all images c. randi anderson 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Have Yourself A Vintage Little Christmas (or Christmas in July, Part Deux)

One of the antique malls here in town was having a Christmas in July sale- everything Christmas was 25% off so, naturally, I had to check it out. There's an entire back wall just of Christmas stuff that's there all year round, but since it was on sale today I dug through it all! I found lots of great stuff for my holiday pieces! I can't wait to get started! Christmas will be here before we know it, right?

Oh, and before I go- here's a tasty tidbit of summer... a yummy peach cobbler! Many thanks to Jim and Debbie for the fresh peaches! :)

sweetly, happily and artfully yours,


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More Flowers...and the first signs of Halloween!

Just had to post a picture of these beautiful summer-y flowers that arrived at my door yesterday! My thoughtful, sweet, "little" brother, Ross, sent them to thank me for all my help this past weekend. It really made my week!

...and FINALLY I've actually gotten something FINISHED and PHOTOGRAPHED for posting! These two little flower creations are variations on the shower corsage theme (see last post) but are the cutest little self-decorations for Halloween! Each one comes with a pin on the back and is appropriately lightweight (despite its ornamentation) for wearing as a brooch, albeit a big one that makes quite the holiday statement!!!

The blog-demon strikes again! Sometimes pictures upload sideways and there's just nothing you can do about it. So- sorry, turn your head and imagine how cute this creation must be right side up!
Thanks for visiting!
sweetly, happily, and artfully yours,

Monday, July 28, 2008

Showers of Flowers

I haven't been home all weekend (so needless to say I haven't gotten any work done), but I did get to help yesterday with a baby shower and it was so cute I have to share pictures with you. The mommy-to-be is a friend and fellow photographer of my brother (who hosted the shower at his house- he's a very generous he has a really great house), so he recruited me to help with the decorations and menu planning...which is right up my alley! I had such a good time! The baby's going to be a girl so I went all out with pink and flowers, but to accent we went with brown, green, blue, yellow and orange (she likes bright colors, I understand). This whole "cake" is made of rolled diapers- cute, decorative, and incredibly useful!!
It just isn't a party without cupcakes!

Remember this corsage? This was the shower I used it for- and it coordinated perfectly!

Cute, right?

sweetly, happily and artfully yours,


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ode to Rhubarb Pie

I was perusing the produce at the grocery store yesterday and found an unexpected treasure. Fresh rhubarb! For those of you who live somewhere rhubarb grows like crazy (and I understand there are such places) I suppose I need to explain why I consider fresh rhubarb a treasure. Very simply- I live in Texas. According to my recent research, it is possible to grow rhubarb here August-May, but the heat kills it in the summer so, unlike in northern locales where rhubarb is a perennial, it must be replanted every year here. And even then it doesn't always grow well. Sadly, this has created an entire region devoid, for all intents and purposes, of rhubarb. And this, if you've never tried rhubarb, is a truly sad state of affairs. My in-laws are from up north...a cooler place where rhubarb grows happily and everybody eats it in a multitude of ways so for years now I've had access to the occasional rhubarb dessert (my father-in-law makes an awesome rhubarb crisp). Once upon a time rhubarb could be found pre-chopped and frozen in bags, but even this has been an oddity in recent years. So, yesterday, when I happened upon fresh stalks of rhubarb scrunched between the corn cobs and radishes, I had to buy some. I honestly think it may have been the first rhubarb I've ever seen fresh and in person. And it's lovely, really; two gorgeous shades: an intense rosey, cranberry red on the outside, soft, cool green on the inside. Except for the red, it's quite like a celery. (It is prudent to note, I think, that the leaves are toxic and therefore inedible). I pondered long and hard before deciding what to do with my rhubarb and finally settled on a rhubarb-raspberry pie.

sliced rhubarbrhubarb and raspberriesready for the ovenall done!Mmmmmm!

If you're interested in cooking with rhubarb (assuming you can find some) see:
Not only is rhubarb delicious (it's uniquely tart), but it's also a really cool word...think about it...RHUBARB. Am I right? (It's such a favorite I even have a friend with whom rhubarb is my nickname!) Not only that, but it also lends it's name to an adorable font (one of my favorites- I downloaded it a couple of months ago...get it for free here: rhubarb pie font) And, if you're looking to add some rhubarb to your home, but can't get hold of the actual stalk- Mrs. Meyers (you know, of Mrs. Meyers clean day products) has a spring cleaning kit in her yummy rhubarb scent!

I actually painted a sign at the beginning of the summer featuring rhubarb pies!

(<- see?)

Who knew rhubarb was so beautiful, delicious, and inspiring?

sweetly, happily, and artfully yours,

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tastes of Summer

Unfortunately, I've still no art to post; though I'm on to dioramas this week which has been fun. More about that later- I promise. What I do have, however, is a photo record of all the summery treats in which I've indulged for the past few weeks. (I'm in the habit of photographing my food-especially desserts- on the chance I want to paint them later!!) So on the chance you're looking for something cool to eat or drink- (or something cool and sweet to paint!)- here are some pretty, yummy pictures to inspire you!
To begin: Summer-y treat #1: Dark Chocolate Cherry Sundae
Inspired by the cover picture on my Bon Appetit magazine, I designed my own chocolate-cherry ice cream creation (cherry vanilla ice-cream with chocolate syrup, dark chocolate-covered almonds and a cherry chocolate chip cookie!) and served it to dinner guests last night. It was a perfect after-grilling dessert and was just the dessert to be served in my Cherries Jubilee sundae cups!

If you haven't tried these Archer Farms smoothie kits yet, you should. You'll find them in the freezer section at Target. They come in several different flavors and each packet contains everything you need to make two 8 oz smoothies (fruit puree, frozen fruit and a powder packet) save 1 cup of water and 1/2 a cup of ice. They're amazing...and incredibly convenient. The hardest part of making this smoothie is getting out your blender!

While you're in Target's freezer section you can pick some of this up, too. It's Blueberry Lavender Sorbet. I'm way into sorbet and so far I haven't met one I didn't like, but this is by far a favorite. It's refreshingly fruity and fresh with this subtly calming lavender undertone. It's light, it's creamy and it's gorgeous in a dish! Plus, it's got blueberries in it...and blueberry's a superfood, right?Next pic: a grapefruit margarita. The best of both worlds if you ask me- plus, it turned out a beautiful shade of light pink! I rimmed it with Sugar In The Raw (the big crystals make for a pretty and tasty rim for sweeter cocktails...and it's usually cheaper than rimming sugar.) The mix was made by Stirrings.

No summer is complete without at least one pitcher of lemonade. A wise woman once said, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade and better yet, make it pink!"

Here we go with the sorbet again. Haagen-Dazs makes 7 different sorbet flavors. I've only tried five of them, but those are all delicious so I feel I can vouch for the other two as well. Like all Haagen-Dazs products, their sorbet is a beautiful thing. It's smooth and intensely flavorful. The featured flavor on their website currently is mango which is what I happened to have this week, though raspberry is my favorite. I added some raspberry sauce to my mango sorbet (actually it was just raspberry preserves heated until runny and poured over the sorbet!) and I very much enjoyed it.

P.S. that Vanilla Honeybee on the Haagen-Dazs homepage is incredible...grab a pint of it, too. Do your part-save some honeybees. :)

Here's an old standby I found myself craving a couple of weeks ago. Neapolitan. I just like that word and the colors alone are adorable together. I think you can count on me using them in the near future in some artwork! Want to know more about the popular 3-in-1 icecream? Click here: Neapolitan ice cream.

Last, but certainly not least, I must tell you of the Giant Latte Bar. Those of you who don't like coffee can skip this, but those of you who, like yours truly- LOVE coffee, would do well to stay tuned. This delightful (and aptly named) soft popsicle is just REALLY REALLY good. It's made by Weight Watchers, believe it or not. (See here: Weight Watchers Giant Latte Bar ) One point per bar if you do the point thing- 90 calories, if you don't. That's great either way you look at it. And I just told you it tasted phenomenal. It's not icy like some of those fat free fudge bars you know are mostly water. This thing (besides being, like, twice the size of your typical little fudgesicle) is very soft and creamy, doesn't melt overly fast (I take my time and I've never had it drip down the stick or anything), and has a pleasantly strong coffee flavor with just enough sweetness. (I know I'm comparing it to a fudgesicle, but there's no cocoa in it; if you want chocolate they also make a Giant Fudge Bar and a Chocolate Mousse Bar). Fellow coffee lovers- go get some of these, you won't be sorry. It's like a frappucino on a stick...and it costs less than an iced latte!

With that I'll conclude my mid-summer musing on must-try summer sweets. Go have a refreshing, soothing snack. Enjoy, be happy and stay cool.

sweetly, happily, and artfully yours,


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

An Interlude For Fruit Stripe Gum

I had all intentions of creating a post today about some of my found object art, but half of the items I planned on photographing for it are still in various unfinished stages scattered across my dining table. So it doesn't look like that's going to happen today, which is just fine because I wanted to post about this gum anyway. Here's the story: Since art has officially been my full-time job for some time now and I'm tired of working in sequestered solitude, I've been really trying to connect with some other people like me (hence, my foray into blogland) and it's going great! I've said this before, but there are so many talented, creative women out there who are so very inspirational...and blogs are such a great way to find them! Anyway, about the gum- one of my newest blogland acquaintances and talented fellow artist and craftsperson is Amelia Schaefer of Sweet B Folk Art. I first found her art on Glitter and Grunge and just loved it- it's just adorable...and very sweet! Still wondering where the Fruit Stripe Gum comes in? Here it is- on her blog, Amelia has a Sweet B Candy Club. Every month she announces a different candy-of-the-month that club members (joining is easy- just post a comment saying you want to do so) are to try. Then you post a comment about it and you're automatically entered to win a prize! This month's candy is, you guessed it- Fruit Stripe Gum. I haven't thought about Fruit Stripe Gum in years, but doing so made me smile, so when I went to the grocery store yesterday I bought some. I am generally partial to mint flavored gum as opposed to fruity flavors, but I did chew five pieces throughout the afternoon yesterday. I tried one of each flavor (my 5 flavor pack included peach and melon- which aren't original to the brand). It was a sweet little interlude this week...the buying, tasting, and blogging of Fruit Stripe Gum allowed me to put off things I really needed to do for a good half-hour or so. Plus, it came with temporary tatoos (and lick-and-stick tatoos are always fun...) which I attempted to put on the back of my hand. It's harder than you'd think-all mine came out as blue blobs.
As I photographed my pack of gum for posting, I saw a book on my shelf- it's called Krazy Kids' Food and is an entire little book of vintage food graphics published by Taschen for Old Navy. It was just a curiosity they sold by the check outs at Old Navy Stores a few years ago, but it's full of great, colorful pictures of iconic kids' foods packaging from yesteryear. I flipped through, and sure enough- Fruit Stripe Gum was in there! Then, since I was taking pictures of it I decided to take some of a few of my other favorite pages. Cute stuff, huh?

Thanks for reading!

sweetly, happily, and artfully yours,


Monday, July 21, 2008

One Sweet Thing After Another

To follow my last blog- all of the "baked goods" I was working on this weekend are now completely finished so I photographed them up close individually today and thought I'd post the pics. I think after this batch I may go back to some regular painting for a little while...but these sure have been fun! Work's just been one sweet thing after another. But then again, it sort of always is!

*Remember these are completely inedible- no food products are used in them AT ALL so they'll be sweet things one year after another!!
#1 Candy Corn Lane! My first Halloween gingerbread house!

#3 Gingerbread Lane- Gingerbread House on Cake #2...this may be my favorite. I might not be able to part with it!

sweetly, happily, and artfully yours,