Monday, April 30, 2012

Sunday Quote: Marcel Proust

Hi Everyone!

I hope that you had a great weekend! Danny and I went to the Berner Oberland region of Switzerland, where we stayed in a picturesque mountain town called Grindelwald. We had a great time and I'll be posting pictures of our adventure in my next Jet Set post!

I have always loved traveling. There is something profoundly wonderful about discovering new places and exploring new land. But sometimes, no matter how far we travel or what corners of the world we explore, we cannot truly appreciate the world around us until we open our eyes. I think that Marcel Proust's quote below beautifully captures this idea.

This is a sneak peak for Friday's Jet Set post! (I took this while hiking to Trümmelbachfälle.)

 Have a great week and keep a lookout for new posts this week! (I'll be featuring delicious brownies on Tuesday!)

Feel free to leave a comment in the section below! I always love hearing from you! Thanks for visiting my blog!! 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Jet Set Friday: Grindelwald and Jungfrau

Happy Friday Everyone!

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend ahead of you! I had a great time in my first jewelry/metallurgy class today. I can't wait to keep you updated about my jewelry class!

Tomorrow Danny and I are traveling to southern Switzerland to spend the day and night in the town of Grindelwald near the Grindelwald and Jungfrau mountains! Besides the Matterhorn (which is Switzerland's most iconic and famous mountain), the Grindelwald and Jungfrau, which are located in the Bernese Alps, are some of Switzerland's famous mountains.

I will be taking lots and lots of pictures tomorrow, so I'll post them on my blog as soon as I get back. Until then, here are some pictures of the area that I found online.

This is the Grindelwald Wetterhorn. You can find the original content for this picture here.

This is the Grindelwald Mount Eiger. You can find the original content here.

This is the Observatory on the Jungfraujoch. You can find the original content here.

Since I will be gone all day tomorrow, I will not be posting my usual craft tutorial this Saturday. I will make up for it by posting one in the next few days. Also, I will be uploading more jewelry into my Etsy store in the next few days.

Thanks for vising my blog!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Venture and Roam Update: Etsy Shop is Open!

Hi Everyone!

It has been a very busy week! I received new goodies in the mail to make some new pieces of jewelry, and I finally was able to open my Etsy shop! I only have about 12 items in the shop, but I have about 20 pieces of jewelry to photograph and upload into my shop.

You can find my new Etsy shop here: Venture & Roam. 

Keep checking back for more updates on my blog, Etsy shop, and also my new Venture & Roam facebook page!

Here are some new items that I will be featuring in my shop over the next few days:

I made this bracelet using porcelain beads and a silver-plated toggle clasp.

I made this bracelet using moss agate and snow quartz beads.

I made these earrings with paua shells and quality freshwater pearls. The french wire hooks are sterling silver.

I made this bracelet using quality freshwater pearls and rhodium (platinum) rondelle beads. The beads are strung on sterling silver wire and finished with a silver-plated toggle clasp.

I made these earrings with red bamboo coral on gold-plated headpins and earwires.

I made this bracelet using a great silver-plated skull and bone toggle clasp with silver-filled chain.

I hope you enjoyed the post today! I have a few fun things planned for this weekend and next week, so be sure to check back! Thanks for visiting my blog!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Best Chocolate Mousse Ever!

Hi Everyone!

I wanted to share one of my favorite dessert recipes with you today. My grandmother makes this dessert on very special occasions, and it has always been one of my favorites! The recipe is for Mousse Au Chocolat, and my grandmother first discovered it in a cookbook by a famous food writer and chef named Myra Waldo. This chocolate mousse recipe has a wonderful chocolate flavor with a hint of coffee, and it has the most fantastically fluffy texture. 

Beware, if you make this recipe, your life will never be the same! You WILL become addicted to the deliciousness of this chocolate mousse! ;)

Here's what you need:

  • 4 eggs (separated into yolks and whites)
  • 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream (whipped well)
  • 1/4 pound of sweet chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons of strongly brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Here's what you do:

Add the coffee to the chocolate and melt over hot water.
Once the chocolate mixture has melted, allow it to cool to room temperature.

Take the egg whites from four eggs, and bead them until they form stiff peaks...

... ... ...

Like this. Then, set the bowl aside.

Next, beat the heavy cream until it becomes whipped...

... ... ...

like this. Set this bowl aside.

The next step is to beat the egg yolks of four eggs in a bowl.

Add the sugar...

then beat until the egg yolk and sugar mixture is a light pale yellow in color and fluffy in texture...

like this.

Next, add the vanilla and the cooled chocolate mixture. Beat well. (If you do not allow the chocolate mixture to cool, the heat could curdle your eggs!! Yuck!)

This is what it should look like after you add the chocolate and vanilla extract.

FOLD in the beaten and stiffened egg whites (check out this video for a lesson on folding). DO NOT STIR! Do this gently but thoroughly...

until it looks like this...(I realize it doesn't look appetizing at this point, but trust me, it is so totally worth it!)

Next, FOLD in the whipped cream. DO NOT STIR!!

It should look a little something like this.

Now you're ready to put it into a bowl or individual cups. Turn the mousse mixture into either a 2 quart souffle dish or individual cups. (I chose cups since I was serving this for dessert for our housewarming party.)

This next step is very important: Cover and chill for at LEAST 4-6 hours before serving. I prefer to let mine chill for at least 8 hours. The chilling and resting process allows the chocolate mousse to gain its signature fluffy and airy texture. 

Add shaved chocolate, vanilla whipped cream, or fresh raspberries on top.

ENJOY! (Look at those air bubbles and that fluffy texture!)

I hope that you enjoyed this recipe! Please let me know if you try it and feel free to leave any comments in the section below! Check back for some more great posts this week. As always, thanks so much for visiting my blog!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Weekly Quote: Mark Twain

I will be posting my favorite chocolate mousse recipe in a few hours (you won't want to miss it!), but I wanted to post this great quote that I came across the other day. Mark Twain, arguably the most notable and famous American author of all time, discussed the theme of regret that comes with not seizing the moment. Here is the quote below:

Jewelry Monday: Featuring Alkemie

I hope that you had a great weekend and that your week is filled with exciting things. Danny and I had some of our good friends over on Friday evening to celebrate our move to Basel. We spent the day in Sankt Gallen on Saturday cleaning out the old apartment, and yesterday we spent the day relaxing at home.

I have some exciting new things planned for this week. While my laptop is currently not working (sad....), at least I'll be able to use Danny's until mine is fixed (which means I'll be able to update my blog daily!) I plan to feature an AMAZING chocolate mousse recipe tomorrow (check it out, you won't want to miss it!) and I'll be featuring my new jewelry that I've made. I also plan to put up more of my jewelry on Etsy (I had wanted to put more jewelry on Etsy yesterday, but my computer is dying). On Friday I will begin my metallurgy jewelry class! Yay! I'll be sure to post about this class, so keep a look out for that as well!

Now on to more exciting things! Today I wanted to feature a jewelry collection that is green and eco-friendly. As you might not be aware or might not have noticed from my posts, I am a very big fan of jewelry that is beautiful, unique and also socially and environmentally responsible. Our world is a precious gift and we ought to take care of it and protect it.

Today's jewelry post features Alkemie, a jewelry line started by Dara Gerson & Ashley Lowengrub. Striving to achieve socially responsible and eco-friendly jewelry, Alkemie combines designs using elements of nature with reclaimed and recycled metals to create ethical pieces of jewelry.

Here are some of my favorite pieces:

This is the Elephant Torc Bracelet by Alkemie.

These are the Stingray Bangles by Alkemie.
These earrings are the Nugget & Starfish Earrings by Alkemie.

This is the Two Shark Tooth Lariat Necklace by Alkemie.

This is the Under the Sea Necklace by Alkemie.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Keep a look out this week for more great posts! And as always, thanks for visiting!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Crafty Saturday (on Sunday): Crimp Bead Tutorial

Hi Everyone!

I hope that your weekend has been great! I meant to post this tutorial last night, but Danny and I spend the entire day in St. Gallen cleaning our old apartment before we hand over the keys. It was a long day, and I'm pretty sure I inhaled way too much of the cleaning products, but the old apartment is sparkling clean!

Today I am posting this very simple crimp bead tutorial. Crimp beads are used to fasten and secure beading wire, thread, or other stringing material. This allows the beads to stay securely on the wire while you string them in place; once your are done with your piece of jewelry, the crimp bead secures the open end to finish the piece.

Here's what you need:

Beading Wire, Jumpring, Clasp, Crimp Bead, Pliers (especially a Crimp Plier, like the one in blue)

Here's what you do:

String the crimp bead on, then the jumpring. Next, feed the wire back through the crimp bead so that it forms a loop around the jumpring.

Crimp the bead, being careful to make sure that each piece of the wire is on separate sides of the bead....

.... like this.

Using the crimp pliers again, close the crimp bead by folding it in half.

Ta da!

Open the jumpring to put the clasp on it.

Add the toggle clasp....

then close the clasp and you're done!
 I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial! Keep a lookout for some great posts this week! (I'll be featuring a chocolate mousse recipe on Tuesday! yummmmmmm!)

Thanks for visiting!!