Monday, June 27, 2011

Look want Logan brought home

Logan lives/works in the city. His girlfriend and her parents do too. They had a ground hog in their yard that was digging up their garden. He/she also liked to get some sun on a lawn chair on their deck once in a while. They didn't like the mess in the garden, so they trapped it and Logan brought it home so it could live in the wild :)

Isn't he/she cute?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Taco in a Bag

We had this at a fair one time many many years ago.  Sometimes when I have left over taco meat, I'll pick up some small bags of taco chips and we'll have lunch :)  The boys loved it when they were little.


Small bag of taco chips.
taco meat
chopped tomato
chopped lettuce
grated cheese
taco sauce

Cut the bag of taco chips open on the side. Crunch the chips. Add warm/hot taco meat, tomato, lettuce, cheese and taco sauce. Mix well and enjoy :)
Quick, easy and fun for kids!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Yard on the First Day of Summer :)

Went out yesterday morning and took some photo's of our yard.  It was cloudy on the first day of summer, hope that's not a sign of what the whole summer will be like! I did mow the grass later in the day, luckily - it started raining last night - we have 2" so far...

My 3 pots of flowers :) The white ones with the purple middles only open if the sun is out. They are really cute... Luke picked those :)

My garden:

Went to the end of the driveway and took photos in each direction so you could see how flat it is here. The photo's don't show how far you can actually see.

Looking south 
(that's our yard in the distance, we have a 1/2 mile driveway):




Might have to take photo's again when the sun is shining.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I'm So Glad I Found Out About This!

The correct way to weigh yourself:

I can't believe I was doing it wrong all these years!!

Never take life seriously; nobody gets out alive anyway.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chicken Stew on the BBQ

Yesterday I was trying to figure out all day what to make for dinner. It's just hubby and I during the week, cooking for 2 is sooooo different than cooking for 4! I needed something that I could just throw on the BBQ and not worry about while I was mowing grass. This is what I came up with.

Chicken Stew in Foil

2 chicken breasts
3 large potatoes
4 carrots
2 tins of cream of something soup
1 envelope onion soup mix

Place in large bowl:
peeled and cubed potatoes, cubed chicken breasts (I cut each into about 9 pieces), peeled and cubed carrots, condensed soups and soup mix. Stir.  
Soups:  I used one cream of mushroom and one cream of chicken.  But you could use cream of celery too (going to try that next time) or any combination of cream soups you have on hand

I had 2 smaller foil pans and lined them with heavy duty foil, then closed the foil tight. It only took about 35 minutes on the bbq at med. heat. Quick and easy :) Hubby says it's a keeper!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Amazing Leather

*Where are you from?
I am originally from MA. I grew up on the lake in Monticello, Indiana. At 16 we moved to a small town in Illinois, where I remained until 4 years ago when we relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Tell us a bit about yourself: 
I am the mother of 4 wonderful children. 2 boys, 2 girls. Ages 13-21. My husband and I have been married since 1990. We have a very spoiled Pug named Lucy who is 9. We have an extremely close family and I am so proud of them all! I am an EMT. I just retired myself from EMS a year ago and my husband is a Truck driver. However, I have been an Artist my whole life. It literally drives me in many aspects of life. For this I am so proud and blessed. This is why I love Etsy. It is such a wonderful feeling to be in the company of so much talent and others who have the same passions for all forms of Art!

*How did you decide on your shop name? 
Since our shop is a combined effort, consisting of both myself and my husband when he is home, we felt we should incorporate our last name somehow. We wanted Creations instead of Works, because we draw a lot of our own designs and patterns. We cut all of our own patterns and have tried to put a whole different twist to leather tooling and design. We still do the intricate classic forms of leather tooling, but we also have added a lot of more modern designs and vibrant colors. Sometimes we combine the two using an age old form of stitching (that I feel is the most superior in stitching leather ) with the modern colors and designs. So Creations would have been more accurate, but it was 2 letters too long.

*Why did you start your business? 
Well, I am a 'jack of all trades' artist. Everything you can think of is a blank canvas just waiting for a new twist or a design. Wether it be a piece of wood, an old picture frame, fabric, paper or canvas. You name it and my mind will come up with a design for it. So I have always been the artistic one that everyone comes to. However, my husband has had a huge talent for leather tooling and has been doing it for the last 30 years. He just never thought of himself as an 'artist' like I do. I came up with the idea ( since I never had a real niche') that we combine our talent. My dream has always been to be a successful artist and this was a venue I really thought we could shine at. Combining his skills and mine ( along with him teaching me the tooling and stitching), I feel we are on our way. The great thing to leather work is I can still be very versatile. I have a niche' now, but can still create whatever I feel like. Now the leather is my blank canvas for whatever design I'm feeling and whatever type of item I feel like creating.

*What are 5 things you want people to think when they see your product?

1) Craftmanship - I want people to be able to see the detail, time and attention that goes into each item we create.
2) Quality - I want them to see the stitching and linings and backing we use to truly make our product top notch. I feel we go one step further. When we stitch and use lining and backing, we use a soft leather and leather lace. Each hole has to be individually punched. Everything is done by hand. But we use this method, because we know it never comes undone! I think it looks great too.
3) Unique - Although some think this word is overused, I truly want to stand out and be a little different than others in my trade.
4) Variety - Something to suit a wide range of taste, along with a little of this and a little of that.
5) Versatility - Many of our items like the bracelet cuffs, can be versatile in many looks you are going for. Dressy, casual, etc.

*What’s your supply addiction; is there a specific color or type of supply you just can’t pass up?
Specific color for me is turquoise. I love the vibrant colors. Really I love them all! I never have one addiction because of my " Oh we can get this and add it to this and create........" ALL the time! or "We should try to make a pattern for this or start adding in this" Everything I see is an addiction!

*What activities do you enjoy?
I love to cook! I always cook a great dinner and we eat as a family at the table almost everynight. At least whoever is home and not at work. I'm an obsessive neat freak, so I clean all the time. I love to read and we all love being outdoors. We do a lot of family activities, wether we are just hanging out on the deck, playing yard games or heading to the park for some Spicer baseball.

*Which item in your shop did you enjoy making the most and why?
Although I'm addicted to purses and I just LOVE them, I would have to say the bookmarks. I know, silly, but as an avid reader, I love great bookmarks!

*What keeps you motivated?
My own constant drive to create. It's like food for me. I have to utilize it or I go buggy. When I get an idea or design in my head, I have to get it out.

*If you could give a piece of advice to a new shop - what would it be?
Well I am new, but patience. Love what you do! Good photos. We know that this is so hard and our items look so much better in person, but this is how the customers view our items. VERY important. Good descriptions and policies! Policies are really important. How soon do you ship, how do you ship etc should all be in there. Great customer service is a must! Communication is key to this.

*Are there other places on the net we can find you?
I am on Twitter:!/paintandcreate
As far as FB goes, I only have a regular personal page. I have not created a fan page as of yet.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fresh Biscuits & Strawberry/Rhubarb Jam

The grocery store had strawberries on sale last week, and they looked really good! Purchased to large containers and decided that Luke & I would make some jam on Friday.
We made Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam and also a Rhubarb Freezer Jam. They are both amazing!!
Of course Luke asked for biscuits for Saturday's breakfast so he could try the new jam :)


2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup hard margarine
4 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk

I put the flour, cut up marg. and baking powder into my food processor until it's crumbly. Doesn't take very long. For the milk - sometimes I do 1/2 c milk + 1/2 c. buttermilk or cream. Depends what I have in the fridge.

Pat the "dough" until it's about 1/2 an inch thick and cut into circles with a cup, cookie cutter or whatever you happen to have.

Bake at 425F for about 12 minutes or so.


4 cups fresh strawberries, crushed
2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
1 package (1-3/4 ounces) powdered fruit pectin
5-1/2 cups sugar

In a Dutch oven, combine the strawberries, rhubarb and lemon juice; stir in pectin. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar; return to a full rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from the heat; skim off foam. Carefully ladle hot mixture into hot sterilized pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Wipe rims and adjust lids. Process for 5 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Yield: about 6 pints.
(I put the jam into containers and froze it.)


5 c. cut up rhubarb
4 c. sugar
Mix and let stand overnight. Heat and boil until rhubarb is done (not very long). Remove from stove and add 1 (3 oz.) box of strawberry Jello (dry). Let cool. Put in small containers in freezer. Tastes like strawberry jam. Delicious as an ice cream topping.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ceramics For Everyone!

I love handmade ceramics! Ceramics for Everyone has the most beautiful plates and cutest cups! They look way to pretty to use :)

 *Where are you from? Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born and brought up in Wales and then spent many years living away in London, Spain and other places in the UK before returning home five years ago.

*How did you decide on your shop name? Why did you start your business?
I started Ceramics for Everyone in 2009 after being inundated with requests from shops, companies and friends to produce a lower price gift ware service to cater for the Welsh and English markets. The credit crunch had started and customers still needed lovely handmade gifts but at a lower price.

I used to have a company that produced limited edition bespoke bone china tableware but its price point was too high when the credit crunch hit.

Previously to this I was a sole trader producing porcelain batch production tableware using various processes as jigger-jolley, slip-cast and thrown ware.

I grew up with lots of little ornaments that I had to dust so now I only seem to want to make items that have a function as well as looking great on the wall, dresser or table.

*What are 5 things you want people to think when they see your product?
I can only think of three.
2. It was made in Wales!
3. I want one!

*What’s your supply addiction; is there a specific color or type of supply you just can’t pass up?
I love anything that I cannot make myself. I love to see craftsmanship, skills and old fashioned techniques that large companies will not produce due to costs.

*What do you do when you’re not being an artist? What activities do you enjoy?
I’m a bit of a gym bunny! But yoga tries to keeps me in the now. I also have two teenagers, hence the yoga! I also love baking super size cakes and growing vegetables in pots apart from that I’m always writing notes and ideas, doing scribbles, drawings. I don’t think you can ever stop being creative. It’s the only constant, regular and reliable thing in my life.

*Which item in your shop did you enjoy making the most and why?
The next new item is always the best! I get bored easily so working with clay is great as you are always using different tools, machines and processes to produce an end result.

*What keeps you motivated?
That is such a difficult question.
Feedback from customers are absolutely fantastic especially if it’s been a tough day.

If I am having a lethargic week. I take a deep breath and ask if I’d rather be doing something else, the answer is always no. I love my job. I think I’m very lucky to have found clay and the thought of my creations being passed down to generations long after I live is mind blowing.

*If you could give a piece of advice to a new shop - what would it be?
I’m pretty new with the Etsy shop compared to all the amazing shops on there.
Dream, Believe, Achieve and I also pray a lot!!!

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

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Shop - new and sales

I've actually been making some new coasters and magnets for my Etsy shop :)

Here is what I've been up too - the first 4 items are actually on sale this week - $1 off.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Scrambled Eggs

Hubby has eggs for breakfast twice a week. I was getting tired of the same old eggs and found this recipe in a cookbook that I have. You can add any meat you want, this time I did it with ham. Usually I will omit the jalapeno pepper - don't have those on hand as a rule :)


1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
8 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, saute the onion and peppers until tender. Sprinkle with bacon. Pour eggs over the top; sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until eggs are completely set. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Serve with salsa.

Have an Awesome Weekend!!

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