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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Wild...


Another little pendent made with embossed leather and metal.


The leather was lightly coloured with acrylic metallic paint, and sealed with Renaissance wax.  It is riveted to a brass round stamped with the word, and patinaed.  Riveted with a copper rivet.

I do love the combination of leather and metal.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dream... journey to create...


This is another little mixed media piece I made.  A 4x6" piece.  I covered the base with buff paint and smeared it with various layers of blues, and pearlescent paint.  I stamped the corner flourish on the painted surface.


I added on some stamped tissue, and layered some more paint on to add some pearlescence to the paper.  I took a copper and gold gel pen and picked out some detail from the flourish.


I die cut out the letters, and decorated it with paint, stampings, and copper paint.  I stamped the journey on the surface of the panel and added the letters on with gel medium


I felt this worked - the panel does have a dreamy quality to it.



Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Fly...


Another pendent made with embossed leather.  Can you tell I like butterflies?  I also do love the combination of leather and metal.  I think it is cool but feminine too.


Anyways, I lightly gilded the embossed leather with some metallic paint and sealed it with acrylic leather sealer.  Then I punched out the brass round, and stamped the sentiment on, patinaed it, before sanding it lightly and sealing with Renaissance wax.  I punched the holes in and riveted the two together.


I do love how these turned out.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Love...


As I said, I do love the combination of leather and metal... this is done with a smaller mini heart on embossed gilded leather, and a brass disc.  I put my love of this directly out there for everyone to see...


Sunday, July 26, 2015

My mind is blown... cold-brewed coffee is AWESOME!!!!!



When I first started seeing ads for small-batch cold brewed coffee at Starbucks, I thought it was a nonsense fad.  Don't get me wrong, I like iced coffee in the summer, but I thought it was the typical brewed coffee, chilled.  Which is how I have been getting it from Second Cup - where I usually buy from (and the main purveyor of caffeinated goodies in my place of work - also Canadian).  But I was reading up a bit more on it and decided to give it a try... especially as the heat of summer was ramping up.


... and my mind is blown.... it is so gooooooooooooooooooood!!!!  NOT brewed coffee leftovers thrown in the fridge and drunk cold at all.   It is an entirely different beast!!!!  The cold brew process brings out flavours you do not get with standard brewing.  I buy the Costco brand beans, and grind them myself.  I found that with cold brewing, they have an almost unctuous, creamy, vanilla, chocolate flavour that I never suspected before!!!!  AMAZING!!!!


I noticed that many sites I looked at mentioned specialty cold brewing machines and set ups.  BAH! I have this carafe I bought recently for iced tea.  When closed, it is leak proof and can be laid on the side, and has a strainer inside for holding leaves.  It seemed perfect for this.  It is by Takeya, and I do like it... now I have to second one for tea....  For the first go around, I essentially filled the filter to the top with coffee grounds and filled the carafe to the the top with cold water, sealed it and let it sit in the fridge.  I think I let it sit about 16 -18 hours.   From some of the sites I read, like the Kicking Horse site, they said cold brew can be done in 8-24 hours, at room temp or the fridge, and does call for more coffee than standard hot brew.  I noticed that the coffee started leaching from the beans right away.  Also, there was no way I was going to invest in $$$$$ specialty equipment for this, as I said before.

After letting it brew, the next day, I filtered it through the standard metal filter I have for the coffee maker, after removing the filter of grounds, in case there was some fine goop that made it through - and there was.  The ratio of coffee and grounds seemed pretty good so far to me, but maybe I may experiment more...


It is delicious and has changed my world!  There is a sweetness to it that you don't get with brewed coffee that is allowed to cool.  I never add sugar or sweetener to my tea or coffee, so am used to some bitterness, but this is naturally sweeter!  It's also smoother and less acidic.  I am so glad I gave it a try!  I wonder if the sweetness and less acidity carries through when the cold brewed coffee is heated?

It would make a great base for a coffee cocktail, or for those who like fancier cold coffee drinks, with creams, syrups, or what not.  I would use a liquid sweetener for better mixing.  Or what about irish cream, or a chocolate syrup/liqueur?


I have a new batch brewing now, in a Ziploc container, this time using slightly coarser ground coffee to see if I can get it clearer.

It's nice to know that in the Zombie Apocalypse, I can still possibly get a decent coffee, even if the power were to go out!

I wonder if my pal Bob would be interested....

Oh yes - one warning though.... I have read that because of the long steep, that more caffeine is leached out of the beans, so cold brewed potentially has a higher level of caffeine than hot brew, for those of you who may need to avoid caffeine or over-stimulation.  Considering how fast I am typing right now and how hyper-vigilant I feel, that MAY be true!