Saturday, January 18, 2014

Winter Fun

What do you do for fun in the winter?  This morning we had a beautiful, heavy snowfall, the kind when every little twig is outlined in white.  Everything was hushed and quiet.   Since I was out with the dog anyway, I decided to try to capture the snowy scenery.


Here is my garden covered in snow with snow falling on the lake in the background.  It's a beautiful place to be, even in the winter. 

Of course, Cassie was really the reason I ventured outside this morning.  I probably would have been just as happy to enjoy the view from the window!  But she couldn't contain her joy and energy and just had to get out and run and roll and lay in the snow.  She is still such a puppy!

 Another thing I like to do on a snowy day is bake.  I'm not sure why.  But it makes the house feel really cozy to come in from the snow and smell fresh baked banana bread!

Later in the afternoon I was inspired to make cupcakes as well.  I've been buying fewer cookies and treats, but since it's the weekend and we're indoors, I thought it would be nice to have a little indulgence!  I tried using Godiva chocolate liquer instead of vanilla in the frosting, just for a slightly different flavor, and dusted some cocoa powder on top.  Yum!

Of course, one of the best things to do on a snowy day is cuddle up with a warm blanket and a good book!  Today I finished reading The Girls Guide to Love and Supper Clubs by Dana Bate.  I really enjoyed it - it was light and fun and would make a good movie, along the lines of "Confessions of a Shopaholic."

Finally, I did a little bit of artwork today.  I managed to get my new Epson printer up and running all by myself yesterday.  I relocated that little plastic shelf unit from my daughter's bedroom where it was no longer being used and was simply gathering dust.  It makes a nice place to put the printer as well as conveniently eliminating some of the clutter from my work table.  Connecting the printer to my laptop was easier than I thought, although I did have to run to Radio Shack for a different USB cable.  But in no time at all, I was printing - and directly on fabric!

Here is the first photo I tried printing.  It's about a fourth of a photo I took in Italy, and blown up to 8 x 10 and printed on fabric, the colors look very washed out.  I printed it again, and this time boosted the color a bit, but meanwhile I thought I might experiment with this one.  I got out my Inktense pencils and added some color to the sky and some of the trees.  You can really see this in the foreground.  I like the control you get with the Inktense pencils, but even in a set of 24, the colors seem very limited.  There are only 3 or 4 shades of green, and it's challenging to get enough variety from that few.  

Here is the photo printed again, with the color boosted and another portion of the photo printed below it (I wanted to print one long 11x14-inch photo, but this small printer is a little limited.  I had to print two 81/2x11 pieces and I'll have to sew them together and hide the seam.)  As you can see, the colors still look washed out, so I think I will use the Inktense pencils on these as well.  I want the photos to be what's seen through a window in my next project.  I thought it would be a fun way to use a photo of the Tuscan scenery, as well as the new printer.  (Yes, the color of the sky definitely needs some vamping up, don't you think?)

 More about this project and my 2014 goals in the next post...

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