My studio space looks like, well, you look at it and decide...

>> Monday, February 28, 2011

***Warning, the post you are about to read shows my disasterous, and fully unadulterated workspace in all it's horrific offensiveness. Proceed with caution and, please, watch your step!***

I recently commented on another blogger's (Linda from A La Carte) post about organization that my basement (aka my studio) looked like I opened the door, threw in a grenade and then closed it quick.

I am not joking. It has quickly gone from a semi-organized area to a catch-all for every outgrown toy, holiday decoration, appliance that only gets used on occasion and every single scrap of anything I think might be useful in a craft some day.

How on earth can I work like this? Well I'll tell you. I don't. I hunt and sift and scream and curse until I find everything I think I'll need and then I lug it upstairs to the dining room table. And then at dinner I haul it all off the table, onto the hearth until we've finished eating, move it back onto the table afterwards and this process repeats itself daily until the current project is finished. Then I dump it all back down in the basement.

Add to this productive routine (note sarcasm) the mess from Christmas as well as a massive exodus of stuff from the kids' room bound for Salvation Army and you get the images you see before you.

This was last weekend. It had been on my "to do list" since November. I kept saying "After all my holiday craft shows are over, I'll organize it." Finally, motivated by Linda's post here, I decided to begin clearing and sorting through the craft/toy store that threw up in my basement.

6 hours on Saturday and nearly 8 on Sunday, this is where I am at.

The Salvation Army load has been moved to one section of the basment that doesn't get much use.

The bins are all cleaned out, labelled properly and stacked as neat as is possible. PS- see those solid wood headboards? Picked those up for the boys' room while out thrifting yesterday for $50 for the pair including frames!

BTW, these clear vinyl envelopes are GREAT for storage totes. They don't peel off like tape does and unlike marking them directly with a sharpie, if you change the contents, you don't have to make a mess all over the bin with more sharpie, you just pull out the paper insert and make a new one.

I have a rectangle dining table in my garage that is going to go in this area so I can have more than one project going at once and leave it out without fear of the kids getting into anything.

(never fear my mid century loving pals, the table will not be used for anything messy and the dining chairs reside in my dining room with a larger table more appropriately sized for my family)
I also plan to put my grandmother's sewing machine in this area once Ed rewires it for me.

And on my actual studio side of the basement, I have:

Reclaimed my workbench.

(Mostly) cleared off the table where I do my jewelry sawing and filing. That giant white frame on the table is a repair job that causes my heart much anguish and will not be discussed at the present moment.

Created a tidy shipping supplies area.

Unearthed my light tent.

Left to do in this project is to clean and sort all the sea glass in these baskets on this bench. Which is no small feat. There has got to be 50 pounds of glass here, easy.

Once they're sorted, the jewelry grade pieces will join their brothers on this shelf.

In my dreams, I email DIY Network and enter my basement for that show "Run My Renovation" and let America come in and redesign all of this space for me, to include walls and a floor that are not made of cement and also to include an office area so I don't have to blog and run my shop from my kitchen.

But until then, at least I can find my pliers when I'm looking for them!

Linking up with the Purge Party at Goodbye, House! Hello, Home!


By the sea, no place I'd rather be... My Etsy Treasury

>> Sunday, February 27, 2011

I decided since I've been lucky enough to be included in some wonderful Etsy Treasury, it was time for me to share the love and create my own.

All things that remind me of my favorite place in the world.

Please do visit the amazingly talented folks I've assembled into this lovely treasury!


And that is what 222 dollars in silver looks like

>> Saturday, February 26, 2011

You'd think that with as long as I've been making jewelry and buying silver, I'd have learned not to feel slightly let down when I open a giant box and remove such a tiny package inside.

But alas, I fall into it every time. The good thing is that my brain knows how many new pieces I can make from this raw material.

Stay tuned this week to see what I start making with this!

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I've been added to another gorgeous Etsy Treasury!

I'm honored to be included with these dreamy pieces!

Some of my personal favorites in this Treasury, curated by BirgittasBridal are:

Blue Bird Lovers Pendant

Sunny Dress for a Summer Day

Dolly-Deer Art


Nigella Lawson Makes One Pan Sage and Onion Chicken and Sausage

>> Thursday, February 24, 2011

Phew, how's that for a long recipe title?!

I know I promised to post this yesterday, but technically I am typing this while it is yesterday, I'm just scheduling it to post today. ;)

Over the weekend I came across Nigella Lawson on the new Cooking Channel.

She's one of my favorites because I can tell she really loves (and eats!) what she cooks. She's curvy, she snacks on things while she's making them and she sneaks leftovers from the fridge at the end of the night!

If you've never watched her on TV or read a cookbook, I strongly suggest you check her out.

This past weekend she was making a chicken and sausage dish that she said is a staple in her house. (And after I made it, I can understand why. It's SO tasty!)

Without further ado, I bring you Nigella's

One Pan Sage and Onion Chicken and Sausage


1 large onion or 2 small onions
1/2 cup olive oil (she specifies NOT Extra Virgin, but it's all I had and I think it came out fine)
2 teaspoons English mustard (I didn't have this so I used spicy brown)
1 tablespoon dried sage
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 lemon

1 (4-pound) chicken, jointed into 10 pieces (I bought bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces on sale- total for 4 pounds cost me $3)
12 sausages (I had sweet Italian- which is the sort she used on the show, but you could health it up slightly by using turkey or chicken sausage here)
2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, chopped (I omitted this as well, on the show she said if you didn't have them, don't worry about it)

Peel and cut the onion into eighths, and put into a freezer bag with the oil, mustard, dried sage, a good grinding of pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Cut lemon in half, squeeze juice into bag, and then cut the halves into eighths and add them. Squidge everything around to mix -Can I just interrupt to tell you how fun it is to read someone who writes their recipes they way they talk? Squidging is exactly the right word to describe what I did- (the mustard needs help to combine) and then add the chicken pieces. Leave to marinade in the refrigerator overnight, or for up to 2 days. (I did overnight, I can only imagine how heavenly with flavor 2 days would be!)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Allow the chicken to come to room temperature in its marinade.

Arrange the chicken pieces in a roasting tin skin side up with the marinade, including all the bits and pieces, and tuck the sausages around them.

Sprinkle the fresh sage leaves over the chicken and sausages and then put the tin into the oven to cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the sausages over half way through to color them evenly.

Arrange the chicken and sausages on a large platter to serve.
And I repeat. SO GOOD!

I served ours with some simple oven roasted potatoes (also a recipe from Nigella found here and some simple steamed veg)
My next food adventure involves how to slightly healthify (is that a word?) a packaged carrot cake mix to include more fiber and protein so I can justify eating a cupcake. Happy Cooking!

Linking up to Fun with Food Friday at Paisley Passions!


I walk the line

>> Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Well, the shoreline anyway. This is my pre-workout walk this morning. Dont be fooled, it is surely winter out here.
A balmy 28 degrees at the current moment. But the sun is warming and the wind is mild. These little birds are nuts to watch.

They run back and forth incessantly with the ebb and flow of the water looking for tiny particles to eat.

Who wouldnt want to take a walk here? Especially in the quiet desolation of winter? And I do mean desolate.
But that's the way I like it. The solitude is cleansing for me.
I always feel motivated and prepared after an hour
alone on the beach with my thoughts.

This place is a virtual ghost town in February. I suppose if I cant be someplace warm,
I can at least enjoy my home on rare, beautiful winter day, right?


blogging from a smartphone

>> Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Who'da thunk it? I am testing out an app that I found for my new phone today.

Tonight I cooked a delicious dinner made from a Nigella Lawson recipe that I saw her make on TV this past weekend. Sage and onion Chicken and sausage. Mmmm.

Tomorrow I will share photos and the full recipe. For now I am signing off. Blogging from one's phone is a neat party trick, but hardly the way I plan to do it on a regular basis!

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Diet and exercise update. If you care to hear about it

>> Monday, February 21, 2011

As mentioned here and here, I have been trying hard to get back to my pre-baby weight since January. I have been using the EA Sports Active 2 workout for the PS3 in conjunction with a diet consisting of as much lean protein and fiber as I can muster the courage to do.

On Friday, I completed Phase 2 of the 9 week workout program, today I began week 7 (Day 1 of Phase 3). The beginning of each new week starts off with a weight update and when I stepped on the scale this morning, (expecting to see a gain based on my sneak peek at my weight on Friday morning) I was shocked and so proud to see that I've hit my first big milestone.


Now, it's taken me 6 weeks to do it- which I think is on the slower side of normal, but man, I am so glad to be over that first hurdle! I didn't think it would ever come!

I have 3 more weeks on the program and then I can continue on my own, creating new workouts consisting of exercises and activities in the game. This way I can focus on the things I want to work on- like a day purely for arm strengthening, a day for my abs, etc.

My goal before our vacation in mid April to is be down another 10 pounds. My goal for summer is to be down another 10 after that- for 30 pounds in total. I will post to my blog periodically to share my progress and pass along any good, healthy recipes I come across in the process.

Go me!


So I am now an OFFICIAL Versatile Blogger

>> Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thank you to laxsupermom at Sugar & Spice in the Land of Balls & Sticks for honoring me with this award.

When this award is bestowed upon you, there are a few things you must do to keep the blog love flowing:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Answer 10 questions.
3. Pass it along to 7 bloggers you've recently discovered and enjoy.
4. Leave your recipients a note telling them they've won an award.

And the 10 questions are:

1. Why did you create this blog?
When I started this blog, I didn't even really know what blogs were. I just knew that all the cool kids were doing it and I was supposed to do it too. Now I use my blog to brag about my kids, show off my creativity, share my love of cooking and my obsession with all things vintage.
2. What kinds of blogs do you follow?
The blogs I follow revolve around Crafts, Family, Food, DIY and Vintage
3. Favorite make-up brand?
Bare Minerals. I don't wear a ton of makeup, in fact most days I don't wear any. But I did invest in a wonderful powder brow filler by Bare Minerals which flawlessly fills in the sparse areas in my brows that were caused by the teenage me thinking she could tweeze like the dickens and then pencil in a better brow line. (Not my most brilliant moment)
4. Favorite clothing brand?
Well when I can buy what I want and spend what I want, I am a J Crew, Gap and Banana Repulic gal. But since I have 3 growing boys who blast through clothes like nobody's business, I am generally an Old Navy shopper.
5. Indispensible make-up product?
If I had to pick something that wasn't my brow corrector, I'd say it's my eye lash curler. Well, that and the mascara that follows. Can I cheat and pick two? Like I said, I don't usually wear makeup, but on the days I feel like I need to actually look awake and put together and not just a mom in jammie pants and a hoodie, I find that the curler paired with mascara (brown, not black) opens my eyes up and shows them off quite nicely.
6. Favorite Color?
Turquoise. Without a doubt. I know, I am so 2010. Pantone would be disappointed with me.
7. Favorite Perfume?
Jessica Simpson's "Fancy Love" Am I dork that I wear celebrity perfume at the age of *ahem* older than 30?
8. Favorite Film?
There are a lot of films that I can watch over and over again. The sort that no matter if you click onto the TV channel 3/4 of the way through it, you'll still sit and finish watching the remainder. I'm going to cheat again and break it into categories. My most modern favorite is Julie and Julia, my most nostalgic favorite from teen years is Heathers (Corn Nuts!) and my favorite, laugh out loud a bazillion times over, sure to perk me up from a bad mood is Grumpy Old Men.
9. What country would you like to visit and why? I think I'd like to go to England. I'm not sure where, but I follow a few blogs from the other side of the pond and so many of the charity shops and car boot sales I see look like a vintage collector's dream!
10. Would you rather forget to put mascara on one eye or blush on one side of your face?
Errr. What an odd question. And what do you suppose my answer says about me? Since I am typically pale as a ghost and the slightest amount of blush makes me look like I have a fever, I'm going to say the mascara. Though I think that's a rotten alternative.

Okay, so there you have it. Some bits and bobs from my life. Make what you will of it and again, thank you to laxsupermom for offering me the opportunity to think about some random and varied parts of myself.

And now for the 7 blogs I'm going to pass this award onto:

My Kids Are My World
Confessions of a Psychotic Housewife
Brambleberry Cottage
Annie's Cupboards
Six Balloons Vintage Delights
Three Fates & Jay Grow Up and Buy a House
Kreated by Kelly


Even More Etsy Goodies - This Time, Earrings

Newly listed to my Etsy Shop

Green Pottery Shard Earrings
Sea Glass and Hill Tribe Silver Swirl Earrings
Genuine Wampum Shell Earrings
Genuine Sea Glass and Hill Tribe Silver Swirl Earrings
Blue Pottery Shard Earrings


More Etsy Goodies! Sea Glass Pendants Just Listed

>> Saturday, February 19, 2011

I've listed some new sea glass pendants to my Etsy shop.

Olive Green Sea Glass Pendant
Cornflower Blue Sea Glass Pendant
Lime Green Sea Glass Pendant
And don't forget, St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner!
Irish Eyes Are Smiling Sea Glass Pendant


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