Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Years Resolutions Dilemna-Pt 1 & 2

It's getting to be that time of year when alot of us are considering making New Year's Resolutions (or not) , and today I found a couple of perfect ways to deal with this dilemna:

Pt.1 ~ So I was scrolling through all the recent posts on FaceBook and I came across a post from one of my FB friends that asked " Does anyone have the book 'Simple Abundance' by Sarah Ban Breathnach & would you be interested in working thru it together for 2010?" I jumped up and ran to the bookshelf to make sure I still had the book; I bought it nearly 15 years ago, and have never once read it, much less practiced the lessons...see how good I am at procrastinating????

I quickly posted back that I indeed had the book and would love to go through it with her.

Then came Pt. 2 ~ Still scrolling the posts on FB, I came across this post that read: If New Year's Resolutions aren't your thing, try this idea from Aimee of Shake Your Bon Bons-- choose your WORD for the year; and then there was a link to justshakinmybonbons.blogspot.com

It's well worth the read, especially if you're fed up with the New Year's Resolutions that always go by the wayside within a matter of days or weeks. Please click over to her blog and read her post AND the original one that inspired her. She is also offering a random prize for one lucky person just for posting your WORD and your email addy(in case you are the winner)

Needless to say before I even got done reading her post, I had chosen my word for the year as ABUNDANCE. It just seemed to be the perfect word after just committing to a year of Simple Abundance, and surprisingly (and confirming for me) it was on the list of suggested words. I can't tell you how light hearted and happy this started out my day yesterday.

Now I am trying to pass the happiness on. The link on Simple Abundance (above) will take you to Amazon where the book can be had for as little as 1 penny + shipping. You can read the first week's worth of days right there on the Amazon site, as well as many reviews from people who bought the book.
If you have the book, or are ordering it and would be interested in working your way through it this year with myself and Dawn, please leave me a comment. We are hoping to find more interested women to share the experience with.

It's going to be a fantastic year ahead. I can just feel it!

Until next time,

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Boxing Day!

For most people the presents are all unwrapped, the roast beast is now leftovers, and many are hitting the B & M stores today for those after Christmas sales.

All over I keep seeing the term 'Boxing Day'.

Late last night I asked someone online what that meant? She said it was when everyone put on their boxing gloves; which was exactly what I was picturing! Family members wanting to duke it out; shoppers wanting to punch their way to the best bargain; I don't know my imagination went wild! The hubster volunteered his explanantions-He said everyone is boxing up their returns to take back to the store OR it's where everyone is clearing out all the boxes from the house from all the presents. These made total sense to me, BUT because he is hardly EVER right [and what husband is,right ladies? ;) ] I did a quick internet search.

Turns out Boxing day is a public holiday celebrated in Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, as well as many British commonwealths. And it has a few different theories:

One version is the holiday developed because servants had to work on Christmas Day but had the following day off. As servants prepared to leave to visit their own families, their employers would present them with gift boxes.
Another is that Boxing Day is when people give gifts, bonuses, donations or items to others less fortunate.
And a slight variation of that one is that a Christmas box was used to collect donations, either as tips at a business or as donations for the poor, or at churches where parishioners donated coins for the poor. These "boxes" were then smashed the day after Christmas and the funds were distributed to the needy.

I really like learning of this tradition/Holiday but what I really want to know is: WHY is it not a tradition here in the USA?
I wonder if we adopted this holiday if more people would be apt to help out another soul in need?

Til next time....

Merry the day after Christmas! I'm going to start my own Boxing Day tradition...how about you?


Monday, December 21, 2009

What a Cheeseball!

As promised, I am here to give the secrets of cheeseballs. If I had known how simple these things were to make, I would have made them ages ago.
I needed to do something simple this year for our friends and neighbors' Christmas gifts, due to our financial situation. Since I have already given all our friends and neighbors wreaths, Gingerbread houses, afghans, paintings, jingle elves and various other handmade items, I wanted to take it a little easier this year. Every year we receive cookies, cakes, and candies, and this year I wanted to give a tastey gift. A couple of weeks ago, when I was doing our grocery shopping, I spied a small gift pack with a salami type sausage and some crackers... and I thought to my self "Self? You could make a homemade cheese ball to go with that gift pack and have a great tastey gift for everyone."
So I did an internet search and read oodles of cheeseball recipes, and found they all had the same basic ingredients:

cream cheese ~ regular, fat reduced or fat free AND
some other kind of cheese-mild and sharp cheddar, parmesan, roquefort, blue cheese, pepper jack, monterey jack ~ finely grated

mayonnaise OR
sour cream OR
Dijon mustard

Worcestershire sauce OR
Lemon juice OR
Lime juice

onions-green OR red OR shallots

Spices-garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, oregano, onion soup mix, taco seasoning mix, cayenne pepper, salt, horseradish, fresh garlic, Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce, or whatever suits your fancy.

Nuts-almonds, walnuts, pecan, sunflower seeds, peanuts~chopped, for rolling your ball in.

Optional ingredients were a variety of meats-bacon, ham, dried beef, bacon bits, shrimp, etc...
And olives, pineapple, peppers~bell and hot, celery, mushrooms, basically anything.

Now which ingredients you choose is pretty much up to your taste buds.

You must have the cream cheese and it must be softened somewhat. I put mine in the microwave for 30 seconds.
I also used smaller portions so that I could make several different flavors.

Basic proportions for the cheeseballs I made were:
1- 8oz. pkg of cream cheese AND approximately 1 cup of some other kind of cheese-I used sharp cheddar.

1-2 Tablespoons of one of these~ sour cream, mayonnaise, dijon- I used sour cream in all mine.

Approximately 1-2 teaspoons of one of these~Worcestershire sauce, lemon or lime juice-I tried all three but only 1 in each ball. In other words it was either lemon or lime or Worcestershire. I did not mix two flavors in one ball.

Onions-approximately 1/4 cup diced very fine- I used green onions sliced thin with scissors in all my balls.

And then the spices:
For my garlic ball, I used 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 3 medium cloves finely minced.

For my Taco flavored balls, I used 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning mix and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and one of these I spiced up with 1 Tablespoon Green Tabasco.

For my green onion ball, I used 1/4 teaspoon garlic and increased the dice green onions to 1/2 cup.

For my oregano ball I used 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/4 teaspoon garlic.

For my toasted onion ball I used 2 teaspoons of dried toasted onion soup mix.

After I softened the cream cheese, I put it into a mixing bowl with the other cheese, onions, sour cream, juice, and seasonings and mixed it with my mixer on medium high for a couple of minutes until all ingredients were thorougly combined. I tasted with a cracker to make sure the flavor was pleasing, and then each flavor was submitted for Mr. Clay's approval.
Then I lined a small rounded bowl (2 cup size) with plastic wrap and pressed the cheese mix into the lined bowl and refrigerated for an hour or so. Now I had a neatly formed dome that was easy to lift out of the bowl, pull the plastic wrap off, and roll the top and sides into my chopped nuts. This recipe made a 4 inch diameter dome approximately 3 inches tall; a pretty good size cheese ball. It is recommended refrigerating the balls at least 2 hours or overnight for better flavor before serving, so that the flavors could meld together.
That's all there is to it! Total prep time for each was no more than 10 minutes.
How simple is that?

There are alot of varieties of cheeseballs. For further reference you may want to check out this site: All Recipes and do a search for Cheese Ball. There are pages of recipes with reviews from people who have tried, tested, rated the recipes AND given their own suggestions and variations. I hope I have inspired you to try and make a cheeseball. It is an inexpensive dish for an office party, family get together, or picnic. They are simple, quick, travel well, and can be made ahead of time.

Til my next epiphany :D

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Salsa Anyone???

Salsa??? Did someone say salsa?......Well they did somewhere and I came right over here to tell you my salsa story:

Did I ever tell you that I make salsa by the 5 gallon bucketful? I've had people ask me for the recipe for a bowlful. When I tell them how big my batches of salsa are, they are speechless.

When I first started canning salsa people would ask "how hot is this salsa?"So the first couple of years the labeling was kinda lame - "mild," "med. hot," " hot,"...etc....

Then came the names series:

Wimpy Salsa- you KNOW who you are :D

T.I.T.S.-stood for This Is The Salsa- this produced some laughs when a friend took a couple of jars of it to the bar, then proceeded to call the hubster and tell him everyone at the bar liked my T.I.T.S.

Killer Salsa- that's Mr. Killer to you

And Killer H. Salsa- the H in a salsa name means it has Habanero peppers in it.

Next came the Dragon series- Baby Dragon, Dragon Spit, Dragon Fire...

But I still got the ol "how many peppers are in this?" Like I cared? I mean, come on people, I'm making this stuff by the 5 gallon bucketful!

So the Song series was born- I took songs with numbers in the title and made a batch of salsa with that many peppers in the 5 gallon bucketful. So "Around the World in 80 days" had 80 jalapenos in the 5 gallon batch.

The number in the song was how many peppers I put in tht 5 gallon batch. It eleviated all questions about hotness or how many peppers..blah, blah, blah

50 Ways (to Leave your Lover) was changed to "50 Ways to Eat Your Salsa"

Get your kicks on "Route 66"

"76 Trombones" - which naturally, was followed by "110 Clarinets"

"You're Gonna Cry 96 Tears" - made the hubsters hair cry

And the only exception was 25 or 6 to 4-which was a 4 gallon batch with 25 or 26 peppers-it was for those with 'delicate' tastebuds- you know who you are :D

At the end of the growing season I made one final batch called Mega H. Death with over 200 jalapenos and I don't remember how many habaneros. It is pure fire in a jar!

I ended up canning over 50 cases that year. We still have over 20 cases left!....and BTW, a 5 gallon batch of salsa makes over 3 cases of pint jars ...and I also canned "Peter Piper Picked a Peck of..." you guessed it Pickled Peppers!

Now I'm off to experiment with cheeseballs ...


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Frosty the Snowman

It snowed and snowed and snowed...We got our biggest one time dumping of the white stuff in over 10 years. Mr. Clay cannot remember the last time we got this much snow at one time...I keep saying it must be all the global warming and all :P
Anywho, we ended up getting 10" overnight and adding the few inches that was leftover from earlier storms, we are looking at a white Christmas this year. I wanted to make a snowman, and promised my thread peeps pictures of said snowman. After 4 hours of snow shoveling, my arms felt like shaking noodles, so I begged off for a day. But fear not, Frosty was born yesterday and without further ado, here he is. He has Mr. Clay's magical hat, and that mouth? ..a perfectly formed stick laying in the driveway. I can now cross 'Make a Snowman' off my bucket list. :)
Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 14, 2009

And the winner of the Elf Giveaway is...

Jessica Heitman Rowe! Congratulations Jessica and thank you to all who participated.

BTW, Jessica has an Etsy shop beadbug00. Check her out

Stay tuned I'll be back with more Christmas cheer ;)


Thursday, December 10, 2009

An Elf Giveaway

Christmas is two weeks away. Are you ready???

Well I am ready to send one lucky winner an elf. I originally was using my FaceBook fan page to collect the names. But one of my peeps has informed me that FB does not allow giveaways with out their permission. And then when you try and comply there is no info on how to comply. I don't know what kind of Grinch lives there.
So anywho, we'll do the giveaway here.

All you have to do is follow me, and leave a comment, and contact information (email, etsy shop, or some way for me to get back to you)
Winner will be chosen on Mon. Dec. 13th, and your choice of elf will be sent out in time for you to enjoy for Christmas.

Here's one of them :



ps~I'm thinking my NewYear's Resolution should be to become a more regular blogger. Thanks to all who have hung in here with me ♥

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

I received this blog award from http://christiecottage.blogspot.com/

The rules for accepting this award are:

1) Copy the award and post it on your blog.
2) Thank the person that gave it to you and link to their blog.
3) Write 7 things about yourself we don't know.
4) Choose 7 other bloggers to pass the award to.
5) Link to those 7 other bloggers.
6) Notify your 7 bloggers.

Ok so here goes:

I passed this award on to:








Please be sure and visit these blogs where you'll find their shop links.

Here goes 7 things you probably don't know about me:

1. I am a role playing video game junkie-Morrowind, Oblivion, and Fable are my favs (and although I rarely have time to play them anymore, I will beg the hubster to play them while I fall asleep at night)

2. Mostly I eat with chopsticks; I love the challenge!

3. My favorite places to be are at the beach, the woods and the desert. I'm sure that heaven has figured out a way to combine all three for me!

4. I like learning about things paranormal- since nothing about my life has been normal.

5. I love trying weird foods; I'm pretty sure I could keep up with Andrew Zimmern.

6. I'm obsessive about my hair-it's a Leo rising thing- I cannot/will not leave the house with my mane askew.

7. I lived homeless for 7 years, and oh the stories I could tell....

So there you have it, more factoids about me....had you guessed any of them already?



Sunday, October 25, 2009

Are there ever enough hours in the day?

I know it has been forever since I last posted here...so here goes:

I got a full time permanent job! I am glad that I got the job; but I am also wondering how in the heck I am going to be able to keep up with everything?
I got the job with a trucking company, and the best way I can describe it is this-they were about to go belly up and a 'restructuring company' came in and took over the finances and saved it from bankruptcy. The gal who is playing office manger needed help, so I was hired. As soon as all the finances are all straightened out, she will be leaving and I will be the office manager. She wants to be done in 3 months or so, and I am happy to not have all the responsibility of figuring out the financial messes they have.

I am still writing for HandMade News, although there doesn't seem to be anyone else writing in the Featured Artisan Dept. I was going to resign; but my resignation emails all bounced back to me(no longer valid emails)...and since I am still getting interviews back from people, I figure it must be a sign to keep going as long as I can.

The hubster's garden kept the neighborhood in tomatoes, squash, and zucchinis all summer. I have the last of the pepper harvest to pickle... of course I keep saying that, but the peppers just keep growing and going, even through the freezes we've had...unbelievable! Even last night, more freezing temps, but the peppers are still standing tall! And the carrots are still going strong, too.

As for the hubster's health-the cancer/organ donor meds the Dr. had him on (Cytoxan) began giving him brown spots (like birth marks) on his back and they grew bigger(like HUGE) and began spreading around to his tummy...also began to make his bladder burn and hurt. So he stopped taking the meds a few days ago. His breathing has been easier since, the brown spots are beginning to fade, and he no longer has pain in the bladder. Of course, the meds have killed his immune system so badly that he now had rhuematoid arthritus pretty bad. To which they recommend a RA specialist...what a racket, huh?

He has decided to start going back to our acupressurist (I call him 'House', because he can fix anything) and taking whole food supplements. This guy 'House' cured hubby of acid reflux/gerd simply by putting his body back in ph balance...huh, who would've thunk? So in a couple of weeks we have an appointment with an RA specialist( we are expecting RA Dr. to tell us that hubster has rhuematoid lung) and the next day we go to the acupressurist, House.

On a brighter note I won a blog contest that I entered awhile back and here is what I won from DZFantasy. She has the cutest fairies ever! They are all
soft sculpture and she has all different colors; some with specialty fabrics and all are absolutely gorgeous. I have been lusting after one of these for almost a year, and I had actually forgotten that I had entered her contest! DZFantasy has monthly drawings on her blog. Check out her Etsy shop
I think that pretty much brings you all up to date. Next post, I will show you a salsa bowl I made, and it is hot, I tell ya :D
Take care everyone, and until next time...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I've Been Hiding Out

I haven't posted for over a week now...did you miss me? ...I've been hiding out and giving myself some time to think...

I have spent alot of time writing for HandMade News these past months. I was so elated when I got the job writing. I figured I had found work I could do from home and still be here to take care of the hubster. (update on him, in a few) The trouble is, that it hasn't been a paying job....at all. Word has come down the pipeline that it will now be a non-paying job for the forseeable future. I have stopped sending out interviews now and will only submit til I run out of the ones I have in reserve.
As much as I love to promote other people, I need to be able to make $. So, I will be focusing my efforts on my shops and concentrating on getting them stocked for the holidays.

Now on to the hubster's health-We had a check up at the pulmonologist this week and his breathing is still the same-about 1/4 breathing capacity. It appears the heavy doses of Cytoxan have slowed the disease's progress; nothing new on the x-rays, and blood tests are ok so far . So, I have nothing new to report-he has good days and bad days...and I have found a whole new level of patience ;)

I've been slooooowly, but surely, getting my studio cleaned up. I promised my Guildmaster that I would do a studio walk through. So, I found a few things hiding this week that I had forgotten about. Here they are:

While cleaning, I have found some supplies that I had completely forgotten about, and also some extras that I want to destash. Look for those to be listed soon.
Our weather here took a turn towards winter for a few days and we had our first freeze last night. We covered our garden hoping to extend it's life til it warms back up. The tomatoes still froze even though wrapped and covered. The squash, zucchini, and peppers are still going. So we covered them again tonight as we prepare for the 2nd freeze. This is the first time we are attempting to do this. I'll let you know if it is successful.
Til next time, I'll be pickling peppers amongst other things :D

Monday, September 14, 2009

Just Another Manic Monday

Well, this morning, I was just getting ready to go pick peppers (me and peter piper) and I get a call asking me if I can come to an interview this afternoon for a full time permanent job. Yay!

So, forget the peppers, I throw all my laundry in the washer and get ready for the phone call to tell me what time to be at the interview. Laundry gets done, peppers do not :(
And I got no second phone call telling me what time to be at the interview...

By the time I could safely say that I wasn't getting a call today, it began to storm. And no peck of peppers got picked or pickled. Grrrr

Just another manic monday....

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I got Featured!

Yes I got featured, but that's later....I simply just can't believe how fast the time is flying! It's already half way through September! Our garden has really begun to produce, and even though this garden is tiny compared to years past we still have more than we can eat. We have made several trips to our neighbors unloading tomatoes and zucchini and yellow squash.
This week I canned/pickled sliced jalapenos and cherry hots and froze 4 quarts of roasted and peeled anaheim chiles. I also made a batch of chocolate chocolate chip coconut zucchini bread(not a misprint-it IS double chocolate!) and Mr. Clay and I had fun delivering our 'dessert' bread. Maybe I should give you all the recipe. If you'd like it, leave me a comment and I'll get it on a future post.

Sorry, the pictures Mr. Clay took of the garden highlight his tractor more than his garden:

I will get some better shots tomorrow morning when I harvest another bucketful anaheim chiles.

Other than the garden stuff, I've been real busy this week writing. An article that I submitted to HandMade News a loooooong time ago was published in between my regular column days. And it just so happens that the article is a polymer clay mosaic project I did. (I'd post a picture, but they are with the article.)

So I had three articles publish at the end of this week. Thurs, Fri. & Sat I have been busy promoting them. And one of them got the highest votes of any article in our section! Way to go Christie...she sent the word out to a gazillion peeps and she has the most votes.

I have now written 17 articles and 9 of them are on the top articles list. Thank you everyone for all the thumbs up votes. I really appreciate it.

So my articles this week were:

Sarah of BellaSweet who loves to work in gemstones

Christie of ChristieCottage who has varied artistic interests

And saving the best for last..ME ! :P My Mosaic Planter It's really a cool planter ;)

As always, I would appreciate a thumbs up vote (at the bottom of the article just above the comments section)

Until next time, have a great week!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Blushie was the first skin care products seller/shop that I've been able to interview. I really enjoyed getting to know her and I hope you will too. Here is Meagan of Blushie . Please go and vote her a thumb's up. (at the end of the article just above the comments section)

Doesn't that soap look delicious? Check out Blushie's feature and find out about how she came up with the name of her shop.

Until next time- have a great rest of the weekend everyone!



Thursday, September 3, 2009

Featured Artisan-JenniferLynnProductions

Well my regular publication days on HandMade News are Thursday and Saturday, so I hope you all don't mind when I get on here twice a week and ask for your click and vote on those days. My last article has top # votes in our Dept! And that is with only 30 votes! If I could get everyone who follows my blog to vote, I'd be top dog :D

Anywho here is JenniferLynnProductions' interview. I've been promo-ing it all over the place. If you've run into it twice, I apologize. And here's a sample of Jennifer's photographic art: How cool is that?

Have a Great Day everyone!


Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday! Monday!

So I have a slight break in between the "what I'm supposed to be doings" and thought I would sneak in here real quick and say that I am so behinder I still have end of the week things to do, and it's already Monday! Eeeekkk!!!

My studio was supposed to be cleaned up enough for a picture walk through. I got it half done and the the muse hit me right up side the head.
With my main work station cleaned and the floor swept, I sat down and made a cane I had always wanted to try and was so happy with the results that I began making all kinds of baubles and beads. You know how it is...

Anywho times a wasting, and I have some beads to ship out. I did manage to make a sale this weekend. Yay! This was the first time I have offered beads for sale in my shops and they were snatched up in a couple of days. Yay! Makes me want to go down and make more beads...no! must...clean...studio! :)
Have a great start to the week everyone!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Not One But Two!

I had another feature published this morning on HandMade News...and come to think of it I had one published two days ago.

Ok the first article is Lin of FlauntRox , FlauntDesignsJewelry and well she just flaunts where ever she can :P

The next one is Erica of SierraPelonaCrochet, and she claims she has more earrings than she could possibly wear. And then she sent me a beautiful picture of herself with NO earrings :P

So for any newcomers- When you click on the article, be sure to vote a thumbs up (located at the bottom just above the comments sections)
The more votes and comments I get, the longer I will be able to feature great shops/sellers. Maybe you'll be next?

Also could you please leave me a comment here as to whether you can see the advertising on the right hand side of the article. If you don't see the ads, can you tell me what you do see?

Thank you for all your help...BBL to announce a new giveaway

Thursday, August 20, 2009


This morning my column on HandMade News featured a fellow Polymer Clay Smoosher Guild member. Here is the link to Dori of SassyClayCreations . Please click on over there and show Dori some love by giving her a thumbs up. (located at the bottom of the article just above the comments section)

After you are done getting to know Dori, you can click over to her shop on ArtFire and checkout her unique creations. One of my favorites is this ring shelf. How clever is that? and useful too :)

Until next time, have a Great rest of the week everyone!



Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sheee's Baaack :)

A long time ago in the cobwebs of my mind I remember doing a feature here on my blog with Quiltingdiva. If you ever try and have the last word with her late at night on a thread, you'd better be able to type fast. I still laugh about the night we were both trying to have the last word before Etsy shut down for maintenance.

Well the Qdiva is back and this time she snagged an interview for the Featured Artisan Dept on HandMade News. So click on over there and meet Stacy Edell of Quiltingdiva. And be sure to check out her shop. This diva has been a busy bee and her shop is stocked with all kinds of new items. and be sure to check the purses and totes. I found all different colors pictured within the listings, and the 6 pocket purses are a very cool idea. But you need to click on the listing to look at the other pictures in it to see where the pockets are. See? Do you see 6 pockets on that purse? Go take a look, and you'll see why she is the Diva :) BTW- you can click on the picture ------>

I must tell you that HandMade News has changed the layout of their site, so if it looks a bit (OK, very) different to you, that is the reason. Leave me a comment on what you like (or dislike) and I will be sure and pass it on to the main editor. I absolutely love that our editor listens to our feedback.

Until next time have Great Days :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

My Last Two Articles

The last two???
Well, only for the Just For Fun Dept. The first one is about 'Nothing'
Can you just see the look on my editor's face when she got the file titled 'Nothing' and then the first line said 'This is an article about nothing' I'll bet her eyeballs rolled right out of her head..LOL; at least that is what I was going for.
So if you didn't click on nothing above, here is your last chance: My article about nothing . I do believe it's one of my best, but you'll have to be the judge of that. I must say though, I am a little worried about PizzamanMike out there in Nothing, AZ. When I tried to send him a link to the article, the email bounced back to me. It would be sad if he invested all that money, to not even have nothing to show for it. If anyone will be passing through Nothing, I would really like to hear that Mike is still there.

And now for my last article in the Just For Fun Dept- It's all about BumbleBees and it too has an interesting tale - about some undiscovered gold still rumored to be near a ghost town called BumbleBee.

So you know the drill - please click over to my articles and vote me a thumbs up, and if you are so inclined, you can sign in and leave a comment. I promise you they won't spam you, if you sign in. I have had questions where is it to vote? If you go to the bottom of the article just beofre the comments you'll see a line that says "Tweet this article" "Share this article" and then "Vote for this artilce" with pictures of two thumbs; one goes up and one is thumbs down...you can just ignore the thumbs down for me :D When you click on the thumb, it registers a vote. And you can only vote once, oherwise I would vote myself a winner everytime!

My bestest news is, I transferred to the Featured Artisan Dept. where I will be doing interviews of shops/sellers full time! It makes no difference what venue you sell on, or if you have your own website; if you are interested in being featured you can leave a post here with a way for me to send you a set of interview questions. I am so happy to be doing this. Spotlighting people is my most favoritest thing to do! So please bombard me with requests. I love it!

Have a creative week everyone!


ps I know I need to list another giveaway. I am really hoping to get that done this evening. Keep checking back. Look in the right hand upper corner for the announcement.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My First Main Feature

Yay! I finally got my first main feature published this morning! Absolutely Gourd-geous is all about gourds, and it features some incredible gourd artists and a couple of shops that sell gourd seeds. Take a look at this picture; it's one of the artists featured:

Can you believe someone made that from a gourd?

I would really appreciate it if you would click on over there and vote me thumbs up. You can leave a comment if you sign up. I promise they don't spam you; it's only for ID purposes to see where visitors come from.

My editor is leaning on me to improve my views...I'm doin the best I can, but I need your help.

Thanks and have a Great Day!


Saturday, August 1, 2009

We have a winner!

Congratulations are in order! The winner of my first blog giveaway is Jess of Lindy's Place . Thank you for participating and your earrings will be on their way this week....enjoy :)

While I am here, let me take a few minutes to tell you a bit about Jess-She has a shop on Etsy where she sells an eclectic mixture of items ranging from jewelry to handmade paper to all sorts of different crocheted items along with many other unique pieces. I am particularly fond of her rock star dangles, and a few other items that I will let you discover on your own.
Jess also has a blog where you can sign up to follow her adventures.
Thanks to everyone who participated. Hopefully, I will be announcing another giveaway within the next week, so keep tuned to this station ;)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Premio Meme Award

My blog has been awarded the Premio Meme award by KayzKreationz. Kay makes wonderful stained glass creations. So be sure to check out her blog and her shop on Etsy. She makes some really unique and beautiful items. I am particularly fond of the mini pyramid beach sandscape.

And what does premio meme mean? I haven't a clue! I have searched everything I could think of, even asked jeeves, and the only thing I can come up with is, 'premio' means prize in spanish, portuguese,and italian. But 'meme' only matched in french and it meant same. So I am quite sure I haven't the proper translation. But I like prizes, so I'll stick with that part of the translation. Maybe someone out there can tell me.

To accept this award I have to share 7 things about me. Do I have that many things I haven't already blabbed about? Well, let's just see:

1.) I like it cold. We keep our house in the 60's. If you're cold, you can always throw on a sweater or a blanket. But if you're hot, naked is about as cool as you get without taking a cold shower. What am I doing in the middle of the desert?

2.) I had two children- my son, the oldest, died in a motorcycle accident 5 years ago when he was 28. Don't drink and drive is all I can say about that now. And my daughter is 32, married, and has made me a grandmother 4 times over. Wow am I ancient or what?

3.) I am an Aries with Leo rising and moon is Sagitarrius-what does that mean? I am a fire, fire, fire sign. I won't bore you with any horriblescope (horoscope) definitions. Fire,fire,fire should say enough :)

4.) I love, love, love the beach! I grew up in Southern Calif in Torrance, San Clemente (next door to President Nixon's Western Whitehouse), and Dana Point. If I sit in the sun here in the Utah desert, close my eyes, and concentrate I can still smell the ocean air. I get choked up thinking how much I miss the waves, the sand, the seagulls, the fog horns...well you get what I'm trying to say, huh?

5.) I am a carnation kinda gal. Don't give me roses; can't stand their perfumey-ness. I'll take a fresh smelling carnation any day of the week.

6.) Tacos are my absolute favorite food. I could eat tacos, breakfast, lunch, and dinner...and I have a done that on more than one occassion....yummmmmm

7.) And last but not least, I believe in fairy tales, the para normal, love at first sight, handsome princes, the power of positive thinking, and miracles. And if I left any out, I'll be back later to add to the list...

Do you feel like you know me any better? :)

Ok, now the rules are I have to pass this on to 7 more great bloggers I know. In no particular order, here they are:

1. MoeArt-funny lady!

2. NatureWithMe - go green in Oregon

3. SoulReader- for all you paranormal believers

4. AnotherBrightIdea-ever play blog charades?

5. Mouchois-follow the adventures of Melvin the kitty

6. JdFootloose- hi jd *waves* :)

7. CreativeCritters -she has some really great articles

Check out these blogs; I'm sure you'll find at least one more to follow. I varied them for different interests.

Happy Saturday everyone

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Painting Puzzle

Well moving right along with my writing career, my next article was published this morning on HandMade News. It's a quick painting puzzle . As always, I need all the thumbs up and comments possible. I am a little bit down, cause I've only got 2 comments, and I've been promoting all over the place!

I realize that they make one sign up to leave a comment, but I promise you, there is no spam involved. All you have to do is create a user login name and a password, that's it!

Please , please , pretty please with a cherry on top :) leave me a comment and vote. My views have dropped waaaay down, and they are starting to lean on me for more response to my articles. If I don't get a following, they will drop me :( and then I won't be able to feature shops, items, and sellers.

And I really do like making someone's day when I get to tell them they have been featured.
Til next time...keep on smiling :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Got a Job!!!!

So yesterday I had the job interview and I got the job! Yay! Horrah!
I know many of you probably already heard the news elsewhere and I still have a couple more places to post it. But starting next Monday, I will be working at a coal cleaning plant for the next 2 and a half weeks, doing computer data entry for the truck shipments. I am so excited, I am still doing the happy dance today. Thank you everyone for all your prayers and good thoughts.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Do you have an Idea?

Wow my articles are getting published faster than I thought they would! Here is my latest, and if you are getting a little thin in the memory area, this is perfect for you. It is something I have practiced for the last year. So instead of giving it all away here, I shall post a link to my Idea Basket. As always, please be sure to drop on by and leave a comment and a vote. This means a lot to our advertisers and keeps me in good standing with the editors.
It has been an extremely busy week for me, and here is what I have accomplished:

ClayItAgain is having a Christmas in July sale going on right now on Etsy and ArtFire. Those links will take you directly to the Christmas sale section. My most popular Christmas item of late has been my elves. I have discounted so much, I'm practically giving it away. And just for this weekend, I will offer an additional $10 savings on any wreath. With all the markdowns, they are 1/2 price now, and I would really like to get those out of here to make more room in my studio. Please feel free to share this info with all your rich friends :D
I also took the plunge and set up a fan page for ClayItAgain on FaceBook. My first goal, is 100 fans and when I reach that, I will have a drawing for a gift certificate good for anything in my shop. I also set up a fan page for 12MidnightOils. And I will also have a drawing for a gift certificate when I get 100 fans there.
Our garden has really kicked into gear now that the weather has turned hot. The 2nd round of lettuce is starting to thrive. I always thought that lettuce needed a cooler environment, but we've never had a shortage of lettuce...AS LONG AS WE KEEP THE SEEDLINGS WATERED ;) So maybe we will have something to donate to the food bank, after all, this year.
On Monday, I have a job interview. Yay! It's only for a temporary job while a lady goes on vacation. But heck! The $$$ I make in that 2 weeks could carry us financially for another month! So be thinking good thoughts for me on Monday afternoon.
Well I think that about wraps it up for this post. Don't forget to enter the drawing for my giveaway. There's only 2 weeks left til I announce a winner, and I think there are only 7 entries...incredible odds I must say!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Chalk Art

Wow! I got two articles published this week! And so without further ado, I bring you the link to the next, in my journalistic career
Please click on over there and leave me a vote and a comment. The more I get, the longer I get to feature shops and items. Who knows? Maybe yours will be next :)

And you really must click on the two artist's links while you are there. Their sidewalk art is totally freakin amazing! I was wandering the web for hours checking out 3-d art. I had no idea there was so much. I guess that's what comes from living in a small town for the last 10 years. (I have no excuse for the other 15 years of my life)... ;)

And while I am on the subject of articles, did anyone (besides my best friend from 5th grade) try out the dinner roll/bread recipe? I should have made bread two days ago as we are all out, but I bribed my way out of it when I found a box of Jiffy corn muffin mix hiding in the cupboard.

Christmas in July sales are in full force. ClayItAgain has finally joined in on the action, with a half dozen or so items listed on Etsy and Artfire.
And the Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild will be featuring a Christmas in July event next week. Details will be announced in a few days.
One of my most popular items last year was these little elves. and out of all the different colored packages that I use, the red is the most popular.
I have a bunch more stuff still to list for the Christmas in July sale. I hope I am able to get them all listed before August gets here, or I'm going to be having a Christmas in August sale.
I still have more wreaths, elves, and snowmen to get photographed and listed, so I better say good bye for now.
Have a great week everyone...I'll be back soon *waves*
ps Don't forget to sign up for the giveaway! (Upper right hand corner for details)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Week 2 of My Publishing Career

My second article on Handmade News was published this morning. It's a mouth watering, fill the house with good smells, tastey recipe....yummmm. And Mr. Clay has woofed down every last bit of it, and has already started asking when am I going to make more.
So please click on over to my article and show me some lubs. I guess the more comments and clicks I get, the higher it goes in the rankings. My last article got so much action it was #8 on the top ten list of poplular articles! Yay!
I am making this post short and sweet.

Don't forget I am having a giveaway. If you would like to win the flip flop earrings pictured in the upper right corner, please leave a comment with a way for me to contact you should you be the winner. So far I only have 3 entries. That sure is good odds!
Have a great rest of the week everyone.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My first ever giveaway!

Yesterday, the 4th Of July was our 10th wedding anniversay! TaDa...
My present to the hubster was to de-weed the backyard, and trust me, that was no easy chore.
In celebration of my anniversary, I am having my first ever giveaway! I will keep this post short and sweet. What am I giving away? Well these orphan pair of orange flip flip earrings.
How do you enter? Leave some way for me to contact you-makes no difference to me if it's email, shop url, website...whatever you choose, and leave it in the comment section in one of the posts between now and July 31. At the end of the month the lucky winner will be announced.
That's all I have for today..stay tuned..and have a Great Week everyone! :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Yay!! I'm a Published Columnist!!

This morning I awoke to my first column being published! I have been tooting my horn all over the place. Please visit Handmade News and read my article and show me some lubs. The more comments and thumbs up I get, the more I can keep writing and featuring sellers and their items. Plus as an added bonus, there is also a quiz to test your smarts. So now that I've told you all that, you probably want a link, heh? OK, I'm in the Just for Fun section and my article is Attracting Birds (not my choice of title, but whaddya gonna do,huh?)

In celebration of my 1st article published I am offering a 20% discount!! on anything in either of my shops til July 4th! Just send me a convo (thru Etsy), a message (thru ArtFire) or an email (clayitagaincindi [at] yahoo[dot] com) and I will reduce the price for your purchase before you have to pay. Oh, and let me know you saw the special here on my blog. That's all there is to it. That means you could actually get $50 off my larger paintings and the discount is not limited to one item either. This is my stimulus package to help stimulate the economy :)

Ok to bring you up to date with the rest of me :) I finally broke down and set up some Facebook Fan Pages. I guess it's the newest rage for promoting; so now ClayItAgain has it's own fan page....and 12MidnightOils has it's own fan page. So why am I telling you this? Well, become a fan of each of them, and when my fan list hits 100 I will draw someone's name for a $10 gift certificate. Good toward's anything in either shop. That's going to be 2 drawings, not just one. And just in case 1 person happens to win both drawings (not likely..BUT just in case) yes, you can use both at once for a $20 savings. Now how can you turn that down? I have not yet begun to promote my fan pages, so they don't have any fans, except me. I am my #1 fan! How vain is that? So hurry on over there and become a fan. I've always wanted one.......hundred!

And as soon as I get the pictures taken I am going to start a giveaway here too...I am hoping to get the blog promo up and running by this weekend.....so stay tuned to me me me me :P
Have a Great Day everyone!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Featuring - MoeArt of ArtFire & Etsy

I should have been here sooner to post this, but I got side-tracked on Moe's blog. Who is Moe, you ask? Well she is the Moe of MoeArt, and if you've never visited her blog, you are missing out on a treat, and alot of laughs. I spent the better part of the day LOL at her adventures with Westinghouse products, her vaccuum cleaner, her cats, and just her way of looking at life. So today was not a total loss for me. I needed a break with a lot of laughs. And I didn't even mention all the polymer clay items she has presented on her blog. And have you looked in her shops? She has a shop on Etsy and a shop on ArtFire. Truly a talented lady!

I am happy to give you all the opportunity to get to know Moe. She recently joined the ArtFire Polymer Clay Smooshers, but said she has been on PCC (Polymer Clay Central) for years. I am so glad she has found our guild. She sounds like one happy go lucky lady. And who can blame her? She lives in Paradise after all. It's quite obvious that she loves her life and what she does:
What is your favorite item in your shop? Yikes! My dragon, I guess. I love dragons and have several even though there is only one listed. I can't decide what I like to make the best. It's all such fun! But there actually is another dragon listed in her ArtFire shop
What inspires you to create? Color. Anything with lots of color makes me think, "I can make this in clay!" Silks, sunsets, clothing, jewelry, gemstones, just about anything colorful.

Do you have any inspirational advice for other artists? Do what works for YOU! Doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. If you are inspired by steel mills or lambs in a meadow... go for it! Creativity is inside each individual. It is not dictated by something that's "popular" or trendy or from somebody else's mind. It belongs to you and you alone. So, go forth and make what works for YOU!

Do you create in more than one medium? I used to do painting on rocks and quilling and several other crafty things. I still quill once in a while but generally, clay is THE thing. I love it!
These earrings are GORGEOUS!!! I love, love love them. And also the monarch set. Beautiful job, Moe!
If you could live anywhere else in the world where would it be? and why? Hee. This is a no brainer for me. I live in Honolulu. Would you want to move? :D Okay, okay... maybe Maui. :D

Favorite food? Wine. That's a major food group, right?

Favorite Animal? Our two kitties. Allie and Ipo (that's "sweetheart" in Hawaiian) Ipo is THE most misnamed kitty in the world. Her *real* name is Destructo Kitty or BratCat of the Universe.

Favorite color? Orange! Burnt orange is my absolute favorite. Followed only by bronzes and golds and reds.
Do you have a favorite quote you'd like to share? Hmmmm, maybe not. But if I had to make one up it would be "Go for it!" Or "NEVER give up!' I guess that's pretty close to Winston Churchill, isn't it?
Sites where you can find moe
ArtFire Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild http://artfiresmooshers.ning.com/profile/MoeArt
This was fun. Mahalo and aloha! moe
Thank you Moe for taking the time to do this interview. Please be sure to visit MoeArt on Etsy and MoeArt on ArtFire . I know you will find beautiful polymer clay items there.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hubby, Job, & Garden update

I have been waiting for a quick break in features to post a bit of news that I had to share with you all. I got a "job" writing articles for HandmadeNews on ArtFire's home page ! I am in the Just For Fun section. See? click on that link...but come right back afterwards; you'll see a teensy weensy avatar of me. If you click on my name, it takes you to my bio. Soon, that page will start filling up with articles that I've written. My first two articles are due tomorrow, and I'm not sure how soon the articles are published, but you can count on me to rattle your chain and give me some love when they are published :) They have a comment section down below each article and a 'thumbs up,thumbs down. So at least be sure and leave me a thumb :)) I am hoping to get a widget or a button for my blog soon, so it will be easy to click your way over there. And hey-they still have a link up at the top saying they are hiring, if you are interested.

As for the hubster's health. Well, a few weeks back he was sitting up in bed and coughed at the same time. It wasn't a big cough, but it was enough that it separated the cartilage in his ribs where they went in and did the biopsy. He was in so much pain that I took him to the Dr. They gave him some pain pills, but figured that it was time to wean him off the steroids. So he had to cut it down 1/2 pill every week. The first day of the cut back he could already feel a difference. And by the second week he was noticably weaker. It also affected his attitude, and he was an absolute meany to be around. Constantly trying to pick fights over nothing. The worst part was that he couldn't see it himself. He thought everyone was trying to provoke him. He's now off of them completely, and is tolerable most of the time. And he gets so weak and out of breath even just watering the garden. It frightens me because I see what's coming. I don't say anything to him though.

We just got a letter today from the Social Security Disability and they want the hubster to go take a breathing test at the government's expense. But that won't be til July 1, so now we are wondering how much longer we have to wait til they make a determination on his disability claim. I also dread these breathing tests. It makes me cry to see him try and blow into a machine and then the coughing and nearly throwing up afterwards. Enough of that talk :(

I still have not been able to get a job, and financially, things are extremely tight. We've been able to survive this whole year on less than 5K. I'm not sure I know anyone who could do that. We are sooo fortunate that our house is paid off, but we still need water and electricity to make our beans and rice. I wish I knew how to make a donation button on my blog. And then I even wonder if anyone would help. I know things are tight out there. I wonder if some people know how fortunate they are right now.

We have begun to eat radishes from the garden. As as I suspected, the hubby didn't water the lettuce seeds enough and they didn't even sprout. So he planted some more and still hasn't watered them enough. He wanted to do this garden HIS way, so I have stayed out of it. I was going to plant some lettuce in a planter for us, but he nabbed my planter for radishes too. So... at least we have radishes lol

Well I better wrap it up for this time. I have another feature waiting in the wings. Take care everyone and think good thoughts for us.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Featuring ArtFire Shop - Unique by Karlee

I met UniquebyKarlee in the ArtFirePolymer Smooshers Guild. She not only creates with polymer clay, but also crochets and sews as well. When I first entered the shop of UniquebyKarlee, my eyes were immediately caught by several striking coffee cup cozies. I have been drinking a lot of tea lately due to cold and rainy weather, and these cup cozies would be ideal for someone (like me) who drinks warm/hot beverages. Then I poked around in her shop a little more, and found all kinds of different treasures. I had to find out a little more:

What is your favorite item in your shop?
I'll let you choose your favorite. I don't have some stuff listed yet, and I have some fairly neat stuff to list. :) I absolutely love it when I get to pick the fav, and since it has been terribly stormy for the last couple of weeks, I was immediately attracted to this Lightning Striking Coffee Cozy. But wait this gets even better!!! She is having a SALE right now 5 cozies for the price of 4! These would make excellent stocking stuffers at Christmas. I'm thinking gifts for the neighbors, office workers, and family; PLUS there is a great selection. You're sure to find one for everyone on your list, and if you click on this picture you can see all the different views of this cozy.

What inspires you to create?
Colors, textures, letting my mind wander. I don't really go looking for clay inspiration, I just start playing with the clay and let it happen. I've come up with some neat stuff this way, and other times some serious train wrecks.

And do you have any inspirational advice for other artists?
Sometimes thinking outside the box will get you that really great piece that you may not like, but someone else can't live without. You never know what a customer is going to look for, so unless it is REALLY bad, go ahead and make it then list it. It very well may the thing that puts you on the map.

Do you create in more than 1 medium?
Oh yes. I started my artfire shop by sewing. Clay is the latest addition. I've been sewing for most of my life, and quite often sew more things than I have room for. My husband, family, and friends suggested that I start selling my wares to free up space for new things, and for a little revenue.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose? And why?
Birmingham, Alabama. My best friend lives there with his family, and they are more like my extended family without actually being family. I visited him for a week a few years back, and fell in love with the area (and the magnolia trees).

What is your favorite food?
Schnitzel. I grew up on German cooking, and can't seem to get enough schnitzel.

Favorite animal?
My favorite animal has always been, and will always be, horses. I am lucky to own a horse, and if you ask her, she will tell you she is spoiled rotten.

Favorite color?
Chrome. LOL, just kidding. Blue, hands down. 90% of my horse equipment is blue, my purse is blue, seat covers in the car are blue, favorite coffee cup is blue...the list goes on.

Do you have a favorite quote you'd like to share?
“Life is not a journey to the grave with intentions of arriving safely in a pretty well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming ... WOW! What a ride!” LOL! I love that :)

Other places UniquebyKarlee can be found:

UniquebyKarlee on ArtFire (I only sell on artfire)
UniquebyKarlee's website (All but one product on my website is linked to my artfire shop)
Also a member of the ArtFire Polymer Smooshers Guild
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview and giving us a laugh or two. Be sure to visit UniquebyKarlee and get some of those coffee cozies while they are still on sale.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Featuring -2Good Claymates

I found 2 Good Claymates when I went blog jumping one day. When I came across this blog I was mesmerized by the blog header and one particular gecko on it. It was absolutely beautiful! The green swirls on it were perfect; not a crooked line or distortions on any of it. I was envious to say the least. Needless to say, I was quite happy when she answered my call for blog features. Here's a little more about this shop:

What is your favorite item in your shop?
I have a lot of favorites but I like my candle collars the most. They were something I dreamed about making and I love how they turned out. I have several pairs I use in my home and get comments on them all the time.
This is one of my favorites as I love the colors and the mokume gane design.

What inspires you to create?
I would say colors inspire me the most. One of the first things I did with my clay was mix my own colors! And I was so excited when I discovered you could actually save the “recipe” and make that exact color again. I have all my color samples and recipes on index cards and organized in a photo album. When I’m trying to decide what to make I will usually browse through my album and pick out color combinations I like and then dive in. When I see the colors together it will help me decide what to do next -- a mokume gane -- canes, flowers, etc. One thing I like about my work the most is the wide range of colors I use -- there is something for everyone!

And do you have any inspirational advice for other artists?
Don’t worry about trying to find your own “specialty” technique or “trademark”. Just dive in and have fun and it will eventually find you! Then again that may never happen -- lol -- I enjoy so many different techniques with the clay that I don’t think I will ever settle down and focus in on only one or two.

Do you create in more than 1 medium?
I use to oil paint as well as papier mache. I also sew a lot and have designed and made most of my own clothing and accessories. Years ago I use to have a line of specialty eyeglass cases I designed and made myself and sold to various Optical stores. I'm now making my own jewelry pouches (a simpler version of those cases I use to make) which makes the pieces I sell a little more special.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose? And why?
We lived in Mexico for 9 years and that was an adventure of a lifetime. We moved back to Canada in 2001 and last fall we moved from the big city and settled down in a cute little town and absolutely love it here and can’t imagine living anywhere else now.

What is your favorite food?
I don’t have too many favorite foods -- I like most things as long as it is meatless!

Favorite animal ? My favorite animal is a dog -- although I loved the geckos that were in our home and yard when we were in Mexico! Maybe that is why I like making those out of clay the most.

Favorite color? My favorite color is green -- preferably yellow greens like lime or olive. Whenever I see something in a shade of green I like, it immediately causes my head to turn and I can’t help not feeling attracted to it. Many people have told me it is because that is the color of my eyes.

Do you have a favorite quote you'd like to share?
I have a lot of favorite quotes and most of them centre around happiness and laughter. (My middle name is Joy and some people have nicknamed me “giggles”). I guess I would say, “The shortest distance between two people is laughter” by Victor Borge. He is my favorite artist who has always made me laugh the hardest!

Do you have anything else you would like to share? My name is Carolyn Good -- my hubby (and best friend) is Dave Good and that is how we came up with the name “2 Good Claymates”

2 Good Claymates can be found in several places on the web
Blogs (3): http://www.2goodclaymates.blogspot.com/
(last 2 blogs are set up in a magazine style with links to our Art Fire Studio or Etsy Shop)

Art Fire Studio: http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?name=Shop&seller_id=28096
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/2goodclaymates/
Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6563828
Member of the Art Fire Artisan Jeweler Guild

Member of the Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild
I'm a new member of The Shuswap Lake Festival of the Arts Society in the area where I live -- I have 4 pieces I'm entering in the juried part of the show this year (3 jewelry pieces plus a mosaic tiled coffee table) as well as selling a lot of my pieces in the gift shop that will be set up for the 9 days at the festival. I will also be demonstrating on making my floral canes at the show.
Thanks again!
Carolyn Good--

Thank you Carolyn for taking the time to share your talents with us and showing us your many beautiful peices. Please be sure to check out 2Good Claymates on Etsy and on ArtFire. I fell in love with several of their pieces, and you may just find something you just can't live without any longer, too!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Our Baby Garden

It finally warmed up enough for us to plant our garden a couple of weeks ago. We are having a small garden this year. Just enough to keep Mr. Clay busy. Our growing season out here in the desert is only from Memorial Day thru Sept/Oct. when Mother Nature decides to freeze it off.

Ms.Robin watched on as we planted.

I know you probably think with being in the desert, we'd have a longer growing period. But we still freeze all thru the month of May.

Normally we have a huge garden; it's a 40' x 40' area. We usually grow 30-40 each of tomatoes, cherry hot peppers, anaheim peppers, jalapeno peppers, 10-15 squash, zucchinis, and habaneros. Then the rows of lettuce, peas, radishes, and carrots. Even though we hook up a irrigation watering system, it's still a full time job watering and weeding. And then, when everything starts coming on, it's not unusual for me to be in the kitchen 10-15 hours a day roasting peeling, freezing, canning, and pickling. When I make salsa, it's not by the bowlful. I make salsa by the 5 gallon bucket full!

When I first learned to can, I would make batches of salsa and call it mild or medium or hot. It wasn't the greatest method of measuring hottness. Then I began to name them-There was the Dragon series-Baby Dragon, Dragon Spit, Dragon Fire; there was the cute name series- wimpy,wimpy,wimpy salsa, Killer Salsa, Killer H. Salsa, This Is The Salsa (TITS for short). That was a funny one. I was down in my kitchen one evening and one of our friends called and told my husband they liked my TITS. We got a good laugh over that one.

And people would continually ask me "how many peppers are in this?" Like I counted? Like I cared? I figured if it was spicy enough for Mr. Clay and me, then we were happy. So last time I named the salsas after songs with numbers. There was 25 or 6 to 4, 50 ways (renamed '50 ways to eat your salsa' in stead of 'ways to leave your lover'), Get your Kicks on Route 66, 76 Tombones..and of course 110 Clarinets were right behind, Around the World in 80 Days, You're Gonna Cry 96 Tears...and then the last batch was Mega H Death. The number in the song was the number of jalapenos in that 5 gallon batch of salsa...with the exception of 25 or 6 to 4-It was only a 4 gallon batch. Mega H Death was the last batch of the season and had all the last of the crops in it-over 200 jalapenos and the H stood for all the habaneros! It is pure fire in salsa form.

This year we only have 5 tomatoes, 4 jalapenos, 8 anaheim chiles, 4 habaneros and the peas , lettuce, radishes, and carrots, zuchini and squash.

Here is my gardening tip(which Mr. Clay refused to follow): if you mix your carrot and radish seeds together in a cup and plant them together, the radishes will come up shade and the delicate carrot sprouts. the radishes will be grown up and harvested just about the time your carrots really start beginning to grow their roots.

Our radishes have sprouted, and so have the zuchinis and squashes.

We bought the tomatoes and peppers, and they are beginning to shoot up.

Everything has sprouted now with the exception of the lettuce. I'm not sure Mr. Clay has kept it damp enough, but we shall see.
As for an update on his health-A couple of weeks ago he was getting out of bed and coughed and separated the cartilage on his ribs. So the Dr.s have begun weaning him off of the steroids. Not a fun time for either of us. His strength is waning and he is super grouchy, to put it mildly. It is difficult at best to be a caregiver to one who is terminal.
As for my job search- it still continues. Every week I get a few more good promising prospects. One of these days I'll land the right one. I hope it's real soon. We have survived this whole year now on less than $5K ! That's quite an accomplishment, I think. Have a Great Day everyone :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

I follow quite a few blogs, and it seemed everywhere I turned lately I have seen this award. When one is awarded it, they must pick 15 more blogs for the award. and I thought to myself, "I'm glad I didn't get his cause I'm not sure if I can find 15 blogs that don't already have this award." And then I got awarded it ...3X! I am going to go out on a limb here and hope that this doesn't mean I have to come up with 45 winners

The first one was from KayzKreationz and then Felicia Kramer was the second and third was
BarbaraCrochetStudio. Thank you ladies for the honor; I am truly humbled. And don't forget to check out their blogs. They are all fantastic!

Since I was already committed on the shop features I do, I had to wait to post this and it gave me a chance to scour the blogs I have chosen to make sure they hadn't been awarded it.
So the rules for accepting this award are as follows:

1. Accept the award.

2. Post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, along with his or her blog link.
3. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
Please be sure to stop and visit these wonderful blogs that I've passed this award on to:

2 Good Claymates These 2 make some amazing polymer clay things

A Needle In a Haystack I found this one one day while blog jumping :)

Bath Buddies One of my pals on a BNS thread on Etsy

B Gobble Art One of the Polymer Clay Smooshers

Christie Cottage She is the originator of the BNS thread I have managed to stay on

Creative Critters Another Polymer Clay Smoosher buddy

Crochet By the Bay Check out the farmhouse her and her husband are refurbishing

Fantasy Clay I won a pixy off her blog and am anxious to get him

Gifted Designs Another BNS threader who makes beautiful jewelry

JD Footloose One of my thread peeps *waves* hi jd :)

La De Da Creations One of the Polymer Clay Smooshers

Nature With Me Think you're green? Look here and see

Soul Reader She really touches my soul

The Bear Bunch Follow the adventures of the 4 bears

Things In Stuff A whole family of crafters

I love all these blogs, and even if I don't comment all the time, know that I am watching you all :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Featuring Artfire shop- HaffinaCreations

I found haffinacreations one day when I was blog jumping. I noticed a purple something or other, and since I am a purple freak I figured I would check this blog out. After all, anyone who shows purple is worth a few minutes of my life...and then I saw the giveaway.... In order to win the prize you had to pick out your fav in her shop. I immediately clicked on her ArtFire store link and was amazed with all her work. I had seen very little chainmaille jewelry up to that point, but when I saw haffina's, I was in awe! It took me nearly an hour to pick out my fav. (I take opinion polls very seriously..lol) I had never seen any such kind of workmanship and colors. Then when I saw she was in the ArtFire Polymer Smoosher's Guild and incorporated polymer clay with her chainmail, I knew I would have to find out a little more about her:

What is your favorite item in your shop? I don't have a favourite really, so I am quite happy for you to pick your favourite. So, you know what that meant, don't ya?...I lingered and labored for a couple of days trying to pick just the right thing. I mean, have you peeked into her shop? Can you pick out just one fav? I finally settled on this one; how did I do? The pattern is so intriguing and the colors mesh so well. I just love it!
What inspires you to create? Anything and everything. I get ideas from really weird things sometimes, and I tend to dream in clay and chainmaille.. its a bit freaky.

And do you have any inspirational advice for other artists? The greatest source of inspiration is within each and every one of us, just find the outlet that lets you tap into yours. Try new things, never stop exploring, and you will find it.

Do you create in more than 1 medium?

I create chainmaille, seed bead pieces, jewellery in general. Plus I paint mandalas when the mood is upon me. I have been known to knit, crochet and cross stitch, but not as much any more. I also write, mainly poetry, but also short stories on occasion.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose? And why? Halfway up a nice hill with a great view, in a big house with lots of room and light. I would prefer it to be in South Australia, because it is home to me.

What is your favorite food? Black Forest Cake

Favorite animal? Butterflies

Favorite color? Purple with Teal.

Do you have a favorite quote you'd like to share? 'If words and ideas flowed like water and wine, I'd never be thirsty or sober.' Its one of mine, and I think it sums up creativity, and how sometimes it seems to dry up. LOL

When someone gives me a quote I usually look it up on the web to see who wrote it, and guess what? This quote IS actually haffina's! She is one talented lady. She hasn't mentioned it, so I will, she also writes for handmade.org She is an Adminstrator on an online forum, a Moderator on another forum, Guildmaster of the ArtFire Chainmaille Guild, a member of four other guilds, including the ArtFire Polymer Clay Smooshers, maintains two blogs and to top that off - she is a stay at home mum of 5 children.

haffinacreations can also be found on the following sites...and be sure to look at her Flickr . She has some pictures of her beaded work there.
Wordpress blog - http://haffinacreations.wordpress.com/
Blogspot blog - http://haffinacreations.blogspot.com/
Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/haffinacreations/

The Original Haffina Creations - its on a forum - http://www.theacforum.com/index.php?board=121.0
Haffina Creations Facebook Fanpage - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Haffina-Creations/62034704023
I'm also on Plurk, Twitter, MySpace, IndiePublic, CafeMom, byhand.me and lots of other places.

Thank you so much haffina for taking the time to share a little of yourself with us. Be sure to check out haffinacreations on ArtFire. If you're like me, you'll find a favorite in her shop to put on your wish list.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Featuring ArtFire Shop - Creative Critters

I am slowly but surely getting to know the other members of the ArtFire Polymer Smoosher's Guild. I want to give you all a chance to see some of the member's ArtFire shops, and what better way than to start with Creative Critters ? Let's take a look into this shop and learn a bit more:
What is your favorite item in your shop? One of my favorite items right now is my Scorch the Rockin' Dragon sculpture.

I put a LOT of work into this sculpture, and I think he came out really cool!
And I agree with you. I know the work it takes to apply each scale individually to a dragon, and you are right to be proud of Scorch-he is Rockin!

What inspires you to create? Creating is in my blood. I've been creating things since I was a child. I find inspiration everywhere. I love the world of fantasy, and find inspiration in books, paintings, movies, even screen savers. Animals and nature are also very inspirational. I love all animals and really enjoy being outside, taking walks in the woods, etc. I'm the sort of person who HAS to create. If I don't have at least one project going, something is very wrong.

And do you have any inspirational advice for other artists? I guess my inspirational advice for others would be to just relax and take in everything around you. Sometimes if you try too hard to come up with an idea, you just get stuck. I usually come up with my best ideas, and solutions to problems when I just relax and let my mind wander. When I'm out walking around the neighborhood I take in all the flowers and trees, animals, kids playing, everything going on around me.

Do you create in more than 1 medium?
I create in several mediums. I knit stuffed animals, sew cloth dolls and plush World of Warcraft characters, and make jewelry with a variety of beads (including polymer clay). I enjoy variety in my artwork and I like to learn new crafts. You just never know what I'll come up with next!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose? And why? It would have to be in a nice rural area with a good growing season. I love to garden, and I enjoy nature. I'd also like to live near water. When I was a teen I lived on a lake and discovered I love swimming and playing in the water. I don't have a specific place in mind, just somewhere a little warmer than NE Ohio, and much more rural (I live in the suburbs now).

What is your favorite animal? It would be a toss up between cats and ferrets, and both together are hilarious. Favorite food? I guess would be most any type of fruit- strawberries, bananas, peaches..., I love them all. Favorite color? Purple (just check out my studio!). I like most colors though, and enjoy playing with color in my artwork.

Do you have a favorite quote you'd like to share? "Just do it!" is a quote I often repeat to myself. That applies to so many things, from my workouts, to housework, to difficult creative projects.

CreativeCritters can be found in several other places on the internet

Thank you Michelle, for taking the time to do this interview and sharing all your talents with us. Please be sure to visit CreativeCritters on ArtFire and check out all her creative items.