Sunday, May 31, 2009

Polaroid Giveaway as Part of SewMamaSew's May Blog Giveaway

I am having a giveaway on my Polaroid blog, and decided I should post about it here. I am enjoying the Babymoon with our new daughter, so have just copied the content here but you can click here to be taken to that blog. I hope to start posting regularly again soon... please stay tuned....

Welcome to a great giveaway! When I signed up to do this I was pregnant, due June 7th. Well, last night, in one hour from start to finish we welcomed our second daughter. Everyone is doing well at home and I am going to make this post as short as possible.

I am giving away a choice between two prizes. Each package is show below, and each consists of an original Polaroid 669, Polaroid transfer, Polaroid emulsion lift, and a bamboo pendant on ball chain featuring a Polaroid image. All items are made by me and have a value of $125. You can chose between nostalgic images or nudes. To be eligible to win, please visit my Etsy shop,, select your favorite image, then leave a comment in this post below. I will have a drawing to determine the winner. If you would like extra chances in the drawing and you like my blog, you can become a follower or subscriber. If you are Etsy member you can also favorite my shop for another chance to win. Please make note of which of these things you did in the comment on my blog. You have until June 1st to post your comments.

To see what other things are being given away as part of this blog giveaway check out the list at the SewMamaSew Blog.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

She's Here - Our New Babe

Monday evening was a night to remember. With absolutely no warning, our second child came into the world, two weeks early, in one hour from start to finish. NO WORD OF A LIE. We had planned a home birth under the care of a midwife, all along, because I knew this birth was going to be fast (and because we believe in midwives for normal births). Our first child was born in a birthing centre in Quebec, under the care of a midwife, and my labor was about 6 hours, with Quin being born about 2 hours after my water broke. I knew this time it would be faster, and I would need to drive 25 minutes away if I wanted a hospital birth (I didn't), since the obstetrics ward in our town has been temporarily closed. My husband and I felt comfortable with having our child at home. You can read more about the closing of obstetrics here and of our choice to do a home birth here.

Well, on Monday night, after having some light cramps while I ate dinner, which turned to not being able to talk while I had them within 20 minutes, I went to take a bath. I knew if I was not having contractions that meant I would soon give birth, that the bath would stop them. Not so. It became apparent very quickly that they were two minutes apart. Our midwife was called, but soon after, when my water broke, myself, my husband, and our midwife who was on route and on the phone, knew things would change in a couple moments. And that is what happened. One urge to push and there was her head, another urge and her shoulders came out, along with her body, which my husband caught skillfully, as our three year old assisted. Crazy, yes, but we had all been so calm, and when our babe let out a cry and quickly turned from purple to very pink, we knew all was ok. Our midwife arrived less than 10 minutes afterwards. And it was time for celebrating!

Welcome to our world, Emmanuelle Louise Hélène. Thank you for joining our family :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Homemade Cupcakes + Friends = One Awesome Birthday Party - Part One

So, it is official, Quin is now a three year old. Her birthday was earlier in the week, and her party was today. I lucked out last fall and won a 6 kid, Build-A-Bear Birthday Party, at a silent auction. If you don't know what this is, it is when you go to a shop, pick out an animal skin, which is then filled with stuffing while you watch. Then, you pick clothes, shoes, accessories for it. I got this certificate for a steal, and am so glad because Quin and her friends were THRILLED with their new stuffies, but I could never have afforded this over the top part of the party (thank you to the grandma who was bidding against me who made sure I won). All kids have more than enough stuffed animals but the kids find these really special because they were able to design them.

After we made out animals, everyone headed back to our place, for homemade cupcakes and milk. Quin and I had a wonderful time making her cupcakes last night, and then frosting and sprinkling them this morning.

My mom has sent us numerous cupcake making recipe books, and I took the recipes for chocolate and vanilla cupcakes from one called Super-Duper Cupcakes by Elaine Cohen. I tried to find the recipes on line but could not, so will post them here.

Deep Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
By Elaine Cohen
Makes 12 cupcakes

1/2 c unsweetened cocoa
1 c very hot water
2 t pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature

1) Adjust the oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with baking cup liners.
2) Put the cocoa in a small bowl; add the hot water and mix until smooth. Cool to room temp, the stir in vanilla.
3) Whisk in flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.
4) Beat the butter with mixer set at med-high speed until smooth and shiny, about 15 seconds. Add the sugar; beat until the mixture is fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and beat until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds.
5) With mixture on lowest speed, add about 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the batter, followed immediately by about 1/3 of the cocoa mixture; mix until the ingredients are almost incorporated into the batter. repeat the process twice more. When the batter appears blended, stop the mixer and scrape the bowls sides with a rubber spatula. Return the mixer to low speed; beat until the batter looks satiny, about 15 seconds longer.
6) Pour the batter into the muffin cups so that the cups are about 80% full. Bake the cupcakes for 17-20 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake, if it comes out clean or with a crumb adhering to it, it is done.
7) Transfer the muffin pans to wire cooling racks or away from the hot oven. Let them cool for 10 minutes. Place the cupcakes onto the rack or a plate so they can continue to cool. Be sure to cool the cupcakes completely before frosting, one hour.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
by Elaine Cohen

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
4 cups (1lb) confectioners' (icing) sugar
1 T pure vanilla extract
2 T heavy cream (or milk)
Pinch of salt

(I never remember to buy unsalted butter, so in this recipe I used butter with salt and omitted the pinch of salt. I also thinned my frosting a bit by adding an additional 2-3 T of cream. TT)

Beat the butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract, heavy cream, and salt in a bowl with an electric mixer at low speed until the sugar is moistened. Increase the speed to medium and beat, stopping twice to scrape down the bowl, until creamy and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes.

(I then divided the frosting, colored one bowl pink, by adding just two drops of red food coloring, and the other bowl orange, by using 3 drops red and about 5 drops orange, which by the way, is nothing like the directions for coloring in the book. You just need to experiment. We had pastel frosting but you can make very bright colors, too.)

For Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Follow the recipe above but add 3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder and another 2 T heavy cream).

*Stay tuned for Part Two, which will have the vanilla cupcake recipe...

All Images, aside from the book cover, by Tiffany Teske

Friday, May 22, 2009

Collaborative Watercolors

We like to make these collaborative paintings in our house. My daughter loves to paint, and so do most adults, which is something we have learned from having guests over, and leaving the watercolors within reach. This one was made by 5 adults and a 3 year old. We try to cover every inch with color, and then we tack the cheery results to the walls all over the place. Give it a try!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Quin!

I can't believe that my baby daughter turned THREE today! Time has flown... and in a few short weeks, our next daughter will join us! We had a lovely little birthday day today, with a friend visit, and then dinner, a special hand-picked-from-the-local-candy-shop carameled apple rolled in M&Ms dessert, gifts sent from family, and LOTS of phone calls. Thanks everyone! We will have a kiddo party on Sunday. Bonne fete et happy birthday to the sweetest reason for living I know!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Everything's Amazing, Nobody is Happy

That about sums up our current state of society. This guy is right on. Enjoy a laugh!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Still Snowing, So How About Some Strawberry Shortcake?

We live in a place where snow flurries are still falling, although it is mid May. This kind of weather, this time of year, makes people a bit out of sorts. We had a kind of cranky day, until it was time to make dinner and dessert. I will post about dinner later, let's go straight to dessert. I needed some inspiration for meals this week, so I took out one of my old notebooks that I have recipes taped into. This one I made while living in Maine, and it has tons of strawberry recipes on the first several pages. One is for Strawberry Shortcake. Always a lovely dessert and so easy. While I was not able to go to my beloved pick-your-own strawberry field in Farmington, Maine, the berries we got from the local market were sweet without adding sugar. There is just something so special about the taste of summer. And as my husband pointed out as he watched Q & I roll out the shortcake dough and cut them into circles, "How can you be unhappy when you have little homemade cakes on a snowy day?" Exactly why it was the perfect time to have strawberry shortcake, a way of denying the crazy weather.

Here is the recipe. I was going to retype it, but I like this photo, and I am working on borrowed time, since we will welcome a new baby girl in three weeks or less...

Yummy fresh cakes!

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE if you have an electric or hand mixer, make fresh whipped cream. It is sooooooooo much better than anything at the store. It may have a lot of fat, but it doesn't have much sugar, and none of those nasty additives and preservatives. My grandmother has always made the whipped cream from scratch, and I will never serve cool whip, thanks to her example.

And besides, when you make it fresh, there is always someone who will be thrilled to lick the beaters!

Baking with my wonderful girl and my 37 week baby bump :)

It's ready! YUM!

Images by Tiffany Teske

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Face Painting Fun

QQ & Daddy had extra fun with the watercolors recently. One minute they were painting paper and the next they were painting each other!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Posted by Picasa

This message is a bit late... we didn't have internet OR phone for 4 hours, right from 6:30 PM - 10:30 PM, so I didn't even get to talk to MY mom :( At least I had left her a message earlier in the day... Hope all you Moms had an amazing day surrounded by family!! I am getting pretty excited to welcome our daughter in early June!

More 2009 'Roid Week Images

Man, that was fast, it is already over for 2009... NOOOOOOOOOO! I did make images each day, but just got home from being away, so have yet to scan most of them. I was able to scan this mini series today. I love to shoot little series with Polaroid. 3-5 images work well. This is my daughter, just being free.

All Images Copyright Tiffany Teske

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Feature on POE Blog (Photographers of Etsy) - My Internship with Wegman

I have been on vacation with my family for so long (no complaints!) that I am getting behind on my posts. I would be posting each night but my darn hotel internet is a bit unreliable, especially when it comes to uploading images. C'est la vie! Technology is great when it works...

I want to thank Ann Wilkinson for interviewing me about an internship I completed in University with William Wegman for the Photographer's of Etsy blog. You can check it out here. It was a fun trip down memory lane. I really haven't thought about it much in recent years. It is only when people have read my CV and ask me about it that I remember it. I was able to find these photographs, which now seem like they were taken AGES ago. I have changed a lot in going on 10 years... Ann's article was pretty accurate (although Wegman's "cabin" is more like a mansion) which I appreciate and expected from Ann. As the article states, if you are interested in interning for another photographer, just be brave and ask. It worked for me...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Once Again, It Is Time for Polaroid Week...

Paper Lantern by Tiffany Teske
Polaroid Spectra

...or 'Roid Week 2009, as it is affectionately known. Time to make a Polaroid a day for five days. I pretty much do this anyway, but it is fun to make it official and to play with others. Here is the Flickr group you can join so that you can upload your work for others to view and where you can check out the work of others... Have fun and be creative!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hello from Olympia, Washington!

We are at our friend's home in Olympia, enjoying the spring warmth and their generous hospitality. We only have two days to see a ton of stuff, so I will do my best to post some updates but it may have to wait until we reach Kelowna next week. I have been experimenting with a new film in my Polaroid back of my Holga... wish I had a scanner so I could post them. More soon...