Friday, February 27, 2009

Let The Gardening Begin

I started our broccoli, cabbage and parsley seeds yesterday. It is now officially gardening season. It felt really good to be outside in the unseasonably warm 70 degree weather, barefoot with dirt under my finger nails again.
The last two gardening seasons have been rough in Tennessee. The drought was awful! I felt so so bad for the local farmers. No amount of mulch or water can really save a garden when the Earth is as dry as it's been the past two growing seasons.

That's hard to imagine on a day like today. It's raining cats and dogs and there is standing water everywhere. I am not complaining. We need every last drop. Soon the landscape will start to green up and blossom. I do have a handful of mini daffodils and snow crocus blooming; which is always a comforting sight. The bare naked freshly tilled earth in the garden will be bursting with seedlings and plants. Here's to a year full of green growth and fresh organic veggies.
Until next time.....

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dreaming of Summer

It's not that I'm tired of Winter, because I'm not, but this time of year finds me dreaming of summer. The weather in Tennessee can be very unpredictable. Take the next few days for instance. Today it's supposed to be in the high 60's, which will pave the way for strong thunder storms tonight. By this weekend, they're talking snow. My daffodils don't know which way is up.

The treasuries that I've been making on Etsy are all plant inspired. Have you ever looked at the plants and seeds that are available on Etsy? I especially love seeing the heirlooms for sale! If I didn't have too many irons in the fire already, I'd open up another shop to sell my seeds.

My jewelry shop is starting to look more like a garden shop and ice cream parlor. It's obvious where my mind is wandering off to. Soon, I'll be knee deep in freshly turned soil, or like my friend Faro said, sitting on the mower, cutting grass.
May as well enjoy the last carefree days of Winter while I can. Maybe even pull out some winter white beads today.
Until next time.....

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Blue is my favorite color. I don't think that I've ever met a blue that I didn't like. If you saw my bead stash, you'd have to agree. And many of those beads will never make it into my jewelry shop or my deStash shop. Ah, but some of them do~
Until next time.....

Monday, February 23, 2009

Elephants Never Forget

Well if the saying is true, then I must be an elephant.
Until next time.....

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Lavender Finds on Etsy

Lavender is one of my favorite plants for many reasons. It seems that I'm not alone. Yesterday I was compiling a treasury and could not believe how many beautiful 'lavender' items there are on Etsy. That site never ceases to amaze me. Here's a few of the things that I came across.

These glass beads took my breath away when I saw them. They are gorgeous! From LavenderBeads ! Please check out her shop full of lavender glass beads.

I came across these. Honey Lavender shortbread cookies from whimsyandspice . Need I say more?

This beautiful pendant is from RikiCraft's shop; a PMC work of art:

There's pages more, but I'll let you run your own lavender search.
Until next time.....

Friday, February 20, 2009

Cheese Biscuits

Have you ever added grated cheese to your biscuit dough? Or herbs? It's an easy way to dress up baking powder biscuits. We've been eating a lot of cheese biscuits lately. They're quick, easy and go great with winter soups and stews.
Preheat your oven to 425 and grease a cookie sheet.
2 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening or butter
1 egg
1/2-3/4 cup milk or buttermilk
Approximately 1/2 cup grated cheese.

Crack the egg into a one cup measuring cup. Add milk to the 3/4 cup line and mix well.
In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening or butter. Toss the cheese in.
Stir in the milk mixture.
On a lightly floured board, roll or pat the dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut into shapes. I use a biscuit cutter, but have also used cookie cutters, the rim of a glass, or in the case of the ones in the photo, a pizza slicer was used to cut the dough into squares.
Place them on the cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes or until nicely browned.
Until next time.....

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I was working in the garden the other day, cleaning out around one of my lavender plants, dreaming of Spring. Even though we are in the middle of Winter, there was a scent of lavender in the air. Where was it coming from you ask? From my sweater.

I store our wool sweaters, gloves, scarves and hats with bouquets of dried lavender tucked between the layers. Lavender repels moths and keeps our woolens smelling fresh. And it sure beats storing them in moth balls! Do they even sell those anymore?
Until next time.....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Interview with an Etsian: jNicDesigns~jNicLoft

I'm starting a new series on my blog today, entitled "Interview with an Etsian". Let's jump right in.....

Up first is one of the most genuine, down to Earth folks that I've met on Etsy. I love her work and own several pair of earrings. And her gem shop should be on every one's favorites list! She also owns the cutest chickens that I have ever laid my eyes on!

1. Your name, shop and craft(s).
I'm jenn Trott and my shops are jNicDesigns and jNicLoft. I play with pretty stones and metal all day long (aka creating jewelry) =)

2. How long have you been at your craft(s)?
Ooohh that's a tough one. I started making jewelry in 4th grade that consisted of those little flowers you find in clover patches tied together to make bracelets and necklaces.. then I advanced to friendship bracelets in middle school and in high school I actually took a jewelry making class where I used a lot of huge rhinestones and paper-mâché - hey it was the 80's! I made the jewelry for a lot of my classmate's proms, dances and other outfits so I guess that's where my "business" first emerged.

3. One thing no one knows about you that influences your craft.
I am not someone that enjoys being the center of attention which is why most of my pieces tend to lean toward the simple, understated and refined. I find it really challenging to create pieces that I wouldn't want to wear myself.

4. Favorite color? Does it affect your work? Why/why not?
I love blues and greens and it definitely affects my work because those are always the stones I gravitate to. I have to challenge myself to work with different colors!

5. Learn anything new lately that's related to your craft? If yes, what is it. If no, what would you like to learn.
Not within the last few months but last year I took two metalsmithing courses through the University of Georgia and it was a blast! And I'm always talking to the head of the Athens Gem and Mineral Society and learning new things about the stones I love.
6. Best piece of advice that someone gave you that benefited your shop?
I'd have to say it came from my district manager during my retail days and we referred to it as the "5 P's" - Proper planning prevents poor performance. I am very much a planner and I try to have a game plan for every day, week and month.

7. Favorite Etsy category to browse and why.
I love to browse the clothing category because I'm amazed at the talent in that category!

8. Ever collaborate with another seller? If yes, what did you learn about yourself?
I haven't done any collaborations yet...

9. What one thing on Etsy can't you live without?
Time Machine 2! I love browsing sold items!
10. What question would you like to see included in an interview, that you've never seen? You can answer it if you like.
What's your favorite holiday? Halloween =)
I want to thank Jenn for helping me kick off this series. Check out her shops. You'll be glad that you did.
And if you poke around her blog, you just might see those chickens that I mentioned.
Come back next week to see who's talking.
Until next time.....

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Blue Fly

Ever get stuck on a name for one of your creations? Names usually come pretty easy for me, until this pair of earrings. The beads are one of my latest favs. I have them in both blue and yellow. They're art deco-ish in design and made with vintage glass. To me, they look like those flies that bug the hell out of you when you're lounging on the beach. You know those kind? On the Florida panhandle, they look like space aged, triangle shaped insects. And they bite!

So, when I took these beads out last week to work with, I had this particular song in my head. You may know it. It's I'm a Spy by Jim Morrison. Except I kept singing "I'm a Fly". Don't ask why? I don't have an answer for you.

When it came to naming the earrings, I could not come up with a name. Well, I did come up with one: Blue Fly Earrings. But didn't feel like explaining in the item description the reason why they were named after a bug. Maybe I should just link this blog post to them.
That's exactly what I'm going to do. Problem solved. Thanks for the ear.
Until next time.....

The Spy
by Jim Morrison
© Doors Music Company ASCAP
I'm a spy in the house of love.
I know the dream that you're dreaming of.
I know the word that you long to hear.
I know your deepest secret fear.
I'm a spy in the house of love.
I know the dream that you're dreaming of.
I know the word that you long to hear.
I know your deepest secret fear.
I know everything.
Everything you do, everywhere you go, everyone you know.
I'm a spy, in the house of love.
I know the dream that you're dreaming of.
I know the word that you long to hear.
I know your deepest secret fear.
I know your deepest secret fear.
I know your deepest secret fear.
I'm a spy, I can see, what you do, and I know.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Oyster Shells

I seriously doubt that there are many people that live inland that till up oyster shells in their garden. Well, now you know one. Me.
We go to the panhandle every Autumn and bring back oysters. I save the shells. I love the color and texture of them. And they are so useful in the garden.
I made a mosaic in the corner of our driveway with oyster shells, clam shells and rocks and fossils picked up from different parts of the US. Whenever I need a handful of oyster shells, I know exactly where to find them.
I use them to mark the rows of freshly planted seeds. I surround tiny seedlings with them.
And today, when I was out in the garden spreading bags of leaves that we hauled from town, I found a new use for them. I needed my pocketknife to slice the bags open, but didn't have it on me. But poking out of the freshly tilled earth was an oyster shell. I picked it up and sliced through the bag. Easy as pie~
I do love being surrounded by shells. It makes being landlocked a bit easier.
Until next time.....

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!
Today, February 14 until midnight EST in my jewelry shop, take 20% off all necklaces.
Please wait for a revised invoice before paying. Invoices will go out tomorrow because we're taking today off to be with our sweetheart.
And in my deStash shop, FREE SHIPPING worldwide on orders over $15.00 (before shipping). Sale ends today at midnight EST. Again, wait for a revised invoice.
Happy Valentine's Day~
Katie and Althea

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Canyon Necklace Giveaway

Details can be found here.
Until next time.....

Seed Starting Mix

It's seed starting time, here in Tennessee. I start all of our garden vegetables, herbs and flowers from seed. Some get seeded directly in the ground, while others get their start in flats. I make my own soil less seed mix. For one thing, it's a lot cheaper. But mainly, I just prefer to do it myself. I thought I'd share my recipe with y'all:

1/2 part sphagnum peat moss or coir*
1/4 part perlite*
1/4 part vermiculite*
Mix and store dry. When you're ready to use it, put it in a container and add enough water, mixing as you go, until the mixture holds together.*
I use a quart yogurt container to scoop and measure the dry ingredients.
We have a gardening group on flickr for Etsy buyers and sellers. Everyone is welcome. Just be sure to leave any Etsy business in the mudroom.
Until next time.....

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lookin' Out My Back Door

A freshly tilled garden~

Until next time.....

Monday, February 9, 2009

Pay it Forward

One of the perks of being a bead bum and buying so many beads is that I receive many free ones from sellers and friends. My last order from a favorite seller had some amazing freebies included. Wrapped in tissue paper were two football shaped lace beads in an incredible red/orange/coral color. I was shocked to see them!
I knew then and there that I would make something with these beads and offered them at a very affordable price.

So, I sat down with one bead, the story unfolded and the bead turned into a necklace. The color reminded me of the flames that rise from our campfire. And I had the perfect bead caps for this baby; brass 'flame like' twists.

But the good deed didn't stop with the delivery of these beads. This past weekend, I had a birthday sale in my jewelry shop and was featured in the Storque's 'Weekend Deals'. The exposure brought sales and many new hearts. (Thank you Mary!). The piece that was featured was my 'Flame Kissed Necklace'; the one made with the lace bead. It immediately sold and will soon be on it's way to it's next destination.

I relisted the necklace since I had two of these beads. The sale is over and I'm back to business as usual. But if you read this and want the necklace, I will be happy to sell it to you at the sale price of 20% off the listed price. Just mention Pay if Forward in the note to seller box.
Until next time.....

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Birthday Sale

*Happy Birthday to me
And to all the other Aquarians on Etsy Sale*

20% off of everything in my shop this weekend (excluding shipping), Saturday and Sunday- February 7-8. Sale begins Saturday @ 12:01 AM EST and ends Sunday night at midnight EST.

*Please wait for a revised invoice before you pay*
I will be sending the invoices out on the 8th or 9th.
Until next time.....

Friday, February 6, 2009

Vintage Love

These lovelies were found in the Vintage category on Etsy. I wonder what stories they hold?
First up, from artsfarm- one of the nicest Etsy sellers that I've met (hi arts!), a Krementz Double Heart Pin:

I could picture these earrings from Caraway Cache on their original owner, who by the way, was probably wearing white Go Go boots.

And how cool is this carved wooden heart pin in Modern Bird Vintage's shop?

I could easily fill a page or two or three with more vintage hearts, but I think that I'll leave that up to you. Just head over to the vintage section on Etsy to begin your treasure hunt.
Until next time.....

Thursday, February 5, 2009


'May This Be Love' (Waterfall)
by Jimi Hendrix

Nothing can harm me at all
My worries seem so very small
With my waterfall
I can see
My rainbow calling me
Through the misty breeze
Of my waterfall
Some people say
Daydreaming's for all the
Lazy minded fools
With nothin' else to do
So let them laugh, laugh at me
So just as long as I have you
To see me through
As long as I have you
Don't ever change your ways
Fall with me for a million days
Oh, my waterfall


What is it about waterfalls? I never met a waterfall that I didn't love. I had two of them at my old farm. Ice cold, spring fed waterfalls. They make the perfect summer shower!
Until next time.....

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Simplicity Times Two

In my shop now~
Until next time.....

Monday, February 2, 2009

Aqua Terra Jasper

I've been working with vintage beads for several years now. All of a sudden, I started to stray and found myself looking at gemstone beads on Etsy. I came across some Aqua Terra Jasper beads that I could not stop looking at. I'd go back to the shops that I favorited and gaze at those beads. I love blues, browns and greens and any bead that have those colors in them. So, it was no wonder that I was so drawn to those beads. I ended up buying them and some others. There's a change comin'~
Until next time.....


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