Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Are you ready yet?

Have you been happily creating items for your first Christmas show?  Now may be a good time to take a break to label, package, and price your items.  You never know when an emergency may arrive, or you may catch the latest "bug" going around.  You could have been on schedule, with things going well, and "bam!" you're flat on your back or caring for your sick child.  If you don't have something ready to sell, when that first bazaar comes, you'll be "up a creek without a paddle"!  Not to scare you, but just be prepared - ahead of time. :o)

Monday, October 15, 2012

5 Things.....

Christmas shows/bazaars are right around the corner!  Behind on getting ready?  Choose a short list of just three to five items to show, and make several of each item to sell.  Stick to your list!  This will get you going. Then, if you have extra time to get more items made, great!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fall into Selling!

Fall/Autumn is a gorgeous and cozy time of year!  I LOVE the colors, textures, and fragrances of fall!  Orange is my favorite color, it's everywhere!  Christmas bazaars are starting up this fall, and it's a fun time to show your creations in person and meet customers face to face.  You can find them in your local newspaper, church bulletin or even on your grocery store bulletin board.  Also, check to see if t.v. and radio station web sites have "community bulletin boards" or calendars that advertise Christmas shows and bazaars.  Fall into fun and fall into selling! :o)

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Twice-Baked Potatoes


I bought five bakers - those are the larger Idaho potatoes used for baked potatoes.  I washed each potato off and put them in the oven in a large pyrex baking pan that I covered with aluminum foil.  Make sure to stab each potato first with a knife a couple of times, so they won't explode in the oven.

Bake for about two hours or until done like a baked potato - soft - at 350 degrees F.  When they're done baking take them out and let them cool a little while, so you can handle them without burning yourself.

When cooled, carefully slice each potato in have with cooking knife and scoop out the insides trying to get as much of it off the skins as you can.  You'll have to leave a bit of 'tater on the skin, so the skin won't rip.  Melt about 1/2 stick of butter in microwave, and ladle about two tbs. of melted butter into each potato skin.  Put all the potato insides in a large, mixing bowl and break it up with a large spoon, so that it's in very small pieces.  Then cook a package of bacon.  I like to use maple flavored smoked bacon.

When the bacon is cooked crispy, take it out of the pan and place it on a paper towel-covered plate to drain off grease.  Let cool, so you can handle it.  Meanwhile, I picked fresh chives from my garden - a handful - and washed them.  Then I chopped them into small pieces and stirred them into the potato insides that were in the bowl.

When the bacon was cool enough to handle, I minced it into small pieces and stirred it into the potato-chive mixture.  Stire all this together well, as I did.

Then, I spooned the mixture into the potato skins, which I had carefully lined up in the large baking pan. I placed the potatoes uncovered in the oven after I sprinkled them with plenty of grated cheese.  Just bake them at 350 degrees F until the cheese melts - 10-20 minutes.  Take them out, serve with sour cream on top, and yum!  Or, if you have a dairy intolerance, like myself, use I Can't Believe It's Not Butter melted in the skins and ranch dressing on top and leave off the cheese. :o)

My husband told me these are on the top 10 things I've ever made! :oD

Barbecued Pulled-Pork


I was in the longest, largest "dinner rut" of my life!  I just didn't know what to make anymore.  My family was tired of the same dinners I'd made for the past 25 years.  Then, my husband treated me to some "scrumpdiliicious" dinners this past weekend, and it totally inspired me with some knew ideas.

First of all, I have been using recipes from allrecipes.com for about a decade, and they have GREAT recipes.  It's still a free website.  Here is a delicious recipe for barbecue sauce that I found tonight:  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/bourbon-whiskey-bbq-sauce/detail.aspx

Next, I needed the smoked pulled-pork.  I've never smoked meat in my life, although I have used the liquid smoke.  I happen to have in my cupboard Cabela's Jamaican Island Rum seasoning.  You can find it here:  http://www.cabelas.com/product/Home-Cabin/Food-Processing/Seasonings-Cures-Brine%7C/pc/104798880/c/104723280/sc/104557680/Cabelas-Open-Season-Spice-Blends/734151.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse.cmd%3FN%3D1101298%26WTz_l%3DSBC%253BBRprd734151&WTz_l=SBC%3BBRprd734151%3Bcat104557680
It's $7.99 for a 10 oz. bottle and worth every penny, plus a little bit of rub goes a long way!
I rubbed the small, pork roasts all over with a bit of the Cabela's seasoning.  My local grocery store was out of larger pork roasts, so I got four small ones that equaled five pounds.

I put, probably, a good four cups of mesquite wood chips in a bowl the night before with water to soak them.  Then, I drained the water off and put the soaked chips in aluminum foal and folded them up in it.  I then poked about eight holes in the top of the foil package and put it on the far left side of my barbecue. I turned the far left burner on between low and medium and put the seasoned, pork roasts on the far right side of the barbecue.  I had to put two of them on the grill and two on the grill above.  I wish I could have had them all up high.  The ones up high - on the swinging grill - smoked better and more thoroughly than the ones on the stationary grill under it.  I left the meat in there smoking for about six hours.  I did get a meat thermometer to check and make sure that the inner temperature of the roasts was high enough before I took them out.  Safely cooking pork:  http://www.fsis.usda.gov/fact_sheets/Pork_From_Farm_to_Table/index.asp#20

I pulled the pork apart after it cooled, when I had the above barbecue sauce simmering on the stove.  When the barbecue sauce was finished, I poured it over the pulled pork and stirred it all together.

When I served it to my husband, he exclaimed, "MAKE MORE!"  He then told me it was in the top 10 things I've cooked for dinner! :o)  Bon Apetite!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Take Good Photos of Your Work!

I must reiterate to take good photos of your creations!  A friend of mine told me that she knows what I mean.  There's one online shop that has blurry photos of their work, and if my friend hadn't seen the lady's creations in real-life, she would have passed it up.


Photograph on a cloudy day for diffused light.  This helps avoid harsh shadows.  You may have to take your camera off of auto-focus.  If you have this setting, put your camera on the close-up setting.


Get some great photos of your work to draw more attention to it!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Dyed Easter Eggs and Pinata

Put stickers on hard-boiled eggs first:




















Got dye on your counter?


Easter Egg Pinata made from pieces of paper towels soaked in flour and water mixture, then draped over a "round" balloon:
 Let dry for a day and a night, then cut the stem end of the balloon and take deflated balloon out of pinata.  Paint outside of pinata and fill with goodies!  Poke holes from one side of top of pinata to other side of top, and string in up in a tree for the fun to begin!
E
Happy Easter!!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spring is Coming!

February is almost over, and spring is on it's way!  The S.A.D. days of winter are winding down, and I can't wait for the inspiring appearance of crocus, daffodils, tulips and forsythia.  The song birds are coming back!  Each morning, I hear their "twitterpated" song.  Let's get creating, and think SPRING!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Winter is a cozy time to snuggle up with your craft and get some work done.  The most difficult thing for me in having an online shop is getting my creations up for sale!  The listing of each piece is tedious, but worth it.  I just need to get it done!