Thursday, December 18, 2008

Trackin'


So it's been alternating between snowing and ice here, with bitter cold. High temp of 12 degrees cold. We thought that today was delightful, with no freezing rain and a high of 29 degrees!

As I was leaving, I saw the sweetest thing - little birdy tracks all around my car.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Lemon Creme Love


I adore everything about lemons & limes. I like the color. I like the pure, unadulterated flavor of a lemon plucked from a neighbor's tree. Shhh...don't tell. So when I saw the Lemon Creme lotion from Right As Rain, I knew I had to try it.

This lotion is so thick and rich, but absorbs quickly. It doesn't leave you feeling sticky or greasy. It even moisturizes my incredibly resistant dry skin, but isn't so thick that it's not an everyday lotion.

And the scent...oh the scent!
I nearly had to stop myself from licking my hands! It smells like lemon cookies or frosting, without the sugar-y sweetness.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Snowflake Ornaments -- How To








I adore snowflakes. Whether they're stylized or realistic, elegant shades of white or bright and garish colors, I love them all! Now you can make your own~


Materials needed --


Snowflake forms - Available at beadblanketbingo

Large round beads - Available at beadblanketbingo

Large white faceted oval beads - Available at beadblanketbingo

Large metal beadcaps - Available at beadblanketbingo

8mm silver beads - Available at beadblanketbingo

Metallic Silver ribbon - Available at supplycandy



Round nose pliers



Take one wire form. Working on one branch at a time, thread one spacer bead (I used vintage white lucite from vintagecallgirl), a silver round bead, a beadcap, a large round bead, another beadcap, another silver bead, a large faceted oval, and a last silver round.

Using your roundnose pliers, make a loop on the end of the branch.

Repeat this pattern on each of the following 5 branches.



Your snowflake is finished, but you still need a way to display it. Decide how long you'd like the snowflake to hang, and cut a length of ribbon twice that long, plus a couple inches. Thread the ribbon through one of the loops you made and even up the ends. Tie an overhand knot, leaving a bit of a tail.



Now, you can display your ornament however you see fit. I like to make several in varying lengths and sizes to display in my front windows.










Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Breakfast (and dinner) of Champions

I never really liked bread pudding until I was an adult. I don't know what happened, but suddenly, I was all about bread pudding! I tend to eat it for breakfast instead of dessert.

When the leaves change, I make this wonderful Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Ingredients:

Bread Pudding
2 cups half and half
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 cup +2 TBSP packed dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
10 cups bread, in 1/2 inch cubes (about a loaf)
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Caramel Sauce
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup whipping cream

To make the bread pudding:

Prheat oven to 350 F. Whisk together half and half, pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and vanilla in a large bowl. Fold in the bread cubes, stir in dried cranberries. Pour into an 11 x 17 baking dish & let rest for 15 minutes. Bake for 40 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.

To make the caramel sauce:

Over medium heat, whisk brown sugar and butter in a medium sized heavy saucepan until the butter melts. Whisk in the cream and stir until the sugar dissolves & the sauce is smooth. Generally, the whole sauce takes about 5-8 minutes.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Altered Ribbon -- How To





Materials Needed --


Cotton Ribbon - Available at beckandcallgirl or supplycandy
Small Alphabet Stamps - Available at beckandcallgirl or supplycandy

Dye Ink Pad - Your choice of 2 or more colors

scrap paper
paper towel


Decide what length of ribbon you need for your project. Cut it off, plus a couple inches.



Place some scrap paper over your work space. I like to use copy paper. Put the ribbon on that and run the inkpad over it until you reach your desired color intensity. I chose the weathered look for the sample.



Run your paper towel over the newly inked ribbon to remove the excess ink.

Using your small alphabet stamps, choose a message to stamp out. I like to spell out the message and space it out before committing. This also helps to avoid spelling errors.

Once done, set it aside to dry completely. I like to leave mine at least overnight.

You now have customized ribbon, with a handmade touch. I wouldn't recommend laundering this ribbon, but it's great for most projects.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mad for SuperBad






I love to shop. Oh yeah, love to shop. However, I like to cruise the web to do my shopping. It's sort of a double thrill - you get the enjoyment of searching, the thrill of finding the items, and then it's like it happens all over again when the package arrives.

One of the things I've recently purchased was a set of body products from Superbadsoap. In this set was a sugar scrub, body powder, and roll-on perfume.

I've always been a powder girl. Even when I was little, I can remember getting into my mom's powder and slathering it all over myself. So, when I saw there was Girls with Glasses dusting powder in this set, of course it was the first thing I opened. Can you say love? It's so silky and decadent. It absorbs into your skin without getting gummy. And the scent? Well, SuperBad says its "Vanilla buttercream frosting laced with blackberry," but it's not sugary sweet. You don't smell like a cupcake or baked goods all day.



I've always loved perfume, too. Can't tell you why, as I'm not that much of a girly-girl. So I opened up the Miss Behaving roll-on perfume. It's just as nice as a luxury perfume, but with a much nicer price tag. This perfume has a nice, long lasting scent without being overwhelming. "Wildflower honey infused with vanilla beans" is how Superbad describes the scent. I find it to have a slight essence of baby powder, as well. This has become one of my everyday scents.










Finally, I tried out the Japanese Cowgirl sugar scrub. Oooohhh...my skin is so soft after using
this. It's great for exfoliating. I used it the day before applying faux tanner, and the tanner took so evenly. And the scent - another fabu one! "East embraces West with tart yuzu softened with saddle suede" is how Superbad describes it. I thought it had a bit of citrus, as well.

All in all, I'd have to say Superbad's products are at least the equivalent of luxury brands with a down to earth price. And their scents are very grown up & sophisticated without being stodgy.

Check out their website at superbadsoap.com or their Etsy shop at superbad

Friday, October 24, 2008

BBQ Anyone?


In our never-ending quest to avoid cooking, we go out to eat. A lot. One of the regular places we go is Danna's Barbeque in Branson. You have to realize, I live in an area of about 225,000 people, with at least a dozen BBQ restaurants, and I still drive 45 mins each way to eat here.


Without a doubt, they have the absolute best pulled pork in the area. Their brisket is fantastic, and their sausage is very good, too.


This week, I finally found heaven - The Pit Plate. More than enough for two, it has pork, brisket, sausage, ribs, and half a chicken, plus all the fixings of beans, cole slaw, fries, and a roll. Ah, the ribs. One of the top 5 I've ever had.


I must say, though, that my favorite probably continues to be BBQ Nachos, but made with fries instead of chips. It's fries, covered with their BBQ beans, melted cheese, meat of your choice (pulled pork, duh), sour cream & jalapenos. Add some of their mild sauce, and it's quite the experience.
There's 3 locations - Branson proper, on Hwy 165; On Table Rock Lake, where you can drive up on your boat (how awesome is that?!) or your car, or in Branson West, just off Hwy 13.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Cupcake Capers


Long time, no post. I know, I know - I'm going to get back into the habit of blogging regularly.


Recently, I had a mad cravings for cupcakes. I don't get that way too often, so I cruised out to the best bakery (that I know of) in the area - Sweet Shoppe in Rogersville. That's about an hour round trip from my house.


When I got home, they weren't quite what I was hoping for. I wanted something really decadent, and these were simply very good. The solution? I was going to have to actually make them myself. Blasphemy!


As I pulled out my handy-dandy Joy of Cooking book, I realized that I didn't even have cupcake pans. I didn't have a cake pan. I didn't have any bakeware, save for a couple cookie sheets. What kind of adult am I?


So, off I went, in search of bakeware. I went to the store - nothing I liked. I went to Macy's & checked out their kitchenware. Nothing I liked that was in my price range. Then I hit up the net. I found this awesome set of silicone bakeware. It had muffin pans, mini muffin pans, cake pans, cookie sheets, loaf pans - everything!


I bought the set, and after it arrived, made my cupcakes. They popped right out, and I didn't even have to use liners. They baked evenly, came out soft and moist with a fine texture. They even cleaned up nice & easy.


These silicone pans are my new favorites, and I use them for everything!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Time to Catch Up

I know I know. It's been a while since I've posted. It's been fairly busy (but boring!) on the homefront. When coupled with a wicked case of writer's block, it makes for a neglected blog.


Here's what's been going on lately:

In addition to working on websites, new items, new lisings, and new projects --

I organized my beads. I purchased some displays from a local shop that was remodeling. I've assigned all, well most, of my beads a part number and have them arranged by part number.

I did the same with sequins. I had no idea there were so many different colors, shapes, and sizes of sequins. There's so many types of sequins, they needed their own etsy shop.

I bought a new camera. It's pretty awesome, but I never remember to take it with me anywhere. I figure in time it'll become second nature.

I took a few days off and went on a mini vacation. We went down to Eureka Springs, AR, which is a quaint little town. Now I find myself pouring over the real estate listings in the area. OH NO!

I was featured on fourtailslampwork's blog

In the near future, I plan to get back to featuring artisans, reviewing products, and sharing my warped views on the world.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Girl Money

Like our stuff? Wanna earn some free goodies? Then we have a program for you! Introducing Girl Money!

There are currently 3 ways to earn Girl Money -

  1. Refer a friend. If your friend mentions your name, you'll get $5 in Girl Money, good on your next purchase of $20 or more. Your friend will also get $5 off their purchase of $20 or more.
  2. Did you make something cool? Send us a picture! Let us know which of our products you used, and you'll get $5 in Girl Money. We will also post a picture on our website and/or blog!
  3. Get published. If your project or finished item is published, with a mention of our company, and you'll get Girl Money! The amount varies depending on where/how/what is published. This can be web-based or in a magazine/book.

Girl Money is good at the following locations:

http://beadblanketbingo.com

http://yourbeckandcallgirl.com

http://beadblanketbingo.etsy.com

http://vintagecallgirl.etsy.com

http://beckandcallgirl.etsy.com

A few ways to build up a stash of Girl Money quickly --

  • Post a link on your website or blog
  • Mention it to the groups you belong to
  • Make some projects & send us pictures
  • Make some projects or do product reviews & submit them to other sites.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Totally Atomic!



I previously posted about the fact that I love both Shabby Chic and Mid-Century Modern.

Well I had my homage to Shabby Chic, so now it's Mid-Century Modern's turn.

The Atomic Tiki IT kit is available in both standard and mini versions.

Friday, April 25, 2008

It Really is Spring

While out and about over the last couple of days, I noticed an interesting phenomenon - wifebeaters & weedwackers.

It seems that everywhere I looked, there was a guy wearing a wifebeater, holding a weedwacker. Shopping center - check. Mini mall - check. Hotel - check. In my neighborhood - check.

I get the whole 'don't want a farmer tan' thing, but do what guys on the west coast do - go shirtless!

Crazy!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's a Dog's Life

I want a dog. Badly. I was finally able to convince my landlord to allow a pet, so now I'm shopping for a dog and it's accoutrements.


Since there's so much stuff needed for a dog, I'm going to split this into two posts. Today's featured items will be things people see: leashes, collars, & dog clothes. The next installment will be treats, shampoos, beds, & toys.


Here are a few of my favorite things so far:


You need to prevent your pooch from running away. Why not do it in style?




The Lafleur Collection Dog Collar & Matching Leash from My Maddies Closet


A Martingale collar, for dogs with larger necks & smaller heads. These types of dogs are escape artists!




Striking But Sweet from erinder


If your dog is a real bad-ass



Black Patent Leather with Spikes & Skulls from Stirrup


A Leash Bag, so you can be a responsible pet parent. Clean up after your dog!




Cocktail Party from The Modern Pet


Doesn't your dog need a wardrobe, too?


Keep Fido nice & dry

The Dobercoat from CozyHorse





I Do Bad Things from Mia's Closet

Our First Giveaway!


My fabulous friend, Nicole of RJBeads, let me know about Bloggy Giveaways.

I decided, at this very late date, to take part in this giveaway carnival. Soooo....One lucky winner will receive a 4 strand Confetti bracelet of their choice from Swim. This giveaway is open to everyone. Simply leave a comment, with a way to get ahold of you (email addy or blog address).

Contest is open through Midnight PST on April 26th. I will draw a winner by the 29th, and will notify them by May 1st.

Good luck!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Do You Stumble?

Well, do ya? If so, and you sell online, have a website, or blog you should join the Etsy Stumble Upon ring. This ring is led by AlwaysAmy. Contact her through Etsy or post on this thread.

What is StumbleUpon, you ask? It's a great way to rate websites that you like and a wonderful way to promote your own sites. There's a helpful, info-filled thread at Etsy. There's also a guide on the StumbleUpon website.

If you don't use Etsy, leave a message in the comments and I'll connect you with her.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Exchanging Links


I've had a few people contact me asking about exchanging blog links. Sure, I'm game!


If you're interested, leave me a message with a link to your blog and/or website (nothing x-rated, please!) and I'll check it out.


I'll contact you and let you know when I link to your site, as well.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Super Spring Sale

From the 17th through the 20th, receive 50% off your purchase! This does not apply to s/h costs or prior purchases.

I'll be listing continuously and will combine items purchased throughout the weekend. Just let me know when you're ready for a total. You can pay via paypal and I'll refund the difference or you can wait for a revised invoice via Paypal. If mailing payment, convo for a new total.

This sale is also good at Bead Blanket Bingo & I will combine items from both shops.

beadblanketbingo.etsy.com

beckandcallgirl.etsy.com

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Who Doesn't Love a Deal?


Starting at midnight on April 17th (this thursday), Etsy Supply Street Team (ESST) will be having a sale! Check out the offerings by searching ESST in your tags on Etsy.


Some of the items include beads, paper, fabric, charms, mosaic supplies, ribbon, sequins, fibers, and anything else you can think of!






Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Delicate Situation



I love color and texture. Always have. Sometimes, my items are a little intense in the hue-saturation arena. Just to prove that I am capable of a soft colorway, I have created the Tea Rose collection.

In the Tea Rose collection, there are Fabric IT Kits in two sizes (
Mini and Regular) and specialty fibers. Paper may arrive in the future, I haven't decided yet.

I do have to admit - I love the shabby chic or cottage chic style. I'm totally torn about whether to decorate my house in mid-century modern (it was built in the mid 50's) or do it up in cottage chic (already has soft yellow painted paneling!) If you have an opinion, leave it in the comments.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Hockey Playoffs Start TONIGHT!

Okay, so Spring starts on April 9th, not the 7th. My bad. I've been watching hockey-related coverage since 2pm. I also realized I should call my shots now.

The matchups are as follows

In the East:

1 Montreal vs 8 Boston - Montreal always takes it to Boston. I don't predict that changing this year.

2 Pittsburgh vs 7 Ottawa - Ottawa, with all their talent, barely made it into the playoffs, after their phenomenal start. Unfortunately, I'll have to take Pittsburgh and their youth movement.

3 Washington vs 6 Philadelphia - This one is really a pick 'em. Pretty evenly matched, played about the same down the stretch.

4 New York Rangers vs 5 NJ Devils - I'll have to go with the Devils. Brodeur seems to reach another level during the playoffs.

In the West:

1 Detroit vs 8 Nashville - Detroit. They're practically unstoppable.

2 San Jose vs 7 Calgary - If Calgary gets their act together, they're completely capable of a streak like the '04 playoffs. However, the Sharks didn't lose in regulation during March. I think it'll be San Jose as the victor here.

3 Minnesota vs 6 Colorado - Colorado. The Av's have Foote, Forsberg, Sakic, and Hejduk. That's a seriously fearsome foursome.

4 Anaheim vs 5 Dallas - I'm hoping for Dallas, since I strongly dislike the Ducks. Always have, always will. However, I think the Ducks will take this series easily.

On a somewhat related note, if you like hockey or sports, check out the documentary "In the Crease." It follows a young hockey team from Southern California through a season and to the national championships. Very interesting

Sunday, April 6, 2008

NHL Playoffs - Teams Chosen, Matchups TBA

Hockey is my second love, after crafting. I fell in love with hockey while working on a school project at a friend's house in 6th grade. Nearly 20 years later, the passion is still there.

I always know when it's Spring, because the NHL playoffs start are beginning. This year, spring arrives April 7th.

While the matchups haven't been decided yet, the teams are finally set.

In the Eastern Conference they are:

  1. Montreal Canadiens
  2. Pittsburgh Penguins
  3. Washington Capitals
  4. New Jersey Devils
  5. New York Rangers
  6. Ottawa Senators
  7. Boston Bruins
  8. Philadelphia Flyers

In the Western Conference they are:

  1. Detroit Red Wings
  2. San Jose Sharks
  3. Minnesota Wild
  4. Anaheim Ducks
  5. Dallas Stars
  6. Calgary Flames
  7. Colorado Avalanche
  8. Nashville Predators

Once the standings are final, I'll give my predictions & breakdown on the matchups.

On a personal note, I'm hoping that the Sharks & Avalanche don't meet in the first round. Of course, that would mean a Flames/Sharks matchup in the opening round - not much better, but then I'd at least get to see some Flames games ( and Robyn Regehr - RAWR!) since my cable company doesn't offer Center Ice.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Super Quick Ring Sequin Bracelet - A Tutorial


I've been looking at these sequins for 6 months, thinking that they'd make cool jewelry. Today, I finally sat down and did something with them!


Here's what you need to make your own -
  • 1 pkg of the above sequins, available in my Etsy shop. One package should make 2 bracelets.
  • 1 clasp - I used a silver snap clasp for ease of use.
  • Jump Rings - I used 7 (seven) 6mm jump rings.
  • Pliers for opening jump rings
How to make it -
  1. Using your pliers, open a jump ring. Link two donut sequins, through the small holes along the edge, using a jump ring. Close the jump ring.
  2. Open another jump ring. Connect another sequin to the chain of two you've started. Close jump ring. Repeat until bracelet reaches your desired length. I used 6 sequins.
  3. Once your bracelet reaches your desired length, open another jump ring. Use this to connect your clasp to one end of the sequin chain. Repeat with the opposite side of the clasp and other end of the sequin chain.
  4. Voila! You have a very cool, very bold, very lightweight bracelet!

Make sure that you don't have a twist in the sequin chain. If this happens, simply open one jumpring and untwist the chain. This may happen when you add the clasp.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Independent Artists & Stores - A Series

Due to the response I've received, I will be making Supporting Independent Artists & Stores a series.

I will cover what consumers can do to support independent stores, how small businesses can survive, internet shopping, and more.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Supporting Independent Artists & Stores

After the Etsy Storque interview with Vanna White, 'special deal' with Lion Brand yarn, and subsequent fallout on the forums, I had to see what the fuss was about.

So, down to the local big box store I went, as the independent stores in my area don't carry Lion Brand. After checking out the yarn, I was not impressed. It's an inexpensive, lower end acrylic worsted weight yarn.

However, this trek got me thinking...

Why is it that we choose to support big box stores?

Personally, I prefer to go to a smaller, more specialized store even if costs more. I try to keep my dollars in the community. Unfortunately, the smaller stores don't always make that possible.

Recently, I was on the hunt for a 1 inch circle punch for some glass marble magnets I was planning to make. After stops at four different scrapbook stores (and a few other impulse purchases!), I ended up at the large hobby box store. I felt totally defeated!

This experience left me with the belief that the small independent stores will NOT have what I need, so why bother looking there? I can't believe that I'm the only one in a fairly large area that feels this way, either. Unfortunately, that is the setup for failure of a shop.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sherbet Colors






For some reason, I find myself completely attracted to sherbet bright colors. I can hardly pass anything that's orange or lime green without inspecting it! Perhaps I'm longing for warm, sunny days after this oh so dreary winter.


If you find yourself in the same predicament, here's a collection of items for you. Top to bottom, they include Sherbet Chic Specialty Fibers, Sherbet Chic printed paper pack, and Sherbet Garden fabric IT kit. The fabric IT kits are available in both Mini and standard sizes.
These items are available in my etsy shop.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hi There!

I'll be posting my random thoughts about life, things I see, and things I love. I'll also show off products I like, amazing artists, and sellers that are superb.

There may be irregular contests, brain-picking questions/sessions, and scavenger hunts.

Check back often, as you never know what will come flying out of my fingers.