Monday, February 28, 2011

Valentine Mashup ATCs

I made these artist trading cards for our monthly trade last Saturday. My head was still in Valentine mode and these ATCs were a combo of Victorian cat images, labels from Valentine chocolates, brads and bits of ribbon I had hanging about and my heart-shaped rubber stamp.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Puss 'n' Boots

Here's my brother Larry, with his bride-to-be Maureen and our cat Ballou in 1978 on the front steps of our house in Montreal.

We moved from Montreal in 1982. Here's my family, right after we sold the house (sans my bro who had already moved to Toronto) with our two cats, Ballou (16) and Haskins (1). Ballou lived till he was 18. Unfortunately, little Hasky got hit by a car out in the country.

Ballou was insistent on his diet: chicken Puss 'n' Boots. Probably not the best cat food in the world but that's all he'd eat. The tin above is a bit more vintage than I recall but the illustration of Puss 'n' Boots was pretty much the same. Always makes me think of Ballou.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Footprints and Snacks

On Family Day last Monday, Richard and I headed into the woods. After a few hours of cutting brush and vines... was time for a snack.

Leftover chocolate chip pancakes from breakfast...

...sure taste good in -15C sunshine.

Moose prints seemed to be everywhere, the critter likely browsing for some grass under the snow.

And lots of bunny feet...

...likely outrunning a coyote looking for his dinner.

And looks like a squirrel or some other creature left remnants of their snack wedged in a tree.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Full Snow Moon

Last Friday night was the Full Snow Moon. It was clear and cold so I decided to take my new camera out for a spin.

If you steadied yourself -- in this case I leaned the camera on the roof of Richard's car -- you could take a not bad image of the moon.

Very pretty with the branches in front of it. Care to howl anyone?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Helloooo Out There...

This picture makes it look like we live in the boonies or something. Hey, wait a minute. We do! Wet snow loves to stick to satellite dishes and when TV signals are interrupted, something must be done. I used my mother's bamboo pole with a rag tied onto the end of it -- she used to dust the ceiling with it -- and sent Richard up a ladder. It worked!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Thinking Spring

I got the strangest call the other day. "Would you be interested in coming to a seed porn party?" What!!??

Turns out my friend Sue invited a few gals over to trade seeds, look at seed catalogues and think spring.

The seeds were in all manner of storage containers: pill bottles, tea tins, envelopes, you name it.

Outside the snow was blowing hard.

Inside we were faithfully transferring seeds into envelopes and copying plant specifics.

During all this we enjoyed delicious carrot cake and coffee. Now, doesn't that sound like a perfect way to spend an afternoon?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Nature-Inspired Cake

Just outside the window, inspiration abounds.

My friend Helene is an avid birder and last weekend celebrated her birthday. My mind was thinking spring, however, and buttercream grass and chocolate rocks trumped snow!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

In Praise of Snow

Okay, I get it. We're supposed to hate winter, shun snow and go south where it's always warm. And, yes, I admit, I am looking forward to spring.

That being said, I kind of like winter. Shhh. Don't tell anyone. It's the time of year when we can go out to the back of the property and not get bitten by bugs.

The light in the morning on the snowy branches is picturesque.

By noon, the little birds have knocked it all down to the ground.

The blue jays make all kinds of weird, musical sounds from up above.

Everything is covered with a lovely blanket of snow. This birdhouse will need a spring cleaning to welcome its new guests.

The morning sunrise. Lovely.
For more great shots of winter, click here to go to Richard's blog.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Snow Squirrels

These little red squirrels are very sweet. I know...they're pests because they end up in your soffits and all that.

But outside in the snow, they're darn cute.

Got any more peanuts, lady?

Seriously...more peanuts please.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt Cupcakes 101

Since both Richard and I love salted chocolate caramels, I decided to attempt a similar cupcake for Valentine's Day. I used store bought caramel and wonderfully chunky sea salt from Maine.

I made chocolate fudge cake cupcakes and cut out a small wedge in them.

Then I added a small spoonful of chocolate ganache (semi-sweet chocolate and whipping cream, melted together, then cooled a bit).

I topped that with a little bit of caramel. I added a bit of salt to the top of this to add more flavour and cut some sweetness.

I covered the hole with a swirl of chocolate buttercream icing.

I topped that with another spoon of ganache...

...and a bit more caramel.

Then I salted it all over with sea salt. Check it out! I clicked the shutter just as a piece of sea salt was falling.

And from the over-the-top department, I found these dark chocolate cups at the grocery store and since it was for Valentine's Day and all, I bought them and put the finished cupcakes in their very own chocolate cups.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Richard and me with our cats, past and present: Skanoo, Percy, Millie, Barney, Oreo, Domino, Cinnamon, Cookie and Nutmeg.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lunching & Blogging at Limes Café

Natalie and I went for lunch yesterday in Vankleek Hill at The Limes Café.

I started with a nice cup of coffee...

...and a mushroom quiche and salad. Yum-o!

Natalie opted for the broccoli and cheddar soup with a chicken and cheese panini.

We had to go to the counter and choose one of their yummy desserts.

We both had cookies. Mine was a chocolate biscotti that went great with a second cup of coffee.

Both of us photographed and clicked away like crazy. Two blogging fools! To see Natalie's blog about our lunch click here: Knatolee's Blog.


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