Sunday, January 30, 2011

One World, One Heart 2011 - Giveaway Announcement

As I mentioned previously, One World One Heart (OWOH) is back for it's 5th and final year.  I have really enjoyed participating in this awesome event for the past 4 years.  I have met some wonderful bloggers, crafters and artists from all over the world while participating in this event.  OWOH was started by Lisa Swifka as a way of uniting bloggers from all over the world.    To enter OWOH as a participant, please click on the picture.  For a list of participants, click here.

This year, I will be giving away prize packages to 3 lucky winners.  All you have to do to be entered in the drawing is leave a comment on this post by February 17, 2010.  I will close the comments at 6:00 a.m. (Central time) on that day.  The three winners will be selected by a random number generator.

And now, without further adieu, here are the handmade prizes I will be giving away:

FIRST PRIZE - "Cool Blues" Jewelry package consisting of:

A groovy repurposed necklace made from vintage enamel brooches.

 A handmade bathing beauty polymer clay brooch and a beaded bauble ring.

SECOND PRIZE - "Spring Splendor" package consisting of:

A vintage Easter altered trading card (ATC), a polymer clay angel brooch with lampwork beaded dangles and polymer clay china doll head earrings.

THIRD PRIZE -  "Heavenly Inspirations" package consisting of:

A polymer clay angel brooch, polymer clay Virgin Mary earrings and Virgin Mary heart-shaped earrings.

 I look forward to hearing from you again (if you have visited me before) or meeting you if it's the first time you've stopped by.  Best of luck!

(PLEASE NOTE:  If you are reading this on The Hive or on Facebook, you must visit my actual blog to enter the drawing.)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

On a Bracelet Making Roll This Week

I love making charm bracelets.  If you are familiar with my work, then you know my favorite art subject is the Virgin Mary and Catholic saints.  I incorporate them into most all of my work, regardless of what it is.  I also love making holiday-related jewelry items.  Here's a sampling of a few of the bracelets I made this week:

Catholic Saints (Tons of Pearls) Bracelet

Frosted Cookie Hearts Charm Bracelet - Version 1

Recycled Dominoes Easter Bracelet

Valentine's Day Bangle Bracelet - Version 1

Valentine's Day Bangle Bracelet - Version 2

Folk Art Virgin Mary Charm Bracelet - Bronze and Black

Folk Art Virgin Mary Charm Bracelet - Shades of Gold

Vintage Valentine Recycled Domino Bracelet  

Whenever someone asks me how long it took me to make one of these, I honestly can't give them an answer.  The truth is, I work on several at one time.  I usually start by putting the focal charms on the bracelets first, and then I embellish with pearls, beads and other smaller charms.  I've posted all of this week's bracelets to both my EBay and ETSY stores, if you want to see all of my recent bracelet creations (including detail pics).

Monday, January 24, 2011

One World, One Heart 2011 - The Fifth and Final Year

It's hard to believe it's that time of year again - ONE WORLD, ONE HEART 2011 (created by Lisa of "A Whimsical Bohemian" ) is almost here.   For more more information, please click on the photo in this post or on the sidebar of your screen. :)  I'm giving away several prizes this year... Stay tuned for more details...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Beefy Vegetable Rice Soup

I'm a huge fan of homemade soups and stews during the winter time.  I made this hearty recipe today using leftover rump roast and ingredients I already had in my refrigerator.  It's super healthy, too at only 142 calories per cup and 3 grams of fat.  Enjoy!


* Water, 10 cups
*Beef boullion cubes, 6 cubes
* Garlic cloves, 3, chopped
* White Rice, long grain, 1 cup uncooked
* Celery, raw, 2 large stalks, cut into 1/2" slices
* Onions, raw, 1 medium, diced
* Carrots, raw, 1 cup, chopped
*Potato, raw, 2 cup diced
* Beef Bottom Sirloin Butt Roast, cooked and shredded, 2 cups (about 12 oz)
* Black pepper, 1 teaspoon

Put all ingredients into large pot, except for beef and black pepper. Bring to boiling over medium high heat, then reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Stir in beef and black pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Makes 10 - 1 cup servings.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year! Here's to New Beginnings!

Happy New Year, Everyone!  Our New Year's Eve started off with a bang - literally.  At 6:00 a.m., the local news warned people in my neighboring communities to take cover because of  impending tornadoes that were expected to touch down.  My oldest son - who was in nearby Rogers - awoke to to the sound of tornado sirens.  Thankfully, we are all alright, but unfortunately, several houses were leveled and three people lost their lives.  My heart goes out to those poor families who lost their loved ones and their homes to this devastating incident.

Last year at this time, I made the first New Year's resolution that I ever stuck with and was quite successful at it.  I vowed to eat healthier and lose weight.  And, when I say weight, I'm not talking just a few extra pounds.  I lost a total of 92 pounds last year and am now currently more than halfway to my weight loss goal.  I have to give credit to a program I discovered from a Facebook friend for my success.  That program is called "SparkPeople" and it's absolutely wonderful.   You can eat like a "normal" person which means you don't have to deprive yourself when going out to restaurants or eating with the family.  I highly recommend it for everyone who wants to shed a few (or a lot) of pounds.  I've dieted my entire life and I've tried every program out there, but this is the one that really WORKS.  Listen, if I can do it for an entire year, that says a lot.  :)

"Before" pic (yuck)

After losing 92 pounds - halfway to goal!

After much thought, I've decided to reduce the inventory in my EBay store and move a bulk of my handmade items to ETSY.   During the months of January and February, I will be making the transition.   Don't get me wrong - I'll still be selling on EBay, too - but on a smaller level.  In order to help reduce the inventory there, many items will be on sale in my EBay store.  ETSY customers can also save during this transition by using coupon code "WELCOME" to save 20% on their entire purchase.   In addition, in the very near future, my daughter, Brianna and I will be selling our homemade candy and cookies on ETSY.  Each year, around the holidays, we always make lots of sweets.  We've had many suggestions from people to market our sweets - so why not?  We will highlight our tried and true buttery caramels, English almond toffee and Scandinavian almond cookies (to name just a few).  All of our homemade sweets contain quality ingredients such as real cream butter.  (No margarine used here!)  Please stay tuned for details....

Buttery soft caramels

English almond toffee

I hope this New Year brings lots of love, laughter and the things that are truly important to everyone this year.

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