lacytracy: (default)
2009-08-29 07:20 pm
Entry tags:

Picky Picky

More pictures for you : D
 

Taken from my front yard. It captures most of the things I love about living in Florida: blue skies, the sun and palm trees. I think light play (I just got a silly childish happiness at the thought of light playing) is really fascinating. Of course I dig the lens flare here, but I like the translucency of the leaves being lit from behind even better.



This is one of my favorite photos. My one regret is that it's a little big blurry. It's moments like these when I want a really nice camera. I took this picture, amongst many others, while walking to my cousins house. The fog was so thick you could only see about 20 feet ahead clearly, and the moisture in the air revealed all the spiderwebs we rarely take notice of.



Ooh look, more lens flare and translucent leaves! Bamboo is truly both awesome and beautiful. We spend so much time in this section any time we go to the Morikami Museum, listening to the groaning stalks and ruffling leaves while the sun shimmers on the ground.



I think there's something really beautiful about a tattered looking butterly.

lacytracy: (determined)
2009-07-01 10:59 am
Entry tags:

Click. Click. Click.

I would love to get a new camera. I took B&W Photography in college and really enjoy working with an SLR. One day I'll get an awesome Digital SLR like the Rebel or something, but for now I need to find a good digital camera in the $200 range.

Right now I just have a compact 5MP digital camera. I love that it fits in my pocket and I used to carry it around all the time, but I rarely get truly good shots. The shutter is slow, so anything taken without flash generally requires a tripod which I do not have. Instead I have to steady the camera by bracing my arm against something. And taking pictures with the flash is no better, as it's to strong and washes everything out.

Below are some photos taken with my poor compact. I'll post more in the future and eventually I'll get around to scanning my B&W stuff.



Taken at the Morikami Japanese Gardens in Boca.



From the Hard Rock Cafe. I love the look of the repeated staircases. If I could, I would have stayed there and taken tons of photos of that staircase to get one where the people lined up just right. We're going back there in August, so maybe I'll get the chance. I also need to learn how to work with photos in Photoshop. I think this would look alot better if I blackened out the left and enhanced the color of the lights a bit.



The last think you see before the gator eats you.



I love water droplets in nature. It's just so pretty and... I hesitate to use the word magical, but you know in the movie Legend, how everything was covered in glitter? I'd say it's because they wanted to get this look.

I do wish I'd noticed the mud on the leaf in the background though. I would have wiped it off.
lacytracy: (happy)
2009-06-28 01:39 pm

Chocolately Goodness

Yesterday was my aunt's 62nd birthday and she asked us to make her an Earthquake Cake. I'd never made one before, but that didn't stop us from taking it to another level.

Earthquake cake is German chocolate cake, with a mix of cream cheese and powdered sugar blended and thrown on top. As the cake bakes, the sugar/cream cheese sinks down, leaving cracks in the cake so that it looks like the ground after an earthquake. It's really yummy and I suggest you google the recipe and try it out.

Naturally, Ki had to idea to add to the cake, and create a crooked cityscape. We made the city by melting down chocolate into a flat sheet, then cut and carved out the buildings with an exacto knife and a fork (for the windows). The chocolate kept snapping so I became very adept at heating and healing it. Normally that would have aggravated me, but since there had been an earthquake, it just looked like some of the buildings had cracked : p
 



Note the chocolate rubble, and the broken building in the back right.
You can't see it, but one of the buldings is labeled GM. It doubled as an economic collapse cake.


Then we got the idea to put the birthday candles hidden behind the buildings, creating a real city in chaos effect.
 



Lighting the candles.


Our aunt really loved the cake, even though the candles burned some of the buildings : ) She and our neice had fun cleaning up the melting chocolate, and everyone fought over the tasty buildings.
 



The chocolate citizens never saw the disaster coming.

lacytracy: (excited)
2009-06-16 12:42 pm
Entry tags:

Yummy art


One of my favorite things to do is bake. When we were little, my mother would bring my sister and I into the kitchen to make a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. It was always so much fun to help measure and mix the dough, and of course we'd get to take little tastes along the way : )

I think our process of mixing may have been the best part. My younger sister mixed first. When it started getting tough, I mixed it. Once it was too hard for me, our mother took over. By the time the chocolate chips were added at the end, it was too thick for any of us so we'd call out father in to help. It's a very fond memory I have of all of us chipping in together to get it done.

We always had homemade birthday cakes too. I can't recall a single birthday party with a cake from the supermarket or some bakery. It was always made in our own kitchen, even if it did come from a box. To this day, my sister and I still make each other birthday cakes and over the years we've gotten more creative with decorating them. I'd love to take a cake decorating class to learn all the techniques, but for now I'm happy to experiment. If only these things didn't always take five times longer than expected. We've developed a habit of getting to parties exceptionally late!

Here is the cake Ki and I made for my sister last year. It was our first attempt to use fondant (handmade) and sugar. The fondant was so sticky that by the end it was covered in powdered sugar. Florida humidity is really rough on bakers. By the time we got to the party (only a few blocks away), the dragonfly's wings were already dropping. Oh well, it was pretty while it lasted.



Dragonfly made entirely by Ki:



And here's the Spongebob cake we made for our niece (technically 2nd cousin, twice removed I believe... Our family is big and confusing). We had originally planned to made it more 3-dimensional with raised eyes and his long nose, but we ran out of time. The frosting was a pain because we didn't have enough so I kept trying to extend it. That's why the frosting for the pants is a totally different consistancy. Well, that and all the die it took to get that color. In the end, that cake used a large can of frosting, two blocks of creamcheese, and a bunch of butter and powdered sugar. It tasted good though!



BTW, making frosting black is a chore and a half! The lines on Spongebob are actually dark purple. For the bees on my sister's cake, I just painted the stripes directly with black food coloring.

I still have a lot to learn, as these are rather sloppy, but we're picking up new techniques and ideas while having fun, and everyone is always happy to eat the results.
lacytracy: (Default)
2009-06-13 07:32 pm

First!

Here we go with my first "official" entry. Nothing especially fun to say. Still setting up my profile and customizing my page. Then I move on to the hard part of deciding what to post here.