Monday, December 31, 2012

Cowgirl Chic Jewelry for the new year

 I had so much fun mixing and matching beads to put this piece together. The Rose pendant was something I couldn't pass up when I spied it, especially since it was on sale. The leaf toggle was a perfect way to finish this off.
Created to match the necklace, these lovely dangle earrings sparkle and shine. To see more about them please visit my etsy shop - Simply Sheryl's

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Almond Fudge Bars on a Tasty Tuesday

Another holiday tradition around our home is to have Almond Fudge Bars, and their counterpart Butterscotch Bars. Originally a recipe created by and using Bisquick Baking Mix,  I adapted the recipe so I could use ingredients we always have on hand. These go fast, so be sure to have plenty baking supplies around.

Almond Fudge Bars
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 cup real butter
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups brown sugar
3 cups rolled oats
2 eggs
1 tsp each vanilla and almond extract
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Fudge filling
1 12oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 T butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup toasted almond slices

For the dough, a large bowl cream butter, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extracts. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt, mix in to creamed mixture. Add oats and stir in well.  In a 15 x 10 inch cookie sheet press 2/3rds of the dough to cover the whole pan. Buttering your fingers helps with this.
Over a double boiler slowly melt chocolate chips in the sweetened condensed milk,  along with 2 T. butter and add salt.  Spread over the dough in cookie sheet. By teaspoonfuls drop the rest of the dough on the chocolate layer. Sprinkle almonds over that and press in to dough. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. After slightly cooled cut into 48 squares. When completely cool store in airtight container. Enjoy!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Homemade English Toffee a Christmas Tradition

Toasted almonds in a buttery sweet, melt in your mouth toffee, slathered in luscious chocolate with more toasted almond bits. Heavenly treats your family will love. My mother started making toffee when I was 13, and it became a tradition. I started the same tradition when I was raising my own children, so they would have a bit of the grandmother they never knew. Here's our version, easy and delicious. No water, no corn syrup, I like this recipe the best as it is.

English Toffee

1 cup real butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup toasted almond slivers
1/2 cup each semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips

In a heavy duty pot, melt butter and add sugar. Over medium heat, or a little lower depending on your stove, continue to cook, stirring constantly with a back and forth motion over all the pan bottom to keep from scorching. Using a candy thermometer bring toffee to 290 degrees. Before you get to that temperature you might find there is a separation stage, where it looks as if there's a layer of oil that separated from the carmelized sugar. Keep stirring and it will go back in to the toffee mixture. Do not pour it off, you will ruin your toffee.  ( I test by dropping a drizzle into a cup of cold water and tasting it. You want a smooth texture, not grainy. I have learned to eyeball this over the years as there's a point where you get just past the grainy texture, but before it gets too brown. You want a nice golden brown. )  Add nuts, stir in and pour onto cookie sheet. This will make the pan very hot so you want to put the cookie sheet on a cooling rack. You do not need to butter the sheet as some recipes suggest, as it makes the toffee too greasy. After about 5 minutes, sprinkle the chocolate chips on the hot toffee. Let it sit for a few minutes and then using a spatula spread the melted chocolate over the toffee. You can sprinkle it with more toasted almond bits if you like, we do. :-) If you have any questions drop me an email. I hope you get a chance to try this!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies

Moist and soft, with a bit of crunch from the walnuts, these nicely spiced cookies are perfect with a glass of milk or hot chocolate. Enjoy!

Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies

1     cup butter
1     cup brown sugar
3/4  cup white sugar
1     cup applesauce
1     egg
1 t.  each salt, baking soda, and vanilla
1/2 t. each cinnamon, cloves, and allspice
1/4 t. cardamom
2    cups flour
4    cups oats
1 c. each chopped walnuts and raisins

In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add applesauce, egg, and vanilla, blend well.
Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and spices, stir in butter mixture. Add oats and stir in, then stir in walnuts and raisins. Drop by spoonfuls on greased baking sheet. Bake at 375, for 12 minutes. Yield 5 dozen.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Autumn Warmth in Amber Jewelry

Warm and glowing, Amber is a perfect color bead to compliment any Autumn ensemble.
Add a little warmth and color to your Autumn wardrobe by stopping by Simply Sheryl's

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Corn Husk Wreath is Finished Plus More!

 I had two ideas to put together, but I only had photos of the WIP on this one. I've played around with this, glittered it as Mom requested, but didn't like the way ribbon was looking on it so I ran to Jo-Ann's last night and gathered some goodies to give this wreath some color.
 It's now gracing our front door, and I think it turned out better than I hoped. It took me at least 8 hours to do though so there has to be an easier way.
 This wreath is an updated version of a corn husk wreath design Better Homes & Gardens featured years ago.  I added larger rickrack trim, as well as floral loveliness and whaalaa! It now graces Mom's front door in the living room.
This one took about 3 hours total. All you need is corn husks, soaked in water, a wire hanger shaped into a heart, and trims of your choice. You tear the husks into 1 inch or thinner strips, fold the strips and wrap around the wire. You pull the two ends through the folded end of the strip and pull tight. Push each additional looped strip close to each other. Once the wire is all covered let dry and add your trims. Easy peasy! Just a note, I use the wire hook end of the hanger as my hang from hook. I guess I need to add a photo of the back don't
Now I'm off to change the water on the garden. Can you believe it's still warm enough to grow things?

The Perfect Gift - Pedestal Dishes

 A fun and useful way to re-purpose dishes and candle sticks are these pedestal dishes.
From weddings to any reason to celebrate, these make perfect gifts, for a loved one, or even yourself. Wouldn't these make lovely jewelry trays or soap dishes for bed or bath along with candy or nut servers for parties due to their curved sides? I would venture to guess you might have other ideas as well. For more info stop by Simply Sheryl's

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

An Owl to Hang Around With.....

There Was An Owl
There was an owl
who lived in an oak.
The more he heard,
the less he spoke;
the less he spoke,
the more he heard-
We all should be
like that wise old bird. 

A wise woman always has an owl in her jewelry collection. To add this to yours - Simply Sheryl's

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fresh Tomato Zucchini Salad

Okay, with new air card connected I'm ready to rock and roll again! Finally we have a connection that doesn't seem like dial up! Lucky me, we had some zucchini, well a lot of zucchini, so I took some with me to Oregon last week. My next door neighbor brought over a bag of tomatoes and assured me that's all he will be growing after his run in with the local gendarmes, and then a sweet lady down the road gave me a tour of her house and garden after I inquired about their fence, and she shared a giant white onion with me, yay!
I was invited to a sweet friend's house for dinner that night. She was serving a lamb roast and baked yams, oh my! I offered to bring the salad, so I chunked up a whole zucchini after slicing the seeds out. I added some chopped onion, about 3/4 of a cup, and two whole tomatoes chopped. I drizzled it all with a dressing made of 1/3 c. vinegar, 2 T. water, 2 T. italian seasoning, 2 t. seasoning salt and 12 T. each of olive and canola oil. Add coarse ground pepper to taste. It was a nice light salad that complimented the roast and yams perfectly! Marvel and Bob loved the salad so much they ate all of it! We did have one other guest so this served 4 very generously. I think I would like to try purple onion the next time for a nice color contrast.
Here's a break down of the recipe.

Fresh Tomato Zucchini Salad
1 large zucchini, seeded and cubed
two large tomatoes, chopped
3/4 cup white or purple onion, chopped

1/3 cup vinegar
2 T. water
2 T. italian seasoning
2 t. seasoning salt
2 T. each extra virgin olive and canola oil
coarse ground pepper to taste
Whisk all ingredients together and pour over salad. Stir gently to coat

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Autumn Magic

 The Sugar Maples in Middle Canyon outside Tooele, Utah are "putting on the Ritz" this year with a breathtaking array of color. Although it was warm the day we took this walk, you could feel a change in the air, along with a difference in the sunlight. There's a mellow cast to everything, and a softening of the look touch and feel, even in the temperatures.
 I spent the afternoon raking leaves from my Willow. There's something magical about a pile of crunchy, rustling leaves, that had me wishing my grandchildren were here to play in them.
The sweet, pungent odor of fallen leaves all piled up beckons wonderful memories of other walks in the woods, and playing in raked up mounds of earthy foliage. The God of nature gives us a gift each Fall, with a reminder that life is ever changing, and continuous. He sends us little gifts each season, and for me, Autumn has some of the most rewarding. Swaths of vivid color painted across the landscape, cooler temperatures that have us pulling out cozy sweaters, biting into a crisp, juicy apple straight from our tree, sharing our harvest bounty with friends and family, all a part of a season of change.
In this life aging is necessary, and so is dying, to continue on in the plan God has for us. The elderly have always held a dear place in my heart, so perhaps that's a part of why I love Autumn. The years of wisdom and knowledge our older friends and loved ones have, combined with a renewed courage to take life by the horns and enjoy their best years, is inspiring and strengthening. As we get older hopefully we shed the foolish trappings of our selfish youth, and put on a more glorious cloak of purposeful living, helping others find peace and joy. May today be a day of wonder and delight in the magic of Autumn. Share it with a friend or loved one won't you?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Corn Husk Wreath for Autumn

Okay, so it's not finished; here's why. I started this wreath with an idea in mind from a wreath a friend had made many years ago. I have another way to use the corn husks, actually two, that I got from Better Homes & Gardens, again years ago. But oh no, I wanted a fluffy wreath like my friend had. So I thought I would try an "easier" way to put one together, instead of using straight pins to tack each strip to the form I decided to wrap twine around and catch each strip as I go. So far it's taken me 3 hours of time investment.
Yeah, I didn't think this one out too clearly as I haven't come to the end yet and need to figure out how to wrap the rest on and have the first strips overlap the last ones. Plus, I ran out of corn husks. So off to the store I go to get more, and when I finish with all the added touches I'm thinking about, I will share. I will also make the other style so you can have two versions to hopefully spark your interest. Mom says I should add glitter, I would have never thought of that, but I do have some pretty Martha Stewart glitter in various shades of Autumn richness, so I may toy with that a bit. For now, it's time to go shopping!  If you have a moment, take a look at my other blog and my newest gourd creation, Spooky Dude

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Pretty New Pair of Earrings

Okay, don't laugh, it's pretty obvious I need to finish that table, but in the meantime here's a lovely pair of earrings that just happen to match an even lovelier necklace. Stop by my Simply Sheryl's shop for more details: Bird In Hand Earrings

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Spiced Pear Syrup on a Why Not Wednesday

I was supposed to do a Tasty Tuesday share, but  it's obvious I missed that due to how crazy busy I get this time of year. Sooooo here's a recipe for Spiced Pear Syrup that's a delicious reason for why you should save your pear peelings and cores as you are canning. Make sure you have pint or quart canning jars sterilized and ready to fill and process.

Set up a big pot next to where you will be peeling and coring your pears. Make sure you wash your pears prior to doing this. As you prep your fruit for canning add all the peelings and cores that aren't buggy or rotted into the pot. When done fill the pot with water to cover the fruit scraps. Simmer until until everything is mushy, about an hour.
Take a colander and line it with cheesecloth. Put the colander over a large bowl and pour the fruit scraps into the colander. Let drain until all the juices are in the bowl. You might have to help this along by pressing your fruit pulp and moving it around in the colander. Don't be afraid to squeeze handfuls to get any extra juice.
Discard your scraps into your compost pile if you have one and measure your liquid. Pour into a large stockpot. For every cup of liquid add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch, plus one tablespoon of lemon juice for every 8 cups. Add 1 teaspoon each ground ginger and nutmeg for every 8 cups of liquid. Stir to blend in the cornstarch and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Once thickened and hot pour into jars, wipe rims and cap with lids. Process for 20 minutes for pints to 30 minutes for quarts. This is a great way to use your fruit scraps without having any waste. The syrup is mild and absolutely wonderful over pumpkin pancakes. Any questions, drop me a line!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Happy Anniversary Honey!

We woke up to a cool and fresh morning, much like the one on our wedding day 12 years ago in Anchorage, Alaska. After having days and weeks of hot weather here, with no end in sight, the parched desert was drenched with torrential (isn't that a great word?!) rain. So this morning the air is clean, and the temperatures are what I would expect from a Labor Day weekend in Alaska.

It was a beautiful Saturday morning, the day we married, with the birch trees starting to show promise of the gold dressing they wear for Autumn. The skies were a vivid blue, with puffs of clouds here and there. A perfect Autumn setting, which I had always wanted, for the start of a new life together. We did it right, no living together first, or any of what goes along with that. We put our faith in God that we were doing the right thing, and he has helped us endure the challenges and grow stronger together. Our love has grown, because we have faith and trust in each other, and we like each other, along with loving each other. We made a promise to each other to be faithful, true and work together to have a happy life.

Here's to at least 12 more years together on this earth, and eternity to come. If that seems to be a short time to ask for, well, you never know what will happen, but the beauty of knowing that this life isn't the end for us is comforting. The knowledge that on August 31, 2002 we started our eternal life together is a blessing! I love you Kent. Thank you for asking me to be your wife.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Pear Perfection

We are in the car on our way to Heber Valley so my time here may be short, but I have to share some ways to enjoy pears this Autumn. I bought a box of pears from a friend at church in Oregon. On the way back to Utah I get this phone call from a sweet elderly woman who had more pears than she knew what to do with so I scored big time! Yay! The first box of pears are already on the shelf in the form of pear sauce, much like applesauce only yummier in my opinion. I also saved the peels and made spicy pear syrup for pancakes. Due to the battery getting low on my puter I will share the recipes with you on Tasty Tuesday, but I had to let you know I'm still here, just canning and painting and canning some more. Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Re-purposed China and Broken China Creations

 If you care about what goes into our landfills as I do, you probably look for ways to re-use or re-purpose a lot of items that might otherwise get thrown away. Sounds crazy to throw away a good plate, especially when you can re-purpose it and create something lovely for your home. How about turning the plate and an old candle holder that is sitting around not being used, into a nice jewelry tray or soap dish? That's just what I did, in knowing that it would look pretty on a dresser, or kitchen or bathroom counter. If you are interested in this piece you can find it here: Blue Delft Style Pedestal Dish
 I have become a collector of Memory Lane China by Royal. I love the red and white pattern, especially the oak leaf and acorn trim on each piece as Autumn is my favorite season. Unfortunately some pieces arrive with chips and or broken, but not to worry, I have used some in creating a mosaic top to an antique table, and am now creating jewelry with some of the pieces.
This piece is also available in my Simply Sheryl's esty shop here: Autumn Cascade Pendant Necklace

What do you do with broken or lonely dishes?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hearts a Bloom

 I'm having so much fun re-purposing broken china and flatware! As I continue to get ready for Chief Joseph Days, which is this week, eeeeK! I have windchimes and jewelry bits and pieces all over my dining room and laundry room.
Luckily Nature Guy has been visiting his sons so I have been free to create away. If you happen to live in the NE corner of Oregon, come on over to Wallowa County for the happenings this week. You won't be dissapointed! LEt me know if you are a visitor to my blog and I will give you a 25% discount on any purchase.
This necklace, created using copper elements and pearls to complement the colors of the pendant, will be available at my booth, unless someone let's me know they are interested otherwise. I hope you have a happy and creative Monday!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Broken China Jewelry Pendants

 There are such nice people here in Wallowa County! I happened to post some broken china pendants I've created on my Mother's Dream blog, and on Facebook, and a sweet lady asked me if I wanted some pieces she found in her backyard while digging out sage brush. Score! It was with great trepidation that I took hammer to china.
 Thankfully I got a few useable pieces for jewelry. The scraps will be used for mosaics so all is not lost. I haven't finished grinding the edges on all the pieces I did get, and I still need to drill holes and seal the edges, but here are a few of the pendants I'm getting from pieces parts my friend gave me, as well as some from some of my own dishes that have taken a hit, literally.
No, I don't just randomly break my dishes, but if they become too chipped or cracked, then they are fair game. Sometime in August, when I'm back in Oregon we are going to dig out more sagebrush and see what's in the stash. I was told that the area my friend is cleaning out used to be a local dump for these sorts of things, from a business that used to be around back in the day. There's also bottles and such to unearth. Who knows, we may find some real treasures that are worth something! I'm hoping, for her sake that is true!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tasty Tuesday - Mexi-corn Salad

I had a craving one day for something with corn, and tomato and bell pepper, onion, and then I had to add avocado, cilantro and hubby wanted olives. This is reminiscent of cowboy salsa that you can get at Soelberg's in Grantsville, Utah, but mine has less liquid, and is not so sweet. It's a super cool, super easy summer salad that's a great side dish for sloppy joes, or any grilled meat as well as a Mexican dinner. I would add some minced jalapeno's if you want to make it a salsa, which would be soooo yummy! Oh sure, I thought about adding black beans, but then the corn gets lost and really, it's so good without the beans, unless, again, you want to make it a salsa. Here's the recipe, and happy summertime eating!

Mexi-corn Salad

1 15 oz. can of corn, drained
1/2 cup each diced grape tomatoes, black olives, bell pepper, and purple onion
1/2 a large avocado, diced
2 T.  each minced cilantro, vinegar and oil
1 t. Italian seasoning
1 T. sugar
1/2 to 1 t. seasoning salt
 1/2 t. coarse ground pepper
After mincing and dicing all the ingredients that need it, mix everything in a medium size bowl and chill. Warning, you might want to make a double batch as this will go quickly, even my 88 year old mother-in-law who is rather picky when she knows what the ingredients are, raved about this. Serves 4 to 6. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thrifty Thursday Upcycle Tip for Kitchens

I love yard sales, garage sales, flea markets and thrift stores! You can find so many treasures and come up with so many ways to use things otherwise thrown away. I have had this lattice work for a window hanging around for awhile. I knew what I wanted to do with it, but was waiting to get it painted. I think I only paid a couple of dollars for it, and I love how it looks as a hanger for kitchen gadgets. I still have to place it permanently, but I wanted to get an idea of how it would look so I tacked it up last year. There's still more spots to hang from but I need to redo my walls before I make this permanent. What I like is that it is unique, utilizes a wall that would otherwise be blank and empty as it's in a nook in the entry to the kitchen, but close to the stove. What do you think, keep it or trash it?

Monday, April 30, 2012

Living a Happy Life No Matter What Comes.....

Life throws many twists and turns at us, especially when we don't expect it. The theme at church yesterday seemed to center on that topic as all talks and lessons were geared towards trials and how we handle them with faith and grace.
Lately I've been anything but graceful and it's been hard to remember to be grateful because of pain. My foot blew out on me and then the back went wearing a brace at night to hold the foot steady. Ugh! Bad timing as we are supposed to be moving into my mother-in-laws home to help take care of her, but with the 110 miles between our two places I'm living in two homes trying to get one ready to move into, and one packed to move stuff out of. That's another challenge as some things will go north to our Oregon home, and some to Mom's. So here I am, a crippled up grandma, trying to juggle all the balls thrown at me right now.

I suppose I could sit down and cry, and believe me, there have been times that the pain has had me in tears, or I could listen to the doctors and learn a new lesson in patience. If I don't listen to them I may end up worse off than I am now, sooooo I will learn to enjoy the down time. I am able to hobble around the yard and do a bit of gardening, if I'm careful of how I get up and down and bend. I can sit with Mom at night and crochet pretty things while watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, or Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

I came to a new sense of gratitude as Mom and I enjoyed chicken salad sandwiches and fresh fruit for lunch. I'm not sure what got us on this topic, but she mentioned a family member who wouldn't talk to his brother, and when the brother died, they had never had a chance to make peace. I mentioned some of my family members and how they are angry, or hurt, or hold me at arms length for events that happened years ago, that caused everyone a lot of pain and anguish. It's been hard to deal with the one person who uses me as a punching bag because she can't get over the loss of our mother and rather than be mad at our real mom she takes it out on me. Then there are those who don't want to spend much time around me and hold me at arms length because I remind them of Mom. What they don't understand though, and have forgotten is the pain our mother went through in her life due to abusive people, and they won't accept that she was living in anguish because no one would face the truth and help her work through her pain. What's even sadder, is that they don't know that all the pain and anguish and suffering will be washed away when we go back home to Heavenly Father. All the evil, the ugliness and heartache will melt away and we will be able to live together with a peace we can't even imagine right now. I'm so thankful to know that.

So, how do I help them get beyond the pain? We have so much to live for right here on earth! There have been too many years that have flown by with missed opportunities to make memories and glean a bit of what it will be like in the hereafter. Oh, I reach out on occasion, and I get the occasional card or note in return, but I often feel like the annoying puppy, nipping at the ankles of the nearest human, seeking attention only to be brushed off when I get too close. Funny thing, I wonder if anyone knows that I have feelings as well sometimes. But let's not go off on a pity party, because that is not productive and only wastes time.

I know that some of my friends and family wonder why I'm Mormon. Family, pure and simple. We believe that family is central to the gospel plan for us. We believe that we have a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother, and that we will be able to work out all our earthly family strife, if not here, on the other side. Justice and mercy will be served in a godly manner, with compassion and love. If our own family has a hard time connecting with us here on earth, there is always a ready made family within the confines of church fellowship.

Sure, there are those who get caught up in the what and how of living a gospel centered life, but it's the why that matters. People matter, love matters. When we leave this life, the only thing that will matter, the only thing we take with us is our relationships with those we love, be they in or out of our immediate family.

It can be hard to focus on what truly matters when physical pain, or strife hit's us up side the head, but I like what President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said at conference last year about not walking around with our eyes on the ground, but looking up and seeing the beauty that surrounds us. We should share what we see with those we love. My mother-in-law says her father was always coming home with a branch or twig, or pretty leaf to share with his 8 children after a hard day of work. When I ask her what makes her happy, one of the things she mentions is nature. Her father gave her that gift. My mother did the same for us.

As my pain slowly subsides, and I toddle around precariously, trying to do my daily tasks and pace myself, I hope I can remember that I'm still walking, albeit not very far but I'm walking, that I still can garden, I can still drive, paint, sing, call someone, play Upwords with Mom, love on my husband, and so the list goes. How about you? What challenges are you trying to work through right now? What makes you happy?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tasty Tuesday, Easy Chicken Curry Soup

Time to take a break from the craziness on Facebook and share a delicious recipe schemed up by me yesterday. I'm a hobbling, babbling crazy woman due to pain and meds right now, so I will not be held accountable for telling all people to back off of Ann Romney and get a life.  For now, let's take a look at a recipe perfect for rainy Spring days.

Chicken Curry Soup
 1 chicken hind quarter
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup each diced or chopped onion, celery, carrots, zucchini, and baby bok choy.
1 3 inch cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 tsp or to taste of curry powder
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2-3 whole allspice
tsp. peppercorns
I 10 oz. can of cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup each jasmine rice and barley
Season to taste.

In a large pot toss in your chicken, onion, carrots, celery along with the broth and spices. Simmer for an hour or until chicken is tender and ready to fall off the bones. Take chicken out and add rice and barley. Simmer until just done, about 30 minutes, and add soup, zucchini and bok choy. Take chicken off the bones and discard fat and skin, then add to pot. Fish out the cinnamon stick and other large spice pieces. This is so easy, and makes enough for 6 to 8 servings. Enjoy! Now go hug someone and tell them you love them. Taa taa. :-)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Becoming Self Reliant - Part 1

 I was fortunate to have a mom who was willing to teach me whatever I wanted to learn. I know it probably annoyed my sister to death as Mom always tried to include her in whatever I was interested in, whether it was crocheting, embroidery, cooking or art, but Joanne was more interested in playing outside and running with her friends. That wasn't my cup of tea so I spent a lot of time with Mom, learning domestic diva skills.
It's been fun to see a resurgence in hand made and hand crafted clothing, jewelry, aprons, and the re-purpose, re-cycle, re-use movement. I grew up with folks that naturally thought that way, but we lost those skills somewhere along the way.
The LDS church recently put out a publication "Daughters in My Kingdom" a veritable jewel of wisdom and knowledge, designed to enhance what we women do best. On page 51 of this publication there is a side note box with tips on becoming self-reliant. In light of the turmoil going on today in the world I was drawn to what is listed in the box. So today I'm going to tackle the first tip which is "Learning to love work and avoid idleness".
Vacation versus being home and working, most would say no contest there, but have you ever noticed and perhaps it's my type A personality, that when on vacation, sitting around gets old quickly. Okay, I might be the only one Really though, it's okay to take a break from work, but there is a pervasive thought that being a domestic diva and all that goes with that is boring and just not fun. Having raised a few children myself, or dealt with them in our home, I can attest to how hard it can be sometimes. I think though, we tend to dwell on the negative and not look at the positives, such as hugs and kisses from little ones, having the opportunity to be creative in the kitchen, decorate our homes the way we like, create something uniquely us. I love how so many young moms are getting into sewing and knitting and crocheting, and how many folks are discovering the joy of raising a garden and eating the fruits of their labors. It's refreshing to see all the DYI shows on TV and publications in the stores on raising farm animals, making cheese and bread and so on. There are other ways to take the work we do and make it enjoyable, like having a purpose when we cook, perhaps adding extra ingredients to take an extra casserole to a sick friend, or as in the case of the collar you see above, bring joy to the receiver of a hand made gift. My mother-in-law loves to watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune as well as Who Want's to Be a Millionaire so I sit with her at night and crochet. She loved the yarn I was using to make this, which for me was a test of my skills, so it became a gift for her. I can't just sit and watch TV unless I have a bowl of popcorn or something to occupy my hands, and popcorn 5 nights a week would not be a good idea as much as I love it. Mom lost her husband recently so sitting with her is the least I can do, and since she doesn't see well enough to do most things we understand her need to keep her mind active by the shows she watches.  Learning to love work is not as hard as it seems, and avoiding idleness can help us find what we didn't know we could do, as well as bring joy to someone else.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Perfect Wedding Gift

 Wedding season is zooming towards us, especially with such an early spring showing up. As the wedding invitations roll in there are  items you can buy that most folks don't think about.
Pair this dish with some lovely bath soaps and you have a lovely and personal gift for anyone on your list. To find this and other like it stop by my Simply Sheryl's ETSY

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Breakfast by Candlelight

A power outage created an opportunity for breakfast by candlelight! The lights went out about 8 last night, and were still out when we woke up this morning. Sooooo we decided to pull out the peanut butter and bread, and low and behold there was a box of chocolate bars Kent picked up at Costco. Along with some yummy Clementines we had a marvelous breakfast. The real kicker was that the lights came on in the middle of the feast so I nuked the bread with chocolate and peanut butter for a few seconds and then had a melty yummy treat with my orange slices. You won't find me eating chocolate much, but it sure sounded like a good idea, and was! We were reminded that we didn't have an emergency heat source or way to cook in case the power stayed out, so now we are planning  for that, but luckily it's been rather nice, and we had plenty of easy to prep food that needs no cooking. Something to think about....

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Primitives and Vintage Collectibls on ebay....

 A vintage Heller Hostess Ware Canister set in need of a loving home : EBAY
A large wooden cheese box is available here: EBAY