Beautiful Things

littledallilasbookshelf.tumblr.comBookcases filled with books is a lovely sight. They tell a lot about the person who lives there, but is a factor that contributes to a coziness that otherwise would feel as if something was missing.

modernfoodie.tumblr.comBruschetta w:Ricotta Cheese & Fresh Figs

Bruschetta with ricotta cheese & fresh figs – the combination of salt & sweet with a cup of tea or coffee –  yes, one of my favourites.

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Golden shoes for golden memories. Especially these in black lacquer & a top in gold – with stylish shoe laces in rows. With these shoes, one should be careful with the rest of the outfit – so these beauties really stands out.

pinterest.com:LEtoileStyling:Contrasts – is a state of being strikingly different from something else, typically something in close association. I think this image would fit well into this description. Something old & rusty together with a burgeoning plant filled with life. An inspiring contrast

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I like the simplicity of this image – and the styling. White & black is one of my things, as you know. Simple sofa with white cover & some white details, black stylish sofa table & some greenery, voila!

Take Care,

Marie

 

Jeannie is a graduate of St. Paul Collage of Visual Arts, accomplished mixed media artist, published jewelry designer and Bead maker. She is the creator of the Echo Creative Club and the ever popular Do Over Challenge. When she is not creating art, she helps people live happy, healthy lives. HUGE De-stash Sale going on now. ALL proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.
Posted in Art/Fashion/Decor | Leave a comment

Don’t Overcomplicate Your Life

quote-Albert-Einstein-if-you-cant-explain-it-to-a-106152

I’m sure you’ll be able to remember a time as a child when you didn’t understand the rules of the game and played anyway.

Perhaps you can remember the long school-free summer days (away from the prying adults with the permission slips), and along with your besties you made up games from scratch, including the rules, played it for 8 hours straight, and then the next day a completely new game, with new rules was introduced.

You didn’t stop to think, ‘Well, shall we debrief play from yesterday, have a meeting and review the impact of the game on our childhood memories and how we can improve on our play efficiency?‘ No, no, no, you played first and ironed out the details as you went along.

Rules were always being rewritten, the concentration and focus was applied to the game, not always the details.

Explaining was easy.

Changing path was easy.

Rule writing was easy.

Switching the rules was easy.

Seeing it work first was easy.

Complex problems were easy.

Finding a way over hurdles was easy.

Improvements along the way was easy.

Less talking more doing (playing) was easy.

Okay, you’re an adult now … details are (sometimes) needed, I’ll agree.

Making a career move isn’t the same as Hide and Seek in a corn field. Planning a new business isn’t the same as building a den made out of sheets and the wood from an old shed from the house five doors up.

But how different is it really?

Where do you deliberately create hard and complicated for yourself? Is there another reason behind it? Are you stalling, putting off, procrastinating for something not yet clear to you?

“Look at life with the eyes of a child”, Henri Matisse said.

Or, even better if you have one hanging around your home, hire them as your coach for 8 minutes.

Children keep it simple. You were a child once.

They don’t have the vocabulary to confuse (yet). They sure as hell don’t worry about every move. They think in pictures, as writing isn’t easy communication for them.

They see the end and work backwards. They make it up as they go.

Resisting?

I’m not saying you are a child. I am suggesting you are, and always have been, highly creative (including problem solving, ideas, planning, seeing in pictures) … I’m asking you to remember that.

How?

Start with the end in mind. Ask yourself, ‘What’s my shortest path?’. Take it. The hurdles that were going to appear will. See yourself past them at the start, even if you don’t know how.

Try not complicated for a while. See life through the eyes you had as a child.

D.B. PhD

Jeannie is a graduate of St. Paul Collage of Visual Arts, accomplished mixed media artist, published jewelry designer and Bead maker. She is the creator of the Echo Creative Club and the ever popular Do Over Challenge. When she is not creating art, she helps people live happy, healthy lives. HUGE De-stash Sale going on now. ALL proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.
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It Can Happen To Anyone

These aren’t statements from renowned business leaders or well-known academics. These are truths written on cardboard signs by homeless people living in Orlando, Florida.

Have a GREAT week.
Nick “Nack”

jewelry liquidation here
Please share and take a look,
Betsy

Jeannie is a graduate of St. Paul Collage of Visual Arts, accomplished mixed media artist, published jewelry designer and Bead maker. She is the creator of the Echo Creative Club and the ever popular Do Over Challenge. When she is not creating art, she helps people live happy, healthy lives. HUGE De-stash Sale going on now. ALL proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.
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Eloise At 46

The New Yorker’s hilarious take on Eloise, at 46.

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I am Eloise
I am forty-six

I am a city girl
I live at the Crowne Plaza

There is a lobby with purple lights and silver-and-gold confetti things hanging from the ceiling
You can find videos of the elevators on YouTube

The absolute first thing I do in the morning is make coffee in the bathroom and check to see what’s on pay-per-view
Then I have to go to the health club to see if they’ve gotten any new kettlebells and then stop at the business center to Google a few foreign swear words

Cheryl is the daytime concierge
She knows people who have appeared on at least three of the “Real Housewives” series
She is very good at recommending bus tours and pointing out where the coffee-to-go island is

Every morning, I go out to Times Square and see what kinds of discounts they’re offering on show tickets, and whether there are any new colors of M&M’s
And then I follow Elmo around for a while, to see if I can catch him smoking or saying any bad words

Sometimes I talk to Mark-on-the-sidewalk, who sells fraudulent merchandise to tourists
I ask, “How’s business, Mark?”
and he says, “Hey, you want some comedy-club tickets? I can get you into Caroline’s, cheap,”
and I say, “Not today, thank you very much”
Ooh, I love love love Times Square!

I have a dog who looks like a supermodel
His name is McConaughey

My personal assistant is named Manny
He lives in a connecting room
Sometimes I call him my valet, my steward, or my manservant, or every once in a long while my houseboy

Manny says that he “cannot stand” when I call him my houseboy, and he looks so sad and offended that I then have to give him the evening off and bring him a glass of whiskey in his quarters and rub his shoulders tenderly and make a pass at him, just so he has the opportunity to turn me down

Sometimes, when McConaughey and I are bored, I sprinkle glitter on his fur, and we pretend we are at a disco in the seventies
We put on our sunglasses and dance until we need to catch our breath, and then we fall back on the sofa, absolutely exhausted
Then we gossip about whether Mick Jagger seems a little depressed lately and debate whether we should take another trip to the ladies’ room to see if there’s any more coke
And then eventually McConaughey licks himself and ends up with glitter on his tongue, and I have to call Manny to arrange to take him for a groom, and Manny lectures me for absolutely hours about how mortifying it is to pick up glittery poop with a plastic bag

I am dating-with-possible-quotation-marks Rodrigo from room service
He has a girlfriend in Ecuador whom he wants to bring over when he has enough money, and I am fine fine fine with that
Here is where he has been: Guayaquil
Here is where I have been: divorce court

A bottle of Patron Silver costs two hundred dollers from room service
Open bottles are nonrefundable

Then, if I don’t have dinner plans, I go down to the bar and order a Pink Martini and a Coconut Pyramid
I have tried all of the “Vintage Cocktails” and most of the “Specialty Cocktails”
I stay away from the Kentucky Punch because I do not believe that bourbon should be mixed with Sprite
Those bar stools can get slippery if one is not careful

Sometimes I get a call from my friend Marita, who spent a semester in culinary school and once received a callback to be a contestant on “The Bachelor”
I tell her about the new Versace pet bowl I got for McConaughey, and she tells me about her new boyfriend, who likes her to dress up as a character from “My Little Pony”
Then we laugh and she asks, “Can you get me any Xanax?” and I have to quiet down, in case Manny is listening

Manny says that he wishes I wouldn’t use the iron in the room to make grilled cheese sandwiches
But he always eats one anyway

Sometimes, after midnight, Manny and I go on a late-night hallway walk to peek under the lids of the leftover room-service trays
Manny says that it’s a scandal how many people waste butter

Here is what I can do:
Eavesdrop
Eat four-hundred-dollar sushi
Win an eBay auction at the absolute last minute

Oh my Lord but my life is busy and fulfilling

Some mornings, I wake up with a rawther awful hangover, and Manny has to fill the ice bucket and bring cold compresses for my head and stand outside the bathroom, making worried noises while I puke
Then Manny reads me my OKCupid responses, and, just before eleven, he says that if I feel well enough we can turn on “The Price is Right,” and maybe order something light from room service, like seasonal mixed berries or seven-grain toast
But usually we’re so enthralled by the show that we forget to call until after eleven-thirty, and by then they’re only serving lunch, and we have to get wings and sliders instead

If it’s a Plinko day, we might just have to get a bottle of Prosecco, too
Ooh I miss miss miss Bob Barker

I have a collection of umbrellas that people have left in the bar and the lobby
Sometimes, when it rains, I put them all in a bucket and take them outside and sell them for ten dollars each

One time, I sold one to a man who used to be in REO Speedwagon

Ooh I love love love my life!

Illustration by Jordan Awan.

P.H.

Jeannie is a graduate of St. Paul Collage of Visual Arts, accomplished mixed media artist, published jewelry designer and Bead maker. She is the creator of the Echo Creative Club and the ever popular Do Over Challenge. When she is not creating art, she helps people live happy, healthy lives. HUGE De-stash Sale going on now. ALL proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.
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MI Squirrel

Start your week out with a laugh.

Nick “Nack”

Jeannie is a graduate of St. Paul Collage of Visual Arts, accomplished mixed media artist, published jewelry designer and Bead maker. She is the creator of the Echo Creative Club and the ever popular Do Over Challenge. When she is not creating art, she helps people live happy, healthy lives. HUGE De-stash Sale going on now. ALL proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.
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Create Jewelry

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A pair of Jeannie’s earrings were published in this recent issue of Create Jewelry.  Please share if you can.

You can find them here

Thanks for stopping by,

Betsy

Jeannie is a graduate of St. Paul Collage of Visual Arts, accomplished mixed media artist, published jewelry designer and Bead maker. She is the creator of the Echo Creative Club and the ever popular Do Over Challenge. When she is not creating art, she helps people live happy, healthy lives. HUGE De-stash Sale going on now. ALL proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.
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Lemon Sticks

While researching small town summer fairs (we plan to visit one this year), I came across a description for these peppermint lemon sticks. Have you ever had one? They are amazing! To make them you simply cut off the top 1/3 of a lemon and insert a peppermint stick. As you suck, the stick hallows out and it produces the most refreshing summer combination of tangy and sweet. They are our new poolside treat and would be amazing served at any summer party.

If you don’t happen to have a stash of peppermint sticks left over from the holidays (what???) you can buy a box of them here.

Enjoy,

A.D.D.

Jeannie is a graduate of St. Paul Collage of Visual Arts, accomplished mixed media artist, published jewelry designer and Bead maker. She is the creator of the Echo Creative Club and the ever popular Do Over Challenge. When she is not creating art, she helps people live happy, healthy lives. HUGE De-stash Sale going on now. ALL proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.
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Let Freedom Ring

fourth_of_july

Have a safe and happy 4th of July from all of us at Whee! The People.

Jeannie is a graduate of St. Paul Collage of Visual Arts, accomplished mixed media artist, published jewelry designer and Bead maker. She is the creator of the Echo Creative Club and the ever popular Do Over Challenge. When she is not creating art, she helps people live happy, healthy lives. HUGE De-stash Sale going on now. ALL proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.
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Like A Girl

In case you haven’t seen it yet, I wanted to share this powerful video.

Nick “Nack”

Jeannie is a graduate of St. Paul Collage of Visual Arts, accomplished mixed media artist, published jewelry designer and Bead maker. She is the creator of the Echo Creative Club and the ever popular Do Over Challenge. When she is not creating art, she helps people live happy, healthy lives. HUGE De-stash Sale going on now. ALL proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.
Posted in You Tube Videos | Leave a comment

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Salad

For this recipe we’ve used chicken thighs, which are really great for long, slow cooking because they are more flavorful and tender. It’s a snap to put together too. Just put everything into the slow cooker (or Dutch oven — that’s what we use!) and forget about it for a few hours.

Beyond that, the only other prep work is shredding the lettuce and getting the other toppings ready. It may not be a true 30-minute meal in that it cooks for several hours, but it sure comes together in a flash. I love those kinds of meals!

Let’s get cooking.

 

Slow Cooker Recipe: Chicken Taco Salad   |   Design Mom  #crockpot

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Salad

Ingredients:

CHICKEN
2. 5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs*
10 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
4 ounce can diced green chiles
1/2 teaspoon salt

TACO SALAD
1 head Romaine lettuce, thinly sliced (or 1 bag salad mix)
18 ounce bag tortilla chips

TOPPING IDEAS
black beans
diced tomatoes
guacamole
sour cream
fresh salsa
queso fresco (or another cheese)
lime wedges
cilantro

Instructions:
For chicken – Place chicken thighs into a slow cooker or Dutch oven. Add the tomatoes and green chiles. Sprinkle the salt evenly over everything. Let cook on LOW for 6-8 hours, or HIGH for 3-3.5 hours. If using a Dutch oven, cover with lid and place in a 300-325° F oven for about 3-4 hours, or until chicken is tender and shreds easily.

To serve – Layer 1 handful of tortilla chips in a shallow bowl. Top with some shredded lettuce and desired toppings. Serve immediately.

Makes 10-12 servings.

*Note – if using frozen chicken thighs, add an extra half hour to the cooking time.

Enjoy!

B.B

Jeannie is a graduate of St. Paul Collage of Visual Arts, accomplished mixed media artist, published jewelry designer and Bead maker. She is the creator of the Echo Creative Club and the ever popular Do Over Challenge. When she is not creating art, she helps people live happy, healthy lives. HUGE De-stash Sale going on now. ALL proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.
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Echo Creative Club With Christine Hansen

Name:

Christine Hansen

Business Name:

Christine Hansen

Website:

www.christinehansen.com

Blog:

http://intuitivesparks.blogspot.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ChristineHansenGlass and

https://www.facebook.com/ChristineHansenMemorialArtGlass

Pinterest:

http://www.pinterest.com/nwglassgrrl/

Where is Home?

Olympia, Washington

What is it that you design and create?

I create lampwork glass focal beads and memorial art glass beads and hearts. I love to make floral beads, as well as richly colored organic beads.

Creating memorial beads has added a meaningful new dimension to my art-making, and has become a significant focus of my work. Including ashes in the glass creates a precious keepsake, one that honors the love and memory of those who have gone ahead. For me, it’s an incredible privilege to be able to do this work – I feel like I’m using my artistic talents and skills to create something that is important on a soul level, something that hopefully offers comfort and eases the grief process for my clients.

I also create finished jewelry and limited edition art charms. My art charms and finished work (mostly bracelets and necklaces, with some earrings) tends to be mixed media and filled with color and detail.

What is your favorite part of the design process?

Playing with fire and color! I cannot believe I am *so* lucky to be able to do this! I think a close second is brainstorming ideas – taking inspirations I find around me and translating them into bead designs is a delight – and then sitting at the torch and bringing them into reality is pure magic for me.

How did you come up with your business name?

I decided to use my name to better identify my work as mine.

When and how did it all begin?

I’ve been a lifelong artist. I drew, colored, painted, and made books as a child. As a teen, I took every art class offered by my high school, as well as metal shop and wood shop. I’ve continued my learning adventure by taking many classes including photography, chain maille, precious metal clay (PMC), metal-smithing for jewelers, beaded embroidery, and lampwork bead-making. I’ve also taken advantage of the many wonderful books, magazines, videos, and online tutorials available to further my education.

I’ve always been obsessed with glass. When I was a little girl, we lived in a funky old two-story Victorian house and the glass in my bedroom window was wavy. I spent hours peering through the window, amazed and mesmerized with the optical illusions I found.

Our family travelled extensively and once in a while, we found a hot shop or a glassblower making figurines and watched the glass artists at work. Fascinated with what I saw, I realized I wanted to work with hot glass. Unfortunately, I didn’t know anyone personally who worked with hot glass, I didn’t hail from a long line of Italian glass maestros, and I had no idea where to even begin.

I loved glass anyway. My family gave me glass figurines on birthdays, I started a marble collection, I collected and sold Depression glass, and I learned how to create stained glass.

This was all good, but what I wanted most was to melt glass and play with color and form and light. Everything else felt like a poor second for years, until 2003, when I found a library book entitled, “Making Glass Beads” by Cindy Jenkins. About a year later, I took an Intro to Beadmaking class and realized my dream of working with hot glass was coming true. A few years after that, my awesome husband (the WonderHub) helped me set up my home studio. In October 2007, I lit my torch for the first time.

Who or what inspires you?

I’m inspired by so many things, it’s hard to know where to begin. I’m inspired by nature, architecture, fabrics, other art, color combos that I find literally *everywhere,* museum exhibits, and various art periods.

The three patron saints who inspire my art are SpongeBob Squarepants, Angus MacGyver, and Peter Carl Fabergé. SpongeBob has the greatest positive “can-do” attitude, MacGyver can make anything out of nothing, and Fabergé created fantastic works of art with everything he touched, treating each material he worked with as precious.

What advice would you give other independent artists who are just starting out?

Try different things, explore as many media as you can, stick with what speaks to you and don’t feel guilty about abandoning techniques and materials that don’t make your heart sing. Study artistic styles and visual design voraciously – you never know from where inspiration will spring. Fill a notebook with your thoughts, ideas, and inspirations so you can find it again. No matter what, don’t stop.

What music are you listening to?

I’m all over the place musically: AWOL Nation, Deva Premal and Miten, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mozart, Broken Bells, Thievery Corporation, Vivaldi, U2, Duran Duran, the Offspring, Macklemore, and the Beastie Boys are on the top of the list.

What TV show are you hooked on?

Doctor Who, One Piece, and Hustle.

What was the last movie you saw?

X-Men: Days of Future Past – it was the first of the X-Men movies the WonderHub and I have seen, and I think we missed a few story elements because of that.

What is your favorite food?

Currently I’m on a Vietnamese cuisine kick. If you haven’t tried pho yet, do yourself a favor and get some as fast as you can! It’s really yummy beef noodle soup. I also love raw vegan food, and anything I don’t have to prepare myself.

What is your favorite candy or treat?

Dark chocolate is divine – and Blissful Wunders Confectionery Chocolats are my favorite!

Coffee or Tea?

Both! Living in the Pacific Northwest, I have access to a fabulous variety of locally-produced fresh-roasted coffee – lattes are my favorite coffee drink. Tea, however, is my go-to beverage. Jasmine green tea is my daily drink, but I adore herbal blends as well – so much that I enjoy creating my own blends.

What store could you walk around in for hours and be happy?

I always lose track of time whenever I make the trip to Frantz Art Glass.  There are so many new glass colors to play with and tools to drool over!

 Any pets?

Two beloved furbabies have taken over my couch and home. Sam and Rufus are retired racing greyhounds. Sam is my ladies’ man (he wears a black and white tuxedo and moonlights as a land shark), and Rufus (Goofy Oofie) is a humongous brown brindle with the personality of Scooby Doo.

Favorite place to visit or would like to visit?

The beach – any beach, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in Northern California. I would love to take a long visit to the Far East including Vietnam, India, Thailand, and Japan.

If you could be a superhero, what would your name be and what superpower would you have?

Compassion Girl – my superpower is compassion, and making people feel better. Thankfully, I’ve got all I need to practice my superpower: my torch and my didymium glasses – no cape necessary!

Celebrity crush?

It’s a secret.

Favorite holiday?

I have two – New Year’s Day (it’s our wedding anniversary) and also Groundhog’s Day – no big feast to make, no presents to purchase, no big deal, just fun.

Tell us something about yourself we don’t know

I’m a sucker for a happy ending…and I refuse to eat lima beans.

What do you secretly wish you could do or be?

NOT in charge of cooking.

Favorite piece of clothing?

Comfy sweats and t-shirt.

Do you speak any languages or want to learn one?

It’s a little embarrassing – I took four years of Spanish in high school, yet I retain only enough to order off a menu with adequate pronunciation. I’m currently working on learning Vietnamese.

Plans for yourself/the business?

I’m in the finishing stages of updating my website. It’s a long over-due project, and one I’ve put off, but now that it’s nearly done, I can’t believe I procrastinated so long! Once I’ve got the new website up, I’ll be able to promote my work more.

collage c hansen

Thank you Christine,

Kara

Jeannie has an opening for the July Echo Creative Club.

 

Jeannie is a graduate of St. Paul Collage of Visual Arts, accomplished mixed media artist, published jewelry designer and Bead maker. She is the creator of the Echo Creative Club and the ever popular Do Over Challenge. When she is not creating art, she helps people live happy, healthy lives. HUGE De-stash Sale going on now. ALL proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.
Posted in Echo Creative Club | Leave a comment

Food Flags

 

italy-flag-made-from-foodFeeling hungry? You will be after looking through this creative collection of food photography.

What’s even more impressive than the simpler striped flags is seeing the clever ways the team improvised stars and symbols of the more complex flags. Great use of the meat pie with crust cut outs for Australia, star fruit for the stars on the flags of China and Vietnam, EZ cheese or mustard for the stars on the U.S. flag, and an herb sprig for the cedar tree at the center of Lebanon’s flag. Using tuna sashimi for the red circle on Japan’s flag was simple but perfect. Which one makes your mouth water the most?

Above: Italy’s flag made from Basil, pasta, and tomatoes.
Below: Australia’s flag made from meat pie and sauce.
australia-flag-made-from-food

Brazil’s flag made from banana leaf, limes, pineapple and passion fruit.
brazil-flag-made-from-food

China’s flag made from pittaya/dragon fruit and star fruit.
china-flag-made-from-food

France’s flag made from Blue cheese, brie and grapes.
france-flag-made-from-food

Greece’s flag made from Kalamata olives and feta cheese.
greece-flag-made-from-food

India’s flag made from curries, rice, and pappadum wafer.
india-flag-made-from-food

Indonesia’s flag made from spicy curries and rice (Sambal).
indonesia-flag-made-from-food

Japan’s flag made from tuna and rice.
japan-flag-made-from-food

Lebanon’s flag made from lavash, fattoush and herb sprig.
lebanon-flag-made-from-food

South Korea’s flag made from Kimbap and sauces.
south-korea-flag-made-from-food

Spain’s flag made from chorizo and rice.
spain-flag-made-from-food

Switzerland’s flag made from charcuteries and emmental.
switzerland-flag-made-from-food

Thailand’s flag made from sweet chilli sauce, shredded coconut and blue swimmer crab.
thailand-flag-made-of-food

Turkey’s flag made from Turkish Delights (Lokum).
turkey-flag-made-from-food

United Kingdom’s flag made from scone, cream and jams.
united-kingdom-flag-made-from-food

United States of America’s flag made from hot dogs, ketchup, and mustard or cheese.
united-states-flag-made-from-food

Vietnam’s flag made from rambutan, lychee and starfruit.
vietnam-flag-made-from-food

D.S.D.

Jeannie is a graduate of St. Paul Collage of Visual Arts, accomplished mixed media artist, published jewelry designer and Bead maker. She is the creator of the Echo Creative Club and the ever popular Do Over Challenge. When she is not creating art, she helps people live happy, healthy lives. HUGE De-stash Sale going on now. ALL proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.
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Slow Cooker Gyros

I think it’s safe to say that gyros are the most famous of Greek meals — a classic sandwich, with meat cut from a spit, wrapped in a pita, and topped with tzatziki (yogurt sauce). Happily, gyros are easy to make at home. True, they will not be as authentic as the kind you’d get from a sandwich cart in Athens, but they sure hit the spot when I have a craving!

Slow Cooker Recipe: Greek Gyros   |   Design Mom  #crockpot

Slow Cooker Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki

Ingredients:
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces
Juice of 2 large lemons
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1-2 teaspoons dried oregano
1-2 teaspoons dried dill
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 pitas
Lettuce, tomato, and lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions:
1. Combine the onions, chicken, lemon juice, olive oil, herbs, salt, and pepper in a slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours, or LOW for 4-6.
2. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed, before serving. It may need a little more salt and pepper.
3. Serve with tzatziki on pitas with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Add lettuce and tomatoes, if desired, or serve with a Greek salad on the side.

Makes 6-8 servings

Note: chicken breasts or thighs will work here. The thighs will be more tender after a longer cooking time. Chicken breasts will dry out more quickly, so a shorter time is better.

——-

Tzatziki

Ingredients:
1 large English cucumber
8 ounces Greek yogurt
8 ounces sour cream
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced

Instructions:
1. Peel and grate cucumber. Squeeze the cucumber with your hands to release the liquid. Discard the liquid. Don’t skip this step or the tzatziki will be watery.
2. Combine yogurt, sour cream, olive oil, and garlic in a bowl. Stir in the cucumber and serve.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

Enjoy!

B.B.

Jeannie is a graduate of St. Paul Collage of Visual Arts, accomplished mixed media artist, published jewelry designer and Bead maker. She is the creator of the Echo Creative Club and the ever popular Do Over Challenge. When she is not creating art, she helps people live happy, healthy lives. HUGE De-stash Sale going on now. ALL proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.
Posted in Recipes | 1 Comment

Need Help

This blog is looking for someone to write posts about jewelry and beads at least once a week.  Contact Jason if interested.

Also need someone to take over and run the Polymer Clay Conversations feature in Jeannie’s Polymer Clay Collective FB group.  You can contact Kara for more details and what is involved.

1012239_10201876749743244_1917292567_n

My FB account has been compromised so I’m not able to access it and post in the group.  I just may have to use Jeannie’s FB account again.  So if you or someone is a member of that group please let them know we are looking for someone to take over this feature.

Thanks, Kara

Jeannie is a graduate of St. Paul Collage of Visual Arts, accomplished mixed media artist, published jewelry designer and Bead maker. She is the creator of the Echo Creative Club and the ever popular Do Over Challenge. When she is not creating art, she helps people live happy, healthy lives. HUGE De-stash Sale going on now. ALL proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.
Posted in Mixed Bag | 2 Comments

Luxury Kitchens

Before the internet, you only had to keep up with the Joneses…  They were real people who lived next-door and probably drove a Corvette.

And even if you might have liked their car for yourself, you knew for a fact that they wore too much cologne, misused the word Machiavellian, and were just generally unlikable people who let their dog poop in everyone’s yard.

Planning our DIY old-house kitchen remodel… Ideas and inspiration I LOVE but cannot afford!

 

Planning our DIY old-house kitchen remodel… Ideas and inspiration I LOVE but cannot afford!

You used to have to subscribe to Town & Country or Architectural Digest if you wanted to feel bad about your house… But then the internet came along—eradicating every shred of reality and replacing it with Christopher Peacock.

Now you can discover for FREE, any time of day or night, that your kitchen, your bathroom, your entire house… actually, your whole life is so subpar that it’s amazing you haven’t flat out died.

Planning our DIY old-house kitchen remodel… Ideas and inspiration I LOVE but cannot afford!

 

The internet has given the entire home-luxury-design-industry access to the inside of our minds at all times. This is extra convenient for them because they can constantly remind us that anything less than a kitchen filled with glamour and elegance and a wine refrigerator is just sad… so, so, so sad.

And the sadder your life looks, the fancier the faucet you will buy – advertising 101.

I am pretty sure that faucet would make me a better person.)

Planning our DIY old-house kitchen remodel… Ideas and inspiration I LOVE but cannot afford!

Planning our DIY old-house kitchen remodel… Ideas and inspiration I LOVE but cannot afford! Planning our DIY old-house kitchen remodel… Ideas and inspiration I LOVE but cannot afford!

But eventually I will have to replace that faucet… Because it will go out of style. Because all of this is a trend.
A TREND.

The most expensive trend ever—white, white, white, white, splash of soapstone for contrast, white, white, white.

Planning our DIY old-house kitchen remodel… a collection of kitchen inspiration and design details.

Christopher Peacock

Planning our DIY old-house kitchen remodel… a collection of kitchen inspiration and design details.

But someday Christopher Peacock will be the equivalent of the ubiquitous oak cabinetry from the 80’s.  Remember country kitchens?  

DON’T YOU REMEMBER?  

Soon there will be a whole new trend.  (Once they figure out how to make something more expensive.)

I personally think it should be THE-KITCHEN-I-HAVE-IS-FINE trend.  We should all STOP redoing our kitchens.  It is MADNESS people.  Do you have a stove?  A refrigerator?  A place to rinse stuff and chop it?  Then you HAVE A KITCHEN.  

Planning our DIY old-house kitchen remodel… Ideas and inspiration I LOVE but cannot afford!

Planning our DIY old-house kitchen remodel… Ideas and inspiration I LOVE but cannot afford!

This is my message for the day—acceptance. Accept the kitchen you have. A new one will not bring you health or happiness. (Except, maybe the one below.)

Let us band together and KEEP the kitchen we have. Let us embrace oak cabinetry from 1980.

Let us rise up against the tyranny of stainless steel.
There is nothing wrong with your taupe electric range.

And Formica!
Let us bring Formica back!

Planning our DIY old-house kitchen remodel… Ideas and inspiration I LOVE but cannot afford!

I mean, I personally am not planning to do that. I write a blog about restoring our house… therefore I am legally obligated to bring new meaning to whimsy and creativity and a mindbogglingly giant range hood.

Infact, I will probably be required to travel to a small town in Italy to mine the marble slabs myself.

When I get home, I will do a peppy post about DIY-mining your own marble. And I will include tips about where to find delicious artisanal (gluten free!) pastries made by villagers who have been growing specialty grains for over 900 years.

I will be sure to annotate the pictures for Pinterest with captions that are overlaid with squiggles and dots and three different fonts. (So that it will appeal to both four year olds, and women who are shopping for kitchen counters.)

Take Care,

Marie

Jeannie is a graduate of St. Paul Collage of Visual Arts, accomplished mixed media artist, published jewelry designer and Bead maker. She is the creator of the Echo Creative Club and the ever popular Do Over Challenge. When she is not creating art, she helps people live happy, healthy lives. HUGE De-stash Sale going on now. ALL proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.
Posted in Art/Fashion/Decor | Leave a comment

Word Search

A friend of mine emailed this to me last week and then yelled at me for not responding, but in my defense, I’m always convinced these things are gifs that will turn into a screaming, bloody ghost-girl as soon as I lean in and focus. (It won’t. You can trust me on this one.)

threelittlewords

her: JUST DO IT. Mine was super accurate. Just tell me the first words you see.

me: Fine. I saw “drwk”, “fulld”,and “shwusk”.

Her: You’re supposed to pick real words.

me: Those are real words. I just used them. “Drwk” is like, when you’re so drunk you can’t text properly. “Fulld” is probably the past-tense of filled. “Shwusk” is that noise you hear when you rip off that gross, wet, used rag on the bottom of a Swiffer.

her: No. Try again.

me: I also saw “kenergetic” but I thought that was too easy. And I saw “CNN” but I think that’s just subliminal advertising.

her: Kenergetic isn’t a word either.

me: It is. It’s when you’re all fulld up with kinetic energy.

her: I don’t know why I even send you these.

me: I DON’T EITHER.

J. L.  (Jeannie’s mentally unstable friend.  Feeling Stabby)

I will be back with more cray, cray and let me know the first three words you see.

Jeannie is a graduate of St. Paul Collage of Visual Arts, accomplished mixed media artist, published jewelry designer and Bead maker. She is the creator of the Echo Creative Club and the ever popular Do Over Challenge. When she is not creating art, she helps people live happy, healthy lives. HUGE De-stash Sale going on now. ALL proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.
Posted in Mixed Bag | Leave a comment

Carrot Energy Bites

carrot cake energy bites-6Energy bites are one of my very favorite snacks for several reasons. I love that you can make them with myriad ingredients depending on your mood. Today it’s carrot cake energy bites because it’s spring, the weather is warm, and I want to be outside. And for that I need a snack that gives me a little energy boost – these bites do that. They are grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and naturally sweetened with dates. They also come together very quickly and keep well in the fridge for a week or so, of longer in the freezer. That means you can whip up a batch or two and not have to worry about making more for a few days. The other thing I love about these is that my kids will eat them. SO much better than a chocolate chip cookie after school and just as tasty.

carrot cake energy bites-8

Ingredients
  • 1 cup diced carrots (about 2 medium)
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 10 medium sized dates (5 very large)
  • 2-4 Tablespoons raw sunflower butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
Instructions
  1. Place carrots into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Next place raw cashews into the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Place in bowl with carrots.
  3. Repeat the same process with the coconut and transfer to the bowl with the other ingredients.
  4. Put the dates into the food processor and pulse until chopped, then add the carrots, cashews, coconut, 2 Tablespoons sunflower butter, cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla. Pulse until the mixture comes together. If it’s too dry, add more sunflower butter a little at a time. Scrape down sides and pulse again, if needed.
  5. Lay a piece of parchment paper in a clean, dry surface. Use the small ice cream scoop or tablespoon-sized measuring spoon to form the mixture into 18-20 balls. Eat immediately, or place in fridge or freezer to firm up a bit. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for about 1 week, or in the freezer for a month or two.
  6. Note: You can roll them in unsweetened coconut or leave them as is.

As I said, you’ll want to keep them refrigerated, but that doesn’t mean you can snag a few for the road. They are great little snacks when you’re hiking or doing something else outdoorsy.

Bon Appetit

Lindsey

Jeannie is a graduate of St. Paul Collage of Visual Arts, accomplished mixed media artist, published jewelry designer and Bead maker. She is the creator of the Echo Creative Club and the ever popular Do Over Challenge. When she is not creating art, she helps people live happy, healthy lives. HUGE De-stash Sale going on now. ALL proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.
Posted in Recipes | 2 Comments

ICAD Challenge

I’m so excited to share this with you today.  It’s so FUN!

I have been doing the ICAD (index card a day) challenge for the last two years.  And I love it for so many reasons.  I took an art class my good friend Jeannie was teaching many years ago and that got me started on my mixed media/art journaling journey.  I have created something everyday since that class.  Jeannie told me something that has stuck with me.

Being an artist is like being an athlete.  You have to create something everyday to keep your creative muscles strong.  First step developing your creative muscle and thinking is the belief that you can acquire and develop the skill.”   She calls it, “art training.”

You don’t need expensive paper or supplies.  You don’t even need a lot of supplies.  Cheap markers and paint, pens, scrap paper.

ICAD

ICAD

 

Back of index card with date.

Back of index card with date.

I put the date on the back of all my ICAD’s.  This challenge is 61 days, June/July, but I do 100 days because that is how many index cards are in a pack.

Everything you need to know about this challenge you can find here.  You can get the daily prompts (I do my own thing) and follow the other participants.
There is also a FB group and Flickr page you can join and share your ICAD’s.  I highly recommend you do.

If you would like me to share some of my ICAD’s along the way, just leave a comment and I’ll post some of them periodically.

Michelle

Jeannie is a graduate of St. Paul Collage of Visual Arts, accomplished mixed media artist, published jewelry designer and Bead maker. She is the creator of the Echo Creative Club and the ever popular Do Over Challenge. When she is not creating art, she helps people live happy, healthy lives. HUGE De-stash Sale going on now. ALL proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.
Posted in Art/Fashion/Decor | 2 Comments

IKEA Makeover

Some of my friends helping America improve life at home.

Have a great weekend

Nick Nack

Jeannie is a graduate of St. Paul Collage of Visual Arts, accomplished mixed media artist, published jewelry designer and Bead maker. She is the creator of the Echo Creative Club and the ever popular Do Over Challenge. When she is not creating art, she helps people live happy, healthy lives. HUGE De-stash Sale going on now. ALL proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.
Posted in You Tube Videos | Leave a comment

The Myth of the Special Needs Supermom

While cruising through Facebook this week, I stumbled upon an article titled 15 Superpowers Special Needs Moms Have. I’ve seen memes and status updates all about my superhero standing but this article—written by a blogger I read often— got me exited to learn more about my powers, so I started reading. Among the strengths listed were patience, flexibility, extreme energy, and the uncanny ability to soothe my rowdy child.

“YES!!” I practically shrieked with delight, fist-pumping the air and snapping at Simeon to cool it on the whining or—so help me—I would use my newfound superpowers for evil. “I KNEW IT!! I am a special needs mom and I have things none of the other moms have!”

Honestly, I’ve always known I was betterthaneverybody, but it felt so good to see it in print. Boy, did it ever. 

Because God knows that parents of typical children have it easy, am I right ladies? They’re reclined on their couches, sipping champagne out of crystal flutes, and sucking down baskets of bon bons, all while their compliant little broods pace the floor reciting Emily Post like scripture verse. They never have to exercise patience. Or flexibility. Or soothe their child when…

Hold on a second. Don’t all moms do this stuff? And, more importantly, don’t all moms not do this stuff sometimes?

Are special needs moms really that special?

I received a message from a blog reader a few months ago. She was kind and thoughtful and wanted to let me know that reading our story inspired her to be a more patient and less materialistic mother.

Man oh man, was that awkward. Should I tell her the truth? That my husband is the patient one and that I am the yeller in our house? Should I tell her that I recently lost it with Simeon during a late night fuss-fest and I actually growled into the air like a caged beast and slammed the door on my way out of his room? Or that I sometimes (just maybe) use a word that starts with “f” and rhymes with “luck” when we’re running late? And, Lord have mercy, materialistic? Heck yes I am.

Or should I just say it loud and clear: Enough is enough. We have got to stop the supermom nonsense. We have got to stop saying that special needs moms work more, love more, feel more than other mothers. It simply isn’t true.

Special needs moms? They’re just like you.

Here I am, the doting supermom, blissfully unaware of the chemical dyes and chalk dust my child is ingesting on the daily. I could take it out of his mouth but really, who has time for the ensuing tantrum? Besides, making his own snacks is a big step towards independence so just, whatever.

We are you, in fact—or who you would be “if.” If your child was faced with a tough situation. If you received scary news. If you feared your child wouldn’t be accepted.

Wait—these things happen to you, too? My point exactly.

For a long time, families like ours have fought for acceptance, not just for our kids but for us mothers, too. Yet somewhere along the line “we are equal” became “we are better.” We toil more, we mother more, we are superhuman. It’s a myth—and it sends a dangerous message. Dangerous because it tells the world that only a special kind of person can raise a son or daughter who is different. Dangerous because it increases our loneliness when we remove ourselves from the world of everyday motherhood—a world we still live in, even if it sometimes seems far away.

Seriously, please tell me who benefits from this stuff? FYI: Tonight I Googled “special needs parents are…” and you know what the next suggested keyword was? Annoying.” Umm…holy mortification, Batman! These memes aren’t exactly helping the cause, ya’ll…

We are just regular people raising the children we love. The flaws we had before we were parents are still the flaws we have today. Our special needs children have not perfected us by their very presence.

If we truly wish to join in—at playgroups, MOPs meetings, PTA gatherings, and every other mom group—if we want to be understood on a deep and honest level, then we as special needs moms would do well to acknowledge the universal nature of mothering. We have to look at our mom friends, the ones with the “typical” children, and stop telling them there is a divide between us. That they need to learn how to “get” us. That we are different.

The truth is that all mothers are allowed to be tired. All mothers are allowed to be frustrated. We are all just trying.

Sure, us special needs moms might grieve more.Oftentimes we are stretched thinner. Yes, we carry a unique pain that others do not. But do we love more? Do we have greater perseverance, patience, or fortitude? Not hardly. Certainly not everyday.

I’m not my son’s special needs mom. I’m just his plain old ordinary/flawed mom.

I’m hanging up my cape, y’all. It doesn’t suit me one bit.

Mary E.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... Jeannie is a graduate of St. Paul Collage of Visual Arts, accomplished mixed media artist, published jewelry designer and Bead maker. She is the creator of the Echo Creative Club and the ever popular Do Over Challenge. When she is not creating art, she helps people live happy, healthy lives. HUGE De-stash Sale going on now. ALL proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.
Posted in Mixed Bag | Leave a comment
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