30 March 2011

Focus on Family - March 30

I got a few good pictures of my kids this week. I actually remembered to bring the camera with me when we relocated to a different part of the house, although we usually congregate in either the living room or the kids' bedroom.

Little miss chubby cheeks.

I posted this on my facebook status yesterday, but I know I have readers who don't have access to my facebook, so I'll repeat myself. Two nights ago, Isabel woke me up for a feeding at around 4:00 a.m. Being so tired, I fell asleep on the glider while I was feeding her. I slept there for an hour. When I woke up and saw that it was just after 5:00 a.m., I put Isabel down and half sleep-walked up the stairs to our bedroom on the third floor. When I pulled the covers back to get into bed, I felt a small head of hair. Yes, that's right. Alexander went up the stairs while I was sleeping, and he got into my bed and fell asleep. He wasn't too happy that I woke him up to bring him back to his bed, but he didn't agrue too much at being put back into his own bed. I guess he was too tired.

My handsome little boy - the most handsome boy in the world!

I'm really glad that Alexander is feeling better. His nose barely runs now, and he coughs only occasionally. And he's staying in bed for the majority of the time. YAY! When he was sick, he would be getting up four or five times a night, just to snuggle. It would drive me crazy, since I was up twice with Isabel, then five times with Alexander. And I hated doing it (since he was sick), but I had to discipline him, or he would have thought it was okay to do it all the time.

So the first time he got out of bed, I gave him a warning, telling him to stay in bed, and that I would spank him the next time he got out of bed. When he got out of bed again, I would pull his diaper down and spank his bare bum. He must have really good padding on his plump little bee-hind, because he doesn't cry. It stings my hand and it sounds really loud, but he doesn't cry. I guess he gets that from me, because my dad said that when I was young, the spankings he gave me didn't hurt me at all, either. I guess I'm receiving my comeuppance for giving my parents such a hard time (I would get out of bed quite often as well, so I'm told).

I've been doing fairly well with thinking of things to make for dinner this past week. I made Jeffery's meatballs - the best meatballs in the entire world - but since I forgot to take pictures, the recipe will have to be posted another time. So here is the recipe for a really easy and yummy slow-cooker beef stew I made yesterday:

looks yummy, doesn't it?

3 lbs cubed beef stew meat (I used 1 pkg of stewing beef from the store and cut them into smaller pieces)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup carrots
4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tbsp parsley
1 tsp pepper
2 cups beef broth (I used 4 cups to get more juice - I'm also sure you could use chicken broth or even water if you wanted)
1 pkg dry onion soup mix (I used vegetable soup mix, which is all I had)
3 tbsp butter
1 onion, sliced
1/4 cup red wine (I only had white)
1/4 warm water
2 tbsp flour

-Put beef, flour and salt into a plastic bag and shake to coat the beef.
-Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook until the outside is browned. Transfer to a slow cooker along with carrots, potatoes, parsley and pepper.
-In a small bowl, stir together beef broth and soup mix; pour into the slow cooker.
-In the same skillet, melt butter and saute onions until softened; add to slow cooker.
-Pour wine into the skillet and stir to loosen the brown bits stuck on the bottom; add to slow cooker.
-Cook on high for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 6 hours or until meat is tender.
-In a small bowl, mix together 2 tbsp of flour with 1/4 cup warm water (make sure there are no lumps!). Stir into stew and cook on high uncovered for 15 minutes, or until it is thick.

I didn't have the 6 hours of cooking time the recipe required, so I just cooked it on high for about 3.5 hours (had to get the juice simmering to cook those potatoes quicker!), and it turned out really well!

Isabel tries so hard to sit up - this is her "I'm concentrating" look.

Every morning after Isabel wakes up and is changed, Alexander, Isabel and I go downstairs to have breakfast. I put Isabel in the swing and Alexander and I eat. And during that time, Isabel just stares at me. It's as if she knows that once I'm done, she will be fed. She stares at me while I'm eating breakfast, while I'm cleaning Alexander up from his breakfast and doing the dishes, and while I boil water for my morning tea. Once I'm done all that and sitting on my spot on the couch, that's when she starts fussing. I always hope to be able to drink my tea without have to breastfeed her at the same time, but I guess I should stop hoping. It's as if she knows when I'm finished being busy doing things, like once my hands aren't occupied with something, she expects them to be holding her. It's kind of disconcerting. She's going to be a smart little cookie.

Alexander loves the bear Jeff got him when he was born.

Jeffery has been super busy at work - he's even being scheduled for appointments on Thursday and Friday evenings (which he usually has off for men's group and IGNITE), and even on Saturdays. It would be nice if these appointments would translate into sales, but unfortunately, not all of them do. :(

But God is definitely providing! We were able to catch up on our property taxes and visa bill from the slow period of Jeff's work with our tax return, and so now we know to save up even more for the next slow period. We are very grateful to everyone who lifted up prayers on our behalf. And to those who gave us gifts of food, money, gift cards, and diapers, we are SO thankful that you were willing to give in that way.

Alexander's cool pose.

Next week Jeffery is going to be going to Connecticut for sales training. He will be gone from Tuesday until Friday. It will be a VERY lonely week for me. Maybe I'll invite myself to peoples' houses. If you get a call from me, you know what it is for (mom and dad!).

Alexander is trying to reach the toys in the back corner.

I have been reminded the past few weeks of how I must purify my heart and mind of anger and unkind thoughts, and the importance of striving for holiness.

"Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks." Matthew 12:34

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29

"God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness.... Without holiness no one will see the Lord" Hebrews 12:10, 14

And this has been the verse that I have meditated on the most lately because I have challenges with this:

"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life God desires." James 1:19-20

When I was younger, I remember memorizing the first part that verse for Calvinettes, but I really wish that I had remembered the second part. It really speaks to my heart and is a really good reminder for me to bite my tongue when I would usually just blast off with a litany of angry words. I have this verse and a few others attached to my kitchen fridge, so I am constantly reminded.

I hope that all your weeks have been as full of joy as mine has.

28 March 2011

Featured Artist - Peter Harren

Taking a look at Peter Harren's shop, Peter's Garden, you will see an artist with a distinct drawing personality. You will find many types of drawings, from rough sketches to fully finished and coloured drawings. They are all fairly simplistic, which is why I like them so much.

Here is a bit about Peter from Peter:

The reason I'm on Etsy is because art finally became fun for me just a couple years ago. I've been making things my whole life, but it used to be a struggle filled activity. I used it as a measuring stick, "How good am I?", and all that stuff that makes you suffer. But then after art school I gave up trying to be good and gave myself as much freedom as I could. I did lots of abstract stuff and slowly built from there. Cartoons seem to be a natural way for me to play. Friends and family liked my stuff so I got the courage to put it on a blog, then on etsy, and before I knew it I was getting contacted for illustration jobs. It was totally unexpected. I'm working on a long term one right now. I'm also making a nice little site for a comic strip that has given me lots of pleasure. I also have plans to make a portfolio site. It will be a while before they're up. I have a lot to learn, but it's fun and it's another thing to learn. My goal is to keep this working from home thing going forever.  So far it's all working out, I just have to stick to the 'keep making things and keep having fun' philosophy.

I just love how Peter has learned to let go of how "good" he is - that's something I definitely struggle with when it comes to my drawings, which is probably why I don't draw much anymore. I really admire him for his gumption to draw what he likes and what pleases him.

Here are my favourites from Peter's shop:

Beautiful Gal

Who Loved Art Class

Time to Fly

Caught Red Handed. Dogs and Pianos.

Take a look at Peter's shop, and you might see what I see - freedom and distinct style. I think my favourite is the "Who Loved Art Class" drawing - I may have to purchase that one.

25 March 2011

My Creative Corner - One More Day!!!

Tomorrow is the first show I'm doing this year! I'm very excited; I had a blast at the shows I "vended" (is that a word?) at last year. I've been busting my butt to get cards and stuff done. You can see a few of them on my facebook page, but here are ones that I have finished in the last few days:

ladybug invitations

butterfly cupcake toppers

butterfly birthday cards

creamsicle party invitations

monkey party invitations

monkey toppers (coordinate with above invites)

cookie monster toppers

elmo toppers

I've had so much fun making the toppers; I have so many ideas, I only have to order the card stock and punches to make more. I hope the people coming to the sale tomorrow will like them as much as I do!

23 March 2011

Focus on Family - March 23

Well, this week had been wonderful and taxing at the same time.

The best news first:  I mentioned last week that there is some really good news. I have finally been given the go ahead from my sister, Anne, to tell everyone that she is PREGNANT! ...with twins! This is a total answer to prayer, since she and her husband, Ken, have been trying for several years to conceive. I totally admire those women who have to deal with two of everything at the same time... breastfeeding, teething, poopy diapers, sleepless nights... one at a time is more than enough for me. Anne is due in October, and she has been feeling fairly well, she just has to make sure she eats a bit more often. There are already some ultrasound pictures, and as soon as I can get a picture of them, I`ll post it here. You can see the individual sacs, and it one resembles a frog right now.

Bad news: when Isabel woke me up at 4:00 a.m., I discovered that it was snowing. blech. Here is what it looks like outside the front of our house:

But when I looked over to the right side of the house, I found our neighbour shoveling our shared driveway. He also shoveled the sidewalk in front of our house! It's not the first time this year that he's done this, so I think I might have to make him a pie or something.

Alexander is sick this week, having little to no patience for anything. He is also not sleeping through the night. I always thought that sick kids would sleep more than anything; I mean, that`s what Alexander has done the other times he`s been sick. But not this time. He woke me up yesterday morning at 2:15 a.m., wanting to `nuggle` (his new word for snuggle). I was way too tired to bring him back downstairs to his bedroom, so he `nuggled`with us in bed for about 10 minutes. His wiggling around drove me insane, so I gave him more medicine and put him into his own bed. Thankfully, that`s what was needed and he went back to sleep.

Alexander with his "blue star"

Isabel is testing my patience as well. She doesn`t seem to like to sleep during the day at the moment. Well, she does, just not on her own. As long as she is attached to me, she`ll sleep, but as soon as I put her down, she wakes up and cries. And Isabel is not the kind of baby who will just cry herself to sleep - she cries until she can`t breathe, and when she catches her breath, she cries more. loudly. grrrr.

***CAUTION: Following paragraph contains poop content.***

Isabel presented me with the BIGGEST poop of all time. Well, the biggest I`ve ever encountered. I mentioned a while ago on my facebook status that Isabel keeps on giving me poop-soup diapers, which means that there is so much poop in her diaper that the diaper is not absorbing the poop anymore, and it just sits there and looks like soup. Hence, poop-soup. Well, yesterday, she pooped out of her diaper, up her back, and down through her legs. I didn`t even bother trying to change her on the change table, I put her directly into the bath tub to take off her clothes and diaper. It was dis-gus-ting.

***END of poop content.***

As you can see, I've been needing to relax and unwind. I think I need to stretch my patience muscle. A few weeks ago in church, during communion, there was little discs of air clay (clay that dries in the air) with fruits of the Spirit written on them; we were to use them as reminders of that particular fruit. There was joy and patience from what I could see, and there was more on another part of the table. I picked up joy, but I think i should have picked up patience. I need it.

This week I worked on my weak culinary skills and made cheeseburger soup. And it turned out yummy! If you want to try it, it's fairly simple, and most ingredients you would find in most kitchens, so chances are, they are in yours!

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups chicken broth (I used beef broth)
  • 4 cups cubed potatoes
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups cubed Cheddar cheese (I used 3 cups Old Cheddar)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (I didn't have sour cream, so I just used table cream)

The directions to make it are found here.

Yesterday I got an envelope in the mail:

and I thought that it was a personal letter. There was no return address on it, so it could have been anybody! I was so excited! But then I opened it:

what a disappointment! I don't even know how these people got my name and address, as I've never been to this dealership.

Jeffery bought me a laptop yesterday. We have been wanting to get a laptop for a long time, and we had a budget in mind of around $500, and there was one on sale at Best Buy (Jeff always keeps his eyes open for things like this), so when he saw this great deal, he picked it up. It`s nice, because now I can go on the computer while Jeff is playing WOW (World of Warcraft).

This Saturday I am going to be selling my cards at a mom2mom sale in Burlington, and I`ve been using every spare minute I get to make more cards. I look at the box I have prepared with the finished products in it, and it doesn`t look like there`s all that much. I also have a lot to do still with Robyn`s Big Shot, so I'm going over to her place tonight after the kids are down to make more cards! I love working with the Big Shot (and with Robyn)!

Until next week...

21 March 2011

Featured Artist - phaniemarie

I was wandering around etsy one evening, as I am apt to do once the kids are sleeping, and I was seeing a lot of shops that had really nice, professional banners and avatars. You could definitely tell that they are either in graphic design or got someone who knows what they are doing to do it for them.

So I went onto the etsy forums to see if anyone who makes and sells shop packages was having some sort of promotion or sale, and I found someone! PhanieMarie (Stephanie) was celebrating the fact that she and her husband were finally debt free, and the first five people who replied to that post would receive a free shop package! I was totally pumped! I think I was the third or fourth person to reply, so that meant that I would get one! YAY!

PhanieMarie messaged me and asked me if there was anything specific that I preferred. I told her to take a look at my shop and be creative. She took a photo of one of my cards (one I wouldn't have expected, either), and she made a beautiful banner, avatar, and reserved button for my shop. I was so surprised and impressed - it was totally the best decision to let someone who doesn't know me personally design something for my shop based on what my items and pictures. I LOVE IT! It was also equally impressive that this was all done the day after I replied to her post. So, of course, I wanted to tell the world; and the best way for me to do that is to feature her on my blog.

Here is a bit about PhanieMarie in her own words:

I began tinkering around with graphics design when I discovered the internet and personal web pages ten or so years ago. My first page was "Stephie's Purple Pool of Placidity" on angelfire and I made all of my graphics in Paint. When I began blogging on LiveJournal some years later I found a niche for icons (by then I had discovered Photoshop) and I started making them for my friends and random readers. At the time I found nothing more gratifying than making these images for other bloggers; I was never much of an artist in the traditional sense and graphics design was so appealing in that I could erase my mistakes and start over easily.

My creative process usually involves immersing myself in Photoshop until I suddenly come upon something that sparks my imagination. It can take hours to get to that point but, for me, the time flies. I'll admit that I can get burnt out easily; it happened to me recently so I took a break and made a birthday gift for my mother-in-law (I've discovered shadowboxes-- they're like condensed scrapbooks but far less intimidating). The time away from Photoshop gives me a chance to unwind from the pressure of competing against other stores and reminds me that I truly love what I do-- creating something that uniquely expresses someone's personality. Of course, it's a bonus to earn money doing what I love; however, if that ever becomes the only reason for designing it will be time to move on to another craft.

I also crochet and I'm about to teach myself to run a sewing machine. As a stay at home mother to four children I'm blessed beyond measure to be able to raise my children in the Lord while taking care of a recouping soldier (my husband of one year, Dan). We have a cozy home with a huge backyard in North Kansas City, MO. Along with our children we have two rescued cats: Marley (a maine coon who thinks he's a puppy) and Sophia (a sophisticated debutante of domestic mix). I love cats but my husband isn't fond of them; in protest to Marley's adoption he made a cat fort out of a cardboard box.

God has blessed us richly; in obeying Him and following His lead we have found indescribable peace and joy in our simple lives. To be able to create personalized graphics for other handmade sellers is just the icing on the cake!

If you want to take a look at some of the items that PhanieMarie has available in her shop, take a look here, here, and here.

So if you own an etsy shop, and are looking for a way to get your shop looking more professional and clean-cut, let PhanieMarie know, and she will do a fabulous job!

18 March 2011

My Creative Corner - Babies, Birthdays and... Coasters

This past week has been buzzing with business activity! I've been getting ready, as you know, for a few shows and fairs and mom2moms that I'm going to be selling my products in. That has kept me fairly busy.

But that's not all! I've also been getting ready for a TV shoot! Yes, you heard correctly: a TV shoot! Cable 14 emailed me in the beginning of the year, wanting to shoot four three-minute segments about me and my company and the products I make. Of course, I was totally pumped about it! So I got busy. I made some new tile coaster sets (shown below):

This coaster set has this image stamped in four different colours.

I also made a few new cards. These cards will also be at the shows I'm selling at this spring.

The segments were shot in my dining room, and Kim (interviewer), Mark (cameraman) and I all had fun (unless Kim and Mark were faking it - they are in the TV business after all). Kim and I made a few items and Mark shot it. It was weird having lights so close to my face, and I was really nervous. We did mostly everything in one take, which was great! Then Mark wanted to get different angles of us making the products, so we had to undo some of them and redo it a couple times for a couple different angles.

It was my first experience being on professionally-done film, and I can't wait to see it! Since I don't have cable  (I know), Kim will be sending me a DVD of it once it's edited. Once I receive it, it will be posted here on my website. I don't know how long I'll have to wait, but when I see it, you'll see it!

16 March 2011

Focus on Family - March 16

Well, another week has come and gone. Nothing incredibly interesting happened, just normal day-to-day things. Well, some really good news, but that will have to be shared another time.

Isabel smiling a LOT now. Today she actually slept until around 10:00 a.m.!! That was nice! And I went to bed last night at around 8:00 p.m., after the kids were down for the night, so I had a good sleep. Isabel woke me up at 2:00 a.m. and at 6:00 a.m., and that was it!

I'm having trouble thinking of things to make for dinner. There's nothing that I really want to eat, except for scrambled eggs and bananas (but not together!). Any suggestions?

Speaking of food, I have found the best recipe for soft chocolate chip cookies:

3/4 cup butter (room temperature)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs

Beat these all together with an electric beater until smooth.

2 cups flour (I use blending flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Add these ingredients and mix all together. Of course, I put in more chocolate chips than the recipe calls for. Bake at 375 F for 12 minutes. They are perfect! very chewy and yummy!

Alexander has an interesting ow-ee on his nose. He was flopping around on the couch, and he fell off the couch and landed on one of his little animal toys:

And now he has an ow-ee with the shape of the goat's hind legs:

I got my haircut on Saturday, and it is probably the best haircut I've ever had! It has everything to do with Bailey, the hairdresser. I told her that she could do what she wanted with my hair, and I'm SO glad I did! She cut and styled it perfectly! I've tried a couple times to redo the style, but I don't have any luck with styling hair (which is why I get someone else to do it). This is the closest I've come. Once Bailey styles it again, I'll take another picture of what the style is supposed to look like.

This is also the first time since I was 15 that there is not a single hair that is coloured! It's all natural! Bailey wants to put in highlights and lowlights, but I think I'm going to keep it natural.

Tomorrow is a fairly big deal for me (which I will talk about on Friday), so I'm going back to Bailey in the morning to style my hair again. If anyone is looking for a hairdresser, go to her! She works at Maison Fritz on Main Street (west end, past McMaster), and she is a genius. I would recommend her to anyone.

Disappointing news: I think I have to get my wisdom teeth out - or maybe just one. I've had one trying to come out for about 5 years now, but my mouth doesn't have room for it (despite the five teeth that were pulled out of my mouth as a girl to make room for them!). So every once in a while, this tooth would try again to push its way out of my gums, but it never gets very far, and so the tooth gives up. But it recently started trying again, and the gums around this tooth has been aching for about 4 weeks now. It's really stubborn. I just want to yank it out myself. If only I could get a good grip on it...

Jeff's work is getting busy! He's got a full schedule (which sucks because we rarely see him now), but it's great because he is getting sales as well! Praise the Lord! I hope we'll be able to catch up with everything this month.

Until next week, then!

14 March 2011

Featured Artisan - triquimoches

Today's artisan is makes AWESOME plushies! Monsters! no, Triquimoches:

From a young age, I enthusiastically in the world of children's illustration and the idea of drawing my own fantasy and imagination, and make it a real world. Thus was born my handmade friends - The Triquimoches - full of color, love and joy. Simple but very beautiful and cute. It was my dream come true! Thanks to my friends and family, I had the support and encouragement to embark on this wonderful adventure. Together we explored the world, we have traveled in fantastic stories and we have so much fun! Suddenly everyone wanted my plushies for celebrations, birthdays and parties, all called for a Triquimoche, to give in their lives or the lives of your loved ones! Therefore, Triquimoches have come to you, allowing you love them. 

Theses Triquimoches are each are deisgned and  handmade by Vega, in her studio in Spain. Each Triquimoche has its own story and attributes, making each one not only unique in look and style, but also in personality!

Here is a little bit about Vega in her own words:

I was born and raised within a poor family and since childhood my mother instilled a love of crafts. I always liked seeing the craft books from my mother! I always had something going to do. 

Over time I became a graphic designer (currently working on it), but my dream has always been to make children's illustration, many of my creations start from there. I like the world of children and I am very fortunate when one of my little go to a new home to cheer up one of them. 

The idea of Triquimoches are inspired by old fairy tales and fantasy. Currently, children only play on consoles and watching TV, I wanted to rescue the love of traditional toy made of cloth, I enjoyed it so much as a child with them!. 

All of them are handmade with all my love and dedication, my ooaks are unique works filled with details, no two are alike. as possible, I'm going directly to the sewing room. is my passion! 

Many of my jobs have gone to far away countries, France, USA, Australia, england, canada ,.... has been fantastic! the love and support of my work is very important to me. 

Here are my favourite Triquimoches:

My son, Alexander, loves his plush toys. He's constantly playing with them, and he occasionally brings one to church or the store with him - he loves them so much! So I am going to begin to add some Triquimoches to his collection (or maybe start my own!).

The colour and quality of each piece is stunning and beautiful! Each Triquimoche will last a lifetime! The last picture of most of these little monsters are shown in someone's hands, showing the size - and they are larger than I expected them to be - see for yourself!

Take a look at all the different Triquimoches here, and let me know which is your favourite!

11 March 2011

My Creative Corner - baby, baby, baby!

I've been working mostly on baby cards this week, since I'm in three mom-to-mom sales this spring! YAY! I told you last week about the cards I was making, but didn't have them done, and now I have finished them! Here they are:

I made seven sets of ten of these cuties. They are baby shower invitations.

Here are also some tags that I've made:

These tags are fun to make, and they are good to tie around gifts and orders.

Next week you'll be seeing pictures of baby cards and birthday cards for kids. And I'm running out of card stock! I have one sheet of white left! Let's see what I can do with that!

09 March 2011

Focus on Family - March 9

This past week has been full of new things. Alexander's new words: Niki - he called Niki by her name when she was over on Monday!; pees - instead of pee for please (FINALLY!); monkey - "do the monkey"; green - sounds more like 'grin', but he's getting there!; blue - I thought that was one of the easiest colours to say, but he wouldn't say it until recently. There are a few other new words, but I can't remember them for the life of me.


Isabel has been waking up only once during the night at around 4:00 a.m. for a 10-15 minute feeding, then she sleeps again until around 7:30 a.m. She also sits in the swing quietly in the mornings while I get Alexander's breakfast and my own breakfast ready. YAY! She has also discovered how funny Alexander is when he's running and stomping around the living room; she's always watching him and smiling - you can tell she loves her older brother... unless she's plotting on how best to torture him once she can walk...

"mommy, what am I still doing in here?"

Jeffery was busy working the Omni Basements booth at the Home and Garden show at the Hamilton Convention Centre on Saturday. He was originally booked for the IDEAL Homeshow at the Careport Centre (Omni had booths at both places), but he was switched at the last minute, and that really sucked because at the Convention Centre, he got all of four leads in the afternoon/evening he was there, while at the Careport Centre, people couldn't even walk through the aisles because it was so full. And Omni just made it a rule that the leads you get at the homeshows are your leads. :(

As far as I know, all the other salesmen were at the Careport Centre, gaining many new leads. And Jeff got four. We'll see how God uses that to provide for us, which I have faith that He will; He always does!

Alexander asking me if he can kiss Izzy

I made french fries last night as part of our dinner. Not the frozen ones you get in the frozen section of the grocery store, I actually peeled, cleaned, cut and fried potatoes. I could have baked them, but fried fries taste so much better than baked (in my opinion). I sprinkled sea salt on them, and that was it! Dip into ketchup (or mayonnaise, if that's your preference) and they were tasty!

going in for the smooch

A few weeks ago, Jeff had a sinus-like cold, and now I have it too. I hate feeling sick. When Jeff and I were sick and vomiting earlier in the year, neither Alexander or Isabel got sick; so I hope that they both remain healthy, despite the cold germs flying around the house.

I'm very excited to announce that on Saturday I am FINALLY getting a haircut! YAY!! I've been wanting to cut my hair for a long time. I still don't know what style... maybe I'll just let the hairdresser do whatever she wants. Does anyone have a suggestion?

Jeff and I got our taxes done by our accountants this week, and we're getting a refund! YAY! It's not enough to pay off our car loan, as we hoped, :( so we will have to think hard about where we allocate the refund to make sure we do the wise thing.

I've been watching Fringe episodes from season 2 (my favourite TV show), and I just watched an episode called "Of Human Action", where a swat team is getting ready to rescue a kidnapped teenager whose abductors can control people's minds. The genius scientist, Walter Bishop, has created headphones that should be able to block the mind control. During his instructions to the swat team, he says, "Once you receive the order to put the headphones on, do not remove them under any circumstances. If you do, you may die a gruesome and horrible death. Thank you for your attention, and have a nice day." HAHAHA!!! Well, I thought it was funny.

Anyway, I hope you have a good rest of the week!

07 March 2011

Featured Artisan - blueroombijoux

Today's artisans are a mother/son team who work in two different countries, like last week's artist. Martin and Marietta split their work between Minnesota and Greece, their motherland. I first saw their shop while I was browsing through necklaces. I love necklaces, but I just never seem to wear any! But seeing their gorgeous shop, it made me want to!

I was able to contact Marietta about doing this feature, and she was pleased; however, they are extremely busy! They just moved their physical gallery to a new location, so they were not able to write a few words about their company and work. Here are some snippets from their profile on etsy:

Everything listed in our page is handmade either in our studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota or in our studio in Greece (our original homeland). We live and work between the two countries, yea I know it sounds nice! This is a family business and the work is handmade by Martin(son) or Marietta (mother).

The variety of jewelry pieces in our store are all handmade by us and since the materials we use are 100% natural and of the best quality, there is a slight variation from piece to piece. This makes the work unique and always one of a kind!

Find us in real life! We are at: Gallery OKTO - http://galleryokto.com/

Here is just a taste of what you can find in their etsy shop:

Their jewelry is mostly directed for weddings. I know that I'm already married, but if I ever do it again (lol), I will get my jewelry from this shop! Their pieces are absolutely gorgeous! So airy and feminine! 

My favourite piece is this one. Which is your favourite?