Friday, December 19, 2008

It's almost here...

Are you ready? Are the gifts sent? Has the list been checked? Twice? Are the stockings hung? With care?
Are you enjoying the hustle and bustle of the season?

Happy Holidays to you and yours.

(Image from Dover Publishing.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


At this busy time of year....
s33 T R E S S

Stress: The confusion created when one's mind overrides the body's basic desire to choke the living daylights out of some jerk who desperately deserves it.

In times of great stress or adversity, it's always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive. do you deal with stress?

Monday, December 15, 2008

For the love of cranberries, part 2

I still love cranberries! I love to make cranberry bread, cranberry sauce, cranberry salsa, frozen cranberry martinis, and sugared cranberries. Here are two of my favorite cranberry recipes. I hope you enjoy them!

Sugared Cranberries (from Cooking Light December 2003)
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
2 cups fresh cranberries, washed and picked
3/4 cup superfine sugar

Combine granulated sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat, stir until sugar dissolves. Simmer (do not boil), and remove from heat, let cool slightly. You do not want the cranberries to pop. Stir in cranberries, pour into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Drain cranberries in a colander over a bowl. . Place the superfine sugar in a shallow dish. Add the cranberries, roll to coat with sugar. Spread the sugared cranberries in a single layer on a baking sheet; let stand at room temperature until dry. Store in an air tight container in a cool place for up to 1 week.
They look so pretty in a holiday bowl. They pop in your mouth, and are a surprising sweet treat. The contrast between the sweet, candy like shell and the tart, juicy berry is nice. These are great to put out when entertaining, to use as a unique gift, or serve at a cocktail party.

Cranberry Salsa
1 bag cranberries, washed and chopped
3 green onions, chopped
½ cup (or more) cilantro leaves, chopped
2 limes, juiced
½ - ¾ cup sugar
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced

Mix together gently. Serve with corn chips, crackers, or tortilla rolls. Also works well with roast turkey or pork tenderloin.

To make spicier, add more jalapeno
Let sit in refrigerator 1 – 2 hours.
Can be made a day ahead, add cilantro before serving.

I hope you enjoy these recipes. What are your favorite holiday recipes?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Winter Working

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
-- Josh Billings

Winter is here, and I said that we are usually closed when the weather is too cold. So, I was wrong. We do sometimes have to be open on some of the colder days. Tomorrow may be chilly, but Kerry and I will be there. Our strategy is that we will crank up our little space heaters, and wear our warmest sweaters. Thankfully, the orders are still coming in, and we do need to put in a few hours.

So, we will do our best to warm up the little place. You should stop by, too. We are running a special on non-jewelry items, 15% off. What a deal! We also have our drop in to make art time tomorrow. Come in and make a gift of your own. Drop-in workshops. Make your own gift each Tuesday and Friday from 9:00 - 11:30, December projects include Gypsy bracelets, large journals, Gypsy journals or glass ornaments.

Brave the cold, we promise it won't be too bad! Also, we are the perfect place to look for that special gift you still need.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Inexpensive gifts

At this time of year, in this economy, we are all looking for an affordable gift. Our studio can help you out with that quest. One of our many affordable gifts are these beautiful keyrings. We love them so much; the colors and textures are fun. They also make life a little bit easier, they slip over the wrist so you can keep your keys handy when you have your hands full!

Key Fob - $5

What's more, they are handmade. Stop by the studio Tuesday or Thursday to pick one up.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Rules of the studio...

When it's 32 degrees (or below) we generally don't have the studio open. This little building doesn't have enough heat to keep us (or you) warm.

This morning the temperature is 14, with windchill 3 degrees. Brrrr!

Next week looks good, though.

See you then!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Why Buy Handmade?

You may ask, why buy handmade for the holidays? Why buy handmade for gifts? Why buy handmade for yourself?

The website addresses those questions. This is what they say:

"Buying Handmade makes for better gift-giving.
The giver of a handmade gift has avoided the parking lots and long lines of the big chain stores in favor of something more meaningful. If the giver has purchased the gift, s/he feels the satisfaction of supporting an artist or crafter directly. The recipient of the handmade gift receives something that is one-of-a-kind, and made with care and attention that can be seen and touched. It is the result of skill and craftsmanship that is absent in the world of large-scale manufacturing.

Buying handmade is better for people.
The ascendancy of chain store culture and global manufacturing has left us dressing, furnishing, and decorating alike. We are encouraged to be consumers, not producers, of our own culture. Our ties to the local and human sources of our goods have been lost. Buying handmade helps us reconnect.

Buying handmade is better for the environment.
The accumulating environmental effects of mass production are a major cause of global warming and the poisoning of our air, water and soil. Every item you make or purchase from a small-scale independent artist or crafter strikes a small blow to the forces of mass production."

Conveniently, Kerry and I make homemade. We have lots of artisan friends who make homemade, too. We also have links to lots of other blog and Internet friends that make and sell homemade. If you want to buy homemade, too, come to the studio on one of our open studio days. Or check out our website or our Amazon store. Or look further and find your own local artisans to support. Even if you can't buy entirely homemade this season, try to find just one special gift that's handcrafted. Maybe you will be lucky and receive handmade.

Enjoy your holidays!

Monday, December 1, 2008

December Studio Events

Amid the hustle and bustle of the season, with company coming, and special dinners and parties to host, with shopping to do and baking, too, we have both been so busy. You have too, I'd bet. We can help you out, we hope. With affordable, handcrafted gifts, check out the specials at the studio. And if you want to make your own handcrafted gift, we can help you do that, too.

We've planned a special sale item every week. (Purchases must be made at the studio for special prices to apply.) This week:

Stone pendants on a leather necklace, only $10. Mix and match to create your own combination.

Do you want to make a gift to give? Join us for Drop-in workshops.Come to the studio to make a gift for someone special. We are open on December 2, 5, 9, 12, 16 and 19; 9:00 – 11:30am. Come make Gypsy Bracelets, Collage Journals, Glass Ornaments, or Gypsy Journals. Other projects may be available, just ask.