I've been dieing to tell you about the cookies and the blog and photography. You may recall that I attended a cookie-decorating workshop in December with some friends and two of my daughters. We had a wonderful time and decorated some amazing cookies; the girls (Katie & Ali) were inspired to bake and decorate cookies for Christmas gift-giving; and we've embarked on a quest for the Perfect Sugar Cookie recipe. The old family stand-by recipe by that name is perfect in many ways (soft, chewy, and sweet), but not in the way of decorating.
About a month later, I had an email from Dawn at Dawn Koehler Design -- she'd stumbled upon my corner of the internet and loved the photos I'd taken. She was there the whole time, of course, and was mostly amazed at the images I'd captured "all from the little corner of the dining room!" She was looking for someone to take photos of new designs for updating the website and I agreed to give it a go!
All of the cookie photos, save one, on this page are mine (as is one of the salad photos)! There's a wonderful meeting area upstairs at the coffee shop; I moved all the chairs and set up my backdrop stand to form a makeshift studio, and we spent a day and a half shooting cookies. After a couple of attempts with studio lighting that neither of us was thrilled with, I snapped a few using available light and voila! Very happy baker/designer/decorator, very happy photographer!! And I have now taken to calling it "my natural light studio." Dawn has often worked as a photo stylist in her career, and it was fascinating to watch her work -- the planning, attention to detail, all the stuff she brought with her!! Paper and textiles for backdrops, stands and props, tools -- she brought her iron and ironing board! It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot.
Yesterday, Dawn brought a friend over to the coffee shop for lunch and asked me to meet her there so she could deliver this:
Early last week, DH made dinner reservations at Caffe Mario in Green Bay and we had the MOST wonderful meal last night. We were greeted at the door by Mario, himself, and shown to our table by his wife, Virginia; she is an artist friend of DH's from way back. Wonderful people, fabulous atmosphere, terrific food -- every time I go there, I wonder why I don't go there more often! DH began with bruschetta, followed by lasagna (him) and cannelloni (me) (we shared, of course), and we even saved room for dessert -- I had tiramisu, of course. One little piece of bruschetta and most of a cannelloni came home with me for today's lunch -- or something...
Because I'm actually making Chili All Day Half-the-Day today! Maddy's home this weekend and I feel compelled to make something to send back with her, and chili's the thing this time. She has to leave before supper, so it'll be a late lunch. As soon as I hit "publish," I'll be dashing off to the store (though I'll probably wash my face and change out of my 'jammies, first).
On the Olympic side of things: I pinned out Maddy's sweater -- the best part is how happy she is that it's finally getting done!! I also steam-blocked (as instructed) the crap out of the pieces for Mom's Habu vest and hope, hope, hope that it all comes together as it should; I'll be starting the sewing up today. The thing that makes it so difficult -- for me -- is that the pieces are knit in all different directions and we all know that stitches behave differently than rows and it just sort of gives me fits. I've just got to plow through and trust that it'll work; it will or it won't, right? I can only do my best. I also cast on (104 stitches -- good move not attempting that on Friday night) for one of the front pieces for my Habu sweater and made good progress while watching short-track speed skating and moguls.
Citius, Altius, Fortius!