Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ginger Snaps

I just made my great-great-grandmother's Ginger Snaps today. I'm sending a care package to a friend who's serving in Iraq, and she requested I send her lots of cookies, so I baked up a batch of these for her. Don't they look yummy? I made them into Easter shapes, butterflies and eggs and crosses, because the package should reach her in time for Easter.

Ginger Snaps

1 cup sugar
1 cup shortening
1 cup Karo dark syrup
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp vanilla

Put sugar, shortening, syrup, and vinegar in a pan and let it come to a boil. Pour into a big mixing bowl (really big, so it doesn't overflow during this step) and add baking soda. Let cool. Sift in flour, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Add vanilla and mix. Roll out, adding a little more flour if it's too sticky. Cut out, placing at least 2 inches apart on cookie sheets (these spread a lot). Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes. Cool on sheet for 30 seconds before transferring to wire racks. Makes 5 dozen cookies.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I'm as Restless as a Willow in a Windstorm

I think spring has arrived at last! Sure, it's only 39 degrees today, and it snowed on Friday, but I saw fourteen robins at the playground this morning. Fourteen!!! Yesterday, none, and today they're all over the place. Yay! I'm tired of this maybe-style weather that can't make up its mind to stay winter or not. But when the robins arrive, I know it might as well be spring.

I'm celebrating the occasion by listing a fun new item in my shop, a set of crocheted embellishments! This cute little flower with its two perky leaves makes me think sunny, happy thoughts, just like those robins. They'd make a cute addition to many different projects, from a scrapbook page to a pair of your baby girl's jeans to that plain purse that needs a touch of charm.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Yup, I'm a Treasury Addict

Didn't take long, did it? I got my first treasury only five days ago, and already I've done another one. This one's called "My Heroes've Always Been Cowboys" -- can you guess what theme I might have gone with?

That title is very true of me, by the way. For as long as I can remember, I've loved cowboys. When I was little, I wanted to be a cowboy when I grew up. I used to pull out Mom and Dad's big atlas, turn to the two-page map of Texas, and figure out exactly where my spread should be. I can't remember a time while I didn't love western movies and TV shows. There's something special about the genre -- things seem more true, somehow. There's good and evil, right and wrong, and people in westerns know the difference between the two.

So this treasury is a tip of my Stetson to all my heroes, fictional and factual, who ever rode a horse or fired a six-shooter or kept the bad guys at bay. My heroes really have always been cowboys, and they still are today.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Shop Section!

I've added a new section to my etsy shop: Five Dollar Fun. Every item in it is, you guessed it, only five bucks! Right now I'm putting my mini-notebooks and some smaller sachets in there, and I have ideas for some new items for it too. Just need to find time to make them, lol.

It's been an interesting couple of days. I woke up at 3am yesterday with horrible back pain. Went to the doctor and learned I have aggravated my sciatic nerve. And it's sure been aggravating me right back! But that's put the kabosh on some new items I wanted to work on, as sitting down actually is less comfortable than standing. And that's also why this blog post is as short as it is.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Luscious Lather -- BOGO Soap Sale!

Etsy store Luscious Lather is having a buy-one-get-one-free sale on a whole bunch of their handmade soaps! I bought their Sexy Spellbound Woods soap last week, and got a bar of Black Amber and Lavender for free. They arrived in the mail yesterday, and I love them! In fact, I'm considering ordering more to give as gifts.. maybe the Moroccan Mint or Almond Biscotti?

These are good-sized bars, approximately 4 oz each, so comparable to what you'd buy in the store. Only they smell way better. I especially love the Spellbound Woods, and am glad the bar I'm currently using is almost gone so I can start using this one! Maybe I should wash my hands twice as often for a few days....

This deal is too good to pass up. If you love high-quality handmade soap, go get yourself some free bars!

Monday, March 16, 2009

My First Treasury!

I just got my first treasury! It's called Write Here, Write Now, and is a collection of some of the awesome journals for sale on Etsy. Some of them have movie or literary themes, like Hamlet and Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, as you'd expect from me. And some of them are just pretty or groovy or eye-catching.

If you don't know what a treasury is, it's a selection of items that a specific Etsy member really likes and wants to show off to others. A lot of times they have themes, like a specific color or season or idea, or are a collection of different kinds of one thing, like my journal treasury.

I hope you'll check out my treasury -- I've waited a long time to get it, and I'm really proud of my picks! It's only available for three days, so go see it right now!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum (and Coke)

Ahoy there! In honor of Daniel learning to say "pirate" this week, I'm going to feature five piratical items from fellow Etsy sellers.

First off, we have treasure map notecards from the aptly named store, Presentsforpirates:

Next is a piratey baby onesie from BabyBeesBoutique:

Here's a magnificent necklace from UntamedMenagerie:

Keep part of your loot with you at all times with this necklace from Phantomknight:

And finally, unlike Jerry Seinfeld, some of us do wanna be a pirate and wear this shirt from AnnaKristine:

Hope you've enjoyed my selections, and feel free to pillage and loot those stores with a smile on your face and a song in your black heart! (As long as you pay for whatever you order, of course.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Easy-Peasy Apple Dumplings

I made these last night for the first time, and they're very yummy! Though my hubby thinks we should have baked the apple quarters for a few minutes before wrapping them, as the apples were still pretty solid and not always easy to cut. So you may want to try that. But here's the recipe:

Easy-Peasy Apple Dumplings

2 apples -- cored and quartered
1 can large and flaky biscuits (8-count)
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 stick butter
dash cinnamon

Boil water, sugar, butter, and cinnamon for ten minutes., stirring occasionally. Spread each biscuit out to at least 6" diameter, wrap one apple quarter in each biscuit, pinching edges shut. Place on greased baking sheet. Pour sugar mixture over dumplings. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

See? Easy-peasy!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Breaking News!

A dead fairy has been found in Nottingham Forest! Read the shocking story here. And then visit the awesome store of the person who reported this heinous crime.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Brand New Sachets!

I'm adding a new line of items to my shop tonight: sachets! I've listed three so far, and I'll be adding more patterns, shapes, and sizes in the next few days.

You may ask, what can you do with a sachet? Aren't they something old ladies hang in their closets to make their clothes smell funny? Well, you can definitely put these in your closet, though your clothes will smell good, not funny. Or you can put them in your sock drawer, your linen closet, anywhere you want to be greeted with a nice scent. You can even put them under your pillow at night, or in your car instead of a cheesy cardboard pine tree.

These sachets are handmade from cotton and nylon fabrics and filled with amazing potpourri from fellow Etsy artiste Layla. Her shop contains soaps, potpourri, tea, candles, and all kinds of dried herbs and flowers, and she has a great blog too. The four scents I'll be offering are: cinnamon, lemon, lavender, and honeysuckle rose. If I get a good response to these, I may offer more scents in the future.

Monday, March 2, 2009

And the award goes to...

Rose of Life, Love, Yarn! has awarded me the Kreative Blogger Award! I'd like to thank the Academy (because one should always thank the Academy, no matter what honor you're receiving), my parents for encouraging my creativity, and especially you, my loyal readers, who give me a reason to blog.

In return for receiving this prestigious award, I am supposed to list seven things that you love and then pass the award on to seven people... tagging them and letting them know they won! You can copy the picture of the award and put it on your sideboard letting the whole wide world know you are KReATIV!

So, seven things I love:

1. Falling snow
2. Cowboy movies
3. A new skein of yarn
4. Watching my small boy sleep
5. Writing a scene with a good emotional punch
6. My new striped pajamas
7. A hot shower

And now, I bequeath the title of Kreative Blogger upon these seven bloggers:

Back at the Ranch
Kaleida Eclectics
kid-N Around
Simply Leilani

Congratulations to the winners!