Monday, November 12, 2012

Art Charm Swap

A few months back I signed up to be a part of an Art Charm swap.  I had to make eleven charms, ship them off to the coordinator, Jennifer, and a few weeks later I would receive a package of art charms in exchange.  One charm was kept for an auction for Beads of Courage.  BOC of an organization that provides beads for children that are going through medical treatments for serious illnesses.  Go to their website to read all about the wonderful things they do.
One of the eleven beads that I sent in was kept to be auctioned for them.  You can visit the auction here and have some fun bidding!
Also, please make sure to visit Jennifer's blog, the lady who organized this swap, to see a list of all the bloggers that participated.  I have also provided a list below.
Here are the charms that I made.  The theme was *Laughter*.

I chose the phrase, "Happy Place" because if you can't laugh in your happy place then you cant laugh anywhere!!  I made the charms with steel wire, resin and paper.  The paper is completely covered in resin, so it is well protected.

The above and below photos are the wonderful charms I received.

While I waited for my charms to arrive,  I wondered what I would do with them.  So this week I made this charm bracelet to add them to.  I hand forged and soldered each link from fine silver.

I have already added a few charms I have recently made and look forward to filling it up with my Art Charm Swap charms as well as other beads and charms I make or receive in the future.
Below is a list of all the artist's blogs that participated in this swap:

Jennifer Cameron

Natalie McKenna 

Robin Koza  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


A few weeks ago I was inspired to make a necklace I had seen on the Fusion Beads Inspiration page.  You can find the link here.  They call it "Garden of Love Necklace".
I have been searching for new techniques, ways to incorporate fiber and fabric into my jewelry and possibly less expensive options for my customers.
This technique uses the Diva Cord Maker, which I love and will be using again and again!
So now I have this awesome cord made for a necklace, but I can't decide what type of pendant to use.

Since I finished the cord I have had tons of ideas.  Here are a few of them.....(just a few!)

For several days I just kept pulling different pieces to try and help me make a decision.

Above is a bezeled piece of antique pottery off of the beach.

In this above picture is a lavender glass glob that I thought about making into a pendant like the green one to the right.  The green on would be too small for this cord.

There was this bird toggle that I made out of silver which could be a toggle and a pendant, all in one.

Or I could use one of my glass pendants.  I even pulled out my stained glass, from YEARS ago and thought about making a copper foiled heart that was pink on one side and lavender on the other.

Finally, there is this fine silver flower pendant that I made.
And yes, there were more ideas.  I was literally paralyzed with ideas.
I THINK I have made a decision......but what do you think?
I'd love to hear your feedback.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Meatless Monday ~ Lentil Tacos

Happy Meatless Monday!
Today I am sharing with you a recipe for Lentil Tacos.  The recipe is a combination of several recipes that I tried, plus some of my own tweaks.
This is one of my husbands favorite meals, and he will request it!
Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

1 bag of Lentils (i believe it is about 2C of dried lentils)
3-5C Water
1/2 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, each stalk chopped into 3 pieces
2 bay leaves
1t salt
1 1/2t cumin
2 garlic cloves
1/2t pepper
1/2t paprika
1t chili powder
3 oz tomato paste
1T olive oil
Corn Tortillas
Lettuce, chpd.

Wash and rinse lentils.
Place lentils in a medium stock pot with water, onion, celery and bay leaves.
The celery is cut into large pieces, because these will be removed after cooking lentils.

Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about 45 minutes.  Keep checking in case you have to had more water.

When lentils are done.  Remove from stove and drain well.
Place half of the lentils in a food processor with salt, cumin, garlic cloves, pepper, paprika, chili powder and chili paste.  While this is mixing drizzle in the olive oil.
Place this mixture back in the pot with the remaining lentils that did not get put in the food processor.
{If you do not have a food processor, mash and mix the ingredients with a potato masher}

Mix the processed lentil mixture with the cooked lentils well.

Serve in taco shells.
I put vegan sour cream in my shells, as well as a homemade salsa.  If you cannot purchase vegan sour cream where you live, google a recipe for it.  It is really easy to make from tofu.

The homemade salsa I made was really easy......
about a cup of chopped tomato, 1/4C chopped cilantro, 1/4C chopped purple onion, a diced fresh jalapeno & lime juice.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Bracelet Fetish

I know I have been doing a lot of posting about food.  I have been creating jewelry and quilts, but just can never get around to taking pictures, posting pictures and updating my website!
Bracelets are the *in* thing right now, especially lots and lots of them worn in sets.
One style that is hot is the wrapped bracelet.  So I did some online searches for some tutorials.
The one I liked best was from The Bead Shop.
It is called the Herringbone Wrap Bracelet.
I didn't have all of the exact materials, so I used what I had on hand.

The lampworked flower that I used for the button closure is one that Cassie Donlen taught me how to make when she was in Abaco last November.

This bracelet was supposed to be a 5 wrap, but I ran out of beading thread, so I had to stop at 4 wraps.  It is a fun bracelet to make, but can be tedious, so I will be keeping this one for me.  Perhaps if I decide to sell them, in the future, I will keep them at 2 wraps!

The other bracelet that I have finished recently was one that I found a tutorial on from Fusion Beads.

They call it *Flower Garden* Bracelet.
Again, I changed a few things.  The original pattern said to join everything with jump rings. I, personally, do not like joining with jump rings unless i can solder them closed.  So I made up the links with a combination of my glass headpins {the heart, the green & and the pink with white dots}, & the flowered headpins (from Fusions Beads).

I used a Butterfly Toggle that I already had on hand, and I am calling my bracelet, "Butterfly Garden".

So there is a bit of what I have been up to.  Hopefully I will soon get some more pictures taken of new work.  I also have some metal bangles in the works that I cannot wait to finish.
Back to work for me!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Meatless Monday Protein Salad

Happy Meatless Monday!
Today I want to do a quick post to share with you a recipe for a salad that is AWESOME & very filling!!!
I found this recipe on the Oh She Glows website when I first went vegan.
There are a lot of great recipes on this website.  I haven't tried one I was disappointed in.
To make this recipe easy cook the rice and lentils the day/night before, and make the salad dressing ahead of time, then it makes for a quick lunch.
I am sure it would also be great with your favorite canned beans also!

This is called a Protein Power Goddess Bowl.  I added banana peppers to mine, just because I like a little tangy, spice in my food.
I am actually in a cooking funk right now and really need my kitchen muse to show up soon!  I am basically cooking what I HAVE TO and that is it!
I have been creating lots of jewelry and quilty things that I need to post, but we have had really bad weather and I have not felt like taking pictures.
I am on a bracelet making kick and can't wait to show you some of them!
Hopefully I will get to that this week.
Have a great week!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Meatless Monday!

Happy Meatless Monday!!
Today I am going to share with you my vegan version of *Hamburger Helper*!
One day I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner, and his repsonse was, "Can you veganize Hamburger Helper?"
I thought, "Why not?"
So began my research!
I hadn't eaten this dish in Y.E.A.R.S.!!!!  So I went to the food store to try and get a feel for what was in it.  Well, reading the ingredients on the package made me glad I didn't eat this boxed meal anymore.  Basically it was noodles, cheese, a sauce, and ground beef.
Then I starting search online to see if anyone had a homemade version of the dish, and there were many!

Well, here is the veganized version that I created from all the data I collected!!  It has a bit of a Tex-Mex flair.
Look at that cheese-y goodness, without a drop of cheese!

2 Vegan Sausages, pulsed in the food processor until the crumbles form.
1 pound elbow macaroni, or pasta of your choice, cooked according to package directions and drained.
2T Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
1 Sweet Pepper, chopped
1 1/2C Mushrooms, chopped
1 cup corn (frozen or canned)
2 cups cashew cream (to make this I blended 1 1/4C vegetable broth with 1 C of raw cashews until it was smooth.)
1 - 14oz can Tomato Sauce
1 1/2C Daiya Cheddar or MontereyJack Style shreds
1/2C Tofutti Cream Cheese
1t dried basil
1t dried oregano
1t chili powder
1t garlic powder
1t salt
1/2t black pepper

Heat oil in a large saute pan.  Add onion, sweet pepper and mushrooms.  Saute until onions are translucent.
Add the herbs and spices.
Saute for 2-3 mins.
Add the tomato sauce and corn, heat thru.
Stir in the sausage crumbles and the tofutti cream cheese.
Then add in the noodles.
Turn the heat down low, stir in the cashew cream and Daiya shreds.
Keep stirring until all the cheese is melted and the ingredients are evenly mixed together.
Serve with a salad & ENJOY!!

Just a few notes:
* if you do not want to make cashew cream, you can use any non-dairy milk, but I would suggest adding 3T of flour to it and adding it to the recipe when the tomato sauce is added, so it can thicken a bit.
*i make my own vegan sausages.  they are easy-peasy, so if you want to make them google a recipe, make a batch and keep them in the freezer.  you can also use veggie patties ground up, or veggie crumbles.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Come check out the Button Swap!

Happy Mother's Day!
Today is the reveal for a Button Swap, that I joined.  Thank you, Cindy Wimmer, for putting this great swap together!
I had so many ideas for this swap that I had a hard time deciding what to do and what buttons to use.
I finally decided on a journal cover, since I am still having a blast making them.
I have been making journal pages and mixed media canvases with She Art girls on them, and today I finally recreated one into a quilted piece.

Then I came across this verse from Proverbs 31:13, "She works with her hands in delight", and thought it would be the perfect addition to this piece.  At first when I read this verse it made me think of how happy I am when I am creating with my hands, and how grateful I am to be able to do that.  Then i realized that I need to work in delight even when I am doing things like the dishes (UGH) or mopping the floor or cooking dinner when I don't feel like it!
The buttons I used were all vintage buttons from my collection, and I glued them on since some of them didn't have a shank on the back anymore.
I love her burlap boot socks with those funky floral boots, and ruffled skirt.
The birds were added by drawing on the fabric with the Caran d'Ache Neocolor II pencils, then adding water.  I have used these pencils many times before on fabric and this is the first time it ran, but it turned into one of those happy mistakes.  I also used those pencils for a bit of color in the sky and on the ground.
Be sure the check out all the blogs below to see what other artists have created with their buttons!  The complete list is below:
 Kim Roberts and Partner unable to participate at this time.
Pam Ferarri and Stefanie Teufel (will share their reveal on a later date)
Stefanie Teufel and Pam Ferarri (will share their reveal on a later date)


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