Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Biggest Stalker

Blockhead Radio...gotta love the Artisan for Artisan mentality. I know I do. And now there is not only the Artisan Challenge...but the Biggest Stalker....

The Biggest Stalker is determined by several things...

Most importantly is how often we "see" your pretty faces :) Whether it be in threads, in the 24/7 BHR Chat, in the BHR forums, emails we've received telling us what you've done to prove you're the Biggest Stalker.... (although we do require that you refrain from doing anything illegal).

If you've chained yourself to a lamp post and screamed "Listen to Blockheadradio.com" as everyone passed by... we wanna see the video.

Of course you don't have to take it to that level. But that would be cool ;)

Let us know when you've blogged! Bring a friend to the show. Support the BHR Charity Sampler Box. Email us if you've told some random person on the street. Get that random person to email us. Tell them to let us know you sent them.

How the Biggest Stalker is decided is totally up to the Stalkers and the precedents they set forth. Bombard every host in every way you know how. Emails, blogs, chat, shows.... Just stop short of hiding outside their houses in the bushes. Remember, I have a broom and I'm not afraid to use it :)

Dazzle us with your persistence and creativity.

I will tell ya this... The Biggest Stalker every month will be handsomely rewarded!

Pass this blog along. Let us know ya did. It'll earn ya those frequent stalker points. No little annoying card to keep up with either.

Blockhead Radio is committed to exposing handmade and indie artists to the world. Check it out today!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Etsyblogger of the Month: Nora

I am a bad girl. I waited until the very end of the month to bring you our blogger of the month. Maybe I will just think of it helping to spread the love all month long :)

Two things you need to know: where to go for her blog and Etsy shop :)
Once you pop on over to her blog, you can click over to her Twitter and Facebook too. This girl is everywhere.

I like how she sums herself up..."I love to read, write, draw, paint, make jewelry, make greeting cards, play with polymer clay, listen to music, watch movies and fool around on my computer!" I love when artisans have a long list of loves...especially when they match mine.

And I can't sign off without sharing some faves from her shop:

Michabella Creations

Looking for some Spring jewelry? or just a fun blog to read? Well look no further.

The duo at Michabella Creations have got you covered.
The blog follows "the Crazy Life of a Stay at Home Mom and Jewelry Designer! ... in my ventures through motherhood and business."
That is not the only place to find her writing. She posted about an article she wrote as a jeweler...check it out here.

And the jewelry...awesome! Just look at these earrings...a set of four different blooms...

Want to see more creations...just visit the website Michabella Creations.

Do you love to blog about other bloggers? or just find new reads?
Just visit the Creative Bloggers and enjoy!

Brag Time...Big Time

...I have been on a bit of a giveaway sign up kick in the past month or so...and I've won some, ok, lots, of great goodies that's I'd like to show off.

The first win was a while back: a bead by Beadwright which I featured on my treasury blog here.

Then there was a custom banner & avatar from Landrithandco on My Funny Bunny Handmade's blog. I will be sure to show you these once they are complete...I can't wait!

Quirky Dolls is sending me an awesome frame she made, which I'll show you once it arrives. Thanks to Love Etsy Feedback blog for featuring her giveaway!

I still need to go shopping at Kangaroodle with the gift certificate I won through Green Earth Journey's blog.

And once I get my gift certificate...I'll be doing some designing and shopping on T-Shirtmonster...that one was from Simply Stacie's blog.

Then, on the blog Kee's Baby Love there was a Tree of Life Pendant from her She's All That's etsy shop Kee's Juicy Gems . You should really go peek at her blog, she just had a beautiful baby boy...so cute! I have not received this one yet, but I do have a pic:

I won a tiny tote from Aggie's Bag which I gave to my son...he was quite excited. He calls it his Boy Purse.

On From Athena's Desk I won a custom headband from Goldilocks Boutique. I just love this headband...it doesn't pinch, slip or hurt even after wearing it all day. And she has a large selection of fabrics you can choose from. I went with the Michael Miller Stitches in pink.

And last, but certainly not least...a makeup bag duo complete with handmade soaps & a Burts Bees blemish banisher from The Fab Miss B. So cool!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Roasted Scallops and Fennel

Servings: 2

6 ounces sea scallops
1 cup fennel bulb, chopped, (1 bulb)
7 ounces artichoke hearts, 1/2 of can, chopped
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400*. Spray 2-qt ovenproof, flameproof, baking dish (pyrex ok)

2. In a medium bowl stir together all ingredients and pour into baking dish.

3. Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

4. Remove from oven and increase heat to broil. Drain dish of any liquids.

5. Return dish & broil 5 minutes or until deep gold.

Per Serving : 256 Calories; 6g Fat (22.2% calories from fat); 1g Saturated Fat; 20g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; 28mg Cholesterol; 638mg Sodium.
Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 2 Lean Meat; 2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat.

source: Weight Watchers Complete, 2006

note: the pic is a tad light, couldn't capture it well...but it's yummy :)

If you have not had fennel before, click here to see me post regarding fennel: what & how to cut.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring Shows Its Face

Etsybloggers rock! Just a little pimpin' for my blogging buds on etsy. This is their...our...carnival after all.

...and now back to our regularly scheduled writing...

Spring's face?...well...its leaves anyway. That is my first Spring-y thing I noticed outside. I just hope they survive the 30*F weather we have been having lately. I am actually amazed that they keep coming up. They were planted long after I got the bulbs at a wedding, or was it baby?, shower. Sturdy little guys - hopefully the Spring weather will soon follow.

Birds coming back, I guess that's another sign of Spring. I have seen a few. And heard a few trying to get into our vents on the roof. I am not looking forward to climbing up there to check. But the bird I noticed the most was the first casualty of Spring....

...I knew I should have brought him inside, but my son loved looking out the window to watch him get buried in the snow.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Items

Now it's time for my Artfire blogging carnival. We were asked what are our plans, promos, or new items for the season or what are our favorite spring colors, favorite things about Spring, favorite items we've found for Spring....and the possibilities are endless! So I decided to do some shameless self promotion and show off some of my Spring-y bags.

This first one was fun to make. I took the main fabric, which is an outdoor canvas twill, and handstiched some fun blobby shapes onto the one side. I used a wooden bracelet on the loop handle which is knotted.

This next one is darker, but the print is quite Spring-y. It's kind of a floral paisley Lefluer (is that how it's spelled? not sure). The name was fun to come up with. I almost called it The Alien because the way it looks when open reminds me of those pods from the movie. But The Alien sounds like it should look fun & whimsical. So I went with Venus for venus fly trap...similar to the alien pod, but ledd deadly. Unless you are a fly.

This last one is my husbands favorite. The bright colored fabric was actually my second piece. I had the lining from another bag, but the buyer changed their mind & went with a different lining. This time I am the one who changed their mind. This fabric was way more fun than the first one I picked out. But what I really love about this super huge purse (it's 13" wide, 11" high & 6" deep) is the flap decoration. I wanted to use some of my buttons. This was the 3rd look. What do you think?

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pretty Things

Nice. Simple. To the point. And 100% correct. Today when I visited Pretty Things blog, I saw yummy goodness in the form of a Cadbury Egg. I consider chocolate to be a pretty thing, don't you?

But keep scrolling down, and feast your eyes on her truly pretty things...her jewelry. Not only are her creations beautiful in and of themselves, but her photos are fabulous. Nice, bright and macro to the max! But if you really want to get an eye full, hop on over to her shop, Lori Anderson Designs. She has vintage, classic, casual, whimsical and kid styles. There is no way I could choose just one fave, but this is a start...

Lori of Pretty Things also talks about being a mom, a business owner and other tidbits of life. There is a great pic of her son looking out the window waiting for the snow. I think kids are the only ones that actually want the snow to fall...in March.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fresh Picked Treasury!

I woke up this morning to find my Rose Calico bag in a lovely Spring time "Freshly Picked" treasury on Etsy. Thanks to the curator Friendly Fairies!

I popped on over to her shop...so cool! Fairy crowns and wooden swords, shields and boats...hats too. Anyone who like a little magic in their world or revel in renaissance should check it out.
This is my favorite crown...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Braised Fennel and Tomato

Serves: 4 (soup crock/bowl size)

2 whole fennel bulb, diced
1/3 whole onion, chopped
4 whole tomato, chopped...more or less to taste.
1/3 clove garlic, chopped fine
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth...more or less to taste
2/3 tablespoon fennel, chopped leaves
1/3 dash tarragon (marjoram is an ok substitute)

1. Chop all into bite sized pieces*

2. Saute onion, garlic and fennel about 5 minutes.
The onion will be softer than the fennel, which may remain quite crisp.

3. Add tomato and broth - simmer about 20 minutes.
The broth should be just enough to cover the veggies. If you would like a more soup-like dish, just add more broth.

4. Add Fennel tops** and tarragon - simmer another 10 minutes

Per Serving: 254 Calories; 4g Fat (13.6% calories from fat); 1g Saturated Fat; 10g Protein; 50g Carbohydrate; 13g Dietary Fiber; 2mg Cholesterol; 1365mg Sodium.
Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 2 1/2 Vegetable; 1 Fat.

And for those of you who read this and said "huh? What the heck is fennel?"
This is Fennel: (also referred to as Anise sometimes)

*And this is how to chop it up....**Save the fuzzy top bits to add at the end. Simply chop them like you would any herb.

First, chop off the stalks:

Next, cut the bottom part of the bulb off..you can see it in the picture above
(it looks like a round bit, like an onion end does).
And stand it up to chop in half.

Then cut each half again. Set the cut halves down & chop crosswise into bite sized pieces.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Magical Beadstalk

Isn't that an awesome name? I just love it. Even more, I love reading her blog. If you really want to know what goes into someone's work...just head over to her blog, The Magical Beadstalk. Reading her blog, it sounds like her life's journey has brought her to a very happy place. She is a pretty amazing women. She has been a professor, a psychotherapist, an antique dealer, and now a jeweler.

She is fortunate enough to design jewelry full time...and it shows. This is one of my fave pieces I saw over on her website:

"One of the things I love about blogging is that it gives me, and many others, the opportunity to hear what jewelry making is for others - I love feeling a part of a larger community of artists who express themselves in a multitude of ways. It nourishes my spirit."
- Terry Spier of Magical Beadstalk

Kiss me, I'm Irish

...well, half anyway...

Monday, March 16, 2009

A quickie...

I am stealing Hilary's line. Who's Hilary? She's an awesome jeweler who describes herself like this: "Me? Wife, mother, grandmother, jewelry designer. How it all fits together, I still don't have a clue. But I'm having a ball being clueless!" I love people who have fun with life!

She may not quite be in a fun part right now...she is in the midst of a home update. I am looking forward to her settling in so she can get back to blogging & tweeting. She wrote this great post on Tweeting...Twittering...still not sure which is used most. Do you tweet? If so, the post is a great how-to for feeds through your Twitter.

And don't forget to check out her Etsy shop! This is one of my faves:

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My Debut Album

I found this game over on Macaroni and Glue's blog. It's one of my regular reads and one of my Twitter buds. I usually go over there to see what the kids are up to and what new paper creations she has made. The other day, well, I got stuck on her "Debut Album". It sounded like loads of fun...so I made one for myself. Click here to go see hers...it's a hoot.

Here is how you play: feel free to play along and give us the link here in the comments so we can go peek. Nothing like a fun time sucker :)

"What would your album look like if you were in a band?

1 - Go to Wikipedia. Hit “random” or click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random. The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to Quotations Page and select "random quotations" or click http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last four or five words of the very last quote on the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to Flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover. Note: like Macaroni and Glue, I used a free stock site

4 - Use Photoshop or similar to put it all together."

So here is my first band: Village Area Network presents ...busy making other plans.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Spaghetti Squash with Pomodoro Sauce

Servings: 2

1 pound spaghetti squash
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 cup onion, chopped fine
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups plum tomato, diced
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1. Preheat oven to 350*

2. Pierce squash several times with knife (so it won't explode as it cooks...literally). Place on baking sheet & bake about 1 hour (often more), until flesh pierces easily. Remove & let stand 10-20 minutes before cutting in half lengthwise & removing core & seeds. Use fork to scrape out squash strands.

3. Heat pot with oil over med-hi heat. Add onions & garlic, cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes.

4. Add remaining ingredients & simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Per Serving : 178 Calories; 6g Fat (29.5% calories from fat); 1g Saturated Fat; 4g Protein; 31g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 54mg Sodium.
Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 5 1/2 Vegetable; 1 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.
Weight Watcher Points: 3

Thursday, March 12, 2009

BlogFire Carnival: Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th is just around the corner and is the theme for BlogFire's carnival. Well, that are anything superstitious, spooky, creepy or just plain scary.

I chose to go window shopping over on Art Fire...
...and this is what I found:

Redemption by 13th Avenue

One cool thing to note about this photo..it's not far down the road from me...
okay, maybe that is just cool to me, but still :)

Monster Be Gone by Crafty Scentiments

Maybe that will help the monsters under the bed go away

Dangerously Feminine Pink Beaded Spider Earrings by Mountain Maggie

Spooky Bones Lampwork Bracelet by Klassy Joolz

And as to Friday the 13th? Nah - nothing to be afraid of. Now... spiders, spooky old churches, skull & bones...monsters under the bed...more fear for me there.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Etsyblogger Carnival: Spring is About to be Sprung

This Etsyblogger Carnival theme...Spring :)

Do I look forward to Spring? Heck yes!!! I prefer Autumn...but Spring rocks because it means winter is over. O.V.E.R. Done. Kaput. "Snow go bye-bye" as my oldest once said when he was much (much) younger. I just really get sick and tired of the freezing cold and snow. It lasts too long and here in Michigan, it teases us once or twice that it's leaving. Big meanie.

But when Spring finally hits...ahhhh, so much better. I would not say I have SAD, but most Michiganders seems to have a touch of it at some point during all the dreary. And Spring lifts up that veil of blech and I start to feel so much more energized. Which leads me to my Spring activity... cleaning.

I know it's cliche, but I do the whole Spring Cleaning thing. I try not to call it that since I am not doing it simply because of the time of year. I just finally feel like moving, getting off my toosh (which is usually a tad larger than a few months previous) and clear out the clutter. The kids tend to have fewer toys, hubby less clothes and me just less junk after this process has taken hold.

So - gotta go - the sun is almost up :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Promote A Sister Sunday: P and J Crafts

Welcome to another Carried Away Bag Team feature. Today I picked P and J Crafts. I often visit her blog, tweet with her and browse her Etsy shop to check out what new things she's come up with. She makes these really cool rag quilt bags. I love how something so raw can look so amazing and put together.

This bag is perfect for St Pattys Day...

And I have always love this color combo: