically the same but just enough different that I couldn't decide which I liked better. :-) Too bad I didn't have her on a backdrop to cut out the couch in the background!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

SewTamz Camera Strap Covers

My sister gave me the So Summer Citrus Lime Green and Black Damask camera strap cover from SewTamz for my birthday:

I knew I had to do a review on it. :-) Everyone needs one of these! Not only does it give your camera a distinct look (and if you're like me, you have friends who have cameras that look just like yours, and it's easy to get them mixed up), but it's also SO comfortable! It's like adding a cushion around your neck.

The camera strap cover is very well made; the outer fabric is a durable cotton-type fabric in that oh-so-fun damask design. The inner fabric is a soft and cozy plush fabric with cute little raised dots, and features the SewTamz logo. There's padding in between to add to the comfort level. Ever feel like your camera strap is cutting into your neck? Here's the solution! The cover helps to make the strap a little wider, and the plush fabric helps it to "grip" so if you wear your strap on your shoulder, it doesn't slide off as easily.

I really have nothing negative to say about SewTamz camera strap covers. If there was anything I would say it would be that it was a bit snug getting it on, but that's not necessarily bad as it then stays in place once it is on. The strap is washable, which is a plus... you can't wash your regular strap! I used to want one of those fancy straps that was a design fabric actually made into a strap just like your camera strap, but those were way more expensive and I think would not be as comfortable and practical. Besides... with a camera strap cover, you could even buy several in different colors/fabrics and switch them out depending on the season or your mood.

I highly recommend that you visit SewTamz's Etsy shop and take a look around. She offers TONS of cute fabrics, plus you can get it monogrammed or add a lens cap pocket. Or check out the wrist camera straps!

SewTamz has generously offered FREE SHIPPING to my readers! Just use the code KGFREESHIP when you check out!

Find SewTamz here:

*Disclaimer: I was not paid to do this review.  I was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Monday, June 6, 2011

I Heart Faces - From a Distance

This week's i heart faces theme is a little unique... instead of being up-close on a face, we're supposed to pull back and take a "distance" photo. I wasn't sure what to enter, and then I looked through some photo shoot pictures from the other day when my friend and I were experimenting with our reflectors/diffusers and I stepped back to get the full picture. So often you see the finished product and don't realize everything that is going on to produce that finished product!


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