Friday, April 20, 2012

Cresting Wave Earrings

Jewelry design by Angèle van Diessen
Photography by Angèle van Diessen


I started off wanting to create another pair of blue earrings. So, I thought about what I have seen that was blue and beautiful. The ocean! Have you ever seen a beautiful blue wave cresting into a magnificent splash of white? Gorgeous!


My new Etsy shop, Receptivity, is now open!  www.etsy.com/shop/Receptivity  I'll be adding more listings, so check back often!  : )

Monday, March 12, 2012

Flower on a Vine Earrings


Design by Angèle van Diessen
Photography by Angèle van Diessen

When I saw these peridot acrylic flowers, they reminded me of those beautiful green vines with delicate tendrils curling around the dainty flowers that bloomed off the vine.  Since the flower was already green, I paired it with cream Swarovski pearls as the vine that curves around the jawline.  The sterling silver wire spirals around to add another delicate tendril.  I hung a short fern green Swarovski crystal vine to add more dimension while staying within the color palette.  And, to balance out the top with the fullness of the flower at the bottom, I hung from the top another tendril with a peridot green Swarovski crystal bicone.

My new Etsy shop, Receptivity, is now open! www.etsy.com/shop/Receptivity  I'll be adding more listings, so check back often!  : )

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Chocolate Birthday Cake

Photography by Angèle van Diessen
My little daughter and I baked this chocolate cake for my birthday last week.  One of the ingredients in the cake is freshly brewed coffee, which actually just enhances the chocolate flavor.  I'm not a huge fan of frosting, so we left the cake without frosting but decorated it with chocolate hazelnut crème de Pirouline.  This cake was so moist and chocolaty!  I still have half a carton of buttermilk so I might just have to bake another chocolate cake this week.  :)

And those are my birthday roses from my darling husband.  I love flowers!

















My new Etsy shop, Receptivity, is now open! www.etsy.com/shop/Receptivity  I'll be adding more listings, so check back often!  : )

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Night Sky Necklace

Jewelry design by Angèle van Diessen
Photography by Gerrard Brereton



Sometimes, I plan out an entire piece of jewelry before I start making it.  But in this case, I spent a couple of late nights designing as I bent wire to make this Christmas gift for my mother.  As soon as I looked at these Swarovski crystals in Montana blue, I knew I wanted to create the night sky.  The color is perfect for a clear night.  I brought out the myriad of stars you would see on such a clear night with the little silver, diamond charms, the twinkling crystals, the diamond links, and the bicone-shaped beads.  And, of course, the crescent moon hangs down from the blanket of stars.

Aside: On the red background, it makes me think of the saying: Red sky at night, sailor's delight!

My new Etsy shop, Receptivity, is now open! www.etsy.com/shop/Receptivity  I'll be adding more listings, so check back often!  : )

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thanksgiving

Photography by Angèle van Diessen

After a long break, during which I delivered one of my most beautiful creations--our second child!--things have settled (or I've gotten used to the chaos) and I'm ready to continue blogging.  This year, we decided to have a quiet Thanksgiving at home.  At the last minute, I thought to take a picture, so I arranged the food and snapped this photo (while my forgotten appetizer was burning in the oven!).

There's always something grand about a whole bird waiting to be carved.  But since a turkey would have been way too much for my small family, I roasted a whole chicken.  Along with that, I made potato salad with real crumbled bacon.  And of course, one of those "We need some veggies.  But hey, it's a holiday so let's mix it with all sorts of goodness!" --green bean casserole. To finish, good ol' homemade pumpkin pie.

My new Etsy shop, Receptivity, is now open! www.etsy.com/shop/Receptivity  I'll be adding more listings, so check back often!  : )

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Traditional Trinidadian Food

Photography by Angèle van Diessen
This is comfort food to me - stew chicken and potatoes, macaroni pie and callaloo.  It's a typical Trinidadian dinner, or maybe a Sunday lunch.  For the stew chicken and potatoes, first you season the chicken with salt, ground black pepper, granulated onion, granulated garlic, basil, thyme, and oregano.  In a large pot, you caramelize brown sugar in some oil until it's puffy and just about to burn.  Then, you quickly throw in the seasoned chicken and stir to coat.  Add some chopped onions, garlic, chives, and a whole habanero pepper then cover and braise the meat on low heat.  (Be careful with the habanero!  If it bursts, the entire dish will be very hot.  You can always leave it out, if you'd prefer.)  When the meat is almost done, add the potatoes and cook until done.  The last step is to turn off the heat and stir in some sliced tomatoes.

I find there are two things that ensure the dish does not taste bitter from the browned sugar.  The chicken needs to be salted adequately (Alton Brown gives a quick explanation of how salt affects bitterness.  The most pertinent part is between 0:36 and 2:00 - although I encourage you to watch this entire episode of Good Eats.) and the tomatoes in the end must not be skipped.

The macaroni pie is a baked dish of cooked macaroni, evaporated milk, eggs, and cheddar cheese and it's topped with more cheddar cheese.  I prefer sharp cheddar.

The callaloo is a purée made by simmering chopped spinach, chopped okra, onion, and garlic in coconut milk and water until the okra seeds turn a dark pink.  I like it best when it's seasoned/flavored with salt, black pepper, basil, thyme, oregano, chives and smoked pork hocks.  Just let these simmer along with everything else.  When the mixture has cooked and cooled sufficiently, it's puréed briefly (without the hocks if you used them!) in a blender.  Voila!  You have callaloo...which most often is macaroni pie's other half, but is delicious on all your food.

Note: Macaroni pie and callaloo freeze very well

My new Etsy shop, Receptivity, is now open!  www.etsy.com/shop/Receptivity  I'll be adding more listings, so check back often!  :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Amethyst Drop Bracelet


Jewelry design by Angèle van Diessen
Photography by Angèle van Diessen
Branching out into the bracelets!  While working on several earring designs, I've been creating this bracelet in my mind.  I knew I didn't want a simple chain or stringed bracelet, so I made my own links.  The pink wire and light sapphire blue Swarovski bicones both play off the color of the amethysts while giving more dimension to the color of the bracelet.

My new Etsy shop, Receptivity, is now open! www.etsy.com/shop/Receptivity  I'll be adding more listings, so check back often!  : )