Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Welcome Wednesday with Paper Finch Studio and a GIVEAWAY

Please help me welcome Lisa from Paper Finch Studio for Welcome Wednesday!!!

Lisa creates whimsical fine art & quirky robot illustrations; Ethereal beauty combined with humor, wit and silliness from pen and ink, paints and pencil. I loved exploring her shop...and she has offered a giveaway of one of her prints. Check out all of the giveaway details at the end of the interview. Now please say "Howdy" to Lisa :)

What is the first creative memory you have?  
Pink Fantasy Woodland Acrylic Painting

When I was about 2 years old, I remember drawing all over my bedroom wall with a box of crayons. My Mom was not happy to put it lightly, but we both laugh about it now. I was scolding for drawing on the walls then but people pay me to draw and paint on their walls now!

What or whom inspired you to begin creating your craft?

I come from a creative family, so I grew up watching my grandfather paint to Bob Ross, my aunt creating modern art and sculpture, my mom writing children's books, my dad's music, and my cousin's illustrations. Creativity was strongly encouraged and supported, 

How did you come up with your shop name?

I was sitting on my floor one night, drawing little birds on paper. My husband came in and remarked about how fragile and free my little finch illustration looked, and encouraged me to start selling my art. With that first flame of inspiration, Paper Finch Studio was born.

Describe your creations

I create whimsical fine art & quirky illustrations; Ethereal beauty combined with humor, wit and silliness, and TONS of randomosity. I like for encouraging people to explore and discover new stories born out of my ink and paint. Full of rich color and palette knife texture on canvas, detailed pen and ink, and sometime even a few splatters of coffee my whimsical art is sure to captivate, amuse and inspire. It's a wild, beautiful, expansive wonderland!

Wooly Creature Ink and Coffee Mixed Media Art

What inspires you?

I'm inspired by the natural world, organic shapes, the illustrative brilliance of Edward Gorey and B. Kliban, Tim Burton films, and fireflies.

What do you listen to or watch while creating?

I have a very eclectic taste in music. Last night I edited listings to the tunes of Bob Marley, and the night before that painted to David Bowie. Last week I created a painting inspired by the soundtrack of the French film, Amelie. 

Spring Birds Oil Painting
Please share a favorite recipe

Basil Lemonade
(Makes about 6 cups. This drink goes fast, so you might want to double the recipe if you have the basil.)

Step #1: Make an Awesome Lemon Basil Syrup
4 cups packed fresh basil sprigs (top 4 inches; from a 1/2-pound bunch)
4 cups water
2 cups sugar
9 (4- by 1-inch) strips lemon zest (I just peel a bunch of lemons with a vegetable peeler. This also makes juicing a lot easier in Step #2.)
1. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
2. Let stand at room temperature, covered, 1 hour, then transfer to an airtight container and chill until cold, about 1 hour.
3. Strain syrup thorough a sieve into a bowl, pressing hard and then compst the solid stuff. Your garden will love you! Syrup stays amazing for about a week. Then it starts attracting zombies.
Step #2: The Lemonade
2 cups basil lemon syrup
2 cups cold water
2 cups ice cubes
1 1/4 cups fresh lemon juice (I recommend getting a good-quality juicer if you become addicted to this drink)
Garnish: fresh basil sprigs; lemon zest strips
Stir together all ingredients in a large pitcher, then pour into tall glasses half filled with ice.
Lemonade, without ice, can be made 3 hours ahead and chilled.

What is one thing you cannot live without?

Most importantly: Air. After that, probably the chance to be inspired and to inspire others.

Now let's see what one lucky winner will receive...

...any robot art print of their choice!!! Check out the complete collection to choose one from here.

These are just a few you can choose from...and they would be so great in a child's room or any fun spot!

Ronny Did Not Want to Rust

Three Robots Chased Butterflies Outside

And my personal favorite...

Gene Loved His Nuts and Bolts

Now to enter...please remember you do not have to do all of the entries, but the more you complete the more chances you have at winning! Good luck :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Welcome Wednesday with A Full Cup Design and a GIVEAWAY!!!

What a beautiful Wednesday for another Welcome Wednesday! Please shout a "Hello Amy" for Amy and her Etsy shop A Full Cup Design.

Full of beautiful accessories...I love the fabric choices Amy uses for her handmade creations. She is also offering one of her items as a giveaway for one lucky winner!!! See all of the details for the giveaway after the please welcome Amy :)

Hipster Bag
What is the first creative memory you have? 

My mom gave my friends and I sewing lessons. I think we must’ve been 6 or 7. I made sleeping bags and Christmas stocking for my favorite stuffed animals. I loved to help my mom sew and pick out fabric.

What or whom inspired you to begin creating your craft?

My mom taught me to sew and always encouraged me to sew and take needlepoint, sewing, and other craft classes. She says that having a hobby or interest you are passionate about is the secret of happiness!

Several years ago, I left the high-stress corporate world behind to start a family. I still needed a creative outlet, and kept on sewing. When my children were very small, I made pillows, curtains, and purses for myself and for friends and family.
In 2010 when my youngest started school, I opened up my shop. I wanted to try my hand at sewing for a wider audience. I love to buy fabric and try out new patterns, and thought an online shop would be a great way to do all of those things.

How did you come up with your shop name?

It is from an English proverb: A full cup must be carried steadily. 

For me, it has several meanings: taking time and care to do things right, optimism, and my love of a good cup of Earl Grey.

Clutch Wristlet

Describe your creations

I love putting colors and patterns together. The items I sell in my Etsy store are accessories: purses, wallets, messenger bags, tablet/computer carriers. That goes back to carrying your stuff steadily! I also make Nuno felted scarves when I want to take a sewing break and experiment with mixing pure color combinations.

What inspires you?

Many things: nature, colors and patterns, travel, my friends and family, food, literature. I just returned from a vacation to Paris and have so many new ideas.

What do you listen to or watch while creating?

I have several genius mixes and play whichever one strikes my fancy. Mixes include blues/classic rock, 80s & 90s pop, jam bands, current band favorites, Brazilian music, jazz, and classical.

Nook Tablet Cover
Please share a favorite recipe

Chicken Marbella from The Silver Palate Cookbook

4 chickens, 2 1/2 pounds each, quartered 
1 head of garlic, peeled and finely pureed 
1/4 cup dried oregano 
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 
1/2 cup red wine vinegar 
1/2 cup olive oil 
1 cup pitted prunes 
1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives 
1/2 cup capers with a bit of juice 
6 bay leaves 
1 cup brown sugar 
1 cup white wine 
1/4 cup Italian parsley or fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl combine chicken quarters, garlic, oregano, pepper and coarse salt to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers and juice, and bay leaves. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, overnight. 

Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them. 

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting frequently with pan juices. Chicken is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at their thickest, yield clear yellow (rather than pink) juice. 

With a slotted spoon transfer chicken, prunes, olives and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley or cilantro. Pass remaining pan juices in a sauceboat. 

To serve Chicken Marbella cold, cool to room temperature in cooking juices before transferring to a serving platter. If chicken has been covered and refrigerated, allow it to return to room temperature before serving. Spoon some of the reserved juices over chicken.

Reusable Snack Bags

What is one thing you cannot live without?

A book to read

Where can we find you?



Here is what one lucky winner will win...An Animal Print Wallet!!! So cute...please see more details here.

Shipping is:
$2.25 US first class
$6.75 to Australia, Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, UK

And now to ENTER...please remember you do not have to do all of the entries...but the more you do the more chances you have at winning :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 24, 2013

Manos Made Monday the Third

Welcome to another week of my link up party...aka Manos Made Monday!!!

Here are this weeks staff picks:

Hand Knit Socks from Sarandipity

Mismatched Pair of Earrings from Cherished

Lampwork Bead from Polychrome Beads

And now the most viewed items:

Cookie Coasters by Cherished

Interchangeable Pendant Necklace by C Evans Designs

Blue Lampwork Bead Necklace from C Evans Designs

Happy Linking & Sharing!!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fun Friday with Washi!!!

Washi tape. All the craze. I admit...I LOVE it!!! I use it for my packaging on my Etsy orders and I have even used it to create a few invitations.

Why do I love washi tape? There are a few reasons:
1. It is available in so many stinkin' cute patterns and beautiful colors
2. It is reusable...yes that is right folks - REUSABLE!!! So ultimately if you receive an order from me and you see I spruced up your package with washi tape...PLEASE rip that tape right off and go decorate something with it :)
3. It is easy to use...not super sticky and easy to tear off.
4. You should be able to find it in your local craft stores like Hobby Lobby or order online. I have ordered many a roll from Etsy :)

Now for some FUN and beautiful washi tape crafts to delve into this weekend with the kiddos :)

LOVE the washi tape roof on this birdhouse from delicate construction!

How about some cute post cards to send?!?

UM...yes please! Decorate a cardboard box...

...for your washi tape decorated wooden dolls from Washi Tape Craft!

Spruce up cardboard paper towel or toilet paper rolls :)

Say what!? A popsicle stick kazoo decorated with washi tape from mom trusted!!! (Great photos with step by step directions)

Ok...that is it for now...I seriously could keep adding project after project! Have a great weekend :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Welcome Wednesday with Hugs & Love by Sabrina

Please join me in a big 'ol "HOWDY" for Sabrina and her Etsy shop Hugs & Love by Sabrina for Welcome Wednesday!

A fellow Tennessee Etsian who offers a rather unique item that I was not even aware existed...weighted blankets for individuals with sensory disorder. So please welcome my friend Sabrina!

Little Girl Receiving Blanket
What is the first creative memory you have? 

Hm, that is a tough one as I have always been one to try different, creative things.

What or whom inspired you to begin creating your craft? 

I started sewing for my daughter. She was getting a doll from Santa and I wanted to make some bedding for a cradle that I had when I was little. So I borrowed a sewing machine, made the bedding...and some clothes for her, and another blanket. :)

How did you come up with your shop name? 

Something I have said for a long time to people that was hurting or sick or was just sad, was hugs and lots of love. So when trying to think of a unique name, I chose Hugs & Love by Sabrina. I want my customers to know that with each item, I send a hug and love.

Describe your creations

A little bit of everything, lol. My main selling item is the weighted sensory blankets, which I started making due to my daughter being diagnosed with SPD and her OT recommended one. But I also enjoy making receiving blankets and applique baby bodysuits.

Eagle Silhouette Body Suit

What inspires you? 

Colors, patterns, my daughter, my family, just life in general

What do you listen to or watch while creating? 

Depending on my mood, I either have Pandora or my MP3 playing (which ranges from country to 60's music, to pop) or I just sew in silence.

Please share a favorite recipe

Crockpot Ham! It is super easy and yummy. You get a boneless centerpiece ham, take off all wrappings, put it in your crockpot, pour dark soda (I use Dr. Pepper) over half of the ham, cook on low for about 6 to 8 hours. Serve with your fav sides!

What is one thing you cannot live without? 
Baby Bib and Burp Cloth Set

My family! But material wise, sadly it is my cell phone. :(

Where can we find you? 

Twitter: @tngal1977

Monday, June 17, 2013

Manos Made Monday the Second

Welcome to the Manos Made Monday the Second!!! For my first link up party there was 31 handmade items linked up :)

Owls made their presence last here are the three staff pics!

Sweetheart Owl Girls Coat by Little Goodall

Plush Owl Set with Rattle by A Little Bit of Joy

No Knot Sewn Owl Fleece Blanket by Sarandipity

And the three most viewed items are...

Black and Blue Macrame Necklace from Infinity Designs

Statement Bib Necklace from An Astrid Endeavor

Jellyfish Pendant from C Moore Glass

Friday, June 14, 2013

Fun Friday with Summer Reading Activities

I love Summer Reading Programs!!! This years is The Beans first year of being old enough to start learning about going to a library, the rules of a library and checking out books.

It is the second year I have had my step daughter participate in the program at a local library(last summer we had our own program here at home) and it is such a joy to see her getting excited about reading...IN THE SUMMERTIME!

Today's Fun Friday is dedicated to a few fun ideas and activities for summer reading.

Here is a graph just to show you a few facts about the impact reading in the summer has on children.

Pop up a tent in the yard or on your back deck like Kara's Classroom did...what a FUN spot to read!

Kara's Classroom

Or have them pick their own spot like this cute idea from Happy Home Fairy

Get them excited by making bookmarks, like these from

Make a bookworm and add a body segment for every book they it grow! From how does she?

And don't forget the fun snacks like these "bookworms" from Sweet Serendipity!

Or fun grape caterpillar kabobs!

Please share your fun summer reading craft and snack ideas in the comments...HAPPY READING!!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tottin' Thursday with Out of the Mouth of Beans

Today's Tottin' Thursday is just a few list of words The Beans says...that I love so much!!! I wish I could bottle his little voice up :)

Here The Beans is for my luau birthday party in May...yes he needs a hair cut(and I gave him a good 'ol fashioned homemade hair cut a few days after this pic was taken) and yes he is wearing a hula skirt!

straw ba berry - strawberry
up down - please sit down
Rambo foot - he brings me my flip flops to let our dog Rambo in from outside
dina SOOOOORE - dinosaur with the emphasis on the saur
Sponge Bob ni night - please momma cover me up with my Sponge Bob blanket for night night
play cow - please play on the Kindle
gram PAW - any dinosaur that looks like Little Foot's grandpa from The Land Before Time
elephant in da sky - clouds
monkey nacks - Curious George fruit snacks
rain shower - take a shower
tree star - anything star shaped(tree stars are the leaves in Land Before Time)
me draw - pencils, crayons, pens, markers
Gary - snails
Hey! You ayight? - Hey! Are you alright?
Meh you! - Miss you!
I lub you! - I love you!
pleez dan - please dance
fozzy - sorry
poon - spoon
wut do now? - What do we do now?
no waaaaaaay - no way
Can I hep you? - Can I help you?
That's berry beyoudifull - That's very beautiful

Just a few of my fave's I could think of off of the top of my head...what cute words do or did your words say? I would love to hear them in the comments :)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Welcome Wednesday with Not Your Average Bow-tique and a GIVEAWAY

Thank you all for joining me for my first Welcome Wednesday where I will be featuring a fellow handmade artisan. Read along and discover just a bit more about the creations and the artists!

Please help me welcome Samone and her Etsy shop Not Your Average Bow-tique!!!

Samone offers bows beyond your wildest dreams! She is also offering one of her spectacular creations as a GIVEAWAY!!! Please find all of the details at the end of the please say "HELLO" to Samone! 

Pink Elephant Bow
What is the first creative memory you have?

As a child, when I wasn't putting on my own dramatic theatre productions (for myself), I spent most of my time drawing. I dreampt of being an artist when I grew up. I remember I loved Winnie the Pooh and one day when I couldn't have been more then 4, I spent a whole evening drawing this replica of classic pooh standing on a chair, attempting to reach his infamous honey jar. I loved that drawing and will always remember it as my first masterpiece! lol! I cherish the picture to this day! 

What or whom inspired you to begin creating your craft? 

My love of bows began when I married the man of my dreams and found the bow of of my dreams for the flower girls to wear at our wedding. From that day fourth, I promised to love, honor and cherish bows (and the tutus that complete them) all the days of my life! 

How did you come up with your shop name?

I spent most of my life trying to find ways to fit in. It took me growing up and really learning to follow God's word to learn that my purpose in life was not to fit in but to stand out! Now I want to show the rest of God's children that they too are meant to shine! So, I named the shop Not Your Average Bow-tique because when I began making bows I didn't want to make them look just like everybody else's "average joe selection". I wanted to make items that were as unique as the little angels that would adorn them...and that's just what I did!

Detail of Post Poodle Petti Tutu Dress

Describe your creations 

Not Your Average Bow-tique specializes in stacked and over the top bows, none of the "average joe" selection here. I make over the top bows, bow ties, tutus, tea hats, and stay tuned for dresses. My style is anything but ordinary and always original. My designs are inspired by my children, so every bow is destined to be as unique and whimsical as the crown of the angel it adorns. These are bows beyond your wildest dreams because I love love to help you design accessories that let your imagination run wild!

What inspires you?

My whimsical style is a reflection of my children. With three under six (two girls and one boy) my life is filled with enough excitement to inspire fairytale's and legends. So when it's time for crafting I have enough imagination to make any little darlings wildest dreams come true! 

What do you listen to or watch while creating? 

Although I love music my "business hours" are usually set within the wee hours of the morning and with three little ones at home and a tired husband, I can't take the chance that the music might wake them up. So, I usually watch tv. I love to watch Everybody Love's Raymond, Seinfeld, King of Queens, and The New Adventures of Old Christine. Anything that can make me laugh till ribbon spills out my nose is welcome!

Please share a favorite recipe 
Tea Time Hat

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls (I got this recipe from food I love Chef John and thank him for making me a better cook).
Ingredients for 16 Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: 
(I used a deep 13 x 9 baking dish)
Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes 

For the dough: 
1 package of dry yeast 
1/4 cup very warm water (about 100-105 degrees F.) 
1/2 tsp white sugar 
1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) 
1/4 cup heavy cream (can sub milk, but cream is better) 
1 tsp fine salt 
1/4 cup melted butter 
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp allspice) 
1 large egg 
1/4 cup granulated sugar 
3 to 4 cups all purpose flour (divided), as needed 
(add enough flour to mixer so that dough just barely pulls away from sides, and a very soft, slightly sticky dough is formed) 
*knead for at least 6-7 minutes 
For the filling: 
5 tbsp melted butter, brushed on rolled dough 
3/4 cup packed brown sugar 
1/4 cup of granulated sugar 
2 tbsp ground cinnamon 
*For the glaze: 
1/4 cup room temperature cream cheese 
1 cup powdered sugar 
1/4 cup milk, or as needed 
1/4 tsp vanilla extract, optional 
*adjust glaze by adding more powdered sugar or milk to achieve desired consistency 
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds to garnish 

What is one thing you cannot live without? 

I can't live without my family! My whole family has always been my source of love, faith, encouragement, and inspiration, and I would'nt be here with out them!-O and lots and lots of GOLDEN OREO COOKIES!

Where can we find you? 

My Shop: 
Facebook Page: 
Instagram: @notyouraveragebow
Twitter: Samone Burge @notyoaveragebow 

And now let's see what one lucky winner will get!!!
*Shipping is INCLUDED

Pink and Lime Over the Top Bow

Please click on the photo caption to see all of the details of the bow.

NOW TO ENTER...please remember you do not have to do all of the entries...but the more you do the more chances you have at winning :) Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tennessee Tuesday with Two Years

Welcome to my first Tennessee Tuesday...let me explain the title.

I grew up out first 18 years in Southern Idaho and my next 11 in Western Colorado. Packing up my belongings and infant son(at the time) to drive all the way across the country to move to a state I had only visited once was very exciting...but very scary!

We have been here just a little over 2 years and this post is just some basic observations I have discovered living in my new state...Tennessee.

- Expect to be called, honey, sweetheart, sweetie, darlin' and m'am where ever you venture...this too means in the drive-thru at McDonalds

- Those honey's, sweethearts, sweeties, darlin's and m'ams will equally flow from the mouths of men and women...pretty much every human you come into contact will drop one of those names for you

- With some individuals...their accents are so strong I feel like I need a closed captioning machine I can point at them and it will spell out their words they are saying to me. I have become a little more accustom to the accents...but some of the true country folks I sometimes have to just nod and grin.

- There will be bugs. Lots. Of. Bugs. And not your little tiny gnats(well actually they live here too), but I am talking not your faint of heart bugs. Large. Thick. Creepy. Flying. Crawling. Hissing. Biting. Glowing. Quick. Bugs. I have learned to stock up on bug spray and fly swatters. I have learned to just accept that I will have to just share our property with loads of bugs.

- While we are talking bugs...lets transition into the arachnids that reside here. Can you say freakin' HUGE!!! GINORMOUS!!! And their creepy legs are thick which makes them even more can hear them pitter across the kidding!!!

- But your enormous butterflies and your beautiful lightning bugs are a true gift from nature

- Every trip I take down our back country road...I will see either one or a few of the following: possums(dead or alive), snakes, squirrels, furry caterpillars, buzzards, bobcats, lizards, turtles, red cardinals, wild's like I am living in a zoo!

- Speaking about driving...what is with the on-ramps onto the interstate being so dang short!!! Many times vehicles are left driving on the side of the road over the bumpy things waiting to be able to merge over.

- Oh and I automatically just wave to every vehicle on the back roads now...every one waves!!!

- I am still yet to get used to the speed limit on the interstate of 70...I always grew up with it being posted as 75

- The springs are magnificent(sans the tornadoes)! Mornings and evenings are just the perfect temperature...perfect for meditation. I love smelling the honey suckles that surround our back deck...listening to the birds singing. I try to do this at least once a day to bring all of my thoughts together and to drown out the negative. I am at such peace at these moments...I can truly and literally feel how blessed I am.

- The hot & humid it literally takes your breath away. I also have very curly hair in the summer months!

- The winters are pretty mild as compared to Idaho and Colorado. I found myself missing actual powdery snow this past winter. The snow here is not is simply wet and soppy slush.

- I have yet to try a fried pickle! Everyone calls what ever flavor of soda a Coke. "What kind of Coke would you like?" The first time we ate out...I was a bit confused.

- Grown men do wear overalls...and I must say I like them!!! I asked the hubster if he would sport some for me when he gets a little big older :)

- College sports are taken very seriously here. Very seriously. Very.

Overall...I do love it is so beautiful! People truly are friendly and more then most are glad to lend you a helping hand and will give you the shirt off of their back...even complete strangers.