Friday, February 25, 2011

New Treasury and Fun Software

 My friend Allison introduced me to this great new software called Snagit.  It's a great little software program that allows you to capture a screen shot and place it in another document or program. They have a 30 day free trial, so I'm trying that right first to see how I like it.  I have a bit of learning to do, but I think it worked pretty well for the first try.

Hope you have a wonderful day. Thanks for stopping by. Stacie

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

All Wired Up

Guess I might have had too much coffee today, I couldn't stop working with wire! Here are some of my wire earring creations.

I made six pair of this style earring for The Muse. I am planning on stopping by for a visit with Whitney this week to drop them off.  Also will be listing a few pairs on Etsy.

The kids are home from school today. We had about 4 inches of snow last night, so they were out sledding for most of the day. It was a great day. The kids had fun and Mom finally got to sit down and create jewelry in her studio!  Hope your day was great too.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Day for Giving Back

One way that I enjoy giving back to the community is by donating my jewelry to organizations to use in Silent Auctions.  Here are a few pieces that I sent out today.
I made this amethyst and silver necklace for my sister in laws Relay for Life team.  They are having a purple party to raise money for their team, so the purple stones worked perfect.
This sparkly heart necklace went to a local Church that has a great Strawberry festival each year to raise money for Charities. They have amazing homemade strawberry shortcake too!
These colorful earrings went to my sister for my nephews High School fund raiser.

And we can't forget the animals. This cute doggy necklace went to the Queen Anne's County Animal Services.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Just wanted to say Happy Valentine's Day! Wishing everyone lots of love and chocolate! My hubby surprised me last night with a wonderful box of Zoe's dark chocolate.  I have already made a big dent in the box. There is nothing like chocolate to make your day just right.  Enjoy your day :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Taxes and good food.

OK, so they don't sound like they go together.  I decided since I had to spend my week getting caught up on paperwork, bills and taxes, that I should feed myself well.  Right? Have to keep up the strength. I won't bore you with the gory details of bills and taxes, but I will share two really yummy recipes that I made this week.

The first one is from Cooking Light, my favorite magazine. 

Chicken, Pasta and Chickpea Stew

1 cup thinly sliced celery
3/4 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves minced
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 cups marinara (I use Muir Glen Tomato Basil)
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup uncooked ditalini
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
6 tablespoons shaved fresh Parmesan cheese

Heat a dutch oven over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray or olive oil.  Add celery, carrot, and onion to pan; cook 12 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  (I added the chicken for a bit to brown first) Add broth and next 4 ingredients (through pepper); bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes or until chicken is done.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Yield 6 servings

The next recipe is from a cook book that I have had for years and really like.  It's called Colorado Cache cookbook.  As you can see, I've had it so long that it's discount priced on Amazon!  I have a pretty nice size collection of cookbooks in my kitchen on a book shelf.  One of my favorite things to do is to make a cup of coffee and sit down to look through my cookbooks for good dinner ideas.  I also have my Grandmother's original handwritten journal of recipes and her 1923 version of The Boston Cooking School Cook Book by Fannie Farmer.  It's filled with her handwritten notes and yellowing recipe pages.  It also has some great old advertisements in the front and back of the book like this one:
Gotta love that Lux dish washing soap!  Anyways, back to the recipe...

Chicken in Sour Cream

2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons celery salt (I used celery seed)
2 teaspoons paprika
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 teaspoons pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted

Combine sour cream, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, paprika, garlic and pepper in a large, deep bowl.  Add chicken pieces and coat well.  Allow to marinate in sour cream mixture overnight in the refrigerator, covered.  When ready to cook, remove pieces of chicken from the sauce and roll in the crumbs.  Arrange in a large baking dish and sprinkle with butter.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until done. 

Next week, it's back to the studio for more jewelry creating.  I am planning on making a batch of silver clay pieces on Tuesday and then going from there.  I hope you enjoy the recipes.  Thanks for stopping by! Stacie

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

More Tangles.

Just finished this Zentangle. I really enjoy drawing these designs, so relaxing.  It's the perfect thing to do while you wait for your kids at their classes, at the doctor office or commuting.

I mentioned earlier that I was taking a great class called In the fish bowl, life as an artist.  When I was visiting some of the other artist's websites, I found the author from one of my favorite Zentangle Books.

 Sandy Bartholomew wrote this awesome book and it is full of great Zentangle patterns.  She has an Etsy site too called, Bumblebat, where she has her books and all kinds of Zentangling supplies for sale if you are looking to give it a try.  I finally got some of the great little tiles that you can draw on.  They are great because they fit in a little sandwich bag and drop in your bag for easy transport.

Sandy also has a great blog, BEEZ in the Belfry if you'd like to read more about her and her artwork. She has a new book out too, that I am going to have to buy cuz I'm sick like that!  It has a great title, Yoga for the Brain a Zentangle Workout.

Believe it or not there is a whole Zentangle website. They actually have a weekend seminar in Massachusetts that you can take to become a Certified Zentangle Instructor.  I would love to do that, can you imagine how relaxing that would be?  Do you think there are starving artists scholarships out there for classes like this? 

Speaking of money, I just have to share this poem my eight year old daughter wrote in school.  I went to the school yesterday to bring her McDonald's for lunch and spend a little time together.  While I was waiting for her class to finish up for lunch, I came across this poem she wrote hanging on the wall.

Hope it made you smile too :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Last of the Valentines Day Jewelry

I told you I was a little nuts over making Valentines day jewelry.  I promise this is the last!  I do really enjoy hearts.

Now that I have my "heart" full of Valentines day, it's time to do a little book keeping and get back into learning photo shop.  After that I will start my spring line.  I already have so many ideas floating around in my head.  I am hoping to get some drawing and creating time in there too!

Hope you have a wonderfully creative day!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Artist of the Month - Rebekah Leigh

The red horse took her home

I'm so excited about this month's artist Rebekah Leigh.  Her artwork and style are truly unique and refreshing.  The painting above "The red horse took her home" is my favorite. I love the colorful horse, the look of peacefulness on the girl's face and the message of going home.  I imagine the girl feeling safe and content that she will be taken care of and carried home. 

Rebekah is currently living in the United Kingdom.  She grew up in Germany until she was 7 (father was in the army), then moved to Wales, then to Devon when she was a teenager. She now lives in a town called Bristol which according to Rebekah, "... is a great city, a lot smaller than London but still big enough with lots happening! It is a 2 hour car journey to London and 1 hour to Wales. I do really miss living in the countryside though and I really miss the sea. I think I am a country girl at heart! I'm lucky as my job is based in the countryside and the school in attached to a farm so I get my countryside fix! Devon and Wales are beautiful places..If you ever come to the UK you should visit them!"

A Summer Walk

Rebekah works full time as an LSA (teaching assistant) in a Steiner Waldorf special needs school. She said she really loves it and since she is not from a Steiner background she also really enjoys learning about the Steiner Waldorf Philosophy. The school is very creative and has lots of festivals and celebrations so it sounds like the perfect fit for Rebekah.

Mr. Pigeon

When I asked Rebekah how she goes about creating her beautiful paintings, she said, "Most of my art originates with dreams that I've had, I dream a lot and always remember my dreams, which I love! I also just get images popping into my head and I try to keep notes, I've got books full of notes, descriptions and ideas for paintings and other creations. When I begin a painting I always start with a rough sketch but sometimes I'll paint over my work many times and start again before I'm happy with it. I like to use lots of different mediums for example: gouache, acrylic, watercolors, dyes, inks and stains...The only thing I don't use is oil paint."
Yellow Bird
The Racing Horse

Rebekah's work is so full of color and personality. If you'd like to see more of her amazing artwork, visit her Etsy store, Rebekah Leigh.  If you'd like to read more about Rebekah and her artwork visit her blog or website

I hope you enjoyed the Artist of the Month feature. Have a wonderfully creative day.  Stacie