Feb 7, 2008

She also bakes cookies at three in the morning

Yes. You heard me. I started the dough too late, it's one of those recipes you have to the dough in the fridge for 2-3 hours after making it so....I didn't get to making the cookies themselves until midnight.

When I started everything it was midnight. Now that I am finished and finally posting about it, it's almost six am. Wow. I am a slow cookie maker!

I don't mind too much, I've screwed my sleeping schedule up again to being up at night and asleep during the day now, so why not. It's not like anybody thinks I'm normal anyway, why not bake at three am?

We didn't have a heart-shaped cookie cutter, so Shawn brought home one of these heart-shaped little vase/desk top pen holder things. The first few cookies that came from me using that are just AWFUL. The cookie shape came out like, "woop, Grandma's been hittin' the bourbon" squiggily and..lumpy.

So I cut out a piece of the cover on my construction paper pad in the shape of a heart and have been using a knife to cut out hearts in the dough. For your viewing pleasure, I present to you:

The speshul cookies

    1 cup butter or margarine, softened
    1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 egg
    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon cream of tartar

    Powdered Sugar Glaze, if desired:
    1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    3 to 3 1/2 tablespoons milk
    Decorations, if desired

1. In large bowl, beat butter, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, the vanilla and egg with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Cover; refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or until chilled.

2. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Divide dough in half. On lightly floured cloth-covered surface, roll each half 1/4 inch thick. Cut with 3 1/2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter. On ungreased cookie sheet, place cutouts 2 inches apart. If desired, sprinkle with colored sugars.

3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until delicately golden. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

4. In small bowl, mix glaze ingredients until smooth and spreadable. Spread glaze over cookies. Decorate with decorator icings.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.

...So. Uhmm. Who's coming over for some cookies?

Feb 6, 2008

God damn game is god damned cute. God damn it.

As some of you might notice from shuffling through the games tag of my journal, I've sort of become a free-game addict. I think it all started with joecifur's urgings to try Trickster Online.

Recently trolling through the long list of unending grind fests, I found myself bored with what to do in between waiting for Shawn to come home and play guild wars with me and everyday chores.

Enter Dreams of Mirror Online. Is it the cell shading that I love? Perhaps the fact that they have mimicked a lot of what worked for each free game and muddled it all up in one ball. It helps that the game is 100% free to play.

Or maybe, it is because the god damn game is so god damn cute.

Feb 4, 2008

Don't it make my bad pics, god?

With film, photographers can fiddle with things in the darkroom, play with chemicals and other things to make unique photographs, or help their image stand out.

With digital photography, I am learning that a good editing program, such as Adobe Photoshop, becomes my dark room.

At the moment, I am experimenting with adjustment layers, burning and dodging, color and saturation adjustment. When I am comfortable tweaking such things, (As in: learning how to not take it so far as for an image to be glaringly unnatural looking) I'm going to move into other effects--such as vignettes, perhaps fake dirt, dust, noise and aging as well as other digital touches.

I'd like to think that despite the medium, digital or traditional, practice makes perfect.

Most of it depends on how well of a shot I got. I still can't fix stupid in adobe, so that's good. But I can at least learn how to fix overexposed or too much grain. :p

Here are some before and after shots of my learning. They aren't going to be stunning or perfect, but I'm open to any advice or reactions!

Yellow flower before and after:

Before editing|

After Editing

Before editing

After Editing

If anyone is interested in how I came about these changes in photoshop, I learned the basics of it from a video tutorial at deviant art, uploaded by an amazing nature photographer, Kev Lewis. The tutorial is here: Image Processing in Adobe Photoshop. Keep in mind before clicking that it will play as soon as it loads.

Feb 3, 2008

Surrounded by people, she played with forks.

I missed my walk tonight because there was an award ceremony for the SCCU (Space Coast Credit Union) workers. As part of my little 'self-improvement' promise to myself, I told myself I'd get out to socialize. This, I thought, would be a perfect opportunity to do so, and it was.

Robin and Laniese (or, the Twins, as I was wont to call them) are really, really kick-ass.

I enjoyed the evening's mocktivities with these two lovely ladies, who are also able to work with Shawn.

I took 160+ pictures of the evening and no one seemed to mind. Out of those I only think a small handful turned out really, really well.