Friday, November 14, 2008


I just did some much needed updating to the "Must Reads" link list over there to the right. The list of blogs that I read everyday keeps growing and growing. So, if you have a moment check out some of those there blogs. They're all folks that I greatly admire for their talent and creativity.

Advent Calendars

I'm still in complete denial that the holidays are literally right around the corner. Even so, I've had advent calendars on the brain for awhile. I've really been wanting one for a few years now and I've decided this year I'm going to make it happen. I've been waffling back and forth as to if I want to make my own or just plunk down some cash for a nice wood one. I haven't seen too many cute, modern ones so I'm leaning towards crafting my own. There are definitely some really creative ideas out there.

Love, love, love this one, from Martha Stewart. I have no idea where I'd get all these perfectly coordinated socks but it's still such a great idea. Instructions are here.
This gorgeous calendar I found on Flickr was inspired by another Martha Stewart project here. It's by Laura Hartrich and I love her take on this project, this is such a beautiful wall display and would be perfect for those who don't have a mantle to hang anything on. (Me included)

While digging through photos on Flickr I stumbled on a great pool called Creative Advent Calendars. There is tons of inspiration and some really beautiful examples. Here's a few of my favorites.
I love the idea of packages in all shapes and sizes in this one by carambatack I think this would be especially interesting and fun for little ones, it would really feel like Christmas every day.
I adore the simplicity of this one by apfelbaum, what's even better I have everything on hand to make one like this. Has anyone else seen any great advent calendars out there?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Homemade Remedy for the Blahs

Man, I was in such a black mood yesterday. Well, to make up for my crankiness I thought I would share the recipe that helped raise my spirits. This is definitely not one for those who are carb conscious but sometimes you just need something that'll stick to your ribs and make you feel all warm and content. Here's what you'll need for these old-fashioned chicken and noodles:

1 small rotisserie chicken (I buy the pre-cooked ones from the grocery store, they always have great flavor and are a HUGE time savor. I use them for everything from soups to tacos.)
1 large container of chicken stock (You can substitute 2-3 cups homemade stock)
1 pkg of egg noodles (You can use any brand or style you like. I buy these homemade noodles that are made by local amish families, so yummy)
2 carrots chopped into bite size pieces
1 rib of celery chopped
1/2 of a small sweet onion
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste (I always go a bit heavy on the pepper, it's the way my grandmother always made it, so I love peppery chicken soups!)

In a big pot bring the chicken stock to a boil over medium/high heat. While you're waiting for the stock to boil get your chicken ready by pulling the meat of the bone and shredding the big pieces into bite-sized ones. I usually end of using about 2 cups of chicken but you can add as much or as little as you would like. After the stock comes to a boil add your carrots and let them cook about 5 minutes. Then add your celery and onion and cook another 5 min. Add your noodles and cook according to the package directions. These thick handmade ones usually take 20-25 minutes. After the noodles are tender add the chicken, the cream of chicken soup, garlic and onions powders, salt and pepper. I let this simmer over medium / low heat for another 15 min. until it's the consistency I want. I like my to be thicker but you can add more stock if you would like a thinner soup. I serve my noodles over buttery mashed potatoes but this is just as good on it's own. The best thing about this recipe is that it's so flexible. You can add really any veggie that you'd like (okra would be great, or leeks mmmm) so you can really customize it to your tastes. This really helped with the mid-week blues and today is much better. Although it could also be because it finally stopped raining and the sun is shining!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Creative Block

I fee like I've hit a brick wall today. I don't know if it's the dreary weather that's doing it but I just feel "blah". The day job has been sapping my energy and I'm just sitting here spinning my wheels and getting no-where. Even my computer has picked up on the mood around here and is refusing to send emails because my box is too full. And my office has gotten messy to the point that I'm digging through piles to find things, Time to clean. Ugh. I've got so many ideas running around in my head it seems like they've created a nice log-jam and absolutely nothing is getting through. Trying to manage the need to be creative to earn my paycheck and the want to be creative making my own things is usually a challenge that I enjoy but not today. I just want to curl up with a good book and not think about anything. Okay, I'm done whining for the day. Maybe some hot, homemade soup would do me some good. I think I'll make a trip to the store.

**Made some deliciously creamy chicken noodle soup and served it over mashed potatoes. Seriously the best cure for the mid-week blahs ever! The whole family agreed it was the perfect fare for this wet, cold day. **

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Guest Blogging

A few weeks ago Jan from ScoutieGirl posted a "Help Wanted" ad on her blog asking for volunteers to be guest contributors on her blog. Being a big fan of this fanstastic blog I offered to help. Every week I'll be hosting "Supply Side" which will be dedicated to handmade, hard-to-find or unique crafting supplies. It's an awesome excuse for me to browse Etsy even more than I already do! So if anyone has ideas for posts, whether you've recently seen some really great handmade supplies or you're looking for some and want some help, shoot me an email at, I would love to hear from you! See my first post from today here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

New in the Shop!

It's been way too long since anything new has hit the shop and I'm so excited about these pillow covers! I'm a little late for calendar season but better late than never! See them in the shop here.