Salty and Sinful………but oh so worth it!

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Sees Scotchmallow Bar

Pure Decadence ala Mary

This gastronomical treat is SO very wrong, wrong, wrong, I keep telling myself and doesn’t belong anywhere near my diet. However it is CRAZY decadent and when it comes to chocolate I was born to be bad!

Don’t ask me why I ever tried this the first time, or actually why I even thought of trying it, it just popped into my head one night, grabbed hold of me for days and wouldn’t let go. I finally surrendered and headed to the nearest Sees store. I am now hopelessly addicted and live in dread that they will discontinue this candy bar.

I was always the one person in the family that didn’t over-salt, and sometimes didn’t even salt my food, and yet I can’t have one of these bars in the house, make that in this town, and not eat it this way. The way I make is not for the faint of heart mind you. No sparse sprinkling of salt for me. I literally douse it in salt.

If you like salted caramels, or the combination of sweet and salty, I dare you to try it and not love it.

How I do it:
I put the Sees Scotchmallow bar under the toaster oven broiler for a second or two, just until the chocolate starts to soften then hurry and remove it. You don’t want to overdo the broiler step, you just want the top of the bar soft enough for the salt to stick to it, you want to try not to melt the sides and the bottom. Really, it only takes a few seconds. Once I have it on my plate I douse the bar liberally with Himalayan pink sea salt and, try to make it to the table before I take my first bite.

I guess if you don’t have a broiler handy you could always lick the top of the bar then salt it. The added benefit with this version is you don’t have to worry about sharing with co-workers or pushy household members!

Don’t try cheap imitations (believe me I’ve tried), they don’t even come close. Possibly a Sees caramel would work if you don’t want the marshmallow part, but with this beauty weighing in at just under 200 calories and tasting like 2000 why would you want to play with perfection?

I have to guiltily admit that not only do I put salt on top, but I also dip the bitten end in more salt as I go. Ahhhh.

Applause for Ornament Magazine

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Ornament MagazineI have to say I haven’t completely gotten on board with the digital versions for magazines. I find it very hard to relax and read them on the computer screen. I can’t see the entire page at one time (which for some odd reason seems important to me when relaxing, I’m not quite sure why) and I feel like I am so detached from the whole reading experience, which usually involves a cozy chair, good beverage, cookies, and does not include a bright computer screen and cluttered desk.

Maybe it is because I already spend so much at the computer screen with photo-editing, website work, emails, and bookkeeping, that to relax with a magazine while sitting in the same chair staring at the same computer screen just doesn’t do it for me (not even with cookies!)

I can see the benefit of digital subscriptions in some instances. Less natural resources to print them, less room needed in my house to store them, and they would probably be much easier to find when I want to reference an article. It would also be great to be able to access them on my phone when I’m anywhere I have to wait more than 10 minutes. In my opinion it’s much better to have a magazine at the ready than find the only entertainment you have is the “when you are moving” pamphlet while in line at the post office.

If I have to choose I will always opt for a print version. That is where the applause for Ornament Magazine comes in. It gives me the best of both worlds. When I want to read and relax in my favorite quiet place I can take my print issue, and when convenience dictates the digital one is the best choice, I can choose it to read. All included for the same price! From what I’ve seen it is the only magazine that I subscribe to (and we’re talking quite a few magazines here!) that gives me both the print and digital version included for the same price. With others I have to choose which I prefer or pay double the cost for two subscriptions. You can get the digital version of Ornament a little cheaper on its own ($5 less) if that is all you want, but it is really a better deal to get both. I also just checked an issue from 2002. The price for four issues was only a little cheaper than it is right now but now you get 5 issues! and the digital version. The magazine is not for everyone, it isn’t a how-to, but in my opinion it is a visual treat full of creative inspiration.

Disclaimer here: I have absolutely no affiliation with Ornament Magazine other than being a subscriber, just wanted to tip my hat.

One last thought for publishers. It might already exist, but I would love to see the magazines that provide digital versions of their magazines to also provide some sort of indexing database system for your computer that would allow you to easily search for articles. It might be asking for the moon, but with modern technology being what it is, could it be that far away? Just please don’t do away with the print versions, okay?


Lampwork Bead Makes it to Broadway

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spotlight on lampwork

Spotlight on Lampwork

Does anyone know how I made this lampwork bead? Yeah, me either. It is an experimental bead I was exploring about three months ago. I had been been doing so good for awhile, writing notes on how I create my beads, but alas I apparently fell off the wagon with this one.

I haven’t totally given up hope that I will find some note scrawled on the back of a grocery list, or in the margins of a page of some obscure magazine I was reading at the time, but for now I’ve been amusing myself with picture playing, as above.

I haven’t quite figured out how to capture the depth and layers that are trapped inside the bead and have made many frustrating educational attempts at photographing this one. The bead is actually folded and the red portion that you see is like a brilliant red cave.

I thought while puppy is napping I’d take one of Colin’s attempts and turn it into a fun photo-editing exercise for me. The picture is actually three layers combined to make one. The original picture showed the lampwork bead with what looks like halos that were created by shining a light directly above the bead. It washed out part of the design but I think it is still a fun picture!

Sunshine is bursting out all over!

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Golden Gazania

Something I miss about doing soft glass is the vividness of the colors. Boro tends to be so much more earthy. While there are crayon-like colors in boro rod they tend, for the most part, to be either difficult to work in small scale due to boiling issues, or thin out too much making them appear translucent. This can work for me with some effects, but when I want bold, bright colors nothing does it for me like soft glass.

Golden Lily

I hope when the studio is finally set up again that I will have two torch stations, one for soft glass (whose color palette has grown exponentially since I stopped using it) and one for borosilicate. For now I’ll just have to enjoy the vivid summer colors in my garden (at least those that have survived the tornado teeth of Mr. Jax.

Orange Lily