Thursday, September 30, 2010

Some Vendor Night Creations

Here are a few of the things I have been working on for Vendor Night for Silver Bella. These are vintage keys with tiny frozen charlottes. They are blinged up with tiny vintage rhinestones and book paper.

These are silver soldered Eiffel Towers on vintage french book paper. They are kind of like a small shadow box.

These tiny frozen charlottes are encased in glass and have vintage German book paper. The German book paper that I have came to me by a gentleman who escaped Nazi Germany before WW2. These are deep and it looks like the frozen charlotte is floating. The photos really don't do them justice.

These are just whimsical flowers. They have various book papers, and whimsical fun scrapbook papers. They have been really fun. I gave one to my mother and she literally wears it every day because she thinks it is so fun. I apologize for the poor quality in the photos. Friends have been requesting that I post photos of the things I create.....and I really don't do too much of that because I never get a good quality photo. Jodie LeJeune of Everything Vintage I am not....Love you Jodie! I hope you have an artfully creative day. Blessings.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cast Iron Seasoning

So you think I am crazy huh? I do cook with cast iron cookware. I love the way it cooks our makes it taste so much better. It gives the food such a nice texture and flavor. I started using cast iron about 20 years ago when Jeff and I first were married. There were several pans in 'his' kitchen when I moved in....left over from his mother's cooking days. It is a little hard to care for and some people are bothered by the fact that you NEVER use soap on it. But I thought I would share with you the task that I go through every so often to season it. I SHOULD do this after each use but who has the time for that and the clean up is so easy since nothing sticks to it. Cast iron is the original 'non-stick' pan.

First I line up all my cast iron cookware on the counter. I have a really long island and just sort of move my way down the line. Then, I pour in some olive oil....umm maybe about 2 tablespoons or so....that is really not important at all.

Next I pour in some kosher salt. The kosher salt is important because of its coarseness. It is abrasive and that helps restore the finish. The pale yellow circle in the center of the oil is the kosher isn't really yellow but when mixed with the olive oil it turns the pale yellow color that you see.

Then with a thickness of about four paper towels I give the oil and salt mixture a little elbow grease and start scrubbing. I keep my kosher salt in the little salt box on the counter. I just use it out of that container as opposed to the blue box it comes in. I like period pieces and that is the container they used before salt was sold out of a box. I am a big container person....almost everything that comes into this house comes out of its original packaging and into a container I have here. My goal in life is to be surrounded by beauty.....however please note that I did not change the olive oil bottle....I like the one it came in and I just refill it from the large can in the pantry. See the nice shine on the they are properly seasoned. I hope you have enjoyed my little lesson on seasoning cast iron cookware. Why don't you fry up some potatoes....or make some fried chicken and let me know if your taste and texture isn't just like the way your Grandma used to make it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Burn Advisory

Here in Bloomington Indiana we are currently under a burn advisory. It is a really scary thing. Just last week, as a fireman, Jeff had to put out a yard fire in a family neighborhood because of a lit cigarette. It spread very quickly and even jumped the street to the neighbors across the street.

We love to host bonfires. Just last night Grandma had the kids all ready for their campfire cooking activity but had to cancel because of the advisory. The kids were really sad....but better safe than sorry.

We went to the IU football game instead....and were cold because we couldn't build the fire in the fire ring like usual because of the burn advisory. The adults were really sad....but better safe than sorry. give us the bonfire feel I am going to bake this adorable cake that I found on this awesome blog called the Birthday Blog. I love this site and will check back periodically even though my kids are big now. Who doesn't like cake???

So.....happily....I woke up to a wet patio this morning. Not raining much....but I think it is coming. Until then.....I am eating cake. Blessings for an artfully creative day.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Barn Bash

Having a barn bash is something we really enjoy doing. What you ask is a barn bash? Well we clear out the horses.....well this is actually our indoor riding arena.....but it is a barn. Then we get down to the jam session. Here my husband is jamming away on his drum set. It is kind of like an impromptu jam session where any one can come up and play or sing something.

We even have celebrities sometimes. No....not Jeff....although he thinks he is a celebrity. Here Toby Meyer is singing and jamming away. He played in John Mellencamp's band for years and loved playing at our little jam session in a barn. Who would have ever thought???? Sometimes humble is good....and that is what we have.

Okay.....some people think they are too cool for school. Sorry Russ & Whitney.....but you need a few more 7UP's or something. We all know you were having fun......but really? Kids even get up and take a whirl. The young man in blue is Whitney's son Jon, he is a senior this year and was actually very musical.

No.....we all wished this was karaoke....but this was the real deal. I don't remember what he was singing but Whitney did give up the mike for awhile. What we were all happy about is that Jeff just stuck to the drums. (Love you honey!!)

Sometimes there is even a reason for the jam session. Our reason this evening was for Monica's 40th birthday. By the looks of her margarita....I think she is just having a great time. She was radiantly gorgeous. When we roll out the astro turf around know fun will be had by all! That's what Jeff does.....he rolls out giant strips of the stuff that he got when IU refurbished the's what you call dumpster diving at it's finest. The kids run around and play lacrosse or football and the grown ups chill and listen to the jams. Won't you come....pull up a try your hand at a song the next time we Barn Bash at the Ellington's? We'd sure love to have you! Blessings....for a fun and lively weekend.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fringe-a-lisuous! I have to show you the most awesome pair of scissors! I bought these same scissors this summer to cut herbs. You know basil....chives.....sage. I wondered how they would work in the craft room and low & behold....they work wonders!!! I checked out Cheryl Stoneham's blog today over at inside the of my awesome Silver Bella Sisters and she is just fringe-ing it up. So will I shortly.

Just look how awesomely they cut fringe. Now this is tissue paper....but it even works on thin card board. So....tomorrow....or even tonight....because I am that excited I will be fringe-ing away. Let me know what you think if you get a pair....I got mine a Crate & Barrel.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Scripture Tags

I love to make scripture tags. I am slacking this year in my bible study. Traditionally what I have done is make a tag each week from a verse that has particularily touched me, or inspired me, or made me think about what I need to do as a wife & mother. Then I place it on a ring and can refer back to them. It really is like a sort of diary if you will, because it is amazing what you find in the Word that really pertains to your life at the time. I guess that is why they call it The Living Word. When I am really being especially good....I make a tag for each of the members of the group. The girls seem to like them & even inspires others to make them as well. I know I love to get a handmade scripture tag!

This is the bible study I am currently involved in. I LOVE this study more than any I have ever done. Why? It so pertains to what I find the most important area of my life....serving God and respecting my husband. Ladies...I found out something really interesting last week in bible study. It really was life changing. I always thought that LOVING my husband was the most important thing but it isn't really. The bible says that we are to RESPECT our husbands. Husbands are to LOVE their wives. So, as I have gone on my merry way this week I have been trying to really consciously try to RESPECT Jeff, and you know what? I have really felt LOVED back. Like....there is more of a twinkle in his eye when he looks at me. So on the cover of the book it says.......'Igniting the Joy & Passion You Both Deserve'. So now you get where I am coming from & can relate to why this is the best bible study I have ever done. (LOL) So the next time you are thinking your problems are 95% your husbands fault & 5% your fault remember that INSIGNIFICANCE MATTERS! Start immediately working on that 5% because you have nothing to loose and oh does that LOVE feel great!!! Blessings!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Yom Kippur....A day of Forgiveness

Today marks the beginning of Yom Kippur.....the day of atonement....the day of forgiveness. Although I am not Jewish, a celebration of forgiveness is quite special to me. Today I will travel to Terre Haute Indiana to celebrate the beginning of Yom Kippur. I will travel with my mother, Lincoln, and his friend Eli, and our destination is the C.A.N.D.L.E.S. Museum. Today will be the day that my friend, pictured above with his family, Mickey Kor will forgive the Nazis who tortured and held him hostage some 65 years ago in concentration camps. Mickey is a holocaust survivor, along with his wife Eva Mozes Kor. Today, Mickey will read a letter that he has written and sign forms of his forgiveness. He will be free. His heart will be healed. Hatred.....dissipated. Blame lifted. Today, I ask for your prayers for Mickey and his family. Prayers because of the hate left in the hearts of many. People, mostly holocaust survivors themselves will be angry at Mickey. They will be angry for him being able to forgive the Nazis for the crimes they committed against the Jews and the whole world for that matter. Today, as the Jewish communities around the world celebrate their day of forgiveness...their day of atonement won't you please take a moment and glorify the concept of forgiveness. Tikkun the world. Blessings.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Good Friend......Sweet Cherie

Here she sweet friend Cherie Wilson. Her blog is Humble Pie & I adore stopping by every so often to read her inspiring words about see what she is stitching.....or doodling....or to see Truman her wonderful standard poodle who is one of the sweetest dogs I know. She is giving & a delight to be with. When I say giving....I mean giving in every sense of the word. She puts on these awesome girls retreats & teaches art. The girls adore her. The last girls retreat she helped with was called 'One Girl' and it was the best. The girls learned that 'One Girl' can make a difference.

Cherie called me one day and asked if i could make the director of the retreat a pendant. Of course I could & I would love to. Well....what Cherie didn't know was that I wanted to make a multitude of pendants for that she could pass them out to deserving souls....who might really like to have one. I got right on task & went directly to my bible to find the scripture that was the theme of the retreat. Psalm 33:11 'The counsel of the Lord stands forever. The plans of His heart to all generations.' I love it...beautiful words to know & comforting too....knowing that the Lord stands forever. What was really the best was surprising Cherie & helping her out & making something for her & her retreat that will give joy for a long time to come.

Some time ago.....I won this give away from Cherie's blog Humble Pie. I had to guess where she got the inspiration for her doodle on her Banner at the top of her blog. Well I guessed right away....she got the inspiration from Speckled of the little trinkets that Heather sells. I love to shop there. The little Thank-you notes are just too cute.....just another one of Cherie's creative endeavors. For another look at Cherie's creativity check out the newest addition of Somerset Holiday....there you will be able to glimpse a book page she created for Gina Grable's Twelve Day's of Christmas swap she hosted for Silver Bella 2 years ago. Cherie is now a published artist & I am so proud of her. It is great to have someone as special as Cherie in my life.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day & relaxing!

The Labor Day Festivities began the moment I sat down in the car to drive to Danville Illinois on Saturday evening. Saturday was a whirlwind of exhaustion. I participated in two fundraisers for Lincoln's activities.....and needless to say.....I felt like I had labored. So sitting in the car for two hours was a welcome diversion to my exhaustion. I was just too happy when Jeff said he would drive. When we arrived we were all so tired & basically just went to bed so we could wake up refreshed for the next day. The greatest part of the of the trip is being with friends...and boy have I got the best of both worlds. I love this all in our sweatshirts....the weather was just perfect...but here we in the center....Chrissy, my best friend from high school and her sister-in-law Jill.....who happens to be my SISTER!!! Chrissy's brother married my when I say I have the best of both worlds what I mean is that I get to be with family & friends!

The little-est one always gets picked on right??? Well let's just say Hadley begged all weekend to be buried in the sand. Trouble is....when she got there she needed a hat and some 'over sized' sunglasses. I never could get a straight answer from all the cousins....but I literally think that she is standing in a big pit buried to her neck!!! aren't our thing. There aren't too many of Jeff & brother-in-law just has to ruin everything. But I guess that is how memories are made????? Don't really know how much he will remember

Hanging out on the deck. This is after a morning of the best donuts in town. Jeff & I got up early Sunday morning and went into town to Royal Donut and picked out....well about every variety of donut they carry. Jeff is the kind of guy that likes to try it all! The kids couldn't believe the variety....and let me tell you....they were all eaten....and Jeff had to get up and take Lincoln in for more on Monday morning. I don't know if he is a glutton for punishment.....or just a glutton.

Here is a beautiful Danville sunset. Actually.....everyone I speak to says Danville is the armpit of Illinois....but it is just serenely beautiful. Chrissy & Darin built their cabin on an old strip pit. They turned it into the most beautiful....peaceful lake. There are only about 12 houses on the lake and it is always so peaceful. We love to travel there....we always feel so renewed when we come home. I hope each of you had a wonderful Labor Day & made memories with family & friends to last a lifetime.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Craft Room Re-do

A few months ago I promised you I would give you photographs of my newly organized craft room. Well, for whatever reason I never did. Maybe I just got busy working in there because I was so excited. It seems I sure do love my stuff. Look at the cute type writer my mom got me to display my name. It is gifts like those that I cherish most.

This is one of my favorite areas to look at. I just adore all the vintage whimsy all around. Baby shoes are just one of the cutest things don't you think? I think I buy about every one that I see. See that cute crystal looking cross? Well it really isn't is SALT and I bought it from the salt mines in Poland last year.

This is where I work most all of the time. The jars full of things just inspire me. I love old apothecary jars....especially the ones with the grounded lids. Oh, you don't know what grounded lids are? Well the next time you see an old apothecary jar....remove the lid....check around the bottom of the lid....if it looks is a grounded lid. These are the older jars and they are my favorites. Look at jars the next time you are out junking and see if you spot one....and I am sure you will become a fan as well.

See....I told you I like apothecary jars. Here is another one, this time filled with old type writer keys. Isn't the tin just the bomb? Of course I don't know what came in this tin.....I just loved the color and of course the Marie Antionette-ish looking lady. I can't say that my craft room is always clean.....but ask anyone who has ever come to my humble creating place if they have ever really wanted for anything....or have I been remiss to find that perfect thing we were looking for???? It is organized & worked in.

I like to keep all my pieces for creating organized in these old printers trays. See the mermaid? That is a gift for my be used in a creation for her someday. I love to reciprocate.....even though it is never expected. Aren't those rings neat??? Don't know what I will use them for....but they came off an old ratty sweater. Just had to have it for the embellishments. The printers trays are really handy. When I am creating something that needs an embellishment, I just line them up on a big table and just start pulling things out....not only is it very handy....but it is eye candy & that fuels my creativity. I hope that you have enjoyed a little piece of my heaven on earth. Have an inspired filled day!!!!