Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Full Moon This October...

Ok...so this is a little obnoxious, but I admit I laughed!
Received in an email from my brother...or his wife...I never know what to expect from them!

Thanks guys!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake...For Breakfast!

I saw this in the food forum over at Craftster...and just love the idea so much!

It's sponge cake with 'angel delight' and a peach on top!

Here's a link to the actual post: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=178342.20

Once I find the American equivalent to 'Vanilla Angel Delight'...I am going to whip up some of these eggs on toast at our next big family get together!
Thank you Mpemporium for that wicked fun recipe!
Oh, and Mpemporium makes lovely jewelry also! Why not check out her etsy to see what she does when she isn't in the kitchen?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Germantown Pretzel Festival Festivities...a good time was had by all!

My church had a tent set up at the festival for the first time this year. The weather held out & it didn't rain...thank goodness! What a load off of my shoulders...getting all of my resin pretzel pendants done! Now I'm freed up for stitching some embroidered goodies!

This is the tent...you can't see from the picture...my stuff is on the table in the back...and it didn't occur to me to photograph my items! Oh well.

And here is a picture of my favorite boy in the world sitting on one of his favorite things in the world...a red caboose! It's the real deal...on permanent display in the park!
We had the best time today!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Personal Craftster Swap Embroidery Fun!

I can't wait to get this new project in the works done! The patterns I designed this week are so fun...based on my swap partner's love of all things rabbit themed & her love of Holt Howard's retrolicious style!

I'm making 2 tea towels with the patterns...and since they're turning out so nice, I'll be making them available in my Etsy shop...as a downloadable pdf. file in 3 different sizes when done.

I could just hug her for stirring the coals of inspiration!
(she knows what I'm doing...so I haven't spoiled a suprise by blogging this!)

I'd be interested to know what types of themes or characters I should make for my shop next. Please leave me a comment on what you'd like...that you can't find anywhere else & I'll see what I can do!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Today was a productive day...just some rambling...

I love it when a plan comes together...to quote Spiderman..I think.

Today I worked my tailfeathers off getting some crafts done for the upcoming pretzel fesival. Upcoming = Tomorrow
The kiddos have been so wound up lately too...literally 'bouncing off the walls.' It's a new game my boy invented...run towards a wall with outstretched arms and then push back off of the wall when you get there. I wouldn't mind it nearly so much if they would stick with solid walls and not the large glass panels of the sunporch!

My favorite little halloween pendant sold today. I only hope it's going to a good home! I replaced that listing with another halloween themed piece...a heart shaped resin pendant that says "BOO" with a little jack o lantern & candy sprinkles inside.

Now I'm going to buy some of that gorgeous looking soap!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm Featured in a Treasury!!! by Pixiesoap

A treasury is a collection of etsy items made by an etsy member...and when one of my items is featured in someone's treasury...it really makes me feel like I'm on top of the world!

Pixiesoap made this lovely treasury featuring my 'Jack and Marley go Trick or Treating' necklace.
Update: this item has since sold! I hope it's going to a good home! I really love this piece!

Please be sure to check out Pixiesoap's shop....yes, you can even buy soap on Etsy!

You'll won't want to use commercially made soap again once you've tried it!

I'm thinking about trying this unscented goats milk soap...

Update: I bought it! And can't wait to try it out...along with some lilac soap! Mmmm...the smell of spring!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Chocolate Temptation Fudge...yes, I said the magic word "CHOCOLATE"...you'll love it!

My back is bothering me terribly after I pulled it while lifting something heavy & twisting at the same time...so I'm sitting here trying to 'take it easy'...which is easier said than done while taking care of 2 little kids.

I've been surfing the craftster website...one of my favorite pastimes...& saw a lovely batch of cinnamon rolls there. http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=269803.30
I must have cinnamon rolls...I hear them calling my name!

So now searching through my recipe box for the cinnamon rolls I'd like to make, I came across this little treasure I haven't made in ages.

The words just jumped off of the recipe card "CHOCOLATE TEMPTATION FUDGE!!!" Oh-Yeah! (I'm easily distracted by chocolate...and shiny things)

Start with these first 5 Ingredients:
*3 cups sugar
*2 tbsp. instant coffee (secret ingredient)
*1/4 tsp. salt
*1 cup evaporated milk
*2 Tbsp. Light Karo Syrup

Put these first 5 ingredients in a 3 quart saucepan & bring to a boil while stirring constantly...cook until it either forms a 'soft ball' when put in cold water, or reaches 230 degrees on a candy thermometer.

Remove it from heat & add these next 4 Ingredients:

*3Tbsp. butter
*1 tsp. vanilla
*1/2 cup chopped nuts
*3/4 cup of coccoa powder

Mix until cooled & pour into a 9X12" pan which should be sprayed with pam to keep the fudge from sticking.
Let cool completely & eat in moderation!
It is sooo good...even if it isn't good for the body, I swear it's good for the soul!

We Love Our Jar Gardens!...fun with your child learning activity

Looking for something fun & different from our everyday activities, I suggested to my preschooler & toddler that we should make mini indoor terrariums...which I called 'jar gardens' to help them better understand what it was were going to make.
My older child who is 4 got excited right away as I told him the list of things we would need. To make one, you will need these items:

* a jar with a lid
* small pebbles
* potting soil
* small plants (moss)
* water
* a medicine or eye dropper
* a spoon

We cleaned out our jars really well, then took them outside to collect the things we needed with our spoons in hand...

It was kind of a game and kind of a treasure hunt at the same time!

I said, 'first we need some tiny rocks & pebbles to put in our jars for draining extra water down under the plants,' so we searched the yard and found just the right size rocks in the pathway going to the barn. Each one of us took turns scooping up some pebbles with our spoons and covering the bottom of the jars.

Next I said, 'we need some soil for our plants to grow in,' and my four year old suggested we dig in the garden for dirt...so we headed to the flowerbed...adding just enough soil to cover the layer of rocks in our jars.

Now that we have dirt & pebbles in the jars I ask my kids what is missing from the jar gardens, and my little guy said, 'I think we need plants!' I asked him where we could find some small plants...and we proceeded to look around the yard for awhile considering the different kinds of flora available....I suggested that we should take a few pieces of moss from around the base of our trees to add to the gardens. It didn't take much and it was loosely attached to the ground around the trees...so even my 2 year old didn't have much trouble taking her spoon and scooping up some moss for her jar. We carefully put the bits of moss in the jars...roots side down and plant side up...then brought them into the house to water them just a bit with an eyedropper.

When we were done, I helped them put the lids on their jars and we set them on the kitchen windowsill....just out of direct sunlight.

My kids are so proud of their little 'indoor jar gardens,' and I'm so proud of them following instructions & learning a little about plants while having a lot of fun together.

If you are looking to purchase a ready made terrarium....rather than making your own, I suggest you check out madebymavis's shop on etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5836556

...terrariums are her specialty...little peaceful worlds of wonder that she creates with such care & precision!

My current favorite is the large ball jar with the little gnome home! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=sr_list_7&listing_id=15227175

Saturday, September 20, 2008

How to make your own Photo Cross Stitch Pattern

Simply open a photo in photoshop which you'd like to convert into a pattern. Crop it to the size you want it to be.
I chose 5" across for this example:

I select from the image size menu...the resolution of the pixels to equal how many stitches/squares per inch/foot...here:

And this is the resulting image...

To do my cross stitch I simply choose threads that match the squares as viewed on screen. Please note that you have to save a screen capture image to print this in a useful size unless working directly from your computer screen.

If you make your own patterns using this method...I'd love to see what you come up with!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Do you drink tea? If so...then try Teaman's special blends on Etsy!

offers a selection of tea both loose & in bags, so if you like tea, why not look no further than teaman on Etsy!

I purchased some wonderful tea on etsy from Teaman. There are several blends & quantities to choose from, but the one that sounded the most lovely to me was the orange spice green tea blend.


It arrived quickly & was packaged well, and I must say it tastes great both hot and iced! If you try it for yourself...please let me know what flavors you chose & what you think!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Reflection on Life Through a Craftster Swap

I have removed my original post regarding this swap out of respect for my partner and her family...not because it was bad...it did reflect on my feelings at the time...but with time, things can and do change.

My original partner in the Elvis/Marilyn swap was very friendly, chatty, and caring in her personal messages to me in the beginning of the swap to mid-July...and then I heard nothing from her, but didn't feel anything was amiss due to getting caught up in my own family obligations. I sent my swap package off with delivery confirmation, as we always do in these swaps...and then never heard word of my package's arrival. She was in a car accident...hit by a drunk driver...& passed a few days later in the hospital. Her daughter who was also in the car is ok...thanks to God for that one mercy. I only hope her daughter finds comfort in the Elvis quilt with the teddy bear I'd made for her.

Please pray for this little girl, the husband she left behind, & her family as she was taken from this earth much too soon at age 21...and is not able to watch her little girl grow up.

Life is precious...let us remember that every day is a gift.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cat Tackles Boy...

You can only imagine what happens in this scenario! The cat wins...but both recover quite rapidly!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Summer's End...

Looking out the window today I notice the leaves are thinking about turning...and the lawn is littered with them like confetti.
A couple weeks back we went to the water park for the last time of the season. Our kiddie pool is packed up and stored away...even though I expect there will still be a few heatwaves left to come.
I took this photo of my littlest one who loves to view the world upside down...even if it means mussing up the little bit of hair she has!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sharon O....I just love her to pieces!

This is just a goofy little doodle I did awhile back & decided to just play with it in photoshop for color.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

How did you get your start in making things?

A great question raised by another etsy member...

This was my response to that on his blog:
How does one get started you ask? For me, as a child it rubbed off from my mother and grandmother...as well as not having much as a kid. I would find scraps of material or yarn in my mother's sewing room, or use found objects in the woods for making things to pass the time. I would decorate pine cones with glitter, or paint on rocks or carve animals out of a bar of soap. I remember my mom showed me how to make a toy for our cat one day by simply crumpling up a wad of tin foil. While she was napping I think I made about 200 'cat toys' with all of the tin foil I could find in the kitchen!

I'd totally forgotten about making a giant paper grocery bag half full of tin foil balls... wonderful memory! I don't remember my mother's reaction to finding them, but I'm sure it suprised her!

Resin Secrets Revealed! Aka my easy peasy resin tutorial!

I just wanted to share with everyone in case you are hesitant about trying to work with this fabulous material! It's not so bad!

Just click on image for larger size & print out. Resin is fun...addictive, and not a terribly expensive or time consuming craft to do!
I think it's sad when folks think they can't do something...just because of a fear of the materials...or for whatever reason they hesitate. If you never try it...you'll never know if you can or can't do it! So if you're one of those on the fence about trying something...hop off that fence and get yourself going! Who knows, you might be the next resin goddess in your neighborhood!
*SAFETY UPDATE* courtesy of a fellow Etsy Member "Beyondtherockz"
They reside in Connecticut and create gorgeous jewelry individually designed and crafted by hand!
Here is a clip & paste of their resin safety warning from the forum...FYI...
"There are some definite safety tips needed when working with resin:- Use a respirator with appropriate filters- OR work with resin outside when it's not too windy or chilly or too humid. (Resin likes it to be warm and not too humid.)- Wear nitrile gloves. Why nitrile? Because you really really really have to protect your skin. If resin gets on it, and your skin reacts. You could have the kind of reaction where you will never be able to work with resin again. This is according to one manufacturer I spoke with who I'm pretty sure makes the resin in your photos.- It's important to know how to wash off resin if you do get it on your skin. It is not safe to use alcohol because that opens up your pours so resin will get in better before it gets completely cleaned off. I use a citrus-based cleaner, according to what the manufacturer recommended. Again, the alcohol information I'm sharing comes from the manufacturer.- If you wear contacts, take them out before beginning. Wear eyeglasses or goggles. Eyes must be protected.- Resin fumes are bad. Do not let your pieces cure in your oven, microwave or actually allow uncured resin anywhere near where you eat, etc.- If you're trying to get bubbles out, do not use a hairdryer (unless you are very, very careful) because resin can splat around and get on your skin. Do not use a lighted match or the like because it is flammable! Instead, use a heat gun. It works well ahd has saved many pieces for me that I know I never would have saved if it were for my trust heat gun. Sorry for the debby-downer type info, but I just want everyone to remember to be safe first when using resin. I think one of the problems associated with the product is that the reading material is too lengthy, too confusing, and just plain old difficult to ready being as tiny as it is. So when I see a thread on resin, I feel compelled to write in. Best of luck!"
Thank you very much for taking the time to cover the safety aspect of working with this fabulous material beyondtherockz!