Monday, August 29, 2011

What Can You Do With an Old Key?

I have a friend who has a thriving jewelry business. She is an amazing designer and always has very cute ideas. I've bought lots of jewelry from her. In fact, she was the person who taught me how to make my own jewelry. She often is a vendor in a local Labor Day weekend craft fair - a very large and wonderful craft fair. She called me about a week ago asking if I was available to help her with her inventory for the fair. Of course I jumped at the opportunity. Since it isn't MY business, it's a relaxing "pass time" for me.

She is making lots of different pieces, as you would expect. My task is to make these cute key pendants. She has them on these little hooks so that they are interchangeable on a chain. I've been working late every night this week to keep up. Here are each of the styles.I'll have completed over 200 of them this week. I can't wait to see what else she has for sale. I pretty much just take out my services in trade for new jewelry.

I was excited to see what she had done with these keys. I bought a collection of brass keys awhile back from an Etsy shop and had set them aside because I didn't have any big creative spurt. Well, I followed her inspiration and created my own new key pendant - love it!
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Sunday, August 21, 2011

More Cooking

I'm just coming off a wonderful 9 day (working) vacation with my family in Maine and New Hampshire. Beautiful! We packed our days and nights and managed to put a pretty big dent in Maine's lobster population while we were at it. I took my yo-yo's with me and didn't open the bag to sew even one. I've got a lot of catching up to do on those. I've also been working on some jewelry for a friend - I'll show that later this week.

The only other thing I have managed to do (besides putting away clean laundry from the trip and trying to get the house back in order) is cook a little bit.

First up - Tin Foil Dinners: these bring back great memories from my childhood. We would always have these when we were camping in our camper every summer. I found a slight variation on my mom's recipe over at The Crafting Chicks. She added cream of mushroom soup to make some gravy - and we loved it! I used ground turkey instead of ground beef. We added in some fresh mushrooms. And since the boys got to "make" their own, they ate very well. Love the gravy!

We came home to a garden full of tomatoes. In fact, tomatoes are pretty much all we plant anymore. Between the boys and the dog (who loves to pluck tomatoes off the vine and eat them himself), its a race to see who can eat them as soon as they are ripe. I found a yummy recipe on For the Love of Cooking and we created a yummy Caprese Salad. A little fresh mozzarella, home grown tomatoes, (dried) basil - the fresh basil at the grocery store was beyond its date) and some olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar. Yummy!post signature

Sunday, August 7, 2011

2 of my 3 Favorite Things - Dessert Recipe

OH MY!!! One of the blogs that I follow regularly posted this dessert recipe a few days ago. It had two of my three most favorite dessert items in it . . . so I had to try it. Kierste over at Brown Paper Packages shared a recipe (originally from the Food Network) for Chocolate Caramel Bars. Of course anything with both chocolate and caramel in it has to be good (just add in some marshmallow and then you've got me, hands down!).

I made it this afternoon . . . . and it was a little slice of heaven. Go check out the recipe HERE. Super yummy. My only recommendations - decrease the amount of butter in the graham cracker crust (maybe 1 stick of butter instead of 1 1/2 sticks). Also, substitute milk chocolate chips in place of the semi-sweet chips (personal preference). All in all - incredibly yummy. Oh, let me also say that even without a candy thermometer, the caramel was surprisingly easy. Just follow the time guideline and you'll be fine. Um Um Good! I'll be making this again, and again, and probably again - - - after I get my bike out and go for a few really long rides after eating my share of this.

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