Friday, January 20, 2017
MY CHOCOLATES ARE EVOLVING!
Magical Designs Now Adorn Many of my Chocolate Truffles
My chocolate truffles are definitely evolving. I am adding new ideas every day to make them what I hope to be the most special chocolates in the world. What you see in the picture above are the new color chocolate transfers I am adding to a lot of the pieces. They are so colorful and joyous. Included are my Mayan (with a bit of heat) My Cashew Surprise (guess what the surprise is?) and my Kahlua truffles made with my homemade kahlua.
Found After 17 Years-Lemoncello from Capri!
I’ve gone over the top though with the latest liquor I just added. In the year 2000, my granddaughter, Marcy, and I made a trip to Italy and Cicely. We went to the top of Capri and found this delicious Lemoncello that is sold everywhere on the island. It is hard for me to believe that I resisted drinking it all these years but today, after 17 years, I opened the bottle and poured a very small glass for myself. It was absolutely out of this world. The drink literally glided down my throat and was like nothing else I have ever tasted (unlike the bottle of Volcanic wine we also brought back which tasted exactly like the smell of an erupted volcano!) The whole purpose of opening the bottle was because I thought it would be a wonderful addition my chocolate truffles. I was right. I deliberated as to whether to add it to the chocolate since the bottle is so small and I wasn’t sure it wouldn’t be appreciated more here for entertaining (myself probably) But, I did proceed and it is exceptional. I will be selling all the the chocolates seen in this blog post tomorrow January 21st on our Farmer’s Market in Roanoke, Va. The weather will be beautiful and I hope you will all come by for samples of my chocolates. Both 18.
Absolutely devine-17 Year Old Lemoncello from Italy Pictured in Front of My Mosaic Italian Art Piece
Monday, January 9, 2017
GIGI AND COLOR TO THE RESCUE!
My Daughter, Kirsten and Her New Chalk Painted Cabinet
Being an artist, everyone expects me to have a creative home. I will admit that there are some areas that are definately out of the box as far as my decorating goes but my Great Room leaves much to be desired. I have made a New Year’s revolution (I call my resolutions 'revolutions') to bring Woodloft (my home) to life even further. My great room is the first place I will tackle. It has a ho-hum crate and barrel look to it. Brown leather sofas, brown piano etc etc. Comfy but it does not have that WOW factor that as an artist I am looking for. I decided I need more color!
Dark and Drab Looking Cabinet
I love networking and had the perfect opportunity for that after my daughter, Kirsten, just moved into her new home. She needed a piece of furniture to fit an unusual strange space off of her kitchen. Gigi to the rescue! Gigi and Kirsten have been friends for many years and help one another with decorating ideas. Gigi has been known to carry a saw around with her on needed occasions and is an expert on decorating. She took one look at the space and then glanced over to Kirsten’s dining room and said, “What about that!” She was pointing to a piece of furniture that came with the dining room set her mother-in-law, Jeannie, gave to the family many years ago. Without hesitation, Kirsten and Gigi pulled the hutch to the kitchen and were thrilled that it fit perfectly into the space. Now there was no need to purchase a new piece of furniture. Gigi suggested that Kirsten paint the dated brown piece a modern color to match her kitchen. They chose a beautiful grey tone and used a chalk paint. I couldn’t believe the transformation.
Gigi and The "New" Cabinet
After Picture-Featuring Newly Painted Chalk Cabinet and Another Matching Smaller Piece
Gigi had so many ideas to offer me during a brain storming session the three of us had when I went over to see the new room. I explained how I wanted to shake things up a lot in my great room. Gigi said to start with the rug. I had already in mind to change my beautiful but very dull coffee table rug but Gigi expounded that idea by telling me to get the rug first and then build all the colors around the colors found in the rug. Actually, this step was easier said than done. I found a fabulous rug and then couldn’t make up my mind whether to paint my lovely, but brown, baby grand piano and what color? I changed paint twice and now I’m almost back to the first paint I chose to begin with. It is a matt chalk paint. I keep thinking that I should use a satin finish on piano? So, I went back to my original idea and started pulling out colors of not only the rug but my life size Frida painting. I don’t know what it all will look like but I’ve got everything crossed that it all comes together. If it does,it will be a wild Frida look with a Colonial Mexican/Carribean feel to it. Stay tuned and I'll keep you updated on my progress. Thanks for viewing!
My Frida Painting Situated in an Adjacent Area to Great Room
Part of My 'Crate and Barrel' Dark and Overly Cluttered Great Room
Baby Grand Piano with Band of Tropical Peach Tester Paint
Sunday, January 1, 2017
NEW YEAR’S REVOLUTIONS AND THE CHOCOLATE QUEEN!
My B-Dazle Art Car Featuring 23,000 Beads and Other Items-Give or Take A Few Hundred.
Finally! My B-dazle art car is up and running again. It’s been over a year since she had her “break down” I searched far and wide to find a good mechanic who could and would work with a 27 year old car covered in beads bangles and bows. Joe Senecker, from Vinton, Virginia took on the challenge. Joe totally rebuilt her engine but in the process, her window slammed down into the door. She’s old..the girl has a right to be a bit belligerent from time to time if she wants to right? Joe is rebuilding that window motor from scratch since the part for it is nowhere to be found. In the meantime, I’m driving her to our Farmer’s Market loaded down with my new enterprise..chocolate truffles!
My Line of Chocolates Including The New Chocolate Vessels
Each year I make out a list of what I call my “Revolutions.” Surprisingly, I accomplish checking off most of them each year. This year, I plan to learn absolutely everything there is to know about chocolate designing. Last February, I took an adventure with my granddaughter, Marcy, to visit my friends, Chris and Betsy at their apartment in Nantes, France. It was there we all took a cooking class on how to make French Macaroons. When I got home, I found that making for family and friends is one thing, but to sell is another. I completely sold out the first week I took them to the market but the process is so time consuming that I had to finally admit it was not a good plan.
The Macaroons I Made Upon Returning from France
While in Nantes and Paris, I was astonished at how many chocolate shops there were. Not just one on every corner but many more than that. Each shop had it’s own ambience and type of candy..all chocolate of course but many of the shop owners were not just makers of chocolate, but authentic chocolatiers. The presentations were magnificient. I kept the ideas in the back of my mind, hoping to come up with my own style when I got back to the states.
Chocolate Cars and So Many More Amazing Chocolate Sculptures
I just knew I had to start making chocolate truffles. The adventure began. After experimentation, laborious work and some failures I finally have come up with my new line of deep, dark, chocolate truffles. I am now changing my DBA from Garlic Queen to The Chocolate Queen. So far my endeavors have been very successful. I’m even contemplating shipping possibilities. My friend, Deb, agreed to be the guinea pig by accepting a box of my chocolate shipped regular mail, which was a bit slow, to her home in South Carolina. I asked her to check to see if any melted or felt sticky in any way. She declared “Chocolate arrived perfectly and is delicious!” Maybe I will be able to ship in the winter months?
A few of the favorites so far are, Mayan (with a bit of heat) Kahlua (with my own homemade kahlua) and my natural peanut butter. I have several other selections but I need to experiment with more exotic flavors. Do any of you have ideas about what ganache you would like to taste inside my dark chocolate truffles? I would love to hear from you.
In the meantime, I’m off to work on my creations but will be back with more news from Woodloft (my home) soon. Hope everyone has a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
Front View of B-Dazle. Lots of Repair Work This Winter!