Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hoop Charm Earring Tutorial

As promised I have posted my tutorial for the hoop earring that was my giveaway earlier this month on my Craft How To's site HERE. Just scroll down on the page a bit and check it out. I would love link backs.

Have fun with the Trick or Treaters tonight.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Guest Blog on A Different Shade of Me

I was asked by Christina of A Different Shade of Me to do a guest blog spot and for the life of me I couldn't think of a thing to write about. Kind of unusual for me. Christina was the winner for the Hoop Earring giveaway earlier this month and loved them so much I decided to write a tutorial, so that is what she blogged about. I have her blog HERE with my tutorial as featured. I will be posting the tutorial on my Craft How Tos site this weekend.

Here is a picture of the finished earrings....oh yeah and a lot of charms.. LOL.

Have a great Halloween!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sugar Free Pumpkin Cheesecake

Now that the holidays are approaching I thought I would share a recipe with you that I make each holiday season. It is perfect as you get that pumpkin and spice that you want but without all the sugar. Be careful though as it still contains all the fat. This is perfect for those on the Adkins Diet or a low carb diet. The top on mine is a little dark and wrinkly as I left the oven door closed after I turned it off, but I'm sure it will taste just fine.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

1/2 cup of Walnuts (I used mixed nuts chopped or you can leave the nuts out and have a crustless cake)

Cheesecake Filling:
3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese at room temp
1 cup Splenda
1 tesp powdered white stevia (if you don't have this it is fine it just won't be a sweet)
1 tesp ground cinnamon
1/8 tesp ground ginger
1/8 tesp gound cardamom
1/8 tesp ground nutmeg
1/8 tesp ground cloves
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tesp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup solid-packed pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9 inch springform pan with nonstick vegetable spray.

To make the crust, place the nuts in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade (or a blender) and pulse until finely chopped. Press the nuts on the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and cool completely before adding the filling.

To make the filling, place the cream cheese, Splenda and stevia in the mixing bowl and mix with electric mixer for 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves and blend well. On medium speed, add the whipping cream and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Pour the batter into the parepared pan. Place the pan in a larger pan and put in the oven. Pour enough water into the larger pan to come halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake for 60 minutes.

Turn off the oven and open the door slightly. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

To serve, take out of the refrigeraterator to warm up a bit (usually 15 to 30 minutes). I usually add whipped cream lightly sweetened with Splenda on top of each serving.

Makes 12 servings with 6 g carbs, 281 calories, 7 g protein, 26 g fat, 1 g dietary fiber, 188 mg sodium, 122 mg cholesterol.

This recipe is from the Ultimate Low Carb Diet Cookbook.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Featured Artist - Karen of Winding Threads

Karen, another Creative Blogger friend has some wonderful bags that you might like. Okay, I just wanted to drool myself. If you have one of the small mini notebook computers, Karen makes a very cute computer bag, it's the yellow with the roses. Don't anyone buy it because I may have to myself.

Karen has a great blog that you can checkout HERE or I would highly recommend heading over to her Etsy shop HERE. I believe that Karen's love of fabric probably is very similar to my love of gemstones and beads. We are addicted and probably need help.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Social Networking Site for Crafters

As if I didn't have enough to do, I started a new social networking site for crafters. The point is to share ideas, tutorials and network with other crafters. I even added a marketplace so that E-bay, Etsy, Amazon and Yahoo sellers can show and sell their work for free. The marketplace just links to their existing site. No rules except that you can not post any porn or offense material. I welcome others who would like to join me.

Here is the link:

As a bonus, I will be posting tutorials on the craft site vs. here, but never fear, I will link to them so you can still enjoy without having to check out two places, but if you are only interested in tutorials and instructions, that would be the place to check first.

The first tutorial I posted is for the Leather Fringe necklace that I posted here in August that was so popular. As I develop more tutorials and get permission for reprinting some from other authors, they will be posted.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Featured Artist - Annette Piper

Last week I posted about another Creative Blogger friend and this week it is Annette Piper. Annette is a qualified gemologist and lives in Sydney. Her work is stunning as you can see from the picture of the earring. I left a comment on Annette's blog about the beautiful stones she uses and how I tend to hourd mine and haven't felt the need to share them with my customers yet...LOL. My husband thinks differently and so does the checkbook. I guess I'll have to get busy.  Here is a little bit more about Annette.

Gemstones - I gaze into their depths and see incredible patterns and miniature worlds. I invite you into my world where you can behold a stunning array of gems. Share my fascination in the millenia-long journey these stones have taken to be what they are today and see that what mother nature has created for our use and pleasure.

Working in the Sydney jewelry trade since 1982, I qualified as a gemologist in 1986. Constantly feeling the pull of the wonderful natural stones around me, in 2002 I began making my own creations and designing how I saw jewelry could be - elegant, simple and timeless.

Constantly searching for the new, the unusual and the different, from all over the world, I endeavor to create jewelry that will be unique yet still very affordable.

I now work from my home studio where there are magnificent views over the surrounding countryside and of the wide blue Australian sky.

As a mother to three very active children and wife to an aviator/farmer, I also share my surroundings with two lazy cats a working dog and a few hundred cows.
I invite you to visit Annette's blog and web site so that you can see her beautiful jewelry for yourself.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Remodel is Coming Along

How many times can I blog about the remodel? Probably a lot as after this one is finished at my mother in laws  then we will start planning ours. I'm just glad that we aren't living here through all this mess.

Came over to the MIL's house today to wait on the kitchen counter top installer to measure so that they can get it ordered and found that our general contractor had started putting up the tile in the bathroom around the tub. It's coming along, even if I think it is going slowly.

The estate sale is this weekend so I'm hoping that a lot of this stuff will be gone and we can dig our way to the fireplace to that he can get started on that when he has free time. I would take some updated pictures, but from the mess in here, you probably wouldn't get a good feel for what has been accomplished. Next time I'll post some.

Have a good day.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Crochet White Flower Necklace

I was searching for something a little different to share with you today and fell in love with this necklace. Creative Yarn has the tutorial HERE if you are willing to give it a try. I think it would be fun to try in a black with red flower for the holidays.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Home Again

Back home from the beach and now the fun work begins of cleaning the darn thing. It is amazing how much sand can get into everything even when you are careful. I found sand in a shoe that I didn't even wear... how can that be?  So, it is off to the trailer today and tomorrow with the mondo vacuum cleaner to get in all the small crevices, mop up all wet places that turned to sandy mud and Simple Green to wipe everything down. I think I'll put my husband to work washing the outside before it gets put away for the Winter.

We really did enjoy our short overnight stay at the beach with the nephew. I told my bother to pack extra clothes and warm items since it gets cold there at night. He was able to get every thing wet except for one pair of sweat pant and a sweat shirt, so it all when into the washer when we got home. You can tell an 11 yo not to get wet, but it really won't work especially when you have a dog that wants to play in the water also. His excuse before we came home for getting wet was that a big wave hit him from behind...hummm I think I've heard that one before. At least the dog knew when to get out before that big wave hit.

Everyone have a great Sunday, get lots of rest and spend time with family if you can.    -  dana

Friday, October 09, 2009

And The Winner Is....... has chosen my winner for the giveaway and it is Zafiro80. I've contacted her to get the information on whether she wants sterling silver or 14 kt gold filled and what color charms she would like. My next giveaway  I have planned is for the first week of November, so be sure to stayed tuned.

In other news, we decided to pull the trailer out of the beach property this weekend so now I'm down here using my Sprint broadband card with only 10 - 0% connectivity. Not too many cell towers at the beach I guess. I'm used to having several windows open at once and multi-tasking through my blogs and twitter and facebook, but down here I can only do one thing at a time and then it is sooo slow so this post will be short and sweet. Here is a little picture of the nephew, husband and dogs at the beach...thank heaven it was a nice day.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Creative Bloggers Featured Artist

I just joined a new group called Creative Bloggers. The purpose of this group is to support and network with other bloggers. This weeks featured blogger is Michelle Harvey from Michabella Creations. Michelle creates contemporary jewelry that is very fashion forward. Her work was recently chosen by Keith Lissner for his runway show during Boston's Fashion Week. Here is one of my favorite earrings of Michelle's that Keith choose for his show.

You can also check out Michelle's web site HERE for some great affordable jewelry.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Even More info on Earring Giveaway

I forgot to mention in my last post that I will ship these earrings anywhere, Europe, Australia, etc., so please feel free to enter. If you are unsure, send me a message.

Don't forget the rules about leaving me a comment about how you are following me to get entered. I love my fans and followers and this is just the start of great giveaways that I have planned for the remainder of this year, so don't miss out.

In other news, we are in the midst of remodeling my mother in laws bathroom and having the whole house painted and kitchen upgraded. Unless you have ever completed a project like this you have no idea of the headaches involved. I think we have changed our minds on the kitchen counter top 11 times and now we are back to our original idea of a solid surface counter top. We are leaving the nice Cherry wood cabinets, will replace the hardware, fix the cracks in the walls and paint and have already purchased a new stove and refrigerator to finish it out. In the bathroom, we are totally gutting it. No more green tub, sink or toilet. The rest of the house will be painted, but the fireplace will get a new marble surround.
We didn't want to go over the top with granite and high end appliances as we are planning on selling in the next year, but until then we will move my dad in to live for a bit until the market recovers. Here are some pictures of the before. I'll post after pics when it is completed.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Blog Giveaway ... Details

I mentioned on my Facebook page that a giveaway was coming, so this is it. Giveaway will be all about following and I have several options for you to choose from.

The giveaway will be for a pair of hoop sterling silver or 14 kt gf hand formed charm earrings with 5 pair of charms to interchange (sample is pictured) to one lucky winner. You do not have to purchase anything to win, but I do have rules. Here they are.

1. Follow my blog via Google - 1 entry
2. Follow my blog via Facebook Networked Blogs - 1 entry
3. Become a Fan on Facebook - 1 entry
4. Follow me on Twitter - 1 entry
5. Subscribe to my RSS feed - 1 entry
6. Blog about my giveaway on your blog and link back - 1 entry

Leave a comment here on my blog...yes I love comments and let me know how you are following me. If you are already following me, let me know that too. If you are doing all of them, then you get 6 entries into the drawing. Anonymous entries will not win as I do need to know who you are to get the prize to you. Giveaway will end at 11:00 pm on October 8th and will be announced by 8:00 am PST on October 9th. will be used to pick the winner.

Good luck and be sure to check out my 1000 Markets and ArtFire Studio while you are searching around. All links are provided on the right.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Featured Artist - Little Laura's Sweets

You know I usually feature crafters and artists, but isn't baking a craft or art form? If it isn't it should be. I must be craving something bad for me as I saw these wonderful sweet things and just drooled. I think the chocolate chip brownies are to die for. You can check out Laura's shop on 1000 Markets HERE. Here is a little bit more about Laura.

"I love to bake; I have always loved to bake. I guess growing up with a Danish grandmother was not an accident. There was always something delicious coming out of the oven and when I would get to help it brought me pure joy! It still does. It was then no surprise to anyone that I started working in kitchens. I loved working in sauté or the grill, but I always drawn to the Pastry Kitchen, one day I never left it. That was 15 years ago."

"2 years ago a friend asked me to make her wedding cake, I did and I have never looked back, I left the kitchen and started little laura's sweets. As the seasons change, so will the products since I try to use the best seasonal, organic and local ingredients available."

"If there is something you crave and don't see it, let me know, I will be happy to indulge your craving. -laura"


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