Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Darling Dresses

Check out these darling little girl dresses from Gap! 
My wedding dress had boxed pleats, so I am a little partial to them.

This one reminds me of Tulip Time in Pella, IA.  Beautiful!

Purple Irises!  Sort of an old fashioned flower in a sweet little girls' dress.

The boxed pleats on this one stand out beautifully on the lace, with green lining!  This would probably be my favorite.  It would be beautiful for a 12 or 18 month photo session during the summer, outside.  Someone should buy this so I can photograph a little girl in it.

You can find all of these dresses at kid's gap.com

Color Palettes, Day 2

Here are my Color Palette posts for Day 2!  To see a description of this project, see post on Day 1.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Photo Color Palettes, Day 1

The other day when I was hanging some photography in my living room, I began wondering how possible it would be to create paint colors for home use out of my images.  First, because it would accent the image, and second, because it would be meaningful to use a paint color for your home that was customized to a memorable experience.

I did a few this afternoon, and FELL IN LOVE!  Now, I'm not going to be repainting any of the parsonage, it was all done in the remodel.   BUT, I think it would be fun to present options to my clients for their own use.  HOW COOL!  It was all I could do to stop creating color palettes out of my favorite images.  It was like the first time I learned CRAYOLA introduced the box of 96 crayons.

I will post a few new on my blog each day this week.  For a teaser, the color palettes posted later this week include, Coalmine Hole, Farm Boy, Snakeweed, and Lake Michigan along with others!  Enjoy!

The image above is from Pella Tulip Time, 2011.

The image above was taken by my grandma Ferguson of my brothers and I around 25 years ago.  It has always been a favorite.

The image above was taken last October along the side of Brian and I's rented 40 acre bean field.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Winter Projects - Shutters and Windows, Oh My!

The above photo was "pinned" on pinterest, a creative idea internet site that I enjoy.  I've been looking for an idea to use a few old cowboy-looking shutters i saved from being thrown out in the parsonage remodel two years ago.

I knew they would come in handy someday, and I think I found just the project!  Cowboy shutters below that have been hanging out in the basement since the remodel. 

This window I've been using as decoration was a curb pick up from our neighborhood while we were living in Grand Rapids...

So, do I paint the shutters?  Leave them wood tones?

I'm leaning toward leaving them wood tones, and adding color with a few accessories.  I don't know how much time I have to paint this winter...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A New Niece

Another girl in the family!  I am very happy that my niece Amelia has a new little sister, and not another brother.  Allison joins her four older siblings, who I photographed last summer.

I failed at getting a picture of her on the front of a pickup, which has this sign on it.  Maybe when she is a little bigger.  It really isn't the best time of year to be outside with a little one anyways, I guess.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies

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I have a cookie recipe that I use several times a year. This recipe is originally from the  Oskaloosa Christian School cookbook, from J. DeBruin, and I've adjusted the recipe a bit by adding cloves to make it more of a spice cookie. 

Begin by brewing a pot of coffee to enjoy with the finished product.  The spice and molasses is unbelievably good with a strong cup of coffee.

Then, Cream 1 1/4 Cup Shortening (Crisco) and 2 Cups white sugar until fluffy.  Add 2 eggs and continue to cream.

Add 1/2 Cup Molasses.  We also have a sorgham mill a few miles outside of our small town.  Sorgham would be a slightly sweeter taste, with abit less of the Molasses-y bite.

You are done with the "wet" ingredients, now mix the "drys." 

To mix the "drys", add 4 Cups of white flour, 5 tsp soda, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1 1/2 tsp cloves, and a dash of salt.

Slowly add your "dry" ingredients to your "wet" ingredients.  Slowly, because you may end up with a floury mess if you add it all at once to the mixer.

Optional:  Fold in Black Walnuts to the dough.We received our black walnuts from an elderly neighbor.  Black walnuts are woods-y tasting, almost a buttery flavor when paired with a spice of some kind.  Can be a stronger taste.

Dip into balls onto culinary parchment, or on a greased baking pan.

Or, flatten with your hands onto parchment paper and cut out heart shapes or shape of your choice. I used some heart shapes.  The parchment paper is so so so much easier than flour on the counter.  A metal spatula can easily transfer them to your baking pan.

Bake at 350 for BARELY 10 minutes.  As soon as the begin to crack, take them out!  It is tempting to want to leave them in until they get a nice beautiful bakery looking crackle, but then they will not be chewy.  This is a touch to long.....

These, below are just right, barely a crackle.  THAT is the secret to chewy cookies.

Pick up the dishes!

Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies
1 1/4 Cup shortening
2 Cups white sugar

2 eggs
1/2 Cup Molasses

Stir together and add to creamed mixture:
4 Cups Flour
5 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp nutmed
1 1/2 tsp cloves
dash of salt.

Dip into balls, flatten slightly with palm, bake at 350 for 10 min.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Merry Christmas with family

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Our family has been battling a lot of sickness, starting Christmas Eve.  Nothing has been serious enough to require any doctor's visits, which I am grateful for.  Hopefully the colder weather will rid the air of the bugs going around.  A lot of families have been sick!

Thankfully we were healthy for all of our Christmas activities, which occurred the week before and the week after Christmas. Brian and I especially enjoyed having all three kids be able to play off with cousins while we enjoyed our meals and conversation with family.  The past three years we've had infants who have required a lot of attention and corralling.

Here are a few pictures of Christmas on Becky's side, which we celebrated the week before Christmas.

And here are a few pictures of Christmas with Brian's family, which we celebrated the week after Christmas:

Brian and I are very blessed to have both sides of our families to celebrate not just family, but the birth of Christ.