Thursday, December 9, 2010

Just in time for Christmas!

How would you like to win a $250 gift card to Best Buy? You can enter for a chance to win one through one of my favorite blog sites: FarmgirlFare. Check out Susan's blog for more information. Ho! Ho! Ho!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Smitten Kitchen: My Newest Blog Find

I was just Googling "Ricotta Pizza" and came across this great blog, Smitten Kitchen. After reading over Deb's ricotta pizza recipe, I visited the current/main page of the blog and she has a recipe for spaghetti with chickpeas.

After reading her first paragraph I laughed out loud. It's as if I had written this blog entry while thinking of my friend, Daniele. If you are a runner you may like that recipe and any others who like to cook I'm sure will enjoy this blog.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Beads, Leather, Suede, Chain, Cabochons and More!

This past weekend my friend, Daniele, and I took a trip up to Syracuse to go to the Innovative Beads Expo. With Daniele behind the wheel we were guaranteed a wild ride. (Has anyone heard of a "New Jersey sweep"?)

I've pictured the assortment of goodies I purchased. I'm hoping to get creative with these next week! I'm in love with the colors of suede I bought. There was a lot to choose from. I'm also in love with the chain I bought and I'm already wishing I had purchased more as I know part of it will be used for something for me! And what about those large holed beads?! I could have taken some of all they had if it wasn't for the pesky little thing called money.

Before the bead show, we also stopped by
The Salt City Urban Art & Craft Market. This was the second year of the craft market and the organizers had a great collection of artists gathered in a neat old warehouse. I bought a couple of goodies; hand warmers from the Secret Lentil (my son called them hobo gloves but he's 14 and still has to be told when to brush his hair so hardly the one to be giving fashion input), some lavender sachets from Crude Crafts that I plan on using for stocking stuffers, a reusable cookie/treat bag by TerreMum for my other son's lunches and a set of Christmas cards from Pistachio Press that will go to my dog-loving friends.

While at the craft market, we visited with Nancy of RoundRabbit. Hopefully she had a good show even though someone stole one of her rings. (Why are people so crappy sometimes?! If they only knew how much work and time goes into the items people make...)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pick Me!

I had a nice surprise in my e-mail yesterday. It was a note from a fellow etsyan, choosingbeauty, stating that she picked one of my bracelets for her Daydream Believers Treasury. I don't know if it was ever chosen to be on the front page of Etsy (do you ever find out?) but it was nice to be included for this treasury nonetheless. Hope you have some nice surprises coming your way too.

(If you haven't noticed, my shop is seriously depleted - not my inventory - just my shop. Very sad indeed. I hope to have it stocked with some new items soon. I realized last week that the the shop was seriously lacking color with what I had in there. So my goal is to get some color in there!)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Hunting We Will Go...

I'm excited for this weekend! It looks like my sisters and I may actually make it to Bouckville for their HUGE antique show. We went many years ago and when we got there it started lightning so decided to turn around and go home. I hope to find something I can add to my home. Do I need anything?! No, but that's not the point! I love the thrill of the hunt, wondering what some things are and what they were used for and especially finding something that you had totally forgotten about from your childhood. We haven't figured out which day we'll be going. Hopefully there will be no rain or lightning. When I asked my husband, "You didn't want to go, did you?", his reply was, "No, I'd rather have hot needles poked under my fingernails.". I just don't understand. What's wrong with him?!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Vacation in the Adirondacks

Oh, Adirondack chair, do you miss me? I miss you, the smell of the pine trees, the calm water in the morning. Sigh... We had a great couple of weeks at Brantingham Lake which is near my hometown of Lowville (the "Low" part is pronounced like you would pronounce "Cow" which actually makes sense as there are more cows than people there).

My husband, Bob, and I kayaking. (My shoulders were tired!)
The boys both enjoyed tubing. Here's Ethan having a bouncy ride. Thank you Sue and Jeff for taking us out on the lake!
Here is Sean making friends with the local black ducks. (Actually, he was chasing after them with the paddle boat but that doesn't make for such a nice story now does it?) My father was nice enough to buy a paddle boat for all of us to use. The camp we rented the second week was so cute. Just as you would expect an Adirondack camp to be.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Greene's Annual Arts & Crafts Festival

I will be at the Greene's Annual Arts & Crafts Festival again this year. It is next Saturday, July 24th from 9:00AM - 4:00PM. My tent will be in the same place as well. (The map, above, shows a portion of the festival's layout and where I will be located: Booth 206.) I hope to have a flag made for the outside of my tent to make it stand out a little more. We'll see if I actually get that done. As usual, many things to do before next Saturday.

My friend, Daniele, of Thistle Farm will be my neighbor again in booth 207. Keep your fingers crossed for nice weather. Hope to see you there!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Smoke 'em if ya got 'em!

Settle down, I'm talking about ribs. I hate cigarettes! Bleh!! My sons and I got my husband a smoker for Father's Day. Bob finally got his smoker assembled for the 4th of July. We bought hickory chips and two racks of spare ribs for our foray into the smoking world (or into the world of Dinosaur BBQ as Bob would like to believe).

The experiment was a huge success. We debated on a couple of things we might do differently next time. Our house sure smelled like we walked into Dino BBQ and that's a GOOD thing! Next time I think it will be a whole chicken with apple wood chips/smoke. Yum! (I hope...)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

I thought I'd blog some of my favorite quotes from our founding fathers as a reminder of why we, in the U.S., celebrate today. Amazing people who laid down the groundwork for this nation and for those who are now protecting these principles. Thank you to those who are in the armed services, the families of these brave people, our veterans and those who have lost their lives in protecting our freedoms.


It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a Free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defense of it.
George Washington

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
George Washington

Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.
Thomas Jefferson

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
Thomas Jefferson

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing.
Thomas Paine

He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.
Thomas Paine

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.
Benjamin Franklin

Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What's a sundial in the shade?
Benjamin Franklin

(That last quote is for all you talented people out there...)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Many Faces of a Coneflower

While my youngest son and I were waiting for the bus this morning, I noticed the various states of bloom my coneflower was in. None of them are in full bloom quite yet but I think they're beautiful none the less.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Allergies and the Muppets

You might be wondering what in the world do allergies and the Muppets have to do with one another. Take a good look at the guy on the left. This is the way my eyes feel and sort of look like due to my lovely seasonal allergies. Just thought I'd share this and hopefully give you a laugh at the mental image. What is my bag?! That would be eye bags.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Lorelei's Gotta Giveaway!

Lorelei Eurto is having yet another great giveaway on her blog. Visit, leave a comment and you're in for a chance to win some beautiful beads donated by Nan of Spirited Earth!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Little Help Please...

I needed some help with my PMC work and also wanted to learn a couple of new techniques. Who to turn to?! Erin from Dragonfly Beads in Manlius, of course! I've taken a few courses from Erin now and it's always a pleasure to go to her shop and pick her brain. It was her shop that I got all the beautiful turquoise from at a trunk sale she had.

Here is the lentil bead that Erin helped me make. I just finished sanding it this morning. It's so pretty and fun! Now the decision is whether to antique it. I think I will in order to highlight the flowers. I can always sand it all off again (ugh).

What about the ring? Well, I made this a while ago however it looked quite different then. To be frank, it was downright ugly. It had the garnet in the middle but a different surround that I had textured and three round pieces on either side. I had also antiqued it. It looked like some goth piece of poo.

It's not perfect but it is miles better than it was. I talked to Erin at her trunk show about what we could do with it and she gave me a couple of options: add a couple more embellishments or saw off what I didn't like. Guess which option I chose. Erin was too nice to say the original was ugly but I know she was just being nice.

Erin is a great teacher. She taught me a few tricks and made me realize that I knew more about working with PMC than I thought I did. She even asked me if I had bought the ring blank. Nope, made it my very self, first time too. (Yes, that was a very blatant pat on the back.)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

For the Love of Turquoise!

Take a gander at my latest purchases! Aren't these beauties?! I went to a trunk sale yesterday and sold my first born son in order to get these. (Okay, so I exaggerate. It just took my left arm.) A guy from the Southwest stops in at various bead stores, as well as bead shows I believe, and opens up boxes and boxes and boxes of bead strands to sell.

The top left and center picture show all four strands that I bought. Starting with the upper right-hand picture and going clockwise are green pebble/potato turquoise beads I think he said these were from Arizona (it was really hard to keep them all straight as I was asking about a lot of different strands), Kingman turquoise pebbles and a strand of chunky, graduated beads from China. These are unbelievable! They're all about 4-5mm thick and range from 13-21cm wide. I think I'm going to have to sell at least 1/2 of this strand in order to get part of my left arm back. There is also a strand of uniform rondelle/disk beads that are from Arizona and are similar to Carico Lake turquoise (in the picture of all the strands). All of these beads have been stabilized and are natural color!!

This guy was really interesting to talk to. He talked about a mask that had been found in Mexico that contained turquoise from Kingman, AZ. He also told me about some ancient digging sticks found in an unearthed section of the Kingman mine. Truth or lore, who knows. It was entertaining to listen to. Well, that was my adventure for this weekend. Now to make something with all my pretties...

Friday, April 30, 2010

Dino BBQ - Yum!

Last Saturday was my husband's birthday and the one thing he really wanted was to go up to Syracuse for lunch at Dinosaur BBQ. Who was I to refuse such a simple request? Yes, I'd have to choke down some delicious food in a neat restaurant enjoying the company of my family but I was willing to make the sacrifice. So, up to Syracuse we went where we met my sister and father. We had a great lunch and terrific service in a fun atmosphere. If you haven't been able to make it to a Dino BBQ before and you live within driving distance to Syracuse, Rochester or Manhattan, you MUST go. I promise, you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

No Fooling Around This Thursday!

This is one of the latest necklaces I've made and I have a problem with it. I don't know whether to keep it or sell it!! I really like it even though I'm not a huge wearer of necklaces. (I know, what's up with that?! I make jewelry!) It features an adorable letter pendant by Jade Scott.

I also made another necklace featuring an owl pendant by my friend, Daniele, of Thistle Farm. I was going to add a string of chrysoprase chips with some black and brass beads to complement the green glaze on the owl. I held the string of beads I had next to it and really preferred it in this simpler presentation. I'm going to add an extender to this and list it later today.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Sneak Peek...

This sneak peek was supposed to have been posted last night but my computer had other plans. It's still not too cooperative this morning. Anyway, here is what I was working on this week. I finally got some smaller mandrels to fire these filigree beads. The bead on the left has white enamel on it. I think it looks so neat. It reminds me of snowflake obisidian stones. The chartreuse green is one of my favorites too. It's amazing how the enamel changes color in its cooling process. Who thought this bead that was the color of baby poop would turn into this cool shade of green?! The copper headpins were a little tricky. I had made these to use with resin (those will be making an appearance soon) and thought "Why not try some in enamel?". My technique with these needs some refinement. One of them went "Poof!" like I was doing a magic trick.

I'm having a lot of fun with this torch enamel stuff and I'm working on a necklace incorporating one of these filigree beads. Which one of them will I choose? Hmmm...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A challenge?! How dare she?!

My friend, Daniele, of Thistle Farm presented me with a challenge a couple of days ago. Each Thursday, we are to blog about a creative accomplishment we achieved during the week. I agreed. What was I thinking?!

It's 9:15PM and I got nothin'. I know. I know. A very lame start to be sure. I'm hoping to have something to post for tomorrow. I've had many ideas swirling around in my head and it's time to produce these imaginations. This will certainly be a challenge as my desk is covered with new beads, works-in-progress, papers... and that's just the top layer. Also, I'll have the kids and my husband at home as everyone has the day off.

Hopefully tomorrow I will have found my desktop and been able to transform an idea into a lovely piece of jewelry. Thanks for keeping me on my toes!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Is this mine?

Meet one of my four cats, Taz (aka: "Naughty Man", "Bad Boy", "Big Boy Bad Boy" and many other nicknames). He's found a new place to claim as his own. This is a six drawer chest I bought at an auction last week. It has shallow drawers so I was thinking I could use it in my "studio" (which is actually my former living room that was rarely used and now more accurately should be called a drop-off zone). I'm not sure if this will end up being used to help me organize my studio or to help me organize another area of my home but one thing is for sure, Taz and I both like it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Watchya' been doin'?

This is my latest adventure - torch-fired enameling. I had read Barbara Lewis' article in "Belle Armoire Jewelry" and then bought a bead pulling station from her etsy website. On the right are headpins I had made with copper wire that I balled the ends of. From there I heated and added different colors of enamel for this cool layered look. It was a good idea to start with headpins as the beads are a little more tricky. Getting the beads where you need them in the whole process will take a bit more practice but I'm happy with how these first tries turned out. I've been digging through my beads, scrap and anything else I can think of to start throwing them in the flame! Thank you Barbara for my new obsession!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

It's Mardis Gras time! This is the King Cake that my son, Ethan, and I made yesterday. His French class will be celebrating Fat Tuesday today with all kinds of French/New Orleans food. It's the first time I've made one of these. I found this recipe on (although I used a different glaze recipe). There are a bunch of recipes out there but this one had the most flavoring added to it. I have no idea what's traditional.

Here is a picture of some of the steps: raw dough after being braided, baked dough (an egg wash made it shiny - not sure why I did this as it ends up getting covered by the glaze) and the final baked product.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Summers Studio Giveaway!

LeAnn of Summers Studios is giving everyone a chance to win a BOWL FULL OF BEADS! Don't miss out on this opportunity. I know I'm not! Good luck!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

GoD and DoG

My aunt (extreme animal lover) sent me a Windows Media Video from this website. Anyone dog lover/owner will appreciate (and agree with) this. Enjoy! (

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Photos from the Martha Stewart Show

It's almost been a month since I was at the Martha Stewart Show but I didn't get a chance to post these photos until now. Above is the view from our seats. Yes, we got the "back of the bus" seats and were in the last row. Now you know why so many people are looking at the monitors when they go to live shots of the audience. We can't see what's going on!
Here's Martha getting a touch up between segments. (Viewed from a monitor).
Here's one of the audience giveaways for that show. A set of two Riedel Champagne crystal glasses or tumblers. They're so light! Maybe since they're not so tall and not on a stemmed based I will be less likely to knock them over...
I think Martha has a professional photographer take pictures of her with the guests she has each day. This was a shot after the end of the show. From left to right: Bertha Gonzales of Casa Dragones (makes a mucho expensive sipping tequila - sorry no giveaways there!), Bronson Van Wyke (event planner), Emeril Lagasse, Martha Stewart, Danny Meyer (book giveaway "Mix Shake Stir"), and Jen Sgobbo (bartender).