Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Psssssst!!! Want a coupon code?

In honor of the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, I'm offering a coupon code for 20% off your purchase through Monday, November 28 - just enter "turkey2011" at checkout for your discount! This unfortunately does not include custom ornaments like the one below...

But it DOES include everything else, like these earrings!!!

Also, I'm extending the ordering deadline for family ornaments by 1 week, so please get your orders in by December 7 to ensure timely delivery!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

I confess... I'm a DIYer

We're on a tight budget over here right now, with the holidays coming up, but I REALLY wanted a new wreath for the front door this year! I had a nice one that I'd gotten at a craft store a few years ago, but it's kind of bulky, and we really have to push the front door to get it to close fully, since we put the wreath between the wood door, and the storm door.

I kept seeing these really sweet, yarn-wrapped wreaths all over the Internet, so rather than BUY one I thought I'd give making one a try! And the best part is that the materials I used only cost me around $6! I started with a LARGE skein of dark red yarn, and wrapped it all around a Styrofoam wreath form. My son is modeling that part of the project - he thought it looked nice as a necklace.

Then, I made some little felt rosettes out of white felt. I didn't take any pictures of that process, but you can find very easy tutorials all over the Internet for this. You basically cut a circle, and then cut a spiral in the circle, and roll from the outside end. I glued the rosettes on to the wreath. I'd also painted a letter H white, since that's the first letter of our last name, and I attached that too. Have I mentioned that I LOVE my glue gun?

But I wasn't DONE! It really needed some sparkle, so I took some silver and gold "shatter-proof" ornaments, and attached those around the rosettes. If you do this, make sure to remove the tops of the ornaments before you glue them - they adhere better!

And there you have it! My brand new, easy-peasy Christmas wreath! I haven't yet decided how I want to hang it, if I want to use ribbon and a small hook, or hang it from our wreath hanger, but I'll be sure to take a good picture once I have it up on the door. I'm not "allowed" to decorate until Friday, but you can be sure I've been crafting many fun little things!

I'll be back tomorrow, hopefully, with a few pictures of some new things in the shop. I have several custom orders that I'm working on right now, so I'm pretty busy!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Filling the shop for the holidays!

I've been really busy lately, trying to stock the stop with new stuff for the holidays! I really love these two wrap bracelets because of the buttons I made, LOL! I added some macropearl powder to both buttons for some extra shimmer, and in the second bracelet, it mimics the hematite wonderfully!!

I love this little owl... this is a really fun little necklace!

This is one of my favorite things that I've made lately. It was hard to get the proportions right, with all of the large components - each of those nuggets is about an inch long! They are agate, by the way, and are just GORGEOUS! Anyways, this bracelet came about because of that clasp. I was wandering around my local bead store a couple of weeks ago with my mom, and came across this pewter toggle, so I got two of them. The owner of this bead store is really smart - a lot of her displays are stationary, but she takes a lot of products and moves them around the store pretty frequently, so even if a customer walks in, "knowing" where they need to go to find what they think they are looking for, they end up having to look around, and find something new and interesting! And that's how I came across those clasps, LOL!

All of these new things are listed on Etsy. Now that I've gotten all of those projects finished and listed, it's time to start on a personal project. I'm making my 5 year old son a new advent calendar, with bigger pockets for die cast cars. Wish me luck - I'm going to need it!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hanging my head in shame

I'm so BAD! I could give you all of the excuses about how I was sick for most of last month, and then my parents were here... but, I still didn't blog, and I really meant to! So, to make it up to you, I'm going to offer food. Because food makes EVERYTHING better!

A couple of months ago, I came across a cheese soup recipe in a recipe group on Facebook. I really liked the recipe, but it just seemed like a cholesterol and fat bomb, which just doesn't fly in this house. It also included sausage balls as part of the soup, which sounded delicious, until I saw that the recipe called for the balls to be held together with cream cheese AND cheddar. That's a no-go. So I tweaked the recipe, and now I'll share it with you. Please remember that when cooking this, you can really make whatever adjustments you want, as long as it takes good to YOU. It won't hurt my feelings I promise!

This recipe made enough for one dinner, one leftover dinner, and 2 freezer dinners. I used it last night as a base for broccoli cheese soup, so you can pretty much add whatever you like to it!

Cheese Soup

1 small bag carrots
1 medium white onion
4 stalks celery
half head cauliflower (all of these veggies, chopped, made up about 8 cups of veggies)

Saute chopped veggies with about 1 stick of butter (or margarine) until tender.

Add approximately 6 T corn starch, and then blend your veggies.
Add 1.5 C chicken stock and continue to blend veggies until smooth.

Return soup base to pot, and add 4-5 C chicken stock, and 2 C skim milk. Cook over low heat until well blended.

Now, it's time for the cheese! I used 2C shredded sharp cheddar, and between 1 and 2 C Colby Jack cheese. I didn't measure the Co-Jack, because I was just adding until I liked the taste. I recommend you do the same, as you may like your soup more or less cheesy than we do. Cook until nice and melty, and then enjoy!

Also, this soup makes EXCELLENT leftovers. The leftovers are actually better than the first night, LOL!

Oh, and here are some pretty things I've put in the shop recently. I have a lot of different ideas swirling around in my head right now, and just not enough time to do it all. But I'm going to try!