Wednesday, May 27, 2009

You Just Never Know...

...what will happen when you a shop (add it to your favorite sellers list) on Etsy. About a week ago, I selected Ever so Dear as a favorite shop and became the 500th person to heart her shop! Unknown to me, she was waiting eagerly for that 500th heart so that she could bless their heart with a little gift.

Well, my little gift arrived yesterday in this sweet golden (and recycled) box with deep rose ribbon

I eagerly opened it to find this lovely presentation...

of these gorgeous earrings with beautiful millefiori beads.

Diane, the creative force behind Ever So Dear, carefully and beautifully handcrafts her jewelry into lovely and unique works of art. These one of a kind pieces have a decidedly vintage look and feel and often are made from vintage materials. This lovely Nesting Necklace

has a quote from a beautiful hymn on the reverse side and would be a treasured gift for a friend or daughter who is expecting a little someone.

One of the things that I find most appealing about the jewelry that Diane crafts is the thoughtfulness that goes into each element of each piece. Another is that Diane's love of her own Creator is very often reflected in her creations in either a subtle or overt way.

If vintage and one of a kind are not your particular cup of tea, you might want to visit Twirling Vine, Diane's newest shop on Etsy, where you will find a selection of fresh and funky jewelry that just screams FUN, like these simple yet bold Green Girl earrings:

Whatever your style, I am sure you will find something that you love in one of Diane's shops. Diane, thanks so much for the lovely earrings and I am sure that with your fine reputation for beautiful and finely crafted jewelry, Twirling Vine, will soon have its own 500th before too long!

Now go out and an Etsy shop never know what might happen when you do!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy Birthday to A Special Princess of the High King!

One of my favorite Etsian's is having a birthday today! We affectionately call her Miss (or Mama or Princess) Daffy, a name given to her by a sweet child who was unable to say "Miss Cathy." She is better known to her fellow CAST (Christian Artists Street Team) members and Etsians as Abbasgirl. She is indeed, our Daddy's girl. She never misses an opportunity to tell everyone how divine and great our heavenly Father is!

In recognition of her birthday, I wanted to share some of the lovely items from her shop.

I am the proud owner of one of these Pixie Kiss magnets. I gave it to my husband for Valentine's Day to remind him that I had to kiss a lot of frogs before I finally found my own sweet prince. He loved it!

These lovely pendants are available with various
Words of Life and if your particular word is not listed in her shop, Catherine is always happy to make custom orders.

This might be my favorite: An adorable ABC Blocks plaque designed for the room of that sweet little darling in your life...child or grandchild, niece or nephew...actually lights up! How creative is that?

Okay, one last item. Memorial Day is coming up soon. In addition to honoring those who have given their lives for our country, we should also recognize those who have served and are serving still. What better way to say "Thank You!" to that very special soldier or veteran than with this beautiful American Eagle magnet.

Abbasgirl's pendants and magnets come beautifully packaged and ready for gift giving.

There are so many more lovely things in her shop, I hope that you stop by Abbasgirl and view them all.
She's a delight to know and a truly talented artist!

Happy Birthday, Princess Daffy!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fingerprint Friday

Fingerprint Friday

There is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that says:
I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know its true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with the fingerprints of God.
So look around you and see where YOU can see God's fingerprints. Is it in nature? Kids? Animals? Where do you see them? To join in, visit

These beautiful pink peonies were grown by a dear friend, Mrs. Betty. I can see God's Fingerprint all over these beautiful peonies and all over my sweet friend!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mynee's Dream

The song, Dream, by Priscilla Ahn reminds me so much of my mom. It inspired me to do this slideshow of her life. She lost her mom at eleven during the Great Depression and her father had to travel a lot to earn a living. She boarded with family and friends and I know that she was often in her own little world, dreaming of a little home. I know she had a dream to have a loving family. She got one. Four daughters, 9 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and 3 great,great grandchildren. Her life may not have gone exactly the way she dreamed it but she was happy with it. She had a good life...and many tales to tell. She was ready to leave us. She was tired and she was ill and...she knew where she was going. She will be missed this Mother's Day and all the Mother's Days to come.

Update: The slideshow has been moved to the end of this section.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Yummy Strawberry Bread

I love making quick breads. They are easy to make and so yummy. Most freeze well and they're handy to have on hand when a friend drops by or to give as a gift. Plus, there are a hundred variations so I never get bored with them and most of the recipes can make two large loaves or 2 small loaves with minor adjustments.

I tend to experiment with recipes. Sometimes because I don't have a particular ingredient on hand and have to improvise or because I don't care for a particular ingredient and think something else will taste better. So, it helps if I can make two for the taste test (just in case it I need to feed it to the birds) and one to share (in case it's really good!)

Last week I tried Lemon Banana Bread. Very good, with just a touch of lemon. Today it was Strawberry Walnut Bread. This may be my all time personal favorite. Very simple, very yummy, very moist and actually pretty healthy if you forget about the sugar and concentrate on the walnuts and strawberries instead.

The original recipe called for 20 ounces of frozen strawberries, thawed. It was probably referring to those frozen, sliced strawberries that come in the little cardboard packages and are packed with syrup. I don't know, but I didn't have any 20 ounce packages of anything or anything that I could add together to make 20 ounces, so I improvised. I had a large bag of frozen, whole strawberries, so that's what I used. I chopped up enough frozen strawberries to fill up a 1 quart mixing bowl. I sprinkled them with about a half cup of sugar and let them defrost overnight in the refrigerator. You could also put them into a plastic storage bag and sit them in cold water for a couple of hours to speed up the process.

The next day or whenever the strawberries are thawed:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare 2 large loaf pans (8.5" x 4.5") by spraying with cooking spray. Then cut a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to fit into the bottom of each pan and spray top of paper to coat.

Place 1 cup vegetable oil and 2 cups sugar (I used 1 cup of brown sugar and 1 cup of white sugar) in a mixing bowl and mix until fluffy. Add 4 large eggs and mix well. Add the strawberries and mix again.

In a separate, medium sized bowl sift together 3 cups all purpose flour, 3 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt.

Gradually, add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix just enough to blend.
Stir in 1 cup of chopped walnuts.

Divide batter between the two loaf pans and bake for about 1 hour or until a cake tester or a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for about 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges. Invert onto another rack and let cool completely before cutting. Wrap in plastic wrap to store.

Eat one loaf and give the other to a friend! Enjoy the compliments! They will probably ask for the recipe. You could send them here!

Notes: You can also use a tube pan but then you should probably call this cake instead of bread. Hmmm...I'm thinking strawberry, powdered sugar glaze dripping down the sides....I'll have to work on that. You could also add raisins, pecans or maybe leave out the walnuts and add a little almond extract. See, that's what's so much fun about quick breads