Monday, March 21, 2011

Berry muffins recipe

Look at the yummy muffin! :) You can bake them with any berries you want: blubbery, cranberry, raisins... they are all will be good!

For the recipe, we will need:
2 cups (1 up is 240 ml) of all purpose flour
2/3 cup of sugar
2 tea spoon of backing powder
1 cup of fat reduced sour cream (I used fat free Greek style yogurt)
1/4 cup of canola oil (or any other oil with no scent)
1 egg
1 tea spoon of vanilla extract
2 cups of butter milk or kefir

Resins, walnuts, cranberries... 1/2 cup of each. You can use or just resins, or nuts, etc. I like to mix all of them. Also, 1 cup of blueberries will be fine. Well... any your favorite berries :) Around 1 - 1 1/2 cups...

Preheat oven to 390 F (200 C)

Mix in a bowl flour, sugar, and backing powder

In separate bowl, mix sour cream, oil, egg,and vanilla. Mix them until smooth.

Add dry ingredients to the batter and mix well. The mixture will be dry. So mix in butter milk or kefir little by little. The finish mixture should be thick but liquid. If it's too thick, just add more butter milk. Add berries and nuts.

Spray or brush muffins caps with oil and place them in muffin pan.

Spoon the batter in the caps. Fill around 2/3 of a cap.

Put the muffin pan in the oven and bake the muffins until golden brown. Try them with wooden tooth pic. Depends on oven, it may take 20-30 minutes.

Enjoy your muffins! :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring note cards exchange

Did you know that March 8 is an International woman day? :) Probably not... or maybe had heard about it but forgot?... :)

In Russia and other post-Soviet countries, the day is a real holiday. We don't celebrate some socialist ideas... we just celebrate a Woman's day. All woman and girls get flowers... a lot of flowers and gifts. :) For us, this is a celebration of spring.

I'm a member of Etsy Russian team on Etsy, and we had note card exchange for the holiday. So... recently I got all of the cards that I supposed to receive... What amazed me, they are mostly hand made... Well, why I'm amazed... we are crafters! That's what we do! :)

So this gorgeous photo note card from Tonya (TonyaUtkina)

This amazing hand cross stitched note card from Natasha (Skrynka)

And this great note card from Tanya (SocksAndMittens)

Also, I got extra one from Mariya (LovelyTrifles) :) Mariya missed the gift exchange, and she was upset about it. To make her happy, we just sent to each other note cards...

Girls, they are amazing! :) Thank you very much!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I wish you a lot of luck! :)

I always love the idea to take a greeting image (digital or printed note card ) on my own. I like to challenge myself especially with occasions like Patrick's day because not much attributes I can find around in my home :) So... in this case, it's shamrock (or something looks like it... I really don't know) from my backyard and a mug of beer (which was consumed by my husband later :)... He was happy... )

Hope you like the idea I came up with :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How to solve a problem with printing digital collages

I've noticed that my customers some times have difficulties with printing digital collages in JPG format. If you are facing the problem (usually, it's wrong size of the clip art images), please contact me to get your collages in PDF format.

I'd like to explain the way how clip arts may be printed from PDF file. This method usually works with no problem.

The steps and screen shots are for Windows operated computer.

First of all, PDF reader is needed. Please, navigate to Adobe website, download and install Adobe Acrobat Reader. This is free software, so you don't need any license. Run it.

Click on an image to get larger view. Go to File -> Open. Choose a file in popped up window and confirm.

After file with digital collage is open, go to File -> Print

Set scale as None or as Fit to printable area. Please, try both setting and choose which one fits your needs.

In most cases, this scenario works. But if it doesn't, please contact me!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Jewelry product photography. Albina's creations

Albina is my fellow team mate in Russians on Etsy team. Recently, she asked me to work on good pictures of her jewelries. You know why... her article is going to be issued in a magazine! I was excited to get this challenge - to take really good looking pictures for the magazine. :)

I hope I fulfilled the order :) Also, just a little secret... I'm really proud of myself because I really improved my skills in product photography. If you'd look at my first pictures, gosh... they are really unacceptable :( I know, that I need practice more and more to get them better, but I feel that I've made pretty much big step in this field :)

Look at the gorgeous jewelries! Albina is a great wire sculpture artist. Her creations are really unique.

Honestly, I'm not a big fan of copper jewelries. I prefer silver or gold, but these one make me to think about my preferences. :)

I wish I could make something like this... *sigh*

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Russian style apple pie recipe

This apple pie is quite popular in Russia. It's really easy to make, and the taste is delicious. :)

Apple pie recipee
For 8 inch round baking form, you will need:
1 cup of sugar,
1 cup of all purpose flour,
3 large eggs,
1 tea spoon of backing powder,
1 table spoon of vanilla,
3 large granny smith apples,
1 cup of walnut pieces (optional)

Apple pie recipee
Put in a big bowl eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Mix with hand mixer until the mixture become foamy and pale yellow . Sugar should be almost dissolved.

Apple pie recipee
Add there flour and backing powder. Mix it again until the butter is smooth.

Apple pie recipee
Wash the apples, cut them into big chunks removing apple hearts.

Apple pie recipee
Place the apple chunks in the batter, add walnuts pieces (optional), and mix the mixture with spoon or silicone spatula until all apples are covered with the butter.

Apple pie recipee
Spray a little bit of vegetable oil on 8 inch backing dish and sprinkle flour. I usually use backing spray with flour. :) Put the mixture in the form, and bake it in oven heated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. It usually takes 40 minutes, but it really depends on an oven. I just try it with wooden toothpick... I prick the pie, and if the toothpick comes out clean, the pie is ready.

Enjoy and Bon App├ętit!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How to Make Glass Tile Pendant

Look at this pretty glass tile pendant! Do you think it's difficult to make? :) No! It's easy as 1-2-3! :)

How to make glass tile pendant
First of all, you need an image. If you'd like to make a pendant with hearts, you can download free digital collage which I'm happy to share.

Free digital collage
The collage sheet is 4x6 inches, 300 dpi. It can be download there. If the link doesn't work, please leave a comment and I'll fix it. Please, don't forget to come back and download it. :) Print it on heavy paper (80-100 lb) on laser printer.

NOTE: Please keep in mind, that the collage sheet can not be sold as a collage in digital or printed form.

To make the pendant, you will need an image, settings for glass tile, glaze, and super glue (I prefer gel super glue).

How to make glass tile pendant
I usually buy supplies in SunAndMoonKits shop on Etsy. Gina who runs the shop is very nice and responsive. She always open for custom quantity of items. :) If you are planning to make just 1-2 pendants, you probably will need just sample size of glaze - not the big bottle.

So... lets make the pendant :)

First, cut of an image.

How to make glass tile pendant
Then, apply a little bit of glaze on the back side of the glass tile. Well... maybe not a little bit but more :) So it shouldn't be a very thin layer.

How to make glass tile pendant
Spread it evenly without air bubbles inside. Place the image with face side on the glaze and gently press it from center to the edges. Be sure, that there is no airy spots between glaze and paper. Also, paper should slide on the glaze when you touch it. It means that right amount of glaze applied. Be sure that edges of the paper are also with no air between glaze and the image.

Set aside the glass tile for a couple of hours while the glaze become firm. Then, just trim extra paper on the sides and remove extra glaze from the glass.

How to make glass tile pendant
Put a little bit of super glue in the setting.

How to make glass tile pendant
And place the glass tile with paper side down.

How to make glass tile pendant
And your pendant is ready :)

If you'd like to make a personalized pendant, you can look in my blog for other free graphics , and also please have a look at my GraphicLand shop on Etsy for affordable great digital collages.

Enjoy! :)
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