Italian Boots and Buns (Part 2) – Shoeper Challenge #19 of 105

Beaded Tunic: Jaeger| Leather mini skirt: thrifted| Gateleg Stockings: Leg Avenue| Boots: Daniel Claude for Zomp (The Minx wears her big brothers tee shirt & underwear)

This week has been dedicated to learning new skills and re-learning old skills.

Once upon a time I could bake a fairly mean cake. In this instance ‘mean’ connotes something remotely edible.

Over the last couple of years my baking muscles  have atrophied and this became apparent recently with the brownie that wanted to be a cake and the culverin balls   hot cross buns episodes respectively.

So I went back to the drawing board.  In my case the drawing board is the entirely foolproof cookbook. The cookbook that has never once steered me wrong. The cookbook that  if followed to the letter produces fabulous food every single time.

This wonderful culinary grimoire is one that has been passed down to me by my mum who spent years creating disastrous food before she found it:

Cookery Year - First Edition 1973

With faith in my heart and the Cookery Year on my counter,  I turned to April and the sub-chapter entitled “Easter Customs” on page 135. At the bottom right hand side of the page you will see a little segment entitled “Hot Cross Buns”.  Armed with an amulet recipe and a cast-iron resolve I headed back into the kitchen.

This time things went much much better as evidenced below:

These were, by request, chocolate chip muffins. I even piped melted chocolate crosses across the apex of each bun.  The children gnawed out the chocolate and left the rest.  It turns out that no-one else in the house is quite as keen on hot cross buns as I am.

Separately I decided that I was going to try to use something other than iPhoto to edit my blog photos. Using a 7 year old boy to take photos is all well and good until one finds oneself with a wall mounted fan heater growing out of one’s head.

Beaded Tunic: Jaeger from some DFO sometime in the 90s| Boots: Suede Knee Highs from Daniel Claude for Zomp Australia| Black leather mini (unseen) from thrift| Gate Leg Stockings - Leg Avenue

I thought I would play about with the Retouch in iPhoto which was a bit of a mistake (see below).

So I decided, not having the money to download Adobe Photoshop, to have a go at using the free editing software in Picasa Web Albums.

This made things much much worse as somewhere during the editing process I managed to acquire Gerard Depardieu’s nose:

C’est comme ça:

The buns took less than an hour to make. My transformation into a short Gallic actor with a legendary schnoz took considerably longer – about 3 hours of playing about with pixels and sighing loudly.

I wish there was a Cookery Year version of photo-editing software around here somewhere.

Elsewhere I figured out how to switch the flash off on my camera so that I don’t get dancing lights across photos taken in the mirror (see below). That’s only taken me 3 years to figure out by myself.

Don’t ask me why I didn’t use the manual. The Minx collects and planks these in her secret leaflet booklet somewhere as yet undiscovered. More on this later.

Have you learned anything new recently? What was it and how long did it take?

11 thoughts on “Italian Boots and Buns (Part 2) – Shoeper Challenge #19 of 105

  1. Great outfit 🙂

    Rather than Photoshop, it’s much easier and cheaper to simply avoid posing in front of wall mounted heaters and suchlike in the first place. Photographers call these sorts of things “mergers” and arise from the fact that our visual perception does not work like a camera – we tend to filter out background detail in dynamic, 3D real life, but when faced with a static 2D image, we can’t do that so easily.

    It’s not something I learned recently, but training myself to see EVERYTHING that’s in the frame when taking a shot took quite a while. I still mess it up.

    And definitely work without a flash if you can. On-axis flash is terribly unflattering. You may need to boost your lighting with strategically placed lamps and, depending on your camera, learn how to use a digital grey card. If you need to use a flash, always ensure that you are closer to the camera than to the wall behind you – that way YOU will be illuminated instead of the wall.

  2. I think the heater makes quite a fetching accessory actually… maybe you could create a fashion brand around it.

    There’s more to this retouching stuff than meets the eye (as it were)… whether it’s heaters, former members of the politburo, or irritating relatives whose presence at the family picnic you’d rather forget. I’ve done it a handful of times using Corel Photo-Paint, which is a kind of inferior relative to Photoshop, but never terribly satisfactorily. (Can you see where it was done in the first picture here: ?)

    Agree with John Carney about on-camera flash, though it’s harder to get proper lighting to work out than it looks, too.

    Nice dress and boots…

  3. OMG – my mum had The Cookery Year Cookbook too! Seeing its cover gave me a huge flashback to our old kitchen. Thanks for that! (And well done on the buns. Every member of our household is mad for hot cross buns; shame you couldn’t magic them down to Melbourne – or us up to Sydney – we would have given you the appropriate appreciation and applause!) xx

  4. I had to laugh, the whole post is brilliant! The “nose-job” was the funniest thing, how did you manage that? Your boots are amazing! And the muffins, yummi, I want one, please – OK, here is the part when you’ll say “bake them…” Well, now I can – I love cooking and now I have some time – just passed my last exam yesterday! I’m freeeee… and want to celebrate with a new pair of shoes (or more, why not?)
    By the way, I’ll post some pics today that were NOT taken by myself 🙂 Everytime I pose now – either way, to the timer or to someone, I swear I think of you: “I’ll tell her this time it was not me…” 🙂 See? The impact you have on people’s lives!

  5. That settles it. I am now going to:

    1. do pilates, because you look AH-MAZING!
    2. find that cookbook, because those hot cross buns look delicious

    I was just lamenting the fact that no one left recipes behind when they shuffled off this mortal coil. I had to figure out trifle by trial and error, and don’t get me started on the science project catastrophe that was our attempt at making tablet.

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