Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Here is the link to Azerael's Squidoo Lens. http://www.squidoo.com/Hemp-Choker
If you make one of these, send me a picture and I'll post it for all to enjoy. I may have to go on the lookout for a simple tutorial design that can be made for men/boys.
Look for new songs tomorrow on my post (yes, I have watched Sleepless in Seattle again) and an update on Wednesday with a new recipe and status on how the diet is going. I did make a few new jewelry items this past week and weekend, but unfortunately was busy Saturday and Sunday and didn't get anything posted, so don't be surprised if you find an extra post here and there this week so I can get it all out of my system.
If you really like how to's, be sure to check out my crafty news blog where I feature lots of tutorials on everything from paper crafts to crochet. http://crafthowtos.blogspot.com.
Until then, have a great Monday!
Friday, June 26, 2009
What will I do next is the question? I will be watching my nephew for 3 weeks in July as well as keep up with my numerous blogs, I have three web sites that I sell my jewelry and gem trees on and one web site that is a gallery of my work that really needs to be updated. You can find those links on the left side of the screen. My Gem Tree Sculptures book is soon to be printed, the proof has been received and approved, so I will have all that marketing to do. I have upcoming gem and mineral shows this Summer and Fall that I will be demonstrating and selling at as well as teaching gem tree design. All in all, I will be very busy with getting ready for the shows, designing new jewelry and gem trees and marketing my book that I’m not sure how I would have fit a full time job in there.
I have no clue about marketing, but am trying to learn fast and reading a lot of good blogs on marketing yourself and book. I’ve gotten a quote for postcards and business cards that have the image of the book on one side and places to purchase on the other as well as my contact info. I’ve identified bead and rock shops in the area that might be willing to take the book on consignment. One of those bead shops I’m hoping will consider hosting a few of my classes. I have my list of gem and mineral clubs in the Northwest that I will be sending a postcard to as well as posting it on their newsletter. I’m attending a National show in Montana at the end of July where I hope I will have copies of my book available for sale and can host a book signing. I’ve already gotten approval of the show chairman to teach a couple of classes there. I have my short list of lapidary vendors that are willing to take the book on consignment and sell at the shows they attend and obviously if I am there, I will autograph a few.
Speaking of that National show in Montana, I will also be competing for my "Masters" designation in Gem Tree design and I still have two trees to make for that competition as well as getting my case ready. My trees last year were noted as being "Master" quality, but my showmanship (case and labeling) was not up to "Master" level. I did obtain the "Advanced" status that I was competing for. This year I have to do well in the case structure and labeling. The judging is very picky about these things and I usually put more emphasis on the trees themselves so I have to switch my efforts and get it right this time.
Now aren’t you glad you asked the question?
My desk is packed and I’ve been taking a few things home each night. Of course I have no place for all this stuff at home, but feel I need to keep it. Included is books I’ll probably never read again, work momentos, work awards, files of old performance reviews and just other stuff I was not ready to get rid off. It’s an unusual feeling to not have work yet be at work and know that you have a ton of things to do at home.
I’m still a little pissed and angry, but come July 1st the new door will open, I’ll be able to breath and move forward mentally and let the past drop away. I will miss my friends that are left that I see daily, but we have already made plans for lunches throughout the Summer. I know where to find them and will be staying in touch. So, yes I’m sad to be leaving a job of 12 ½ years and excited to start a new chapter in my life. It is time and I am ready.
What will I do next you ask? Come back later and I’ll continue the story.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
1 cup milk
3 large strawberries
1 tablespoon vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon honey
In a blender, combine milk, banana, strawberries, yogurt and honey. Blend until smooth. Pour into glass and serve.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
http://www.home-jewelry-business-success-tips.com/necklace-display.html and were written by Bea Graansma. Here you go.
Make a Necklace Display
a cheap and easy way to create a great looking necklace bust
© by Bea Graansma; all rights reserved
I made this necklace display that can be used for showing your work at jewelry shows and parties. It's also a great prop for photographing your jewelry. This necklace bust is very inexpensive, and takes less than an hour to make:
Trace the pattern shown in Figure 2 onto a piece of cardboard and cut it out. The pattern here is 25 cm high x 28 cm wide, but feel free to make your necklace bust taller or shorter than shown here. Figure 2: Pattern for necklace display.The small square drawn near the middle of the patternrepresents 1 square centimeter.
Run a knitting needle or the back of your scissors over the lines at the top and each side of your necklace display, so they will be easy to fold. (See the lines in Figure 2.)
Carefully fold back the sides and top along these fold lines.
Thread a piece of string or elastic through the two holes and tie the string ends together, as shown in Figure 3, to hold the sides back and make your necklace display stand upright.
Adorn your fabulous new necklace bust with a piece of jewelry!
I'm not sure this display would be sturdy enough for frequent use at shows and fairs; I originally intended it to be used for photographing necklaces. But it's cheap, and therefore easy to replace when it shows wear and tear.
Have fun with your great new necklace display!
Bea has a tutorial available with updated and more detailed instructions and a printable pattern if you would like to purchase, here is the link to that tutorial on her ETSY shop. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=21379676.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Just dry bamboo tiles that I haven't added the wire for making into a pendant.
Here are the links:
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
New line of jewelry items called "Wings of a Fairy". This will be a more inexpense option for those wanting fanciful jewelry to wear on special occassions or just for play. I'm also going to include some fanciful gem trees in this line. I'm sure that it will appeal to a younger audience teens to 30 year olds vs. old me, although my mother loved one of the rings I made and actually took my prototype booklet that will be shipped with each piece sold. Umm, so I may be wrong, but we will see. Here is what the first part of the booklet will look like. I'm still debating on the cover image, but this is one of the options.
Wings of a Fairy
The Fairy Wings line of jewelry and gem trees was inspired by the magical qualities found in all of us. We seek to have an air of mystery and can be a little mischievous. We are strong and independent in nature and love in abundance. Enter the realm of fairies when wearing your jewelry or by placing your fairy tree in your home and know that you now may be able to control the elements of the universe if not your destiny.
Fairies are mythological beings bestowed with magical powers. Usually, they have the appearance of humans. Their real characteristics can change depending upon the tales told about them.
Although in modern culture they are known as small creatures, they were depicted as tall, radiant and angelic beings.
According to their origin in folklore, they were elemental beings of the earth, air, fire and water. Each one of them has a particular power in nature.
The booklet goes on to detail out the different types of fairies and where to buy. If you are wondering what this jewelry looks like....stay tuned for tomorrow folks as we will have pictures and I will describe my other new jewelry line.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Vinyl wall art is the hottest new trend in home decorating. Much easier than stencils and paint, and look better too!
Apply to any smooth, clean, flat surface; walls, mirrors, doors, etc.
Application instructions included; real easy .. basically just peel-n-stick.
Easily removable, but not repositionable, when you are ready to change your decor. Some paint touch-up may be required.
Decals are professionally die-cut using high-grade vinyl.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
1 cup almonds
1 cup peanuts
2 packets splenda
3 tablespoons butter, melted
16 ounces cream cheese
10 packets splenda
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
Blueberries or Strawberries (to garnish) (optional)
Heat oven to 350ºF.
For crust, place nuts in bowl of a food processor; pulse until ground but not pastelike.
Add sugar substitute and butter; pulse to combine.
Transfer to a 9" springform pan.
With your fingers, gently press nut mixture to form a crust on bottom of pan.
Bake 10 minutes; remove from oven and cool.
Place cream cheese and sugar substitute in food processor; process until smooth.
Add eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition.
Add vanilla extract, lemon rind and salt; pulse to combine.
Add sour cream and process to combine.
Pour filling into prepared crust.
Bake 40 minutes.
Turn off oven; let cheesecake cool for one hour without opening door.
Garnish with blueberries or strawberries before serving.
To cut chilled cheesecake into neat slices, use a long piece of dental floss.
Then wrap each piece individually and freeze.
It tastes delicious right out of the freezer or bring to room temperature for a few minutes before serving.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The ultimate hamburger. It's an elusive creation: the perfectly charred crust; the juicy interior with the ideal amount of fat; the full, beefy flavor. To help you get it just right, we consulted two guys who really know burgers: Steven Raichlen, host of Barbecue University on PBS, and Chris Schlesinger, coauthor of The Thrill of the Grill and How To Cook Meat. Read on for their secrets to producing perfect patties.
What cut of meat should I use?
The foundation of a hamburger is, of course, the meat. Different cuts have different amounts of fat and flavor:
Regular ground beef, a generic category that can be any cut or a combination of several, may by law have as much as 30 percent fat. This isn't necessarily a good thing, though—the high percentage of fat can make the burgers greasy.
Ground chuck has about 20 percent fat.
Ground sirloin has about 15 percent fat.
Ground round has about 11 percent fat, making it a favorite of dieters, but producing less-juicy burgers.
Both Schlesinger and Raichlen recommend staying in the middle of the spectrum. "I like equal parts chuck and sirloin—the former for flavor, the latter for finesse," says Raichlen. If you're buying preground beef, remember that fat can be trimmed or added during the grinding process—always check the percentage on the label: 15 to 20 percent fat is ideal.
If you can, though, go for freshly ground meat. When beef is ground at processing plants, bacteria on the outside can end up mixed in, which means that the middle of the hamburger should be cooked through in order to kill any microbes. But when a fresh, whole cut of meat is ground to order by a butcher on a clean machine, there's less chance of contamination.
Should I add any seasonings?
Schlesinger and Raichlen are split on mix-ins. Schlesinger insists his burgers be plain, but Raichlen is open to variations. "Especially if you're going to cook the burgers medium or medium-well," he says, "it can help to add some fat to keep the meat moist." He favors "a pat of butter enfolded in the center" for plain burgers, or grated cheese mixed with the ground beef—his version of a cheeseburger.
Any tips on forming the patties?
"Cold meat and cold, wet hands," says Raichlen. "Chill your hands under cold running water, then work as gently and quickly as possible so as not to bruise or heat the meat." Handling the meat delicately prevents the burgers from getting too dense and firm, and keeping it cold prevents the fat from melting, which would also make the burgers tougher. Both Schlesinger and Raichlen favor thick patties—at least one inch thick—so they can develop a seared crust on the outside while still staying pink on the inside. An additional step that's helpful, but not necessary, is to let the patties rest in the fridge for an hour after forming. This helps them stay together better on the grill.
To salt or not to salt?
"Absolutely," says Schlesinger. Salt is essential to bring out the flavor of the burger, plus it crusts deliciously when cooked over the fire. But if added too far ahead of cooking, it will draw out the juices, drying out the meat. Sprinkle salt and freshly ground pepper very heavily over both sides of the burgers just before you put them on the grill.
What's the best way to cook burgers?
Start with a clean, oiled, hot grill. "First sear them over high heat to develop a crust, then move them to a cooler part of the grill to cook," says Schlesinger. "And be sure not to press down on them while cooking—this will only squeeze out the juices and dry them out." Neither he nor Raichlen recommends barbecue or steak sauces, which just cover up the flavor of a perfect burger.
How do I know when they're done?
Raichlen favors the poke test: "Medium-rare is softly yielding, medium is semifirm, well-done is firm." Schlesinger takes a visual approach, judging by the juices: "When they start to come out of the top of the burger, it's medium. When the juices that have oozed out of the top get cooked (stop looking red and become a bit more clear), it's medium-well." A combination of the two techniques would work well.
Now that we know how to cook our burgers, we need to top them with all kinds of goodies. My favorite is cheese and bacon of course with maybe a little BBQ sauce or A1. What are your favorite toppings or are you a purist?
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Monday, June 08, 2009
Saturday, June 06, 2009
Enjoy and visit my shop soon.
Friday, June 05, 2009
Thursday, June 04, 2009
There would be almost an unlimited number of items you could alter. Some of the items that I have found recently besides my little pendants are keys, watches or timepieces, photos, altoids tins or any other candy tin, boxes, cigar boxes, shadow boxes, eggs (usually referred to as egg artistry), bottle caps, photos/paint + images on canvas and books.
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
3/4 c. oatmeal
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. brown sugar (firmly packed)
1/2 c. butter (softened)
1 lg. can cherry pie filling
Mix first six ingredients until coarse. Press 1/2 this mixture into the bottom of an 8x11 glass baking dish. Spoon pie filling evenly over this layer then top by sprinkling the remaining mixture evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. I always check after 30 and if sufficiently golden brown on top I take it out.
Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
If you are interested in attending the show and live in Western Washington, here is the link to the flyer. Come say Hi, as I'll be in the kitchen the entire weekend.
Monday, June 01, 2009
Using vintage pins and buttons to create wall art and simple frames.
Beads wrapped around a metal napkin ring for a one of a kind look.