Your Aura is Blue
Spiritual and calm, you tend to live a quiet but enriching life. You are very giving of yourself. And it's hard for you to let go of relationships. The purpose of your life: showing love to other people Famous blues include: Angelina Jolie, the Dali Lama, Oprah Careers for you to try: Psychic, Peace Corps Volunteer, Counselor

About Me

My photo
This blog started out as a way for me to display and sell my handmade jewelry creations. I have set up shop on, where my shop name is "Dreamin of Beadin". The link to my Etsy store is located on the right hand side of this page. Please check me out!! If jewelry's not your thing, then check out the site anyway ~ there are plenty of talented artists selling lots of cool things there. For your reading pleasure, this blog will serve as a sneak peek into what's going on "behind the scenes" in my world. I love to cook, so there will be plenty of recipes, as well as product reviews and the occasional product giveaway (woo hoo!) I also love to take pictures of anything and everything, and I just bought a new camera, so there will be plenty of photos. And I like wine too, so things could get pretty interesting . . . Thank you for your support of me, Etsy and "all things handmade" :)


Spoke Too Soon

If you haven't already, read down to my 7/29 post . . . Then look here. I am such a dork :)


Watch Your Step

I’m a self-proclaimed klutz. I’ve tripped going both up and down stairs, slipped on ice, and twisted my ankle by stepping in a hole. For this reason I’ve resorted to wearing flats or shoes with a very short heel. Although I’m just not that graceful no matter what I wear ~ I once fell on my face while wearing the flattest dress sandals that I own.
So for all of you klutzes (and non-klutzes) out there, this story is a word of warning. It really got me thinking when I saw it. Not trying to scare anyone, it’s just a reminder of how something as normal as walking up or down the stairs can turn into a freak accident. Be careful!


Let's Go Shopping!

A fellow Etsian runs a daily feature on her very popular blog where she showcases a complete outfit, coordinating accessories and all ~ (her requirements are that two of the four items must come from Etsy). Pretty cool, eh?? She has asked for submissions from her readers, so a while ago I gave it a shot and came up with my own little virtual ensemble. Well, seeing that it's been a few weeks and I've heard nothing back, I'm quite sure my little ditty went into the rejection pile. So, for what it's worth, I'm posting it on my own blog . . . because I think it's cute, dammit. See below, and let me know what you think, please:

Heather grey jersey shirred V-neck dress by linQ; "La Fleur" necklace by Beau and Stella on Etsy (also available in Silver plated); The "Katherine" bag by BDoodles on Etsy; "Davon" sandals by Nine West;

It's the perfect outfit for a day of shopping, I think!


Late Bloomers

By now just about everything in my little garden has done its thing for the season . . . kinda makes me sad :( I look so forward to seeing all my little babies open up for the first time. Before I get all sentimental, I thought I'd share the latest. The good news is that now we have goodies we can actually eat, like these grape tomatoes. They really started to ripen in the last week. My favorite thing right now is a fresh tomato slice with salt and pepper on it ~ Mmmmmm!!!!
My beautiful Rose of Sharon is filled with awesome blooms like these
More purple ~ I love these coneflowers!
These are Rutger tomatoes. They aren't ready for picking just yet, neither are the Romas. When they are, we'll have more tomatoes than we know what to do with. That just means lots of Basil, tomato and mozzarella salad for us :)
We have peppers! So far the Anaheim, Inferno, and Poblanos have ripened. That means salsa making time is right around the corner.


Here's the Dish: Jay's Philly Ranch Cheeseburgers

Today’s delicious recipe comes from Jay Towers, who is a local radio/TV personality. A few weeks ago while driving to work one morning, I heard him talking about these amazing Philly Ranch Cheeseburgers that he makes. They sounded unbelievable, so I was anxious to try them for myself. This past weekend we did just that ~ I promise you, they were the bomb! There’s NOTHING in them that is very good for you at all, but if you’re going to be bad, you might as well go all the way :) Best of all, they are very easy to make ~ here is what you need:

1 Pound Ground Beef

1 Large Vidalia Onion

1/4 Stick Butter

1 Package Hidden Valley Ranch Mix

1 egg

Thin Sliced White American Cheese

Garlic Salt

For further instructions and to see a demo of them being grilled, you can go here.


Fresh Etsy Shop: Wooly Bulle'

I'm very excited to bring you a brand spankin' new shop on Etsy, called Wooly Bulle'!! The wonderful lady behind it has been a dear friend of mine for a while now, and I couldn't be happier that she is venturing into the world of handmade. Actually, she's been doing this for quite a while, but she's now sharing her awesome products with the rest of us. Wooly Bulle' (love the name!) specializes in handmade lotions, soap and laundry powders that are all natural and free of anything that's artificial. These were developed out of necessity due to allergies, so they are tried and true. I've sampled the lotions that you see pictured, as well as the luxurious Lavender soap. Let me tell you, they are fabulous! The soap is luxurious and rich lathering, yet it doesn't leave a nasty film on your skin. I've tried many handmade soaps and some of them don't lather that well. Maybe it doesn't make a difference, but to me it does because those suds make me feel clean :) Today I applied the yummy Lavender Body Lotion and I can't stop sniffing myself! Hours after applying, the scent is still there, but it's not overpowering. Some people don't care for the scent of Lavender, (although I love it), but this stuff is subtle and clean smelling. If you have sensitive skin, no worries. I am super sensitive to many body products so let me assure you that this line gets the stamp of approval!
My next purchase will be the Unscented Laundry Powder ~ at $8.00 for a 32 oz. bag this is quite a value (washes 36-48 loads). The best part is that it is ecologically friendly ~ you can't beat that!
Hope you'll decide to give one of these products a try for yourself!


My Heart

Today I was tagged by Alison Kelley to post a photo that represents my heart. I knew it would be of these people, but I couldn't choose just one, so I made this mosaic:
My family, my friends, my best friend and loving husband of 9, going on 10, years. I've got the best of the best, and they make my life awesome!


Know Your Stones: Pudding Stone

Have you ever heard of Pudding Stone? I had not, until we saw one on our lighthouse tour last week. This type of stone is a conglomerate that is made of many different types of rock. The type that is found in the particular area of Lake Huron where we were in Northern Michigan is characterized by pieces of Red Jasper throughout. Years ago, people started calling it "Pudding Stone" because it reminded them of bread pudding filled with currants or jellies. I was intrigued by this type of rock ~ as you can see, it is very unusual, but pretty. This rocky shoreline is one spot where Pudding stone could be found. The water was so clear and inviting, but it was too cold to swim!
The lighthouse docent told us about a local man who creates many things by slicing Pudding Stone with a diamond saw. In our travels, we passed his house where a big red sign out front read "PUDDING STONE, ROCKS, CRAFTS". We stopped in and met Larry, a biker dude with a Grizzly Adams beard. Larry was one of the most interesting people I have ever met. He invited us in and showed us all of his creations, such as lighthouses, crosses, lamps and clocks. He painstakingly creates them by slicing the stones and then piecing them together. It's actually more complicated then that but nobody can explain it better than Larry. Before he can create, he must hunt for rocks ~ he has amassed quite a collection of them, which he proudly showed us. I'll admit, I was envious of them :) He did share one of his secret spots for finding Petoskey, which is the state stone of Michigan. About the only thing Larry doesn't make is beads, pendants or jewelry, but I told him he should! I could have had a few beers with good 'ol Larry and listened to his stories for hours, he was that amazing.
In fact, he gave us that rock you see in the background, which is fossilized coral that he dug up on his property. I gave him a funny look when he told me, seeing that the Great Lakes that surround us are freshwater and do not contain coral. As Larry explained, millions (or billions) of years ago, this area was probably all ocean.
The rock in the foreground is Petoskey, which is fossilized coral that was formed by glaciers and is relatively common to Northern Michigan. Rocks are cool!


Exciting News

Allow me to toot my horn just a little bit ~ I've got some exciting news to share. It involves one of my favorite things to do aside from making jewelry, gardening, and cooking . . . and that is taking photos. I've been published! One of my pictures from our trip to Mackinac Island last fall was selected to appear in the July/August '09 issue of American Spirit magazine. This is a wonderful publication that represents the Daughters of the American Revolution. The magazine is full of interesting articles and this issue features the history behind the unique place that is Mackinac. I'm really proud that my photo was chosen!


Here's the Dish: Huevos Rancheros

Breakfast for dinner is very popular at my house. There are some days when the last thing I want to do is spend hours cooking after being at work for 8-10 hours ~ believe it or not. This dish is a no brainer, which is why we love it so. Mr. V's speciality is eggs so he can even whip this up all by his big self. I love a man who can cook ;) First, start with fresh ingredients like the ones you see pictured above. Chop them up to make a fresh salsa, such as this one. Or, to save time and effort, just open a jar of salsa. There's no right or wrong here, my peeps. (Although the fresh does taste better!)
Heat a tortilla in a pan that has been coated with oil. When it turns golden brown, flip it over, and sprinkle some shredded cheese on the side that has browned.
When the cheese has melted a little, crack an egg over it. The secret here is to keep your heat at about medium so you don't burn the tortilla to bits. The egg will run, but that's OK. We aren't going for Martha Stewart perfection here. When the egg has set or started to turn white at the edges, flip the entire thing over. This gets messy, trust me, but it's OK. Just cook the egg for a few more minutes and then flip it onto a plate.
Add your salsa, beans (they were in the salsa here), sour cream, Tabasco sauce, and whatever else you like.
I like mine with scrambled eggs :)


Shop Update ~ Meet Josie!

I'd like you to meet "Josie" . . . she's a mannequin that I picked up at a rummage sale a few years ago. (It's a funny story, really) She was a real bargain at $2! I brought her home, gave her a fresh coating of white paint, but something was not quite right. After "padding" her a bit so she would fill out my tops, I decided she was ready to face the world. You will be seeing her model jewelry in my shop from now on, so I hope you like her :)


Getting Away

One unique aspect of the state of Michigan is that most of the northern part of it is unspoiled land that is dotted with miles of shoreline and sandy beaches, thanks to the Great Lakes that surround us. It is a vacationer's paradise, and the perfect place to escape the rigors of daily life. This past weekend, we did just that. Although the cooler weather made it feel more like October than July, we enjoyed the great outdoors and all that Mother Nature has to offer. Here are just a few pics of the gorgeous scenery:
Sunset over Thunder Bay ~ the east side of MI is known as the "Sunrise Side", however I think the sunsets are pretty, too. Looking out over Lake Huron ~ this view was from atop the Presque Isle lighthouse, which was one of four lighthouses we explored during the trip.
Here we are, along with our niece, at the "new" Presque Isle lighthouse. It was built in 1870 ~ so it's not really that new!


Weed Woes

I absolutely detest pulling weeds, but unfortunately it is one of those necessary evils of gardening. As much as we try to keep up with this daunting task, we got a little behind on it ~ in one part due to the July 4th holiday weekend (I refuse to do manual labor on a holiday!) and also because of feeling a bit under the weather during the week that followed. So . . . tonight Mr. V. and I went out and tackled those nasty weeds! What a job it was ~ now I know where the saying "growing like a weed" comes from ~ they really do grow much faster than plants! I would love to hear your suggestions for keeping the weeds under control . . . please!!! While we were in the garden, I snapped this photo of a busy bumblebee gathering pollen from my white lavender plant. I can see why Mr. Bee loves this one ~ it smells divine!!


Know Your Stones: Chrysocolla

It's easy to see why Chrysocolla is a favorite stone of mine. Its characteristic shades of blue and green are extraordinarily beautiful. Chrysocolla is a mineral with a hardness of 2.5 to 3.5, and it is sometimes mistaken for turquoise. Its name comes from the Greek word "chrysos" which means "gold", and "kolla", which means "glue". In folklore Chrysocolla is associated with tranquility and peace, intuition, patience, and unconditional love. It is thought to offer gentle and soothing qualities, which I attribute to the color blue that is so reminiscent of water. Its healing properties include relief from ulcers and arthritis. This gorgeous piece from jaC jewelry features chunky nuggets of Chrysocolla ~ isn't it fabulous?! I've had my eye on this spectacular necklace for quite some time.


Fun with Mosaic Maker

I've been having lots of fun playing around with fd's Flickr Toys ~ here is a mosaic I created out of photos I took of my flowers: They are, starting at top left: White lavender, purple day lillies, phlox, dahlia, isotoma, red day lily. Yeah, I know what you're thinking ~ I need to get a life!! LOL


Shop Update ~ "DOB" Gets a New Look

My shop got a new banner today ~ take a look and let me know what you think! I had an idea in mind, but didn't have the know-how to make it happen. So, I had help from the wonderful Viki of Tiamat Designs. This was all made possible through the Alchemy feature on Etsy. This feature lets you post an idea for a custom order and then other members "bid" on the opportunity to create the item for you. It was a lot of fun to do!


Happy Fourth!

Hope you are enjoying this 4th of July holiday!!!


Here's the Dish: Beer Can Chicken

I bet there's a pretty good chance you'll be consuming food that was cooked on a BBQ grill this 4th of July weekend. At my house, we love to cook outdoors, and have been using our grill since the weather broke in March. We love to get creative, and the following recipe is a lot of fun. This one comes from Weber's "Real Grilling", and it results in the tastiest, most succulent beer can chicken we've ever experienced. Be sure to read my tips at the very bottom ~ it could save you a lot of pain and suffering if this is your first attempt at grilling a whole chicken on a can of beer. It took Mr. V. and I many trial runs until we perfected our technique. A few years ago, we nearly burnt down our garage and ruined a perfectly good grill by doing a few things wrong. But, I'm not really supposed to mention that incident ;)
Beer Can Chicken with Rosemary and Thyme

For the Rub:

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. paprika (We like to use smoked hot Hungarian paprika ~ I highly suggest it)

1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. lemon zest

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Other stuff:

1 Whole chicken (about 4 lbs.)

2 tsp. EVOO

1 can (12 oz.) beer, at room temperature

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 clove garlic, crushed

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes


1. Combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl

2. Remove and discard the neck and giblets and any excess fat from the chicken. Lightly rub the chicken all over with the oil. Season the chicken inside and out with the rub. (Don't forget to season between the skin layer and the breast) Tuck the tips of the wings behind the chicken's back.

3. Open the beer can and pour out half the beer. Put the rosemary, garlic, lemon juice, thyme, and red pepper flakes into the beer can ~ they will flavor the steam. Using a can opener, make 2 more holes in the top of the can. Place the beer on a solid surface. Plunk the chicken cavity over the beer can (READ my tips, below)

4. Transfer the bird-on-a-can to the grill. Grill over Indirect Medium heat until the juices run clear and the internal temperature registers 170 degrees F in the breast and 180 degrees F in the thickest part of the thigh, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Carefully remove the chicken and can from the grill (do not spill contents of the beer can, as it will be very hot). Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before lifting from the beer can and cutting into serving pieces. Serve warm. Makes 4 servings.

If you're serious about this, I suggest investing in a contraption like this one (above). This rack is specifically built to hold two cans of beer and two chickens. Trust me, a dead bird on a can is not very stable and is difficult to maneuver when hot. Racks like this one cost about $10 and can easily be found at places like Home Depot.
I cannot stress how important it is to grill on Indirect heat. Don't get hasty and put the bird over an open flame. You will end up with a grease fire like none other ~ complete with flammable alchohol thrown into the mix. Take your time with this one ~ it takes at least 1 1/2 hours to cook. So, grab a couple beers from that 12 pack, kick back for a while, and enjoy.