Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Cookies!

It's that time of year again!  Yes, indeed, it is the time of year to make cookies!

(It may be unoriginal, since it seems like many people make Christmas cookies...  But cookies are so good!  I am not ashamed.)

My family does not have many recipes that have been handed down through the generations.  Well, perhaps I should be more specific.  We do not have many recipes that have been handed down through many generations--I have plenty from both my parents and my grandparents.  But from my mother's grandmother's grandmother...  those recipes are few and far between.

And one of those special generational recipes is for White Cookies.  They are not sugar cookies.  In fact, they are light and fluffy and cakey--and not too sweet.  (One of the ingredients is, I kid you not, sour milk.)  I have never encountered them anywhere else--not in bakeries or other stores.  My mother makes them every year for Christmas.

And this year, I tried my hand at making them.

All ready to go into the oven
(yes, there are trees and stars and bells and the Christmas Duck)

Out of the oven, cooling

With icing!  Just perfect, because the cookies themselves
aren't too sweet--the sugar isn't overpowering

My friend getting ready to sample the success

They turned out very, very well--especially for a first try!  They went very quickly, too--my husband didn't even get any before they disappeared!  I think making some more may be in order.

Speaking of making more, those are just one of the types of cookies I've made.  With one of my friends, we have overall made five different kinds of cookies, with two more to go...  We have made chocolate chip cookies (two batches), sugar cookies, the aforementioned white cookies, oatmeal cookies, and Andes mint chocolate chunk cookies.  Still to go are the snickerdoodles and peanut butter cookies.

Yes, indeed, it is that time of year again!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Snow, Snow, Snow...

It was such a dry summer...  and now, all of a sudden, there is SNOW everywhere!

Our Backyard...  taken on Monday, 12-13-2010

It has been snowing every other day, it seems--not giving the first round a chance to thaw, either, since the temperature is hovering below freezing.  (Imagine, it's snowing now, as I type this.)  

And, with snow, comes a wonderful bevy of problems...  including, but not limited to: 

  1. difficulty getting in and out of the driveway
  2. dropping my camera in said driveway and accidentally running over it 
  3. having our mailbox be taken out by out-of-control vehicles twice on the same day (first time took the top off, the second time took down the post)--and no, none of us were the ones that hit it

Fun times!  Still, even with that, the good has been outweighing the bad...  we are all safe and cozy.  There was no mail in the mailbox when it got hit.  AND my camera still works.  (Amazingly!  It now has lots of personality--in the form of superficial scratches--and I think I should be part of a camera commercial!)  

The Sky...  taken right after my camera got run over
(I took it to see if the camera was still working--and it was!)

And what's more--the Christmas tree is up, there is egg nog in the fridge, I am wearing jingle bell earrings, and I have happy slippers (early Christmas presents).  Even as grumpy as I have been the last few days, I am remembering that life is a beautiful thing...  and so is snow, as long as you don't have to go out in it!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Picture Project - Update 13

Statement of the obvious: it is no longer November!

What does that mean?  That means that I am once more working on my Picture Project!  Today was dedicated to taking lots and lots of pictures, and then replacing old pictures with those lots and lots of pictures.

Here are the fruits of today's labor...

Apples and Cider - Earrings

Lady Lynneth, Dragon Walker - Earrings

Petroglyph - Earrings

Petroglyph - Hairsticks

Petroglyph - Necklace

Gift to Emily - Twilight Hairsticks

Moonweb - Earrings

Moonweb - Necklace

Royal Pink - Gold Earrings

Marion Ravenwood - Earrings

Marion Ravenwood - Necklace

As one might imagine, I still have more to go...  but I am quite content with today's progress.  Hurrah!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Labyrinth's Masquerade - Hairsticks

I thought I was done posting items to my store for the night.  Honestly, I have to wake up early tomorrow, and was hoping to get some sleep.  But I just couldn't help myself--I wanted to post the hairsticks that I made to go along with this set.*

And so, because I am in love with them, here are the hairsticks of the Labyrinth's Masquerade:

They are surprisingly light, and I love the contrast between the iridescent topper and the dark dark wood.  I have half a mind to keep them for myself...  but I thought I would offer them to the world, to see if there was someone else who loved them just as much as I do.

This morning, I actually made 8 separate pairs of hairsticks.  Three of them were the StarCraft pairs.  One of them was a custom order.  The remaining ones were original ideas...  This set was one of those original ideas.

StarCraft - Take 2!

Remember this post?  I was so excited about posting a three set series of StarCraft geekery--three pairs of hairsticks and three pairs of earrings to match.  Each of the major races was represented: the Terran, the Protoss, and the Zerg.

Well, I am happy to report that I made a repeat of said three set series--and I posted them to my store today!  As with last time, I had a great deal of fun making them (even though I ran out of the large yellow beads, so the Protoss earrings are a different style than they were last time).  All in all, I am very pleased.


Outlaw of Mar Sara - Earrings

Outlaw of Mar Sara - Hairsticks

Selendis, High Executor - Earrings

Selendis, High Executor - Hairsticks

Queen of Blades - Earrings

Queen of Blades - Hairsticks

One of these days I should make these for me, as well... to wear while playing StarCraft 2, of course!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bunches of Beautiful Berries

I have just added six listings!  They are all earrings, too--past variations on my best-selling Berry Theme.*  

Fireberries (from Voyage of the Dawn Treader)

Pink Crackleberries

Ice Fruit


Mist Berries

And, not exactly a pair of Berry earrings, but still lovely: 

Sundance on the Water

I thought that, for Cyber Monday, I should at least be armed and ready with a few more Berry options.  :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

"When asked if my cup is half-full or half-empty, my only response is that I am thankful I have a cup."

-Sam Lefkowitz

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Just posted...

Here are tonight's offerings!  I am trying to get caught up before the approaching whirlwind holiday weekend...


Black Crackleberries

Silmaril - Starburst Ring

Silmaril - Autumn Ring

There may be more coming; I'm not sure.  If there's not, I want to leave you with this:  HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Posted - Five Pairs of Hairsticks!

That's right--five pairs!  Yay!

Doing National Novel Writing Month has put me a little behind as far as posting new items... So, today I have been working on rectifying that!  

Royal Pink
A fine pair of hairsticks to match the currently listed necklace
and earrings.

Sunset in the Forest
I sold the original of this pair of hairsticks...  Imagine my
glee when I found out that I could make another pair!

Lady Lynneth, Dragon Walker
A previous design, this time made with mini hairsticks.

Finally, a pair of hairsticks to go with my best-selling
moonweb earrings!

Falling Leaves
A brand new design, crafted in honor of my favorite season.

The story for the new design--the Falling Leaves--was inspired by my mother.  For as long as I can remember, she and I would look at all of the fallen leaves to find the "perfect" one.  Our criteria was always varied...  what color was it?  what size was it?  was it in good condition, or had it been stamped underfoot one too many times?  I don't know if we actually ever found a "perfect" one, but the memories of the search are priceless!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tribute to Labyrinth

I first saw the movie Labyrinth when I was in middle school.  I immediately loved it--the quirky characters, the other-worldly design, the fantastical venues (i.e. the labyrinth itself, and the ending tribute to the work of M.C. Escher).  In a time before so many computer graphics, the movie made the impossible seem real in a way that I had never seen before.  

I was fascinated.

Like many other girls my age, one of my favorite scenes from the movie was the Masquerade Ball--if for no other reason than I loved Sarah's dress!  I had always wanted to be a beautiful princess... seeing that scene definitely made it seem like I could be.

With that in mind, forward ahead a couple decades...  The other day, my friend and I were at the store.  She took a look at one particular necklace, and said, "Hmmm.  These beads remind me of Labyrinth."  Sure enough, they did--they looked like the glass spheres that Jareth so often shifts in his hand.  It should come as no surprise, then, that I bought the necklace for the sole purpose of, well, re-purposing it.  (Especially since the original necklace was extremely gaudy, and seemed to be rather ill-made in the first place.  It appears that making jewelry has made me a bit of a snob when it comes to jewelry construction.)

And, so, I brought the beads home.  Within a day, I created some of the most beautiful pieces that I can remember making in a long time.  They are now posted on my Etsy store.

I present: the Labyrinth Masquerade.

Labyrinth Masquerade - OOAK Gold Earrings

Labyrinth Masquerade - OOAK Gold Necklace

Labyrinth Masquerade - OOAK Silver Earrings

I am particularly enamored with the necklace.  It took me quite awhile to get it just right...  I took some time finding the right chain (I settled on a vintage one that I bought on my honeymoon while at an antique store).  I took some time coming up with the right pattern (there are iridescent beads alternating with clear ones).  I took some time finding the right spacers to go between the beads.  It truly is beautiful--something that I think that Sarah would have worn at the Masquerade ball.

Monday, November 15, 2010



...Not only is that a palindrome, it's my wordcount!  I have officially won NaNo!  *does a happy dance*

Will that stop me?  Of course not.  I'm going to keep writing until I get this story finished.  But, oh, happy day!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Writing, Writing, Writing...

It's National Novel Writing Month!  Yes, indeed, it's that crazy month where crazy people all over the world try to write 50,000 words of a novel in on month.*

I have participated in NaNoWriMo (as it's called by its friends) every November since 2003.  This year is no exception.  And you know what my current word count is?  

On the 13th day, I'm up to 46,120 words!  *does a happy dance*

In honor of this achievement, I'm posting some pictures of my NaNoWriMo journal--where I jot down ideas and thoughts and scenes, which I later type into a much larger computer document.  (Call me strange, but I do not write linearly; I work on the ending and the beginning and the middle all at the same time, so that every aspect of the story can grow and evolve as I write.)

Writing at the park--it was 70 degrees out!

Leaves and paper...  two of my favorite things...

The possibility of the blank page...

Writing fuel: Coffee!

This year, I don't think that I'm going to stop at the 50,000 words...  no, this time, I want to write until I'm DONE!

...We shall have to see just how much coffee that takes.  :)


Want to find out more?  Go to their official website:!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

November Sale!

...It's almost November!  And you know what that means?  It's almost time for my NOVEMBER SALE!

Throughout the month of November, for every pair of hairsticks, a single hairstick, or a necklace that you buy, you will get a pair of earrings FREE! 

How does it work?  Simple!  When checking out, in the "Notes to Seller" please tell me what pair(s) of earrings you would like! (Eligible only on earrings up to $12 in value--please do not ask for the "Coffee and Cream" listing!) 

If you don't tell me what pair you would like, I will choose for you and send you a surprise!  

Let the fun commence!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Last Days of October...

As previously mentioned, October is one of my favorite months.  It's hard to believe that it's almost over!  So, as this month winds to a close--and I start gearing up for the insanity of NaNo--I'm doing my best to document it.  How am I doing that?  How else--through pictures.

With that in mind, for this morning's post I have two updates on previous themes: birds and frost.

Taken yesterday morning: more cardinal pictures.  These were taken as I sat at my desk, looking out my window less than three feet away.

You see how close he is to the glass, right?

...Yep...  Still really close...

He's looking at me!
He stayed right there for a good 5 minutes.

Moving on...  here are some pictures taken today: more frost pictures!  These were taken outside in the backyard; when I woke up this morning, a heavy frost was clinging to the ground.  When that happens, I venture into the cold to see if I can get any good pictures.

Frost-laden marigolds

The same frost-laden marigolds, from a different angle

The frost-covered ground

Icy leaf veins

And now, the frost is slowly dissipating, and there are no birds in the lilac bush outside my window.  Yet, the sun is shining brilliantly, and the air is still crisp and cool.

I love October.