Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sweet Tooth

I just finished reading the January issue of Eating Well.  And when I finished the issue I was hungry for something sweet.  Instead of making the healthier cookie featured in the magazine, I chose to make one that is not so healthy. You see, I have a sweet tooth.  I love cookies, cakes, desserts, and pies, and sometimes the healthy ones just don't satisfy my sweet tooth.  So I though I'd share the recipe of the cookies I made. They're so yummy and easy to make with just a few ingredients.

Pistachio Cookies

1-3 or 4 oz pistachio instant pudding mix
1-15 or 18 oz white cake mix
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
sugar for dusting

Combine the first four ingredients and drop by teaspoonful on to cookie sheet. Lightly sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 350 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes.
The edges should be a very light golden brown.

Optional additions: 1/2 cup coconut, or 1/2 cup nuts.

My husband bought a new camera lens for me. It's a wider aperture than my current one and lets me take photos on cloudy days like today.  I'm anxious to see how it works on my jewelry.

Thanks to all my faithful readers.  I'm looking forward to sharing my goals for 2013, and hearing about yours as well.

I hope you have a Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tree Wings Studio Giveaway and Sale

Rebekah is having a sale on her darling handmade beads.  In addition, she's hosting her last giveaway of the year.  Of course I would love to keep this information to myself, but in the spirit of Christmas I am sharing it with you.

The forecast calls for snow here this evening--the first of the season.  This gives me a chance to bring out my snowman plates, goblets, and placemats.  I'm so excited!!!
The plates, designed by Debbie Mumm, were purchased at Target several years ago.  It's difficult to see, but the goblets are etched with a lovely winter scene and rimmed in gold.  They were collectables from Arby's many years ago.  When I or my co-workers were going to Arby's for lunch I would send money with them to pick these up. They're very elegant--surprising for a fast fool place like Arbys.

And now I'm off to finish up the last of my Christmas shopping. 
I pray your week is filled with Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ornament Swap Blog Hop

Today is the reveal for Sally's Second Annual Ornament Swap Blog Hop.  I enjoyed the first one so much that I just had to sign up for this one as well.  My partner is Bette Brody, who makes jewelry, handcrafted books, mixed media, and she loves paper. 

This is the ornament I received from Bette.  I wish I would have taken a photo of the package because she completely decorated the outside of the mailer.  I'm sure the postal service enjoyed it as much as I did.

The front side

and the back side

Also tucked in with the ornament was this darling handmade glass heart.

I had two designs in mind for this challenge.  I couldn't decide which to send to Bette, so I sent both.  The first one was inspired by one of my favorite Christmas Hymns 'In The Bleak Midwinter', a Christmas carol based on a poem by English poet Christina Rossetti written before 1872.  It was set to music many times, but the most famous setting being composed by Gustav Holst in the early 20th Century, and written for the English Hymnal of 1906.

The second ornament was inspired by my favorite childhood Christmas made for TV story 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' by Dr Seuss in 1966. I love the whimsical characters of Whooville, the wonderful colors, and of course the message it shares of what Christmas is really about.

A big thanks to Sally for hosting this wonderful blog hop!  Please visit the other participants listed below.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Good News Bad News Good News and Earrings

First the good news.  I finally got my jewelry in a local shop this week!  I know this might be old hat to some of you, but not for me.  It's a small consignment/antique shop downtown.  The owners really have a knack for display and really it's a darling shop.

From left to right: Life is But a Dream, Cheyenne, City Slicker, Silent Night, Sweet Emotion, Sputnik, Marie Antoinette, Just a Drop,  & Drops of Jupiter

Now for the bad news.  It's a consignment shop.  I'm worried people who shop there are looking for things at a cheap price, and honestly my handmade jewelry has not done too well here in this small rural town.  Also, the owners chose to  keep all my earrings, which is a good thing except that I have a show tonight! So I've been frantically making earrings all week . 
 From left to right: Candy Cane, Holly Berry, Devil in a Red Dress, Red Velvet, Cross My Heart

The good news, I've been making earrings! I was able to knock out 18 earrings, plus I had some already made that just didn't fit in my travel case. It's not the ideal amount for a show, I know, but I'm pretty proud of what I accomplished in just 5 days, especially with everything else I have on my plate.

 From Left to right: Glam, Sea of Galilee, Rum Punch, Going Out

So pretty all piled up.  Now I just need to untangle and tag them all.  Ugh, does anyone else dislike photographing, pricing, and tagging too?????

Thanks for stoppping by, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!

P.S. remind me to change my blog header please. :)

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Challenge of Color

I'm so excited to be participating in Erin's Third Annual Challenge of Color. As expected, Erin always adds a challenge within the challenge, making things interesting and allowing us to stretch our creative muse.
This time, Brandi selected 40 of the more than 120 NASA Earth As Art photographs for our color palettes.You can click on the photo below to see more. We were given two to choose from, or do both.  I chose the palette below for the wonderful patterns and colors.

I must apologize for the horrible photos but I waited until the last minute to get them done, and the sun was not cooperating.  The bracelet below is actually three separate bracelets which can be worn separately or together.  From top to bottom: a short string of vintage beads from Sparrow Salvage, a string of chunky Prehnite beads from Rings & Things, and a string of matte cube 4mm Aquarius seed beads. All are finished with sterling silver.

I love how the colors work so well together, and sort of mimic the undulating lines in the inspiration photo. 

Thanks so much for stopping by. A big thanks to Erin and Brandi for putting this challenge together. Please visit Erin's blog for links to the other 79 participants.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I Wish You Enough

A friend sent me this in an email a while back and I thought this would be the perfect time to share it with you.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Creeks, Cousins, and a Cabin

When I was young mom and dad would take us three girls on Sunday drives in the country. We would splash in streams, collect fossils, hunt for arrowheads, and pick pods and cattails, (which my mother would spray gold-you might remember that craze—or not).  When autumn came we would search for bittersweet along the country roads and mom would put them in a cornucopia along with gourds and plastic fruit.
As the three of us girls grew up, moved away and started jobs and families of our own, the Sunday drives in the country came to a halt.  I don’t remember when or how they started again, but this time the grandchildren tagged along as well.  We stopped for several months after my mom passed away, so I was delighted a few weeks ago when dad announced that we should wear our old clothes on Sunday because he was taking us on a Sunday drive.

Dry creek bed along the way.

My nephew showing off his finds

Our first stop was in a pasture behind my dad’s cousin’s home.  The hills were huge (and here you thought Kansas was flat).  The cousins enjoyed picking up rocks, sticks, and bones, and setting out on their own journey while the adults watched from above.  I wish you could get a feel for how large these hills really are.
The cousins and dad

The girls half way down the hill

Our next stop was a secret cabin in the woods, which was situated where two creeks converge into a river.  The cabin was built by a farmer for his wife, who had cancer and was not expected to live.  The woman beat the cancer and now her husband is very ill.  There are only a hand full of people who know about this lovely cabin, and we were fortunate they let us visit.  The cabin is absolutely charming  and cozy with a fireplace, a sweet loft and decorated in a woodsy theme.

My daughter by the river

The cousins and dad beside the Marias des Cygne river.

Cousins hamming it up while dad is trying to give a lesson on the river and how it was made.

This past Sunday we went on another Sunday Drive, this time to a dry creek bed.
You can't see it in the photo below but this huge tree is hanging over the creek bed and there is a 4 foot gap between the roots and the creek bed. The erosion from the creek was amazing, cutting sharp and deep along the banks.

My daughters hanging on a vine

Unfortunately our son was away at college, and my older sister's kids and grand kids were not able to be here. Even so, we are fortunate that the cousins are so close and even though some of them are in high school and beyond, they still love to explore the countryside, which thrills my dad and gives him so much pleasure--not to mention the time well spent with family.

Friday, November 2, 2012

And The Winner Is........

Happy Friday!  A big thanks to all who entered the giveaway.

The winner is Patti Van!!!!
Patti, please email me with your address so I can send you your prize package.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting.
Elizabeth Bibesco

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Kalmbach Bead Soup Reveal

You might remember from this post that Kalmbach is hosting a Bead Soup Party to celebrate Lori Anderson’s new book, Bead Soup. I was the lucky recipient of a bead soup (below) from The Creative Fringe.

The instructions were to make a necklace with the bead soup and other beads from our own stash. The beautiful yellow saffron colored seed beads, teal Czech beads, brass spacers, clay beads, brass button and ceramic pendant are all from the bead soup. I attached the brass button to the ceramic pendant with bronze colored wire from Vintaj. The necklace also includes handmade paper script beads from Gillian McMurray, and finished with a brass chain and lobster clasp from Vintaj.

'Ancient Saffron Scrolls'

A big thank you to Kalmbach for hosting the party, and to The Creative Fringe for the fabulous bead soup, and for Lori Anderson who inspires us all!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Happy Blogiversary to Me

Though I’ve been making jewelry since 2007, I only just recently started my own blog. In fact, today is my one year blogiversary! I’ve enjoyed sharing my journey with you, and it seems like the year flew by. I’ve met so many people who are caring, supportive, and willing to share. I’ve won numerous giveaways, and now it is time for me to give back by hosting my own giveaway. But first I want to share some of my favorite blog posts from the past year. Just click on the photo to be taken to the post.

Favorite inspirational post:

Favorite travel post:

Favorite fun post:

Most all-time viewed post:

And now for the giveaway, the winner will receive a copy of the October Bead Trends because I somehow ended up with two. And I'll throw in a mixed bag of beads just for fun.
All you have to do is leave a comment. And if you pass along the info via social media please let me know in a separate comment for each.  Please make sure your email is available so I can contact the winner. The giveaway is open to anyone, near and far. I'll pick a winner on November 2nd. 

Thank you for following along on my blog this past year.  I appreciate  all of your your sweet comments!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Chinook Blog Partner Blog Hop

I was lucky to have my name chosen to play along in Mellisa's Blog Partner Blog Hop. Mellisa sent  this  lovely 'pond' glazed leaf pendant to work with.  The colors are amazing! 

The necklace is made with Mellisa's lovely pendant, and I added a Vintaj Swirl Charm for a bit of contrast.  The tiny fall-inspired lampwork beads are from Pebble Dreams.  I just love these little beads as they make wonderful, colorful spacers.  Vintaj chain and lobster clasp finish the piece. 
I must have taken upwards of 30 photos of this piece and still I did not feel like I got 'the one'. 

'Glorious Autumn'

A big thank you to Mellisa for letting me play along in my very first Blog Partner Hop!
Please visit Lucid Moon Studio and Copper Diem to see what they made.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Feast of the Fields-Barn Edition

You might remember this post from June where my husband and I enjoyed a gourmet dinner in the middle of a corn field.  The same family hosts a gourmet dinner in their 1876 stone barn each September and we were lucky enough to snag two seats.  The family enjoys sharing their love for the farm and the bounty it brings. This wonderful meal was served family style, along with Kansas wines, and wines from California. Chef Reagan chose a menu using fresh,  locally grown food.

The first course: Braised Pork Belly and Pumpkin Soup. You won't see the rest of the meal because we were too busy eating to get good photos.

The beautiful barn all  lit up

At the end of the evening we noticed the moon had a large halo around it, which is caused by light reflecting off of ice crystals in the atmosphere. To farmers, this signals rain or cooler weather.

"As a work of art, I know few things more pleasing to the eye or more capable of affording scope and gratification to a taste for the beautiful, than a well situated, well cultivated farm."
Edward Everett 1857