Happy Turkey Day!

Ready for Turkey? Okay, so those are chickens. I don't have a picture of turkeys.

These are my parents "girls". They live in Seattle and bring us some beautiful blue, green and tan eggs every so often in exchange for our leftover egg carton containers. As an added bonus about once a year we go and get some garbage cans full of wonderful handmade (clawmade?) chicken compost for our garden. It's a wonderfully green little cycle we have going.

A fresh egg has some fantastic properties that those store bought eggs don't have. Despite us buying the naturally humane eggs (little tip: when it comes to eggs, look for the word humane). The girls' eggs still knock their socks off though when it comes to freshness, nutritional qualities, color, texture and holding their yolks and shape in a pan. As a bonus, they are lap chickens. (yup, lap chickens). Truly happy, free range, garden picken chickens (not at all like those "happy cows" they talk about from California). I'm all for you getting a chicken or two.

Plus, they are cute! Look at those little suspicious faces!

So, I currently have about 28 eggs due to the last visit to the "city chickens" and need to make something.... lemon meringue pie, angel food cake....

What uses lots of eggs?

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Add a comment with your shop link and I will add you to the list on the right.
First on the list is my very first follower. :)

Caramel Pear Crumble, easier than pie

So, you want a hot dessert with a little ice cream but don't want to go messing around in the kitchen with all the measuring and mixing and all that jazz.

I have your answer. I am always just tossing things in a pot, or the oven and seeing what happens. When it's good, I'll let you know. This is one of those times!

What's great about it is it only requires you to dirty a pastry cutter (or a fork), a knife, peeler, one bowl and one oven safe serving bowl (which can be the same bowl that you mixed it in). It takes about 10 minutes of prep, and 30 minutes to bake.

Pears (or other pealed fruit, the harder the fruit, the longer you may want to bake it depending on how soft you want it.)
Brown Sugar
Rolled Oats

You have those things right? I make sure to grab a couple bartlet pears every so often when I want to make this.
Preheat the oven to 350*

For one serving:
peal and core one medium pear (one pear can make 2 servings if you want), slice it or cube it if you want. Place it into a oven safe single serving bowl.

Place about 2Tbsp softened (not melted) butter in the bowl. Add about 4Tbsp rolled oats and 4Tbsp Brown sugar and blend them with a pastry cutter or by pressing into it with a large fork. It should become crumbly after a little bit at which point I always like to test it :)

Place it gently (James likes his pressed down, I like mine crumbly) on top of the pears in the oven save serving bowl. This is the point at which you decide what ratio of pairs to crumble topping you like for future reference. I like it when the pears are covered and the crumble is able to caramelize against the side of the bowl. Depending on your bowl, you may need to adjust the recipe. I recommend winging it, it works fine with these simple ones.

Bake at 35* for about 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and let set for 10 minutes, cause if you burn your tongue it's just not as good. Ice cream helps though, it' s really yummie on top.


More recipes (lasagna) are on their way soon.

Elevation views are my favorites!

So, this is part of the ruins that we are planning on installing for the client. They will be functional as well as decorative. One set holds a (hopefully artist made) chandelier over the main patio in the center of the garden. The other is a set of pillars that will drip water from the tops.

You know that great sound when drops of water echo in a chamber? That is the effect this will have as the drops drip from 10 feet into the sunken basin (unearthed from thousands of years of ruins). This is a more hidden feature in the clients reading/tea patio meant to intrigue interest in the "unseen" parts of the garden.

It is a big property relative to those we have installed in the past because they are fortunate to have a double lot. It gives us the opportunity to incorporate all the clients wishes for their garden. I cannot wait for the color to be added to these drawings! I'll keep you updated on progress.

A day in the life of a landscape designer

It's coming along. A new landscape design in the works...plant choices and hardscape has been determined, this is the final draft that will have color drawn in and be presented to the client. We hope to be able to install it next year. This one has some wonderful features that we have not been able to incorporate in prior designs. It's gonna be great!

Wanna see more? Before and afters, and more days in the life...

Swarovski rivoli crystals in my eyes....

I have a feeling that you are going to like these. And heck, if you don't I will just hoard them with the rest of my beady type things.

I will be making more of these soon. If you want a certain color, let me know! Wanna see them closer, click on the photos, as these two are still available as of tonight.

I resolve to be organized!

Some may say I am already organized, like my sister (for example) who is, we will say, not so organized. I'm sure she thinks I'm a bit of a freak, but will not say anything because she tends to benefit from it.
So for those who do not already know that I am slightly obsessive with things, I'm laying it all out there. I spend much of my time keeping little tiny individuals in their place. Over the last... few years (we'll say) I have developed a favorite way to keep my beads in their place.

I love the clear glass top tins that I keep my flowers in. They come in a little square container with a foamy pad on the underside of the lid. My only complaint is that the container itself is not clear. But really, for the ease of storage they are one of my favorites.

They come in different sizes too, so they are good for the little beady things, and the bigger beady things.

Ya want some? (Yes you do!) Consider it your New Years Resolution gift to yourself. :) Just search in the containers section of my favorite online surplus store, they have some great things!
American Science and Surplus

Another little beauty of a box is this one that I found at a Asian market store. It's totally clear with a clear lid that fits over the top and it holds my seed beads perfectly! I have no idea where to find this online.

However, Tap Plastics has some great options that are very similar. It's really worth a look to find the perfect size container for your particular craft. They have retail stores as well as the online shop.

Then there are the flip top tic-tac style containers. So far they have held up to my gentle
use. I like these because they make it so easy to see what you are looking for! I have mine arranged by color so I can just pull out what I need in a second. They have actual little hinge buttons rather than the thin plastic fold over that always seems to eventually leave you with a lidless container.

These are becoming more widely available over the last few years. The prices are competitive too, which is nice to see. I get mine from Fusion Beads because of the free domestic shipping and they are local and nice people to do business with.
Another obsession I have, that feeds my need to be organized is to scrounge around and find boxes at garage sales and thrift stores. This is a cute little box that holds my unruly wire stash. It's an old Merle Norman box that I found at grandmas garage sale. I love that is is hinged and has a clear top. It's also very sturdy , which works great for the sire since it is a little heavier than the beads.

So there you have it, my bead storage methods. It's definitely worth it to be organized and know what you have. Cause noone want's to spend time looking for things when they could be crafting!

Look what I made! :)

Can you say rainy season?

This rainchain feeds from about 20 feet of gutter. The gutter was full...

It appears you like to enter drawings...

Well here is a giveaway drawing that a fellow Etsy friend of mine is having!

dkjewels has a great Etsy store for you to browse. She has some fantabulous jewelry, and I am happy to pass on this great opportunity to others. She has a great blog too!

Check it out, and enter your name in the giveaway!

Free gift Expired

Thanks to everyone for their comments on my blog! I appreciate all the new followers and will try my best to keep everyone coming back.

One way of doing that is occasionally offering up something special to those who check my blog on a regular basis.

Todays special offer with purchase is:

a pair of freshwater blue pearl earrings on sterling silver.

Adorably petite dyed pearl earrings in a light sky blue on small sterling silver earwires. They are a tad longer than .75 inches or 2.2cm

This offer is transferable, so tell your friends! Be sure to let them know about this blog too!

Mention "blue pearl" in the notes to seller as you check out, purchases must be made by midnight, November 10th (Etsy/NY time aka Eastern Standard Time). There is no dollar limit for this special offer, everyone who mentions it will receive the free gift while supplies last.

And the Winner is!!!!!

There were 167 comments in total.

We.... Krista cut them up into strips and drew the winner....

Congratulations to... paintdropsflipflops !!!

Her entry dated the 7th of November at 8:12AM was the winner!

The item she indicated in her entry was the Rain Pendant on a sterling silver necklace.
Thanks to all who entered!
Please check back often.
I plan on doing more of these giveaway drawings in the future.

The Giveaway, what do you want?

This giveaway is now closed, check back to enter in for future drawings!

Thank you to everyone who entered! I really appreciate the wonderful comments and read through every one. Thank you for your compliments and encouragement!

One of the reasons I wanted to do this was to see what everyone chose as their favorites from my shop. I went through the entries and carefully added all the choices to come up with the most "loved" items. A total of 65 different items from my shop were represented in the voting choices, along with one item from somewhere else....

Off all the entries, here are those that were chosen most often, an how many times they were chosen. The winner chose the item with the starburst, and I hearted my favorite in the price range.

A big thanks to Etsy for including me in the Storques Weekend Deals!

Each comment (enter as much as you like) gets an entry that I will put into a hat and draw from on Sunday 11/09/08 evening. Entrys close at 11:00 etsy time (NY, USA)

I'm giving away an item from my LiciaBeads shop.

Even better, you choose the item you want to win!

Select your item from my shop listings at LiciaBeads

Choose any one item priced up to $30.01 and add a link to the listing in your comment about my shop.

Make sure I am able to contact you if you win.

Thank you to my followers, and a note on future "scheduled programming"

I just wanted to extend my gratitude to everyone who has been so supportive of me, and of others!

For the time being, I am keeping the giveaway post at the top of the page, so that everyone who wants to enter, can find it easily.

I have been asking around about what people want to see more of and have made some decisions about the ongoing edition of this blog...

This is a list of what to look forward to seeing during the next few months:

I will be updating the photography tutorial soon specifically as it applies to jewelry photography.
Stay tuned for more recipes including dinners and links to online stores where I get specialty products for cooking with.
I'll be promoting other handmade sellers as well
There will be ongoing special offers and giveaways.
I will probably be talking about my cats, the garden progress, the weather, and look forward to taking photos of the holiday decorations at my house.

Let me know if you want to add anything else! I always enjoy your input!

My messy desk. I didn't clean it yet....

So this is my desk.... I'll give you the tour (Left to right). Out of view left of the computer monitor is my postal scale and pet bunny from spidercamp. On the computer, twitter on the left, Etsy chat on the right of the screen. Printer for printing mailing labels, with my postcards from vacationing family, my task light/photography studio... the fake headless lady (display bust) and velvet boards... and mailing tracking receipts...

The desk back consists of all my beady supplies. On top of the desk.. .that pink thing, are my fake soap dentures from aBreathofFrenchair, the camera and keyboard, wrist wrests from ComfyCreations... and the current necklace on my bead mat. oh, and a pile of bills... did I miss that?

Okay... here is a lighter one...