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" :)


Let's Play Dress Up

Who doesn't love to get dolled up for a night on the town?! I don't often get the chance to anymore, but that doesn't mean that I can't dream. With Fall wedding and Homecoming dance season in full swing, I thought I'd put together this little get-up featuring one of my latest creations. I love blue and brown together. You can find all these goodies (except for the dress), on Etsy! Details on where to shop can be found beneath the mosaic:
Peacock Clutch Purse in Teal and Gold Silk Brocade Antique Brass Frame,$75, from Clutch That!;


Little Splurges . . .

. . . to make us feel better. Remember my post from the other day about my sick co-workers? Well, guess who else caught the "bug" that's going around? That would be me. Despite all my valiant efforts, it got to me too. No worries, it's not the H1N1 virus, but it's bad enough to zap my energy and leave me feeling like I need to buy stock in Kleenex. In between naps today, I spent some time surfing Etsy in search of items under $15 that might help cure what's got me 'illin.
Orange Shortbread cookies from LH Confections, $6. I love shortbread, but orange shortbread!? That sounds like something I need to try, and quick. The added Vitamin C from the orange might be just the thing I need. Scent of Morocco Batik Style soap, from Twin Dream Creations, $4. This has to be the prettiest soap I've seen! I'm sure once my nose is no longer plugged up, I'll love the scents of Bamboo, Vetiver Grass, and Vanilla Orchid that are in it.
Lychee Jasmine Green tea by Infusions Tea, $12 for the large size. I've had my eye on this stuff for a while. There's nothing like a cup of tea when you're under the weather. I love it!


Here's the Dish: Toasted Orzo Pilaf

This aromatic dish smells and tastes like Fall. I love it with every inch of my carb-craving being. I could eat the leftovers for days and never get tired of it. In fact, this is going to replace one of the ol' standby's on the menu this Thanksgiving, if I have anything to say about it.
Toasted Orzo Pilaf
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup orzo pasta
3 cups canned chicken broth
6 green onions
6 large button mushrooms
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
salt and pepper
1. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in medium saucepan.
2. Add orzo and stir until pasta is toasted, about 3-5 minutes.
3. Add broth, bring to a boil and cook pasta until done; drain.
4. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan.
5. Add green onions and mushrooms and cook until crisp-tender.
6. Add pine nuts, salt and pepper to taste.
7. Stir in the cooked orzo and fresh parsley, and heat through.


Shining the Spotlight On: Bastille Bleu

I don’t recall exactly when I stumbled upon Bastille Bleu, but I do know that I’m so glad I found this talented Etsian. After coveting her lampwork bead sets for a while, I finally purchased two of them a few weeks ago. When they arrived all meticulously wrapped in pretty packaging, I knew I had found a shining star. I was more than thrilled with my new acquisitions, which is why I would like to share my experience with you. Read on to learn more about Nikki, the sweet lady behind Bastille Bleu.
Tell us a little about *you*:
My name is Kimberly Nicole and I’m a wife, mother of two grown sons and two dogs (a reddish golden retriever and a Boston terrier) and grandmother of two, residing in Milwaukee, WI. Two years ago we bought a gorgeous 100 year old house where I currently make my lampwork glass beads full time in my in-home studio.
Tell us about your craft ~ How did you get started? What keeps you motivated and inspired?
I am self-taught and have been “torching” (aka making glass beads) going on 3 years now. I’ve always been fascinated with glass beads and how they were made, after attending a demo 10 years ago. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get started on this fun adventure in glass bead making until my two sons were grown and my life settled down a bit, and I’ve been addicted ever since!
What inspires me is just about anything from a drive in the countryside, to a clothing catalog, as well as the many uber-talented glass artists of today such as Kimberly Affleck, Candace Seebler, Corina Tettinger, Bill Rasmussen, and Anne Ricketts, to name a few! Color, my emotions, and my love of melting glass are what fuel my creativity.
How did you first hear about Etsy?
I happened upon Etsy simply by browsing the internet for inspiration. Little did I know then how much inspiration I would continue to receive after joining Etsy!
What is the best piece of advice that you could give to a new Etsy seller?
Patience, Persistence, and Promotion! I think for most of us once we join, it takes a little time to begin being “seen” by buyers as there are so many shops and so many creative categories available, but with a little patience and “homework”, it will pay off! There are so many good tips for newcomers and even those of us who have been around for a while too… but here are a few of mine.
The easiest way of drawing attention to your shop is by visiting other shops and “hearting” them as your favorite. Most times, those shops are happy to do the same for you which getting your shop in the front door to success.
I also would encourage newcomers to utilize the forums by putting a post out asking other sellers to critique your shop. This draws attention to your shop, and can provide you with valuable information from experienced sellers on how you can maximize your potential with their tips and advice.
Lastly, I would definitely use the free banners and avatars that Etsy provides as it is an inexpensive way to give your shop a professional look until you’re able to purchase a banner and avatar set from some of the talented web designers on Etsy. Also, provide simple, brief and understandable shop policies and listing descriptions, ship your items as quickly as possible after payment, and make customer service a priority!
These are just a few things that can greatly help newcomers to Etsy become successful.
Time to toot your own horn ~ tell us about your proudest crafting achievement (either on or off Etsy)
I think my proudest achievement was creating something that someone wanted to purchase from me . . . my first sale on Etsy! After 3 months of waiting for a sale and not sure what I should be doing or not doing, I was more than elated when I woke up the next morning to find that someone had bought one of my bead sets! Although that first sale was over 2 years ago, and my beads are much more professional looking now . . . the feeling you get is always like the “first time!" It’s beyond exciting!
Tell us about your featured shop item
I’m a huge fan of holidays and the whimsical stuff. I think Halloween and Christmas are my favorite times of year when making glass beads because of the fun and creativity that can be done with glass beads. I’m currently making my Halloween and Fall sets (my favorite time of year), and they usually are the source of my biggest sales.
We all know there is Life outside of Etsy ~ what do you like to do in your “spare” time?
Most of my spare time is creating glass beads, but I also participate in a medieval re-creation group called the Society of Creative Anachronism, which is a world-wide organization of people who enjoy recreating the Middle Ages from the 600 to 1600th century in their clothing, trade skills, martial arts, heraldry, pageantry, cooking, daily living, etc. In fact this is where I first learned about Lampworking/Flamework 10 years ago, as it is an art form that has been around since the early Viking days. When I’m not playing in the “middle ages” or making glass beads, I like to cross stitch, sew, cook and bake, and spend time with my family and friends.
Thanks Nikki! Be sure to check out Bastille Bleu (psst . . . I hear there's a SALE going on!) ~ you can also see her finished designs here.


They're all sick!

I returned to work today after enjoying an extended weekend, only to learn that nearly everyone in my work group is sick! Ugh. Here we go again, I thought to myself. Last Winter was a constant battle. There always seemed to be some type of nasty virus circulating around. It’s only September and the sneezing and hacking coughs have started up already. I suppose it could be allergies, but in at least two cases it sounds more serious. So, I’ve been beefing up the Vitamin C intake, washing my hands like someone with OCD, wiping my workstation down with the disinfecting wipes, and doing whatever I can to ward off the germies and build up my immune system. Help! I could really use your tips on what you do to stay healthy when you’re subjected to those who refuse to keep their illnesses at home!


Shop Update: Fall Has Arrived!

I’ve been really, really busy creating new items lately. At the moment there are well over 200 pieces of jewelry for sale in my shop. That is truly a record for me ~ proof of just how busy I have been! In the past few days I began listing the first of my latest Fall inspired creations, and I’ve still got a bunch more to go. For now, take a look at these brand new earrings. All of them feature leaves. See, I wasn’t kidding when I said I have a leaf obsession!

Green Leaves


Here's the Dish: Warm Chickpea Salad

This is a hearty salad that I make often. It has all the Middle Eastern inspired flavors that I love, plus it’s loaded with a lot of stuff that’s good for you, like fiber and protein. The below recipe yields quite a bit ~ I’m basing this on two people. Keep this in mind if you’re making it for only one or two. You’ll end up with a lot of leftovers, but if you’re like me then that means instant lunch for the next day at work!
Warm Chickpea Salad
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 pinch dried chili pepper flakes
1 1/2 lemon, juice of
1-2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic & cook gently for 5–7 minutes until soft and transparent.
2. Add the chickpeas, ginger, and chili flakes and stir for about 30 seconds. Then add the lemon juice and let the mixture bubble until almost dry. Next add the cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Place the chickpea mixture into a serving bowl and pour over the remaining olive oil. Sprinkle the cumin and paprika on top, gently stir then serve warm.


Giveaway Winner

I promised the winner of my latest Earring Giveaway would be announced today :) I'm sorry that it took me so long to post this; I'm sure you're all sitting on the edge of your seats, right?! First I'd like to thank everyone who entered. I truly enjoyed reading your comments! A special thanks to those who went the extra step and tweeted, blogged, and became fans. This was so much fun that I'm already planning my next giveaway, so stay tuned to this blog in the coming weeks ;) And now, the winner is (drumroll) . . . Nelsby (Aimee)!!!! Congratulations to you! I'll be contacting you to find out where to send your new earrings.


I Need One of These!

When Zumba starts up in a few weeks, I'm going to need to stay hydrated, no doubt. I prefer to drink water, but try to limit the amount of bottled water that I consume. My mom has me all freaked out about drinking from them. She says the plastic leaches into the water and causes cancer. Who knows if that's true or not, but I sure don't want to find out. So, while I was shopping at my brand new neighborhood Target the other day, these cute aluminum water bottles caught my eye. They're not only practical and functional, but fashionable too. I like that! I think I need one of these.


An Etsy Favorite ~ Soapalaya Soaps

I have found the facial cleanser that I've been searching for ~ it is this product from Soapalaya Soaps on Etsy. As I've mentioned once or twice, I have very sensitive skin that is prone to breakouts. Most commerical skin care products irritate my skin and cause it to dry out. I always feel like I am fighting a non-winning battle with my face. Recently I tried this all natural cleanser, and I've been in love ever since. You just mix the dry powder with a little bit of water and work it into your skin. It can be left on for a few extra minutes like a mask. The light lavender scent is not overpowering and it smells very clean and refreshing. There's lots of good, all natural stuff in this cleanser, as well as everything Soapalaya makes. You might even be lucky enough to receive a few soap samples, like I was. I am loving the Litsea Cubeba and Lemon soap, and will have to go back for more very soon!


I'm a Football Widow

Well, I am officially a football widow for the next few months. Last night marked the kickoff to the NFL season, with the first “non exhibition” televised game. Forgive me if I’m not saying that right, clearly I am not the football aficionado in the house. Aside from the profanity laced yelling that goes on, I really don’t mind that Mr. V. becomes so engrossed in this game that I do not and will not ever care to understand. It’s really OK, because that just gives me more free time to spend on the things that I enjoy doing. It’s a fair trade, I think!
Photo courtesy of


Here's the Dish: The Best Blueberry Pie Ever!

I’ll admit, I’ve never been a fan of pie . . . unless it is filled with chocolate and whip cream and gooey stuff like that. I’d much prefer a cheesecake anyday. So, when Mr. V. requested a blueberry pie, I told him the only way he’d get one would be if he baked it himself. Boy, was I surprised when he agreed to do it! The man has never baked a thing in his life, that I am aware of. This would be interesting. I found a recipe that sounded pretty tantalizing, and one day we decided to make it. He did all of the manual labor ~ I just stood by to supervise, so he wouldn’t confuse a teaspoon with a tablespoon, and that kind of thing. The end result was this amazingly delicious slice of blueberry goodness that you see before you. Let me tell you, it was awesome. I can honestly say that I am now a pie lover for life.
Blueberry Sour Cream Pie
Ingredients: 1 unbaked pie crust, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 1 cup sour cream, 1 egg, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen), For the Topping: 3 tablespoons flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons finely chopped pecans Directions: 1. Mix sugar and flour together in bowl. 2. Beat in sour cream, egg,vanilla and salt together until smooth (about 5 minutes). 3. Fold in blueberries. 4. Pour into pie crust, and bake at 400F for 25 minutes. (May need to adjust temperature and time for frozen berries). 5. Meanwhile, combine topping ingredients. 6. Remove pie from oven after the 25 minutes, and sprinkle on topping. 7. Return pie to oven and bake 10 minutes more. 8. Chill before serving.
If you need proof, here is a photo of the man in action, pouring the filling into the crust. Yes, it was a pre-made crust. I haven’t made a pie crust from scratch since 7th grade "Home Ec" class. Sometimes the short cuts are necessary, but in this case, one might think you spent half a day in the kitchen. It is that good.


It's Giveaway Time!

Times are tough for a lot of people right now, so I thought I’d do my part to try and spread some cheer :) With that said, I am giving away these fabulous earrings to one lucky winner!! They are handmade by yours truly and feature aqua (glass) quartz with Citrine and oxidized Sterling Silver findings.

Here’s how to win them:

Leave a comment on this post ~ be sure to leave a way for me to contact you in the event that you are the winner. Entries must be received by 12:00 am EST on 9/15/09. A name will be selected at random and the winner will be contacted no later than 9/16/09. This giveaway is open to anyone age 18 or older.


**Here’s how to increase your odds of winning ~ you can earn up to two additional entries by doing any of the following:

1. Become a follower of this blog -------------------------->

2. If you have a blog of your own, post a link to this contest on it.

3. Tweet about this contest on Twitter.

4. Become one of my fans on Facebook.

Just be sure to let me know in your comment which of the above you have done so that I can give you extra credit for them ;)

Thanks, and good luck!!
***This giveaway is now Closed ~ thanks to all who entered. The winner will be posted on 9/16/09***


Become a Fan

If you're on Facebook, you can now become a fan of Dreamin' of Beadin'! Be the first to hear about new listings, giveaways, and other tidbits. I'd love to see you on there. To view my page and become a fan, click here. Thanks for your support!


Take Me to the Fair!

Going to the fair was pretty much a tradition when I was growing up. My parents didn't have the money to take us on a fancy vacation, so the fair was a big deal for us. Even now, I enjoy going. I love the sights, the sounds and even the smells . . . well, not all the smells, but you catch my drift. I think the food is the best part of all ~ elephant ears, cotton candy, caramel apples . . . who can resist those?! Last night we and some friends went to the Michigan State Fair. It is the oldest state fair in the country and is in danger of being shut down due to budget constraints. This would be a real shame, and the thought of it makes me sad. Hopefully, that won't happen!


Finding Martha at Big Lots

Every now and then, I get a hankering to go to Big Lots ~ love that place! You never know what you might find there, if you're in the mood to dig. I compare it to a casino ~ sometimes you hit the jackpot, and other times it's a bust. On a recent trip, they had racks of these Martha Stewart craft kits for only $2 each! Each kit is filled with all the materials you need to make a fun craft. I bought a few of the felt accessory kits to send to my little niece who just had a birthday. I know she will love them. She is already taking after her aunt by being an avid beader!


Here's the Dish: Dirty Shrimp and Rice

Just one note of caution on this recipe ~ it's pretty hot! The heat can be toned down by using less of the cayenne pepper. As you know, I love shrimp, and this is a really quick and easy way to fix it. I usually serve this over brown rice, because it really soaks up the tasty butter beer sauce. Enjoy!
Dirty Shrimp
2 lbs shrimp, shelled and deveined
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup beer
1. Saute garlic and herbs in butter until garlic is slightly browned.
2. Add shrimp, stirring constantly, until shrimp are pink and done.
3. Pour in beer, simmer 1 minute more, and serve!


Shop Update: Playing with Picture Frame Pendants

Here is a Dreamin' of Beadin' exclusive for you! I've been playing around with these little picture frames to create some unique pendants that will be used in necklaces and other jewelry that you will soon see in my shop. I'm literally giving you a glimpse of some that I have made up using Asian inspired scrapbook paper and these cute frames, which are then filled with a non-toxic resin. When the resin dries, it looks like glass. The frames can be filled with photos, dried flowers or other ephemera. I'm having a lot of fun with these ~ you know how I get bored with the same old, same old ;) It might be a few weeks before you see any finished pieces make their debut in my shop, but I couldn't wait until then to show you. For now, keep an eye on my shop for other new pieces that could pop up at anytime!


The best popcorn ever!

My first introduction to Dirty Girl Farm (love the name) happened while I was shopping my local Farmer’s Market. I was drawn to their colorful booth, which was chock full of lotions, dried herbs and other goodies. We all know that I can’t help myself when it comes to that stuff! I was looking for something different, and I found it in their “Indian Popcorn Spice”. Can I just tell you, this is the best stuff!! It really jazzes up boring ol’ popcorn and gives it a sweet/savory kick. The mixture consists of four ingredients ~ coriander, fennel, cumin and cinnamon. I would never consider trying to come up with this perfect blend on my own ~ I’ll leave that up to the professionals ;) Besides, a packet only costs a few dollars and lasts pretty long. Dirty Girl is a local company, and their background is very interesting. You can read all about it on their website, where you can also order their natural, organic and cruelty-free products. I checked Etsy, and it turns out they do have a shop, however nothing is for sale in it . . . as of right now.
Come on Dirty Girl, we are waiting for you!!


Leaf Obsessed.

I am obsessed with leaves. I think it is because they signify Fall to me, which I love as much as I love the Spring. Today is September 1st, and the first day of Autumn is just three weeks away. I’ll be sad to see Summer go, but I love this time of year, for many reasons. Here are some gorgeous handmade things with leaves that I found while browsing Etsy:

Hosta vase, by White Earth Studio