Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Not letting 2013 follow into the new year!!!

I'm one of those that never wants one year to follow me into the next. Good or bad, the past year is over and a new fresh one is beginning. With that being said, I was sitting and looking at my Christmas decorations late yesterday and decided that I wanted 2013 to stay in the past where it belongs so I needed to put all the decorations away so it could do just that. 

All are packed up and ready to go back out in the shed until next year. YEA!! I always hate when I first take them down because well......frankly....it makes the house look "NEKKID" for a bit. I know I shouldn't look at it that way. I should look at it as having a nice clean house back, which is a good thing. I have to admit though (looking around) that I did leave the small tree I had in the B&B room in the closet so that I can pull it back out next month and decorate it for Valentine's and then again for Mardi Gras and then again for Easter. Oh yes...I love to decorate a tree. If ya remember I kept the big tree up last year and decorated it for January and February, but decided it was just to big and took up to much room to do it again this year. Not to mention I used the January winter paper ornies I made on the Christmas tree and packed them up..hehe 

I do like  having my nice clean house back....I really do. I like having my teapot collection back out with Alice and her gang mingling in between. Just love Alice, Mad Hatter and March Hare!!!

Do you see (looking around AGAIN) the little pedestal in the corner? That's where I'm going to put the little tree on in February and March to decorate it..hehe  I'll actually get to decorate it February (Valentines) March (Mardi Gras) and April (Easter). It's going to be FUN!!!!

Since I was able to get everything done last night I had this morning to take the Chazman to get a much needed haircut. He wouldn't let me take a photo...he's being shy today. Awwwww!!!! Then we went to the library....we love the library and then to Stacey's and ate lunch. They have the BEST sampler platter of salads. Tuna salad, chicken salad and egg salad. It's so good it'll make ya wanna slap yo momma...but don't, please...that wouldn't be very nice. 

After we got home I decided that since I have some books to read that I wanted a pretty bookmark and since I have been going through my shell stash I found some pretty shells to make one with. I'm thinking about making some to put in the souvenir shop if I can find some more pretty shells. 

Now....it's a bit chilly (where's my lambswool blankie?) so I'm going to go snuggle up in my reading chair and read a bit. 

Until next time..........Hugs,

P.S.  I hope that everyone has a wonderful New Years Eve. Stay safe, don't drink and drive and remember that 2014 is going to be a very good year. A very good year indeed!!  Come and visit often because I plan on giving away lots of goodies this year BUT you have to come visit to find out what and when!!!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Shell Digging...for reals!!!

Happy Happy last Monday of 2013!!! I'm so excited about the new year coming and some of the adventures I'm going to take. Like being one of the local artist placing her things in a new awesome souvenir shop that's way more than just a souvenir shop. Don't know about it? Well, just go back one post and read all about it!!!

I have been digging in my shell stash and have found some pretty ones and ones that match and are the same size. WOOHOO!!! I love finding those because they make for some really purty earrings. See......

The first three sets of earrings were made using cut ribbed ark shells. Very common here but so pretty. The last set was made using what's called an olive shell. I didn't polish them either...these came from the ocean like that. All were found on one of my beach walks in Gulf Shores.

I'm working on some hemp rope bracelets and some bookmarks that I will be using some of the olive shells with and also one of my tiny conch shells.

Those little black thingies in the back are hermit crab eyes. No silly...not real ones but beads I use to make them with. No live hermit crab would EVER be harmed in this household. ^_^

Most know that visit me often...know that I have been making some of my beaded memory wire bracelets. I love the tiny turtle beads I have that are cut from real turquoise. I made this bracelet using one of the turtle beads along with other beads that are jade and two sea glass beads that a friend sent me. Another purty one if I must say so myself.

Now that's what I'm up to today and I hope that you are doing something that you love too. Have a great Monday and enjoy the remaining days of 2013.

Until next time..........Hugs,

Sunday, December 29, 2013

It's time to make out that New Years Resolution list, ri iight?

It's getting closer to the New Year. Like most I make a list of what I want to accomplish, start, end or just need to do in the new coming year and this year I only have one item on it. Yeppers, just one and one that I intend to keep.

1. Walk on the beach as much as possible

Of course there will be more things that I plan on starting and accomplishing in 2014 but I don't need to put them on a list. I just need to set them as goals and then hopefully reach them. So....what's on your list?

I'm so looking forward to taking my walks on the beach and I'm going to start just as soon as the Chazman starts back to school on the 2nd.  It's been a bit too chilly to brrrrave a walk right now and I don't want the Chazman to get sick before school starts back, so we have stayed away from the beach. I'll be heading that way though as soon as I drop him off when school does start back and plan on taking my time enjoying what Mother earth and the gulf have set ashore to be discovered. Might not be everyday but it's going to be at least once each week. That's a good goal, eh? 

In my past walks I have found tons of broken shells and I love using them in different projects. I have found some beautiful whole shells too but I need to find some special ones. Special as in ones that a hermit crab would like to find. HEHE  A sweet friend, Diane Guthrie Davis and one of her sweet friends, Fonda Thomas are opening up a new shop in Gulf Shores called, Beach Reflections LLC, and she has asked if I might want to put some of my beach themed items in it. Well, of course I said YES!!! (and did a little jig too...well...I did) They will be in one of the cute beach houses located at 112 E 1st Avenue and will be opening up part time January 6th. They plan on the hours of 10am until 5pm, Wed-Fri. Then on March 1st, they are going to 6-7 days a week and opening up at 9am until. Diane and Fonda are both amazing photographers and will have some of their work in the shop. They both work with IDo Gulf Coast Weddings so keep that in mind if you are planning a beautiful beach wedding here. If you want some great family shots done...well...they do that too. You can contact them at 251-978-4754.  Their shop is not your typical beach gift shop either peoples!! Just a few things they will be offering are Landon Bailey photos (an award winning 12 year old photographer from Ohio), Steve Jones Coast Cards, (Mr Jones is very well known here for getting up each and every morning and capturing our beach and it's inhabitants) Michael Thomas prints, DieHard Images of RI, Kelvin Espada prints of Destin, FL, Homemade candles, seashell items, jewelry, tshirts and souvenirs made by locals. (and I'm going to be one of those locals....WooHoo) Come summer time they will even have bike rentals. Like I said...not your typical beach gift shop...it's going to be so much more!!!

Now that I got so excited about telling you all about this new store, let me tell you why I need shells that a hermit crab would want. You were wondering, I know you were. ^_^  Diane had asked a question not long ago about what was something you would take home from a visit here to our beach. That was an easy one!! Before we moved down here (yes...we are some of the ones that came to visit and didn't go home..hehe) the Chazman would walk through some of the souvenir shops and would always end up at the hermit crab cages. I must admit that they are very comical characters and are so much fun to have but they just don't last very long. He did keep his two alive for almost 2 years and that is something I've been told. He said that he didn't want anymore because they die so fast. Well.....with Diane's question and how the Chazman feels, it seems they both became my muses. Ya'll know how much I love my muses!!! I thought, wouldn't it be wonderful to have a hermit crab inhabiting a shell found on our beach with it's own little habitat of some of our beach sand and you NEVER had to feed it? NEVER...EVER!!! The Chazman and one of his buddies loved the idea and want one and I'm hoping even more will too once they see them.

Isn't he cute?? This one is sitting inside of a moon shell. It's one I found on one of our beach walks this past summer. Each one will be in a shell found at either Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Ft Morgan. Now ya see why I need some new shells!! I plan on putting them inside of a mason jar and poking holes in the lid. (they have to be able to breath..hehe)  There will be a tag on each jar that will tell what type of shell it is, with the year and where it came from.  Don't YOU want one? Well...you now know where to find them come this summer...at Beach Reflections!!

Until next time.............Peace and Hugs,

Friday, December 27, 2013

Last Friday of 2013!!!

Can ya believe it? The last Friday of this year. Time is just going by faster and faster it seems and it can slow down just a tad bit if it would be so kind. ^_^

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Christmas Eve was spent with my youngest sister and her family (minus one of her daughters though...we missed ya Lauren) Everyone liked their handmade gifts...even my BIL put his on and wore it the whole time we were there. He's a good guy!!! Hopefully he will wear it even more and not just when I'm around. Then he will be a super duper good guy indeed. After we ate together we played some games....a card game called Apples to Apples and then Scattergories. I love that game. I have to tell you something that might be one of those things that "ya just had to be there" but it was funny funny funny. If you know how the game works, you have a big dice that you roll and it will land on a letter of the alphabet. Then you have a card that list items. You have to name things for those items that start with the letter that the dice lands on before a timer you set runs out. WELLLLL....the first game we had the letter P and the second game we had the letter E and my sis got a bit confuzzled (yes...it runs in the family..hehe) and used the letter P again but only after the first item using the E. It was so funny that I laughed til I cried because she was so excited that she came up with a word for each item. Like I said, ya probably had to be there.

Christmas morn was well...almost Christmas afternoon. The Chazman was so excited that he just couldn't go to sleep Christmas eve. I let him sleep in and thankfully he did get  up around 10ish. I was happy because I had been up since 6ish. That's a long waitish (hehe) when you are wanting your child to get up and open presents. I mean...really!!!! He was very happy with all his gifts and that always makes me happy too.

All those goodies in front of him came out of his stocking...hehe

Now yesterday and I must say I will NEVER go shopping the day after Christmas again but we did go and I had to go because I had promised the Chazman we would. Just goes to say, never make a promise you aren't willing to keep. Promises are important and I have learned that it's always best to keep them. Now, what was I talking about...oh yes...shopping. I thought since we weren't going to any of the big stores that it would be alright but NOOOOO, the small Gamestop store here had more folks than Walmart did I think. We stood in line for well over 45 minutes but the Chazman got his game and he was happy so it was worth it....this time!!! I'll promise we will go the week after next year. 

I was going to take the decorations down this weekend but Chaz talked me out of it. That's alright though because I love looking at them. His best bud is coming over today to spend the afternoon and the night and he wants him to see them. He also wanted them to be up when he gave him his gift from him. Yeppers, he had me make him another WhoDoo character like last year. Well, it wasn't the same one but it was, kinda. What I mean is that I made the same character but doing something different. Last year his WhoDoo was a surfer dude and this year the same character is a diving dude...hehe

 Surfer dude 2012

Diver dude 2013

This is the shell the diver WhoDoo is leaning against. It holds him up perfectly. It's a shell we found on one of our beach walks at Ft Morgan. Love our beach walks!!!

My niece is coming to spend the whole day with me Sunday and spend the night too. I'm excited. She loves to do crafts and since she is only 8 then it's FUN crafts that normally call for glitter and I love glitter!!! Doesn't every girl though? 

Enjoy your last Friday of 2013 and until next time...............Hugs,

Monday, December 23, 2013

Good Afternoon!!! It's Baking time

I hope that YOU had a wonderful weekend. Got some rest.....finished up that last minute shopping or just did something FUN!! It was one of those curled up with a good book kinda weekends for me. Rain, rain and more rain but I so love the rain. The mister watched sports all weekend and the Chazman played games, watched videos, a movie or two and just thoroughly enjoyed his WiFi with his PS3. (that was one of his Christmas gifts...the WiFi)

This morning I finished up gifts for my sister and my BIL. We are going to their house tomorrow and I just can't go empty handed for them when I made gifts for their girls. Just wouldn't feel right...nope...wouldn't feel right at all.

She loved this bracelet when she saw it and even made a comment on FB that it sure would look good on her. HEHE  I made her a different one...almost the same..except this one has two amber glass beads wrapped in silver wire next to the heart one.

Don't ya just love the patina of this washer? I know that I do and it just looked so manly that I just had to use it for a bracelet for my sweet BIL.  Hopefully he will wear it even if only every once in awhile. 

Once I finished making the paper boxes for these I started my holiday baking. The Chazman and I LOVE to bake. Ok well....this year I'm baking and he is licking the spoon..hehe..but at least he is in the kitchen with me chatting up a storm and licking his lips. 

I made blueberry muffins this morning...nothing special....from a mix but they sure did make a great quick breakfast. I have some of my homemade cinnamon swirl coffee cake muffins cooling and OHHHH my, they smell so delicious!! Apparently they are cool enough to eat because the Chazman just came in and said they were YUMMIEEEEEEE!!! They are very easy to make and make a great gift to take to a friend or to a family gathering. (like to my sister's house tomorrow...if I can keep the Chazman away from them) 

Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake Muffins
(makes 12 regular size muffins)

* 2 cups flour
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 tbsp baking powder
* 1 tsp salt
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 1 egg
* 1 cup milk
* 1 capful vanilla flavoring (ok...that's how I measure it..hehe)

Cinnamon swirl filling

* 1/3 cup melted butter
* 1/3 cup brown sugar
* 1 tsp cinnamon (yes...you can add a bit more if you want)

Crumb topping

* 1/2 cup flour
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 3 tbsp softened butter
* dash of cinnamon (that's however much you want ^_^)

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners. (or spray with cooking spray...I like liners) 
2. Make the filling. Whisk together all ingredients until well combined. Set aside.
3. Make the topping. Combine all ingredients and with a fork mix until it resembles crumbs. Set aside
4. Make the muffins. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl whisk together the oil, egg, milk and that cap full of vanilla flavoring. Pour wet whisked ingredients into the dry mixed ingredients and sit just until combined good.
5. Add 1/2 tbsp of batter to each prepared muffin cup. Then add 3/4 to 1 tbsp of the cinnamon swirl to the center of the batter. Top with another 1/2 tbsp of the batter then cover muffins with crumb topping.
6. Bake for 15-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7. Let cool in tins for bit and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.
8. Eat and enjoy!!!

Now we are also making some of my NOM NOM NOM peanut butter balls. You can find the recipe for those if you click HERE 

I have another easy and quick recipe that has several different variations to it if you are needing or wanting something different to make this year. It's my shortbread recipe and like I said...it's very easy. Just click HERE to see it. 

Ohhhh I smell those brownies and they are ready to come out of the oven. Next are peanut butter cookies. Yes yes...we LOVE peanut butter!!!!

Until next time.....Hugs,

Friday, December 20, 2013

Whew...that was close!!!

I have been up since early this morning working on the Chazman's dragon and egg. I'm so happy that I did get up early too because just as I was putting it in my art cabinet to hide it until I can get a box for it the Chazman comes bee bopping back to tell me Good Morning. Talk about a close call....a close call indeed!!!

As you can see, he can take the dragon out of the egg. Not sure he will after the first time but I wanted him to be able to see the wings. The egg is sitting on top of a small wooden base covered in spanish moss. Years ago a friend sent me the pretty polished natural stones that are sitting next to the egg. Perfect for this piece...the Chazman loves stones and rocks. The largest one on the left is call a sunstone, the clear one is quartz, the large green on the right is jasper and the two small ones are apricot agate. The feathers are pheasant feathers. I so hope he likes his dragon this year!!

I'm going to go fix me some hot tea, prop my feet up and read for a bit. I have all the gifts made that I need to make and all I have to do now is go out with the crazy masses tomorrow and get Chaz a few small gifts to go with the dragon. Yeah yeah....I know...I'm one of the crazy mass folks!!

Until next time......Hugs,

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Egg changed....so did dragon

I have been frantically working on the Chazman's gift today.  As you know from yesterday's post my muse decided to posses one of my kitties and broke the original egg I had made. That turned out alright because I really like the new egg much better. In fact, looking at the new egg I decided that it needed a new dragon hatchling to go with it.

He's in the oven curing now and I just have to hope that the Chaz will sleep in late tomorrow so that I can get him painted. Today is their last day until after the New Year. Keep those fingers crossed for me ppplease!!!

I hope that everyone is having an awesome day. Mine for some reason is filled with leaky eyes. Thank goodness these days are few and far between. My Happy Happy nature has a hard time handling them.

Until next time.....Hugs,

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Gosh Darn CAT!!!!!!

My two old girls, Boo and Callie, are normally very laid back and never bother anything in the house. UNTIL this morning. This morning was the Chazman's Christmas program at school and I left Boo sleeping peacefully on the top of the piesafe in the back room. (where my art studio area is) Miss Callie went outside to enjoy the sunshine when I went to leave. I didn't have a care in the world and so enjoyed the program and getting to sit with Chaz during all the other classes doing their parts. I left the program with a smile, a big hug and thank you from my young man and I sang Christmas carols all the way home....so Happy Happy!!
UNTIL I walked in the house and went to the back to find Boo sitting on my desk and batting the egg part of the piece off the desk, sending it crashing to the floor and into a gazillion pieces. I could not believe what I just witnessed. My Boo wouldn't do that....she must have been possessed. Yes yes..that's what it must have been and that's what I thought. UNTIL.....she jumped off the desk and started batting all the pieces all over the place. It seems she made herself a playtoy and it seems she got herself booted (gently) out the back door.

I only have today and tomorrow to get this piece completely finished. Remember, it's a Christmas gift to the Chazman from me and I do NOT want him to know about it. I was so upset and frustrated until all of a sudden a thought popped into my head. Perhaps that wasn't the right egg to go with this piece, so my muse in all of her infinite wisdom possessed Boo so that I would have to make another one. Yes, yes that was it and so I designed a different egg.

This is the egg right before I put it in to cure. The lil dragon fits perfectly inside and I really like this one much, MUCH better. I guess the saying is true "Everything happens for a reason" but my muse and I are going to have to sit down and have a longgggg talk about my cats.

Until next time.......Hugs,

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dragon Hatchling

Happy Tuesday!! It is Tuesday, ri iight? I get so confuzzled sometimes..hehe  Today I'm working on the Chazman's gift from me. Last year he got a sea dragon and this year he is getting a dragon hatchling. This kiddo loves anything dragon. Hmmmmmm, just wander where he got that from? I already gave him one of his gifts and that was the money to get a book about dragons from their school book fair. He doesn't know anything about this gift. Yes...yes, I'm sneaky crafty like that. Here are some WIP photos for ya to see. I have the piece curing at the moment and hope to be painting it by this afternoon. I only have today through Thursday to get him finished because the Chazman will be home for the Christmas break after that. Sooooo, enjoy the photos and I'll see ya tomorrow!! (with hopefully a painted dragon)

Oh yes....Ms Boo supervised with this one. She normally lays on top of the pie safe soaking up the sun and looking down but today she wanted to be right there. Silly kitty!!! Her winter coat is in and just look at all the pretty red in her black fur. Pretty kitty!!!

Until next time.....Hugs,

Monday, December 16, 2013

Beads, Beads and more Beads ^_^

Good Monday Morning!!! Only 9 more days til Christmas...YIKES!! Are YOU ready yet? All that shopping done? Nope? Me either but guess what, it's a coming regardless. So HOHOHO!!!! (said in a cheery way, just in case you were a wondering...hehehe)

I spent this weekend finishing up the teachers gifts and even made one for the principal. She has really made this year a most excellent one so far. She will be getting a pretty pair of earrings and the teachers will be getting some of my prettier twisted bracelets and of course each will be wrapped in one of my pretty paper boxes.

The little bead is an abraded quartz
better known as Dragons egg.

Once I finished these gifts I just couldn't stop making bracelets. I mean.....I already had all my beads out and they were just laying there...staring at me....so what was I suppose to do....ignore them? I think not...hehehe

Some of my twisted bracelets...ya'll know I LOVE to twist. ^_^   The first one has the last of my pretty plastic beads that have etchings on them. I don't normally like plastic but I fell in love with these. The next grouping is just some twisted ones with one having that neat Celtic button. The last one I did using some polished moonstones and tiny aquamarine stones on the tree of life charm. This looks really pretty dressed up or with jeans and tshirt. I make these kind of bracelets where they can fit just about anyones wrist. I leave the hanging ropes long in case they are needed and if not then you can clip them to the size you need. Just remember to knot them on the end so that the closing twist doesn't come off.

 Jade beads, jasper beads, bone beads, Tibetan charm holder with Tree of life charm

 Just keep swimming..hehe  
Tibetan fish charm with glass purple/green beads.

 Rose quartz beads, green glass beads and turquoise turtle bead.
 Tibetan charm holder with Koi fish charm, vintage pearls, dye pearls in mint, pink, coral and white.
 Back of the one above so that you could see all the colors of pearls.
Violet Jade round faceted beads, tiny tan Swarovski crystals with a glass focal bead.
 Rose quartz beads, agate green/pink beads, Tibetan rose bead.
 Back of one above so you can see the different sized quartz beads.
 glass turquoise hued beads with actual turquoise turtle beads.
 Glass tiger look beads, wooden black beads, Tibetan charm holder with tiny silver wire wrapped glass heart.
Pink faux pearl beads, Tibetan rose beads, Tibetan charm holder with faux diamond spacers, two tiny pink Swarovski crystals and one large pink Swarovski crystal.

I loved making all of these and made them for no one in particular The beads were just calling to me and I had to do something with them...hehe!!  If you see one you would like to purchase, just let me know and I will list it on Etsy just for you. These would make great Christmas gifts or a gift just to say "I love you or I'm thinking of you".  If you do buy one it will come gift wrapped in one of my pretty little paper boxes. 

Until next time...........Hugs,