Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Weekly BESTeam Feature

When I first looked into this shop, I wondered what was all the fuss about these vinyl decals, then I couldn't stop imagining all the creative uses for them-DUH!

The artful staging of products is something we can all learn to improve upon. OffTheWallExpressions does it in a fabulous way! I urge you to take a look at how they present their items for sale-each one gives you an example of how you could use it in your home or business.

Take this image for example, if you sold coffees or coffee related products you could use this to create a display for your products.

Now take a look at this example, how fun would this be at a wedding:
Chalkboard decals  Can you imagine having your guests write up their thoughts, having them photographed and compiled into an album-what a great way to preserve memories of any special day. If you are the photographer, this would be a great addition to your repetoire of items! I could imagine this set up being used at birthdays, anniverseries,  just about any get togethers. If you're planning a family reunion or graduation this may be a great thing to do!

Their Vintage Style Chalkboard Square has been featured on "Good Morning America"!

How exciting! I can see why they have been "discovered."

Do you want to know more about OffTheWall Expressions?

You can follow them on Facebook:

or at their blog:

The more I looked at this show the more my creative juices started flowing! Go take a look for yourself-and please let me know what you think! I'd love to hear more creative ways you would use their products.

I really hope that you are enjoying being introduced to my new BESTeam members. I am enjoying exploring their shops and bring them you!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Weekly BESTeam Feature


Don't you love peeking into other peoples shops? It's like opening up a door and finding all sorts of new treasures and ideas. You have to drop by loveelycia's shop on Etsy! It's so fresh and exciting. How she  photographs her items are absolutely fun!
Here's some of the places you can find her:

In describing her work she says, "I keep thinking of so many cute things to make, i can't keep them all for myself. I am an only child so I'm not very good at sharing, but I will try my best."

I love this Pick Me Guitar Purse that I found in her shop:

So, go take a look...and be prepared to have some fun!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Weekly BESTeam feature


This week I'm featuring the shop SugarPineBoutique. Haven't you just opened the door to a shop and just stopped in the doorway and taken a deep breathe. Hmmmmm.....I can just smell the wonderful scents that I find here!

Take a look at this lovely Soap Gift Set.

Two soaps have been combined to create a neat gift pack for your favorite friend or relative. Not only are you getting 2 hand-crafted soaps, but also a bath accessory made of aloo. Aloo comes from a nettle-like plant in the Himalayan Mountains that is harvested and spun into yarn. It is eco-friendly, sustainable and makes an excellent exfoliatant. The gift 'box' is constructed from soft flannel and recycled vinyl or remnants.

Soaps in this pack:

Calm Citrus
Ingredients: coconut, palm, canola and almond oils, lye, water and orange, lemon, tangerine and grapefruit essential oil.

Banana Bread
Ingredients: olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, cottonseed oil,soybean oil, sunflower oil, lye, water, oatmeal, honey and fragrance oil.

Don't they sound good enough to eat! And, these come tucked inside a washcloth.  Wouldn't this make a lovely gift for mom-or yourself!

Who wouldn't want this Lavender Eye Pillow? Filled with lavender and lentils, you just pop this into the fridge to get it nice and cool. This will help calm and soothe those tired eyes, great for this time of year with all the pollen in the air! What a pretty pouch this comes in!

You can also follow her blog here.

I hope you'll visit these shops, and let me know what you find!

Until later,

Tight Lines!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Weekly BESTeam feature


This weeks featured BESTeam member is ConduitPress. When I first looked into this shop, I found some wonderful items.
Take a look at this Rustic Brown Leather Journal that I found.

Here is her description-This is a soft cover light brown leather journal bound with a brown linen thread using the long stitch method. This type of stitching allows the book to lie flat when in use. Leather is upcycled great quality upholstery leather with a beautiful suede on the inside. There is a sweet little swirly tree burned into the cover of this one of a kind journal. Inside pages are hand torn acid free 100lb true white paper.

I've always wanted to keep a journal-something I could pass on. This would make a wonderful gift for someone special.

The more I looked around, the more I found!

Take a look at this Hollowed Book Safe . It's one of many in her shop.

Great for storing your family jewels...what no family jewels? This would still be great looking on your bookshelf. Imagine leaving a little note to your loved one and having him find it!

I hope you enjoy the shops that I am bringing to you. Please share your thoughts and comments. I'd love to know what you think about them and if  I sparked your imagination!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

My Traditional Polish Easter Basket

A Traditional Polish Swieconka Easter Basket
I thought I would share with you some of my favorite Polish Easter holiday traditions and foods. One of my favorite times of the year is the Easter season. I look forward to having "Polish Easter Soup" all year!

Traditionally we would prepare the Easter Basket on Saturday morning and take it to church to have the foods blessed. These foods would not be eaten until Easter morning. The origins of preparing the basket comes from medieval times.The blessing of the basket was meant to insure that there would be sufficient provisions for your family in the upcoming year. The Polish traditions have roots in the foods found in the Passover meal; lamb,bread, wine and bitter herbs.

Here's what's in my basket:
Maslo/Butter: Shaped into the form of a lamb. The Paschal Lamb reminds us the goodness of Christ that  we should have towards all things. Jesus is our Paschal {Passover} lamb, by whose blood we are saved.

Chleb/Easter Bread: A round rye loaf of bread, often topped with the shape of a cross. Symbolic of Jesus, the Bread of  Everlasting Life.

Chrzan/Horseradish: Symbolic of the Passion of Christ. May be white or red (with beets).It reminds us of the bitter herbs in the Passover meal, which symbolizes the harshness of life.

Jajka/Eggs: Indicates new life and Christ's Resurrection from the Tomb.Easter eggs are the crowning touch of the Easter basket. Intricate and elaborate designs show the creativity of the maker. Polish Easter eggs can be decorated with intricate beeswax designs or religious inscriptions, pisanki, painted, malowanki, , or colored with natural dyes, called kraszanki. Egg decoration is an art form in Slavic cultures. Pisanki is a method known to have been used in Poland since the 10th century. The Easter eggs, duck or chicken, were washed. Then artists used a wax stylus to inscribe an Easter greeting or Easter symbols on the eggs before boiling. The wax was removed only after coloring the egg, leaving an elaborate pattern or script visible on the shell.Painted eggs are also popular in Poland. The malowanki, vibrant with the colors of spring, are often intended for gifts and not consumption. The naturally dyed eggs, called Kraszanki, are often dyed with onion skins or beet skins. Just as a chick breaks out of the shell,  Jesus emerged from the tomb Easter morning.

Szynka/Ham: At the time of Jesus, following Jewish law,pork was a forbidden meat to eat. Ham celebrates the freedom of the New Law which came into effect through Jesus' resurrection.

Kielbasa/Polish Sausage: This spicy mixture of coarse pieces of pork products, reminds us on God's favor and generosity. The links of the sausage remind us of the chains of death that work broken by the resurrection of  Jesus, and the chains that bind us as a family.

Slonina/Smoked Bacon: A symbol of the over abundance of God's mercy and generosity. In our family we traditionally use a piece of salt pork.

Sol/Salt: A necessary element in our physical life, that Jesus used it symbolism; "You are the salt of the Earth."

Ser/Cheese: The Farmers' cheese we use is a salted white cheese-made from milk, salt and soured, then pressed thru a cheesecloth to form a small slab of cheese. This fresh cheese symbolizes  the moderation that Christians should have.

I also use a sprig of boxwood to decorate my basket, In Poland, on Palm Sunday,  Christians would bring boxwood sprigs and pussy willow to be blessed, as Palms would not naturally be found in Poland.

I also include some sweets in my basket, more traditionally, a small yeast cake called a babka, would be served as part of the Easter meal.

Easter Soup:
Bialy barszcz/White Borscht recipe:
2 links smoked Polish sausage (Kielbasa)
2c sour cream
2 eggs-slightly beaten
2-3 Tablespoons white flour
White Vinegar

Soup Additions:
Cubed kielbasa, ham and saltpork
Cubed Farmers Cheese
Cubed Rye bread-light and dark
Hard boiled eggs-diced
White or red horseradish

To make the soup:

In a large pot cover the links of kielbasa with water. Cook on low simmer about 1 hour, piercing the skins of the kielbasa to release the juices.  I simmer my salt pork at the same time in the same water. Remove the meats. Reserve the stock. The Borscht is made from the stock from the meats. In a bowl slight beat the eggs, sour cream and flour. Blend about 1 cup of the warm stock with the sour cream and egg mixture, this will temper the mixture to help prevent curdling. Blend the stock and sour cream mixture back into the stock, bring to simmer-do not boil-to prevent curdling! Add vinegar to taste-I add about 6-8 Tablespoons of white vinegar-tasting after each addition until the soup is slightly tart..

Serve this soup over the additions-and add a bit of horseradish to taste
Years ago, my daughter one day in the middle of summer, asked me if I could make her Easter soup! I think my jaw hit the floor-In all my years I had never had Easter soup at any time of the year except for Easter! I would have never asked my mother to make it at any other time of the year-it was that special to us! But now occasionally I'll make it for her, and it's every bit as special to us no matter when we serve it. Sometimes, it's just good to get back to the traditions that make each one of our families special, and to remember our roots.

I hope you will share some of your comments with me. WesoĊ‚ego Alleluja!