Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

HELP

After months of trying, I have finally been nominated for the weekly voting over at Etsy. Minutes after I received notification, I went to vote only to find that several other nominees already had 95 votes. How did they do that?
Anyway, the only way I stand a chance is to beg for votes.........please, please, please, go vote.
Click here for the link.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Block Lotto for January 2010

Sophie has gone and done something a bit different and daring for January. First of all, she has sent the sneak peek to everyone in hopes of getting a wider audience and perhaps those who haven't played in a while. In addition, she has decided to do something a little more free and liberating. She is calling January's block Tic Tac Toe. Here are my nine..............


The background fabric is a white on white and the lines are brights. The finished size is 8 inches (8 1/2 unfinished) and should make a really cute, fun quilt.
If you would like to join us, follow this link
.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Awhile back, I mentioned that I had joined a handmade gift swap. For some reason, I thought that all the participants were local. My gift arrived yesterday from Christine in Oklahoma. I can't quite put my finger on what scent this candle is, but it is strong and lovely. Thanks Christine.



Last October I entered a challenge at the Mixed Media site. I won first place in my category. My prize has finally arrived after two months of emails, postings and a whole lot of excuses.


This handmade set consists of a necklace, earings and a pin. I am not sure what the materials are. It is very lightweight and quite unique.

There is still one more blog giveaway that I have won but after 3 months of waiting, I don't think I'm going to see that prize.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Chocolate Dipped Overload

I made chocolate dipped spoons, which led me to making chocolate pretzels. I thought I was done. I was reading one of my etsy news groups and they were talking about chocolate dipped orange peels. We always got candied orange peels at the Godiva store but they discontinued making them several months ago. It never occured to me that I could make them myself.
The internet is a wonderful thing. I looked up candied orange peels/rinds and there is a zillion recipes. Some are pretty complicated, some are quite simple but they are all basically the same, boil the peels in sugar water.



This is not the first batch. My husband ate the first batch. This is the second batch, the result of 3 oranges. I have discovered instructions for chocolate dipped, candied orange slices.........OMG.... somebody stop me.
I have even gone so far as to print out candy boxes. They turned out cute but I think they are a bit too small.


This free printable can  be found here.

Monday, December 21, 2009

SALE

This morning I visited a blog I haven't been to in awhile. There have been 3 posts since last September. The one in September showed some handmade cards. The post in October showed some more cards. The one post in November simply said check out my etsy store, so I did. The shop has no introduction as all etsians will advise is a must. There is no profile, in fact there isn't much in the way of descriptions or tags, all strongly advised by all the folks who seem to know what they are talking about.
This shop was opened on November 3 and has had 36 sales since then with no advertising that I can find other than the one post on the blog (even the blog has no advertising).
So here I am 9 months later, having advertised all over the place, making myself a pest and a half trying to promote my shop and all I have to show for my efforts is 26 sales. Now don't get me wrong, I am very thrilled to have made those sales but I have spent far too much time on promotion.
Starting today, I am going to put my seasonal stuff on sale at 50%. Each day I will put a few more items on sale and I will run the sale through sometime in January when it will all be deleted from the shop.
I will continue to make more cards as the mood strikes me but I will not spend so much time (and money) on advertising. I really need to catch up on my charity work. Those items seem to be well accepted and disappear quickly.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bah Humbug!


I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love to get mail. OK, so not the bills but any other mail in general. Over the years I have sent out tons of cards, Holiday cards, birthday cards and I really love those silly no occasion cards. I have sent them to family and friends and from time to time, internet friends that I have never even met. I have spent hours making hand made cards too, all in the hopes someone, somewhere would take the hint and send me a card back. But my birthday comes and goes and I am lucky if I get 3 cards. Even my Mom has become to old and forgetful to send me a card on my birthday.
Christmas always brings hope of mail, catalogs, flyers and Christmas cards. It is only the 17th but to date I have received 3 cards, my sister (who never forgets), my cousin and my insurance agent. I know it's still early but..... Bah Humbug!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More About The Pretzels

I was asked for  my recipe for chocolate pretzels, and I thought I would clarify how I made them. First of all,  there is no recipe, but  the secret is to use the correct kind of chocolate. There are all kinds of chocolate out there and all sorts of methods of preparing it. The easiest way is to buy chocolate that is already labeled "melting chocolate". There is lots of it for sale on the internet, including bulk quantities or even Godiva. I purchased melting chocolate at Michaels (it was even on sale for $1.99 per package). It's there that I found packages of 20 pretzel bags complete with silver twist ties (also on sale for $1.99)



I melted the chocolate in a one pint mason jar, in the microwave, following the instructions on the package. Tilting the jar, I covered each pretzel stick a bit more than half way, and scraped the excess off on the side of the jar. I laid them out on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper, then put them in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.



The refrigeration helps the chocolate to harden. Trying to be just a bit creative, I dabbed some melted white chocolate on them with the side of a spoon, and let them cool a bit more.


For the first batch, I bought glass jars in the dollar store. For this batch I got some coffee mugs also from the dollar store. I really wanted to use mason jars but they are only sold by the dozen and I have no way to store the extras. If you are one of those gals who love estate sales and second hand stores, you might be on the lookout for something decorative or unusual. No matter what you use, these sure do make an easy, inexpensive gift.








Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chocolate Pretzels

I've tried making chocolate covered pretzels in the past. But, I used the wrong kind of chocolate. Also, I didn't wrap them properly and they went stale quickly. This year I did a little research on the subject and with the help of Michaels crafts and the dollar store, I made these great little gifts. Individually wrapped and each one decorated with sprikles or white chocolate, Yummmmmm.

                  

Of course I had to make some for myself and my husband, and this is what's left.



I'm going to have to make more for me.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Giveaway

There is a 12 days of Christmas, fabulous giveaway at the Design Style Guide blog. You can find the details here.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Beverly's Pink Saturday and Tree Tour Day 4

I have a few pink ornaments. There are small ones...............



There are some larger ones (I know it looks the same as the small one but you'll have to trust me, it is twice as big)


I even have a few that look like icecycles....hey where did my spellcheck go?


I have a pink cherub,


and I even have a few pink piggies
                                            
But this is my most favorite of all my ornaments


My Dad would be 92 years old if he were still alive. This is an ornament that was on his tree when he was a little boy. Just how old it really is is unknown, but it is amazing to me that there are still two of these in my possesion. I'm not even sure if it had pink paint on it or if it was once red.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Tree Tour - Day 3




These are just a few or the ornaments I have made over a span of 30 years.


Some lions.






Some kitties, guess his whiskers have drooped over the years.







Some penguins.










I have made tons of these stockings .  I have sold several dozens and given away at least that many. They are a great way to give a gift card or fill with small items. I have several for sale at my etsy shop in a variety of colors and fabrics. Did you notice the room key down in the corner? I punch a hole in them and tie on a ribbon. My tree is all about memories.



I've tried several different types of angels over the years. These are the only two types that were ever worth keeping.



Back in 2005, I saw a show on HGTV about these glass ornaments and just had to try. Although my medium of choice is fabric, I tried my hand at painting. I poured the paint on the inside of the clear glass ball and sort of smeared it around. I finished them off by using a gold marker to outline the different colors on the outside of the ball. Everyone in my family got one of those that year.


I'm always experimenting with different designs. This Victorian fan didn't turn out too bad.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Tree Tour - Day 2

Today's tour will be of some of my souvenir ornaments. This first one I got in Universal Studios, Orlando Florida, about 10 years ago. He is made of china and is very heavy.

This slice on conch shell was purchased in the Straw Market in Nassau, Bahamas. Anyone who has ever been on a Caribbean cruise know exactly where I talking about.
This angel was purchase in a Christmas shop somewhere off the highway in Georgia.


One of my favorite ornaments was purchased in the Appalachian gift center, Asheville NC. One of the things I really like about it is that it is made of pottery and the makers name and date are cut right in. Martha Cole Potter, if your out there, thank you. BTW, the date is 2001, and I remember very well it was the beginning of September.

This souvenir is kind of obvious. It's The Disney Wonder. This was our second cruise and we took our grandson.

This next ornament is the very first one I ever purchased. I got it in a restaurant in Cape May NJ, in the fall of 1968. My husband and I were taking a sailboat from New York to Florida. It was cold and nasty and no fun at all.


In case you might be wondering about some of the tags left on ornaments. I do that in part to remember where I got the ornament but mostly I do it for whoever will inherit them when I'm gone. I have inherited all of my parents ornaments. Some are still in the original boxes (which are in pretty bad shape) with the price clearly marked. I think it's just another fun fact.


You just never know where you are going to find something different and unique. I purchased a small palm tree at a nursery not far from my home. They were also selling these wonderful boats complete with tiny christmas lights.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Tree Tour

For the next few days, I thought it would be fun to take a tour around my Christmas tree. Today I will show you some of my Disney ornaments. The first one is a red Tinkerbell. She was the big thing one year, now you don't see red Tinks much.


A porcelain Mickey all dressed up. I have the matching Minnie but didn't take her picture this time around.
Cinderella's castle is always a big favorite. I'm not sure if you can she her or not, but the bell clapper is a tiny Tinkerbell. This bell really does jingle. In the background is a red glass lobster I got at Outdoor World. You can find ornaments in some of the strangest places, sometimes those are the most fun.


Last year my son gave me a set of Mickey ornaments.


And you can never have enough Tinkerbells. Everyone knows she's my favorite with Minnie a close second.



About a month after Disneyworld first opened, one of my neighbors went there for a vacation. As a gift, she brought me back 3 Christmas ornaments. Sad to say they are not dated but are still in good shape after all these years.









Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Another Table Runner

I made another table runner, similar to the one I made last November. In this one, I only use 3 fabric which were all cut the same size. The red fabric is a lovely shade of red and has lots of shiny metallic threads running through it. I think it needs a tassel on the end of that point but I don't have any in my stash and I really don't want to do any more shopping. I think I'll make one. Correction, I think I'll TRY to make one.

BTW, in case you were wondering why I didn't take the picture on the end table it's going on, it's because it's just too darn dark in the house and the pictures come out like crap.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Office Decor

Many years ago I had a really good job at a medical supply company. One day at our annual Thanksgiving party, I collected signature of all the employees. I had pre-made strips of white muslin, which I ironed to freezer paper and had a few permanent pens. But before I could finish the quilt, the owners sold the company to a national chain. So instead of one logo in the middle, there are two. This hand quilted piece hung in my office until, October 2005, when we were told the corporate office was closing us down. They say that it was too expensive to run a business in Ft Lauderdale, so after 16 years I was out of work.
Although this little quilt is one of my favorites, what could I possibly do with it? It has been sitting in a box since 2005 collecting dust. The original owners have started up a new medical supply company. I think maybe I will send it to them and let them hang it in their office.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Some Free advertising

I made it into another Etsy treasury. You can see the whole treasury here.
In addition, a total stranger included me in his Christmas gift guide. Please visit his site here.

The Answer Is

Guess all you NCIS fans (I'm one too) already figured it out. It's the Man from Uncle, David McCallum. The really funny part about the picture is that my Mom never watched much TV. She had no idea who he was or what TV show my Dad was going on and on about.
Thanks for coming back.

Friday, December 4, 2009

This is a Quiz


In 1966, my Mom and Dad went on vacation in Italy. While in Venice, they met this man. Dad took a photo of him with my Mom. Can you guess who he is? Do you remember what TV show made him famous?
If you can't guess, come back tomorrow for the answers. Oh, heck, come back tomorrow anyway.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Block Lotto

It was quite some time ago, but I won a bunch of blocks at the Block Lotto. I put them together and donated the unfinished top to the Heartstrings Group. Mary does a great job of finishing them up and donating them. You can see this quilt and the back at Mary's blog Making Scrap Quilts from Stash.


So if you are now encouraged to join in the fun, come on over to the Block Lotto. This months block is really, really easy. Here are the 9 I made.