I’m HOME!

See oil painting “Breakfast with Friends” come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse video)

All moved in and my Internet is up. Did you miss me? I missed you! I’ll catch up when I can. Just wanted to post a short note for now.


Catching up

See oil painting “Breakfast with Friends” come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse)

I think of this painting whenever I feel a connection with you, the friends I make when I share my life online. This art was inspired by my habit of eating breakfast at the computer, waking up in the morning as I catch up with what everyone’s talking about. What did I miss? The world never sleeps.

That’s my old coffee cup in that painting. I haven’t used that one in a while. That’s also my old phone and a small dish I stopped using for my egg. I cook eggs in a large batch for the whole family now, as everyone’s eating more eggs these days. I don’t know where that blue pen is anymore. Interesting how ordinary, trivial things change over time. When our habits change, it’s a small reflection of how our lives are changing in a more profound way, ways that are much more significant than coffee cups and how we prepare our eggs.

Yesterday, in my blog post called “Season of Advent” I said that I had a lot of thoughts about Advent on my heart to share later, and I also wanted to tell you the story of the special cake I made. Since today was another very long day, I’ll just catch up with one of these: the cake. Advent will have to wait for another time, although the cake is related in a way.

This is the cake I made, using a wreath mold and decorating by sculpting items out of fondant.

The cake is chocolate with all kinds of things thrown into it. The topping is a white chocolate peppermint glaze (the pinkish red you see is finely crushed candy canes added on top of the glaze, in addition to what’s already in the glaze). Sorry for the sloppy presentation, as it is sitting on a cookie sheet that is cluttered with glaze. Hopefully you can figure out the shape of the cake. It really did look very pretty.

The red and gold ornaments are sculpted out of fondant. The bow is fondant shaped over the molded wreath. As I said yesterday, it went well “for the most part”. I loved the glaze, which ended up being my own take on it because I substituted a couple of things. But I did not like the cake. I found it revolting! It had a custard or bread pudding type texture, kind of spongy and wet. It was gross in my opinion. The guys liked it and are apparently going to end up eating the whole thing (most of it anyway), which is quite a feat, given that the other issue I had is that the cake ended up much larger than I expected. It did not fit in my fancy dessert display stand! That’s why it’s sitting on the messy cookie sheet in my pictures. After decorating it I had nowhere to move it to!

So, it was a hit and a miss. The “hit” parts involve the mold being awesome and easy to make snazzy with decorations. We also really liked the new peppermint glaze that I made with white chocolate chip morsels (8 oz), 1/4 cup candy canes crushed into a fine powder (so fine, it’s like dust, using a mortar and pestle), peppermint extract (1/2 teaspoon) and 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream. I had seen a similar recipe but didn’t follow it exactly and I really liked how this came out, so I’ll make my version again in the future. I think it would be delicious on chocolate cupcakes and I’ll try that next- with my own chocolate cake batter this time though!

The good news is that I’ve been looking for new things to add to our family traditions and the wreath mold will definitely make a return next year. I also think the peppermint glaze will see a number of returns. In the balance, I consider the special cake to be a big success even if the girls and I didn’t care for the cake itself (the guys are not displeased that they have the entire rest of the cake to themselves!). Mixed reviews, but overall, it was worth doing and I’m happy with the experience.

I’ve been pushing myself to work harder and try new things. BE more by doing more. It’s amazing how much more joyful life is when we put more of our energy into living. A cake isn’t “just” a cake. Nothing is too small to make bigger. Everything matters when we believe that it does.

God bless you and keep you, may His face shine upon you and give you peace, joy, (and peppermint glaze from me)!


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Big Picture

Watch me paint “Predator and Prey Alike” in 2 minutes

(time lapse)

Inside this big picture, there are many smaller pictures. Each predator and prey pair shows how the natural world operates. Should that not include humankind? Of course it does. But we must not lose heart or surrender to the fate of defenseless prey.

“There are times when it seems the predators always win, but that’s not true. There is a time and season for everything. When we get discouraged, perhaps we can think about the beauty of God’s beasts, fowl, and fishes. His divine plan is mysterious, and sometimes painful…But there’s always a larger picture, and we are part of it. We are not forgotten. Not unwelcome. We are loved.”

-from book “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by my Christian Faith” by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

As our world continues to be a chaotic scene, may we not be so distracted by the many battles, that we don’t see the big picture, the larger scene. It’s hard to see the forest, the mountain ridge, the sea, the green landscape, or the sky when battles rage. But if we step back and look at this world as a whole, we will see that our home is a beautiful place to be.

Not everyone is “bad”, and not everyone is “good”. Most of us are just trying to muddle through, learning how to live and love the best that we can. No matter how much destruction we see, we can focus on creation. No matter how much malice we see, we can focus on love. No matter how many enemies we see, we can focus on friends.

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Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

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