Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lollishops Shop is Now Open--Free Gift to First Customer!

Yes, it's true! I'm thrilled after all of these weeks to now say it is up and running. Many heartfelt thanks to Sadie and her computer crew for all of their creativity and hard work to make this a reality this past weekend. I have taken many of the things I had on eCrater and transferred them to Lollishops and have also put some new pieces on Lollishops too. To the first customer to purchase anything from me on Lollishops goes the charm you see above, an "orange-flavored" lollipop to honor the marketplace. I'm looking forward to the widget (I believe I read) I'll be able to put on here in the future, but until then, the address of my shop is Please stop by...and please do stay awhile to visit the other fabulous vendors as well. You won't be disappointed!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

"Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow..."

As the beginning of this hymn says, I am so thankful to God for all of His incredible blessings and want to give Him the glory for it! He has given me personal assurance of heaven when I die and grace until I reach there; a Bible to read in my language that offers comfort and direction; a patient, sweet, and loving husband; beautiful children whom I adore; parents who love me and taught me right from wrong; a country to live in that has many freedoms thanks to many who gave their lives for them; a warm, lovely home; food on my table; clothes on my back; a little hobby/business that is fulfilling and fun and provides me the opportunity to give to others....the list is endless. I am truly blessed and very thankful. To God be the glory!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Banana-Oat Nut Bread with Cream Cheese

I love cream cheese and love to just nibble on a piece off of a knife. Yum! In fact, I remember my grandmother used to have celery with cream cheese stuffed into the cupped area of the stalk for family gatherings. What a way to get celery into a kid! Although...I confess to eating the cream cheese out of the cupped area and giving the celery back to my grandmother on occasion! That said, cream cheese on banana nut bread with a piping cup of tea is wonderful. What a way to wake up in the morning!

Below is the recipe I use. It is our hands-down favorite. It is not original (found it on, but I have tweaked the recipe to our own liking. Full of nuts (optional, of course) and oats, it is healthy and moist and yummy. You must use overripe or at the very least ripe bananas. I have found that otherwise the bread is just not as good. I have frozen overripe bananas (when I didn't have the time to cook the bread) and made the bread at a later time, but the cooking time will be a little longer because of the added moisture from the freezing.
Make a double batch and freeze the other bread or give it away to someone.
The whole house smells great while it bakes. Enjoy...and don't forget the cream cheese!

1/2 cup margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe or overripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (more if you want it really nutty)

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly grease 9x5 loaf pan.
Cream together margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the banana and vanilla.
Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt in separate bowl. Beat into creamed mixture. Stir in oats and nuts. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 25-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"New" French-Inspired Brooch

This is a piece that I just wasn't happy with after completion, though I loved the idea behind it. It needed to be fuller, richer. So, this brooch has been "re-made", and I am much happier with it. It reminds me of something French--perhaps it is the dark blue and golden yellow combination reminding me of my Limoges teacups and saucers. Then again, it wouldn't take much for me to think of France!

Monday, November 24, 2008

First Snowfall

Every branch of every tree and bush looks as if it were coated with a layer of frosting-- pure, white, thick, and sparkling. After seeing browns and grays for so many weeks, what a delight this morning to see the first snowfall of the year here in southern Wisconsin...and a beautiful snowfall too!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Walking in the Air"

Yes, I've heard it before, and, yes, I love it...but it has been awhile. I like songs about snow because, well, we can sing and enjoy them through February at least (especially those of us who live in the North). We were on the way home today from my childrens' swimming lessons listening to "Classics by Request" on our public radio station. Someone had requested "Walking in the Air" (from The Snowman), and the "Celtic Woman" rendition was played--it was absolutely beautiful!! I'd highly recommend it if you want to get into the mood of snow in a beautiful way.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pretty Charm Added to eCrater

Why not show you this one as well? Here is a charm that I've also added this week. It has clear and pink swirled flower beads and a pretty Swarovski crystal butterfly. Hope you like it!

New Pendant Added to eCrater & All Organized

I have added a few new things to my eCrater shop--this little pendant is one of them! It has delicate pink bell flowers and a dark pink Swarovski crystal butterfly. Also, I have finally organized my picture files into the items I will be selling on eCrater and the items I will be selling on Lollishops. Once Lollishops is up and running completely, I will be taking some things off eCrater and putting them on Lollishops. BUT it feels good to be organized! It takes time but is always worth it. Lollishops is really progressing as the testers put their products on. How exciting! The best of wishes to them--and even many sales in the process--as they work out the system bugs.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Kathy!

What fun! It's Kathy's birthday today at Vintage Snaps and Scraps. She hosted a giveaway for her birthday, and I won 2nd prize. What a treat! Thanks to Kathy...and I wish her a great birthday. Stop by her blog and send her wishes too--

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Stained Glass" Leaves Project

I just love stained glass in any form or manner...and this is one of those "any forms or manners." This is not an original thought (thank you, Miriam, for your original craft idea that I could expand on and other tips) but quite lovely, I think. These "stained glass" leaves are made from watered down glue and tissue paper. I was looking for a unique, inexpensive way to send Thanksgiving wishes to relatives, and thought this would be a perfect idea to do with the kids. Here are the instructions:
1) Cut up tissue paper in the colors you wish.
2) Spread school glue around on tinfoil or a plastic base that glue won't stick to then mix in some water so that the tissue paper stays well saturated (squirt with extra water during the process if needed).
3) Place tissue paper on glue mixture at random or in pictures (ahhh, Notre Dame!) if you'd like. I layered mine down perhaps a little too much and very randomly. You could probably be more precise and lay just one or two layers of tissue down, overlapping to leave no holes once dry.
4) Let dry about two days.
5) Cut into leaf shapes (be careful, it rips easily).

You could really make some pretty "stained glass" projects like blue, white, purple and silver snowflakes for winter; pink and red hearts for Valentines' Day; multicolored flowers, etc. I used some gold tissue for extra sparkle. One could probably add some strips of metallic foil for even MORE sparkle (can a person really have ENOUGH sparkle??).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Delicate Purple Bell Flowes Pendant

A new pendant has been created! It has clear dark purple and light, milk glass lavender bell flowers in a gold tone setting. I'll be putting it on eCrater soon, hopefully this weekend. Enjoy!

Pretty Victoriana Site

I really appreciate pretty websites especially since I'm not in the position to have a pretty one myself (though I once did!). It is such a pleasure to shop...if only to window shop...a lovely site. I have no idea who this lady is really, but she is starting a pretty shop (so it's not quite filled up yet). It is just lovely, and I'd like to encourage others to check it out . Enjoy "shopping" her site as I did!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

You know, I really thought I had blogged about these yummy cookies before, but, alas, I could not find I thought neither could anyone else! Besides, re-presenting these yummy, brownie-like cookies would be well worth it. The recipe is not original, in fact, it is from an old Hershey's cookbook (one of my favorite "old standby" cookbooks). I baked up a batch tonight for a church kids' function, and we now have only four left (one...maybe two...will be perfect with a cup of tea tomorrow). Here is the recipe. Bake and enjoy! P.S. Don't wear navy blue or black if you want to sneak a bite into one of these! ; )

2 cups of sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2-1/3 cups foour
2 tsp baking power
1/2 tsp salt
confectioners' sugar

Mix together sugar and oil. Add cocoa and blend well. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to cocoa mixture, blending well. Cover and chill at least six hours. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in confectioners' sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack. Makes about 4 dozen.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank you, dear Veterans!

I would be totally remiss if I didn't take a moment to thank everyone and anyone who has served or is serving in our armed forces. Without you we wouldn't enjoy the freedoms we have today. I give you my deepest, heartfelt, and sincerest certainly have my support! My grandfather retired from the military, and I know the sacrifices families pay while their loved ones are serving throughout the world, so many thanks to you, dear family members, for your sacrifices as well. May God bless you all.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Once-Again Clean Chandelier

I have one chandelier in our entire home (would love to have more). It is in our dining room which is a several-sided room, our "turret room" we call it. It has a ceiling that goes up to a point covered by wood. Our lovely chandelier dangles from the center. It is a difficult room to determine exactly how low the chandelier should hang...and it really is not low enough. That said, to clean it or change one of the bulbs is...mmmm, a challenge. It involves putting a ladder on our kitchen table then climbing the ladder to close to the top to clean the crystals and change those bulbs. I had just said to my family how I couldn't believe none of the bulbs have blown out since moving into our house four years ago...then two days later one blew out! Now there was no excuse not to clean it. Thankfully my dear husband got to the top of that ladder and helped clean it and change those bulbs. It looks like new now! Oh, how it sparkles, and I am reminded how lovely and beautiful chandeliers really are!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pink Frosting Cupcake Charm

Here is my latest piece...once again inspired by Lollishops! There is nothing like a cupcake piled high with pink frosting covered in sprinkles...oh, and in a silver liner. Mmmmmm!

Post-election Biblical Reminder

I know, most people don't really care what the Bible says about anything, but I do! It is the basis of who I am and what I believe, and I'm not ashamed of it. Regardless of who won the election last night and why, thankfully the Bible, as always, puts things in perspective. Daniel 4:17 reminds us "...that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will..." Though most don't believe this, it doesn't matter WHO won...God is the one in charge of what goes on in the world that He created and allows certain rulers to lead for a reason (It is interesting though that in the many examples given in the Bible, whenever Israel strayed from serving God they had great difficulties.). It takes faith to trust in God, in His ways, and in His reasons without questioning why. As a final note Proverbs 21:1 says, "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will."

Monday, November 3, 2008

Victoria Magazine and My Pomander Project

I remember many times while visiting my grandmother she would be "working on" an orange--sticking holes in it with a large, thick needle then inserting whole cloves. I always thought it was rather a curious thing, but, you know, I don't ever remember asking her much about it for some reason. I just remembered how great the oranges would smell. Mmmmmm! Fast forward decades to a few years ago when for some reason I did my own orange. I can't remember the inspiration behind it unfortunately. I thought I'd just stick my cloves in without the needle preparing the way. I dare say, my fingers were terribly sore by the end of the project! Then I read about and saw the lovely picture in the November/December 2008 issue of Victoria Magazine of a pomander made with an apple instead of an orange. Never heard of using an apple! Well, I had an apple that was shriveling and bought some cheap cloves (aren't as perfect as the ones in the picture--but mine were affordable!) and set to work yesterday at the pleasant task of making my apple pomander. The apple was much easier to poke the cloves in than an orange, and it smells fabulous. It is now drying, and I must say I'm glad I did it. It's such a pleasant project to tackle over a cup of tea...I recommend it to everyone!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Lollishops is Coming!

I'm pretty excited about the opening this month (though the Grand Opening will be in January) of Lollishops! I've already written about it and can hardly wait. Please visit the official Lollishops Blog at to see all of the exciting things coming. If you'd like to apply to be a vendor in the juried shopping place, please click on the button to the right that says "Submit Application" (please be sure to tell Sadie that Michele's Glass Bead Treasures sent you!). Enjoy!