Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday Morning Coffee and Etsy – 12/27/2009


Coffeecup2 I have been missing posting my weekly handmade shopping posts for the last few months, and am happy to say that they are back!    I have lots of wonderful new discoveries squirreled away in my Etsy favorites list.  I really never get tired of browsing through the shops of the many talented artisans to be found online – I’m an expert at armchair shopping in my pajamas, ha ha…..

The first little treasure I’d like to present is this yummy canvas and lace tote by Wonderwear.  I’ve always loved the look of lace with rustic materials like faded denim, and this tote WonderwearCanvasLaceTote with its lovely lace against canvas recycled from a military duffle bag is a perfect example of that look.  Unfortunately, it is already sold, but there is another canvas tote in her shop as well, made from the same military canvas with  hand braided parachute cord handles.  Wonderwear’s shop is a great eclectic mix of interesting, one of a kind eco-friendly items that I’ll be keeping my eye on for sure!

Etsy is a great place for pottery addicts like me, and I have found another wonderful pottery shop – MissPottery, run by Pennsylvania MissPotteryPitcherArtist Melissa Older.  Her work has a  whimsical yet earthy feel,  and I just adore the lovely sage greens, lavenders and browns that are used in many of her delightful creations.  Read more about Melissa in this Philadelphia Inquirer article.   I am in love with her wonderful sage and brown pitcher with its fluted handle – just perfect for warm maple syrup to go with my Apple Cinnamon Nutmeg Pancakes! KathleenLolleySeaOwl

And speaking of sage greens, browns and whimsy – this adorable Sea Owl print by Kentucky artist Kathleen Lolley definitely needs to be in my collection!  I love this description from her Etsy shop:  “Kathleen is a painter, a hermit and conjurer of crafty things”.  KathleenLolleyGypsyCountess Another print of Kathleen’s that I love is the magical Gypsy Countess, who is painted in the soft greens and golds of my beloved chenille sofa – definitely need that one, too!   Do stop by Kathleen’s website to read more about her and view more of her work.



LBArtworksBirdsLeavesBagContinuing on in the earthy greens and browns,  I’ve discovered the shop of a fellow Tennessean today!  I have been buying my bags from artists online for several years now, and I suspect my next bag will come from LBArtworks’ shop!   I’m going to have a hard time deciding between the cute Birds, Trees and Leaves bag and the Ice Crystals bag with the wonderful crocheted lace paired with a swirl of flowers. LBArtworksIceCrystalsBag

My coffee is done, so I am off to the studio for a pleasant afternoon working on new custom orders and my Mom’s Christmas pieces (yes, that’s right – I am finishing my mom’s gifts on the Sunday after Christmas…..but she is used to this, lol!)  Hope you all have a lovely, relaxing day!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday Blessings


  I hope everyone is having a wonderful Holiday Season!   I know I have enjoyed every minute of  it.  This is a cherished  time of year, made even more fun by being a part of so many other people’s holiday giving through my jewelry.  Christmas orders started back in November, and I’ve been hammering away in my workshop like one of Santa’s Elves ever since! 

My mom has been here helping me most of the month, and ReadyToSolderI’ve taught her how to ball silver, bend earwires, and bend and flux stacking rings and bracelets.  We had a little assembly line going!   This was a morning’s work ready to solder and  turn into shiny treasures. 

Peace descended once again on Christmas Eve, and we’ve been relaxing and making the Christmas Puzzle for aChristmasPuzzle2009 couple of days now.  My mom is the puzzle expert, and I’m the cheering section.  We only have one big table, so we just set the placemats right over the puzzle pieces at mealtime, lol!   And of course, the dog loves every minute of having everyone RoxieDec2009home with  lots of visitors, fun and laughter!

There is nothing  like this cozy, blessed week between Christmas and New Years, and now that I’m self-employed, I can enjoy it  to its fullest. 



Of course, there has been a lot of cooking going on, too.  BrieStrataOne of my favorites is the delicious brie and dill strata that we discovered last year.  I think it has become a yearly tradition now.  (Ha, ha, these days, who can afford brie more than once a year…)  Here is the recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens website –  enjoy!

Baked Brie Strata

  • 2  small zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices (2 cups)
  • 6  1/2-inch thick slices crusty sourdough bread
  • 8  ounces Brie cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4  Roma tomatoes, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1  cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed
  • 2/3  cup evaporated skim milk
  • 1/3  cup finely chopped onion
  • 3  tablespoons snipped fresh dill
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon pepper
  • 6  to 8 cherry tomatoes
  •   Nonstick cooking spray

1. Cook zucchini, covered, in a small amount of boiling lightly salted water for 2 to 3 minutes or until just tender. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, spray a 2-quart rectangular baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange bread slices in the prepared baking dish, cutting as necessary to fit. Sprinkle half of the Brie evenly on top. Arrange zucchini and tomatoes on top of bread. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

3. In a bowl combine egg product, evaporated skim milk, onion, dill, salt, and pepper. Pour evenly over vegetables and cheese. Lightly press vegetables down with back of spoon to be sure everything is saturated with egg mixture. Cover with plastic wrap; chill for 4 to 24 hours.

4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap from strata; cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 25 to 30 minutes more or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Make-ahead tip: Prepare and chill casserole for up to 24 hours. Bake as directed.