Friday, March 10, 2017

Planning the new studio space

There's lots of packing that goes on while getting ready to move.  And for fun, during those breaks from packing, I go old school and make graph paper layouts of furniture and where it will go in the new space.  I did this for my studio space which is actually a little over half of the garage.  And yes, that means no car in our garage.  But as we just sold the second car today and we have a car canopy for the driveway, that's all good.  And I digress....

Back to the studio space.  It's a 2 car garage which has the water heater and furnace tucked into the corner closest to the interior of the house.  The freezer, scooter, ebike and lawnmower also have to fit in there somewhere altho we are adding a storage shed in the backyard for all the stuff that's normally stored in the garage, like christmas stuff.  Once all that space is allocated, I get the rest.  And we have aspirations to put in a sauna which I added to my graph paper layout in photoshop.

You'll probably have to click on the picture to read my tiny handwriting.  The scale is one square of graph paper is 8" so that I get stuff spread out enough to be sure there's adequate walking space in the work area.  I've decided to make a big screenprinting/dyeing/painting work table and that's the large rectangle floating in the middle of the garage.  Just above that is the freestanding elfa shelving that will act as a divider between the bike/lawnmower area and my workspace.  It's about 7" tall so it will also give me a visual barrier and right now I'm planning on using that area for framing work and storing framing supples.   To the right, up against the outer wall, is my sewing table.  It has 9 drawers which hold all my threads, bobbins, trims, etc and we're planning to install a pegboard between it and the bike area so I will have 2 wall areas to put up inspiring pictures and hang tools that I need handy.

Down the outer rightmost wall, the next table is the ironing surface.  For this I have a Big Board that I put on top of more elfa stacks of baskets.  This gives me a 24x60 surface for ironing and fusing.  (I also have a press for fusing but I'm not exactly sure where it's going yet.)  There's a small rolling cart that is tucked in there and will likely live next to the big work table as I cut the size of the work table from a 4x8ft full sheet of plywood to 4x6ft so I would have enough walking space around the table.  And then we come to the wall closest to the viewer.  In the house, the kitchen is on the other side of this wall so I'm planning to install a really big sink there.  I'm currently looking at the Utilitub which is 24x40 in size and is 16" deep. The top of it is 33" tall and it has a pullout faucet so I'm pretty sure it will be a big improvement over my short little bathroom sink in the current studio. The tub goes next to the water heater on the left, with my dye work table next to it.  And in the corner, a short swivel from the ironing surface, is the fabric cutting table with elfa drawers full of fabric sorted by type and color.

I'm now going to inventory how many elfa stacks I have currently, and how many I think will fit in here.  Then I get to do more downsizing so everything fits.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Gluten free, egg free cheesecake trials

I grew up in Indiana, mostly in Sheridan and Indianapolis, and every potluck and family get together had cheesecake for dessert.  It was my mom's favorite and I really like it too.  Fast forward 40some years and I'm now allergic to wheat and egg yolks.  This makes that traditional cheesecake with a graham cracker crust something that makes me feel crappy for several days.  So I had given up eating cheesecake except for once or twice a year and only at a restaurant.  Which I did when we went to Canada in January.

The restaurant on site at the condo had a Bailey's cheesecake and I tried it the first day we were there. It was delicious but I could taste just a bit of gelatin in it.  And I woke up feeling fine the next day. This started me on a quest for a recipe that I could do at home.

First try, the Knox recipe on the box.  We have a big box of Knox gelatin because I use it to make panna cotta in the summertime when the berries are sweet and plentiful to go on top.  It needs the fruit because it's fairly bland without them.  Since this works so well, I was hoping that the cheesecake recipe on the box would also.  Not so much.  Tastes a lot of gelatin, came out fairly flat, and was easily overwhelmed by the gingersnap cookie crust.  It was so much a failure, I threw away the photos.

The winner on a 6" plate

Second try was a recipe I found online at SimplyRecipes under no-bake-cheesecake.  It uses whipping cream in addition to gelatin and is very fast and easy to put together.  I was declaring it the winner before the cheesecake went into the fridge to chill.  It has the right mouth texture, no taste of gelatin and makes a medium height cheesecake quite nicely.   Setting for a couple of hours was not quite long enough to get the filling to bond to the crust adequately but that was okay, it was still delicious.  The next day, the bonding issue was gone and the only comments I got from Jeff was that the slices should be just a bit smaller because it's so rich.  I mean, who wants to throw away the last few bites of cheesecake because there's no more room, right?  I cut it into 8 pieces like a pie but will make the slices smaller next time.

Third one will be a chocolate one that uses sweetened condensed milk and I'll do that over the weekend or early next week.  But I can absolutely declare my cheesecake yearnings to be satisfied.