Monday, October 31, 2011

Meatless Monday Recipe

This recipe was created by yours truly.

Vegetable Pizza

1 Boboli whole wheat pizza crust
1 5.5oz can tomato paste (I only use about half)
6-8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 lrg red onion, chopped
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1-2 cups shredded monterey jack/colby cheese blend
1 tsp of the following:
sweet basil
Italian seasoning

Brush the tomato paste on the pizza crust, leaving 1/2" around the crust without. Sprinkle half of the seasonings over the sauce then layer garlic, onion, and broccoli on top of the tomato paste. Sprinkle enough cheese to cover the pizza and sprinkle the remaining seasonings on top. Bake as directed on Boboli package.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My New Addiction

When I bead, it is almost always in my studio at my desk. I like to occasionally watch shows on my computer, but mainly listen to music via CDs or MP3s while weaving. But due to storage and computer space, I am limited to what I can listen to (I have a big selection of songs & CDs, but they get old after hours of beading). Well, I just discovered Spotify. If you're not familiar with Spotify I suggest you head over to their site and sign up. It is similar to Rhapsody music service, but it is FREE! The only snag is there is an unavoidable commercial in between every 5-8 songs you listen to. I've done searches for tons of music and I've only come across 2 artists and a few songs that are not on there. You can add songs or entire albums to your playlist(s) and can listen to them while online - you're not downloading the songs, so you don't own them. Artists have to agree to be on there and they do get paid for their song use, so it is a legal and legit service. You can pay for an upgrade so you can download songs to your phone, MP3 player, or computer to listen to while offline and avoid commercials.
I am addicted. I can't stop listening to music & creating playlists and adding songs to them. I like every type of music except for rap and hip hop, so this is such a gift. I am not affiliated with them in anyway, so if this sounds like a commercial, it is just because I am very impressed with the selection of free music available.
If you sign up, you do have to sign up with your Facebook account, but once signed up, go to edit, then preferences and unclick "show what I listen to on Facebook" and "automatically publish new playlists" - unless you want others to see what you're listening to.
You used to need an invitation from a member to use this service but it is now available to all. Check it out if you listen to music while online!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Meatless Monday Recipe

I'm not sure where this recipe has been adapted from. I scribbled it down on a piece of notebook paper and stuffed it in my recipe folder. We always eat it as is the night it is made and then use it for burrito filling the next few days.

Mexican Lentil Casserole

2 tbs vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded & chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 cups water
1 cup dried green or brown lentils, rinsed
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 5.5oz can tomato paste
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
1 tsp chili powder
1 small bag Doritos or taco chips
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

In large saucepan saute onions, green peppers, & celery in oil on medium heat 5 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil. Stir in lentils. Cover, reduce heat, simmer 40 minutes. In lightly oiled casserole dish combine all ingredients except chips & cheese. Bake uncovered 20 minutes @ 350F. Sprinkle chips and cheese on top and bake 5 minutes more.

EBWC Totally Twisted

Here is my entry, Lemon Twist, for the November Etsy Beadweavers Challenge (EBWC), Totally Twisted.
I decided to finally take on a new spiral technique to create the single twisted ribbon left of center. On the right I used one of my favorite corkscrew spirals doubled. As one may notice, I have a preference for asymmetric designs and rarely like things that are perfect, even, or common. In the center I've bead embroidered 2 cat's eyes glass cabochons. I originally designed this piece to have the bottom yellow teardrop suspended from two tiny twisted spiral ropes with a grey cat's eye glass bead centered between. I stitched it all together and it looked way to "busy" to me so last night I cut them off and re-stitched the two cabochons directly to one another for a cleaner look.
Yellow is one of my least favorite colors & I seem to mostly gravitate towards black, purple, and green, so I thought I would attempt something outside my comfort zone. I fell in love with the soft, buttery Delicas as soon as I saw them and knew they would be the shade of yellow I'd work with. You can see more pictures of this necklace in the actual listing HERE.
This piece took longer to complete than expected, the new spiral was for me very fiddly; awkward to hold and insert a needle into, but I do love the finished look and will do a smaller piece using that spiral soon. I much prefer the basic twisted spiral rope (as seen in my last necklace, Blue); I can almost do it with my eyes closed and find it very meditative to stitch.
Please visit our team blog
between the 9th and the 15th to see all the entries from the wonderfully talented artists in this team and vote for your favorite entry!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Treasuries & an update

I've been working hard on a beadwoven and bead embroidered necklace, in hopes of finishing by this Monday. I tried a new-to-me stitch for part of the necklace and it has been quite fiddly and taking much longer than I thought it would. I'm hoping to have more time to blog once I finish this beast.
Here are a few beautiful treasuries from the past week...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Meatless Monday Recipe

I love to make up my own recipes and often I don't measure ingredients or spices, so adjust to your own taste - we like everything very spicy. This recipe is a family favorite and of my own creation. In fact it is what I made for dinner tonight!

Vegetable Curry & Saffron Rice

2 cups Lundberg Long Grain Brown Rice
2 tbs butter
1 tsp Penzeys Spices Maharajah Curry Powder w/ Saffron
4 cup water
5lbs potatoes, peeled & diced
3 yellow onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lrg carrot, peeled & diced
1 red bell pepper, washed, seeded & diced
3 handfuls green beans, rinsed, trimmed, & cut
1 bag frozen peas
1 bag frozen cauliflower pieces
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup Vanilla Rice Milk
1 tbs vegetable oil
Morningstar Farms Chic Patty, baked & diced
1 - 1 1/2 tsp each:
garam masala
yellow curry powder
red curry powder
sweet curry powder
crushed red pepper flakes
aleppo pepper

Put the first 4 ingredients in a tightly lidded pot and cook as directed on rice package - bring to boil, stir, then simmer 50 mintues & fluff with a fork. Put aside.
Put potatoes in large pot of water and boil approx 10 minutes or until they start to lose firmness, but not too soft. Drain and put aside.
Heat 1 tbs of vegetable oil & ginger in a large pot, then add onions until translucent. Add garlic, carrots, red bell pepper, green beans until heated. Stir and add half of all spices. Stir again and add half of tomatoes, peas, cauliflower, and potatoes. Cook 7 minutes, stir and add remaining ingredients and spices. Stir and cook another 10 minutes. Serve over rice. Add Morningstar Farms Chic Patties for a meat substitute on top or mixed in (optional).

And, since I didn't post any last week, here is my latest treasury...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Meatless Monday Recipe

I normally post a meatless dinner recipe every Monday, but I figured it is about time for a dessert. Perfect for upcoming holidays & any chocoholic, these cookies are more like brownies, but delicious. Adapted from a 2001 magazine. Enjoy!

Death by Chocolate Cookies

16 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, divided
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 Egg Beaters
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 flour
1/4 tsp baking powder

Heat oven to 350F. Coarsely chop 8 squares of chocolate & set aside. Microwave remaining 8 squares in lrg. microwavable bowl on HIGH 1-2 minutes. Stir until melted and smooth. Stir in sugar, butter, Egg Beaters, and vanilla. Stir in flour & baking powder. Stir in reserved chocolate. Drop 1/4 cupful onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12-13 minutes, or until cookies are puffed and feel set to the touch. Cool on cookie sheet 1 minute. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cookies.

Sneak Peek

Here is a sneak peek at two new bracelets, in store soon...

A bunch of cabochons, 5 beads, and a piece of beach glass I've been glueing the past week for upcoming bead embroidery projects...

I'm currently working on next month's Etsy Beadweavers challenge, Totally Twisted, as well as another Christmas bracelet, and a bead embroidered & woven necklace.

Here is my latest treasury and one my Blue necklace has been featured in...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Inspired by Picasso challenge

***VOTING IS NOW OPEN for the EBW Inspired by Picasso Oct. challenge...check out all the amazing entries at and VOTE for your favorite!***
Here is my entry, Blue (#14 Black Grey Bead Embroidered Necklace), for the October Etsy Beadweavers Challenge (EBWC), Inspired by Picasso.
I originally chose one of Picasso’s cubist paintings for my inspiration, but I happened upon The Tragedy and it really struck something in me. When I discovered that it was created after learning of his friend’s death and began Picasso’s Blue Period (blue tones dominated his paintings from 1901-1904), I knew I had to explore this further. I completely identify with the sense of loss & darkness in The Tragedy, having lost my good friend of 25 years last Sept 22nd and watching my father suffer numerous health challenges being on hospice the past four months, soon to pass.
I incorporated a piece of blue beach glass and shell beads to represent the beach/water, three coral branches to represent the three mourning figures, while weaving in various shades of blue & gray, along with black and green seed beads to reflect the overall mood. I wanted to convey the veil of sadness that weighs heavy over your heart, the uneven sharpness, the downward spiral of emotions you can’t escape when grieving, without being too dark or ugly. You can see more pictures in the actual listing here.
I completely enjoyed this challenge; learning more about Picasso, being able to release some of my own blue feelings, and of course creating something new and original.
Please visit our team blog
between the 9th and the 15th to see all the entries from the wonderfully talented artists in this team and vote for your favorite entry!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Treasury of the Day

Since I haven't posted any treasuries for some time, here are a few for your enjoyment!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

Meatless Monday Recipe

This recipe was adapted from a magazine insert.

Taco Cornbread Pizza

1 8.5oz pkg corn muffin mix
1 box Fantastic World Foods Taco Mix (or any brand "meat"/soy crumbles)
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
1 8oz pkg shredded cheddar cheese
shredded lettuce
chopped tomatoes
sliced black olives
sour cream

Prepare corn muffin mix as directed on box. Spread batter onto greased 12 inch pizza pan. Bake at 400F for 8-10 minutes. Add seasoning to prepared "meat" crumbles. Sprinkle 1 cup cheese over crust and top with "meat" mixture and remaining cheese. Bake 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with remaining ingredients.

A Wonderful Weekend

Had such a wonderful weekend! Yesterday was the best day I've had in such a long time. Saturday I finished two new bracelets and yesterday not only did I go to the Milwaukee Bead Show and get some new beady things to play with, we also discovered a great new place to go hiking and got lost in the woods for over two hours (literally lost - note to self: never venture into an unfamiliar trail system without a map, compass, adequate water, and a flashlight!). Thankfully we ran into a few knowledgeable others who were able to tell us which trails to take to get back before it got really dark out. I'll post pictures of our adventure when I have more time. The leaves were just starting to turn autumn colors, the sun was setting, we hiked over 3 miles of trails around a gorgeous lake, came across a waterfall, and saw 4 deer. There is something magically healing, rejuvenating, and peaceful when you spend time surrounded by natural beauty. It makes me incredibly happy and energized.
The Milwaukee Bead Show only seemed like a 10th of the size of the Bead & Button Show, but still had some good deals and all the local shops were there. Here are a few of the goodies I picked up at the show...
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