Friday, November 28, 2008

Yesterday's Dessert

Cranberry Upside Down Cake...I had posted this recipe over one month ago with the intentions of making it the following week so I could post photos. Well, never happened. I did, however, make it for Thanksgiving yesterday. So...

Marie Antoinette Award

I have been awarded by SpiritMama the prestigious Marie Antoinette award!
So in keeping the spirit of the award,
I have nominated the following fabulous blogs:

Official RULES:

1) Please add the Marie Antoinette award photo on your blog
2) Place a link to the person from whom you received the award
3) nominate 7 exceptional blogs to receive the award
4) put the links to those blogs on your blog
5) leave a message on their blogs to tell them they are the chosen ones!

...but I am not always one for rules :)
I am certainly telling everyone here about the award & would love if they mentioned & linked it...but in the midst of this sale weekend - they get a free pass on passing it on...but I'd love to see some sites they fave so I can go check them out.
New blogs are always fun! You never know what you may find.
***Make sure to check them all out - some have fabulous sales going on right now! ***

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Daydream Art Studios

More Skwigga-zine feature fun!

Daydream Art Studios can be found on her blog, my space, flickr, her website and, of course, Skwigga-zine. She paints - primarily oils, plus she creates jewelry and ornaments...and you can find them at her etsy shop.

Her blog brings you into her creating life and gives you glimpses of her home life...including some apparently techno-troubling moments. She is one of those artists who has some great stories to go with her creations. I love her pomegranate pendant and Persephone post.

If you are looking for some beautiful and original ornaments for your tree this year, check out her shop. Here is my favorite:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More Holiday Sales!

That's right - another team I am in has a team wide sale this weekend! The etsymoms are going all the wake of their November Giveaways they are doing the Black Friday through Cyber Monday sales blitz. Check out the etsymom blog for a posting of participating shops...coming soon. another way to find them is to search "etsymomSOS" on
*~* My shop is participating in more than one team's sale with 10% off all items *~*

Monday, November 24, 2008

Meet Squiggles...

Meet the newest member of our family...Squiggles the hamster...

Team Wide Holiday Sale!!!!


Black Friday through Cyber Monday ... 11/28 - 12/1

Go to the etsy bloggers team shop to see a list of participating shops
and the deals they will have!

My shop will be a nice & easy, straight forward, 10% off every item! enjoy!

Shop handmade this holiday for unique and lovingly made gifts!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Skwigga... Skwigga... Skwigga-Zine

I just love saying that name, Skwigga-zine, it's fun. And so is the site. I ran across it one day after a fellow etsyblogger said they had an article there. I started looking around and decided to stay. It was my first non-etsy, non-craftster group I joined. If you are an entrecard user, there is a great list of users for regular dropping. They have all sorts of groups, like the blog and entrecard group I became a part of. You can post your own blog posts, take part in discussions and there is even a marketplace to go shopping.

I am still discovering things there, like the how-to videos and podcasts. There is even a cool little section of gadgets for websites and blogs.

Everyday there is a featured column by their regular columnists, they even have guest columnists if you are into writing.
An interactive Indie zine for an online community - Skwigga-zine. You should check it out, see if it's for you.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

More Little Things

Made a bunch of key fobs and bookmarks...
now I just need to photo them individually and list :)

Finding myself...

...featured on another blog :)
I got such a nice little surprise last night when I went to renew some items on my etsy shop, a convo from BFBeads telling me that my interview was up on her blog. I had forgotten all about it. She had sent out the questions last month after she was etsyblogger's featured blogger of the month. She was my first write up for them, here's a peek at her shop:

Custom Birthstone Baby Friendly Beads Nursing Necklace
(3 stone design)

Chicken Picadillo


1 cup onion, chopped (about 1 large)
1 pound chicken breast halves without skin, cooked & shredded (about 2 cups)
1 cup granny Smith apple, peeled & chopped (1 medium)
1 cup stewed tomatoes, or 1 can
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons raisins
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon chipotle chiles canned in adobo, minced
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1. In a medium nonsticket skillet over medium heat, saute the onions until lightly browned.
2. Stir in the remaining ingredients; cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid is slightly reduced and the flavors are blended, about 10 minutes.

130 Calories; 1g Fat (7.3% calories from fat); trace Sat fat; 18g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 42mg Cholesterol; 91mg Sodium.
Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 0 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Friday, November 21, 2008

To Do

My real notepad is not large enough for my to-do list. So I'm doing it here :)

I am not even sure where to begin - so prioritizing will come later...feel free to throw in your 2 cents on what should go first.
Correction...what comes after the more obvious firsts: fix dryer so it does not almost catch fire again (like I said, obvious first) and complete custom purse order (going out for remaining supplies later today so i can finish it this weekend...unless dryer does catch fire next time)

Ok, list:
- finish already cut purses
- organize sewing supplies
- rearragne sewing area into ex-dining room
- buy and set up wireless internet so computer can be used in new sewing area, since that is where the computer is now
- find new location for computer (perhaps swap with current sewing area in family room...the teen could never look at something inappropriate then :)
- update bookwork in excel
- update Quicken and find money for Xmas
- clean and unclutter basement to make way for winter playroom pnt (post new toys)
- blog daily (okay, that one is reoccuring, so can't be voted on)
- fix broken kitchen cupboard
- fix both (and only) light to upstairs/bedroom ... table lamp works - woo hoo!
- purge hubby's clothes that are too sad to survive
- find new location for fabric...someplace I can easily go through it
- breathe & sleep
- get artisans to interview for blog
- come up with at least 10 treasury ideas for other blog
- clean teen's room enough to fit new hamster in there somewhere

Ok, that's everything. Well, all but the daily house stuff.

One word: UGH!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rough Draft Pics of Newest Creations

I have ben pretty busy this past week or so getting ready for my first few shows. I have made more bags and accessories, but have not listed any since I will just be taking them all with me. But the biggest reason for not listing is the camera.
I have been borrowing my dad's old Canon EOS D60 (which is ten times better than my camera)......except he needed it back for a little while. And when he got back, I was too busy prepping for my display and doing last minutes finishes on merchandise to use the camera. Today - I finally took some pics...about 5 before the battery when pphhhfffttt. The lighting turned out all wrong too (but that can be fixed digitally with white balancing). I thought I'd post them anyway...consider them my rough drafts...very rough.

A big bunch of keyfobs (I still don't like that...but they aren't really "chains" either)

Pink Paisley Ann Twist - I have made this in green and have 3 more cut out: reds, black and leopard - all with some shine for an evening look.

Pink Paisley Half Moon. This one started of larger...then I pleated it more...and it is now little girl sized. But after my last show - I think I will keep them this way - the little girls loved them! But is a pain in the...well, it's not easy to sew small things.

This was my first attempt at using a metal clasped frame on my clutches. Glue is not my friend. But it turned out just fine. I am still amazed that it is glue that is in fact used for these frames. I never tried them before because I was unsure on how the purse was attached, until I read an article's what is used no matter where it's made - home or mass market. They do make sew on frames...I may try that another day.

And the second bag made with the frame...I still have one left to make.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Storybeader's Story

Storybeader...her name says it all. Each of her beaded creations come with a story...a haiku to be exact. What a wonderful way to combine talents. Not only does each piece come with original writings, but each one is one of a kind itself! Yup - all OOAK. This fabulous jeweler has a secret worker :)

She can be found on etsy, The Artisans Shoppe and Shop Handmade. Plus she is an active member of the online Zine, Skwigga-Zine.

Red magnesite and Turkish Rounds

She is part of the etsyblogger team and writes a wonderful blog. You can find posts on her work and how it is made, her life and even other artisans. And if you are a reader...there are book reviews.

Fancy Jasper Cabochon

Skillet Fennel and Chicken

Super yummy - super easy - super fast...

Servings: 2

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus,
1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour, divided
1 dash pepper
7 ounces chicken breast half without skin, sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 ounce pignolia (pine nuts)
1 cup fennel bulb, sliced
1 cup onion, sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons dry white wine
6 medium plum tomato, seeded and sliced
fennel sprigs, for garnish

1. On sheet of wax paper combine 1T flour & pepper. Dredge chicken in mixture.
2. In 9-inch nonstick skillet heat 1 1/2t oil. Add chicken & cook over med-hi heat, turning occasionally, until browned, about 1 minute. Transfer to plate; set aside.
3. In same skillet heat remaining oil. Add fennel & onions - cook over med-hi heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, about 2 minutes.
4. Sprinkle with remaining flour and stir to combine. Continue stirring & gradually add broth & wine - cook until mixture boils.
5. Reduce heat to low. Return chicken & pignolias to skillet. Let simmer until mixture thickens & flavors blend, about 4 minutes.
6. Stir in tomato, cook 1 minute longer. Garnish with fennel sprigs.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 282 Calories; 9g Fat (30.4% calories from fat); 1g Sat fat; 24g Protein; 24g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 46mg Cholesterol; 285mg Sodium.
Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 3 Lean Meat; 3 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Featured Seller: Om Shanti Handcrafts

This week's featured seller is OMSHANTI. She is a fellow BDC teammate - "Big Damn Crafters"...any Firefly/Serenity fans out there will know what it refers to :)

Ma Cobb's Joint Liniment ... Firefly fans rejoice!

Her shop on etsy carries, jewelery, salves, bath salts, oils, lotions, teas, body spray, lipbalms and for those who just can't decide - she has gift certificates.

> Where can we find you on the web?
Etsy - shop name: omshanti, Creative Cafe Salesrooms and DaWanda

> How did you get started in this line of crafting?/How long have you been doing this?

I've been making my products since 2007, but the tale's longer than that. Round about 2005 I had a friend open an herb business, so of course I bought things from her. Only right to support a friend and an independent business, right? And I'd been buying beads for years. Somehow it took me until last summer to actually do anything with the stuff. I whipped up a batch of bath salts and tried them -- heaven! After that it's just been figuring out new things to do, and playing with recipes.

Ease Your Nerves Tea ... I think many of us could you this right about now

I worked for a while last summer at a friend's shop as well. Pretty quiet most days, so I found things to do -- and she just happened to have beading equipment. I brought in beads and started playing, and found I was having too much fun to stop.

1) Running out of friends to give what I was making (and room to storewhat I hadn't given away).
2) Running out of money to buy more supplies with.
3) Working at Walmart. As you can imagine, working at Walmart can drive a person to a lot of things. I consider opening my own business to be a fairly sane response to the applied stress. I could, after all, have chosen highexplosives. And so, Om Shanti Handcrafts.

> What inspires you?
A lot of my jewelry comes from music -- I'll be listening to a song and my fingers want beads. Sometimes I'll work directly from colour cues in the music, sometimes I'll be working from other words or just from the feel of it. 'Mixed with Honey' is a pretty good example of this. Sometimes I'll see two things together, usually contrasting colours, and get ideas from that.

My kitten Loiosh in the grass turned into an amber and jade piece, Follow Me Down.

My herbal things vary a lot. Some of them are medicinal in nature and that's more a matter of researching what I need to put into them -- though there are times I'll hear a little voice in the back of my head saying 'put in the raspberry leaves! You won't be sorry!' Frighteningly enough, so far it's been right. I chalk it up to subconsciously remembered knowledge and try not to think about it too hard. Some of my things are just plain nummy, though -- the lip balms and bath salts, some of the soaps -- and those can be just plain fun.

I'll ask people for ideas -- friends or just random folks. I'll pick up two bottles of essential oils and smell them together*. I'll make up a small batch and just chuck things in. On a good day, I'll remember afterwards what I put into it. On a bad day...there's a lot ofwhining**.
* This can backfire wildly. Lavender and black pepper? DO NOT WANT.**

Due to a number of bad days, I write everything down. Bad days are now confined to cats stealing the notes. Alas, this has not made bad days happen significantly less often.

> What's the one bit of business advice you wish every artisan/biz owner/crafter/etsian knew?
Jump in a do it. DO IT. Will you be successful? Maybe. Maybe not. But unless you try, you won't know. And you want to give it a try. Believe me, you do. DO IT.

Skwigga-Featured Blog

I have added yet another wonderful community, Skwigga-zine, to my list of places I go. And one of the best parts - the features. I love finding new blogs and new artists. More often than not they are one and the same. This is true for this past week's featured blogger Annette Piper. I say 'past week' because, well, I blew it. I was supposed to have this done by now. But if you have been reading me, you know my mind went pphhhhttt this week. It is no excuse, she deserves better. Go check out her blog Under The Loupe and see what I mean.

She is a fantastic jeweler with a background in gemmology. So she really knows her stuff. You can find her work on her website, Forbes Art Gallery, Ironfest, and Tonic Gifts.

Told you it was beautiful! On her blog she has link to all of them for your viewing (and purchasing) pleasure. Plus you can read her incredible bio on Ironfest.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Vacation Mode - HA!

I am "on vacation" at etsy.

I had my first home show last night (don't ask about sales, I may cry...nothing beats jewelry - Slipada 5, Tilt 0.) and the Huntington Woods Womens Leagueshop for a cause progressive home show tomorrow. I hope to have better luck there.

I am starting to feel that I may to rethink things. I don't want to slash $$ just because the ecomony is in the gutter...I spent too much time and effort to just give it away. Perhaps just add less expensive items in addition to my main purses, maybe? Belts, hats, scarves? I don't want to make things just because they will sell. But I have no problem taking the time to find things I enjoy making that also happen to sell. Trends were never my top priority. And I am not much of a salesperson - I am not a very competitive person. But I do need to find a way to sell online. Magazine quality pics may be part of the answer.

Now, my photo skills leave a lot to be desired. And I realize that pictures are what sells. So the more I can get them to look like they came for a magazine, the better. The best sellers on etsy all look like they were professionally shot (and many are). But I am not selling photography, so I need to make do. After pics, comes price.

My mom thinks the pricing may be too high, but I have crunched the numbers and compared them to similar items on etsy and elsewhere, they are very mid-range. I know, and she nows, that she is not exactly one to ask for pricing critiques. She would say she is cheap, I would say she just never felt the need to spend anything on herself. She's pretty darn unselfish - and I love that about her. She can't see why people would spend $30-60 on a purse. I had pointed out to her that nearly every woman that walked in to that party had a bag that was well over $100...but it was a ritzy area and most of the bags were leather or had some name brand plastered all over the bag. I did receive compliments on the bags and some were interested in them, but after the holidays when they buy stuff for themselves.

One area I need to make more prominent in my displays: "HANDMADE". The women seemed suprised when they realized my bags are all handmade. It was posted on the invites, but they may not have read that part. They thought that the large variety were just samples of each style, not OOAKs. So today I am making some signs to put up by my business cards that cleary state "Handmade".
I am hoping that a venue where handmade items are the norm will be better for me. I am hoping to get more lower priced items made in time for next Thursday's Ladies Night Out in Bad Axe, which is going to be all handmade. And then there is the December 6th Flint City Handmade show. And if I get my apps turned in by the deadline & the shows are not full: Affirmations & Ferndale Recreation Holiday Showplace Arts & Crafts Show November 22nd
and December 13th Fieldhouse Craft Show in Swartz Creek.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

10 Places at Once

That is how I feel lately.
I have a fellow etsyblogger teammate, Roseworks Jewelry, who helped inspire & motivate me to get it together and manage my time and work/creative priorities in order. She is doing a blog series on time management right now, she's up to part4 :)

I have 4 shows coming up: Nov 14, 16, 20 and Dec 6...with a possible on Dec13. The closer it gets, the more I worry about "stock". I do not have loads of things to sell, but since they haven't been selling on etsy, I wasn't in creative overload. Now I need to be.

When I make my bags, I tend to cut out about 5 at a time. So they get made in "batches". They are, generally, not the same styles. And 1 or 2 are newly drafted. I iron them together, fuse the interface on together and then sew them one by one. It can take me 3-5 hours for one bag depending on the complexity of the construction and all the "add ons". So to stock up, will take quite some time. Especially since I stay at home with a toddler. Working only happens 3-6 hours a day. I might have to just let the house get yucky for the next couple of weeks. *shivers*

That is my big number 1 on the to-do list. 8 more are spent on the computer.

I realize that the time spent on the computer needs to go down to accomplish my stock up. This is where 8 of my "10 places" occur. Between e-mails, etsy forums with my teams, editing photos, twitter, entrecard, Project Wonderful, craftster and, well, here...something needs to go.

E-mail is a must. I have all my places set to notify me of new posts, convos, followers, adverts, bid notices and, of course, etsy sales. That's 2.

Etsy forums...I would miss it too much. But I can check in only 2 times a day. That's 3.

Editing photos is a must. But, I can do one while waiting for tabs to open on the things that will stay on the list. That's a 3.5.

Twitter is always in the background, so that one stays right where it is. That's 4 .

Entrecard can be visited only to log in and when I see that an advert is awaiting approval. And I don't drop many because of computer slowness anyway. That's keeps it at 4.

Project Wonderful can be put on "automatic" using campaigns. That still keeps it at 4 .

Craftster can be kept to personal messages only. I won't be starting my winter coat sew along back up until the shows are over. That is still a 4.

Blog. I love it too much to leave it be. I can try short posts and fewer items in the treasuries to cut down etsy browse time. That makes it 5.

So I just cut the computer in half, 8 things to 4...which is better than the throwing it out the window I usually want to do :)

The last thing on the to-do list: being a mom, wife, cook, maid, cab service and finder-of-lost-things. This was the biggest of the ten things, but oddly enough, the easiest to shave down. My oldest is 13, so he can take care of himself most of the time...and is starting to insist on it anyway. The toddler is in preschool 5 days a week, that helps. Taking daily naps still helps even more. The maid, cook, & cab service can use my co-pilot (aka husband) for a large amount of the time. The finder-of-lost-things, well, everyone can go find their own stuff or go without :)

Phew - 10 things down to 6...could be better. But at least 4 of these things are cut back on time suckage.

Now all I have to do is just say no to the temptation of creating new styles with every batch. Oh, and decide which 3 to focus on. My goal is 3 styles, 10 each. Although, with each batch the "style" may change to another in the same category: small, medium or large.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The story of our son

Cullen Riley Thompson 11-06-2002

It was a Monday night. We won’t ever forget that because my husband was watching football when it all started. If you have ever been pregnant, you know how it can affect your digestive system. Well, without going into too much detail, I was in the bathroom and something just did not feel right. I yelled out to my husband, who bolted right on in. Apparently my voice gave it all away. I have been told I am never allowed to sound like that again. I asked him to check me because I thought I felt something. Something like a wet balloon. Turns out, that is pretty much what it was. The cervix had opened up and the embryonic sac started its way down the birth canal. By the time my husband came it, it had already migrated back up somewhat, so he felt nothing. I called the doctor, but could not explain it very well at the time. Not an hour later we were on the way to the hospital – I just went with my gut that something was not right.

We were first told that it was early labor and that he was going to come soon. After some more ultrasounds, it was found that the cervix was in fact opening. But since the sac had retreated, there was a chance. This was 22 weeks and 2 days into the pregnancy. They pumped me full of antibiotics to stave off infection. The plan was to elevate my bottom half so gravity could help keep everything where it was supposed to be.
In the middle of the night, contractions had begun and we were told he would be coming soon. The emotional pain on top of the physical pain (he was partially in the canal this whole time) was too much. We were going to lose our little boy, Cullen.

Until that morning, when we were told there was still a chance. If he could stay inside for just another week or so, the odds of survival at this hospital were quite high for births beyond 23 weeks, when their lungs develop enough to be assisted. I was so happy, that I started to feel relief from the pain. Mind over matter is an amazing thing. We figured out how everything was going to work with me in the hospital for the remainder of the pregnancy. Until that afternoon.

After more tests and no luck with the antibiotics for Cullen, we were again told he was going to come soon and to prepare ourselves. How? You can’t. We were asked if we wanted extreme measures taken to try and preserve his life once he was born. We asked them what they would do if we were their wife or child. We decided to spare him that. The odds were that all it could possibly do was keep him with us artificially, and that is just selfish on our part. I did not want Cullen to be in pain his entire life. The pain I was feeling was unbearable. I finally consented to an epidural (needle in my back scare the begeebers out of me). We asked if there was anything we could do to move this process along. But because of pro-lifers, by the time we would go through all the paperwork and videos telling us all about abortion, it would most likely all be over. (yes, it would have been considered that even though he was already half way out and it was inevitable at that point) So for another half day we had to just lie there and wait – in the most pain I have ever felt, even with the epidural.

Wednesday morning, November 6, 2002, the water broke. In an instant it was all over. I don’t ever want to feel that kind of pain or cry that much ever again. And I hope you never have to. I held him for his entire hour and a half with us. And yes, he was alive at this point, but his lungs were not fully formed so breathing was not entirely effective. I do like knowing that for entire life, he was held and loved.

The nurses and staff were amazing throughout this entire thing. I stayed in the hospital for 3 more days. Grief counselors came in often. The nurses were always there for me, both for medical and emotion needs. We were given a memory box before I left. It was hand painted and filled with everything he touched. His hat, booties, blanket and ID tag. There was a memory ring, tiny sized, as well. They also gave us unprocessed photos of him to develop when we were ready. His record of birth, hand and feet prints were in there too. It took us a while to develop the pictures. And it was not until now that we shared the box with others. But it is time. I am still healing, and this has helped.

So for the entire month of his birthday, I will be donating 10% of my etsy sales to the Michigan Chapter of The March of Dimes. In hopes that someday, someone as young as Cullen could survive.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What I am Working on Now...

Look down – now look forward…that is what I am working on the most lately. It is not what I should be working on the most though.

I should be working on this:

And I am. But slowly, very, very slowly.

I have a home party/show next Friday the 14th, a multi-home show that Sunday sponsored by the Huntington Woods Women League (“Shop for a Cause”), Ladies Night Out show in Bad Axe on November 20th, and possibly two more in December. I need to get my rear in gear and sew!!!! Not that I am expecting to sell out – I’d be ecstatic just to sell something – but I really should make sure to have enough stock on hand. I have not worried about taking pictures of these for etsy. I figure I will wait until after the shows – just incase.

I have signed up for Propay so I can take credit cards, ordered & received my imprinter and have started researching where to buy merchandise bags (need to order by the end of the day today!). So at least I have done something. If only I could tear myself away from the computer more...

From needle and thread to “business as”… Part 4: more pricing and overhead…

Pricing can be such a headache to figure out. And no matter how you price your items, there will always be people who will complain that they are too high or even comment on how low they are.

So how do you ensure profit? After all, that is your first concern. Just like in math class – double check your answers. If you priced an item at $25 but spent $5 on materials, $2 on overhead, and it took you 3 hours to make…you just lost about $12.

Overhead may be the biggest pain of all the pricing components. The Crafter’s Guide to Pricing by Dan Ramsey has a really good form for estimating this cost. Things to consider:
Rent – even if you work out of your own home, you can calculate the cost of the space you use
Tools – these can often be expensed or depreciated for tax purposes
Utilities – again, even in your home this can be calculated
Taxes – collection of sales tax can add to your overall costs

Keeping a pricing book (either written or spreadsheet) can help you keep track of all your costs associated with your work. Include a materials worksheet, labor and overhead worksheet and any rules of thumb you may have developed.

Next week: markup and profit

Previous articles:
Part 1

My Little Fireman

Halloween 2008

Mom was bad this year - I didn't make his costume myself :( I guess that is what happens when you have your first few shows coming up soon after the holiday. I think he will forgive me.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Skwigga-zine blogger - Michabella Creations

I just joined Skwigga-zine (gotta love the name) and like many of these communities, we try to help each other out in whatever way we can. They have featured bloggers, just like my etsy team has featured sellers...and I just love looking into everyone's shops and blogs. Future posts about featured bloggers may not be structured quite like this...but the first time is always the most fun.

Michabella is actually two friends who bead and create their own jewelry. Michelle gets to stay home with her kids and has found that making jewelry gives her a way to express her creativity. Cindy started out making cancer bracelets for the Relay for Life. They are also very involved with their community. They have sold cancer awareness items and been able to donate to many charities such as the PA Breast Cancer Coalition, the American Cancer Society, and the SPCA.

On their blog you can find loads of beautiful jewelry that they feature and some personal pieces from their lives. One of which is an adorable 3 year old daughter! So cute :)

You can find their pieces on their website. Rings, watches, bracelets, pearls, gemstones...

New Handbags

8" opening, 6 1/2" tall, 11" at it's widest

11" wide, 8" tall, 4" deep

Double Tagged - Double Butterflied

Make that TRIPLE tagged...I feel so SO loved :) I was tagged by both ZuZu Girl and Barbara Beads AND Stampin' Mom (hers was just after this first posted, actually - probably about the same time I was writing it!) PLUS Butterfly Awarded by both Unique Commodities and The Copper Cauldron.

~ Put the logo on your blog.
~ Add a link to the person who awarded you.
~ Nominate 10 other blogs.
~ Add links to those blogs on yours.
~ Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs
So...instead of, let's see...7 times 4...28 I will do 7 - just read it four times :)
1. I can read EKGs...although I am a bit rusty.
2. My husband and I have nearly 1000 books.
3. We only own one car.
4. My wedding song was Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole.
5. I used to hate pink, now it is one of my favorite colors.
6. I can't sing to save my life.
7. I wish I could sing.
Tag: I will leave it up to my readers on who wants to play tag and spill a few beans about themselves...we all like to read them, so don't be shy :) Just link up to here & let us know you are playing.
I am not going to do all ten becasue, well, most of us have been hit recently...But I will nominate some other blogs that are new to me or non-etsy....secrets are up to you...

Sunday, November 2, 2008


In memory of our son, Cullen Riley Thompson 11-06-2002

And then, after everything, silence.
Your eyebrows took their color from the fevered leaves
that outside curled to cradles, their descents
rocking through a morning we couldn’t conceive.
Your face, the face of him who helped me rake the leaves
today beneath a pregnant, gray sky.
Too early you came--too soon--too soon to leave
us filled with all we’ll never get to say.

In our hearts you’ve set the world to stay:
your heart, each vault and arch tiny,
immaculate, silent. We’ll wander here an eternity
and run our fingers across the scrollwork and traceries,
carved as fine as a strand of your red hair.
We’ll wander, wonderfully alone, and ready for prayer.
- James Thomas Thompson

Ferndale Takes 3rd in State Finals

Congrats to the Ferndale Marching Band on an excellent performance at Ford Field! They, without a doubt, performed the most complex and intricate routine of all the other bands in their Flight and did it phenomenally! I am so proud of my son - this was his first year playing in the band. We are looking forward to 4 more years of fun and music! note: four years, because he is one of the pre-frosh taken into the high school band one year early.

Sauteed Chicken in Chardonnay Sauce

Serves: 2


12 ounces chicken breast halves without skin, butterflied, cut into strips/chunks
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter, divided
1 1/2 cups mushroom, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
1/2 cup Chardonnay, or other dry white wine
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried parsley


1. Place chicken breast pieces between 2 sheets of heavy duty plastic wrap (or ziplock) & pound to 1/2"-thick using rolling pin or meat mallet. Sprinkle with flour & pepper.
2. Heat butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken & cook 8 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan & keep warm.
3. Add mushrooms & shallots to pan & saute 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add broth & bring to a boil.
4. Cook until reduced to 1 cup, about 10 minutes.
5. Return chicken to skillet, stir to coat & sprinkle with parsley


Per Serving: 314 Calories; 8g Fat (25.6% calories from fat); 4g Saturated fat; 39g Protein; 11g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 94mg Cholesterol; 449mg Sodium.
Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 5 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1 Fat.