Tuesday, March 31, 2009

We are open!

This teardrop earring is a sample of some of our earrings in our new show. Isn't it great for Easter, Spring, a summer wedding or even the prom? The top is a Swarovski Crystal in Rose and the bottom, though it looks many colors, is a Clear AB Crystal, meaning it is iridescent and picks up and shimmers lots of colors.

My friend, Diane and I have had a jewelry business for almost seven years now. We have taken a little break over the last six months but we both miss creating and spending the time together. Yesterday we were able to load some of our earrings on to our Artfire account. If you get an opportunity, go over and have a look. The link is: http://TogglesandBeads.artfire.com . I will be adding Birthstone Bracelets and other items this week, along with our option to special order Mother and Grandmother bracelets. We are always happy to do special orders and all of our items are made with Swarovski Crystals, Sterling Silver Turkish and Bali Beads.

Tutorial Tuesday

With Easter not far away, I thought a little Easter Birdy would be in order for the day. Mollychicken blog has the cutest Easter birdy tutorial. In the pocket on the front of the little chicken is an egg. When you remove the egg, a baby chick is inside the egg, tucked away in a little pocket. This is so adorable and I plan to make one of these sweet little Easter chickies for my niece to tuck in to her Easter basket. Following is the link to the tutorial. She has lots of cute pictures and the pattern pieces you can easily print off.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Little Something Extra

I decided to add little something extra on my envelope that will be enclosed in the package for the Bend the Rules Swap. Using the Amy Butler Daisy Chain, I made my partner her own little daisy by making a fabric yo-yo and covering a button with the contrast fabric. I think it turned out really cute and finishes my package completely.

Bend the Rules Swap

I am a big fan of Amy Butler and her fabric line. Two weeks ago I purchased a yard of each from the Daisy Chain line. The fabric names are Sweet Jasmine/Navy and Daisy Bright/Turquoise. When I saw them I knew they would be perfect for the Bend The Rules Swap I joined. We are to make the Charmed Handbag in the book, Bend the Rules by Amy Karol. The Sweet Jasmine was used for the outher bag and I used Daisy Bright for the lining, handles and ribbon and button accent. For my added gift, I made the Lazy Girls Wonder Wallet pattern with the same combinations of fabric and accenting with a covered button. I really like the duo and think it will make my swap partner a great summer bag and wallet.
I had not made this bag before but found it easy to understand and put together. I had only one issue and the original printing of the book left out the measurements for the handles and the handle casing. I found a flickr site designated just for this book and the author answers questions and these had already been addressed.

New Amy Butler Fabric

Recipe Monday

Living in South Carolina, one of the traditional dishes in our state, albeit a bit closer to the coast than we are, is Low Country Boil. In some areas it may be called Frogmore Stew or Shrimp Boil but here it is Low Country Boil and we love it. In fact, we made it for our care group luncheon yesterday. All you need to serve with it is some hot crusty French Bread and a salad, which is what we had. Delicious!

Low Country Boil

Large stock pot
Old Bay Seasoning - 2 teaspoons per quart of water
12 (or 2-3 per person) red new potatoes
6 4-inch pieces smoked link sausage (we use Oscar Myer Smoked Turkey Sausage - it cuts way down on the fat but still taste delicious)
6 ears of fresh or frozen corn
3 pounds of shrimp (around 26-30 pcs. per pound) - the recipe calls for unpeeled fresh shrimp. If we use fresh, Stan wants them peeled and deveined but with the tails on and if we use frozen, we buy uncooked deveined and peeled with tail on.

Fill a large pot with enough water to cover all ingredients. Add Old Bay and heat until boiling. Adjust crab boil to suit your taste. When boiling, add potatoes and sausage. Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Add corn and cook for time more minutes. Add shrimp and cook for no more than three minutes (do not overcook the shrimp or it will get a rubbery consistency). Drain and serve with hot crusty bread, drawn butter and a good spicy cocktail sauce.

The traditional way of serving this is to spread newspaper on a long table, drain and pour down the center of the table. Each person eats what is in front of them at the table. Now plates needed. However, I am a germaphobe and will not ever want to do this. :)

I am sad I did not take pictures yesterday while cooking but with 8 people in the house, I was preoccupied and busy! It was great!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Toggles and Beads

My friend Diane and I have had a home-based jewelry business, Toggle and Beads, for 7 years. After finding ArtFire.com and being so happy with it, Diane and I have decided to add our jewelry business on there as I well. I will be listed in two businesses! Does that make me a true entrepreneur? We will be busy Monday afternoon taking pictures and listing our jewelry. Stop by and give us a look.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

We have a name!

My good friend Connie and I have settled on a business name for our online shops. It is SeWhatInc. We are listed, with no merchandise but it is coming soon, on ArtFire.com and on Etsy.com. Both of these companies are for handmade vendors, artist, etc., for suppliers for those artist and for some vintage items. I love both sites and look forward to working with them. Connie and I are very excited and we hope you will stop by the shops after next Wednesday (the day of loading and setting up all the items) and tell us what you think. We are definitely open to constructive criticism.

Thanks to all our encouragers, especially my wonderful friend, Kelli of http://joy-kelli.blogspot.com/. She has a little thank you coming her way. She is a true and faithful blog and life encourager and I love her dearly. Stop by her blog and see why Joy is her blog's name. You will not be disappointed.

What am I doing?

I am still without a camera! My hands feel empty and how can I post without pictures? The battery charger is ordered and is supposed to be delivered tomorrow! Woohoo! It will immediately be put to good use.

A friend and I are getting ready to open an online store and we are struggling with a name for it. We don't want to get too cutesy or get pigeon-holed into one particular craft. She offers some, I offer some, we search and find our favorites are already in use. We go back to our lists. I know we will land on the perfect name but the process is becoming very frustrating. I am praying for patience and insight. :) We have worked up a lot of stock and we have one great idea for summer! Hopefully people will love the idea as much as we do.

I signed up a while back to participate in a Bend the Rules bag swap and a Spring Swap. If I had my camera, there would be pictures of fabric for both swaps. I am using Amy Butler fabric for the BTRS and a bright, paisley and strip from Brother and Sister Designs for the Spring Swap. I have cut the fabric and am sitting down today to sew. Pictures to come!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday

Fabric Flower Tutorial

Sew Ritzy~Titzy has a free flower tutorial that I just love. I can see this used on many items and not only on a pocket book. With differnet fabric choices, wouldn't this pretty flower be lovely as a corsage for a bridal or baby shower or even pinned to the front of a cardigan sweater? Even a smaller version as a pony tail holder would be great. I have so many fabric ideas for this little flower! It says SPRING to me!

Dawn, Sew Ritzy~Titzy blogger, has given me permission to use her actual photo, as my camera battery is dead and we are awaiting the arrival of the new charger that I ordered.

Follow this link for the free tutorial.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Recipe Monday

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

This is one of my families favorite muffins. They are moist and delicious and low-fat.

1 box Duncan Hines Spice Cake Mix
1 15 ounce can Pumpkin
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Put the pumpkin in a large mixing bowl, add the cake mix slowly so that it mixes well. Then fold the chips into the batter. Use an ice cream scoop to spoon into muffin tins. Makes 12 -18 muffins, depending on size of muffin tin. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-21 minutes. We love these for breakfast, snacks, etc. I especially love one in the afternoon with a hot cup of tea. Yummy.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday What?

Cory, Leah, Hanna (our baby) and Chase.
My husband and I went to see our daugther over the weekend to celebrate her 20th birthday party. We decided to camp at James Island County Park. It is a wonderfully maintained campground tucked up into the woods with a private lake, walking trails, etc. It even has a small waterpark in the summer. On Saturday night we cooked dinner for Hanna and 3 of her friends. We decorated with birthday streamers and lights and had a party at the campsite. We had a great time sitting around the campfire, talking and getting to know her friends better. The food was fabulous but I am not surprised. My hubby is a great camp chef. The guys were so excited about the food that they had three helpings! Hanna had requested a Peanut Butter Fudge Cheesecake for her birthday instead of a traditional cake. I was a bit concerned about making it at home, traveling it in a cooler for three hours and then not eating it for another 24 hours but it turned out great and did taste wonderful.

I have lost the camera battery charger! I haven't seen it since we returned from our trip to Hilton Head Island. Oh no...I called the condo unit but no one turned it in and now our battery is deader than a doornail. (the picture above is the last the camera will take until charged) So, late night shopping online found the name brand charger cost $89.00! Not what I was expecting! I kept shopping and found a universal charger that will work for $18.00 plus shipping. Well, that is much better. I have emailed all the info to dear hubby in hopes we will get that ordered today. I just can't be without the camera! I go in to withdrawal.

We have been having trouble with our cable. Some of our HD channels keep going in and out and any channel that is not HD is fuzzy. I called and have someone coming today to work on it. Knowing I was handling that yesterday, hubby called from work and said, "Hey, see if you can get our bill down some." Our cable and Internet service is combined and cost an average of 190.00 plus a month. Eeek. I ask, what can we do to get our bill reduced? The answer, "You can add a phone!" Add a phone? We don't need a phone. We use our cells. Plus we don't need to add a service, we are trying to reduce our bill not add to it. Answer, "This will reduce your bill to $149.00 to have a trio bundle." Bring on the phone. They come next week to hook the box. Stan says we will not even put a phone to it but just reap the reductions. Go figure! To reduce our bill we have to add a service! I will never understand how this type thing works!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday

Cluck Cluck Sew has a free tutorial for a changing pad and wipes holder. It makes up easy and is easily adjustable for your own creative ideas. This is my version. I wanted to use patchwork with three coordinating fabrics for a boy. I was happy with how it worked up and the tutorial is very user friendly. After finishing this and gifting it, I wish I had monogrammed baby's name on the outside cover. When the pad is folded, there is a perfect spot for a name. I am hoping to make another pad this week for a baby shower on Saturday. Enjoy!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Recipe Monday

I would love to have pictures of items needed and the finished product however, it's not only Monday but a Monday following a weekend out of town and getting back too late to get much of anything done because I was just too tired. Then when I sat down at the desk this morning, I looked at my calendar and realize I have a doctor's appointment for a checkup! Eeek! I thought it was tomorrow! Oh well...here is one of our family favorite recipes. It is easy and filling and is wonderful served with a green salad or fruit salad and you have a great meal. Hope you enjoy!

Chicken Pot Pie (or if vegetarian omit chicken and have Veggie Pot Pie)

3 boneless skinless chicken boiled and cut into bite-size pieces (hint - I never use a knife to cut meat in the kitchen but instead use my kitchen shears)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup - I use 98% fat-free
1/2 a can (using soup can) of milk
1 can of Veg-All drained (you can use any veggie, fresh, frozen or canned but pre-cook)

Mix together and pour into a sprayed casserole dish.

Crust: Mix 1 cup self-rising flour, 1 cup milk, 1 stick of butter, melted. Pour over casserole. Bake on 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until light golden brown.

Friday, March 13, 2009

My baby turned 20 today!

This is my baby, Hanna. She turned 20 today and I can hardly believe it. The years have flown by. I have loved every stage she and her brother, Cody, have been in. From a baby through teen and now both in their twenties, I have found joy in who they were and are in the moment. Stan and I have been so blessed to have two wonderful kids. And now we are blessed to have two wonderful adult children and to be able to call them our friends is a blessing of its own. Happy Birthday my darling Hanna! May God be at the center of your life and may He bless you today and each day of your life as you walk in His path. I love you!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fat Quarter Swap

I participated in my first online swap. It was a Fat Quarter swap over at www.SewMamaSew.com/blog2. I signed up for the swap and was assigned four others to swap with. I went to the local quilt store, Inman Quilt Cottage, and bought four of the new Heather Bailey fat quarters and mailed them out before I left for vacation. When we got home, I had four packages waiting for me! It was like my birthday all over again. This is a picture of the fabric I recieved. As you can see, I had a few extra goodies added in with the fabric. None of us knew what we favored toward colors, etc. and all these fabrics had pink and the fat quarters I mailed were pink and green on a white background. I believe we were all thinking Spring! I had such a good experience that I have now signed up for two other swaps. I will keep you posted on how those turn out.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday

I made this Rice Heat Bag for a friend of mine. Not only is the bag functional, it is pretty too. I used the following free tutorial. Along with this bag is a smaller bag and an eye bag. I did not use any scented oils because so many people are sensitive to any scent. I used a muslin bag inside and sewed it all around. The outer bag has a velcro end. This allows the inner bag to be removed to heat in the microwave and also allows the outer bag to be washed and dried. They work great as a foot warmer on cold nights too. :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Recipe Monday


Two 10-ounce or four 5-ounce cans chunk chicken, drained
3/4 cup Louisiana hot sauce (I use Texas Pete)
Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, cubed
1 cup bottled ranch-style salad dressing
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
1 bunch celery, washed, trimmed and cut into sticks
(I buy pre-washed and also include carrots - as my husband does not eat celery)
Crackers and/or chips

In a Dutch oven or a heavy pot over medium heat, combine the chicken and hot sauce. Stir in cream cheese and salad dressing and heat until cream cheese melts. Mix in half of the Cheddar cheese. (If using a slow cooker, transfer mixture to the cooker and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Cover and cook until bubbly.)

Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, cover and cook on low heat until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Serve with cut celery and/or carrots and crackers and/or chips.

I cooked the dip in a deep, large non-stick skillet. Here is a picture of the finished dip before putting it in a serving dish. It is very delicious.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Family Week in Hilton Head Island, SC

Each year our family, my mom, sister and her family and Stan and I, all head to Hilton Head Island, SC for a week. We have two condos and spend some of each day together, usually eating at least one meal together each day. It is a great place to relax, the beaches are beautiful and it is the week before college spring break starts, so it is very peaceful. It is also the week of my birthday and the anniversary of the death of my dad. Philip, my dad, passed away on the morning of my birthday five year ago on February 26. We, as a family, decided to spend that week each year together, as long as it is possible. That anniversary is easier when we are all together away from our daily lives and it makes my birthday seem unrelated. We still miss my dad every day but we know he is no longer having to fight the terrible battle of cancer but is instead living in the presence of our King. Now that is something to celebrate!

Hanna and friends

Our daughter, Hanna, in the center and her friends, Leah and Kevin, came down to Hilton Head for the weekend from Charleston, SC. Hanna and Leah are students at the College of Charleston.

Day cruise from HHI, SC to Savannah, GA

Stan and I enjoyed the sunshine on the top level of the boat.

It's my birthday!

My mom, sister and brother-in-law gave Stan and me a day cruise from Hilton Head Island, SC to Savannah, GA for my birthday. It was a special Paula Deen cruise. We boarded early Thursday morning in Harbour Town Marina. This picture is us on the banks of the river in Savannah. We took a bus tour through the city making several stops. We ended up at Uncle Bubba's restaurant for a late lunch and then back to the riverfront to catch our boat back to Hilton Head Island.

Uncle Bubba and Me

I met Uncle Bubba, Paula Deen's brother, ate at his restaurant and had my cookbook signed. The food was delicious and he was very gracious, in an "Uncle Bubba" sort of way. :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wednesday Thoughts

I have a friend in ICU and he is only 30. I have a friend fighting for our freedom in Iraq. I have a friend who continues to adjust to life after loosing her husband in an accident. I have a sister who is awaiting a court date to know if their adoption appeal will be accepted. I have a friend struggling daily with cancer. I have so many others in my life having daily struggles. And yet, I find myself focusing on me and what I want, little things that really do not matter. I pray today for God to "turn my eyes from worthless things..." (Psalm 119:37a.) and to help me to love the Lord with all my heart, soul and mind and to love others. (Matthew 22:37-39)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday

I have decided to post a favorite, free tutorial each Tuesday. The tutorials will be sewing or craft related. This Tuesday is from one of my favorite blogs, Allsorts. Her blog is so colorful and it makes me happy to visit. The Criss-Cross Coaster tutorial is great for beginners. I have made several sets of these for giifts. You just slide a stem ware glass bottom into the middle open seam for a substitute of wine glass charms. Adorable! The links is here:


Once you have checked out her Criss-Cross Coaster tutorial, check out her new pictures of her studio on the main page. It will definitely inspire you.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Recipe Monday

I have decided to post a favorite recipe each Monday. This week I will start with one of my husband's favorite soups, Vegetable Beef Soup. I was given this recipe by my friend, Rita. With the cold, snowy weather yesterday, this is what Stan requested. It is also low in fat and delicious.


Boil and drain 1-2 pounds of ground chuck or brown 2 pounds of stew meat in olive oil. Place in large pot.

Add to large stock pot:
1 46 ounce V-8 juice
1 can beef broth (I use low-fat, low-sodium)
2 cans Progesso Hearty Tomato Soup
1 can drained, diced tomatoes
1 tsp. or more minced onion (my family likes onion so we always go with more)
Veggies of your choice - potatoes, butter beans, corn, okra, peas, carrots, etc. Use fresh or frozen veggies and not canned.
I also put a teaspoon of sugar to cut the acid of the tomatoes.

Cook until potatoes are tender and veggies are done. This makes a huge pot of soup. I freeze half immediately and I have a meal to take someone in need or for a busy night where you need a quick dinner. This has a wonderful flavor and it is low in fat and nutritious. I serve with crackers or cornbread.

This is the view this morning as I looked out my back door. Stunning.

Sunburn and Snow

Stan and I have been in Hilton Head Island, SC for the last week. This is a shot taken from our balcony on the second morning there just after sunrise. Beautiful! We had a wonderful time. We came home with rosy cheeks and sunburned shoulders to SNOW! That's right. I just can't believe we have all this snow. What a body shock. In it's own way, it is so beautiful but I will always prefer the warm sandy beaches and the roar of the Atlantic crashing onshore.