Sunday, January 31, 2010

Crazy for you Valentines Sale

Want a little fun just before Valentines Day? Join 200 Etsy shops that are having special Valentines Day Sales! We have a special Facebook fan page. We're having special sales February 1st-8th! What's going to be on sale in my shop? Well I'm offering crazy shipping rates on some of my items and If you look in the Valentines Day Section each day there is going to be a CRAZY sale on one of the items listed there each day. Hmmm... Here's one of my latest listings: Can you believe they're made with Hammered Copper Fishing Spinner Blades!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

I just made some chicken noodle soup and my daughters friend said it was even better than her grandmothers. Don’t you just love sharing some comfort food with your family. Chicken noodle soup reminds me of my Busia’s kitchen in Detroit, Michigan when I was growing up. Almost nothing makes me feel better on a dreary winter day when I’m not feeling well as a bowl of steaming hot chicken soup.

chickensoup2 Here’s my recipe…I Hope you’ll enjoy making your family a nice pot of chicken noodle soup soon.

Ingredients:

  • Whole frying chicken cut-up
  • 1 T olive or salad oil
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 bunch carrots (about 4-6)
  • 2-3 parsnips
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Dried parsley flakes
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Egg Noodles-you can use fine(like the picture) or kluski noodles

Prepare the stock:

In a large stock pot, on medium-high heat, add the oil and chicken. I like to leave the skin on the chicken and brown in slightly-It will add a little more flavor and color to your finished stock. After your chicken is slightly browned, add the tops of your celery stalks-leaves and all! Dice 1 of your onions, add 2-3 chopped carrots, the bay leaves and cover with about 8 cups of water. Cover and let simmer about 1 hour until the chicken is tender . At this point, remove from heat, strain the stock and discard the vegetables. Let the chicken cool and remove the chicken from the bones. If you want to discard the chicken skin-now’s to the time to do it. I personally like the leaving the skin off.

Now for the soup:

In your large stock pot, combine the stock, the chicken you pulled off the bone-chopped into pieces, the remaining carrots, celery, onions and parsnips all chopped coarsely. Add about 1T parsley flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer about 20 minutes-until the vegetables are tender-but not mushy.

While the soup is simmering-cook the egg noodles according to the package directions.

When the noodle are cooked, add to soup.

Now sit down and enjoy a nice warm bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup!

chickensoup4

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I got a Treasury tonight!

Some time you're in the right place at the right time. I sat down just to check into my shop tonight, when I clicked over to the Treasury page-and it was at 333! Within seconds it opened up and I got a Treasury! I usually have a poster sketch or two saved-just in case! So I thought I'd use this one: For the birds.Show all Check it out and let me know what you think!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hearts for Haiti

When disasters strike, our true convictions and compassion for others show.
How can you heart not be torn by the images you have been seeing about the devastation in Haiti? What can you do as an individual? Make a donation to one of your favorite charities-perhaps. For those of you who have shops on Etsy there is another option, perhaps you can donate an item to HeartsforHaiti.

HeartsforHaiti's Shop Announcement

This is an Etsy collective of donated items from hundreds of Etsy shops to raise money to rebuild Haiti. 100% of the proceeds from this shop (minus Etsy fees and Paypal fees) go directly to DoctorsWithoutBorders (http://doctorswithoutborders.org ) in bi-monthly increments. This shop has permission to use the DoctorsWithoutBorders name and a separate bank account and Paypal account have been opened to maintain the integrity of this shop. Items have been donated from many individual shops; each shop has included their particulars ( country, shipping time) in each listing. All items include seller-donated free shipping (most worldwide, see individual listing) because the need is SO great, we want you to buy and help support Etsians helping Haiti. The theme for the next few weeks is on heart items but we have more than just that. Please browse our sections to the right and know that your purchase in this shop not only gets you a great Etsy item but it also helps alleviate the needs in Haiti through donations to DoctorsWithoutBorders (MedicinesSansFrontirs ). If you can, donate something. There are links to how to donate at the shop or in the forums. Or, go check out the shop. There are many wonderful items for sale there. I have posted this Tigers Eye Pendant Necklace.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I am Thankful for...

One of the things I am grateful for is all the wonderful fellow artisans and bloggers that I follow. I found this on Audrey's Country Crafts blog today. I thought I would share it with you and ask you to add your own line about what you're thankful for. I added the line about those in military service in honor of my son Nathan. Yesterday he finished his four year commitment to the Marines. Through the 4 years of service, including two tours overseas-one in Iraq and one in the Far East, his service and sacrifice to our country can never be paid back in words of gratitude. I am so proud of him as a mother! I am thankful: For the wife who says it's hot dogs tonight; Because she is home with me, and not out with someone else. For the husband who is on the sofa being a couch potato; Because he is home with me, and not out at the bars. For the teenager who is complaining about doing dishes; Because it means she is at home, not on the streets. For the taxes I pay; Because it means I am employed . For the mess to clean after a party; Because it means I have been surrounded by friends. For the clothes that fit a little too snug; Because it means I have enough to eat. For my shadow that watches me work; Because it means I am out in the sunshine. For a lawn that needs mowing,windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need cleaning; Because it means I have a home. For all the complaining I hear about the government; Because it means we have freedom of speech. For the parking spot I find at the far end of the parking lot; Because it means I am capable of walking and I have been blessed with transportation. For my huge heating bill; Because it means I am warm. For the lady behind me in church who sings off key; Because it means I can hear. For the pile of laundry and ironing; Because it means I have clothes to wear. For weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day; Because it means I have been capable of working hard. For the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours; Because it means I am alive. For too much e-mail; Because it means I have friends who are thinking of me. For all those who serve or who have served in the Military; Because it means I am enjoy my freedoms because of their sacrifices.

Friday, January 8, 2010

How to oxidize silver with eggs

Have you ever wondered how to oxidize sterling silver a less smelly, more natural way? An easy way to bring a nice dark patina to your silver is to use hard boiled eggs!

You can use these easy steps to bring another dimension to your wire work.

STEP 1: Hard boil the eggs. The eggs I used here were from my daughters chickens-but any eggs will do. To hard boil the eggs put them in a pan and cover them by an inch with cold water. Bring them to a boil over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and let the eggs remain in the hot water-about 20 minutes for extra large eggs and about 15 minutes for large eggs.The number of eggs you will need to boil depends on the amount of silver you want to oxidize-I used 3 eggs for a medium zip-loc container.

STEP 2: Mash the eggs-the sulfur in the egg yolks is what causes the silver to patinize-so if you want to use only the egg yolks you can.




Here is the before picture of the sterling silver.







STEP 3: Place the egg into a small container or zip-loc bag. Wash the silver with a mild dish washing detergent. This removes fingerprints and the oils on the surface of the silver that will show up when you oxidize the sterling. In the container put the silver in with the egg. You want to do this while the egg is still warm-it helps speed the process. I like using a small plastic container.

STEP 4: After about 10-15 minutes you should begin to see a change in color-the sterling will turn a golden brown at first, and the longer you leave it in the egg the darker it will become.

This picture shows the golden color after about 10 minutes.

STEP 5: Shake the container occasionally to redistribute the silver in the eggs. for a nice even color. Leave the silver in the eggs until you have the color you desire. I like to leave it in overnight for a nice dark color.

STEP 6: Remove the silver from the egg-rinse and you're ready to start creating! The mashed egg comes off pretty easy from the silver-just keep rinsing until it's all off. If you want to highlight some areas of the silver you can buff back the the shine with a mild abrasive such as Comet and a wet sponge-for an antiqued look.


Here is the final results after leaving the silver overnight. You can see the difference from the undarkened pieces !


Another way to darken silver is to use liver of sulfur-but this is a less smelly, more "green" way of doing the same thing. Hope you will give this a try and let me know what you think!


If you want to learn about how to remover tarnish naturally from your sterling silver. Just follow these easy steps! Please let me know how you like these tips. I'd love to have comments on my facebook wall.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Resolutions-2010 Style

Another year has started-along with another set of resolutions. Like many of you I resolve to lose weight each year-and I have lost a few pounds but not nearly what I need to. This year I'm offering a challenge to al my friends...help me with my weight loss quest! Give me some inspiration, tell me your story, share your tips and recipes. What will you get in return, besides my gratitude? Well how about picking ANY one item from my shop? All you need to do is check in and post at least twice a month from now until my birthday-July 17th! I'll promise to post-uh-oh is that another resolution?-at least once a week to let you know how I'm progressing. Here's my starting weight:272lbs Eeks! At least that's out in the open. I'm feeling a little braver. I got a WiiFitPlus for Christmas-has anyone else used it to help them lose weight? I'd love to know. If you feel like joining me on my weight loss program please join in!
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