Sunday, May 31, 2009

Featuring ArtFire Shop - ColtPixy

As some of you know I joined at the end of last year. When I joined, the deciding factor for me, was that they had different craft guilds that one could join. So this is how I came to know ColtPixy- thru the Polymer Clay Guild on ArtFire known as Polymer Clay Smooshers. ColtPixy took over as the guildmaster and has really been trying to get our guild organized. I learned that she has studied arts & crafts her entire life. For many years she painted with watercolors and acrylics, and then for awhile became obsessed with quill pens and ink. And then her husband introduced her to stained glass. More about that later, but first let's find out a little more about this talented artist:

What is your favorite item in your shop? Bitchy Peas In a Pod. I love how they make people smile. Which is exactly what they made me do when I saw them :) What inspires you to create? I get inspiration from everything I see and hear. I keep a notebook with me everywhere and I am always jotting down ideas or making sketches.

And do you have any inspirational advice for other artists? Do not ever stop experimenting and playing. Remember when you were a kid and made things just to be doing it? Don't stop just because you grew up. I got inspiration for some of my best creations from just doodling or playing.

Do you create in more than 1 medium? Yes. I paint and draw. I work with stained glass and draw my own patterns. I have made stained glass mosaics for 12 years and used to earn my living at it until a tendon injury cost me the use of my right hand for 6 months. My orthopedic surgeon suggested I switch mediums to clay and not do mosaics full time. I still do mosaics part time. Here is a photo of one of my favorite pieces.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose? And why? Honestly, I could be happy anywhere as long as it is with my husband. He is my rock

What is your favorite food? Favorite food is a tough one. I love all kinds of food. Favorite animal? I love all animals but I am a dog girl. Favorite color? My favorite color is purple and there is something about purple in combination with dark blue that really attracts me

Do you have a favorite quote you'd like to share? "Failure is not an option. It is a privilege reserved only for those who try." It is the tag line I use everywhere. It is a reminder to myself to always give everything my best shot.

You can find ColtPixy in several spots on the web:





Thank you Star, for taking the time to do this interview and share a piece of yourself with us. Please be sure to visit ColtPixy on ArtFire and check out her polymer clay items. And do check out her other sites for more of her creations. She truly is multi-talented!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's hump day ALREADY????

Wasn't it just Wednesday last week? lol My, how the time is flying this year!
Well, I decided to start an exercise program. I have been putting it off and putting it off. The more I sat around with my hubby this past winter keeping him company, the more weight I began to pack on. I had to get out my Xlarge pants...uggghhh
Several weeks ago I sent my Richard Simmons album off to get recorded onto CD. I used to exercise with this album obsessively. Back in the day, it wasn't odd at all for me to be up at midnight getting in some more situps or leg lifts. Of course, I was only 25 then and anorexic too boot!
OH HOW THE TIMES HAVE CHANGED!! I am now 51 and definitely NOT anorexic :) So I decided to walk at least a mile on my treadmill and then exercise with Richard. I have been at it now for a week. I walk a mile in 21 and a half minutes at the rate of 2.8 mph, which is a pretty good clip. And have been exercising with Richard for another 30 something minutes. I have been feeling pretty great...until this morning...
I had nearly finished the warm up exercises and right at the end of the warm-ups, I pulled something in my back. I couldn't continue the exercises. I am hoping that the muscle rub (Flexall) and rest will help it to ease up a bit so that I can continue tomorrow.
I know a lot of people can't stand Richard Simmons and I don't care for any of his exercising programs except the very first album called 'Reach'...which is what I was doing when I pulled my whatever it is, in my back. Any other Richard Simmons likers, lovers out there???
Anyway, enough about the weight issue. I will not mention it again until I go down a pant size OR I can see my toes in the shower WITHOUT having to bend

Friday, May 15, 2009

My World Famous Taco Recipe :)

You are in for a treat this time: I have finally decided to post my world famous taco recipe! Vegetarians and vegans close your eyes and cover your ears :) unless you have a meat substitute you can use...and maybe they are not as world famous as I think ( I lead a sheltered life here)

These are the most delicious tacos ever! And because they don't use any of those red seasoning packets that most taco meat is made with, they don't cause heartburn..unless you eat 27 in one sitting ;)
Here's a look at the finished dish, but keepa you fingies off...those there have ketchup on them and they are mine.

(ketchup on tacos? yep that's me, the oddball...besides if I hurry up and put ketchup on, nobody else will take mine...see there is a method to my madness lol)

Now for the ingredients: of course the basics-corn tortillas, shredded lettuce, grated cheese, and oil to cook in...(olive oil is not recommended for this recipe) I use vegetable oil for this.

And then for the 'extras'... should you want them-(not mandatory however) tomatoes, avocados, olives, sour cream, salsa, or whatever you like on your tacos

Now the way these tacos are different from any other taco you've had is- the meat is cooked inside the tortilla. And what makes them so tastily addictive is the spices I put in the meat. So here goes: (measurements are for 1lb beef)

1lb. ground beef- as usual the leaner the better

Ingredients to add to your beef are:

1/4 tsp Lawry's season salt
1/4 tsp powdered garlic
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp oregano- of late I have been using the leaf and crumbling it by hand cause I ran out of the ground stuff, and we have liked this even better!
1/2 cup of dice red onions
1/8 tsp salt-this is the only optional spice

Now for the last ingredient-tofu- I know what you're saying, but please read on:

For those of you who are squeamish about tofu, it is not mandatory for this recipe. The tofu makes your hamburger go twice as far, will be less 'heavy' in your tummy afterwards, and NO ONE will ever know you have added it,...unless you tell them. TRUST ME on this! You may get a comment like "what did you put in the meat to make it taste so good?" Tell them it's the spices you added if you have picky eaters. I had the world's worst pickiest eater, my stepson, and he couldn't even tell.

Side story here on tofu-The first time I ever had tofu was in a meatloaf. I HATE MEATLOAF, make no mistake about that. But I was at my grandparents house, my grandpa made it, my kids were present, so in order to set a good example, I ate it. I could not believe how good his meatloaf was. I actually had seconds! I had to ask him "Grandpa, what did you put in the meatloaf? And when he told me tofu, you could have knocked me over with a feather! So all you tofu scaredies-maybe you will be brave and add tofu to your ground beef, and just see the difference. You can make your hamburgers, meatloaf, scrambled burger for casserole, meatballs...anything that requires ground beef- just add tofu and watch your dish be even more tastey. What kind of tofu? Silky, firm, or extra firm...makes no difference. Just don't get the seasoned kind for this recipe. More recipes with tofu on another day.....

Shown here is 2 lbs super lean ground beef with 1-14oz. pkg of tofu. I usually add this much tofu to this much ground beef. If you are trying tofu for the first time add half as much. You can save the other half in water in the fridge for another time. Remember this is 2 lbs of beef pictured' so for our recipe I will cut this meat portion and the tofu in half.

Now you will want to mix and squish all those spices and onions (and tofu) until it is all mixed together this:

I used the super firm tofu, so you can still see some white chunks in there, but don't worry about that, If you use the silky or soft tofu you won't even see that. And once it's cooked you won't see it anyway.

The tofu will make your meat look a little pinker, but after it's cooked, no one will be the wiser. Now get your frying pan ready and have your cooking oil heating up while we get the tacos ready. I use a medium high heat (6-7 on an electric stove) and about 1/3 cup of oil.
Next we will heat up the corn tortillas. This can be done on a greaseless griddle (comal, in spanish) or a quick heat in the microwave. You will want the tortillas soft enough, so that they do not break when folded. Now take approx. 1-Tbsp of the meat mixture and spread on 1/2 of the tortilla like this:
Then fold it in half and it's ready to cook. Make sure the oil is hot before putting in the tacos. These cook very quickly; only a couple of minutes on each side. You will know to turn them, when they get lightly browned like this:

The meat will be cooking inside at the same time, so be careful when you turn them, as the fattier the meat, the more the oil will tend to pop. You'll be thankful if you use a splatter screen when making these. Brown on both sides and then they are done:

Have a dish lined with paper towels for draining afterwards and turn them upside when taking them out of the pan. They only take a few minutes to drain, and here is what the inside will look like even with the tofu:

The only thing left to do is fill with your lettuce, cheese, and what ever else you like on your tacos:
And you are ready for your taco feast :) It'a mexican party for your mouth!

Friday, May 8, 2009


Welcome to a world of dragons and faeries and fantasy. Stepping into the shop of Things'nStuff , you will find all kinds of magical creatures, pixie hoodies, and even OOAK artwork . This is a whole family of crafters. And how many of us can say this- "All items are original designs that are ecologically sustainable. The materials that we use are salvaged, reclaimed, or obtained at the thrift stores to be recycled. Our goal is to leave little impact and recycle and reuse goods to make enjoyable things 'n' stuff." What a great attitude to have toward our Mother Earth. I just had to find out more about this amazing family. Read on:

What is your favorite item in your shop? I don't have a favorite item...And so once again, I have spent hours trying to decide which item I liked the best. I picked "Pegasus" as I have always been fascinated with them.
What inspires you to create? Nature, and my boys inspire me to create. I could be washing dishes, or going to the bathroom(lol) and ideas come to me. Sometimes its hard for me to turn off the ideas.

And do you have any inspirational advice for other artists? I think by being open to the Universe, they ideas will come. Its hard sometimes to choose the right one to pluck out and create. Keep on trying, thats what I do.

Do you create in more than 1 medium? Its hard to stick to just one Medium. I love to sew, create with wool (needle and wet felting), Clay is very satisfying. I also paint and carve gourds, I haven't put any of them on etsy yet. My Husband and Partner Brandon, works with wood. He also is very talented in electronics and uses them to make unique toys.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose? And why? Thats a hard Question, I love Oregon its such an unique place. I've longed to go to south America. I could see my Family and I living in a mud house(earth ship) with a Big Garden being sustainable, Crafting. Oregon, South America, maybe I could have a home in both. Winter in South America, and back to Oregon in the Summer and Fall.

What is your favorite food? I love Mexican and Chinese food and Sushi Rolls.

Favorite animals? mountain lions, unicorns.

Favorite colors? are Blue, Green, and Purple

Do you have a favorite quote you'd like to share? Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new....Albert Einstein AND this one: Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony....Mahatma Gandhi

Thank you so much thingsinstuff for taking time to do this interview. Be sure to visit their fantasy filled shop where you may find a treasure waiting just for you.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It's Time for Hubby's Update

First of all, thank you to everyone for all your prayers and well wishes that you have been sending us. Just knowing that there are people out there who care, is comforting.

So, it's been a bit since I updated you all on the hubster's health. Yesterday we went to see another specialist for his Interstitial Pulmonary Fibrosis, IPF as it is known in the medical profession. There was the usual x-rays, blood tests, and breathing tests. The x-rays showed inflammation in the lungs. The breathing test showed he is breathing at 27-28% of the expected norm. And the blood tests don't give immediate results.

This Dr. has put him on the immuno-suppressant called Cytoxan. The Dr. wants to bring down the inflammation in his lungs quickly. He feels that if we could get the inflammation under control, hubby would have a much better quality of life. Also has put him on a regiment of steroids.
We were also able to discuss a lung transplant possiblilty. We were told previously that he did not qualify for a lung transplant, and that was wrong. There should be no reason why he wouldn't qualify, but doc said, "getting a lung transplant is like trading diseases." From what I have studied, it is a constant battle to keep the body from rejecting a donated lung. And the time added to life is not as long as one might think. Doc said he would have better, longer life if we could get his lung inflammation under control, than if we went the transplant option way.

So that is where things stand. I am going into town today to pick up an armload of RXs and I guess we'll see what happens. Last time we tried this, hubby had 4 weeks of migraines. We are hoping for better results this time.

Just an added note for those who have made suggestions- Our state does not have a program where I can stay home and be paid to take care of hubby. I did get some help with our electric and gas bill for the next couple of months through a gov't program. And I'm still looking for a job.
Update completed.....for now :)

***A quick Thursday morning note-the Dr.s office called last night and said NO Imuran; so he is only taking the Cytoxan. And it did not make him sick!...Yay!! The steroids made him feel better than he's felt in months..until they wore off in the evening