Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tote-ally Inspired photo shoot with Rachel Ebel Photography

Here is a small sampling of my photo shoot with my former SDSU college roommate Rachel Ebel of Rachel Ebel Photography. Rachel chose to shoot my work at the nature area behind Sertoma Park for a rustic meets-modern-setting. She did an amazing job capturing my work at its fullest! The photos turned out how I imagined they would. I couldn't be happier with how everything turned out. I believe this was her first photo shoot of mainly objects, as she specializes in weddings and engagements. I'm glad she made an exception for me. It was a fun reunion with lots of laughs. We ran out of time during the first shoot, which was an overcast day, and were blessed with gorgeous sunlight for the tote bags (see below). To see more images check out Tote-ally Inspired's Facebook page and Etsy Shop Enjoy!

This is my attempt to look like John Cusack's Say Anything. What? I couldn't help myself.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Last-Minute Stuffing

Apple Cranberry Pecan Stuffing

This is one of my favorite stuffing recipes to make. It's quick, easy and very flavorful. This is the perfect stuffing if you don't have a lot of time to cook. I made this for my family's Thanksgiving celebration earlier this week since I will be working on the holiday. I will be making another batch of this for my work's Thanksgiving potluck.

Here is what you need:
1-1/2 C. apple juice
2 Tbs. butter or margarine
1 pkg (6 oz.) Stove Top Stuffing mix for chicken
1 small apple, chopped
1/2 C. cranberries ( I just used dried cranberries)
1/4 C. chopped pecans, toasted

How to make it:
Bring juice and butter to boil in medium saucepan on high heat. Add stuffing mix and fruit;mix lightly. Cover. Remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in nuts. Enjoy!

 (Picture below)
This what I made for our family's Thanksgiving. Turkey, homemade mashed potatoes, pepperoni caesar salad, wheat finger rolls and apple pie (store-bought ..I cheated this year).

Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Zipper Time

So I've overcome my fear of the zipper! This was my first try at "installing" one and I chose to make this cosmetic bag or zipper wallet or clutch, whatever you want to use it for. This Tutorial Blog was excellent in providing simple, step-by-step directions.
I plan to start making some decorative pillows (with zippers) to match the fabric wall art. This is a 7x5" wallet and can really be made into whatever size you would prefer. I added a red ribbon for a pop of color and to provide better handling on the zipper. Ribbon could be made even longer for a wristlet clutch.

                                            Cosmetic bag


A night out on the town!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Latest inspirations

I found these inspirational signs a few weeks ago at the Autumn Festival in Sioux Falls. I went there for my own inspiration as I was looking at how other vendors have created an indoor booth. I will be doing my first indoor craft show on Dec. 1st at the 16th Annual Winterfest Arts and Crafts show in Luverne, Minn. I'll be sharing more about this in the weeks to come.

But while I was looking around, I found a whole wall of these inspirational signs and an inviting aroma of three wooden tubs of homemade potpourri (that actually smelled good) from a Eureka Springs, Ark.  called Spring Street Candle. I wasn't able to find any more signs on their Facebook page or Web site, but I'm sure it's worth asking if you are interested.

If you are interested in ordering online, they have a promotion going on now until Dec. 19th for free shipping anywhere in the U.S. by spending $40 or more.

I thought these inspirational signs were just what I needed for my newly organized work space. More pictures to follow of my "studio" room. I'm so glad to have my own space that I can attempt to keep organized, or just shut the door  when I'm knee-deep in a project.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Perfect Autumn Soup

Now that the cold is here to stay, why not find the perfect autumn soup to warm up to? I actually found this recipe after searching for a recipe that called for fresh mushrooms as I had some sitting in the refrigerator that had no purpose.

To my surprise, this Russian Mushroom and Potato Soup hit the spot with its creamy broth and fresh vegetables. This soup is very easy to make and the most time-consuming aspect of the recipe is cutting up the vegetables. The soup was a so-so hit with the boys, but one of them liked to slurp the creamy broth. My husband and I fell in love with this though.

This recipe may even give you "a first" to cross off on your cooking list ... cooking with a leek. If you don't know what that is I'm about to show you. It's those green things next the mushrooms. They basically look like a giant green onion and taste like one too.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

5 T. butter, divided
2 leeks, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
6 cups chicken broth
2 tsp. dried dill weed
2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced
1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 C. Half-and-Half
1/4 C. all-purpose flour
fresh dill weed, for garnish (optional) NOTE: I did not use this

First melt 3 T. butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.

 Next mix in leeks and carrots and cook 5 minutes.

 Pour in broth. Season with dill, salt, pepper and bay leaf.
Mix in potatoes, cover and cook 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender but firm. Remove and discard the bay leaf (Finding the bay leaf in your bowl has become a contest in my family).
Melt the remaining butter in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the mushrooms 5 minutes, until lightly browned.
Stir into soup.
In a small bowl, mix the Half-and-Half and flour until smooth.
Stir into the soup to thicken.
Garnish each bowl of soup with fresh dill to serve. This is optional as I did not do this. I thought the soup had enough dill. Enjoy!