Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Some Treasuries

I should be posting a feature - but still having some trouble typing with only 3 fingers on my left hand :)

So I thought I would share some treasuries I've made. Starting an "Inspired Series". I pick an item I love, then make the treasury around it. Here are 3 of my favorites:

Monday, May 30, 2011

What NOT to do when camping...

We went on our annual camping trip this weekend.  Usually we ride the atv's on Sat and Sun. however this time we ended up making a trip to the hospital on Sat. morning.  I was trying to chop wood to start a fire for breakfast and missed...

Well - I missed the wood that is. My pointing finger has 3 stitches between my finger nail and the top knuckle. They think I will have nicked the bone too, so I'm on antibiotics for two weeks. The middle finger wasn't cut quite as deep, so it didn't need stitches.

Won't be driving the bus for a couple of days, and typing is interesting :) Hubby and Logan got a little riding in Sat. afternoon after we got back to the campground, but it started to rain and didn't quit until late at night. Guess we'll have to go another weekend - I just will leave the ax alone :)

Hope everyone else had an uneventful weekend!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Taco Pasta Salad

I love taco salad - but the "men" don't care for it quite as much.  Then I found this recipe - now they love taco salad too :)  It's a wonderful salad to take on a picnic, to a summer potluck, or camping!


2 cups uncooked spiral pasta
1 pound ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning
3 cups shredded lettuce
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup Catalina salad dressing
Tortilla chips

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the taco seasoning; cool.
Drain pasta and rinse in cold water; stir into meat mixture. Add the lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onion, green pepper and dressing; toss to coat. Serve with tortilla chips.

Do you have a favorite summer salad?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Beautiful Flowers!

Are you getting married this summer or know someone who is? Ardesign has some beautiful bouquets! I looked through her whole shop to find my favorites to feature, I think I changed my selection of favorites a dozen times before I decided on these :) They are all so beautiful!

*Where are you from? Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am from Ancaster, Ontario, Canada
I have been in the floral industry for about 15 + years as a artistic freelance floral designer
Having been part of an award winning design team and having the pleasure to design pieces for TV, Movies, Magazines and celebrities including Her Majesty The Queen

*How did you decide on your shop name? Why did you start your business?
I came up with the name because my last name is "Ard" and just added the word "design" into it and thought it was nice and simple :)
I started my business when the economy took a down turn and had some extra time on my hands
Prior to opening my shop, i was freelancing for various party planning event companies and wasn't getting enough work from them as the economy had impacted the industry quite hard

*What are 5 things you want people to think when they see your product?
Alternative,unique,forever keepsake,beautiful,Realistic

*What’s your supply addiction; is there a specific color or type of supply you just can’t pass up?
Feathers are my supply addiction, i have all colors and types of feathers you can imagine...i really think they make a custom piece look so gorgeous!

*What do you do when you’re not being an artist? What activities do you enjoy?
I love to go to flea markets and thrift stores and find vintage treasures...treasure hunting is my way of relaxation and very theraputic, i also love spending time with my dogs and hubby going for long walks in the wilderness or out and about on my Electric scooter

*Which item in your shop did you enjoy making the most and why?
I love making the feather and organza bouquets they are quite labour intensive but the finished product is so very stunning
I have alot of favorites like the Feather Fusion design www.etsy.com/listing/53358497/feather-fusion-feather-and-organza

Giving an artist the freedom to create what comes from the heart is the best way to receive the most beautiful piece you can imagine! :)

*What keeps you motivated?
 My happy clients keep me motivated, I love that my design is going to be involved in such a special part of their day and I get so excited when they send me pictures of my designs in action, the pictures they send are so very much appreciated

*If you could give a piece of advice to a new shop - what would it be?
Answer your convos quickly and daily from potential buyers,believe in yourself and your product and they will come :)

*Are there other places on the net we can find you?
I do have an "Ardesign" facebook fanpage where I have a plethora of albums for all to see of the beautiful weddings my designs were a part of
here is the link www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Ardesign/107501499271675

Monday, May 23, 2011

Well ... that didn't turn out.

Do you every start a project, get almost done, then decide you don't like it?

After crocheting scarves and Hats for 3.5 months or so, I decided to switch to afghans. Found out that the shelter I was sending the scarves/hats too also helps people set up in homes once in a while. Everyone could use an afghan for the cold Manitoba winters. Finished this one:

Was disappointed that it wasn't bigger. If I do this pattern again I will make more rows before putting it together and doing the border. Had quite a bit of yarn left over - so thought I'd just crochet long strips then sew them together to make another one. Had the strips almost done - but didn't like the way they looked when I had them lying beside each other:

So I'm starting again. Crocheting Backwards? This time I'll do the afghan in one piece just have the stripes running width wise.

Also have this dark red one in the works, but need another big ball of yarn to finish it. Will get it the next time I'm at wally world.

What are you working on?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Chicken Tater Bake

I found some left over turkey in my freezer the other day, so I went looking for something I could make with it. This is a new recipe for us, but I was told that it's a keeper and I can make it any time :)


2 cans (1- 3/4 oz each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, cubed
3 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 package (16 pz) frozen peas and carrots, thawed
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 package (32 oz) frozen Tater Tots

In a large saucepan, combine the soup, milk and butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until heated through. Remove from the heat; stir in the chicken, peas and carrots, and 1 cup cheese.

Transfer to two greased 8 inch square baking dishes. top with Tater Tots; sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. Cover and bake the remaining casserole at 350F for 35 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until heated through.

To use frozen casserole: Remove from the freezer 30 minutes before baking (do not thaw). Cover and bake at 350F for 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 hours or until heated through.

How I did it:
This is where I tell you what I did different. There are a few recipes that I actually do make according to directions :)

I used left over turkey, and added on packet of chicken bouillon and a 1/2 tsp of thyme. Didn't have peas & carrots, so used the mixed veggies I had in the freezer. Also heated the soup, milk and butter in a glass dish in the microwave. Instead of 2 - 8inch containers I used a 9x13, so it needed to bake about 20 minutes longer for the middle to get hot.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blue Wave Glass

*Where are you from? Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Jennifer - I live in beautiful SW Florida with my husband, two daughters ages 3 & 5, and one crazy dog. They keep me very busy! We are originally from Baltimore, Maryland - Moved to Florida about 6 years ago to enjoy the weather and a quieter, more peaceful area. Family time is most important to me..We love going to the beach, swimming in our pool, and gardening together.

I have always loved to create, but have found Mosaics to be my passion. I love the idea of putting together a picture with so many tiny pieces...like a puzzle, they all come together to create something really special.

I have been making Mosaics for a while now...Mostly flower pots for myself, friends and family. I have always dreamed about selling items at craft shows, so I have decided to start something new with Blue Wave Glass. I am inspired always by nature...birds, butterflies, dragonflies, all kinds of flowers and plants. I think because of my daughters, I am now dreaming of mermaids and fairy mosaics too!

I want to make items that people will really use and display in there homes and gardens. I call it Functional Art - Flowers Pots, Candle Holders, Trivets, Birdhouses and Wall Hangings. I have so many more ideas!

I make each item like I was making a gift for my own friend or family. And I have a lot of fun making each and every one.

*How did you decide on your shop name?
My shop name tells you how much I love Florida's Gulf Coast...We have the most beautiful blue water!

*What’s your supply addiction; is there a specific color or type of supply you just can’t pass up?
I do have a supply addition - Blue Stained Glass. For some reason all shades of blue just call out to me.

*If you could give a piece of advice to a new shop - what would it be?
I have only been on Etsy for a short time...but I think the best advice is to take great pictures, promote your shop where ever you can, and don't give up. I like to read the Forums, other sellers give the best suggestions, they are really very helpful.

*Are there other places on the net we can find you?

Monday, May 16, 2011

There is a Tent in my Living Room

Did you ever make tents out of chairs and blankets for your kids? The boys used to love doing that in the living room and "camping out" :)

For some reason I thought they would out grow that - but Luke purchased a new tent last week, and when it showed up in the mail, he promptly set it up in the living room.

It's called the "hubba hubba" - it's a one man tent. Luke is hoping to do some back trails hiking and camping this year, so he purchased the tent, a new back pack, and a sleeping bag that is good to about 15 degrees Fahrenheit. The sleeping bag is down filled.

Well - hope he has fun. Think I'll stick with camping in a cabin with a real bed :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Whatcha' Reading?

Do you have a favorite book site? Mine is Fantastic Fiction. You can search an author, see every book they have written and if it's a series - find out what to order of books is! Wonderful site! They also have a section for new releases and coming soon.

This week I started "Death Echo" by Elizabeth Lowell. I've read her books before, but many many years ago. Of course after checking out Fantastic Fiction, I find out that it's book 5 in a series :( Oh well, guess I'll read this series backwards.

I just started Chapter 7 and I'm still reading it - so it must be a good book :) Here is a teaser from Chapter 43, page 220:

"As she reached for the pull rope to start the kicker, water slammed into the boat and spray slapped across her face. She yanked the starter rope once, and again, then again. On the fourth try the small outboard shuddered, belched a cloud of unburned gas and oil that wind swept back into the boat, and died."

This is a Suspense novel - so far so good :)
What are you reading now? I'm always looking for good books and authors.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Oven Apple Pancake

We love this recipe. I make it when I have time - take about 1 hour start to finish, but is well worth the time and effort.

Oven Apple Pancake

1/4 cup butter or hard margarine
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
ground cinnamon, light sprinkle
2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced in wedges
3 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup flour

Melt butter in 9 inch pie plate in 425F oven. Stir brown sugar into melted butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Overlap apples in single layer. Cook in oven for 10 minutes.

Beat eggs with spoon in bowl. Add milk, salt and flour. Stir to moisten. Don't try to smooth out small lumps. Pour over apples. Return to oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cut into wedges.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Featuring Beautiful Unique Jewelry

*Where are you from? Tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up in Rogers Park in Chicago, moved to Albany Park after getting married and I have lived in the western suburbs for about 20 years now.
Four of my favorite things are cats, reading, beading, and eating chocolate.

*How did you decide on your shop name?
In one job, I was always called “Linda B” because there were 3 Lindas in the same department. By accident, I signed up with what would be my username, thinking I could change my shop name. The numbers 1+4+2=7 = Creation. So, it really is Linda B’s Creations.

*Why did you start your business?
I started making beaded jewelry and shopped at local gem shows for gemstones and sterling silver findings. I purchased way too much for me to wear, so I chose to start my Etsy shop.

*What are 5 things you want people to think when they see your product?
1. I want to wear that bold design by Linda B.
2. That piece of jewelry is so unique that I’d like to own it.
3. Her designs are so creative and she offers a variety of styles and prices.
4. That piece of jewelry matches that outfit I want to wear for a wedding, graduation, birthday, etc.
5. I wonder if Linda can alter the beads to match the color blue, red, yellow, etc. or design it for a gift.

*What is your supply addiction; is there a specific color or type of supply you just can't pass up?
My weakness is Jasper gemstones, red, greenish (ocean jasper), brown jasper. Jasper gives you strength and protection.

*What do you do when you are not being an artist? What activities do you enjoy?
I love playing fetch with my black cat Fritzy with a bottlecap. He can play for hours and he plays with both me and my husband, alternating between us. Snuggling with our other cats Buddy and Sammy for weekend naptimes is another favorite thing to do. Give me a good book, a cat and a blanket and I’m thrilled.

*Which item in your shop did you enjoy making the most and why?
One of my newest items is my Facebook Tutorial or Guide, which is 13 pages (and includes screenshots) on how to set up a FaceBook personal and business page. www.etsy.com/listing/72307494/facebook-tutorial-or-how-to-guide

*If you could give a piece of advice to a new shop - what would it be?
Join an Etsy team and learn from experienced sellers how to photograph your items and learn other tools to promote. Read the Etsy blog and other articles thoroughly.

*Are there other places on the net we can find you?
Blog: linorstorecom.blogspot.com
Facebook: facebook.com/linorstore
Twitter: twitter.com/lindab142
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24930325@N03/

Sunday, May 8, 2011

MenoPause Sucks!

So what exactly is supposed to "Pause" now? It's not the monthly's and PMS seems to be permanent (at least the family thinks so). I can go from "WOOHOO - the day has started" to crying to depressed to angry - and that's just the first hour of the day when I'm the only one awake!! ARG!!

My memory is crap. It's never been the greatest but now...
If I don't write down EVERYTHING it doesn't get done. Luckily I can get up, start coffee, pack lunches & start breakfast in my sleep, or most days hubby would have to buy lunch. And luckily I've driven the same school bus route for the last 7 years - could almost do it with my eyes closed.

Don't get me started on hot flashes! They were gone for 2 years, now they are back worse than ever :( Hubby thinks "hot" flashes means I'm horny. WHAT?!! Are you Kidding?!!

I finally decided to go to a local herbal shop to see if they had something that would help. They gave me these pills to help with:
  • Mood Swings
  • Hot Flashes
  • Insomnia
  • Stress & fatigue
  • Decreased Libido
  • Improves memory

Now if only I could remember to take them. Put them on the table right where I set my plate - maybe then I'll remember.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Double Brownies

We love brownies :) But it took me a while to find a recipe that wasn't just chocolate. I've made this one many times, and we quite enjoy it. Don't always add the icing - it doesn't really need it. Do you have a favorite brownie recipe you might want to share? :))

2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Chocolate Layer: Beat 2 eggs until foamy. Add granulated sugar, flour, nuts and salt. Melt cocoa and butter together in saucepan over low heat. Add to egg mixture and blend well. Spread in greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Set aside.

Butterscotch Layer: in clean bowl cream butter with brown sugar. Add 2 eggs and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Add remaining ingredients. Stir. Spoon over chocolate layer in small blobs. Spread as best you can. Bake in 350F oven for 30 minutes until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool and frost.

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3 tbsp. milk
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
Bring butter, brown sugar and milk to boil in saucepan. Simmer for 2 minutes. Cool Stir in icing sugar, adding more sugar or milk if necessary to make consistency for easy spreading. Spread over cooled squares.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sweet & Sassy Cards

Since opening my shop on Etsy - I purchase very few "store" cards anymore. There is such a variety of beautiful handmade cards on Etsy that cost less than the ones at the card shop. Everyone LOVES a handmade card :) Sweet and Sassy Cards has some serious cards, funny cards (really!), unique ones and also a wonderful selection of cards, tags, place cards for a wedding! 

*Where are you from?
I was born in Buffalo, New York and lived with my family in what was once my great grandmothers house. I’ve lived my entire life within a 5 mile radius of that old house This Buffalo gal really does believe that home is where the heart is.

*How did you decide on your shop name?
I decided on my shop name when I sat down at my computer, signed on to Etsy for the first and the name I wanted was taken. Sweet and Sassy Cards seemed to fit.

*What are 5 things you want people to think when they see your product?
I want people to see my cards as:
  • fun
  • unique
  • creative
  • sweet 
  • and sassy!

*What’s your supply addiction; is there a specific color or type of supply you just can’t pass up?
Paper - without a doubt. Whenever I'm at a craft store, I grab a few sheets (or maybe more than a few) I really do like purple. There is one particular brand of paper that I cannot get enough of. I hate the idea of running out of glue, so I buy lots of glue.

*What do you do when you’re not being an artist? What activities do you enjoy?
My day job brings me lots of happiness and joy. I’m an elementary school library aide and have been for 18 years. I love it, kids are almost always happy and they are a pleasure to see every day. One of my great
loves is animals. I have quite a few critters that want lots of attention. Of course I love spending time with my so patient hubby and my grown children too.

*Which item in your shop did you enjoy making the most and why?
Every time I start a new card it’s my new favorite. I really enjoy making custom cards and hearing the stories of who will receive it and why. It makes the process so special.

*What keeps you motivated?
Honestly, it’s sales. I love, love, love creating new cards, but sometimes when the sales are slow it’s hard for me to find motivation. I do know that I can turn to my Etsy friends for a “motivation renewal”. I’ve come to realize that sales ebb and flow.

*If you could give a piece of advice to a new shop - what would it be?
It would be the same advice that I received as a newbie - have patience. I think you can tell from the post above that I’m still working on that one myself!

*Are there other places on the net we can find you?
You can find me at
Facebook - www.facebook.com/pages/Sweet-and-Sassy-Cards/292705589332
Twitter - twitter.com/SweetandSassyCa
Artfire - www.artfire.com/users/SweetandSassyCards

Monday, May 2, 2011

My new Puppy & Intelligence According to Pony Tails

Ok - it's not a real puppy :)

This is what I received for my birthday from my sister-in-law. Isn't it cute? Now I need to find something to put in the basket. She mentioned that there is also a "boy" to go with this one. Might have to find out where she purchased this and get that one too!

Luke found this on the internet. Not quite sure I agree. Though Luke thinks it's right on target since he wears his hair in a pony tail like the last one.

Almost burst out laughing on the school bus the other day, when one of the girls walked up with her pony tail on the top of her head :)

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