Handmade Paper Rediscovered

Yesterday I rediscovered my love of handmade paper; of a craft I enjoyed so many years ago.

I was rummaging around in the basement, looking for Christmas wrapping, when I wandered over to a container of “stuff” that was destined for a second hand shop, or a school, or something of the sort. Peering inside, I pulled out stickers, scrapbook paper, old envelopes, and ribbons … all those things that no longer hold my interest. My days of scrapbooking with glue and scissors have long been over.

Just as I was about to close the lid on that can of worms, I caught sight of something that stopped me in my tracks. I held my breath for a moment. Look at that … look at that paper … as I gently pulled it out, I was struck by the nubby textures and the soft colours. I was struck by how each sheet fit so well against the next, and I was struck by the beauty of it.

Memories flooded back … hours and hours of bliss spent creating these one-of-a-kind treasures … ten years ago …

Handmade Paper, Keeping With the Times

Keeping With the Times

I would soak magazines, newsprint, and light cardboard. I would save the wrapping that grocery stores used to protect flowers after they were purchased … you know — the pretty coloured triangles that were taped shut at the top to keep the frost out. Dried flowers, and leaves, and even seeds, would be thrown into the thick sludgy mix in the kitchen sink. Then came the straining and pressing of each individual sheet against the screens, until it was the perfect thickness and size. After a day or two spent drying on towels they were carefully stacked and tucked away until I needed some for a card or layout I was making.

Handmade Paper, Keeping With the Times

I used to liken the process to making cookies. It was very similar really – measuring ingredients, mixing, forming, baking …

Handmade Paper, Keeping With the Times

Handmade Paper, Keeping With the Times

Keeping With the TimesI didn’t get many presents wrapped that afternoon. I knew I needed a “be still” moment. I needed to stop and honour these creations that came from my heart.

It made me a bit melancholy … it was a lifetime ago that I did all this, and it seems like I have so many different “lifetimes” and all passing so quickly … just gone … and you can’t hold on to them no matter what you do … but it was a blessing simply to recall that time, to hold a tangible piece of it in my hands, and then to preserve it in a photograph.

I’m sharing this today at Friday Finds.

 

Kim Klassen dot com

Texture Tuesday: On Ice

About two weeks ago hubby cleared the snow from a large area on the lake to use as a skating rink (check this IG image for the action shot). We’d had a ton of snow and the temperatures were brutal. However, the forecast was for unseasonably warm temperatures to arrive … the perfect recipe for perfect ice!

texture tuesday on ice

kk_oldendays

As the sun shone on the ice, it melted slightly and formed an even and perfect surface for skating.

texture tuesday: on ice

texture tuesday: on ice

Just in time for the holidays …

keeping with the times

Hot chocolate, marshmallows, and truffles …

texture tuesday: on ice

texture tuesday: on ice

keeping with the times

 

keeping with the times

skating and hot chocolate11

kk_gentle

Thanks for dropping by today, and have a wonderful week!

Texture Tuesday at Kim Klassen dot com

Food Photography Meets Still Life Photography

When food photography meets still life photography, magic happens.

Hey! Wouldn’t that be a great name for a new series?

Food Photography, Still Life, Pumpkin Soup

I’m so excited to finally announce that I’m writing just such a series at Kim Klassen {dot com} and the first instalment is today. It’s a place where I share details behind the shoot; the spark, the gear, the camera settings, the props, the setup, and the edits.

I began my adventure with food photography when I started my blog in 2010. I was focused on the food and the recipe. At the time, I didn’t realize the photography was an art form in itself; a still life art form. Then I met Kim … and the rest is history …

Pumpkin Soup, Keeping With the Times

I hope you enjoy my series and find it helpful and interesting. I’d love to know your thoughts!

Pumpkin Soup
 

Ingredients
  • 3 cups roasted, pureed sugar pumpkin (I used my food processor)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup minced onions
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups half & half cream
  • 1 Tsp brown sugar
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. In a large pot, saute onions in butter until translucent.
  2. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat and stir in pumpkin puree and brown sugar. Pour into a blender and puree. Return mixture to saucepan. Stir in the half and half.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste. Throw in the nutmeg – I use about 1/4 tsp.
  4. Reheat but do not boil. Serve at once.

 

Hazelnut Star Cookies

I’ll “fess” up right now … this is straight from Martha Stewart (with a couple of my own tweaks) … and as usual, with a Martha Stewart recipe, I’m pretty happy with the results. Most of her recipes become favourites.

I found that these tasty, crispy-tender treats needed to “set” a bit after being put together with the jam (even overnight). So this morning when I was having coffee … oh my, well you get the idea …

Hazelnut Star Cookies, Keeping With the TimesHazelnut Star Cookies, Keeping With the TimesHazelnut Star Cookies, Keeping With the TimesHazelnut Star Cookies, Keeping With the TimesHazelnut Star Cookies, Keeping With the Times

Hazelnut Star Cookies
 

Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted (rub off the skins if you like)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Icing sugar for dusting
  • Filling of your choice. I used the crabapple jelly I made this summer.

Instructions
  1. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the hazelnuts with 1/4 cup of the flour mixture until fine. Add remaining flour mixture and pulse, then add the butter, and pulse once again to combine into coarse crumbs.*
  3. Place in a bowl and use a fork to blend in egg yolks and vanilla until the dough comes together.**
  4. Shape into two disks, wrap in parchment, and let chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove one disk from fridge and roll between two pieces of parchment paper to 1/8 inch thickness. If it’s too stiff to roll, let it sit for a few minutes.
  6. Leave the dough on the parchment, and set it on a cookie sheet. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes or more.
  7. Remove from fridge and cut with cookie cutters. Place on another parchment lined cookie sheet and cut out the centres from every second cookie.
  8. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 350F.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool.
  10. Dust tops of the star-shaped cookies with icing sugar.
  11. Put filling on bottom cookie, and gently set the star cookie on top. Don’t press or it will break.
  12. Let sit for at least a couple of hours or even over night.

Notes
*I don’t have a “real” food processor so I used my trusty (vintage) pastry cutter and it worked just fine.**I also found that once the butter and egg were added, I had to (gently) knead the dough to get it to come together (very similar to making pie crust).

Hazelnut Star CookiesI have a winner for my little heart-felt give-away! It’s Sarah Carletti of Sarah Carletti Photography! Congratulations Sarah, I’ll be mailing it out right away.

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